No Higher Calling


Mustard-Seed-Faith-by-CRI

“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” Luke 1:31

When the virgin Mary was told by the angel, Gabriel, she would conceive a child who would be the Savior of the world, she was overwhelmed with the news and the “High Calling”.  This would be a miraculous conception taking place through no man but God. But as in all things promised, it was to be received by faith. (Luke 1:38,45)

“For no Word from God will ever fail.” Luke 1:37, (John 1: 1-5)

Elizabeth also conceived a child by the Word of God for she was far past the age of childbirth. Mary was a virgin and Elizabeth was barren, and it was in these two circumstances faith would be required for the conception to take place.

“For faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen”.
(Hebrews 11:1)
When Mary greeted Elizabeth in her 6th month of pregnancy, Elizabeth’s child leaped for joy; giving “evidence” to her faith.  And Elizabeth said to Mary: (Luke 1: 39-45)

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Luke 1:45

Knowing Jesus came from God, Nicodemus inquired of the Lord, believing God was with Him. Jesus told Nicodemus He would have to be reborn to see God’s Kingdom. This was something Nicodemus could not understand for it required spiritual discernment. The Lord rebuked him since he was a spiritual leader in Israel and should have known about such things. Nevertheless, Jesus explained the concept using the illustration of the invisible wind coming and going: (John 3)

 “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:18

It was also so in the beginning, when Adam received God’s breath of life and became alive. (Genesis 2:7)

And it was also when the Lord greeted His disciples, He breathed on them and they received His Holy Spirit (John 20:20-22).

And when the disciples were waiting as one accord in Jerusalem, the sound of a mighty wind came down from heaven and filled the house and as a result they were filled with the “power of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:1-4)

And just as the Spirit of God was hovering over the dark waters in the beginning to produce light, He awaits every sinner’s decision to believe.”
(Genesis 1:1, John 1: 1-14,John 3:16)
“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

And just as God called Mary to conceive Jesus Christ and receive His salvation, He calls everyone to repentance, and to receive by faith the Truth about His Son.

“For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Has Jesus Christ been conceived in your heart thru faith in His Word?

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”  1 Corinthians 15:3-4

If not, it is my prayer you will receive Him, today.

In this we give birth to God’s Son as we first receive Him (conception) and allow Him to grow in our spirit and manifest Himself in our life. And in this we’ve been called as “children of the living God” into His family and everlasting Kingdom.
(Matthew 12:48-50)

There is no “Higher Calling” than to be called as “Children of God” to heaven’s gates through faith in Christ Jesus. (Romans 9: 25-26, Philippians 3:14, John 3:16)

Have a Blessed, Inspirational, Conceptual Christmas!

 

 

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Our Story: Giving Thanks in the Storm


Lighthouse 1

Revised

Proverbs 46:1-3, Proverbs 30:4
Psalm 46:10, Philippians 4:7
Philippians 4:19
Psalm 119:105

This past September brought several hurricanes in our path. The one which was threatening was Irma, and it was headed our way. After the devastation in Houston, we all recalled images of the flooding and the warning for residents to evacuate, so it seemed logical, if there was any threat of a storm surge, we should do the same.

Prior to when hurricane Irma was predicted to hit our coast, the Lord assured me of His protection as images of flooded homes and people wading in the streets kept invading my mind. Therefore, I prayed for the Lord to move the storm out to sea in an easterly direction. But as the storm moved steadily, its direction was towards us.

The Lord always gives direction through His Word and it was His Word He was giving direction. His Word repeated in my grand – daughter’s and my devotionals:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”  Psalm 46:1-3

It was like a Noah’s Ark experience as we made ready our home against the wind, the flood and the rain.  And when our doors and windows were sealed with shudders, four friends, three animals evacuating, entered  our home to stay.

Along with the storm reaching landfall, came an immediate challenge to our faith.  The storm was at a category 5 and with that strength there was no doubt to the capability of homes flooding and the wind’s destruction. So we prayed for the Lord to weaken the storm.

As we continued to pray, trusting the Lord for His direction, it was His Word that encouraged us to stay. His Word appeared on my grand- daughter’s iPhone again that last day:

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

The biggest challenge to our faith was when a patrol car drove down our street, in front of our home, with an official’s megaphone, blasting- “This area is a flood zone,  you need to evacuate this day!

