Thursday, May 31, 2012

Psalm 108-110: A Fixed Heart

Psalm 108:1
Amplified Bible (AMP)

GOD, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises, even with my glory [all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]!



A fixed heart is one which is firm, stable, and stationary. It does not move, waver, or totter through shaking and storm, but continues in confident and steadfast faith.

A fixed heart directs its attention, its gaze upon One knowing that He alone is Perfectly Beautiful.


A fixed heart receives healing from experiences which have damaged it. God "fixes" it!



I will sing Your praises, and my heart will remain fixed!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21 & 22 and Psalm 30: His Beautiful Grace

1 Chronicles 21
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 SATAN [an adversary] stood up against Israel and stirred up David to number Israel.

2 David said to Joab and the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me the total, that I may know it.

3 And Joab answered, May the Lord multiply His people a hundred times! But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? Why then does my lord require this? Why will he bring guilt upon Israel?


I believe David's act of numbering Israel has to do with relying on the strength of man. By numbering Israel, David is, in effect, trusting in the "horses and chariots of man" rather than God Most High. Joab knew David was wrong in committing this act, and deep down, I think David knew too.


1 Chronicles 21
Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 And God was displeased with this [reliance on human resources], and He smote Israel.

Why did David commit an act that he knew would displease God? Why do we sometimes do, think, or say things, that we know deep in our hearts displease God?


1 Chronicles 21
Amplified Bible (AMP)

8 And David said to God, I have sinned greatly because I have done this thing. But now, I beseech You, take away the hateful wickedness of Your servant; for I have done very foolishly.


But David, a man after God's own heart, felt the conviction wrought by his transgression. He realized his foolishness and confessed his sin to God.

When we realize our foolishness, we too can confess to God. He is merciful and does understand our weak frame, however, there may be consequences to our indiscretion. These consequences are the inevitable result of sin, and that's exactly why God is "anti-sin." Abba loves us so much that He does not want us to suffer the consequences of indiscretion.

Does any good come out of our indiscretion? Abba can bring good out of even the most vile sin. One good is that we learn all over again that we CANNOT live this life on earth in our own strength! Moment by moment, we NEED His grace, His unmerited favor and power to stand against the wiles of the evil one.

My screen name is Beautiful Grace. God calls me by this name because His grace is beautiful in me. I have required much of His grace in my almost 48 years of life on this earth. The wonderful thing is that He has poured grace out in and through me!  He has not held back, because He knows how much I NEED it!!!


 

James 4:5-7
Amplified Bible (AMP)

5 Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?

6 But He gives us more and more grace ([a]power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).

7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.


God's grace is given to those humble enough to receive it, but He stands against the proud.

Those who are humble admit their great need for grace. Those with proud hearts deny they have even sinned at all or blame their sin on others.

Lord, empower me with Your grace to stand firm against the evil one and the humility to come to You when I fall. In the wonderful name of Jesus!!! AMEN

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Psalm 95, 97-99: Mountains Melt Like Wax




Psalm 97:5
New King James Version (NKJV)

The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.


I picture a huge mountain looming before me. Daunting thoughts consume me when I think about climbing it. How would I scale the near 90 degree steep, rocky side without training, without proper mountain climbing equipment?

Suddenly, I hear a voice, "You don't need to climb that mountain. Sometimes I will ask you to climb a mountain with Me, but not this time. I just want you to rejoice in Me, sing to Me, focus on Me. My Presence will come and melt that mountain just as though it were wax."

I did a search on how wax melts. What I found was amazing!
"Have you ever noticed how you have less candle after burning than before? This is because the wax oxidizes (burns) in the flame to yield water and carbon dioxide, which dissipate in the air around the candle, in a reaction which also yields light and heat. Candle wax (paraffin) is composed of chains of connected carbon atoms surrounded by hydrogen atoms. These hydrocarbon molecules can burn completely. First the heat of the flame vaporizes the wax molecules and then they react with the oxygen in the air. As long as the wax doesn't melt away from the flame, the flame will consume it completely and leave no ash or wax residue." from "Where Does Candle Wax Go?"

http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingsworkfaqs/f/candlewax.htm


Now apply man's chemistry lesson to God's promise. Not only is God promising to melt that mountain of adversity or heartache, He is promising to vaporize it!!! No rocky debris over which to stumble. Just completely consumed by His Presence!!!

My God, You are an AWESOME God!!!






Monday, May 28, 2012

2 Samuel 22 & 23 with Psalm 57: I Will Lift My Voice




Rather then spending this time reading my thoughts, take this time to listen and worship the only One worthy!


With Much Love...
Beautiful Grace

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Psalm 5, 38, 41 & 42: Hear and Learn, Listen and Receive

Psalm 5:3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].


This morning (a few weeks ago), I woke up thinking about the faithfulness of God. In my half awake state, I could "feel" His faithfulness rather than mentally recalling the many, many specific instances of His faithfulness in my life, I found myself asking Him to empower me with His kind of faithfulness in all of my interactions and dealings with others.


Psalm 38:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

My wounds are loathsome and corrupt because of my foolishness.



Have you ever messed up BIG TIME? I have. AND caused myself loathsome and corrupt wounds. Thankfully, the Lord has done a wonderful work of healing in me, but the scars remain as a reminders of my transgression. BUT, be encouraged, our biggest mess ups can be our most valuable teachers IF we are willing students. Lord, empower us to learn from our mistakes!


