Day 66: What then can we say?

Sometimes we say things that can be very hurtful to others. Sometimes we say things that are very edifying to other people. Our words are powerful and we need to be careful with them.

A heart can be lifted or lowered based on the choice of our words. The power of LIFE and death are in the tongue. What the tongue releases comes directly from our hearts.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

What comes out of our mouths is an issue of our hearts. What is in your heart? What is in mine? It’s easy to tell by what comes out of our mouths. May we not ignore what we say, but use our words as a gauge to see what we are allowing our hearts to be filled with. To see what wickedness we are still operating from.

23 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

24 And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting  Psalm 139:23-24

Is there a place we need to forgive? Repent? Release? Heal? What are our words giving away? Do they hurt or heal? Are they good or evil? We need to know. We need to ask. This is what reflects our hearts.

May your heart and mine realize that only Jesus can make our hearts right. May we commune with Him often and bring to Him everything about our hearts and let Him do what He needs to with the raw reality of our confessions. He know about it all anyway and He cares deeply for each of us. May we let Him exchange all evil in our hearts for His goodness and righteousness. May continue to die to self as He fills us with new life. May we be encouraged as we come boldly to the throne of God to receive nothing but His kindness towards us. Thank You LORD that my heart and yours are in the BEST hands ever.

What then shall we say?  Here’s my heart LORD. Speak what is TRUE.

Life in the Spirit

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] For the law ofthe Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law;indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[d] from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Heirs with Christ

12 So then, brothers,[e] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit ofadoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom heforeknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8

 

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Day 48: Identity Theft

Identity theft is a concern most of us have. If you have ever been a victim of identity theft, you know what it feels like. Someone has taken enough of your information to impersonate you. Consequently, this may have damaged your credit rating leaving you ineligible to receive a loan and/or a host of other  very unpleasant and damaging circumstances.  Not only is identity theft inconvenient, it is a violation. You never feel very safe after it has happened to you. If you learned anything, you have learned to be watchful and protect your personal information. You are definitely more guarded. Perpetrators are out there just waiting to steal your information again. How terrible to think this can happen?

After all, there is only one of you. You are unique and there have been systems put in place so you will be safe, though the days of not giving out your social security number are long gone. It’s crazy. How can somebody have the audacity to steal your identity?!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

Identity can also be stolen by another very real enemy. Only this enemy doesn’t just want to destroy your credit rating for his own personal gain. This enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy YOU! This enemy does not want you to know who you REALLY are or who he really is for that matter. Because he is the father of lies,  that is indeed what he does. He tells them to you so that you may never really know that You are the apple of God’s eye. That He is crazy about you. This way,  you will not understand that you are deeply loved by God, fully forgiven through the blood of His Son Jesus, completely accepted by Him, and a new creation in Christ.  You will not understand the power and authority that  dwells within you and BAM! Your life is over and You never knew the truth. Your very LIFE has been stolen!

The Father’s Love Letter

Any awful thing that you believe about yourself is not something Your Creator thinks about you. Quite the opposite.  He gave up His only Son for you and for me, that we would be right with God. He made a way when there was NO way. We can not make ourselves right with God no matter how good we try to be or think we are. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father.

May you and I understand who we are in Christ Jesus. May we find our identity in Him and Him alone. May we declare who we are and refute all lies about our identity. May we guard and protect the TRUTH about who God says we are. May we stand on the finished work of the Cross, the only way we can be made right with the Father. May we give thanks for all Jesus has done for us. May we truly come to learn how deeply loved we are. In Jesus’ AWESOME name.

Day 39: It’s Getting Heavy

I glance out the window and see the wet snow weighing down tree branches. It’s heavy. It is wet and it is heavy. The branches do their best to stay connected, but they are bending away from their original shape. They bend.  The more rigid ones break. They come away from their source of life and plummet to the ground to be collected and perhaps thrown into a fire. The bent branches will most likely bounce right back. The heaviness will melt away and they will go back to what they once were. They are not severed.

Are you feeling weighed down? I am. Do you feel like you might break? I do. Life can be heavy. Real heavy.

When the weight of the cares of this world weigh you down, do you bend or do you break? Are you flexible or are you rigid? Can you withstand the pressure or do you jump ship? What do you tell yourself when things do not go the way you would have liked them to? I believe that makes all the difference.

