Thursday, March 24, 2011

Devotions the last couple of weeks:

I wanted to share 3 devotions that I have read in the last couple of weeks.  I have been reading out of 2 different "day of the week" devotion books + other studies.  
One of the books is called, "God Calling Journal".  This journal is written as if God is speaking it.  This is what I read this morning: 

"I am here.  Seek not to know the future.  Mercifully I veil it from you.
  Faith is too priceless a possession to be sacrificed in order to purchase knowledge.  but Faith itself is based on a knowledge of Me. 
So remember that this evening time is not to learn the future, not to receive revelation of the Unseen, but to gain an intimate knowledge of Me which will teach you all things and be the very foundation of your faith."

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."  2 Peter 3:18 

I love this.  I know that so many have been going before His throne each night for so many adoption needs.  And I think that personally I have found what is talked about above.  It's not about Him revealing His plan for our adoption to us...but, I have gained an intimate knowledge of My Lord in the evening time.  Something that I will continue and cherish for the rest of my days.
I want to remember that without these trials and struggles...I would have never developed this intimate knowledge.  I've never grown before like I have through this period of my life.  For that I am grateful.

Okay moving on:

March 18...Out of the Same Book:

"Listen, listen, I am your Lord. Before Me there is none other.  Just trust Me in everything.  Help is here all the time.
The difficult way is nearly over, but you have learnt in it lessons you could learn in no other way.  "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."  Wrest in Me, by firm and simple trust and persistent prayer, the treasures of My Kingdom.
Such wonderful things are coming to you, Joy--Peace--Assurance--Security--Health--Happiness--Laughter.
Claim big, really big, things now.  Remember, nothing is too big.  Satisfy the longing of My Heart to give.  Blessing, abundant blessing, on you both now and always.  Peace.

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."  Jeremiah 33:3   

I just loved this devotion.  Claiming big is not what many preach, "Claim it and receive it" having to do with wealth, etc.  It's so much deeper and more rich than that.  This has to do with things that God desires, not what we desire w/out Him placing it in our hearts 1st...once it's in our hearts...we desire it beyond belief and we should Claim it big time and desire it.  And I do so agree that I have learned lessons that would have never came if it had not been for this loooong wait.  God is oh, so good.

3rd and Last if from March 7th (From the book Look Unto Me, The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon, Jim Reimann:

Have faith in God.  Mark 11:22

From the pen of Charles Spurgeon: 

Faith is the foot of the soul that enables us to march along the road of the commandments.  Love can make our feet move more quickly, but faith is what actually carries the soul.  Faith is the oil that enables the wheels of holiness and devotion to roll freely, for without faith the wheels will ultimately come off our chariot and we will simply drag along the ground.  With faith "I can do everything" (Phil 4:13), but without it I will have neither the inclination nor the power to do anything in service to God.

If you are looking for people who will serve God the best, look for people with the most faith.  Little faith can save a person, but little faith will never do great things for God.  In The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1628-1688) Little-faith could never have fought Apollyon--it took Christian to do that.  Little-faith could never have slain Giant Despair--it required Great-heart's arm to knock down that monster.  Little-faith most certainly will get to heaven, but often along the way will be forced to hide itself and thereby frequently loses all rewards except its crown of salvation.

Little -faith says, "This is a rough road, covered with the sharpest thorns and full of danger.  I'm afraid to go."  But Great-faith remembers the promise, "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as the days, so shall thy strength be" (Deut. 33:25 KJV), so Great-faith boldly ventures ahead.  Little-faith waits in despondency, it tears mingling with the floodwaters it stands beside; but Great-faith sings, "when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you" (Isa. 43:2); and then Great-faith fords the stream at once.

Do you desire to be comfortable and truly happy?  Do you desire to enjoy your faith?  Would you prefer a faith of cheerfulness as opposed to one of gloominess?  then "have faith in God" (Mark 11:22).  But if you love darkness and are satisfied to live in misery and gloom, then convince yourself to be content with little faith.

If you love sunshine and would rather sing songs of rejoicing, then earnestly desire and seek the best gift: "great faith" (Matt 8:10).

