Daily Discovering the Blessing

Archive for March, 2012

Abba

And because you really are His sons, God has sent the Holy Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying Abba! Father!  (Galatians 4:6)

Quite often, in fact routinely, as I spend daily time with the Lord, I have pen and paper with me because I assume that our time together is not just me speaking.   My assumption is that we will communicate together and that He will have instructions, words of encouragement for myself or others, words of correction.  One morning I wrote the following:

“Papa” – You cannot be a vessel capable of bringing me to a needy world if you are filled up with your own “concerns”.  All of those busy little things are, in fact, My concerns if you will let them be – so that you can get on with the business of the Kingdom.  Go about your day with the sure understanding that I have control of all of these things that are trying to beset you.

I love that word “Papa”!  Like Abba, it connotes loving care, a doting. That my heavenly Father began the message with “Papa” demonstrates the depth and type of relationship that He wants to have with His children.  And, I think, so very especially, with His daughters.

God reflects Himself through each individual person; through each individual citizen of His Kingdom.  Through His sons and through His daughters.  Because He is full of grace (“unmerited favor, spiritual blessing and mercy” – Acts 20:24), it follows that we should reflect graciousness. Because He is the God of peace (Ephesians 2:14), we should reflect “a peace that passes all understanding“(Philippians 4:7).  Because He is love (1 John 4:16), love should be our defining characteristic.  Peace, graciousness, love. And the peace extends further!  In His message to me that morning, and in His Word (Matthew 6:33),  His assurance is that if we will seek Him first, attend to His kingdom and His righteousness, He will see to all the issues of our lives.

Now that is certainly characteristic of the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. And they are powerful weapons against an enemy that exists only to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).

Proverbs 4:9 – [Wisdom] shall give to your head a wreath of gracefulness; a crown of beauty and glory she will deliver to you.

 

Scriptures associated with today’s post:

John 1:12        Romans 8: 9-15      Galatians 4:5-6       Ephesians 1:5       Ephesians 2:3-6

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Establishing Peace

God’s daughters can make a difference in this world, complementing what God’s sons can do.  Be gentle with yourself –  your moments, your encounters.  Go in a quiet purposefulness – no jarring reactions or thoughts; those are steps away from faith. Go forward in expectation of guidance and blessing.  Fill each moment with beauty, prayer, softness.  Fill your moments with music.  These are not contrivances. They are a direct result of what Christians would call “the vine life”; being so in touch with God and attentive to the Holy Spirit that you walk in the love that produces those qualities.

Beauty, true beauty within and without, is a direct result of harmony and peace.  And harmony and peace are a direct result of our close connection to God. Negative emotions, selfish ambitions, or fearful concerns have no place in our faith walk.  God’s admonitions to us are always strengthening:

It is I.  Don’t be afraid. (Mark 6:50)

Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear – only keep on believing  (Mark 5:36)

Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!  (Luke 12:32)

Rejoice in the Lord always (delight, gladden yourselves in Him); again I say rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

Encourage yourself in the presence and the Word of the Lord.  Often, when I am grappling with a particular issue, or allowing myself to meditate on concerns or a potentially troubling situation I will hear the Holy Spirit gently ask, “Who is in charge here?”  Immediately I release the issue to Him, pray and praise as led, and I am restored to the peace that we are all meant to walk in.    Each time that happens is such a transformational moment.  Almost like a mini-translation from the kingdom of darkness to God’s kingdom!  One moment you are feeling inner turmoil, the next moment inner peace. In the Amplified Bible peace is further defined as “serene confidence, free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts” (2 Peter 3:14).  Because our Father’s admonition is to continually praise Him, where do negative feelings have an opportunity to reside?

Time with God “beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercy.”  (Psalm 103:4) and assures that “your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.” (John 15:11And the people of the world will look, and see, and wonder.

Scriptures associated with today’s post:

Psalm 103:4      John 15

The Beauty of Holiness

We are, so very often, reactive people.  Life and its pressures send us scurrying here and there trying to fulfill the expectations of others, the demands of creditors, the unreasonable constraints and restraints we put upon ourselves. We are not often choosing correctly.  To be a creative person means to take the reigns of your own moments (in effect, choosing to give the reigns to God!) and fulfill God’s purposes for your life.  God’s creativity is the very first attribute He tells us about Himself in Genesis 1:1.

