Unpack That Verse… John 17:23 What is Your Energy Source?

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Just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, So they might be one heart and mind with Us.
Then the world might believe that You, in fact, sent Me. John 17:23  (MSG)

An energy source is something that gives you power, it recharges you, it enables you to keep going. This can be all sorts of things. If I compare it to an inanimate object I quickly think of a power cord that plugs into an outlet of some sort. We plug into the cord and we are charged!

What would happen if Jesus were your power cord and the Father was the outlet? You would plug into Jesus who is already plugged into the Father and VOILA… POWER!!!

That is so awesome to think about!

God is our power source. But the key is the connection… Jesus is the connector, He is the power cord connected to the power source, the Father. What verse does that make you think of? There might be a few that would adequately represent this picture, though the one that stood out to me almost immediately was from John 17. In this section of scripture there are actually a few verses where Jesus is talking about how the Father sent Him and has given Him the glory to give to you and me and then essentially because the Father and Jesus are one and Jesus is in us, we are also in the Father. We are all connected!

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  John 17:22-24 (NASB)

Not only are we connected to the ultimate power source, it is a power source and a power connector where when we are attached to it, the world should know who we are. This connection should make us look different in ways that will be obvious to those around us.

Plugging in to God daily and even several times throughout the day is important. Why? It is the only way to remain charged in the Lord. You must be connected to Him in order to remain in Him. Once we are in Him, we look like Him and we carry what He has everywhere we go… we walk in His fullness and LOVE!

“If we give God service it must be because he gives us grace. We work for him because he works in us.” – Charles Spurgeon

Unpack That Verse… Psalm 119:162 The Greatest Treasure

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I rejoice at YOUR Word as one who finds great treasure.  Psalm 119:162 (NKJV)

I absolutely LOVE this verse! Reread it and then let it sink in for a moment…

The WORD of God is like a treasure. WOW! This is one of the Psalms that it is presumably written by David. It is stuck in between two verses where it talks about being persecuted and lying, but David continues to seek the word of the Lord and rejoice.

This only confirms the fact that His Word is calming and comforting. In the Bible, God speaks to us in the way that we need to be spoken to in the moment we are in. Make sense? More importantly though, IT, God’s Word, is a treasure… ALWAYS… each time we go to it… because it is inspired by Him who loves us!

The Message translation says it in this way…

I’m ecstatic over what you say, like one who strikes it rich.  Psalm 119:162 (MSG)

I think too often we are almost complacent when it comes to reading God’s Word. We must continually view it as a gift, a treasure, an amazing blessing. It is something we have access to which then gives us direct access to Jesus who leads us to the Father! It is only when we regard it as such that we are truly understanding it as the living word and not just a book with a bunch of stories. This WORD is living, both in the written Word and in the form of JESUS.

I challenge you today and every day from now on to look at what God says in His Word as something that is truly a treasure and believe you have “struck it rich”. Then, watch the Word literally JUMP off the page at you as you read… your heart will receive and you will never be the same! Be ecstatic… you have found the living WORD of God the Father!

The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.  Martin Luther

The Secret Place

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The secret place…

What is it?

Where is it?

How do you get there?

Come with me as we dig in and answer these questions together, for it is surely a place we all have been and truly want to go back often.

Many think that this secret place is actually a place we have to go in order to cultivate that intimate, personal time with God. This is not entirely true. Now a place that you go in order to be still before the Lord is not a bad thing, in fact it can be a very good way to stay focused on Him.  What I am inferring is that it is much more than a place. Let me share with you what I learned a few months ago… I had a HUGE revelation on the secret place and it has changed forever how I come before the Father now.

The secret place is actually you and me.

Let’s unpack this a bit.

Because we have Jesus in our heart, He abides in us and we in Him, yes? Well, He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, yes? So, because Jesus is in us and we are in Him and He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, we are also in the Father and the Father is in us… so all of us are in each other… this then is where the secret place is. When we are all in communion with each other, we are in the secret place with each other!

Psalm 91 gives us this beautiful picture of a secret place,

He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)

Some of the other words used for the secret place include, in His presence, His shelter, and under the protection. It is definitely a good place to be! I like to think of it as a covering, the Father is taking us in under His covering.

Another verse that is probably more popular as far as the secret place is Matthew 6:6.

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (NASB)

In this one, it seems as though our “inner room” in private is where we find the Father. This makes sense, as we should be focused solely on Him when we commune with Him. So, it is almost like going into a room and closing a door. This represents a prophetic act of shutting the door to everything else in our life when we go to the secret place with our Lord. I love this analogy! There are points during the day where we go to this place with the rest of the world on the other side of the door and it’s just us and GOD. It is a necessary part of achieving intimacy with anyone, so why not with our Father?

