We The People

Summer landscape with storm sky over rye field

 

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Not long ago, our youngest lovebug told a young man she was ‘talking’ too that if he started coming around to our house to expect to have a conversation about Jesus. I love that!

I use to be an in your face Jesus freak. Oh, I’m still a Jesus freak but then I met grace and grace completely dissolved the legalistic world view I had. As a believer in Christ I believe it is important to realize and understand that, unless God has opened up the mind of someone yet to believe, they can’t understand the revelation of Scripture because they don’t yet have Holy Spirit living in them. For that matter, I believe many of us who do have Holy Spirit living in us don’t take the time to consistently dig deep and have a relationship with the holy Scriptures. They, the Scriptures, are alive and crying out to have a conversation with us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

You see, Scripture is Jesus and having a relationship with Scripture is nurturing a deep and intimate relationship with Christ.

What we’ll find when we talk with Scripture is that God loves all his creation and he wants none to perish but all to come to the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Is this going to happen if we spout our frustration about current world events all over social media? I can assuredly tell you, “no, it is not.” And the reason it is not is because you are spouting to a world that doesn’t understand. The change you want to see happen begins with you and it begins with me.

2 Chronicles 7:14 above confirms this for us. Are you called by the Name Jesus Christ? Then it is your responsibility to humble yourself, to pray and seek God and turn from your wicked ways. Yes, you are forgiven of all your sins and yes sin no longer identifies who you are, but we still sin and we are to confess and repent of our sins because sin stands in the way of our fellowship with God. (1 John 1:8-10). Here is the best part, when we take responsibility for these things God promises to forgive our sins and heal our land! Not simply heal but completely heal, which is the original context of the word and land is not only physical land but the people in the land!

We can’t cause anyone to have a relationship with Jesus, that is Holy Spirit’s job, but we can live our life is such a way that others notice the difference and want to know more about why we seem different. Those are the moments we pray for; moments to share Jesus in a loving and grace filled way not an in your face beat them over the head way.

Precious One be the change you want to see in your sphere of influence and ask God to multiply that around the world. Jabez did and God granted his request.

Shalom!

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You Are Chosen For Such A Time As This

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The Book of Esther is one of my favorites. I read the entire ten chapters this morning, intrigued by what I sense are some parallels of Esther’s story and what is going on in our world today.

Esther was a quiet but strong woman, raised by her Uncle Mordecai after her parents had died when she was a young girl. Even as a young woman she still sought and followed the advice of her uncle.

Esther was a Jew, but her husband, King Xerxes, did not know this about her when he crowned her his Queen. It was a different time back then! An evil man by the name of Haman, lived in Esther’s kingdom. He was driven by his pride and ego. At one time he was the king’s right hand man and required all the king’s subject’s to bow down to him. And they did! Except Esther’s uncle, who would bow only to God. This infuriated Haman and he tricked King Xerxes into issuing a decree that all the Jews in all 127 provinces of the kingdom be annihilated. Mordecai learned of Haman’s plan and he beseeched Esther to do something.

business_110008020-012914-intHere is what Esther did; she told Mordecai to gather all the Jews together and to pray for her and to fast with her and her maids for three days. Then she would go and see the king and plead her case. She told Mordecai, “If I must die, I will die.” A rather interesting thing to say. You see, during this period of time if anyone went to visit the king without his summons it was an offense punishable by death unless the king extended his scepter to the person requesting his attention, even the queen! Thankfully, King Xerxes extended his scepter to Esther.

The rest of the story turns out well for Esther and the Jews and I encourage you to read or reread this delightful testimony of God’s love. Allowing yourself to be carried away by the Holy Spirit’s description of this time in history.

What strikes me most about the story of Esther every time I read it, is her willingness to seek God on behalf of herself and her people. She fasted and prayed for three days and asked others to join her, knowing she would hear from God. She depended on God with all of her heart that she made plans to visit the king before she had even fasted and prayed and trusted the outcome to God even if that meant she would die.

What is going on in the world today is frightening and in some area’s atrocious is not a strong enough word to describe the actions of others.

But, there is hope! And, it is found in God’s word.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12.

Ah, do you see the word inheritance? If you know me, you know I love looking for our inheritance in Christ throughout his word. God chooses to give us His inheritance through our belief in His Son, Jesus Christ! Think about that for a moment, let it settle into your heart and find a permanent place to reside. Everything God has he gives to us through our faith in Jesus! Our position here is to pray for the nations of the world that they would ask God to be their Lord and to share our inheritance with them through Jesus Christ! Guess what happens when we do? The nations are blessed by the One true God! Why? Because the nations and their people are seeking God.

