In Your Time

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LORD, as Your Word says in Ecclesiastes 3:1,
 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:…  Every purpose, Father, is in Your hands.  As my life is being reshaped by Your hands, the hands of my Potter, I am Your clay to be molded into that which You have called me, have made me.  I am Yours.  Joyously, I am Yours.  

I was thinking about Hannah today when you gifted her a child.  She had vowed to give her son to You, LORD, for all the days of his life if You would only give her a son.  You heard and answered her prayer; Samuel was born.  Hannah kept her promise, giving her precious child back to You.  Hannah and Elkanah dedicated Samuel to You and then she prayed words that truly were of her heart.  I lift my heart to You, Abba Father; Your Word – 1 Samuel 2 and Ecclesiastes 3 – from my heart to Yours …   

There is no one holy like You, LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like You, my God. 

The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength.  

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

You, LORD, kill and make alive; You bring down to Sheol and raise up. 

A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal;

You make poor and rich; You bring low, and You also exalt. You raise the poor from the dust, lift the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; 

A time to gain, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

For the pillars of the earth are Yours, LORD, and You set the world on them.  

You keep the feet of Your godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. 

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:…

LORD, as Hannah began her prayer, I respond in her beautiful way… 

My heart exults in You, my LORD;  … Because I rejoice in Your salvation.  

For You bless me and adorn me in Your Presence, in Your Love, in Your very Name.  You have made everything beautiful in its time.  Also You have put eternity in my heart, except that no one can find out the work that You do from beginning to end.  

I know that whatever You do, It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it.
You do it, that men should fear before You.

Abba, set me on Your potter’s wheel.  Mold me and make me into Your daughter of obedience, into Your child of lovingkindness, into a life filled with hope and a future.  I know I have the Living Waters and the Bread of Life in me for I have asked for forgiveness and know that Your Son was resurrected from the dead.  You gave Your Son for me and I am ever so grateful.  Oh, Father, I love You so.  The words, “I don’t want to disappoint You” are on the tip of my tongue.  I also know that I must constantly seek Your face and be on my face before You.  I am teachable yet.  Hopefully for always.  As Hannah gave Samuel to You for all of his life, I give me for the rest of my life.  Thank You for loving me, LORD.  I pray in Your Son’s Holy Name.  Amen.


Photo:  Jay Raney

Scripture:  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 1 Samuel 2:2, 4,  Ecclesiates 3:3b, 1 Samuel 2:6, Ecclesiastes 3:2-3a, 1 Samuel 2:7-8a, Ecclesiastes 3:6, 1 Samuel 2:8b-9, Ecclesiastes 3:1, 1 Samuel 2:1, Ecclesiates 3:11, 14

Offer, Yield, Present, Give Myself

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Romans 6:13

… and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  NASB

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  KJV

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  NKJV

Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.  NLT

Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness.  RSV

Father God, as I come before You this day, I pray that I will yield, present, give, offer myself to You wholly for I am Yours.  I ask that You prepare me for each moment of each day for the rest of my life.  May I be obediently Yours in all that I am and do.  As I learn to yield my life, my heart, my body, my mind, and my soul wholly to You, may I be rich in Your love, spilling over in Your joy, wealthy in You, in You Alone.  You are my All.  You prepare a table before me.  You anoint my head with oil.  My cup truly  overflows.  Oh, Father, You are so generous and loving.  You are so beautiful.  I am so blessed to be Your daughter.  I thank You.  In the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

 

photo:  heartlight.org @  http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/2642.html

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit.  Matthew 5:3

As I ponder this beatitude this morning, I find my self, my being, somewhat emptied of certain needs or desires.  Well, not completely, of course, for I am human and sit here typing on a computer to even write this.  I have not given up all things of this world, mind you.  I still have a house and food on the table, clothing, a computer, Netflix subscription and much more.  But I am emptying of what has been a main purpose, that of giving care to my mother for fifteen years for she is with the LORD.  I still have purpose as I continue to be a wife, the best I can, for my husband.  I have purpose here for I like to journal my spiritual walk.  But I have holes.

As I ponder this verse in Matthew, I am emptying more and more for I want to be close to my LORD.  Close, VERY!  Some of my so-called purposes in life are just hole-fillers.  They really are not a God-called purpose.  They appear before me and I think I need them.  It is the “me” that calls for certain purposes in life, certain things.  BUT…this “me” needs to be a clean vessel for Christ, for His grace and mercy.