Psalm 41:1-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) is he who considers the weak and the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the time of evil and trouble.

2 The Lord will protect him and keep him alive; he shall be called blessed in the land; and You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.

3 The Lord will sustain, refresh, and strengthen him on his bed of languishing; all his bed You [O Lord] will turn, change, and transform in his illness.



Wow! What an awesome promises from Abba for "...he who considers the weak and the poor."

  •  "The Lord will deliver him in the time of evil and trouble."

  •  "The Lord will protect him and keep him alive."

  • "He shall be called blessed in the land."

  • He will not be delivered to the will of his enemies.

  • He will be sustained, refreshed, and strengthened on his bed of languishing.
  • The Lord will turn, change, and transform him in his illness.


Psalm 42:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.



I personally have experienced His song during a night season in my life. Some of my most intense experiences with my Lord have been in the middle of the night during a dark season. His "song" opened my eyes and comforted my soul. He convinced me that the spiritual realm is "realer" than this earthly reality. I'm thankful that God likes to sing! :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

2 Samuel 19-21: Behave as Royalty

2 Samuel 19:18-23
Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 And there went over a ferryboat to bring over the king's household and to do what he thought good. And Shimei son of Gera fell down before the king as David came to the Jordan,

19 And said to the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity to me and hold me guilty, nor remember what your servant did the day my lord went out of Jerusalem [when Shimei grossly insulted David]; may the king not take it to heart.

20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, behold, I am today the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.

21 But Abishai son of Zeruiah said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord's anointed?

22 David said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be an adversary to me today? Shall anyone be put to death today in Israel? For do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?

23 Therefore the king said to Shimei, You shall not die [at my hand]. And the king gave him his oath.



Shimei knew he had messed up, BIG TIME! To appreciate just how bad, we must review what happened previously.


2 Samuel 16:5-13
Amplified Bible (AMP)

5 When King David came to Bahurim, a man of the family of the house of Saul, Shimei son of Gera, came out and cursed continually as he came.



6 And he cast stones at David and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.

7 Shimei said as he cursed, Get out, get out, you man of blood, you base fellow!

8 The Lord has avenged upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hands of Absalom your son. Behold, the calamity is upon you because you are a bloody man!

9 Then said [David's nephew] Abishai son of Zeruiah to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.

10 The king said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, Curse David, who then shall ask, Why have you done so?

11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, Behold, my son, who was born to me, seeks my life. With how much more reason now may this Benjamite do it? Let him alone; and let him curse, for the Lord has bidden him to do it.

12 It may be that the Lord will look on the iniquity done me and will recompense me with good for his cursing this day.

13 So David and his men went by the road, and Shimei went along on the hillside opposite David and cursed as he went and threw stones and dust at him.


David forgave Shimei after he cursed him and threw stones and dust at him! Yet, again, David leaves God to judge the blatant injustice Shimei had propagated against him.

"Therefore the king said to Shimei, You shall not die [at my hand]. And the king gave him his oath."


David knew that he was the king over Israel. BUT he not only knew he was king, he acted in a royal manner. King David did not lower himself to the an act of revenge, neither did he hold on to bitterness. He choose to behave like royalty!

God calls You and I kings and priests! We ARE royalty!!! Therefore, our behavior should reflect the identity of who we are!

A lesser man (or woman) holds on to unforgiveness or seeks revenge on those who harmed, BUT one behaving as royalty, forgives and blesses.

Man, in his own strength, easily holds on to the wrong attitudes, but a royal one, empowered by God's Spirit rises above offenses and is seated in the heavenlies with Jesus. A royal one has heaven's perspective because that is where his heart lives!


Ephesians 2:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)

And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).


Holy Spirit, empower me to behave as royalty no matter the circumstances! All for Jesus and in His name, AMEN!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Psalm 26, 40, 58, 61, 62, & 64: We NEED to Worship God

Psalm 64:10
Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall be glad in the Lord and shall trust and take refuge in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory and offer praise.



Did you ever think about why God commands us to worship Him?

Is it because He has a huge ego that needs fed?

Does He have a self-esteem problem and needs us to build Him up?

Could it be that He gets a rush of pride when we weakling human beings magnify Him?


NO, NO, NO!!!


I think God knows that by us releasing glory and praise to Him that we get much, much more that we give. In spiritual economics, what is given comes back multiplied. God knows we NEED to praise Him, we NEED to worship Him because we NEED what comes back to us…Peace, Healing, Empowerment, Love, etc.

These blessings already were there, but through worship we receive the ability to recognize and grasp them.

I will be glad in You, Lord, and shall put my trust and take refuge in You; My heart shall glory and offer praise to You forever…AND I will do it because You deserve ALL of my worship, that is my motive, but a beautiful side benefit is that my needs gets met as I do.  Your ways are beautiful!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

2 Samuel 16-18: Sin Full Grown

2 Samuel 18:33
Amplified Bible (AMP)

33 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would to God I had died for you, O Absalom, my son, my son!



I hear anguish in these words. David continued to love his son, Absalom, no matter how badly he messed up. The last thing David wanted was the death of another beloved one. Yet David had seen the deaths of four of his children…


Tamar, Amnon, Absalom and the unborn child of Bathseba.
  • Tamar was not physically dead but desolate in soul. The torment of this condition can be worse than physical death.
  • Amnon was murdered by Absalom’s dictate because of hate birthed through revenge.
  • Righteous man turned rebel, Absalom who was killed while attempting to overthrow David’s leadership.

