August 23, 2017

When the Glory of the Lord is Shown Upon You

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified.

Luke 2:8-9

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What happens when the glory of the Lord is shown on you?  Scripture makes clear that it’s possible for every true follower of Jesus to see and understand the glory of God.  Indeed, our Lord reveals His glory to all who ask and seek it diligently.

Moreover, I believe the revelation of God’s glory will equip His people for the perilous days ahead.  Paul states that this revelation “…is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).  Therefore, as we pray, “Lord, show me your glory,” we’re actually praying, “Father, reveal to me who You are.”  And if/when the Lord does give us a revelation of His glory, it’s a revelation of how He wants to be known by us.

How many of us have prayed a prayer such as this?  This type of prayer is normally prayed when faced with adversaries we feel are beyond our control.   At a time when we are at zero, we always ask for His glory.  Why can’t we also ask for His glory when we are in our highest spirits?  I believe there we can experience more of His glory, too.  Moses’ experience with the glory of God demonstrates this truth.

The Lord sent Moses to deliver Israel without giving him a full revelation of who the God of Israel truly was. The Lord merely told him, “Go, and say I AM sent you.” But He gave no explanation of who “I AM” was.  I believe this is why Moses cried, “[Lord]…I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory” (Exodus 33:18).  Moses had a gnawing hunger and thirst to know WHO the great I AM was—to know what His nature and character were all about.  I therefore request us, brethren, to cry unto God to show us His glory in all aspects of life so that we can be able to testify to others.  How can we testify of His glory if we ourselves have not experienced it?  The shepherds experienced the glory.  (And, yes, they were terrified…just as the shepherds!)  But the angel said to them “do not be afraid” for he came with good news.  The testimony they had was “God brings good news.”  Trust me, God is bringing His glory in different ways and we will testify.  But I pray we will testify as we have experienced it and perceive it in Jesus’ Name.

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Dear Lord, thank You for being willing to show us Your glory forever more.  And I pray, asking You to open our eyes and ears to see and to hear You when You come in Your glory.  In Jesus’ name, I pray,  Amen.

The More I Seek You

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The more I seek You
The more I find You
The more I find You
The more I love You

I wanna sit at Your feet
Drink from the cup in Your hand
Lay back against You and breathe, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand
I melt in Your peace, it’s overwhelming

Christ For The Nations Worship
written by Zac Neese

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Seeking God can be done in any number of ways; such as,

  • reading the Scriptures (Psalm 119:2)
  • singing praises (Psalms 104:33-34)
  • praying (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • times of worship (corporate and personal) (Psalm 63:1)
  • calling upon Him (Isaiah 55:6)

But, no matter how you seek God, it is ‘all your heart’ that is required.

But if…you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him
if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God….
1 Chronicles 22:19

And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord,
the God of their fathers,
with all their heart….
2 Chronicles 15:12

So, as we seek Him—whether through our prayers, our praises, our thanksgiving, our study of His Word—our whole heart must be engaged.

And another thing that I do believe is required as we seek Him is quiet—actual physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet.

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time alone to seek His Father…we do too and even more so!  His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight,
He got up and went out to a deserted place,
and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15, 16

Along with quietness in our surroundings, perhaps even more important is quietness in our hearts.  This is something that I believe each of us yearns for and, truly, can only be found as we seek Him.  There is an incomparable quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him;
Psalm 37:7

Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Come to Me,
all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest.
Matthew 11:28

I love those that love Me; and those that seek Me diligently shall find Me.
Proverbs 8:17

As you seek Him, my friends, He will be found…He promises!

Then you will call upon Me,
and you will come and pray to Me,
and I will hear and heed you.
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity]
and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12 and 13 AMP

{before you go any further, may i suggest that you take a
few moments to simply seek Your God and be found in His Presence}

More of You

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjvI made my castle tall
I built up every wall
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall
I want You and no one else
Empty me of myself
Until the only thing that’s left is

More of You
Less of me
Make me who I’m meant to be
You’re all I want all I need
You’re everything
Take it all I surrender
Be my King
God, I choose
More of You
Less of me

More of You

This life I hold so close
Oh, God I let it go
I refuse to gain the world and lose my soul
So take it all I abandon everything I am You can have it
The only thing I need is

All to You, I surrender
All to You, my blessed Savior
I surrender all

Singer/Songwriter: Colton Dixon, along with Ben Glover, David Arthur Garcia

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Walking through life everyday, we can become complacent.  Not searching for any more than what we have right now, right here.  But, God does not want us to live that way.  He wants us to live life to the fullest.  He wants us to seek Him and seek His ways. Until we do that, we will never experience the life He holds. We can be safe…we can be ‘free’;  but are we really?  Are we truly free if we have to come to the same job everyday, perform the same tasks everyday, and are not living for Him?

  • When was the last time you told someone about your walk with God?
  • When was the last time you were on your knees with God?
  • When was the last time you were in His word, seeking His will for you?

