Daily Walk with the Holy Spirit

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Captured by Grace

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth in His blood, to declare His righteousness from the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:23-25

Grace - Pleasing or agreeable quality; beauty of form or movement. [Thorndike Barnhart Dictionary] ;1 a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace 2 a : APPROVAL , FAVOR b archaic : MERCY , PARDON c : a special favor : PRIVILEGE d : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency e : a temporary exemption : REPRIEVE [Merriam Webster Dictionary]: unmerited favor [Strong’s Dictionary]

And David the king came and sat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” I Chronicles 17:16

Have you ever asked yourself why things happen the way they do?

Are you a rugged, old, proud piece of flesh?

Why should any of us receive His grace?

God’s grace unmerited favor upon a life is so captivating. It is like a beautiful jewel that no one has ordered.

God’s grace is like a burst of brilliant light into the room where everyone forgot that it was dark. His grace rescues us from our lostness, overrides our weaknesses and transforms us from being victims to victors. His grace is so magnificent that it frees us from our past, puts a song in our heart, lifts our head, and fills us with joy. Grace is beautiful, moving and inspiring, while all along the way it undermines every impulse of the human nature.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way;” Isaiah 53:6a

At one time or another we all have sinned, whether in word or in deed. If we were to be openly honest all of us at some point in our life have some shameful, painful memory. Our own human nature left by itself is just that, self justifying, self indulgent, self gratifying; it has become all about us, we have deluded ourselves with and about the evil in our lives. Once we edit sin out of awareness, there is no beauty or power left for grace. We have got to come to that place where we are desperate for the light. His grace through the power of the Holy Spirit will guide us through. God will come and break us, giving us new desires and values with a fresh experience from Almighty God who loves you and pursues you without abandonment. He will
meet you in a way that you have never experienced Him before.

Have you been broken? Have you let Him come and take you out of that dark, dirty, dingy pit?

He will come into that dirt, grime and filth and get dirty just to rescue you, so He can take you home with Him . There by His own hand he will wash, feed, and cloth you. He will give you a hope and a future, and gives you full access to all that He has. He has adopted you, now we are heirs, heirs of the King. He has given us a new life, one of much joy and so many rewards.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23,24

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.” Hebrews 4:13 [NIV]

Nothing that we can ever do or ever have done can be hidden from God. He knows about everyone, everywhere and everything. He sees all we do and knows all we think. There are no secrets that can be kept from God. There is nowhere that we can hide that He does not see us. Even when we are unaware of His presence, He is there. God promises to judge what is in the heart.

So what is the condition of your heart?

Could it be that you have been playing church, pretending that all is well, when in actuality you need major heart surgery or even a heart transplant.

He wants to revive your heart, would you be willing to put your self upon that operating table of the Great Physician?

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Romans 2:1

In today’s society we are obsessed with being whole, feeling good about ourselves, and improving our self esteem even if it means for a moment that we tear someone else down so we feel good about ourselves. We feel because we are gloomy, depressed, or just not having a good day, that we need to drag someone else through the mud.

Why is it that when someone else does the exact same thing that you have done, we tend to draw attention away from self and place it the other person and not accept the responsibility for our self?

Kinda makes one a hypocrite doesn’t it?

How many of us are really guilty of the same things that we criticize others for?

Does that apply to you?

So, you say that none of this applies to you.

What if a investigator were to go through all your thoughts with a fine tooth comb - what would he/she find in there?

Would you let Him point all the specific issues in your own life?

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, and maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:29-32

“And He spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?” Luke 6:39

I don’t know about you but I want to be aware of what ever sin is in my life. I never want to come to that place to be wondering if I need a Savior or not, or if I am even saved. The most wonderful thing I have ever experienced is His presence and His grace. We must come to that place and face our sin, and let God do what He has to do in our life. His body was broken for us; His blood was spilled for us. So why haven’t we applied it to our own situation, instead of everyone else’s?

Our biggest problem today is thinking. In our daily lives, we have confused calmness with holiness, and our lives are a total mess, but we are not willing to admit it. We think that being an average person we are better then the next average person. We are blind to our own blindness. We should not be pointing finger towards one another but towards our self.