Please don’t forget though, that He is with us always and we carry His presence everywhere we go, because we are the secret place! Maintain those private moments in order to grow in intimacy, but then out of that nurtured intimacy allow your secret place to go with you throughout your day. This will not only bless you, but it will also bless everyone around you as they experience the presence of God that you are actively spreading everywhere you go!

We convince by our presence. Walt Whitman

 

 

 

 

Unpack That Verse… Friday, March 17, 2017

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By Your words I can see where I am going; they throw a beam of light on my path. Psalm 119:105 (MSG)

The Word of God guides us. It guides us the ways that are good, the ways they take us towards Him. As we draw closer to God, through His Word we know who His is, we learn about His nature.

It’s just like spending time with anyone who you have a relationship with, the more time you spend with that person, the better you know them.

God is someone who loves us… AND, someone who we love… so, in order to maintain a healthy relationship, we must spend time together.

Moreover, it cant just be one-sided, both parties must do their part. Essentially, I must put time and effort into my relationship with the Father. Not striving or performing, just spending time with Him.

The other gem that is hidden here is this… Jesus is the Word made flesh… WOAH!!!

So, as we know Jesus, we know the Father. And as we know the Word, we know the Father… it’s all connected!

As we understand what God is saying through Jesus, our eyes can see the path He has lit for us. A path that will lead us in the way of a loving Father.

It seems so simple… and it is.

I believe that there is light all around us, if we would only look. The Father is everywhere, and He is waiting for us to look to Him.

What are you waiting for?

Look to Jesus and then ask Him to light your path with His Father’s Words.

Always, everywhere God is present, and always He seeks to discover Himself to each one 
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God   

 

My House

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Every single person is here on this earth for a reason. Yes, every single person. We all have a purpose. Our purpose is one that glorifies the Kingdom of God. Even if someone is not yet part of the family of believers, he or she still have a Divine purpose.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.  Colossians 1:16 (NASB)

We, all of us, are actually created by and for the Father… God the Father, creator of Heaven and Earth chooses us. But, He lets us decide whether or not to choose Him and in that deciding moment, we have an opportunity to know our identity, our destiny… or at least tap into the wellspring of knowledge which will lead us into that.

In the last month, I have let go of and said good bye to much in my life. The comforts of people and places and things that had been around me for over 10 years are now in my hindsight. Now, the people, family and friends, will still be integral in my life and not just a mere memory. That is of course depending on who they are to me… LOL! But the things and the places that were a comfort for so many years… well they are now behind me and I am looking forward.

God, in His infinite wisdom, has called me into to a new place. A place where I am not wrapped in a warm cozy blanket, but rather vulnerable to all. This is the place where my Father can come in and give me what I need. When I am vulnerable, I am often weak, so the Lord strengthens me. Not only that, He fills me so I am like Him… I am walking in love and peace. Now I can be who He wants me to be and change lives for the Kingdom!

As I look forward, part of me is scared to death.. yes, I am afraid. Everything is so new and different and wonderful and exciting, but scary too. So, this new place I am in is also exciting and thrilling and I cannot wait for what the Lord is going to do. The key is, I have to be willing… FULLY willing to let the Father do His thing in me.

Guess what?

I am ready… so ready.

I am working on myself. I am conquering fears. I am putting stuff behind me. I am becoming whole for the first time in my life. Actually, the Father and I are working on all of this together. God is healing me and preparing me for my next assignment. My spirit is so excited by this like never before! I am ready to fully submit to the Father and let Him use me like never before. I will step into my destiny and who He made me to be… FINALLY!

My home will be defined and I will live in it the way I was meant to by God. The time is now, this season is the season of change but also of calling. It is time for me to step into my promised land. Jesus has been waiting by my side… and now I am ready, as the Father knew. Exactly the time and the place.

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The Roller Coaster Called LIFE

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Life is often like a ride on a huge roller coaster! Going up a steep hill slowly, allowing for much anticipation. Then, in almost a split second, going down that hill super fast, screeching around a turn and down into a dark tunnel. And the whole time we are screaming and laughing and crying and excited and scared and happy. Almost every emotion comes out in that brief period of time. Yes, life is like a roller coaster ride.

Too bad, like the ride, life couldn’t change as quickly.

Often within some of our hardest moments in life, the fear, the pain, the tears, lie our longest, darkest days. We only want to be out of those times. We want them over and done quickly. Unfortunately they seem to linger almost endlessly.

Then, the times that are our favorite, we wish these moments to last into eternity. Those of course are the happy, joyous and loving parts of our life. We could stay in those times forever and never want anything else.

Here’s the question to ponder… why both? Why does life have to have both elements? Is it because the human body feels both? And as we feel both kinds of emotions, good and bad, we ultimately enable their presence on our roller coaster ride called life?