I will not lie, I became double-minded, wondering, whether I was somehow mistaken. And in the midst of it all, our guests were discussing whether to go or stay for we were all receiving messages from concerned relatives to leave right away. My grand- daughter gave her testimony of God’s deliverance and grace, and my husband stood firm believing we were safe.

Then, as I encouraged myself in the Lord, remembering what “He had to say”, I found myself  exclaiming, “It’s according to God’s Word, and according to God’s Word we’re to stay and went to my room and prayed.

I was glad  when my husband joined me, and together we began to pray, seeking God’s Peace and assurance on whether to go or stay.    So I prayed, if this is your “Word”, please let my husband know.  Suddenly, my husband said, “I have a Peace” and left.  As he was telling the others, I was praying for their peace, as well, and as it happened we all received it, enough to let it go.

As we settled together in one room, the storm raged, and the winds blew nosily against the aluminum shudders. At times, I would again pray, but distanced myself from the noise making me afraid.  I had asked the Lord to open our eyes to His provision whenever we would doubt and fear ( 2 Kings 6:17).
He answered that prayer directly, by keeping the lights shining and the the football game going until it was time for bed.

God made wonderful provisions early on in so many ways. Our son and his family dropped off their water, food and ice when they decided not to stay. And our grand-daughter’s husband came with electrical cables, a generator and  a light. We had exactly what was needed to bunker down for days and especially through “That night”.

Then the reason for the storm became “visible” when the power finally went off as the opportunity was given to share our faith in God’s only provision, His Son, Jesus Christ.

Surely,  the Lord’s light shone brightly in all our hearts that night.

As we laid waiting, family and friends began to encourage us in spiritual and practical ways. Sending us scripture and letting us know they prayed.

By the time the storm reached us it had weakened from a 5 to 2, and the chances of a storm surge near us with flooding, did not ring true.

The Lord was true to His Word to answer all our prayers by keeping our properties and families and friends safe both far and near.
This was the Word received and shared by my grand-daughter on the day of the storm: 

“Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son? Surely you know!”
Proverbs 30:4

Though the storm was ramping and raging, our Lord was true to His Word, it was up to us to believe Him as we knew He was faithful to do.

So, whether the Lord’s Word tells us to flee or to stay, we are assured of His protection when we listen to Him only.

It’s what
“He has to say”

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21

Thanking our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all our friends and family who encouraged us and prayed!

 

 

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The Secret of God’s Rest


cloud and Fire

Exodus 13:21

Have you found the Secret of God’s rest?

His journey is not burdensome, and He is with us all the way.
(Hebrews 13:5)

When Adam and Eve exchanged “Truth” for a lie they took life by the horns. Their labor would multiply, harvesting uselessness and death (Proverbs 14:12, Genesis 3).

Yet God promised a Savior, One, leading them back to Eden, the promised Land- the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33, Genesis 3:15)

In God’s Kingdom, His Son reigns, and all who enter come through faith (John 14:6, Ephesians 2: 8-10). Those who remain have His light and follow His path (Psalm 119:105).

The light goes before them and the Rock behind them and wherever they go they hear His voice behind them say, “This is the way, walk in it.”
(Isaiah 30:21, John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 10:3-4), TRUST.

Hebrews 4:11
Trust & Rest

 

 

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Our Lot in Life


“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.”
Psalm 46:1-3

                                                                    Genesis 18-19
Where do you go when trouble strikes in many forms? When the Angels pulled Lot from the place of destruction, they told him to flee to the mountain
(Matthew 24: 16-18).

But instead, Lot chose a nearby town. The mountain seemed far away and mounted high, whereby the town was low and he would quickly be there.

But to rise above our fears and see things from the Lord’s perspective we must be willing to meet with Him in higher places than our own.
It’s never a quick fix but with the long journey as we get closer and closer to our Lord we are suddenly transformed (Matthew 17:1-6).   There and only there can we hear His small, still voice of assuredness and peace (Isaiah 30:21).

Running to things familiar is a temporary comfort where we remain the same with our fears.

