January 27, 2014

Praise will Elevate your FAITH!

*PRAISE* will elevate your FAITH! 

Be careful not to let your CIRCUMSTANCES and DISAPPOINTMENTS speak LOUDER than your PRAISE.

Paul and Silas *PRAISED* the Lord while they were imprisoned *NOT* because they were NAIVE about their circumstances and ignorant of the situation they found themselves in.

They were very much aware of the persecution and the hatred that PUT them there.  Unforgiveness, anger and fear could have kept them from experiencing the PRESENCE OF GOD in that prison cell.....
 but they could reach deep within their beings and PRAISE *BECAUSE* they KNEW God was GREATER than any circumstance. Any trial. What*EVER* they faced. Their God was GREATER.

See? They had a HISTORY with Him and 

******NOTHING could shake them from their CONFIDENCE in God*****.
They'd seen Him at work. They'd SEEN Him calm the storm. They had SEEN the resurrected Jesus. There was NOTHING that was too great for their God. Whether or not God was going to deliver them from that prison cell...they knew their FAITH was in the ONE who called them. NOT in their circumstances!!!!

I *KNOW* in whom I have believed and I am persuaded that He will KEEP that which I've committed unto Him..... 2 Timothy 1:12

Be IMMOVABLE, UNSHAKABLE, UNBREAKABLE. CONFIDENT in the ONE who has called you! And when you find yourself in unfavorable circumstances-----PRAISE Him!
Your FAITH will rise to the occasion!......and there's no telling *WHAT* He will DO! NOTHING is impossible with GOD!!!!!!!!

January 23, 2014

He Chose Mercy

Because Jesus is without sin and is perfectly holy.....He had every absolute moral authoritative right to stone the woman the Pharisees brought to him. None of them were without sin. And yet the ONLY one who had both the authority to condemn her and the mercy to pardon her chose mercy.
He dismissed her accusers until He was the only one left. In that moment....instead of judgment He chose mercy. When the judge and jury both had her condemned...the only one who had the RIGHT to accuse her, in His perfect and unexplainable grace gave her LIFE instead. That's scandalous! and a kind of love I will never understand. 
............It's what we DO with that pardon, grace, and mercy that makes all the difference in eternity. 
He's a God of second chances.

Going Through the Fire

We overCOME by the word of our testimony.
Satan's driving force is to steal kill and destroy...against YOU.  He's AGAINST you and every GOOD thing God has for YOU.
What's he gonna come after?  Your testimony. 
There is not a single story in the Bible that doesn't bare the mark of opposition from the enemy.  Trying to STILL the hand of God and put a STOP to every plan designed by Heaven.  To destroy destiny.  Testimony.  To STOP the kingdom from advancing. 

Daniel is an example of how doing right can sometimes cause us to go through the fire. 
Don't think for a second that the devil was not USING these circumstances to erase the name and testimony of Daniel.  Worshiping other Gods.  Worshiping ANY other God but the ONE TRUE God ---- getting people to take their eyes and devotion off God and place them on a mere MAN who is UNABLE to save....?  That's Satan's territory.
So when Daniel refused?  and BLATANTLY and publicly PRAYED? Trumpets may have sounded in heaven.  God may have been honored.  Daniel may have increased in FAITH as His courage rose to the task.  BUT.................even for the doing the RIGHT thing he had to go through the fire. 
There is NO way in HELL that the devil will allow this to come to ANYthing but the destruction of Daniel and his heart for God.  God may ALLOW us ---- for whatever reason only known to Him and the secret places of Heaven---- to go through the fire.
It could be because of a situation made by our own hands, because of mistakes we've made, or because we've taken a STAND to do the right thing. 
So through the fire we go.
"Did I make the right choice?"
"I'd have been better off keeping my mouth shut."
"I didn't see THIS coming." 
"This was supposed to go MY way." 
God didn't promise we wouldn't have to go through the fire.
He DID promise that He would never leave.
He DID promise it would not consume us. 
He DID promise He would deliver us.  Even from the mouth of a lion. 
The enemy ROARED!!!!!!! -----and planned to still the HAND of God.
.......but God had plans to SILENCE the enemy. 
He's after your testimony.  Determined to destroy a testimony of a saving Grace.  A God who is POWERFUL to SAVE.  Strong enough to deliver.  And always present to deliver us from the fire. 
If you're going through the fire --- wait for your deliverance.  God knows where you are and He will bring you out.  STAND YOUR GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 1 Peter 5:8-11 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation

