As I seek Your face, Father, I want to be empty of me. How can this happen, LORD? Can I truly be empty?
But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
I accepted Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior, asking forgiveness for the sinful person I was. The old Linda is gone and the new Linda lives. I am empty, was emptied, yet need to empty again and again. The sinful one keeps edging her way back in. The love of Christ never leaves me though. I am being emptied moment-to-moment.
In the emptiness, I need to be purified so that I may walk in purity through this world. Only You, LORD, can purify me.
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Malachi 3:3
For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrew 9:13-14
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
Father, as I am emptied and purified, I want to be filled with You, filled with Jesus, filled with Your Spirit, that I may walk in Your Light.
I am the LORD your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17
Yes, Your Holy Spirit dwells in me, Father. I am so very thankful and love You with all of my heart. Thank You for bringing me into Your family, for accepting me as I am, and molding me on Your potter’s wheel. I am a vessel of Your making.
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? Romans 9:21
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21
Pour me out, O LORD, into this world that I would do what You have called me to do and be the woman that You have made me to be. Use me, LORD, as You will. May I be empty for Your use, LORD. Teach me Thy ways, my Father. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Titus 2:11-15
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Romans 7:25
Father, You made me and desire to use me. I pray that You empty me of me, and that I am willing to be emptied. I pray that You purify me so that I may walk in the cleanliness of Your Holiness. I pray that You fill me with all that is You. And then, Father, pour me out into this world in the ways that You have appointed for me, for my life. In Jesus’ beautiful Name, Amen.
linking up with:
http://lauraboggess.com/ PlayDates with God
http://www.blessedbutstressed.com/ Inspire Me Mondays
http://darlingdownsdiaries.com/ Good Morning Mondays
http://www.thebeautyinhisgrip.com/ Sharing His Beauty
http://whatjoyismine.net/ Monday Musings
http://www.shelivesfree.com/blog Make a Difference Mondays
http://afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com/ Unforced Rhythms (new home)
http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/ Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood
http://www.richfaithrising.com/ Unite the Bloggosphere
http://purposefulfaith.com/ Cheerleading #RaRaLinkUp
http://hollybarrett.org/ Testimony Tuesday
http://www.juanamikels.com/ Wednesday Prayer Girls
http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/ Three-Word Wednesday
http://www.mydailywalkinhisgrace.com/ Winsome Wednesday
http://www.w2wministries.org/ Word-Filled Wednesdays
http://holleygerth.com/ Coffee for Your Heart
http://jenniferdukeslee.com/ Tell His Story
http://meredithbernard.com/ W2W Wednesdays
http://www.rosilindjukic.com/ A Little R & R
http://womenwithintention.com/ Women with Intention
http://www.servingjoyfully.com/ Thriving Thursdays
http://3dlessons4life.com/ Thought-Provoking Thursday
http://www.gracedsimplicity.com/ Hearts for Home
http://www.faithbarista.com/ Beloved Brews
I have not made New Year’s resolutions in many-a-year, but when I saw this little poster on Pinterest, each “to-do” is what my heart’s desire is for each day, each moment. I do the best I can. If my walk is close to my LORD, as I strongly desire, I am able only in His Strength, not mine.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Abba Father, You bless me with every heartbeat, every breath. May my dependence upon You be full. I want to live each moment in reliance upon You for all I am and all I do. I pray I know that every gift I receive is from You. In every encounter, I want the kindness of Jesus to pour through me, out into the heart of the one I am with at that moment. I want to give You my need to control. I pray that I would listen to my heart…not only for the beats, but words and emotions that are coming through this lifeline for they will be from You, my Father. You are my Lifeline for You have filled my veins with the red blood that keeps this body alive, and The Blood of Jesus that has saved me. I pray that each day will be productive for Your Kingdom. I ask for Your peace upon me as I do whatever You call me to do. The very breath I inhale and exhale continuously is from You, so I want to breathe You all my days. In Your Son’s Holy Name, I pray. Amen.
linking up with:
The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, though they could not prove their fathers’ houses or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, and the sons of Nekoda, 652. Also, of the sons of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, and the sons of Barzillai (who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name). These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but they were not found there, and so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. Ezra 2:59-62
I have spent hours researching my family’s genealogy as a hobby. I was able to find some lines that extended generation upon generation, yet I have some lines that only go back five or six generations. And then there are two important lines on one side of my family that only go back to my great grandparents and then the lines are dead ends wherever I have looked.
