Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Matthew 2: Receiving Answers Requires Asking

Matthew 2:12

Classic Edition (AMPC)

12 And receiving an answer to their asking, they were divinely instructed and warned in a dream not to go back to Herod; so they departed to their own country by a different way.

One of the many privileges of a relationship with God is that we don't need to make decisions alone.  As a matter of fact, we shouldn't make our decisions apart from Him.

Being tuned in to His still small voice, heeding a dream, listening carefully to a sermon, reading the Bible are some of the ways to hear what God is saying.  

But the key here is asking!  

The verse above refers to the wise men who asked then received divine instruction.  This isn't the first time the Bible directs us to ask in order to receive.

Matthew 21:22
Classic Edition (AMPC)

22 And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.
Asking the Holy Spirit for direction and wisdom takes the pressure off us.  Sons and daughters ask their dad for what they need.  Why wouldn't we do the same with our Heavenly Father?
Did the wise men sense the evil intent of King Herod after they asked him "Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews?" Was it their personal habit to consult God regarding their travel routes?  I don't know.  

What I do know is they received an answer to their asking.
Make it your habit to ask the Lord for direction and anticipate His answer.  He is a Perfect Father and will never give you faulty directions.
Lord, thank You for Your consistent direction over the course of my life.  I'm so thankful that I don't need to plot out my own directions and make my decisions independently!  Praise and honor be to You, my Navigator.  AMEN!!!  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Luke 2:1-38: Seeking the Face of God by Grace

Luke 2:36-38 

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

36 And there was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having lived with her husband seven years from her maidenhood,

37 And as a widow even for eighty-four years. She did not go out from the temple enclosure, but was worshiping night and day with fasting and prayer.

38 And she too came up at that same hour, and she returned thanks to God and talked of [Jesus] to all who were looking for the redemption (deliverance) of Jerusalem.

I remember when the Holy Spirit revealed to me the symbolism in these verses.  A feeling of Holy excitement stirred my spirit as I thought about the name of Anna's father, Phanuel.  

You might ask, what is so special about that name?  Often, the Bible uses genealogy as a descriptor of a biblical character.  The name Phanuel is special because of its meaning, "the face of God."  Think of it using your holy imagination.  As a child, Anna gazed adoringly into her earthy father's face.  See loved and sought for intimacy with her daddy. This was a foreshadow of what was to come.

The prophetess, Anna, was one who dedicated her life to God through fasting and prayer.  She sought the "face of God."  Intimacy with her heavenly Father through worship and prayer was her desire both night and day.  After eighty-four years of seeking the face of God through worship, was graced to see Jesus physically! 

That revelation was one that solidified my desire to worship God, to seek His face.  Anna's desire was stirred by grace, and it wasn't surprising to discover that Anna's name means grace.

Anna and I have much in common.  God has reminded us of His grace through our given names.  Over the course of my life, I could have been destroyed physically, emotionally and spiritually, BUT for grace, I continue to seek the face of my heavenly Daddy.  And for as long as I live on this earth, I will continue to gaze adoringly.  

As you walk your personal path into eternity, remember to seek the face of God, and His grace will flow.  Be thankful for life, for destiny, and for the season of New Beginnings!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mathew 1: The True End and Scope of Life

Matthew 1:21

She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].

What makes this life meaningful?

...the perfect job

...the perfect marriage

...the perfect family

...the perfect friendship

I propose that this life is made meaningful as we find God and develop a personal relationship with Him.  Jesus was sent to this earth, not only to save us from our sins, but to bridge the gap between us and our Heavenly Father.  

The true end and scope of life is God!

A developing relationship with God will impact all other earthly relationships.  Let me caution you, that just because we are choosing to relate to others according to God's heart, doesn't mean that the other people involved will respond with God's heart.  

Our world is full of broken and scared people, susceptible to the influence of the evil one whose only desire is to steal, kill, and destroy.  

The best way to insulate ourselves is forgiveness!  Forgiveness is the heart of God!  

Forgiveness looks like praying for those who have hurt us.  

Forgiveness looks like proclaiming God's destiny over our "enemies."  (We truly only have one enemy, the evil one)

Our relationships may not always play out the way we imagine, but the impact of God's influence is evident in our lives when we do not count the hurt others have heaped upon us against them.  

Remember what Jesus said as he was dying for us...

Luke 23:34
Amplified Bible (AMP)

34 And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His clothes among themselves.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

John 1:1-14: I Open Up My Gate. I Receive You!

John 1:10-11
Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 He (Christ) was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to that which was His own [that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession], and those who were His own [people—the Jewish nation] did not receive and welcome Him.
When Jesus came to earth as a man, the Jewish nation as a whole did not receive Him.  Today, Jesus, calls us to "Open wide your gates, and let Me come in."  We have the opportunity to open the gated access of our hearts, and receive the King of the Universe, the One Who made all things, wants to come in.
Today, while worshiping Jesus, as we sang "Open wide your gates.  Receive Him," I experienced a beautiful mental picture.  
There was a city enclosed by high walls and the entrance was gated.  In the distance, I saw Jesus riding toward the gate on a huge, white horse.  He was dressed in a simple white robe, with a large, golden, jeweled crown.  
I was in the city and ran to the gate to open it.  I was dressed in a similar white robe, but mine was soiled and torn.  I fell to my knees with my head bowed as Jesus rode through the gate.
Jesus slid off his horse and approached me with outstretched hand.  As I placed my hand in His, my robe became clean and whole.  Jesus pulled me to my feet, and we began dancing.  As we danced, my white robe became a flowing, satin, purple gown trimmed at the sleeves with sparkling gold.  On my head, appeared a gold crown similar to the one on Jesus' head.  
I'm so grateful for all that Jesus has done for me.  He wants to do the same for you.  You can be made clean and whole.  You can shine with His magnificent glory and dance a dance of freedom with the King of Kings!  Open your gate now, let the King of Glory come in!  He wants to dance with you too!!!