Search Me

bible-1089930__180Search me, O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive (wicked) way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.   Psalm 139:23-24

When was the last time you dedicated time to searching your heart for offense and wickedness?  What would happen if we were to do that on a regular basis?   If you’re ready to do a little (a lot of) soul searching read on.

Many times our anxious thoughts come from an unforgiving heart.  If we are refusing to forgive, for any reason, that is offensive to God.

bible-216962__180For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matthew 6:14-15

Did you notice verse 15.  If I (you) do not forgive others He will not forgive me (you). Those are powerful words.  I can’t bear the thought of not being forgiven, can you?

Are there situations and issues in your life that you think are unfair and you are unwilling to forgive those who have harmed you?  Of course, there are.  Everyone has them.  There are people and actions that seem, or really are, unfair and out of our control at the time they happen.  What should we be doing about that?  Let God have total control of all that happens to us, against, for us, without us…   Give it to God!   Ask Him to make you totally aware of any anger, bitterness, resentment, or envy you are harboring against anyone.  Only when the burden is given to Him can we move forward and forgive.

bible-102684_960_720Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit in me.  Psalm 51:10

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

5 Prayer Prompts

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Do you have times when what to pray evades?  Of course you do.  I do.  Everyone does.  There are many ways and methods of prayer.  Spoken.  Written.  Thought.  There are acronyms to keep us focused and cover all the things we ‘should’.  (ACTS – Acclamation Contrition Thanksgiving Supplication   PRAY – Praise Repent Access Yield)  How about just going before the Throne and giving God all that’s on, or in, your mind/heart.  Here are some ideas:

Tiny Praying HandsA prayer totally devoted to thanks for His provision.  Do one for each letter of the alphabet.  This could become quite long since He gives us EVERYTHING!

Tiny Praying HandsPrayers for someone who is causing you problems.  Not just what is happening on the surface but the whole story.  Dig in and lay it out.  Like King David did in some of the Psalms.  Don’t forget your part in it.

Tiny Praying HandsPray for our country and its leaders, its people, its problems, its challenges…

 

Tiny Praying HandsPraise Him!  Close the door and sing His praise.  Not just one song but maybe a whole CD.  Write a poem.  Take a walk and focus on His creation.  Draw.  Paint.  Sculpt.

Tiny Praying HandsCall a friend! (Matthew 18:19)  Grab your prayer lists, find a quiet place, and lay it all before God.  Agree before hand to stay totally focused on God.

Pray On prayer warriors.  God wants to hear and respond.

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers, incline Your ears, and grant us Your peace.  Help us as we strive to experience Your presence.  Let our prayers and our words be a pleasant fragrance before Your Throne.  Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I AM

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I often feel a rush of emotion when I read the words I AM.  That the great I AM is aware of me, cares about what happens to me, and loves me more than life itself is almost incomprehensible.  Yet it is a reality!

The Word gives us another look at the I AM concept in that there are “I ams” that apply to the Believer.  Take a look at these and the scriptures that go with them.  Hide His Word in your heart and make it part of who you are!

I am a child of God   The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Romans 8:16

I am forgiven   For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.   Colossians 1:13-14

I am saved by grace through faith  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  Ephesians 2:8

I am justified    Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ    Romans 5:1

I am a new creature  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here    2 Corinthians 5:17

I am led by the Spirit of God   For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  Romans 8:14

I am kept in safety wherever I go  For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways   Psalm 91:11

I am casting all my cares on Jesus   Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

I am doing all things through Christ who strengthens Me.   Philippians 4:13

I am bringing every thought into captivity   We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5

I am being transformed by a renewed mind  Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

I am the righteousness of God  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21

I am an imitator of Jesus  Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children  Ephesians 5:1

I am filled with laughter and rejoicing  He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of joy.  Job 8:21

If you will mark these verses in your Bible, study, read and pray over them for the next 30 days I know the Spirit will do His work and they will become a known and usable part of who you are.