  • The unborn child, who died because of David’s unrighteous deed with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah.

David's story reveals unfaithfulness, murder, betrayal, rape, violence, revenge, hatred, brokeness, rebellion, and deception ultimately all resulting in death.


James 1:14-16
Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).

15 Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.

16 Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.


My friends, sin is not something in which to dabble. Sin full grown ends in death. David’s story proves it!



“Sin Destroys, Teach My Children”
by Beautiful Grace

It appears harmless, innocent, beautiful,
Intriguing, exciting, powerful, even holy,
But sin is none of these things.

It lurks in the shadows of our minds,
Seeking those whom it may devour.

It comes as a thought pondered upon too long.
It disguises itself through the twisted speech
Of the Evil One.

When we allow It into our lives,
It eventually manifests Its true form.

Sin is darkness.
The serpent of old,
Beelzebub, himself, lives there.

He opens wide his mouth
And sinks his teeth deep into our flesh.
His bite transfers seeds of deception into our hearts,
Separating us from our Father.

The seeds sprout and when fully grown
Bring forth death.

“Sin destroys, teach my children,”
The Lord has commanded.

Holy Spirit root out the seeds of sin.
Pull out the weeds, Lord.
Remove Evil’s deception from our hearts.



Heavy, intense, and sobering, but TRUTH. Love does not remain silent about something that can harm and lead to death.

With Much Love Always…
Beautiful Grace

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Psalm 3, 4, 12, 13, 28, & 55: Extended Grace

Psalm 55:12-14
(Amplified)

For it is not an enemy who reproaches and taunts me--then I might bear it; nor is it one who has hated me who insolently vaunts himself against me--then I might hide from him.



But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend.


We had sweet fellowship together and used to walk to the house of God in company.


The pain of betrayal is difficult, but betrayal by one close to your heart seems unbearable. It feels like we will never trust anyone ever again.

Jesus knows the pain of betrayal at the hands of "familiar friends..." Judas, Peter, the crowd of people who shouted "Hosanna," then a few days later, "Crucify Him."

Jesus intimately knows the pain of betrayal yet, He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

Forgiveness is the key! Forgiveness is an action (not necessarily a feeling) that releases the offender, while simultaneously healing the offended.

Whether we've been betrayed by a "familiar friend" or by an enemy doesn't matter. What matters is forgiveness. Grace, the undeserved favor of God, is extended to us for our sinful failures. How could we not extend that same grace to others?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2 Samuel 13-15: No Longer Banished



2 Samuel 14:14
Amplified Bible (AMP)

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. And God does not take away life, but devises means so that he who is banished may not be an utter outcast from Him.

God devises means so that he who is banished may not be an utter outcast from Him!

The woman of Tekoah is counseling King David in the matter of his estranged son Absalom, but that is only the surface of this awesome declaration.

God had devised a plan to bring us, the banished ones because of sin, to Him. This plan was Jesus being our Mediator. The One Who stands between us and the Father. The One Who takes our sin on Himself and deals with it once and for all!

“Sin has lost its power, death has lost its sting. He has risen victoriously!”

Lord, thank You for devising a way to bring me to You!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Psalm 32, 51, 86, 122: Forgiveness, Continually Exercised!!!

Psalm 32
(Amplified)

1 BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him, whose sin is covered.



Think about the statement, "forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him, whose sin is covered." Forgiveness continually exercised. Forgiveness is CONTINUALLY EXERCISED!!! Wow, my sin IS covered!!! Your sin IS covered!!! Isn't that the most freeing statement? I AM BLESSED!!! YOU ARE BLESSED!!!


3 When I kept silence [before I confessed], my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long.

4 For day and night Your hand [of displeasure] was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!


There is no benefit in hiding sin from God. He knows everything...every thought pondered, every word spoken, every deed performed. He is willing to continually exercise forgiveness, but that can't be accomplished unless we admit our desperate need for forgiveness! It is prideful to believe that we can escape God's displeasure when we sin. God is a Good Father. A good father doesn't allow His kids to do something that is harmful to them. Sin is harmful to our soul and spirit and body and eventually ends in death when full grown. Of course, God's hand of displeasure would weigh upon us. He LOVES us!!!


5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]--then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!



All we are required to do is acknowledge and confess our sin to God, and He instantly forgives. He doesn't hold that sin against us and cast it up to us when convenient as a means of manipulation. He doesn't hold us at arm's length putting us on probation, because we messed up. He doesn't require us to prove ourselves. He certainly doesn't require us to work, work, work to demonstrate to man we have changed. He instantly forgives. That means it's a done deal! When God forgives us, it's as though we never sinned in the first place. It's the evil one who reminds us of our past in order to intimidate us into submission. It's the evil one who whispers the lie that, "Maybe, you really aren't forgiven" or "That's it. You sinned one too many times. No more strikes for you. You're out!" That's not how God rolls (works)! :)

7 You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

This verse stirs me to sing, dance, and shout my love for the Lord!!! He "surround(s) me with songs and shouts of deliverance!!!! Oh, I'm feeling Him right now, How wonderful!!!


