Father, May I

As a child I played a game called ‘Mother, may I?’ with my friends. One person portrays the ‘mother’ and stands at the victory line, the rest of the children line up in a row facing ‘mother.’ Then ‘mother’ called each child by name and told them to take some steps and how big and what type of steps. For example, ‘mother’ might say, “Kimberly, I want you to take three giant steps.” Then Kimberly would have to say “Mother, may I?” If Kimberly took the steps and didn’t say, “Mother, may I?” she would be sent back to the starting line. Think how different the rules would be if it were our Heavenly Father who was standing at the victory line. God might say, “Kimberly, take two baby steps.” Kimberly would not be sent back to the starting line if she took those steps, because God, our Father is more benevolent. God would then give her something else to do and as long as she continues to obey Him, the closer and closer she will get to the victory line or God. If she is not obedient to God, she won’t get more instructions from God until she continues in obedience.

Our Father wants us at the victory line with Him. He has given us the tools to get there through the sacrifice and redemption of his own son and through the Word. He wants to give us instructions. We must be willing to listen, by reading the Word, and by doing what He tells us.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” In Proverbs 8:33-35 “Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Instruction and wisdom go hand in hand. We get wisdom and instruction through asking God and by reading the Bible. God will make his words come alive for you if you ask.

Once in a church I was attending, God told me to get on my knees during praise and worship. I was hesitant at first, then I felt the Holy Spirit urge me again by saying “If you won’t obey me in the small things, I can’t give you bigger things.” I knew I must be obedient to God, I knelt that Sunday night. A couple of weeks later, on a Sunday morning, sitting towards the front of church, I received the same message to worship on my knees. I was more hesitant, reasoning in my mind that I was sitting at the front and didn’t want to make a spectacle, the lights were brighter, not dim as that one evening before. At the urging of the Holy Spirit I finally said in my mind, “Okay Father, I know.” I knelt again and I felt an indescribable peace. God blesses us when we are obedient.

When we are obedient, God can use us. No wonder the Bible refers to us being molded like clay. An obedient heart is pliable like a potter’s clay but a disobedient heart is hard like a brick. The brick can be broken or crushed and used again, where it is refashioned into another purpose but how much better to be fashioned into God’s purpose from the beginning! We do not need to see with our physical eyes the works of God. If he tells us to do something and we’re obedient he will get the glory. If we obey his instructions, great things take place. God is not a God of failure. He tells us in Joshua 1:5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” He won’t tell us to do something without backing us up. He is just looking for an obedient person to carry out his work.

In ‘Mother, may I’ the children are ready to get to the victory line. Sometimes they take even bigger steps than instructed. God wants to see us get to our victory line, the line where we hear his exact instructions and do them willingly. We just have to open our hearts. If we haven’t heard from God lately and want to, all we have to do is ask and be obedient. Psalm 32:8 “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” We need to want to take giant steps but be willing to take baby steps if that is what our Father instructs. If we are in tune with what our Father wants, then we have his vision. How wonderful to see through God’s eyes and walk in his will, helping others to know that he is God, our Father who loves us so much! “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” 2 Corinthians 5:16 Oh, to see through the eyes of God!

Prayer for each day: ‘Father, May I – have help to see through your eyes and know your will for my life. I willingly accept what you have for my life and walk in your instruction. Please guide me in every hour of each day. Amen.’

Sharing Love

This morning I was thinking about our local outreach ministry. This is a ministry that distributes food to people once a month through government and state agencies. Food is also donated through one of the local grocery stores several times a week for dispersion. They have a thrift store which sells clothing, furniture, appliances, toys, and other items. Another service they offer is to help people with their utility bills when they can’t afford them due to hardship through an application procedure. When there is a tragedy such as a fire or personal family traumas, they furnish essential belongings such as food, clothing and furniture. The first time I toured it, I had tears in my eyes hearing about all of the wonderful things they are doing. It really touches my heart! I’ve only been able to help distribute the food one time and volunteer a few times in other ways. The people who come to collect their food once a month really grab my heart. I cannot imagine what some of them have gone through. I’m crying as I write this because  I’m sure it is difficult for them to show up and have to take handouts each month. There may be a few who are ‘using the system’ but they need Jesus too! Those who work there may be the one person that is able to connect with them and show them love. I don’t know how they ended up where they are in their life today and it isn’t any of our business. We should just share God’s love. If Jesus met them he would love them. What a transforming power love is!

“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:3-7

I was reminiscing of when I used a pressure washing brush to scrub the sidewalk around the ministry. As I washed, I prayed for the people who come in there that they might be touched. I prayed that every person who walked across the sidewalk might be touched by the power of God and that none of them would leave without a seed planted in their hearts. I also prayed for the people who work there that their hearts might have the right attitude to share Jesus’ love and to see others with God’s eyes not human eyes.

As I was washing, I saw how the soap and water washed away the dirt. In the areas that were exposed to light the dirt wasn’t as thick. Isn’t this how our own lives are? People who are exposed to the light (Jesus and the Word) are freer from sin but those who live in darkness have more sin in their lives. It was in the dark recesses that the dirt was harder to clean. Think about places where sin is more rampant, they are places which are busier at night and are dimly lit. I also noticed how some blemishes on the sidewalk came up right away while others could not be removed. I thought about how many of the people who come through those doors will have scars. Some of the scars will be visible and some will not. It’s easy to remember or have empathy for the ones who have visible scars but we have to remember those with invisible scars need love and empathy as well; scars from emotional turmoil or illnesses that aren’t evident. I prayed for all of these people and I cried and sang praise songs as I cleaned. I thought if Jesus were here he would reach out and touch these people. Jesus isn’t here, but I am and I hope that everywhere I go, I allow the Christ in me to be sensitive to reach out and touch others.

