Jesus Saves!

John 4:23, But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

Jesus was talking to the woman at the well and she thought God could only be worshiped in a certain place but Jesus explained God is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. It doesn’t matter “where” we worship as long as the place of worship comes from our heart. True worship is a heart that is right towards God. We worship in our spirit and in His truth. Worship is a state of the heart. Praise comes because of worship. I wrote something about this here.  I pray, I know I have right standing with You because of my faith in Jesus. Help me to also have and maintain a pure heart towards You, to worship you truly in Spirit and in Truth.

Trail to the Tree

This is the last day of Trail to the Tree. Ann didn’t have anymore days on there so starting tomorrow I think I will add her new devotion Lent to Repent.

Today’s reading is about Jesus’ resurrection. When the angel told Mary that He is risen and go tell the disciples.

Ann says: So give us courage to run, Father, great joy coursing through these veins, to tell the world!

This joy to tell the whole world came to me when I had my salvation experience. I wanted to tell people in the grocery store and people I had known about this Jesus that I found! I did do all those things and even people at the church. I found out later in the Bible that we must confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord. Romans 10:9,

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

This is why I write this blog. Hoping someone who doesn’t know this good news might come to know it through the working of the Holy Spirit in these words. I pray that God will use me to type and the Holy Spirit will direct the people who need the good news to read something here that will wake them from their sleep. I looked up the word Gospel recently and it comes from the Greek word “euangelion” which means the joy news, You receive joy from the Holy Spirit when you receive Jesus. 1st Thessalonians 1:6,  You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. Something else I learned from Ann Voskamp is a clenched white knuckle fist can’t receive anything. We have to have an open, humble hand to receive light. Flames need oxygen to light. If you want to ignite the flame in your heart and become on fire for Jesus then I invite you to receive Him in your heart today!

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Christ Died For Us

Today is about reverence, worship and praise toward God for who He is and toward Jesus for what He has done. I wrote an article about reverence, worship and praise here . What I read today brought these scriptures to mind. Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 1 John 4:19,  We love because he first loved us.

My reading was a poem and a quote. The quote is about how the blood of Jesus is forgiveness of sins and the cross represents the sinners that we are. He bled forgiveness on each one of us. We all have a cross to bear, our own sinfulness, but Jesus’ shed blood washes it away. Picture yourself carrying this heavy, burdensome cross across a river and a big gush of water like in the wild rapids comes along and takes the cross from your back and washes it down river. Jesus can do this for us.

The poem was about seeing God for who He really is. Having reverential fear and awe towards Him. We shouldn’t take His presence lightly. It is an honor to be in His presence. We should remember that we need God to survive and thrive. We take His Holy Spirit for granted these days. The Israelites didn’t have His Holy Spirit. We need to take God’s presence seriously and be thankful Jesus made a way for us to be with Him.

Trail to the Tree was about the gift of rescue. Ann wrote:” Father, we paint ourselves red with Jesus’ blood so that satan can not enter into this soul place to wrack ruin and death, but that You would come through the door of our hearts…that we would come through Jesus, the door, and into Your Presence.”

We are rescued just as the Israelites were on the first Passover. They painted crosses with blood of a lamb on their door posts so no death would come inside. So by faith I paint with Jesus’ blood a cross on the door of my heart so no evil can come into my thinking, my attitude, my love, my peace, my joy. Jesus rescues me and also protects me.

Thank you God for loving me even as a sinner. Thank you for Your mercy and lovingkindness and for sending Jesus to save me. Thank you Jesus that You saw Your mission through to the end to save us all from death. Thank you that You loved us first and died for us to live.

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My Love Jesus by Regina Gibson

Immeasurable love,

Inexpressible love,

Never ending love,

Completeness in my being.

He knows me,

He loves me,

He is with me now and always.

I can’t wait to see Him in heaven.

He holds me,

He sees me,

He engulfs me.

I will praise You forever.

I will love You forever.

I will discover who You are

forever.

Forever will I love you, Jesus.

No Doubting!

I wrote this back in November 2014 in my journal. I thought I shared it before but I can’t find it so I’m going to share it now.

Matthew 14:28-30, And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he PERCEIVED and FELT the strong wind, he was FRIGHTENED and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me! Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him saying, to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

Peter wanted proof that it was Jesus on the water so Jesus called him out. Can you think of a time Jesus has called you out? Asked you to do something that was uncomfortable? Peter believed until he FELT and was made AWARE of the storm, then he doubted. I know from a recent circumstance in my own life where I was in a storm one day and I failed just as Peter did. I saw the storm over seeing Jesus. I plan on the next time I am in a storm of life to focus on Jesus no matter how hard it is. Peter yelled for help and Jesus gave it but He pointed out where Peter went wrong. Peter doubted. Where is your faith in the storm? When you need it most?