8  I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.



He instructs me, teaches me, counsels me with His eye upon me. The most vivid mental image I have of Jesus is His eyes gazing at me, fierce and passionate, full of perfect love and peace, a magnificent warrior and a regal King!!!


Revelation 19:12
Amplified Bible (AMP)

12  His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire, and on His head are many kingly crowns (diadems); and He has a title (name) inscribed which He alone knows or can understand.



This is the God I serve!!! I am overwhelmingly blessed!!!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

2 Samuel 11, 12 and 1 Chronicles 20: ANT Infestation

2 Samuel 11:1-4
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 IN THE spring, when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab with his servants and all Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites [country] and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

2 One evening David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, when from there he saw (situation) a woman bathing; and she was very lovely to behold. (emotion)

3 David sent and inquired (ANT) about the woman. One said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

4 And David sent messengers and took her. And she came in to him, and he lay with her (behavior)--for she was purified from her uncleanness. Then she returned to her house.


*Note:  The red font is my personal interjections.


ANTs...I wrote about them previously. Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) are relevant here.


Situation (David saw Bathsheba) ------>

Thought (David inquired about Bathsheba) ------>

Emotion (Not specifically written, but my guess would be lust) ----->

Behavior (David took her and lay with her)


As Christians our ANTs are more commonly referred to as "temptation." David's downward spiral could have been avoided had he immediately recognized the ANTs and stamped them out.

The situation David was faced with was most probably accidental. It is interesting though that even though David chose not to go out onto the battlefield, ("
In the spring, when kings go forth to battle") he still was faced with a battlefield in his mind. He was destined to battle one way or another.

When faced with the temptation (ANT), what should he have done?

How do you handle an ANT that crawls around in your brain?

I believe spiritual battles are won or lost in the battlefields of our minds.

It really does matter where our thoughts go and on what we choose to meditate.

Our thoughts stir our emotions and these can either induce us to walk out righteousness or not. Our emotions do affect our behavior (consciously or unconsciously) whether we like it or not.

The original ANT David battled with led to more ANTs and to more ANTs until the death (murder) of Uriah resulted.

David suffered the consequences for his unrighteous behavior...the death of his unborn child and public shame. What was even harder was how David's sin was passed to his progeny.

The sin of lust was found in his David's son Amnon, which ended in the rape of his sister, Tamar.

The sin of murder and rebellion was found in David's son Absalom who had his brother Amnon killed in revenge for his brutal treatment of Tamar.  Absalom also rebelliously undermined David's kingly authority attempting a 
coup d'├ętat eventually ending in his own death.

It's a sobering thought that our sinful choices could be passed to our beloved children! Heavy!!!

BUT Jesus' name is higher than any other name in heaven or on earth.

HE IS HIGHER THAN ANY ANT!!!

As we rely on His Spirit and continually fight the ANTs in the battlefield of our minds, we will be victorious!!! In the great and awesome and powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Psalm 65-67, 69 and 70: He Will Not Allow My Feet to Slip

Psalm 66:8 & 9
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"Bless our God, O peoples, give Him grateful thanks and make the voice of His praise be heard,

Who put and kept us among the living, and has not allowed our feet to slip."



When thinking about feet slipping, I think about falling to sin. I used to be hypersensitive to falling to sin. I was so worried about sinning that anxiety built up to the point of panic attacks. I acted and reacted with fear in situations of temptation to the point of making me appear guilty.  Isn't that just the way satan works?


I DO NOT believe the Lord wants me/us to live that way! 

 My focus was off. I was thinking about and meditating on potential sin, when what I should have been thinking about and meditating on was the Lord and His ways. In a way, such a mindset was lifting up sin and giving it power over me, elevating it to idol status! 

Didn't Jesus die on the cross to break the power of sin over me/us? YES!!!!

The Lord even gave me a dream during this off focus period assuring me that I would not fall.  (He's so good to me!)


He will not allow my foot to slip! Therefore, I can dream with Him and be His partner as I live my life in peace here on earth. 

He will not allow my foot to slip! Therefore, I can worship Him with all that I am and teach others to do the same.

He will not allow my foot to slip! Therefore, I can love like He does and spread His peace to everyone I contact.

He will not allow my foot to slip! Therefore, I will not obsess about sin or potential sin; I will have one holy obsession, one holy passion...Jesus!!!


I'm so thankful to be free of this bondage!!!



Thank You, Lord for holding me and directing my path. You love me and will always keep me from slipping. If I mess up, You are by my side to help me stand tall again, because You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank You! I will make the voice of Your praise be heard!  AMEN!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

2 Samuel 10, 1 Chronicles 19, and Psalm 20: In Whom Do You Trust?

Psalm 20:7
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God."


Man's strength. Man's wisdom. Chariots and horses represent man's strength and wisdom apart from God. We have benefited from man's strength and wisdom through technological advances and modern conveniences, but do we realize that all that we enjoy has been given as a gift from an eternal God?  Or, do we covet and trust in the things of this world which are passing away?


There is nothing wrong with these things as long as we recognize them for what they are...blessings. However, blessings were never made to usurp our dependence on the Lord.

When faced with a life-threatening decision in whom do you trust? When life is coasting along and everything is flowing smoothly in whom do you trust? When you realize that your life is a brief as the grass growing up in the morning and withering in the evening in whom do you trust?  When your world is torn apart, and you heart hurts so much that you feel you can't go on living in whom do you trust?