Today was an exceptionally challenging day. I was tested and I wasn’t particularly fond of my performance. I have no idea if the vocational evaluation I receive will be favorable or not, but I do know something else that was going on, and  for this, I am grateful. I was just about to break, really break. And I cracked a bit, it is true, because I started to listen to the awful things I was telling myself.  I started to berate myself to the point of growing completely faint and I was getting ready to mentally throw in the towel. IT WAS BAD!!!  I did not see any of my attributes. Only my flaws. And I have attributes!!! My greatest attribute and the one that matters most: I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST!!! IT IS NO LONGER I THAT LIVES BUT CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME!!!

If you are feeling weighed down, consider what you are telling yourself. It matters. I have a lot to learn and a lot to do towards making some changes in my life. The first change, speak to myself only the truth of who Christ says I am. He is crazy about me and He delights in me. To allow myself to believe anything else is to agree with satan.

What are you agreeing with today? The lies of the enemy or the truth from our Savior? It seems crystal clear what choice to make.

May the words in my heart and yours speak the truth of who we are in Christ. May your thoughts and mine be filled with good and lovely things about ourselves, our circumstance and others. May your eyes and mine be fixed on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

http://www.openbible.info/topics/who_am_i_in_christ

Day 26: A Mild Winter

It’s January, and so far, we haven’t had much snow.  It looks like it is going to be a mild winter. Lavender plants in my front garden are still very much alive. They were frozen down one day but have not yet met their demise. They look pretty good today.

Seasons.

We depend on seasons to bring certain things, but they don’t always deliver.

Everyone knows that there are different seasons in our lives. Seasons change. And sometimes, we expect certain seasons of our lives to look a certain way. What happens when they don’t?  What happens when you know that a season in your life is over and a new one has begun, yet somehow, it isn’t at all what you expected. It wasn’t supposed to look that way. Where is all the snow? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen now? If not now, when?

Expectations. We all have them. Some are realistic, like expecting snow in January, and others, not so much. We can set our hearts up for some serious trouble when our expectations are not met. Even when circumstances are beyond our control, we can still let our hearts become filled with hopelessness, for one,  if we do not accept what truly is. Accept it and if necessary, pray it through to the only One who can make a difference.

Jesus did not come as many expected Him to. Even those closest to Him were let down.  Yet Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the hope of glory! Jesus is the only One who saves. Many who walked with Him did not want to see the truth. They had other expectations and Jesus did not fit. Because He didn’t fit, He had to be eliminated.

How do we eliminate Christ today when He doesn’t fit, match or meet or expectations? I ask this knowing full well that Jesus is more than enough. Expectations? No. We fall short in this department. He is more than enough.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

May your heart and mine rejoice in the truth that Jesus is Lord and Savior. May we be quick to discern truth from fiction. May we release our expectations to pick up and embrace reality.  May we decide to follow Jesus!

 

Day 11, Entry 2: The Look of Love?

True or False: Our eyes are the window to our souls. They reveal our heart. The very depths of our heart.

A LOOK holds meaning. For the Looker and the one Looked upon. Someone looked at me today in a way that was not what it seemed. Not a quick look. A held look. A series of held looks. Eye contact was requested here!

Looks can be deceiving.

The eyes reveal the heart?

Was I not looking carefully enough?

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.  Luke 6:45

And so it did!  Out of the overflow of his heart, the mouth spoke and THANKFULLY truth was revealed. But the truth did NOT line up with the LOOK. Oh no. The many obvious LOOKS told a different story than the one revealed.

To be clear, I was not the only one to share in this exchange.  There were several on-lookers who shared what they saw.  They saw it TOO and way before I said a word.

OUCH! (see Day 10)

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23   Above all else!!!

May we guard our hearts in a very pro-active way. May we seek wisdom from the Lord when confronted with a Look, especially an unfamiliar one. May we wait on the Lord to reveal truth to us. May we trust in the Lord with ALL OUR HEARTS and lean not on our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I believe God revealed the heart of the Looker to me today. Though disappointed with the assumptions I made based on what I SAW, I am grateful to know the truth. And with that truth, I receive comfort knowing how much I am loved and looked out for by my heavenly Father.

May our walk, yours and mine, be one of faith in God.  May our eyes, yours and mine, reflect a heart filled with the goodness of God as we ask Him to search it and know it again and again!  Thank you Jesus :-)!!