Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Storing up treasures in Heaven"

Revelation 5:8b  "...they held gold bowls filled with incense-the 
                 prayers of God's people!"

I thought, I pray and like radio signals they go up, up, up....God hears and answers them according to His will... then they are gone.   It never occurred to me that my prayers were tangible.  

But, here they are in gold bowls.  This causes me to think about my grandmother who was a believer....and surely she prayed for her grandchildren.  Did she pray for her future great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren too?  If so, her prayers are still in that bowl, waiting to be fulfilled.    How many have been answered many are yet to be answered?

What an impact we can make on future generations.   Not only in our own families but other families as well.  What a legacy we are leaving.  I wonder, did a stranger or the Christian co-worker who witnessed to me pray for me before I gave my life to Jesus:  Oh, Sharon....she is so lost....chasing things that she thinks will make her happy....Lord reveal Your love to her, reveal Jesus to her and save her from sins... How many blessings are in our lives because of prayers prayed long ago?

To think that my prayers ~ today ~ for my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren...are not only accomplishing a work today.....but they are in heaven and will accomplish a future work of God ....long after I've left this earth.   They never expire!  Talk about storing up treasures in Heaven!   Doesn't that light a fire in your soul ❤ for prayer!

Matthew 6:20a  "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...." 

Father, I pray for my children, grandchildren and the future generations of my family.  That You would send believers into their lives to bring Your truth to them.  That You would open up their ears and hearts to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and that they would walk uprightly before all the days of their lives.  And I ask that You would stir the hearts of your child, stir my heart to pray even more so we can have an impact today, tomorrow...and into the far future.  In the name of, Jesus. Amen.

Blessings on your day,

"What's in your Purse?"

Luke 12:38b "Sell your possessions and give to those in need.  This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes.  Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it."  

Click to show "Louis Vuitton" result 4It use to be that the treasures went into the purse, but with designer purses today, which are the new jewelry for women...the purse themselves have become the treasure.  But there is a purse that is more valuable than your Coach, Gucci, Prada and Luis Vuitton.  It's a purse designed by God and it's stored in heaven...but what's valuable isn't the purse's what's inside, this purse, that counts.  

Recently, my husband and I went to Los Angeles to tour a mission out there that ministers to those living in skid row.  We met with the woman who has been serving the LORD at this mission since 1944.  I love that she is elderly and still serving...I notice in Scripture that Jesus, the apostles, Moses, Abraham....they all served God until they died.  She said, "the LORD gave her calling at the age of was to feed the poor, heal the hurting and love the unloved."  

What's inside your purse today...I mean your heavenly purse?  

I wonder today what's in my purse in heaven.  Now, at times we are going to try and put things into our heavenly purse...that don't belong there.  Because the works we did where done with the wrong heart attitude.   We might do them to draw attention to receive the praise of men or just make ourselves feel good...but all of our works will be tested by God...and if they fail the test...they will be removed by fire.  

Corinthians 3:13-15  "...each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.  If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.  If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."

The amount of the work isn't going to be evaluated (though that is important in regards to being obedient to what God has called us too).  Paul says the work will be tested to see what sort it is.  The LORD is concerned in why we do what we do.

Also, notice that the fire does not purify the worker, it tests their workmanship.  It's the finished work of Jesus on the cross that purifies the believer.  

Paul also referred to this testing in 2 Corinthians 5:10 that when our work is tested before the LORD, we will be rewarded according to what remans  "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. When our work is tested before the Lord, we will be rewarded according to what remains."

It's sobering to think that we could think we are serving God, but are actually doing it in an unworthy manner and in the end find that we had done nothing for the LORD.  Some will be saved, but with a wasted life.

Though I started talking about our purse in heaven...we need to finish with our heart down here on earth...for that is what will determine if we are storing treasures or fodder for the fire.

Luke 1:34 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Father, don't allow me to fool myself.  Would you examine my heart and reveal to me any areas that need to be changed.  Help me to walk in humility before You and serve You with the right motives.  When I'm tempted to serve to be notice...stop me.  When I'm tempted to serve just because I think it's expected of me...stop me.  When I'm tempted to serve to feel relevant...stop me.  Search my heart and reveal it to me so that I might repent and be right before You.  In Jesus name, amen.   

Blessings on your day,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1 Samuel "A Change is Coming"

"And there came a man of God unto Eli...." 