The Lord says, "Do not trust in the horses and chariots of men. Trust in Me."

I trust You, Lord!!!


Proverbs 3:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Psalm 50, 53, 60 and 75: Call Upon Me

Psalm 51:14 & 15

"Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me."



WOW! The God of the Universe is promising to deliver us in our day of trouble!!! The only thing we need to do is call upon Him. His promise soothes my heart, for I have personally experienced His deliverance in my day(s) of trouble!

Years ago, before the full weight of life's adversities assaulted my soul, I thought about the phrase, "the sacrifice of thanksgiving" and wondered how being thankful could equate to sacrifice. Then I realized that when difficult times come, man finds it far easier to see the "bad," then to be thankful for the "good."

We must discipline ourselves to search out the blessing, even in the "bad." God will never allow us to experience something that would destroy our eternal souls, BUT we have a choice in how we react to a negative experience.

We can become discouraged, develop a "woo is me" attitude by turning our eyes inward, and get angry at our One Source of help OR we can receive the courage of His Spirit, keep our eyes turned outward to minister to others, and be grateful for God's promises to intervene.

God always brings good out of even the most difficult situations. 



Could it be that faith needs to be birthed in us? 


Or endurance? 


Or the breaking of a self-centered heart? 


Only you and the Holy Spirit can answer that question.

He is a good Father! He is raising us up to consider eternity with every earthly experience, whether we deem it "good" or "bad."

This world is not our true home! We are being trained for heaven!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2 Samuel 8 and 9 with 1 Chronicles 18: Called Out of Destitution

2 Samuel 9
1 AND DAVID said, Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan's sake?

2 And of the house of Saul there was a servant whose name was Ziba. When they had called him to David, he said to him, Are you Ziba? He said, I, your servant, am he.

3 The king said, Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the [unfailing, unsought, unlimited] mercy and kindness of God? Ziba replied, Jonathan has yet a son [Mephibosheth] who is lame in his feet.


4 And the king said, Where is he? Ziba replied, He is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.



David called Mephibosheth out from Lo-debar, a place in Palestine. Lo-debar means pastureless. Pastureless is described as "destitute of pasture." (thinkexist.com) I find that very interesting. If something is destitute then it is "lacking possessions and resources; especially related to suffering extreme poverty." (merriam-webster.com)

Mephibosheth was crippled, lived in a place that was destitute, and refers to himself as "a dead dog." (verse 8) 

I believe he suffered from not only poverty of body, but poverty of soul. He was marked by destitution.


2 Samuel 9

8 And [the cripple] bowed himself and said, What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am?


BUT he was called out of the place destitution and was offered a place at the king's table. Mephibosheth accepted David's kindness.

We all are destitute in one form or another- spirit, soul, body, etc. BUT the King of the Universe has called us out of "Lo-debar," offering us a seat at His table. Will we accept the His generous offer?

Thank You, my King, for inviting me to Your table. I recognize my destitution and humbly accept Your offer.  Thank You!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Psalm 25, 29, 33, 36 and 39: I Will Lift My Voice

Psalm 25:14
Amplified Bible (AMP)

14The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.



One of the most precious aspects of a relationship with the Creator of the Universe is the intimate communication He engages in with each of His beloved kids.

His voice cuts through the strain and stress of living life here on earth giving wisdom and peace.

His words give direction and courage as we walk on our earthly path towards the finish line of heaven.

He even loves us so much that He shares His secrets with us, if we will take the time to listen.

Reading His holy Word, no longer is a mundane religious exercise as He whispers its deep and uniquely personal message through it to us.

All of this is available as we revere and worship Him. That means we not only hear, but obey what He has spoken to us.

Knowing the frailty of human resolve for righteousness, it is imperative to ask the Lord, Holy Spirit, for the power to walk out what He has directed! No person on earth is holy enough, disciplined enough, good enough to walk through this life in a pleasing way without His power to keep, no one!!!

Coming to this revelation, brings freedom!!!!! It's not up to me. I trust in my King to empower me and walk with me where ever I go.

Thank You, Jesus!

"I will lift my voice to worship You my King. I will find my strength in the shadow of Your wings!"


Monday, May 14, 2012

2 Samuel 6 & 7 and 1 Chronicles 17: Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly


2 Samuel 6:16


As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.


I used to have an unfavorable attitude towards Michal thinking that she manifested a  religious response to her husband's wild worship of the Lord.  She may have, but I see deeper into her heart reaction.


Michal was given to David as a wife as a reward for "a hundred foreskins of the Philistines." (1 Samuel 18:25)  But, this treatment as a prize (an object) didn't matter to Michal, because she loved David. (1 Samuel 18:28)  Her love was so great that she risked her own safety by assisting in David's escape when her own father, King Saul, had planned to have him killed. (1 Samuel 19:11 & 12)


Later, Michal was given to Phalti son of Laish by Saul. (1 Samuel 25:44) When David became king, he wanted Michal to be brought back to him; she was his wife, right? 
(2 Samuel 3:13) 


Now imagine the damage that had been inflicted in this woman's heart.  Think about being passed from one man to the next and back again, like a piece of property not a person.  Think about the conflicting loyalty to her father and her husband.  Now imagine how bitterness most probably filled Michal's soul.  


I'm not attempting to justify her behavior; I'm just trying to understand it.



