May 26, 2017

Mark 5:24-34 ~ Jesus’ Words on Faith

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{This final week of 2015 we will be re-visiting some of my personal favorite themes on which our wonderful writers have shared with us throughout this past year.  I hope that you (as I was, too!) will be encouraged and reminded of God’s faithfulness and loving care through their inspired words.} 

…And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, for she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.
And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?  And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me? Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Mark 5:24–34 AMP

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This week here on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog, our sisters have focused on Jesus’ words on faith from this record in the Gospel of Mark…  Oh! So much to glean and to learn here! Whenever I read or hear this passage, I am immediately drawn to the thoughts and the actions of this woman.  She had FAITHand she acted upon it!

Listen to what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee had to share earlier this week….

In Your Faith, Cynda wrote,

“I got to thinking…if Jesus came to give us an abundant, overflowing life, why aren’t we experiencing that kind of life?  I think Mark 5:34a (NLT) holds the key:

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Our faith must be exercised to have an abundant, overflowing life.  Faith is based on knowing God & studying His words.  Joyce Meyer says “God’s Word is like medicine for the spirit, soul, and body.”  We must apply God’s Word and put our faith into action.  That’s what this woman did.”

Tina reminded us, in Your Faith Has Made You Free, of the courage of this woman who had faith to approach Jesus for healing.

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith
(your trust and confidence in Me,
springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.
Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed
from your [distressing bodily] disease.
Mark 5:34

“The woman had heard of Jesus’ miraculous healing power and out of her desperation, she knew she would probably die if she did not find someone to cure her…Getting the courage to touch His robe in the crowd, she knew she could get into trouble if found out.  Women were and are still thought of as property.  But Jesus did not rebuff her…He wanted her to have faith in telling her story to everyone that she was healed just by touching His robe.”

Ahmee reminded us in A Single Choiceof the importance of making choices based upon the guidance of God and God’s Word.

“A single choice can change your life for better or for worse.  Big decisions and small decisions can have catastrophic results.  The choices we make today form our habits for our tomorrows.  The choices we make today influence who will be in our tomorrows.  The choice this woman made (in this passage from Mark chapter 5) changed her life!  For twelve years—everyday—she bled.  She’d tried getting help from doctors, but to no avail.  And she had spent everything she had.   As I read this I wondered if she went to Jesus only because she had run out of other options.  Was it desperation that pulled her to Him?  Is this not so often the case, though? Regardless of why… she still made the choice and that’s the part that matters.

Choose. And make sure they are wise choices.

In Faith That Brings Peace, Ann posed some important questions regarding making good decisions to step out in faith.

“This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us?

  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us?

  • How much time do we have for God?

  • Do we believe He can do it?

  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering?!?”

And  in Healing Power, Laura shared with us the faith in action of some folks from her home church who are endeavoring to have faith as they go through some hard times.

“One of our church members was involved in a bad car accident this week.  He was in very bad shape.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and was having trouble breathing.  The family asked for prayers….

The power of prayer and faith in God has helped this follower of Jesus to improve.  Faith and prayer is hopefully going to bring this family through this season in their life.  …However, I believe that they have faith like the woman in this record in the Gospel of Mark.  They have been praying, and he is slowly starting to improve (at last update).

To have faith strong as this is a blessing to any family.  Faith this strong can bring the healing power of God to anybody.  This is what Jesus wants from us—full faith in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He died for us…we should all be able to rely on Him no matter the season or the trial ahead of us.”

Week Two…Jesus’ Words on Faith (Mark 5:24-34)

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 …And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,
And who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment,
For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.
And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.
And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?
And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me?
Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it.
But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Mark 5:24–34 AMP

This week the daily devotions here on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog have focused on Jesus’ words on faith from this record in the Gospel of Mark…

So much to glean and to learn here! Whenever I read or hear this passage, I am immediately drawn to the thoughts and the actions of this woman. She had FAITHand she acted upon it!

Listen to what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee had to share earlier this week….

In Your Faith, Cynda wrote,

“I got to thinking…if Jesus came
to give us an abundant, overflowing life,
why aren’t we experiencing that kind of life?

I think Mark 5:34a (NLT) holds the key:

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Our faith must be exercised to have an abundant, overflowing life.  Faith is based on knowing God & studying His words.  Joyce Meyer says “God’s Word is like medicine for the spirit, soul, and body.”  We must apply God’s Word and put our faith into action.  That’s what this woman did.”