"The barrenness of Hannah is symbolic, coming at the beginning of this book, because it illustrates the spiritual state of Israel."

But now..."A Change is Coming"  a man of God steps onto the scene.  Though the text doesn't address have to ask yourself....WHY...HOW...WHY NOW?  What is bringing about this change?  

I believe that things had gotten so bad spiritually for the children of Israel that they finally began to cry out to God...just like Hannah did.   Why do we wait till it gets unbearable before we cry out?

God has a way to get us to cry out for change.

Did you know that Hannah's names means "Gracious" and Peninah means, "Pearl".  When we think about a pearl we often think of something of great value, but before a pearl becomes something of great value, it first is an irritant that is lodge itself into the body of an oyster, causing the oyster
to produce nacre that encases the irritant until that thing that irritated it turns into something of great value.  

Think of this:  You used to go to work, walk in, go to your desk, go about your day, but now you have a supervisor who is mistreating you.  Now, you go to
work and before you get out of the car, you sit in the parking lot and begin to pray, why, because you are about to face Peninah.  That Peninah has irritated you, that person, that situation has been aggravating you....causing you and me to produce spiritual "nacre", because we desire a change.

The irritation for the children of Israel is Eli, Hophni and Phinehas...for the things they are doing or should be doing. 

I believe, like Hannah, that the people have become so sick about their spiritual condition that they begin to pray.  And when God cleans house...He starts at the house of God.

2 Chron 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

Father, I'm not a priest, but You have called me a saint because I have been made righteous because of Jesus.  Help, me to see things from Your perspective and to continue to raise the standard of holiness in my life, and to quickly seek Your face when there a change needs to be made in my life...or in the life of someone You have placed in my life.  Help me to remember that You honor those who honor You above all things.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Standing in Him,

Friday, May 4, 2012

"The Rebel Within"

2 Samuel 20:1  "Then a trouble maker named Sheba...blew a trumpet and shouted, "We have nothing to do with David.  We want no part of this son of Jesse.  Come on, you men of Israel, let's all go home!"

Sheba is a rebel (Absalom and Joab were rebels too)....and there is something all rebels have in common...they reject authority.  "Nobody tells me what to do."  Who needs a boss?  Who needs parents?  Who needs this King David?  Who needs God? Stand with one foot in, and one foot out, and dare anybody to try and make you do anything.  That's the face of a true rebel.

The Bible says that each of us has a rebel living inside our hearts.  It's called the flesh, it's our sinful nature, and if we're not careful, this rebel will destroy us..." for there will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on sinning..."
This old sinful nature of ours loves to do evil, which is just the opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and our choices are never free from this conflict."  It is through the Holy Sprit that gives us desires that are the opposite from what the sinful natures desires. (Galatians 1:17,18)

But Jesus Christ died to save you and I from our rebellion. He dies to transform rebels like you and me into His loving children.   Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful  nature. Galatians 5:16

Invite the Holy Sprit to control your heart, mind, and soul today.  Pray that the Spirit will still the restless cravings of your old nature and protect you against their disastrous results.  

Walking in Him,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Refresh your Closet"

At the start of each New Year, I try to clean up and refresh my clothes closet.  I remove and examine each piece.   Those I don't wear aymore, that are still in good condition, I donate.  The worn out ones,  I remove the buttons and toss (I love saving buttons).  All my other clothes, I organize by color and put them back into my closet.   The only thing different this year is I actually found a few pieces that I had purchased and never wore, the tags were still on did that happen?   After I'm finished, it feels so good to step back and look at what's been accomplished.

As I was going through my closet I'm reminded that God has a clothes closet too...did you know that?  It's found in Colossians 3:12-13:   

Colossians 3:12-14  "Since God chose you to be holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.    Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony."

There's something about starting a "New Year" that stirs in me a desire to not only get my closets cleaned out and refreshed, but it also causes me to want examine the more important things of life as well...take a long look at my life and my heart. 

Is there anything that needs to be removed, something that needs to be added?  How are my relationships going, with my husband, my children, relatives, neighbors and friends.  Have I acquired attitudes that are hanging in my heart...that I just haven't noticed. Most importantly, how is my relationship with God going.

As I stand at the door of my closet....God stands at the door of my heart...wanting to come in and do some refreshing too.  Yes, LORD...come in, remove, clean and purify...refreshing isn't it❤

God bless your day,