In Ezra 2, we see lists of names where no record of the family heritage could be found. These were excluded from the priesthood for the time being.
Those people in my family history with no record are excluded from my history record. They are gone from this earthly life. I can not bring them back nor make any memories with these people that I would call family. But these people on Ezra’s lists were there, in person, and could not be accounted for in the records. Their priestly roots were unknown and there they stood. I can only imagine that their arms would be open wide, voices calling to God, “But I am here and You know me. I want to be Your priest. Help!” Maybe… By not being able to find the roots of those who grew into living beings leaves one at a dead end, helpless.
No matter what my personal family tree looks like, how many generations are lost to “no records,” I am here and know of my godly family tree. I am alive and know that I am so blessed to be connected through the beauty of knowing that I am rooted in God. He is the Father and I am a part of His Tree.
He created me.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
He is my Father.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door
and pray to your Father who is in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
I am His child.
Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for
as even some of your own poets have said,
Being then God’s offspring,
we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone,
an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
I am not lost nor orphaned.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
I know His Son as my Savior and LORD. He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father.
For to us a child is born,
to us a Son is given;
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I am rooted in Love and know to Whom I belong.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
I am His.
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION,
A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION,
so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
for you once were NOT A PEOPLE,
but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;
you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY,
but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
1 Peter 2:9-10
Father, I thank You for adopting me into Your family. Through Your Son, Christ Jesus, I have come to be His sister because I believe. I believe that He is the One Who died for me upon the Cross. I believe that Jesus is the One and Only Savior and LORD. I believe that Your Word is the Truth. I believe. I am one who is written in Your Book of Life and on Your family tree. I do not have to feel afraid or alone for I am grafted into the tree and live because Your sent Your Son for me, the sinner. Thank You, Father. Thank You. In the beautiful Name of Your Son, I pray. Amen.
linking up with:
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Luke 4:26-29
My word for 2015: Expectant
- having or showing an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something pleasant and interesting
- the state of looking forward to the coming or occurrence of
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps. Psalm 135:6
…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
My Hope for this year: I began a study with Catherine Martin and Ministry for Women, “Walk on Water Faith,” in October, 2014. Faith is the focus, of course. At a deeper level, God is showing me that the better I know Him, the more trust I have in Him, and the more hope I then place in His promises. My desire is to complete this study which goes into March, 2015. As I do, my understanding of the greatness of God will continually expand. I desire to purposefully read God’s Word daily throughout this new year.
In Luke 4, Jesus teaches that a man, or I, scatter the seeds into the ground. Then the earth takes care of that seed to grow it into the plant that it is. That seed becomes the grain and when it is ready for harvest, the man, or I, will go out to the field and harvest it. We do not know the ways of God, yet by trusting Him, by getting to know Who He is, we trust and believe that what is planted, He will bring to fruition for us to harvest. I want to trust so much that I do not have to ask “Why?” or “How?” but only stand in awe as I look up and be expectant. I want to come to know the richness of His promises and to expect Him to show up at every corner and on every Road to Emmaus. I believe God wants me to expect because spiritual expectancy is based on biblical trust, faith, and hope.
I will direct my prayer to You, and I will look up. Psalm 5:3b
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrew 11:1
As I lift my eyes unto the One Who answers prayers, to the One Who makes promises He always keeps, to the One Who loves me unconditionally, my heart becomes filled with expectancy. That expectancy is not for things or my ways, but for God to be ever present in my life. I look to Him and Him alone. As I grow in the knowledge of God, I will come to understand His greatness. On Him, I want to live with an expectant heart, soul, and mind.