Lord give me the strength and COURAGE today to STAND my ground regardless of the lion's roar.  Help me to remember that your plans are eternal and you will silence my enemy and stop every intention he has for destroying my testimony.  Thank you for the HOPE and the FUTURE you have planned for me.  Keep me----even in the FIRE----that when I come out I am refined even by the testing.  USE those moments for GOOD and for your GLORY.  You are sovereign and I TRUST you.  Amen.

January 1, 2014

Get UP

.....If 2013 left you heartbroken and weary I want to encourage you with this story.
There was a particular day that I found myself so tired. Tired of heartache. Thoughts of discouragement and defeat filled my mind.
I fought for focus. Clarity of thought. Peace of mind.
But I was so very weary and I just couldn't find the strength to keep going.
I collapsed under the weight of it all and just cried.
I felt defeat on every level.
I wanted to go to bed and start all over again. With promises of NEW grace. NEW mercy. A NEW day.
Iron out my wings to fly again.
As hard as I fought....I felt disappointed in myself. Not being consistent. Wanting so much to be constant. Strong. Dependable. Just feeling weak. Incapable. Not wanting to fight any more. It became too much for me to carry.
Then God stepped in and painted me the most GLORIOUS picture.
He showed ME....on the ground. Weeping. Complaining about how weary I am. Complaining about how hard the devil fought me that day. Showing God all of my "injuries." Like a little child running to their parent after having been hurt. Complaining that I've failed again. I see Him standing over me....and I hear Him say, "My love? ..... What are you doing down there!? Please get up. This has not injured you!"
(This has not INJURED me??!!!!!!?---it most certainly HAS!!!!!!!)
He speaks to me lovingly....gently.....and asks me to "GET UP"

But, Lord, I failed on so many levels!!! "GET UP"
I'm too weary. "GET UP"
But don't you see? I'm hurt! "GET UP"

He showed me the battles I fought that day in the light of His grace. He showed me defeat in light of His mercy. He showed me that I had not been hampered or injured in any way by my failures in light of His compassion towards me. His grace was enough. I could keep going. The blows weren't as devastating as I had "imagined" them to be. The battle wasn't as big as I had imagined it to be. He showed me my enemy in light of His MIGHT and POWER and AWESOMENESS. I said, "THIS is the one who made me tremble? THIS is the one who shook me to my core!??!" All of the sudden...he didn't seem that terrifying. His weapons didn't seem that skillful. Instead they seemed weak and powerless.
Stand FIRM then. RESIST the devil and he will flee. Having done ALL---STAND.
So I get up......
Proverbs 24:16 No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; Soon they're up on their feet
I brush myself off.
It was not a *devastating* blow.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-10 We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do: we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken.

Jesus CAME to heal the brokenhearted. To give strength to the weary. To give us a GARMENT of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Don't carry the burdens of 2013 into the new year.
It hasn't injured you. God has promises stored up for YOU. A HOPE and a FUTURE. He's got something in MIND for YOU.....
So *GET UP!* and expect greater things in 2014. He's doing a NEW thing and what's behind you is done and over. His mercies are new EVERY morning.
He makes *ALL* things NEW.
This is the beauty of God's grace. Even the messes we create with our own HANDS....He can turn those ashes into something beautiful. It's an *Amazing GRACE.*