We should all learn from Peter that it is the storms of life that we need our faith in God the most. But when we begin to see things start going downhill (sinking) we get scared and start doubting. Don’t doubt God’s power, don’t be afraid, He is there holding out His hand saying, Come! Come to Jesus when your afraid. When your in doubt. When you feel like you are sinking.

When we go to Jesus and dwell in His presence and meditate on the Word we begin to feel joy, peace and hope, these are the things that keep us from sinking! Your faith will get stronger as you meditate on what God is saying. You will trust Him as He brings to pass in your life what he promises in the Bible. He WILL do it for you.

Remember times past He came through, He is still the same, He never changes. If we stay true to our relationship with Him, He will stay true to us. He doesn’t forget His covenant. When we find ourselves in a storm, turn to Jesus in prayer, worship and praise and He will save us!

Practice the Word so when storms come I will stand firm in my faith!

Can You Remember?

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I just watched a movie called Little Prince on Netflix. I was drawn to it because it said this little girl learned from the Little Prince how to see with her heart. This subject of seeing with your heart has been showing up a lot lately in my life. I keep reading it and even my daughter brought it up one day. She said we can’t see Jesus physically because we are blind. She went on to say that the only way we can “see” Him is with our heart. I read in a e mail devotion that our journey isn’t to find God, it’s to remove the blinders. I then read in Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts devotional where she prayed for God to open the eyes of her heart. She said this is a journey that must be Spirit-led every day. This is a prayer that must be said every day, all through the day because we will forget moment to moment. That’s what the movie Little Prince was about, not forgetting how to see with your heart.  Ann also mentioned the blind man in the Bible, when Jesus asked what He wanted the blind man said,”I want to see.” Ann said this same thing to God and I have too. I want to see God in my every day life. The way to do that is with my heart. In the movie this little girl’s mother wants her to be prepared for adulthood but in doing this the girl doesn’t get to be a child. The old man next door, he hasn’t forgotten and he teaches the girl how to remember. I had a dream a few years ago and all I could remember when I woke up was grace remembered. I couldn’t figure out the meaning and I have thought I figured it out but really I didn’t until recently. When I was doing my One Thousand Gifts devotional it clicked! Ann was talking about doxology. I didn’t know the meaning so I looked it up. It is a hymn or form of words containing an ascription of praise to God. A lack of doxology leads to evil acts. Ann said forgetting to thank God dismembers us but counting blessings literally re-members us to God. My dream means to remember God’s graces toward me. The old man taught the girl how to see with her heart through a story he wrote about the Little Prince. Ann is saying to see God with your heart you have to be thankful for His grace. The movie showed me that if I can see God and Jesus with my heart then I won’t ever feel alone. The world is an illusion. We have to break through it to see the real life hidden in Jesus. The biggest thing I remember about being a child would be the feeling of security in my parents. I never worried about shelter, food, clothes, my needs were met. I never thought of the future or cared about it. This is what God says He will do if we just trust in Him. He says He will take care of our needs and desires. He says not to worry about the future because only He knows the future. Even though we are “grown”up we need God. We have to remember Him to have peace. The childlike faith I had in my parents should be what I have for God. When we forget who God is and fail to praise Him this leads to worldly ways and the Bible warns us to not be conformed to this world. When we conform to the world we are like robots. God gave us the ability to “see” Him but we have to remember how.

Reverence, Worship And Praise

These three words are what comes naturally after being born again. Once we are woken up to the fact of who God really is, when we know without a doubt that He is the one and only true living God and He loves us, we begin to have reverence for Him. Reverence is a deep respect for Him. Then, as some would not realize, comes worship. We tend to think singing to God is worship, but as we reverence God there is a feeling that comes and it’s called worship. So, as Kim Walker once said, we worship God in our heart and the singing is a manifestation of the worship we feel.  So, singing is praise! Praise is the expression of reverence and worship.

God showed me several scriptures in the Bible having to do with reverence and worship. Scriptures that tell us if we will do these things God will do something in return. First of all if we want to have wisdom we begin with reverencing and worshiping God. Psalm 111:10 says,  The [reverent] fear of the Lord is the beginning (the prerequisite, the absolute essential, the alphabet) of wisdom;
A good understanding and a teachable heart are possessed by all those who do the will of the Lord;
His praise endures forever. If we reverence and worship we are in God’s will and He will give us wisdom. As followers of Jesus, not only do we want knowledge but most importantly we want His wisdom. When we possess wisdom we have insight and understanding that mere knowledge can not express. Knowledge of something isn’t the same as experiencing it. When Jesus imparts wisdom to us we are experiencing His presence. When we follow the Holy Spirit we are living in wisdom.

When we reverence and worship God we are actually serving Him. If we ever doubt that we are serving,  just look at your heart and see if you are reverencing and worshiping God. As it says in Psalm 2:11, Worship the Lord and serve Him with reverence [with awe-inspired fear and submissive wonder];
Rejoice [yet do so] with trembling. When we are serving God and in His will for our lives we then put ourselves on the path where all blessings flow. Blessings include provision. Psalm 111:5 says, He has given food to those who fear Him [with awe-inspired reverence];
He will remember His covenant forever.  God notices who reverences and worships Him. He will provide for them and never forget them. 