C. S. Lewis said, “True faith is never found alone; it is accompanied by expectation.”
Father, You have given me Your precious Truths to hold onto. You have been increasing my faith, causing me to want to increase my spiritual expectancy in my life. I thank You for emboldening me to ask for such that will make me more in alignment with Your will for my life. I want to expect You in my life each moment. I want to expect Your voice to whisper in my ears. I want to see You everywhere, in the beauty of Your earth, in the eyes of children, in the hearts of man. I want to expect You. Truly expect You. Teach me Your ways, O LORD. I pray in Your Son’s Name. Amen.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3: 14-21
Isaiah 25:8 (WEB)
He has swallowed up death forever!
The Lord Yahweh will wipe away tears from off all faces.
He will take the reproach of his people away from off all the earth,
for Yahweh has spoken it.
Promise #363: When death is swallowed up, I will wipe every tear from your face.
As followers of Christ, we have an amazing hope. The hope of eternal life and the hope that one day we will see our God and Father face to face. On that day, when death is swallowed up, He will wipe every tear away from our face.
Today’s promise is also spoken of in Revelation 21:4 which says…. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV)
My prayer today is that we would all be strengthened with the hope that we have in Christ. No matter how difficult your circumstances, no matter how hopeless your situation, may divine hope flood your heart so that you would know that one day God will wipe away every tear from your eyes and take away all of the pain that you suffered on this earth.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT)
Photo by Eric Boldt
Copied from http://www.365promises.com/
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” Luke 2:14
I am grateful, Father, for the beautiful Gift of Your Son.
May I believe with the eyes of faith.
May I see with the eyes of my heart.
May I hear with the ears of my soul.
I come to the manger with the heart of a mother.
The Cross is before me on which I nail my sins, knowing that I am forgiven.
I walk the path You have for me when I stay by Your side.
I am so glad I am Yours…
and am thankful that You are always weaving me into the one You created.
Thank You for leading me to Christ Jesus.
In His Name, I pray.
Thank you, sweet friends, for visiting me here at “Being Woven” as you do and for blessing me with love and comments.
May your Christmas be sweet and your hands be open to receive our Blessed Savior.
I am honored once again to continue my series on caregiving as a guest writer at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Connections.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,….
Christmas is coming. This time of year can be joyous as we celebrate the birth of our LORD and enjoy family and friends. Holidays can bring stress too. Being the main caregiver can add additional stress, changing the entire dynamics of the traditions of your Christmas (and other holidays).
As caregivers, you may be wishing that the holidays were over or anticipate them with a dread because you just can’t handle the stress of all the “doing” that you find is expected. You may find that you have been alienated by your caregiving duties. Friends don’t call or come by as they once did. You can’t find anyone to watch your care receiver so you may go with your husband to his office party. You have family coming into town to see the parent you care for and you hold resentment towards one or more of them for their lack of support or for telling you how to do something even though they never offer actual help. You dread the encounter, yet do not want to start an argument. You just wish it all were behind you. Your care receiver struggles to recognize pictures accompanying Christmas cards, getting agitated for their lack of memory. Or they don’t recognize where they are because the Christmas tree is taking up the corner where a certain chair is the rest of the year. These issues may occur year-round, but with the added expectations of holidays, you almost would rather skip them. Know that you are not alone. [… Join me over at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Connections for the rest of this post.]
As I look at the world from my small vantage point in South Texas, I want peace in this world. This is God’s world, my Father’s House. He placed me in it but did not promise me that all things would go easily nor perfectly. He did promise He would never forsake me nor leave me. He promised me His love and the peace that passes all understanding.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
The world I see surely does not know this peace either for it just does not seem to exist in the broad world I can see with my eyes. But God’s peace is not our peace.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Yet, by faith, I know He is here and cares and loves. This faith, this belief, this trust…I am learning. He is teaching me that He is faithful and true in all He says and does.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of kings on earth.
To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:4-8
Today, I wait as I am…
Featured Devotional @
Christmas can be joyous as we celebrate the birth of our LORD and enjoy family and friends. As caregiver, you may be wishing that the holidays were over or anticipating them with a dread because the expected and extra “doing” is added stress. You have family coming into town to see the parent you care for and hold resentment towards one or more of them for their lack of support or for telling you how to do things when they never offer actual help. [for the rest, please join us @ Granola Bar Devotionals…]