Just having watched Mel Gibson's, "The Passion," I found myself once again feeling sorry for a Biblical "villain," Judas.  His betrayal of Jesus was born of a deceived heart, but I then thought of the times in my life that I had been deceived.  


I found myself realizing, once again, that all of us have the potential to be deceived, that all of us have sinned, and the only possible way to the Father is Jesus.  


Holy Spirit empower me to never judge another, whether that person is living now or is long dead, their life remaining only as a story in the pages of His Word.  Help me "to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your [my] God." (Micah 6:8) In the powerful and merciful name of Jesus, AMEN!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Psalm 89, 96, 100, 101, 105 and 132: He Rules the Raging Sea


Psalm 89:8 & 9
Amplified Bible (AMP)


O Lord God of hosts, who is a mighty one like unto You, O Lord? And Your faithfulness is round about You [an essential part of You at all times].


You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves arise, You still them




Life is a series of events.  As humans we judge these events by the effects they have on our soul.  As unique individuals, each of us uses a different measure or standard to evaluate these events.  One person can walk with apparent ease through a "difficult situation," while that same scenario played out in another person's life would be devastating.  


As I drove home from work two nights ago, I reviewed my shift.  Cognitively, I deduced that it had been "stressful," but in my soul, I hadn't felt stressed.  It hadn't "felt" stressful to me!  Initially, when the sea began its rage, I felt my heart quicken.  Immediately, I began to pray in my head for peace and wisdom to reign, and immediately, the potential negative soul reaction was thwarted. 


Afterwards, a coworker remarked, "You were so calm."  Friends, I can only say, "Praise Jesus!!!!" 


Slowly, I am learning that this life on earth is not my true home.  Slowly, my soul is catching up to my spirit, knowing that when the sea rages, it is God who stills it. My God is FAITHFUL, and if I find myself in the midst of a "raging sea" experience, I know that Jesus is in it with me!!!  


Praise to my Jesus!!!!!



Psalm 1, 2 , 15, 22, 23, 24, 47, and 68: Receive His Strength


Psalm 68:32-35
Amplified Bible (AMP)


32  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praises to the Lord! Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!


33  [Sing praises] to Him Who rides upon the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, He sends forth His voice, His mighty voice.


34  Ascribe power and strength to God; His majesty is over Israel, and His strength and might are in the skies.


35  O God, awe-inspiring, profoundly impressive, and terrible are You out of Your holy places; the God of Israel Himself gives strength and fullness of might to His people. Blessed be God!


As a young girl, I considered myself as weak...weak in physical strength and weak in controlling my emotions.  I didn't like this weakling very much.  I admired those who were able to take charge of a situation without apparent fear of failure.  


Yet as I began to mature, I began to see that my perceived weaknesses were actually stepping stones.  I had to recognize my weakness, before leaning on God to give me strength.  


Think about it.  If we "think" we have it all under control, that we are independent, intelligent, and successful in life, why would we rely on the Lord for His strength?


It's a very good thing to realize that we are not "all that."  I have friends who are very intelligent and independent.  They walk through this life themselves without relying on God's strength and wisdom to get them through.  But, in some ways intelligence and independence are liabilities that keep them from receiving the "One Who rides upon the heavens, the ancient heavens."  


Don't put yourself down for recognizing your weaknesses.  It is the first step in being able to receive "the God of Israel Himself [Who] gives strength and fullness of might to His people. Blessed be God!"


[Who] was added by me to make the sentence grammatically correct.  ;)

Friday, May 11, 2012

1 Chronicles 13-16: Wonderful, Wonderful Are You My God!

1 Chronicles 16:8-11
Amplified Bible (AMP)

O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known His doings among the peoples!

Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His wondrous works and devoutly praise them!

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!

Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually!



There is something supernatural that occurs when we speak of the Lord's fame!!! Suddenly, focus is taken off of ourselves, and the cares of this world and all attention is given to the only One Who deserves it! Our spirit is stirred with faith, because we remember His doings from the past. Speaking aloud, God's wonderful works, sets the stage for Him to do it again in my life and the lives of others!

The quickest way to get out of a "funk" is to start magnifying God with the voice! I know this from personal experience!!!

Say this aloud with me, 


"Wonderful, Wonderful are You my God. Who directs my path and gives me wisdom. I thank You for every intervention in my life and ask You to continue intervening because You are good all the time! I will continue to seek You with ALL of my heart! You are the One Whose Presence I adore. You are the One Who kisses my soul and holds me in seasons of darkness and dances with me in seasons of joy! I am Yours and You are mine! I will love You forever!!!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Psalm 106 & 107: Trust the Trustworthy One


Psalm 106:13 & 14
Amplified Bible (AMP)


But they hastily forgot His works; they did not [earnestly] wait for His plans [to develop] regarding them,


But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tempted and tried to restrain God [with their insistent desires] in the desert.


God is eternal.  We live and die.  Our physical bodies, mortal, restricted to this world.  No wonder we are in a hurry to have our destinies fulfilled, to have that personal prayer answered, to get past that trial and get back to being blessed.  Yet, are we waiting earnestly for God to develop His plans regarding us?


The Israelites had seen firsthand, God's mighty and awesome  power as He delivered them from their captors, the Egyptians.  Yet, they quickly forgot what God had demonstrated in plain sight and did not wait for the plans He had for them to develop.  Their impatience opened the door to fleshly lusts as they wandered in the wilderness.  