Tina reminded us, in Your Faith Has Made You Free, of the courage of this woman who had faith to approach Jesus for healing.

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me,
springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.
Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed
from your [distressing bodily] disease.
Mark 5:34

“The woman had heard of Jesus’ miraculous healing power and out of her desperation, she knew she would probably die if she did not find someone to cure her…Getting the courage to touch His robe in the crowd, she knew she could get into trouble if found out.  Women were and are still thought of as property.  But Jesus did not rebuff her.  He wanted her to have faith in telling her story to everyone that she was healed just by touching His robe.”

Ahmee reminded us in A Single Choice, of the importance of making choices based upon the guidance of God and God’s Word.

“A single choice can change your life for better or for worse.  Big decisions and small decisions can have catastrophic results.  The choices we make today form our habits for our tomorrows.  The choices we make today influence who will be in our tomorrows.  The choice this woman made (in this passage from Mark chapter 5) changed her life!  For twelve years—everyday—she bled.  She’d tried getting help from doctors, but to no avail.  And she had spent everything she had.   As I read this I wondered if she went to Jesus only because she had run out of other options.  Was it desperation that pulled her to Him?  Is this not so often the case, though? Regardless of why… she still made the choice and that’s the part that matters.

Choose. And make sure they are wise choices.

In Faith That Brings Peace, Ann posed some important questions regarding making good decisions to step out in faith.

“This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us
  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us
  • How much time do we have for God
  • Do we believe He can do it
  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering”

And  in Healing Power, Laura shared with us the faith in action of some folks from her home church who are endeavoring to have faith as they go through some hard times.

“One of our church members was involved in a bad car accident this week.  He was in very bad shape.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and was having trouble breathing.  The family asked for prayers….

The power of prayer and faith in God has helped this follower of Jesus to improve.  Faith and prayer is hopefully going to bring this family through this season in their life.  …However, I believe that they have faith like the woman in this record in the Gospel of Mark.  They have been praying, and he is slowly starting to improve (at last update).

To have faith strong as this is a blessing to any family.  Faith this strong can bring the healing power of God to anybody.  This is what Jesus wants from us—full faith in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He died for us…we should all be able to rely on Him no matter the season or the trial ahead of us.”

Joy in the Night

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For hundreds of years the Jewish people had prepared for and hoped for the Messiah to come. Finally the time had arrived, but it didn’t come as many had expected—with great fanfare and pomp. (Not that angels lighting perhaps a moonless sky wasn’t pretty fantastic!) But there was no big parade in the middle of the day down the center of town for all to see. Instead it came to a few. Instead it came to the forgotten of society. Instead it came in the darkness of night.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them,
and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.
“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born….
Luke 2:8-11

The joyful news of the arrival (the Advent) of the long awaited Savior, the Messiah, came at night. Not only was the world dark with physical night-time. I quote from Reverend Billy Graham,

“It wasn’t night because the sun had gone down. It was night because the world was surrounded in spiritual and moral gloom. People were driven by greed, intolerance, and lust for power. Religion had become a device for the rich in the exploitation of the poor. Men robbed and swindled and profiteered under the cloak of religion; they even fought wars in the name of religion. In every arena of life, it was night when Jesus came.”

excerpted from Arrival, Preparing to Celebrate Christ’s Birth.
(click here for a free download of this devotional)

And all this is still true today. People still live in darkness—the darkness of all kinds of sin and its repercussions. But the joyful news is that Jesus came, and He brought light to all mankind.

The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The One who rules righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,
is like the Light of morning at sunrise,
like a morning without clouds,
like the gleaming of the sun
on new grass after rain.’
2 Samuel 23:2-4

Jesus, the Light of morning, came for all people so that none of us would have to walk in darkness.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.
John 8:12

Jesus knew that His Light would bring life and joy to all who choose to follow Him. Even in His last major prayer for His disciples He said this:

“Now I am coming to You <His Father.>
I told them many things while I was with them in this world
so they would be filled with My joy.
I have given them Your Word.”
John 17:13-14

If you feel forgotten, if you are mourning, if you are still walking in darkness, then now is the time to allow Jesus, the Light of the world, to step into your world and give you His life and His joy.  Rejoice with great joy!  Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the Light of the morning!  We don’t have to walk in the darkness of night (sin), because JOY comes in the morning!