Attend to beauty….. Live it every moment, making beautiful choices in the peace of unity with God.  He does not make heavy demands upon His people – He simply asks them to reflect Him (as an “ambassador for Christ”).  When I was teaching in the classroom I realized that it can be a peaceful and beautiful place if I mold it to who I am in Christ.  If I created within my classroom the environment I thrive in and established clear expectations in my surroundings and with my students that honor God and his Word, there would be beauty and success.  Create beauty wherever you go!  Students, and children in their homes, learn better within that peacefulness.  Do not struggle.  Be at peace.  God’s Word says that “in quietness and [trusting] confidence shall be your strength”. (Isaiah 30:15)  That demeanor is a magnet that attracts people of the world.  Peaceful quietness and confidence are attributes so many want and so few experience.

One of my first memories of the beautiful woman who led me to salvation was the feeling of “I don’t know what she’s got, but I want it.”  Does the world see a peace and graciousness and a quiet confidence when they look at you?  Do they see qualities that they want in their own lives?  In Christ, as a daughter of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, “let your light so shine.” (Matthew 5:16)

 

Scriptures associated with today’s post:

Genesis 1:1        1 Chronicles 16:29        Psalm 96:2        Corinthians 5:20

Let’s Begin

Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete.”  (John 16:24) For many of God’s beloved daughters there is a sense of not knowing what to ask, or not knowing what they can ask.  So many of God’s promises to His children go unclaimed due to a lack of knowledge. In Hosea 4:6 God says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”  So let’s discover together, easily, day by day, about our life in Christ, our wonderful Father and His precious Holy Spirit, or as it says so beautifully in the Message Bible, let’s discover together, “The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)  It is my daily prayer as I write this blog that each reader, each beautiful daughter of God, will come to a life-changing awareness of how very much she is loved, and what the fullness of life in Christ is all about.

Some of these daily entries will be brief, some lengthy.   It often takes the form of a daily Bible study, and often the form of anecdotal life lessons.  It will be most beneficial if you undertake to read all scriptural references, in both the “First read” section, and throughout the daily entry. Unless otherwise indicated, the written Scriptures are from the Amplified version of the Bible.   I encourage you to write in your Bible, connect verses that relate to each other by noting these in the margins, underline Scripture; be an active student of the Word.

The book of Psalms has a wonderful admonition following many of the Psalms, “Selah”, which means “Pause, and calmly think of that!”  I love both the intention and the result of that directive.  Occasionally I will use literary license and utilize the word, hoping that you will, indeed, do just that.  For truly, God’s wonderful works toward the children of men are to be pondered, meditated upon, and incorporated into a life.

The Most Valuable Time

The Lord has given me the tongue of a disciple, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.  He wakens me morning by morning.  He wakens my ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught].  (Isaiah 50:4)

…all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Who are you as a woman in Christ?  As a daughter of God?  Do you reflect your Father, His ways of doing and being right, the attitudes and characteristics of His Kingdom to a lost and dying world?  There is only one way that this will be accomplished effectively and uniquely through you – time with God.  There is nothing else that will bring you success – not church attendance, not performing good deeds, not purposeful goal setting – all of these are important and valuable, but they follow after time with your Father.  He is meant to be the first cause – the foundation of your life.  How can you reflect Him accurately if you don’t know Him intimately?

There is something far more precious than what you can accomplish for the advancement of God’s Kingdom – it is your relationship, your intimacy with your Heavenly Father. It is out of that relationship that effective kingdom citizenry is born. You come to know Him by quietly sitting with Him- sharing your inmost feelings – baring your heart to Him – listening to His voice, His instructions – His heart for all of those things concerning your life (John 10:27). You will find your purpose, your reason for being, there (Romans 8:28).

You will find how loved you are, and it is in these moments of calm knowing that you find restoration, fresh insight, revitalized purpose, and a deep, contented understanding of your value as a woman, as His beloved daughter.

If you are new to this, do not be frustrated by a sense of not hearing God. He longs to speak with you, even more than you long to hear from Him. The moment you make that first move toward relationship with Him (be assured that He caused the longing in your heart to begin with), He responds.

The Holy Spirit was sent for just this purpose – to cause God’s children to come into the knowledge and love of God – He is our advocate and counselor (John 15:26) – our friend;  my best friend.

Everyone in the world wants to feel special, valuable, of worth.  Time with God establishes this in your life. Your message to yourself, as you settle into these moments alone with God is that He wants to spend time with you, communicate with you – that you are valuable to Him and have purpose in Him.

Speak openly, speak honestly, and then stop to listen.  He will not disappoint you.

Scriptures associated with today’s post:

John 10:27     1 Corinthians 2:9-10     Ephesians 1:19-20       Ephesians 5:9     James 4:5         Revelation 3:20