From the pen of Jim Reimann:

Jesus used the words "great faith" only twice--neither in reference to the people of Israel.  The first described a Roman centurion, someone hated by Israel, but a man with enough faith to ask Jesus to heal his servant.  Upon this encounter Jesus said, "I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith" (Matt. 8:10).  The other reference was to a Canaanite woman who asked the Lord to deliver her daughter from demon possession.  Jesus said to her, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted" (Matt. 15:28).
What does this say about the exercise of faith of God's people today?  As in days of old, we must be careful to follow the Lord in the inner heart of faith--not simply in our outward actions.  In the Old Testament, God said of His people's unholy rituals, "they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them" (Isa. 1:14).  Thus, the church today as well must be careful not simply to have "a form of godliness [while] denying its power" (2 Tim. 3:5).
I love the statement from Charles Spurgeon: "Little faith can save a person, but little faith will never do great things for God."  It is so true.  It is an easy step, God made it so simple, Jesus did all the work for us to be saved.  We just have to say yes.  It's the action afterwards that seems to stop us.  I think that many times we don't want to "say it's true", but, we get saved and then stop.  Well, we are saved.  Now I am SAFE!  Whew, slid into home base and I don't have to play another game of ball.  For many years I played the safe card.  Living my worldly life.  The American Dream was more important than God's dreams and desires.  That is so, so tragic.  Truly though many just will live their lives like that...even Pastors.  Many Pastors will be "stuck" in the same service week after week, many will leave the ministry because it was not all the glamor they hoped it to be.  Well, that's another topic, another subject.  But, us "non preachers" are not the only ones who will never truly do anything.  It happens in all levels of Christianity.  Serve the aquarium of fish, wonder where our weekly fish food is, complain when the aquarium is not what we want...but, venture out into the big sea?  Never...I have little faith and that's all I needed to be saved.

In the bible I do not see examples of "little faith".  The men were men and some of the women stood up like men.  Nothing wrong with that.  They had Big Faith.  I know that God desires all "Christ Followers" to do just that...FOLLOW!  There's no need to be scared.  Let me tell you...I was scared the 1st day I ventured with my kids down a dusty road between the 2 Transition Homes in Ethiopia.  There were some other people sitting and walking that was a bit worrisome. But, it was not going to separate me from my son. And after I walked the road that day...I found out that it was a dusty road that I will cherish forever.  It's just a matter of trusting God in our lives and stepping out and just doing it.

Ladies...many of you I am praying for.  I have heard so many of you say that you desire to do more, or even desire to adopt...but, your husband would "never go for it".  Pray for him.  Talk to him.  Don't let him hold you back from having Big Faith. Maybe actually ask him what he thinks...maybe you are just saying he would "never go for it" but, yet you've never even asked him what he thinks.  If it's God's desire and on your heart...Big Faith will find a way for things to happen in your lives.  But you do have to be proactive and start can't just "tuck it away" and if God moves you or moves your spouse than you'll do it one day.  No, you have to have Big Faith and start the process.  Don't let others hold you back from serving God in whatever capacity...pray and trust God to remove any obstacles...if it's His will...He will!  If it's even as small as "getting to church" to worship him.  Maybe your husband doesn't want you there or is to lazy to go.  Go anyway, take your kids. Maybe it's a mission trip that God has placed on your heart.  Go.  If you don''ll find yourself 30 years later saying, "If only".  1st and foremost you are GOD's.  Have Big Faith, pray and seek what His will is for you.  Don't just keep going with little or no faith. 
Maybe it's not you wanting to move but, your spouse and you are holding him have I seen this lived out.  A husband with passion and a wife holding him back.  You know, I did that exact thing when Darren left his "safe and secure" job to start his own company. Man, I gave him a hard time.  I just kept telling him, "Get a normal job".  I was scared and wanting security.  Aren't all women?  We went through many years of little to no money and it was tough.  But, now when I look back...I know without a doubt that the day that I trusted him as my husband as a smart man...things really fell into place.  I had to realize that he was not going to leave us destitute, that he would work 3 jobs including delivering pizza if he had to to keep us from going under...I had to have Big Faith in him...and stop having little faith...I had to trust him.  Same but, even more so with our Lord. Having a "safe" zone is not what God ever intended for our salvation to be about.  It was to accept Him and then hit the dusty roads of the unknown for Him. You are going to be much more happy and cheerful by stepping out on Big Faith.

God is so, so amazing!

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