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
Praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
but His favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever!
Psalms 30:4-5, 11-12

Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted His people
and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
Isaiah 49:13

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great compassion.  Thank You for Your joy that comes when we walk out of our “night” and into Your Light.  For those who make that decision during this Christmas season, I pray they will experience Your Light and Joy like they have never experienced anything before.  For those of us who already walk in Your light, we thank You for Your Joy, unspeakable joy!  You are our Light of Life!  All honor and glory belong to You, our Savior and King!  IT IS SO!

Proclaim Allegiance to His Name

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Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of lips which confess His name.
Hebrews 13:15

The New Living Translation says it this way:

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God,
proclaiming our allegiance to His Name.

The phase “proclaiming our allegiance to His Name” popped out at me. It sounded so different than the other translations that refer to “the fruit of lips that confess His Name.” I just had to do a little research to understand what this verse is really saying.

  • To “confess” God’s Name is to declare, state, acknowledge His Name
  • To “proclaim allegiance” is to announce publicly, or to declare something one considers important with due emphasis, which in this case would be one’s loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior

What sacrifice do I/we offer to God for the sacrifice He made for us by giving His Only Son, Jesus?

What sacrifice do I/we offer to Jesus for Him sacrificing His very lifeblood to cleanse us of our sins?

I thought about missionaries on a foreign field who have sacrificed their house, their car, their homeland, and perhaps even their safety, to proclaim their allegiance to God and to share the Good News of Jesus’ sacrifice. Truly in God’s eyes, that is a continual sacrifice of praise to Him.

I also thought about the pastor of a little struggling country church. He has confessed, proclaimed allegiance to God by faithfully serving for years with little or no salary, so that others would hear of Jesus’ sacrifice for them. Yes, that, too, is a continual sacrifice of praise to God. 1 Peter 2:5 (AMP) says,

[Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house,
for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices
[that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.

God is calling each of us through Jesus Christ to sacrifice ourselves, to be dedicated and consecrated, to the position (priesthood) of pleasing God with our proclamation of allegiance. We don’t have to be a missionary or a country pastor to please God. What pleases God is our private and our public continual sacrifice of praise and declaration of Him and His salvation through Jesus Christ.

Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to Him,
Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer You our praises.
Hosea 14:2

Our sacrifices are to be in the manner of adoration, worship, prayer, thanksgiving, allegiance, confession, and dedication. God is great and greatly to be praised. Our genuine praise will have no end.

Great is the LORD!
He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure His greatness.
Psalm 145:3

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Dear Lord God, we come to You today with our sacrifices of praise on our lips.  You are worthy beyond words to receive all of our praise, and not just those of thanksgiving but also those of public confession and allegiance.  Holy Spirit, please help us to be strong and brave as we express publicly our thankfulness and our allegiance to God.  May our sacrifice of praise show others the way to You through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  In Jesus’ Name we ask these things, Amen.

Pray to the Father

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You will call to Me and come and pray to Me,
and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:12

 Do you ever feel alone? Do you ever feel like you have more on your list than you can handle? Do you ever feel like there is no hope? Do you look for a miracle; perhaps you receive it or you do not receive it? Do you ask for something only not to get it? I think that everybody can answer yes to these questions—at some point in their lives.

Yet, many people rely on the outside world to find answers to these questions. However, the world itself cannot truly fulfill the answers to these questions/feelings. We must call on the highest power—the power of God—to answer these questions. He does not leave us. He will be there for us and help us when we feel like we have too much to handle. God brings us hope, love, and peace. He gives us the miracle we need (not what we may think we need).

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1

 Prayer is our way of talking to God. We should pray daily. Through prayer we can talk to God about our problems and request help for situations that we cannot control. If we hold true to our faith in God, He will bring relief to us. He will show us mercy and listen to us. As His children, God always has our best interest at heart. We may not like how God answers our prayers, but He answers them in ways that are always for our good.

Our Father loves us dearly. He answers our prayers in the ways that He knows we need. We may want something very much, and pray for it, but if God knows that it is bad for us, He will answer us in a way that protects us. He answers our prayers in the ways that are best for us. He knows what will harm us, and as any father would do, He protects us from what is not good for us.

*  ~  * ~  * ~ * ~ *  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for looking out for us. Sometimes we do not know what is best for ourselves or our families. You do. Without You, we might make the wrong decisions and put ourselves in harm’s way. Continue to protect us and look out for us. In Jesus name, amen.

