Journey 11-10-05

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Eph. 1:18-19a

In my reading this week I was challenged to take a deeper look into what motivates me. What is it that maintains my passion to follow Christ when the day is rough? What is it that keeps my faith alive, living and active? What is it that makes me want to traverse all the obstacles in my path and not simply take the easy road?

HOPE. The hope of glory. The hope of the kingdom where all is right with the world and Christ reigns. The hope of my inheritance. The hope of others joining with me in this great promise. What is it that makes me want to pursue Christ wherever He leads? Not merely head knowledge of these truths but the HOPE of them. Hope is a word that implies a future fulfillment. I could also substitute the word anticipation. The anticipation of glory, of heaven, of the kingdom, of my inheritance.

As I face so many changes and challenges, this thought has been a powerful reminder. Why am I here? It is because I have a hope that gets me up in the morning, keeps me going through the day and gives me peace when I lay my head down at night. It is because I have been called to hope. I have been given an inheritance that I can anticipate more than a child anticipates Christmas morning, for this hope will never disappoint. The inheritance that I have is worth sharing. The anticipation of the kingdom is worth living for, in spite of all the obstacles here and now.

My hope for you…that you may live in the anticipation of your inheritance and desire to share the joy of this great gift with everyone around you.

Journey 10-18-05

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins . Colossians 1:13-14

What an amazing and precious truth! From the depths of the darkest dungeon of the ruler of darkness, from the bondage of the chains of my own sin, God has delivered me! He brought me out of darkness, filth and despair into the kingdom of light. He brought me into the realm of the Son who loves me. He calls me his child. He gives me forgiveness and joy and hope and LIFE! He is worthy to be praised!!!

Journey 10-10-05

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. This life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

This week has been crazy, busy and emotional. I am so thankful for the life of Christ in me that carries me.

Casting Crowns has a song on their new album that has been my theme this week:

“If you asked me to leave,
out of my boat on the crashing waves,
if you asked me to go,
preach to a lost world that Jesus saves,
I’ll go but I can not go alone.
‘Cause I know I’m nothing on my own.
But the power of Christ in me makes me strong,
makes me strong.
‘Cause when I am weak, you make me strong.
When I am blind, you shine your light on me.
‘Cause I’ll never get by living on my own ability.
How refreshing to know you don’t need me.
How amazing to find that you want me.
So I’ll stand on your truth
and I’ll fight with your strength,
until you bring the victory.
By the Power of Christ in me.”

Journey 9-29-05

Therefore , since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Being a nature person, I love to look at the mountains, rivers, oceans, trees and animals. It is so calming and relaxing, but it is nothing like fixing my eyes on Jesus. There is no greater joy, no greater comfort, no greater peace than when I take my eyes off of all that surrounds me in this crazy life and I fix my eyes on Jesus. Only then can I gain perspective. Only then can I let go of all I am trying to accomplish and rest in the truth that He has everything under control and as impossible as it may seem in a moment, that He really is working ALL THINGS together for my good. If He could take the shame of the cross and make it into the very reason I live then He can take my hopes, my fears, my disappointments, my sorrows and my joys and work them together for an eternal purpose.

Journey 9-21-05

“What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. Matt 26:66

Of all the things Jesus is worthy of, death was never one of them. How amazing, how humbling and inspiring that the perfect Son of God chose the death that I deserved that I might have life!

And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seal, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Rev 5:9-10

Journey 9-12-05

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Matt. 25:31-32

I’ve been reading this week in Matthew and I am always amazed to see how Jesus, though teaching Israel specifically at this time, continually makes known that the nations will be gathered to himself. I am so thankful for the love of God for all mankind. I am also thankful that I grew up in a place where the gospel is preached and there is freedom to believe.

I went to Disney’s Christian concert “Night of Joy” event this weekend. The park was sold out to capacity and the crowds were a little overwhelming at times. Yet the thought came to my mind, that on one weekend, in one city, in one single location, there were as many or more believers gathered then there are Christians in the entire nation of Hungary. While it was such a blessing to gather with other believers in a large worship event, the thought was never far from my mind that I live in a land where the light is plentiful while there are still so many who live where there is no light at all.

Journey 8-31-05

I was recently reading a novel that made the following six statements about the love of God.

He chooses.

He pursues.

He rescues.

He woos.

He protects.

He lavishes. 

(Black – Ted Dekker)

How blessed I am to be the recipient of such love!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Pet. 2:9

Journey 8-24-05

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Gen. 22:12

Pastor Ken recently stated that God didn’t want Isaac, he wanted all of Abraham. He told us how God doesn’t want or need our “Isaac” but he wants all of us.

This truth came to my mind today. God is reminding me that it isn’t the accomplishment of a task that He wants from me, it is me He wants. As I have wrestled with this time of waiting I’ve wondered about God’s purpose it in. I had been specifically thinking along the lines of what it was that He wanted me to do in this time. For, to me, a purpose is almost always coupled with a task. Today God whispered that maybe it is not about what He wants me to do but who He wants me to be. Am I letting Him use this time mold me into who He would have me be? The refrain from a Stephan Curtis Chapman song has been running through my head today.

Be still and know that he is God. Be still and know that he is holy. Be still O restless soul of mine, bow before the Prince of Peace, let the noise and clamor cease. Be still and know that he is God. Be still and know that he is faithful. Consider all that he has done, stand in awe and be amazed and know that he will never change.

Journey 8-18-05

I have a recurring prayer this week. I am praying that God will bless me, both in His physical provision and with His abundant, overflowing presence in my life. And I pray this not only for my benefit, but for the goal of spreading the glory of His name and His salvation among all the earth.

Sometimes I find it hard to pray for myself. In so many ways it is easier to approach God on behalf of others. Yet, God clearly wants us to seek Him, taking every burden and every need in our life to Him, not to demand of Him, but to learn dependence upon Him. I have had the joy of learning how richly He desires to provide for us. Too often, I have listened to our credit based society. When something would go wrong I would go out and charge what I needed for the solution rather than seeking God about it. I have been delighted to have our Lord demonstrate over this last year what a wonderful joy it is to take my need before my Father and then to wait and to rejoice when He provides. And He always provides! It is not always when I expected it or the way I expected or the thing I expected but I have tried and found Him faithful!

I can always trust Him to always do what is best. And I constantly thank God for each one of you who have been the hands and feet of God in my life! From your financial commitments to PI, to your phone calls, e-mails and prayers. I have been blessed over and over by your care! I pray that God will always take the blessings that I have received and use me to bless others that He may be glorified all the more!

Journey 8-9-05

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:17b-19

I think that the love of God is something I will never truly get a full grasp on. Every time I look at Him his love is deeper and wider and longer. It is beyond my understanding and it sweeps over my soul making me complete while still filling me with longing. Rich Mullins sang, “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy that I can’t find in my own, and it keeps this candle burning and it melts this heart of stone, keeps me aching, with a yearning, and I’m glad to have been caught in the reckless, raging fury that they call the Love of God.”

The first line of that song always grips me. There is a wideness in God’s mercy, there’s an expanse to God’s love that far exceeds my own! And that is what makes the prayer of Paul in Ephesians so very meaningful to me. I want to know His love, the kind of love that in a reckless abandonment of self, gave up His one and only Son, for the sake of His enemies. I want to know His love, which truly surpasses knowledge, so that it may spill over in every aspect of my life to the glory and praise of God!