Friday, March 23, 2012

Splattered Faith (Known)

O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful ...for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.” - Psalm 139:1–6
KNOWN.... there is nothing He does not know about me.  No thing.

So I can come to Him completely unveiled and bare faced... bare souled.

Withhold nothing because He sees it anyway.  Even the thoughts that I hide from myself.   My entire being is naked before Him.

 He not only sees it.  He understands.  He feels it.  He has compassion.

We can pour out everything from our deepest hurt and anger to our most inconsequential thought to the most delightful joy.

What I would scream at the world... I SHRIEK at Him.  He can take it.  In fact, He cherishes it.

His shoulders are broad and solid and his terrible arms are open wide to receive us. He WANTS our pain, our tears, our worries to be laid at His feet... THROWN at Him .. SPLATTERED  all over Him.   He does not take it lightly.  He receives what is absolutely killing us inside and holds it gently to His heart.  Our offerings of tragedy and the sharp edges of our pain are precious to Him.  He embraces them with His immeasurable grace and wisdom.

He 'encloses" us, entwining Himself around us and in us.   Cradling us in Intimacy.      He is loving, comforting, giving freedom and new life, new understanding.  He is 'growing' us.  He is telling  about His love and His plan for us.  He shows us who we are to Him.    He is teaching us to love with disregard for how we feel or for what we want.

When we are done.  When we have spilled and emptied our insides and our darkness. When we finally look up to face Him,,, there is no need for words or thoughts other than praise and repentance.. The praise is for Him... to thank Him and acknowledge what He has done.     The repentance  for us... to cleanse our hearts and souls and conscience.

Our needs are known. Our desires are known.

How can I not adore and worship this God for whom there are no explanations.. only unspeakable and unimaginable words.

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me...too high.   I can not attain it."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Extending Grace"

Last week I took two of my grandsons to Chuck-E-Cheese. After they had eaten their pizza and played lots of games and they redeemed their tickets so that they could get their prizes, they went to the prize counter. My 6 year old grandson saw all the prizes and pointed to the one he wanted, not realizing that it was a lot more tickets than he had redeemed. The girl attendant waiting on him started reaching for that prize and I said he doesn't have enough for that. She gave it to him anyway! That was grace! Getting what we don't deserve! So many times we have the opportunity to extend grace to others, do we let it pass by, or do we graciously show favor towards someone! I am forever grateful to Jesus for His grace! God's Riches at Christ's Expense! Grace.......
1. We are justified by His grace. When a sinner repents and places his faith in Jesus Christ, God declares him just, imputes the righteousness of Christ to him, and gives him eternal life by virtue of the substitutionary death of Christ as the penalty for that sinner's inquity. (Ref. to Titus 3:7)
2. Riches of His grace. Salvation, of course, is very much for the believer's blessing, but it is even more for the purpose of eternally glorifying God for bestowing on believers His endless and limitless grace and kindness. The whole of heaven glorifies Him for what He has done in saving sinners. (Ref. to Eph. 2:8)
3. His grace is sufficient."Is sufficient" reveals the constant availability of divine grace. Trust God and let God's grace shine forth in whatever you endure! (Ref. to 2 Corinthians 12:9)
4. Greater grace. The only ray of hope in man's spiritual darkness is the sovereign grace of God, which alone can rescue man from his propensity to lust for evil things. That God gives "greater grace" shows that His grace is greater than the power of sin, the flesh, the world, and Satan.
(Ref. to James 4:6)
5. Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace. Isn't it wonderful to know that we can come boldly before the throne of grace and ask for help in our time of need. (Ref. Hebrews 4:16


Thank God for His Grace!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"How's Your Hospitality?"

The meaning of hospitality is cordial and generous reception of or disposition of guests.
Last week our church had the opportunity to show hospitality to a mission group of 3o who had been to Mexico and were traveling back to Akron, Ohio. One of their vans hit a deer and they needed a place to stay for the night. Many members got things ready for them in the fellowship hall, breakfast items were bought for them, and one of the deacons worked late that night on their van to get it repaired. That is what hospitality is! Working together in unity for the glory of God!
In Romans 10:13 it says, "Contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.We should reflect God's love to others and be willing to help others.
It tells us in Hebrews 13:2, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."One never know how far-reaching an act of kindness might be. We are told in God's word to extend love to strangers.
We are to serve for God's glory. In I Peter 4:9 it says, "Be hospitable to one another without complaint. Love is intensely practical, not just emotional. In Peter's day, love included opening one's home and caring for other needy Christians, such as traveling preachers. It also included opening one's home for church services. Scripture also teaches that Christians should be hospitable to strangers.
Step back, and think how you would feel, if you were traveling and broke down, and needed help, and everyone turned their back on you!! Be gracious, Be hospitable, Be kind, Be loving!!! See God's blessings and Praise His name for the opportunity to BE HOSPITABLE!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Seeking God's Direction!"

So many times in our lives we seek direction for one thing or another! We need directions to another town, directions on a recipe, directions on how to put something together, directions to a doctor's or dentist office, and many other things that we seek directions for!
The greatest book, the Bible, our road map, our compass, is the best thing we can go to get our direction! Seek God in Prayer and Meditation for whatever you face in life and read the Word of God! Claim His Promise's!
Scriptures on Seeking and Direction:
1."The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9
(Our Sovereign God overrules the plans of men to fulfill His purposes.-See Gen. 5:20, I Kings 12:15, Ps. 119:133, Jeremiah 10:23, Daniel 5:23-30, and I Cor. 3:19, 20)
2."Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way." Proverbs 23:19
(The way of wisdom is the only right way.) (See Proverbs 4:10, 11)
3. "I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:23 (Man is incapable of guiding his own life adequately. (Reference to Proverbs 3:5 & 6, and Proverbs 16:9 above)
4. "But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul." Deut. 4:29
5. "And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
6. "I love those who love me' And those who diligently seek me will find me." Proverbs 8:17 (Wisdom's love for the one who receives it is proven by the benefits mentioned in Proverbs 8:18-21)
7. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
8. :Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
9. "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." Col. 3:1
Remember in whatever you are seeking and needing direction in to go to God and His Word!! He should be the "Pilot, not the co-pilot " of our lives!!!