 

With All Our Heart

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Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12 and 13

I feel like I am always looking for something.  I lose something, my kids lose something, my husband needs something, or I need to find a report at work; whatever it may be, I feel like I’m always looking.

There are a few ways we can search for things in our lives:

  1. Casually looking—we wonder where something might be but we will be okay if we find it or if we don’t find it.
  2. Assign the task to someone else, maybe our husband or our kids.
  3. We look passionately, and almost frantically, for something like our keys (that we can’t find right before a doctor’s appointment or before a big meeting).

The interesting thing is this is also how we seek God at different times in our lives.

  1. Casually looking—we wonder where something might be but, we will be okay if we find it or if we don’t find it. When things are good, when we are busy, when the phone is ringing, our kids are calling from the other room, your husband needs something, the tv show is calling…. I know how hard it is to have a busy life; some things have to go by the wayside and fall into this casual category. I was guilty of this, and I was gently reminded that there are things that we can casually search for, but Christ is not one of them.
  2. Assign the task to someone else, maybe our husband or our kids. I think it is a great thing to listen to inspiring things on the radio, or watch tv shows that touch our heart mind and soul, but we need more than this. We need to take the time to read His Word and apply it to our daily lives. In addition to someone bringing the Word to us, we need to bring ourselves to the Word.
  3. We look passionately, and almost frantically, for something like our keys that we can’t find (right before a doctor’s appointment or before a big meeting). This way of looking might be used when things are bad, or when we’re facing a crisis; it might be used as a New Year’s resolution; and prayerfully we use this way of looking into our everyday walk of life. We need to look (according to Jeremiah 29: 12-13) with all our heart.

He commands us to seek Him and search for Him with all of our heart. I know that the way I seek Him needed some serious reevaluating; I needed to change how I searched for Him. It was too casual, it was based on convenience and free time, instead of daily and with intention. This week I am going to intentionally focus on this phrase “with all my heart;” will you join me? Write it…read it…live it.

*   *   *   *   * 

Let’s pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your gentleness, even when we are seeking You casually You continue to surround us with Your love. Lord I pray that we intentionally strive to seek You daily with all our heart; I know that we will see a change in our lives and I know we will draw closer to You.  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!

With All Our Hearts

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Then, you will call upon Me
and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.
You will seek Me and find Me,
when you seek Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13

Would you go to the swimming pool to swim and only put your big toe in the water? Would you give a bracelet as a birthday gift and only put part of the bracelet in the box? Would you love someone only on Mondays?

It would be equally silly (and quite sad, I might add) to not seek God with all your heart. Take a moment to think of your relationship with God. We are to come to Him and pray and seek Him with all of our heart. To go back to the three analogies: dive into that pool with all your heart—totally submerging yourself to seek Him!!! As a gift, think of giving your heart whole-heartedly to God! And with your time, seek Him every day of the week! (That’s not bits and pieces of our time here and there like on special occasions, holidays, and emergencies! If you go to Him surrendered with all your heart, there’s not a day that comes and goes when your relationship with Him does not matter! Seek Him whole-heartedly!)

But even though we come to Him often, let’s always be in awe of the fact that the great God of the universe loves us and is willing to listen, care, and respond to our needs just like He did with the people in the Book of Jeremiah. Let’s not ever get over the fact that He can save us, restore us, forgive us, guide us, strengthen us, and help us. Let’s call to God, come to God, pray to God—knowing and believing that He will hear us if we seek Him with all of our heart. If we do, we will find Him (verse 14)!
Jesus doesn’t want partial heart commitments.

Look at this excerpt from the Scriptures:
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer asked him a question to test him.
‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’
And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:34-37

It’s always the heart condition and amount of heart-surrender that matters to God! We are to give Him our all! He alone to the full extent knows who seeks Him with all their heart and who does not.

But if we could see it, I wonder what we would see. My imagination takes me to a place of wondering. Join me for a minute….
Imagine if all people wore a necklace that had a representation of a 5-inch heart that served as a gauge dangling from it. Imagine that the hearts would be completely shaded in red for those who seek God with all their heart. Now here’s the hard part: As we moved about our lives at the grocery store, at church, at school, or work, and within our families and friends…I wonder how many dangling hearts would be sadly empty, only partially-shaded, or completely shaded red? How much of your heart and mine would be shaded red when we look into the mirror?…How does this hit you?

If this imagination exercise is here to convict any or all of us, let the conviction take us to a place in our heart to strive to live (through the power of the Holy Spirit ) “a completely, red-shaded heart for the Lord” and also desiring and praying for the same for others! Let’s all seek Him with our whole hearts!