What is 10 years to an eternal God?  or 20, 30 or 40 years for that matter.  Trusting in God means we will wait a life time for our destiny or that answered prayer or the end of a trial.  AND, if we never see fulfillment here on earth, then our conscience is clear, because we trusted our Trustworthy King!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Psalm 133: Unity Displayed by Respect, Anointing and Humility


Psalm 133:1
(Amplified)


BEHOLD, HOW good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!


Have you ever been at odds with someone and felt the tight-chested, nauseating feeling that results from disunity?  Of course, we all have felt that way.  Our Abba loves us and desires unity of heart among His children.  Unity of heart doesn't mean we don't vary in our opinions; it means our differing opinions SHOULD NOT curb or decrease the holy, eternal love that we have for one another!  


One way holy love manifests is by respecting another person.  


Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines respect as a: a high or special regard : esteem b : the quality or state of being esteemed


We can respect/love a person without seeing "eye-to-eye" with them!




Psalm 133:2
(Amplified)


It is like the precious ointment poured on the head, that ran down on the beard, even the beard of Aaron [the first high priest], that came down upon the collar and skirts of his garments [consecrating the whole body].


The Holy Spirit is often symbolized as oil.  It is not the physical oil that anoints a person; it is God's Spirit that anoints!  Although this verse refers to one person being anointed, could that person be a type for the church at large?  The oil's (Holy Spirit's) anointing causes the whole body to be consecrated!  As we walk out unity in the body of Christ, that body becomes consecrated, set apart for the Lord.  It is the that consecrated Bride for which Jesus is returning.




Psalm 133:3
(Amplified)


It is like the dew of [lofty] Mount Hermon and the dew that comes on the hills of Zion; for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life forevermore [upon the high and the lowly].


No matter a person's station in life, whether deemed high or low, the Lord commands a blessing as the result of walking out unity.  What pops out at me is the example of blessing given, "even life forevermore."  That sounds like eternal life to me.  That is exciting and sobering at the same time!  If I choose to walk in unity with my brothers and sisters, the blessing I receive (through Jesus) is eternity.  If I insist that I am right and you are wrong and place myself above out of stubborn pride, what does that infer about the blessing of life forevermore?  




James 4:6
(Amplified)



But He gives us more and more grace ([a]power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).


I believe the root of disunity is pride.  Let's keep ourselves humble in all circumstances and with all people.  If we do, then God promises to give us more and more grace (power) to meet this evil tendency!  


We need all the grace our earthly bodies can handle!


Holy Spirit, empower us to respect each other's differences, receive Your Holy Spirit anointing in order to consecrate us, and remain humble always.  We need, no, we require Your grace to walk through this life!  All for Jesus and in His name, AMEN!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2 Samuel 5, 1 Chronicles 11 & 12: Great by Association

2 Samuel 5:1
David was thirty years old when he began his forty-year reign.


On my 30th birthday, I was remembering that Jesus public ministry began at that age, and was feeling spiritually unsatisfied. I was hungering for a real/deep encounter with God. I remember feeling like my time was running out to make a difference in the world, to leave my mark on it.


2 Samuel 5:2

In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord told you, You shall feed My people Israel and be prince over [them].



David had already be anointed King over Judah, now that Ish-bosheth was dead, the remaining tribes remembered David’s leadership under Saul. The thing I am reminded of is that a person does not need the “title” of leader in order to be recognized as one. One's actions speak louder than a title or designation. A leader leads!


2 Samuel 5:10
David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.


If God, the Greatest Being in the universe is with us, we will be great! I think of guilt by association. With God, it is greatness by association!


2 Samuel 5:20

And David came to Baal-perazim, and he smote them there, and said, The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like the bursting out of great waters. So he called the name of that place Baal-perazim [Lord of breaking through].


I remember reading a book based on this verse called “The Breaker Anointing” by Barbara Yoder. The power of Baal-perazim is with us whenever we come upon an enemy, which seems invincible. God will burst out like great waters!!!!

Lord, thanks that you do not look at age or physical characteristics, but peer into our hearts. You are the One Who teaches us how to lead, makes us great, and causes us to burst through our enemies! Praise and honor be to You, my King Who leads the way! AMEN!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Psalm 102-104: Counted as Past


Psalm 103:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)


6  The Lord executes righteousness and justice [not for me only, but] for all who are oppressed.




This was a "hold on to with all of my strength" verse at a point in my life when oppression reigned.  At times, oppression wrapped itself so tightly around my chest that I could barely breathe.  Yet, I held on to this promise.  I held on to the Lord.


At night, when anxiety would exert its full weight on my soul, I would place my Bible on my chest, hugging it tightly.  Jesus is the Word, and the Word is the Bible.  I needed to clutch something tangible symbolizing my spiritual resolve to hold on to Jesus.


Thankfulness overflows my heart that those days are counted as past!!!


For any one of you who reads this, be assured that the Lord does execute righteousness and justice for ALL who are oppressed...spiritually, physically or emotionally!!!  Hold tightly to Jesus.  This difficult season will soon be counted as past!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

1 Chronicles 7-10: Called to Be a Gatekeeper


1 Chronicles 9:22-24
Amplified Bible (AMP)


22  All these chosen to be keepers at the thresholds were 212. These were enrolled by their genealogies in their villages [around Jerusalem], these men [whose grandfathers] David and Samuel the seer had established to their office of trust.