You may say, ‘I am too old’ or ‘I am too young.’  Perhaps you may even say, ‘I am not physcially able to do anything.’  Sister in Christ, you are able. You can pray.  You can say positive words to a hurting person. You can even post things to your Facebook page to encourage someone.  You never know when your words, your actions, your kindess will impact a person who needs a touch from God.

CHRISTLife — A Quiet Time (Part Three)

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Each Saturday recently we have been looking in-depth at a few of the most important aspects of having a quiet time—or as some folks call it—a devotional time.  Already we have talked about two very foundational aspects of a quiet time—Bible reading and singing praises.  This week we are remembering the importance of being thankful and expressing our gratitude to our Father.

Truly, is there anything else that you can think of that can so change your heart’s attitude more than thankfulness?  I don’t think it presumptuous to say that every one of us has had times of worry, sorrow, despair, grief, anguish, pain in which we turned our hearts to seek God and found ourselves praising and thanking Him for His goodness and kindness towards us.  True?

Before we go any further, let’s stop for just five minutes and worship our God voicing our thanks and our praise!


~  Thank You  – Hillsong / Songwriter – Reuben Morgan  ~
Thank You for Your kindness, thank You for Your mercy
Thank You for the Cross, thank You for the price You paid

Thank You for salvation, thank You for unending grace
Thank You for Your hope, thank You for this life You gave

There is no one like You…There is no one like You, God
All my hope is in You, Jesus Jesus

To Your name we give all the glory
To Your name we give all the praise
And You’re alive—Our God everlasting—let Your face shine on us

Thank You for Your promise, thank You for Your favor
Thank You for Your love…everything You’ve done for me

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The Psalmist, writer of many, many songs of thanks and praise, had this in his heart:

Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
Who can put into words and tell the mighty deeds of the Lord?
Or who can show forth all the praise [that is due Him]?
Psalms 106:1 and 2 AMP

Who can speak forth enough words to tell all the wonderful, mighty things that God has done?  Or who can utter all the praise that is due Him?  Clearly the simple answer is ‘No one.’  But that doesn’t mean we don’t still thrill to voice our gratitude and thankfulness to our Great God!

I checked out Webster’s definition of thankfulness:

THANK’FUL, adjective.
Grateful; impressed with a sense of kindness received, and ready to acknowledge it.

• The Lord’s supper is to be celebrated with a thankful remembrance of His sufferings and death.
• Be thankful to Him, and bless his name (Psalm 100).

I think Mr. Webster’s definition clearly shows that thankfulness is both thought and action—you ‘sense’ having received <God’s> kindness AND you ‘acknowledge’ it. Here’s a great example:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come before His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]!
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
and a thank offering and into His courts with praise!
Be thankful and say so to Him,
bless and affectionately praise His name!
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
Psalm 100

The Psalmist was confessing—remembering—just a few things he was grateful for, AND voicing his gratitude.  We can—we should—do the same! We have oh-so-very-much to be thankful for, amen?  We definitely ‘sense’ God’s abundant goodness and kindness to us, true?  And we acknowledge it through our words of gratitude and thankfulness.

I will thank Yahweh with all my heart;
I will declare all Your wonderful works.
Psalm 9:1

I cried to You, O Lord, and to the Lord I made supplication.
Hear, O Lord, have mercy and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!
To the end that my tongue and my heart
and everything glorious within me
may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalms 30:10, 12

So in your quiet time (but not ONLY in your quiet time!) may I encourage you to tell Your Father how very grateful you are for His goodness, for His protection, for His healing, for His deliverance, for His provision, for His calling, for His admonition, for His guidance, for His love, grace and mercy!  And give Him much thanks!  (Perhaps you might share with us something you have thanked Him for just today…?  Leave your comment below; thanks!)

Keep worshipping Him and enjoying your quiet time with your Lord!  As you seek Him, He will be found…He promises!

Seek Him in Prayer

SeekingHimLogoOne sees rich sand in his hand and scrapes more toward him on the beach to build a sandcastle. One holds bright snow in his hand, then piles and shapes more snow on the wintery ground to build a large snowman. Likewise, one can take a verse and find other passages to support and magnify the truth and concept of the original verse. The act of building can accentuate the original in such a way that the “take-away’ is an accentuated memory or a more impactful lesson learned.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
Jeremiah 29:12

Never believe that you can live without complete dependence on God! If you try to do so, you’ve made one of the biggest mistakes of your life! When I turn through the pages of the Bible, I see many examples of those who called upon God…yielding their lives toward Him in prayer. Come to Him, and He will hear you.

NEHEMIAH

When Nehemiah heard about the destruction of Jerusalem, he at once sought God in prayer for Israel. “As soon as I heard these words I sat down and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, ‘O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you (Nehemiah 1: 4-7).
To see how God wonderfully worked through this praying servant, read Nehemiah 1-13.

JESUS

Jesus sought God and said a prayer of thankfulness to God for hearing His prayers and to bring God glory before He performed a miracle—bringing Lazarus back to life. “So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.’ When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth…” (John 11:41-44).
God always heard Jesus’ prayers. Jesus came to earth to do the will of the Father. As Jesus went and prayed to God, so should we. God will hear our prayers!