Father, You are my Protector, Perfecter, Creator, Redeemer, and One and Only God.  You have adopted me and forgiven me.  You lead me, love me and fill me with joy and delight.  I am because YOU ARE.  I lift these words of praise before the Throne in Jesus Precious Name.

Always Forgiven!

ResurrectionWE CANNOT OUT-SIN HIS FORGIVENESS!!!!

For Heaven’s sake don’t even think that I would ever suggest even trying.  One of the ways we get ever closer to Jesus likeness is our whole-hearted desire not to sin.  But we are human and we are sinful and that’s something we simply can’t ignore!

In Psalm 103:2-3 David tells us that we are not to forget His benefits and one of these is the forgiveness of sin.  For me, David’s words speak mountains of truth about forgiveness.  His story helps us understand that even the one (David) who had a Heart like His could and would sin!  David depended on God’s forgiveness, asked for it and it was given. Fully!

God is the God of the second, third, forth….chance.  Take a look at Jonah 1:1-3.  God told him to go to Ninevah and preach against its wickedness.  Jonah tried to run away and had the adventure and epiphiny of his life.  (Yes, my God is the Only One who could keep a man alive in the ‘belly of a whale’!)  Jonah 3:1 says the LORD spoke to him a second time and said go to Ninevah and proclaim the wickedness of the Ninevites.  Jonah obeyed!  God will forgive our disobedience but does expect to eventually obey.

Jesus tells us clearly in Matthew 6:14-15 that we must forgive others when they sin against us.  If we don’t the consequence is to big to imagine…the Father will not forgive us.  We are to be the picture of God to those around us.  If there is no way to out-sin God’s forgiveness then there is no sin of another that we can’t forgive.

Mighty, Awesome, Forgiving LORD!  Forgive my sins, the ones I know and the ones I don’t.  Give me Your super-natural ability to forgive those who have and will sin against me in some way.  Nurture in me a heart of forgiveness!  Make it so!!!

He Is Head Over Heals In Love With Us

I’ve recently been giving a lot of thought to God’s love for us.  It must be something He wants me to do because I’ve seen books, reading articles, and listening to other Christians expound on the subject.  Why do I (we) think He can’t possibly mean me (us), even though He assures me (us) repeatedly in His Word.
In Genesis 1:27 we are told that we are created in His image.  Men and women look like God.  Think about it.  Don’t we all sometimes want to look like someone else?  Well, how about God.  Rather than comparing ourselves to others how about comparing ourselves to the One who loved us so much He gave His Son for us.

In Psalms 139:14 the writer is giving praise because he is aware of God’s love through being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.  He is in awe of the One who cares more about our well-being than anything else.God protects and sustains us from the time we are born until we have many gray hairs.  It’s truly something He wants to do. Don’t we want to protect and sustain those we love?  Of course we do.  It’s God’s love for us showing through us. (Isaiah 46:4)

Siescape-fetus

Siescape-fetus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s look at the book of Hosea.  The cycle is repeated over and over.  Hosea marries Gomer, they have a child, she cheats on him and has two more, he continues to forgive her and take her back.  So like God’s love for us; we sin, He saves us, we sin, He forgives, and the cycle goes on and on and on…

The Painting entitled "Jesus Blessing the...

The Painting entitled “Jesus Blessing the Children” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John 1:12 says when we receive Him, believe in Him, and trust Him because of His name He makes us His children.  Don’t we make the choice from the moment of conception to love our children even when they are sometimes unlovable?  God does too.We are God’s chosen and dearly loved.  Like all who love others He has expectations for us.  We are to show compassion, kindness, and forgiveness (see Colossians 3:12-14 for the list).  Over all we are to wear a cloak of love.  A Japanese translation says it like this, “Love binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
He wants to love us.  Let Him!
Ah, Lord God, my King, my Shelter, my One and Only I do not deserve to be loved by You, yet You do!  You see my insides and my ‘out-sides’, You know my strongholds, my sins, my every part, yet You still love me.  Oh, Lord, help me to be loving to others, help me to love like You do, with compassion, kindness, and without thought to what it will ‘cost’ me.  What a Mighty God You are.     Make it so!