After Lot stayed in the nearby town he again had second thoughts. Therefore, he recalled the mountain, but the Lord was not there with his fears. Twice, Lot chose the wrong place to abide. Earlier, he chose the fertile fields near the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah where wickedness and unrighteousness prevailed
(1 Thessalonians 5:22).
By the time of his deliverance, the influence had done its damage. His wife looked back, destroyed, while his daughters took matters into their own hands.

The Lord is merciful, forgiving, and full of grace. ( Psalm 121:1) But it is our choice to abide in his presence or the world’s. (1 John 2:15-17)

References:
Bible Hub
Being in the World

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Waiting on the “Ice Maker”


ice

Philippians 4: 6-7  Isaiah 64:4

How many times do we observe in the examples in scripture how some of God’s people became impatient, couldn’t wait, and missed His blessings?

Eve –  Didn’t wait to talk to God before falling into Satan’s trap.
(Genesis 3)
Saul –  Couldn’t wait (trust) for Samuel to make intercession before going into battle. (1 Samuel 13)
Sarah – Couldn’t wait (trust), taking things into her own hands to have a child.
(Genesis 16)
Israelites – Couldn’t wait (trust) and missed the Promised Land

When we become anxious, and take things into our own hands, we miss God’s best and the situation becomes worse. But this is how we operate in a “Got to have it” and “Do it Now” culture.  Instead of pausing to think before we act, we run head long with our plans and decisions into discouragement, disappointment and consequences.

The Lord has been teaching me how to pray whenever I become anxious instead of reacting presumptuously and prematurely.  According to Philippians 4: 4-7 we are always to pray whenever we become anxious, listen for His voice on the subject and be still until we have clarity and further instructions.

Remember how the Lord led the Israelites through the wilderness?  It was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21).  In the meantime, they were to camp (wait) right where they were until the Lord moved forward.  If they picked up and moved prior to His divine signal it resulted in disaster (Numbers 14:39-45).  Even Jesus warned His disciples that apart from Him they could do nothing, and to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon them before they went out to witness. But still it is our nature to leave the Lord behind as we hurl forward into discouragement, disappointment and failure.

I love the way Jesus taught the people using object lessons. He would point to metaphors, analogies and types familiar.  And this is the way the Lord sometimes teaches me (Matthew 6:28).

A year ago our Freezer’s Icemaker stopped working.  It was among many malfunctions occurring randomly all at the same time.  Therefore, instead of impulsively hiring a repair man to fix it, I took pause. It was just getting too expensive with the number of malfunctions and especially my husband’s truck needing repair.  Instead of putting the pressure on my husband to “Do Something”, I decided to bite the bullet, “wait” and just use ice trays.  As it turned out, filling ice trays was not such a big deal or inconvenient, and so the urgency faded further and further from my mind.

Then it happened, a few nights ago we woke up during the night to the familiar sound of flowing water and the clump of ice dumping once again. Could it be? Without doing anything to fix it? Our icemaker began working on its own?

Now I know this sounds silly to anyone who might be thinking this wasn’t exactly a major issue.  And you are right. But it was a joy to see without putting out any money, or taking matters in our own hands, it just happened. As I opened the freezer door and saw the bucket filled to capacity,  I realized,  waiting was the way to go. And that blessing came just in time before Thanksgiving and Christmas when we would need the rapid production of ice the most.

The Lord began to teach me through this small incident, but happy one, about Waiting for His best while receiving His grace. The ice trays were like God’s grace. We didn’t have ice automatically dispensing every day, but we still had ice whenever we filled the trays.

God does everything good, on time, and in His Way.  If I had insisted on pressuring my husband to pay for the repair, we would have paid out money, unnecessarily, and who knows whether or not it would even be fixed.  But most importantly, I would have missed out on God’s best and His gift which not only was a physical, tangible blessing but a spiritual one as well.

I learned another lesson on how “Waiting” on the Lord reaps a harvest of Christ’s joy and bounty.

As I continue to  witness the ice multiplying without my work, I am reminded  how God causes everything to work for good, as I learn to rest and trust in Him, being anxious for nothing, but with supplication and prayer, make my requests known, receiving His grace and peace which surpasses all understanding.
(Luke 9:16-17, Romans 8:28, Genesis 49:26, Hebrews 4:10, Ephesians 2: 4-10, John 10:10, Philippians 4: 6-7).

Resources: Bible Hub –biblehub.com

 

 

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