BELIEVERS IN ACTS

When Peter healed a crippled man by the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 4, Peter and John were brought before the Jewish Council. “So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’” (John 4:18-20).
Then, the believers sought God and prayed for boldness. “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus. And when they prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31) A prayer-activated boldness through the power of the Holy Spirit is the only kind we should desire!

Seek God, pray at once, and believe with a thankful heart that He hears your prayers and will answer them. Great things, like miracles and boldness, can happen if you seek God and pray to Him. He will hear His people when they come to Him!

Dear God, let us all come to You in prayer. In crisis, in calm, in confusion, and in everyday, let us be a dependent people who recognize that we need You to help us and guide us. With You in all things, our lives are made better and with purpose. We recognize our need. We recognize Your love. Let us recognize You as Lord. In Jesus’ precious Name I pray, Amen.

Wholeheartedly

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In those days when you pray, I will listen.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 NLT

I want to seek the Lord wholeheartedly. I’ve uttered these words plenty of times in my almost 4 year journey with the Lord. I’ve also assumed the fetal position and/or thrown a tantrum at some of God’s responses to my bold statement—after all, wholeheartedly is much easier to say than to do.

There are areas of my life I feel comfortable with God having control over…and some that I do not. For instance—my finances. I know a lot of what the Bible says about finances and, yet, I’ve hesitated when it comes to submitting to the Lord in this area.

Whenever we seek Him the Bible says,

The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.
Lamentations 3:25

How good?

Daniel sought the Lord and, in doing so, defied the decree of the king (Daniel 6:1-28). And he was tossed into the lion’s den for it—but he was saved. The Lord is good to those who search for Him.

Joseph sought the Lord and, in doing so, was betrayed by his brothers, promoted in slavery, set up by his master’s wife, promoted in jail, forgotten about—and ultimately—promoted in the kingdom of Egypt. The Lord is good to those who search for Him.

The bleeding women suffered many years, was deemed unclean and unworthy of social contact, made an outcast. The Lord sees and heals, He is good to, those who search for Him.

Father Abraham was given a promise from God Almighty and, though the fulfillment of this promise seemed physically impossible, the Lord delivered and (then shockingly) asked Abraham to offer up the manifestation (his precious son, Isaac) of that very promise. The Lord provides and blesses, He is good to, those who seek him wholeheartedly.

Wholeheartedly means to hold back nothing or be sincere. As a living sacrifice, I must daily commit to a wholehearted relationship with the Almighty. I stumble, I fall, but I always get back up. One of my favorite verses says it like this, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked” (Proverbs 24:16). Wholeheartedly is not about perfection. No, wholeheartedly is about a heart position. It’s a choice we can make at any millisecond of the day, after any mistake (killing off Christians), doubt (when walking on water) or even outright denial of Jesus (three times).

And as always with our loving God, His way has its perks.

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Lord, I want my life to be one of wholehearted devotion to You and You alone. Everything (every idol) I have held on to and given pieces of my heart to, I ask that You show me these areas and then give me Your truth so that I may submit these areas to You. And when I want to squirm, Lord, give me the courage to stand strong instead! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Interested in joining us for our next Online Bible Study that starts on January 13, 2014?   Click HERE for more details!

Fixing Your Eyes on Him

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Psalms 141:8-9
But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord; in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

Our God is a Sovereign God who by His mercies offer His divine protection to His very own. If you are born of Christ you are called His sons. We can ask God anything at anytime as long as we are able to realize who He is and how great He is. If we make God too small in our lives He will be as such; but if we live with faith and trust in Him we can pray and He will answer us and deliver us from workers of iniquity.

We have all experienced situations that seemed impossible to handle at the time. When things seem hopeless and you feel you are at your worst, that is the time to turn to God and seek Him with everything you have. You may feel you are alone in your circumstances but God is a ‘very present help in times of trouble’. While the facts of your situation may look bleak, the truth of God’s Word brings light, hope and deliverance. As long as we fix our eyes on Him…as long as we depend on Him. You can’t handle life’s challenges alone, and God doesn’t want you to. He loves you and as long as you believe this in your heart, you have access to His Divine intervention.

Let us pray to this faithful God. When we pray it is like we are calling Him to intervene in our situations the way David prayed. Don’t allow the devil to deceive you that God won’t help you. The enemy wants to steal your confidence in God.

I want to encourage you today, that no matter what you’re going through or facing, God knows your situation. He is willing and able to provide for you, protect you, and bring you to an expected end.  All you have to do is take refuge in Him and trust Him. Ask God today to help you and fix your eyes on Him. Look away from everything that distracts and focus on God. Never give up! Never throw in the towel! Never surrender! God will help you. God will see you through and you CAN live and walk in victory.  You can avoid and overcome the snares and gins of the workers of iniquity.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your loving kindness. May You help us today to fix our eyes on You for You are the solid ground. In Jesus name I pray… Amen.