When I read about people in the Bible such as Abraham, Jacob and David, I like to think we are like them only living in a different day and time. This scripture tells me that this is true, Psalm 61:5, For You have heard my vows, O God;
You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name [with reverence]. We can have assurance that if we are reverencing and worshiping God as they did, that God is with us too. God is looking for people who will honor Him, put Him first!

And lastly, when we reverence and worship and then praise God, it keeps Satan away! I had a dream once where demons were messing with me and taunting me and I heard the Spirit of God tell me, evil can not inhabit the praises of God!  When we are actually praising God, evil can’t be present. That is comforting to know that evil can’t penetrate the praise we give to God! Luke 4:8, Jesus replied to him, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’”  This was what Jesus said to Satan when he tempted Jesus.

So, no matter what we do, keep worshiping and praising God! It should be like food is to our body. Do it all day, every day! Keep your head up and hold hands high!

The Greatest Gift Is A Wonderful Life!

I have never participated in Advent until 2015. I decided I would experience Advent with Ann Voskamp’s devotional book called The Greatest Gift. It really was an experience like never before at Christmas. I never felt closer to God and Jesus during this season than in 2015. Her title refers to Jesus being the greatest gift. He is the only true gift of Christmas. One night after Christmas was over I woke up from being sick and felt drawn to go in the living room to take medicine and to open my Bible. I opened the Bible to Ephesians 5: 15-20. It talks about time and spending it wisely and also about praising God with songs and hymns. Giving thanks is included as well. It says we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Joyce Meyer sums it up in her life point as this: To stay filled with the Holy Spirit we have to speak to ourselves and others with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. We need to keep our thoughts and words full of God’s Word by continuously offering praise and giving thanks to Him.

As I was reading this in the still of the night, a bell on my Christmas tree rang. I knew it was a sign from God. Then a couple nights later I had a dream about a man who I was trying to get directions from cause I was lost. I told him I wasn’t spiritually lost just physically. I asked him his name and he told me Clarence. I said you must be an angel! I remembered the angel in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life. Then I woke up. I decided God wanted me to watch the movie so I did.  In the movie I noticed a saying on the wall, it said, ” You only take with you what you have given away.”  I saw in the movie that people let money rule their happiness. The lack of money tries to steal our joy. George said to Clarence that money comes in pretty handy down here! But when Clarence shows George what the town would have been like with out him, he changes inside. He sees where money isn’t the answer to joy or happiness. It’s our presence in the lives of others that really matters. This is what makes a difference. Not the money you give but time, words of encouragement, thanking God and praising Him together. This is what counts in God’s eyes.

After watching the movie I decided to research how it came about. This movie was based off a story of 72 pages written in 1943 by Philip Van Doren Stern. Guess what the name of his book was? The Greatest Gift! Frank Capra took the short story and made it a little different and then called it what we know as “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Here is a link to the history of it, http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/12/its-a-wonderful-life-was-based-on-a-christmas-card-short-story-by-philip-van-doren-stern/

This was very interesting to me. I sat and wondered what message God had in all this for me and yesterday it came to me the title of this post, The Greatest Gift Is A Wonderful Life! Have you ever heard people say God gave us life as a gift and our gift to Him is a life well lived? Our greatest gift is a life filled with Jesus which produces a wonderful life! And it tells us in Ephesians 5:15-20 how to have that wonderful life! If we can get our focus off of money, which we can’t take with us by the way, then we can truly live a wonderful life. If we put into practice praising, thanking and learning God’s Word and encouraging others to do the same the Holy Spirit will reside in us and make all blessings flow. I watched Steven Furtick today and he said something very important. He said as children of God we already have the promises and blessings of God. Some may say that they don’t experience any and Steven says why that is. He said it’s because your heart is stopped up. There are foreign objects in your heart preventing you from receiving God’s blessings. He named things like complaining, grumbling, addictions. When we dig out these things that are from Satan to hinder us then the water can flow. In John 4:13-14 it says,  Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.” This verse comes from the story of the woman at the well. He told her the water from the well is temporary relief but the water He can give is eternal relief! Faith in Jesus brings blessings and promises but they can’t be received if we are blocking them with other stuff.  Yesterday Steven Furtick talked about practice. He used a football player catching the ball as an example. In the video it looks effortless and lucky. But Steven shows footage of the player in practice and also before the game doing this catch over and over and over again which proves it wasn’t “lucky” but the result of hard work! So, we have to practice these things in Ephesians over and over to see results. 

In the link above it talks about the real people who inspired the story.  The character of George Bailey was actually based partly on the founder of Bank of America, A.P. Giannini.  If you read the article you see that he wasn’t money oriented but people oriented. Because of this, God blessed him. He had it right. He was the inspiration to the movie and he should be an inspiration to us all that it really can be a wonderful life!

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