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Lord, Let us always seek You and find You because we come seeking You with all our heart. Wherever each of us is in our relationship with You, let it grow even more. Thank You for being our Rescuer, Restorer, Deliverer, and Comforter. We give You all praise and glory, and we thank You for being a faithful God Who does not change, waiver, or hide from us. Let our hearts be drawn to You daily and completely! In Jesus’ precious 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!

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!

Seek Him First

SeekingHimLogo

 

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me
and I will listen to you.
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13

Strategic timing is often involved in the fulfilment of Gods promises. God fulfils His Word and His promises both in relation to the fullness of His redemptive purpose and in response to His faithful peoples’ earnest prayers.

Jeremiah prophesied that at the end of the seventy year captivity a new ‘fullness of time’ would occur. God would then move within a holy remnant so that they would seek Him in prayer with all their hearts. And there God would listen, answer from heaven, and fulfill His promises of restoration.

Note two principles:

  • When God desires to do great things for His people, He moves His people to great praying; and,
  • The timing of God’s answers to their prayers is often linked to God’s purposes for His people as a whole

 The lions may grow weak and hungry
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Psalm 34:10

Note that the promises in this psalm are conditional and reserved only for those who seek the Lord. God promises to deliver us from fear, save us from trouble, send angels to encamp around us, supply our needs, give us abundant life, hear our prayers, comfort us with His presence and redeem us – but only if we seek the Lord.

Ask and it will be given unto you,
seek and you will find
knock and the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7

When we are seeking, it implies earnest petitioning along with obedience to God’s Will. See that doors and gates are opening for those that are seeking the Lord diligently. I therefore request you, my sisters, to seek the Lord at all times. For it also says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteous and all the things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).  It is only when we seek the Lord that all things shall be added unto us. The doors to prosperity, to good health, to divine protection, etc. will be added unto us. All the prophetic messages we heard on New Years Day concerning 2014 will be fulfilled when we diligently seek the Lord.  Let us seek the Lord not in vain. Let us seek Him with all our hearts.

I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’
I the Lord speak the truth; I declare what is right.
Isaiah 45:19

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Father, we come before You for we know there is no one who is like unto Thee and You alone we seek for we know we can’t go wrong and all these things will be added unto us. Create in us a steadfast spirit, Lord, in Jesus’ name we have prayed. 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!

Seeking Him

SeekingHimLogo

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.
You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 ESV

Have you ever had those times where all you do is seek God with all of your heart?  I have—so many times.  He created us to seek a relationship with Him.  When we walk away He is sad…like a lover we have left behind; yet we are always pulled back toward Him.

As the New Year begins, we want to start with a clean slate and clean hearts; yet we don’t know how or we lose our way. By making that commitment to seek out His Word we will be able to.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6 KJV

I do not make New Year’s resolutions because I often do not keep them.  But what I do seek to do is to make a lifestyle change.  Something I want to have in my life day to day.  Striving for the relationship I need to have with God is my goal every day. Distraction comes in many faces.  Some seem harmless, some are just very harmful. Pray and ask God to reveal to you what your distractions are, and choose to eliminate them from your life. It may be very hard at first but you will be rewarded with a new insight into the heart of our Father.

One of the things we have experienced in the Marin household is having my mother-in-law come to live with us. She is such a joy to have around! It is just difficult for her to adjust to living here without her husband of 55 years. Plus with 2013 being the mildest summer and the winter of 2014 being the coldest in a while is not helping her either. (She moved from Florida to Tennessee). We are a busy household. Between work and exercising to keep healthy, we are not home with her a lot. She has her room, her TV, music and movies. She also sews, knits beautiful scarves, and helps us wherever she can.

Her faith has also been tested. She was angry with God for a while. Through the Holy Spirit, He is showing her why Carlos needed to go home to Him. We love her and try to keep her busy with little projects.  Our daughter,  Nikki, and I will take her out shopping, to hair appointments, and whatever else we can do to entertain her. By faith and by seeking Him, she is settling into a routine. One that I hope is satisfying and that will allow her to grow in her walk with God.  We will continue to find ways to entertain each other.  As long as we are truthful we will be able to have fun along our journey.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and Your mercy.  Thank You for giving us the ability to minister to others and to be ministered to.  Help us seek You more and to have the faith we need to love Your people as You do.  In Jesus’ precious name.  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!