Psalm 86

 
Psalm 86 is sub-titled ‘A Prayer of David’ in my Bible. Through prayer and focusing on God’s love David could put those who were tormenting him in the right perspective. Praying this psalm in my own words was very enlightening. Enjoy!
 
 
Oh, LORD, bend your ear down to earth so I can speak my needs directly into it.I trust you to keep me safe because You are my God.I send prayers to You 24/7. Hear and grant them.Help me find gladness in serving You.Many call upon You and depend on Your goodness, forgiveness and constant love.Hear my prayer and plea for mercy.When I am in trouble I come to You for the answer.Your works stand out, You are unique.Your creation worships You.You are the One and Only.Instruct me in Your ways. I am in awe of You.Thank You for being my God. I give You all the glory.Your great love sustains me. You are my Deliverer.Those who do not follow You have risen against me.Show Your mercy and grace, Your ‘always there’ love and faithfulness.

Give me strength and keep me safe.

Let those who hate You be shamed because You are my Helper and Comforter.

Heavenly Father, make it so!

What’s Missing

“Food can fill our stomachs but never our souls.
Posessions can fill our houses but never our hearts.
Sex can fill our nights but never our hunger for love.
Children can fill our days but never our identities.
Jesus wants us to know only He can fill us and truly satisfy us.”
~ Lysa TerKeurst

While at a baseball game I watch the game and talk to the people around. At the grocery store or mall I shop.    During lunch with a friend I interact with her.  At worship I focus on my Lord.  At the movies I watch the show.  At work I focus on my job.  It seems that everyone around me has their cell phone or iPad with them constantly and their focus is on that and not on the present. 

What are they all looking for?  Is there something missing?  Is there such loneliness in the lives of those around us that there must be constant contact with someone or something? 

I use my cel phone only when traveling long distances for safety issues.  (I have Sync so I don’t have to take my hands of the steering wheel.)  I do not text unless I am texted and often don’t check my messages until I’m annoyed by the beep.  I use my lap top only for business and writing.  If I’m feeling lonely my go to person is God. 

In this lonely, rushing world the one verse that stands out to me is Psalm 46:10

                     BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD

Heavenly Father, Creator of all, Master of the Universe, You alone are worthy of my total attention.  In the hustle, bustle, and rush of this world you are my Quite Place.  You create the stillness that can be felt in the noise of life.  Grant me the privilege of knowing the ‘Peace that passes all understanding in Christ Jesus.’    Make it so

Personally His

 As humans we tend to be groupies.  Everything is more acceptable in a group.  Conformity is part of the human condition.  Our thoughts begin to change when we come to the realization that we are personally acceptable and accountable to God.  We worship in groups but often find it difficult to worship alone.  We pray in groups but may experience some anxiety when asked to be the leading voice.  We believe that Jesus died for us as a group of sinners but find it difficult to believe that we sin personally.  I believe if I were the only person on earth Jesus would have still died for just me.

When we read John 3:16-17 we group ourselves as part of the world (and we are).  Look at John 3:18.  The ‘voice’ changes and becomes more personal, saying  ‘whoever…’  At this point it becomes a very personal choice.  Either I believe and reap the blessings of personal belief or I deny and am condemned.

David, a man after God’s own heart, had more than a bit to say in his writings about a personal relationship with God. Look at Psalm 40:1-3. 

I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.     David had it figured out.  He knew the Lord personally and with that knew He would answer.   Verses 2 and 3 tell us what God did for him.  The end of verse 3 gives us reason to rejoice.  David knew he wasn’t the only one but many more individual believers would see that God insures our safety personally.  The Message says this so well.  More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.

Oh, how He loves you and me!

Heavenly Father, give us the desire and courage to abandon ourselves personally to You.  Help us know and understand Your personal love for each of us.  Let us go and tell others they can have the same thing.  Send Your blessing on us.  I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of Jesus.  Make it so!