When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, the Lord appeared to him at night and said:

“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 2 Chronicles 7:11-16. (emphasis added).

The highlighted part of this passage is what I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to the nations, but I think it is important to read it in context with the surrounding verses. When you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a temple for the Holy Spirit to live within you. Don’t miss the promise of the last line!

1232-vintagePrecious One be a Queen Esther! Seek God not only for yourself but for those in your sphere of influence, for your neighborhood, for your city and state, for your Country and for the nations of the world.

Shalom!

 

Whats Your Story?

Have you ever had an amazing, exciting and out of this world story to tell? One that you are sure no one would believe if you told them, yet one you couldn’t contain to yourself?

Moses had a story like that. In short summation, he and the nation of Israel witnessed the 10 plagues God commanded against Pharaoh and Egypt.

  • Gold 10th Or Ten 3d Number Closeup Representing Anniversary Or Birthday Plague of blood,
  • Plague of frogs,
  • Plague of gnats,
  • Plague of flies,
  • Plague against livestock,
  • Plague of boils,
  • Plague of hail,
  • Plague of locust,
  • Plague of darkness
  • Death of Egypt’s firstborn. 

When Pharaoh finally cried out to Moses and Aaron to gather the nation of Israel and leave Egypt, there were, by some estimates…

  • 2.5-3.5 million Israelites in the exodus.People puzzle concept

As the Israelites left Egypt God told them to ask the Egyptians for clothes, gold and silver, which the Egyptians gave willingly. God caused the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians without a single weapon of war being raised.

What.A.Story.!

Sometime after the Exodus, Jethro, Mosses father-in-law came to visit. Scripture tells us;

Jethro was delighted when he heard about all that the LORD had done for Israel as he brought them out of Egypt. Exodus 18:9.

What’s your story? I’m guessing you have more than one. I believe God gives us continual stories to share with others to express our faith in Him. To glorify His kingdom. Stories that are so unbelievable that it could only be God himself.

open book of family storyGo on, be a Moses today and share a story and a touch of the Holy Spirit!

The grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

The Lost and Powerless

ImageMy heart aches for the lost and powerless. These are the ones that put on a happy face. These are the ones who will say, “oh, I’m great!”, when asked how they are doing. These are the ones who cry silently when no one is watching. These are the ones who feel there is no hope left. These are the ones-the lost and powerless within the Church.

My passion is investing in the lives of other women; sharing and growing with them in our identity in Christ. I believe the way we view our Heavenly Father has much to do with the way we interact or remember our life with our earthly father. As young girls our first love is our daddy. Some dads know innately the need their daughter has to be affirmed by him and offer affirmation willingly, lovingly and often. Some dads know this need but don’t know how to offer it. Some dads don’t know at all. Many dads unwittingly stop offering their affirmation when their daughter, once a little girl, has now blossomed into a beautiful teenager. At, what I believe, is the most critical time in a teen girls life, most dads are unsure of how to simply be dad to their daughter. They pull away when their little girl needs them the most. It is his voice of continued affirmation that a daughter needs to hear to survive the emotional and often tumultuous teen years with confidence leading her to the remarkable woman she will become.

My father was a great dad. I was the youngest and only girl after four boys. Indeed, I was daddy’s little girl. But, when I turned 13 our relationship changed. I truly believe my dad didn’t know how to respond to the young woman I was becoming. There are statistics about the different kind of trouble young girls can get into when their Imagefather’s voice of affirmation is not present or disappears. All I can say is thank you Jesus for your redeeming love!!

For many years I had a skewed perspective of God. It has only been in the last few years that I have begun to understand this marvelous thing; this identity in Christ. Simply put our identity in Christ is who God says we are to him according to his word. There are so many wonderful things he says about us. One of my favorites is 1 Peter 2:9a; “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. God’s special possession. In this half verse we are told four things about our identity;

  • We are chosen.
  • We belong to a royal priesthood.
  • We belong to a holy nation.
  • We are God’s SPECIAL possession.

As we begin and continue to learn and grow in this; our identity in Christ, we no longer have to pretend to put on a happy face. We no longer have to pretend we’re doing great. We no longer have to cry silently or alone. We no longer are the lost and powerless.

 

photo credit-photobucket.