23  So they and their sons had oversight of the gates of the Lord's house, that is, the house of the tabernacle, by wards.


24  The gatekeepers were stationed on the four sides [of the house of the Lord]--on the east, west, north, and south.





According to Merriam Webster's Online dictionary, a gatekeeper is one that tends or guards a gate or a person who controls access.  


A person holding the position of gatekeeper would have needed to exhibit ongoing responsible behavior.  This person would have needed to be vigilant and brave.  The position of gatekeeper would require strength of body and wisdom of thought.  This person made the decision, "who or what" entered the temple?


Today, as led by His Spirit, we need to be the gatekeeper for the temple; our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  What we see, enters through the gate of our eyes.  What we hear, enters the hearing gate.  That which gains access through a gate, has the potential to affect our temple, positively or negatively.


Holy Spirit, only You know the things which may detrimentally affect Your holy temple in us.  Each sight and sound, each experience, affects each of us differently.  Please guide us as a gatekeeper for You.  In the name of Jesus.  AMEN!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Psalm 81, 88, 92 and 93: Walk in My Ways


Psalm 81:13 & 14
(Amplified)


13  Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!


14  Speedily then I would subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their adversaries.


These verses demonstrate the heart of our Father God, Abba, who pleads for His children to obey Him.  Not knowing the heart of God could tempt a person to believe He is employing a type of blackmail against His kids...


"I will defeat your enemies if you do what I say."


Personally knowing or not knowing the heart of God colors the way we understand His written Word.  Having had numerous personal encounters with Him convinces me that God is pleading, because of love.  Not knowing God personally potentially gives the opposite impression.


My Abba is not some power-hungry super being who gets pleasure from lording His omnipotence over weakling human beings!  


My Abba is HOLY...set apart from all impurity and darkness!  He can't, not won't, work on our behalf if we steep ourselves in the muck and mire of sin.  If He did, He would no longer be holy, no longer marked by perfection.


BUT JESUS!  The bridge between God and man, the pathway by which we come to this holy, set apart One spans the gap.  Jesus blood washes us clean making us holy as Abba is holy.  Jesus' blood empowers us to walk out His ways!


Through Jesus, I walk in God's ways.  Through Jesus, my missteps are straightened, and my muddied vessel is bright, shining and CLEAN!  Abba does subdue my spiritual enemies!!!  Praise, Praise, Praise!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

1 Chronicles 6: Let Me Hear You Singing


1 Chronicles 6
Amplified Bible (AMP)


31  These David put over the service of song in the house of the Lord after the ark of the covenant rested there [after being taken by the Philistines and later placed in the house of Abinadab, where it remained for nearly 100 years during the rest of Samuel's judgeship and Saul's entire reign and into David's reign].


32  They ministered before the tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting with singing until Solomon had built the Lord's house in Jerusalem, performing their service in due order.




Music/Singing has always been a part of my life.  My earliest memories include my wonderful earthly father singing...in the shower, as I laid my head on his chest, and as he rocked me singing, "Daddy's Biggy Girl."  


It isn't hard for me to believe that God enjoys singing!  I know how especially loved I felt when dad sang to me.  Then when I found out that my heavenly Father sings over me, I was overwhelmed.  


"The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a mighty One, a Savior (Who saves)! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest (in silent satisfaction) and in His love He will be silent and make no mention (of past sins, or even recall them); He will exult over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17


What an honor to be placed in a position where you get to sing to the Lord!  We all have that honor!  We can sing to the Lord, expressing our love and appreciation for Him any time.  


We sing to Him; He sings over us.  It's a beautiful picture of love and intimacy, just like the love and intimacy I felt with my earthly dad.  Let me hear You singing, Abba!


http://beautifulgrace2008.blogspot.com/2007/06/when-doves-coo.html

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Psalm 73-78: My Song in the Night

Psalm 74:16
Amplified Bible (AMP)

16The day is Yours, the night also is Yours; You have established the [starry] light and the sun.


Psalm 77:1-4
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 I WILL cry to God with my voice, even to God with my voice, and He will give ear and hearken to me.

2 In the day of my trouble I seek (inquire of and desperately require) the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out [in prayer] without slacking up; I refuse to be comforted.

3 I [earnestly] remember God; I am disquieted and I groan; I muse in prayer, and my spirit faints [overwhelmed]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

4 You hold my eyes from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.


Psalm 77:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 I call to remembrance my song in the night; with my heart I meditate and my spirit searches diligently:


Insomnia is not fun! Many years ago, I struggled through a season of insomnia. It was difficult because the evil one used the quietness of night to whisper his lies of condemnation. Anxiety led to depression, which led to panic attacks. It definitely was not fun!

Yet God in His mercy brought so much good out of that difficult time that I look back with awe. It was during those sleepless nights that I immersed myself in His word. Nighttime became the time where the Lord and I met unhindered by the day’s responsibilities. He taught me to hear Him more clearly in the night season…dreams and visions were birthed because of this extended time with Him. I had some remarkable supernatural experiences during that time of sleeplessness! I will be forever grateful!!!

If any of you suffer from difficulty sleeping, use that time to devote yourself to the Lord. The benefits are magnificent, and the evil one will soon allow you to sleep again, because he really hates it when God kids hang out with Him.