Why have we forgotten what He has done on our behalf?

O Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any God besides thee, according to all that have heard with our ears.” I Chronicles 17:20

Our heavenly Father searches every heart, and understand every intention.

Who are we to bargain with him, or to speak to Him in any manner other than with absolute sincerity. He knows how many hairs are on our head, and even knows how many minutes, days and hours we have upon this earth. Help us not just to sit in church with stupid grins, and not fully understand the eternal, inspired Word of God. Let us to be able to get revelation and detail from Your Word, as the Spirit would have us see. It takes some time as you walk from a darkened room into a lighted room, sometimes it is painful as the light hits your eyes. But only for a moment there is shame, as we are being clothed in His grace that covers all blemishes.

Open my eyes, that I might see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!
-Clara H. Scott

No one is beyond the reach of a loving God.
We are justified by faith; sanctified little by little
He can not love you anymore: He has never loved you any less

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But er the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost: Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7

So how does one respond to that unexpected, unmerited and beautiful gift?

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

God wants to fill our hearts, homes, and churches with His love and His Spirit. He wants to pour out His grace upon the dry, dusty, thirsty ground of our hearts, our lives. He wants to restore that first Love, that fire that once burned brightly in our hearts. He wants to bring you out of that bondage and sin, and bring you into a new level of freedom. All of which starts with humility, humbling one’s self.

There are no exceptions, no shortcuts, or substitutes. He wants to clean us from the inside out, and we must be willing to let Him examine our hearts, to bring to surface those things that we are not able to see ourselves. It’s not gonna be pretty, and may even be a little painful, but it is the pathway to freedom, and a sweet release. When we humble ourselves we are not being self sufficient, but acknowledging that we need help. It is taking off that religious mask, so to speak and getting real with our heavenly Father. It is letting those walls come down. When we do, God will meet us in a way like never before.

The only way to wholeness, is through brokenness, a new way of living. It is the only way to be set free from those selfish, sinful patterns …we must go down, and crucify that flesh and embrace God and not look back. What a change will occur when we give God all the pieces of our heart. When we are truly broken we will have nothing to hide or protect, but will have total dependence upon the grace of God working in and through us.

So today, won’t you let your heart be molded by the hand of God, as He chooses to mold it?

Will you let the cross become your glorification?

For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15

We should not live to ourselves and by ourselves, but only for Christ, by Christ, and in Christ.” -John Owen

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth in not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” I John 8-10
***This is God’s grace working in our life.***

Monday, February 18, 2008

Little Moments

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." Galations 6:9

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes.

I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprizing a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes, but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas.

I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'

'Good. Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'

'Would you like take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller.

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble', Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man.

A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one.

Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.

They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.

Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men.

One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket.

Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles.

With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them.

Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho '.

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!

Monday, February 04, 2008

God's Beauty

"And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even:" I Chronicles 23:30

One of the best things about Wintertime is that you can sleep in and still be up in time to watch the sunrise. Standing outside in the cold, quiet, and peaceful air I watched the beauty of God's creation appear over the mountaintops. It was such a glorious sight. Standing there watching the red clouds changeto pink then purple and then yellow. Then as I looked down on the snowy ground, it sparkled with joy from the morning sun. Taking in a deep breath while smileing. I could feel the love of God all around me and even though it was way below freezing, there was still a warm feeling on the inside.

I realized this beautiful world was going to keep going right on without me. If Iwas going to live then I needed to live now, and to love, I needed to love today. God only gives us so many days here on Earth. We need to make them count. Don't wait until you are six feet under to watch the sun come up. Get out there and watch the sunrise today. Don't wait until you are on your death bed to tell people how much you love them.

Tell them today!

Don't wait until you can no longer lift your arms to hug someone. Hug them today!

Don't wait in a box until six people carry you out in a box. Break out of your box today. Don't keep waiting for the world to change until you are no longer a part of it. Change today. Choose love, share joy, and let God help you to make this world a better place today and forever.

"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works." Psalm 9:1