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From Thomas Watson’s (1620-1686) The Beatitudes,  “The glass is first emptied before you pour in wine.  God first empties the man of himself, before he pours in the precious wine of his grace.  Till we are poor in spirit, Christ is never precious.  Before we see our own wants, we never see Christ’s worth.  When a man sees himself almost wounded to death, how precious will the balm of Christ’s blood be to him!  When he sees himself deep in arrears with God, and is so far from paying the debt that he cannot sum up the debt, how glad would he be of a surety!  ‘The pearl of price’ is only precious to the poor in spirit.  He that wants bread and is ready to starve, will have it whatever it cost.  He will lay his garment to pledge; bread he must have or he is undone.  So to him that is poor in spirit, that sees his want of Christ, how precious is a Saviour!  Christ is Christ and grace is grace to him!  He will do anything for the bread of life. Therefore will God have the soul thus qualified, to raise the price of his market, to enhance the value and estimate of the Lord Jesus.”

Poverty of spirit makes Christ sweet to the soul.

John Calvin (1509-1564) spoke of the poor in spirit: “They who see nothing in themselves, but fly to mercy for sanctuary”.

Paul came to know that he was not the center of the earth, that life was not all about Saul, but that Christ was his life and lifeline.  …and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,…  Philippians 3:9

As Jesus spoke to a group in parables, He spoke about those who held some people in contempt or felt themselves righteous in themselves.  But then Jesus compared them with this tax collector:  “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’  I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:13-14

From Thomas Watson’s writing in The Beatitudes:  There are four things may persuade Christians to be poor in spirit.

1 This poverty is your riches.  You may have the world’s riches, and yet be poor.  You cannot have this poverty without being made rich.  Poverty of spirit entitles you to all Christ’s riches.

2 This poverty is your nobility.  God looks upon you as persons of honour.  He that is vile in his own eyes is precious in God’s eyes.  The way to rise is to fall.  God esteems the valley highest.

3 Poverty of spirit sweetly quiets the soul. When a man is brought off from himself to rest on Christ, what a blessed calm is in the heart!  I am poor but ‘my God shall supply all my need’ (Philippians 4:19).  I am unworthy but Christ is worthy.  I am indigent, Christ is infinite.  ‘Lead me to the rock that is higher than I’ (Psalm 61:2).   A man is safe upon a rock.  When the soul goes out of itself and centres upon the rock, Christ, now it is firmly settled upon its basis.  This is the way to comfort.  You will be wounded in spirit till you come to be poor in spirit.

4 Poverty of spirit paves a causeway for blessedness.  ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’  Are you poor in spirit?  You are blessed persons.  Happy for you that ever you were born!  If you ask, Wherein does this blessedness appear? read the next words, ‘Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven’.

Father, I am not empty.  I want to be.  I want to be a vessel for Your honor, sanctified, set apart for You, and useful to You, my Master.  LORD, guide my steps that I would empty for You rather than fill this earthen vessel myself.  My spirit lives with You in this vessel for You have come to live in me.  I am Yours.  I am Your beloved and Your child.  May I be as clay and be molded as You will, not as I will, LORD.

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”  Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.  Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.  2 Timothy 2:19-21

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Chosen Vessel art:  http://chosenvessel26.wordpress.com/

Words of Life

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WORDS OF LIFE

God’s Word is powerful.  It is Truth.  It is Jesus.

Jesus is the Word.  He is Truth and He is Life.  He gives us life by His sacrifice for us, through our kneeling before Him seeking forgiveness and redemption.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  John 1:1-4

He is our life-giving bread and water.  From Him, we will never thirst.  He is Life.

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”  Matthew 4:4  (CAPS from Deuteronomy 8:3)

Jesus came to live among men.  They saw the power of the Word.  When Jesus spoke, they felt the passion of the Word.  When Jesus speaks the waters calm, the lepers are healed, the dead arise.  He is the Living Word.

The Word is not just biblical history but is living and active today.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Nancy Guthrie writes, “The Word of God offers us power and perspective.  Its truth brings comfort, not confusion.  It is substantial, not merely sentimental.  It is true, not trite.”


The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Psalm 19:8-11

 

photo:  http://www.heartlight.org

Nancy Guthrie, author of “Book of Hope”, quote from page 353