“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

I truly hope that I reflect the image of Christ and his love.

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13


Walk in His Fullness

It is time to rise up and walk in the fullness of God. There is a shaking going on in this world, a shaking through earthquakes naturally and a shaking spiritually through various trials. Maybe this is a way to get our attention so we focus on God.

“When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” Hebrews 12:26-28

““For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” Haggai 2:6-9

Only the unshakable things will remain… those who serve Him, not only in the good times but during trials as well. God is looking for a people who will honor Him when things don’t go according to their plan who will “hold on” to Him during adversity. We need to honor God at All times with our praises in reverence and in awe because he is mighty to pull us through Any situation. He will shake all the nations to bring about a heart that is searching for Him, opening hearts that have grown complacent. The future is God’s. I see the church rising up to a higher standard. Those who meet trials head on are the ones who will grow in the Lord. I see people who face troubles and say “Where are you taking me Lord?” with fervor of a new adventure not a downcast spirit. Instead of being defeated when faced with problems, they are victorious, simply because they know who they are… a child of God. They are joint heirs with Jesus, walking in their inheritance, walking in his fullness. We are heirs with Christ! We may enter boldly into the throne and ask for anything within the will of the Father and it is ours. We are overcomers because Jesus Christ overcame before us!

“Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33

What a glorious inheritance we’ve been given. Jesus has Overcome the world! The Veil has been torn. No, the veil has been removed! We are not under the old covenant. Read Hebrews chapters 8 through 10.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%208-10&version=NLT

If we are walking ‘in his fullness’ we will be walking in unity.  We will walk with the Holy Spirit and hear the same word as other believers who are walking in the light. The Holy Spirit imparts the same message to the believers over and over. The body of the church receives the same message through the impartation of the Word revealed through a relationship with the Father by studying the Bible.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. Ephesians 4:2-6

I am so encouraged when I talk to friends who are from other areas across the nation and hear that they have heard a similar message in their Bible study as I’ve received. Also, that their churches are giving the same message that mine is. It is a corporate anointing. It shows me that God gives the same message to all of us to reassure us that we are hearing from Him. It is our responsibility to grow and mature in our spiritual journey. We cannot obtain it through osmosis by attending church on Sunday or listening to some minister even on a daily basis. We must read the Word of God on our own and find out what the Holy Spirit will reveal to us. He will give us his truth if we just listen. We have to partake of the meat to grow; otherwise we will remain as infants who can only handle milk.

“For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” Hebrews 5:13-14

“And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.” I Corinthians 2:12-13

If we don’t study and get the revelation of the Word on our own, it is just head knowledge; it doesn’t penetrate our hearts and our spirits. This is why it is important to study for ourselves.

‘If one of you is carrying some meat from a holy sacrifice in his robes and his robe happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or olive oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?’” The priests replied, “No.” Then Haggai asked, “If someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then touches any of these foods, will the food be defiled?” And the priests answered, “Yes.” Haggai 2:12-13

In other words, we cannot take possession of someone else’s ‘meat’ such as a “priest” by brushing against them or being in their presence. This is why it is essential to study on our own and take possession of our own meat. Also the “priest” cannot impart the meat to others unless they are fully engaged in their own lives, by a daily walk with our Heavenly Father. In verse 13 of Haggai 2, it talks of sin, however, while we cannot become clean just by sitting in church, we can Defile many by living in sin! We are to live a life which is set apart, a life which is full of His glory. We are to show His image, the Christ in us.

“Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:14-15

“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” 2 Corinthians 5:15-16

When we live for Christ, look beyond our circumstances, believe our inheritance, and feed on the meat of the Word of God, then we have the ability to see through God’s eyes. We will not see people’s shortcomings. We will not evaluate others from a human point of view. How much better it is to see beneath the outward appearance and see on the heart as God sees. He does want to restore everyone to him! He does want us to live a life of Fullness! I get excited just reading all the promises in Ephesians chapter one about how he chose us:

He Chose Us

Because he wanted to restore his relationship with us!

 

I was thinking how marvelous our God is and the verse that says “He chose me before He made the world” in Ephesians. Then I started reading in Ephesians 1 and I wept, tears of Joy and tears of sorrow at the same time. My tears of Joy were because of the promises that are packed into that chapter. Really, if you want to be encouraged, read the entire book of Ephesians… The tears of sorrow were for the people who don’t follow God or who don’t walk in His Promises. Here are some of the promises of God just from the first chapter in Ephesians. I hope they bless you.

 

Blessed us with Every Spiritual Blessing. v. 3

We are holy and blameless through Christ. v. 4

He adopted us as one of his own. v. 5

We have redemption through Christ dying on the cross. v. 7

He has given us wisdom and understanding of the Bible through the Holy Spirit. v. 8

Everything is under Christ’s authority – Everything! v. 10

He marked us with the seal of the Holy Spirit (our deposit or guarantee). v. 13 & 14

Wisdom and revelation to know him better are given to those who believe. v. 17

We have the same power that raised Christ from the dead! v. 20

We are seated with Christ at the right hand of God! v. 20

Placed everything under Christ’s feet (and by inheritance – ours!) v. 22

Those are just a few of the promises in the Bible! Then I read over in 2 Corinthians again where it says he wanted to bring ‘back’ all of mankind into fellowship with him. The very least we can do is to apply the lessons we learn to our lives. If we truly believe what the Word of God says, why don’t we live it fully?