I believe this is part of it. I also believe that the presence of sin in our world also is a key factor in the presence of bad in our life.

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— Romans 5:12(NKJV)

Once sin entered, a door was opened to the world for the “fruits of the flesh” (as I like to peg them) to be present. What are the “fruits of the flesh”? Anything that is not a “fruit of the Spirit”. Here’ a good list to follow…


Fruits of the Flesh

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21(NKJV)


Fruits of the Spirit

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.                  Galatians 5:22-23(NKJV)

Which fruits are present when? Yeah… The bad ones often bring bad times and the good ones bring good times.

Now, both the good and the bad will be present in this world until the day our Lord and Savior, Jesus comes back, so, our best efforts to stay away from the “fruits of the flesh” and stick with the “fruits of the spirit” will result is more of those blessings in life. You know the best part of it all is? God is right there walking with us & His Spirit will guide us towards the best things. There will still be tears and pain, but the happiness and laughter will be in abundance too! God promises that!!!

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.     Ephesians 3:20-21(NKJV)

Life, like a ride on a roller coaster can be emotional while creating an atmosphere of uncertainty. Allow Father God to ride with you… He will create an atmosphere of Peace and Love!

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Forgiveness is LOVE

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Welcome to my thoughts on FORGIVENESS…

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We have all been hurt by someone in our life, possibly many times and many people. In that hurt, sometimes it is hard to forget. More importantly, it is often hard to forgive.

Often, instead of forgiving, people want to hurt back. They want revenge. And that is the worst thing to do!

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WHY? Hurt them as bad as they hurt me… right?

No, it won’t make you feel any better. It will even make you feel worse. Who you are as a person will also be damaged. Growing as a person is important. Thinking of others and being loving and forgiving no matter how others treat you is how you grow as a person.

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God has forgiven each of us and gives that option daily. The Father offers forgiveness to us often and always. Because of that, He asks us to extend forgiveness to others too. It is integral as a child of God.

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Love is only possible with forgiveness. As we forgive, we understand what LOVE truly is.

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As we understand LOVE, we will understand the nature of GOD. GOD who is LOVE. In that love for us, GOD sent His son JESUS to die for our sins. In that ultimate act of love, JESUS gives us a way to forgiveness and the Father.

jesus is the way

As we forgive, we release the burden the unforgiveness placed on us. We give it to God and He deals with it. I  believe that this release is also a way of breaking away a spiritual block, or wall, if you will. That one thing could have been preventing fullness of life. The wall was blocking the open receiving of all of God’s goodness in our life. Not only that, it is very clear in scripture that if we don’t forgive, God will not forgive us…

14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.    Matthew 6:14-14 (MSG)

That, to me, would be the absolute worst! God not forgiving me??? No Way! So, I choose to forgive, even when I don’t feel like it, out of obedience and love for the LORD. Many times, it has actually shown me that what I was so unforgiving about was really a small, unimportant thing.

But, also remember, forgiveness does not represent acceptance, it represents love… the love of JESUS!

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.    Ephesians 4:32(NASB)

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John 1:4-5

LIGHT

This week, in my personal time with the Father, HE has been showing me light and what it means for me. The verse that really resonated with me involved light. The Message Bible gave such a cool translation!

What came into existence was LIFE and the LIFE was LIGHT to live by. The LIFE-LIGHT blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.   John 1:4-5 (MSG)

As we read scripture, we must do more than just read it. We must meditate on it and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in it’s meaning and it’s application for our lives.

In meditating on these two verses, I right away see two words that jump out at me… LIFE and LIGHT. Initially they are by themselves in the verse and then they are connected as one word. To me, this means that one cannot have one without the other, at least in this meaning of the two words. LIFE and LIGHT are referenced often throughout God’s Word and often when referring to JESUS.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”   John 8:12 (NKJV)

I love how GOD uses life and light in conjunction with each other. More importantly, I think it is amazing how when we are truly living we are in the light, which essentially means we are in HIM… so we are living in HIM!

Through the light, JESUS, we have life in the FATHER. Jesus represents the forgiveness, grace and unconditional love of the Father. Light and life, because they represent Jesus, who is GOD, represent GOD too. In this, we know the Father AND He is with us as we walk through our lives…

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.   Psalm 36:9 (NKJV)

There is so much comfort in this knowledge. Not only is God showing us the way, He is providing us grace, forgiveness, protection from the darkness and satan… AND HE is showering His love on us too!!! The Lord’s promises are true, as He is a faithful and loving Father. Our God loves HIS creations, you and me… HIS KIDS so much. All HE wants to do is spend time with us… go hang out with GOD today and feel His love and His presence. Walk in the light with HIM and you will have LIFE, TRUE LIFE!!!

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Not By Chance…

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two people searching

not knowing what for

a piece in their life

seems to be missing

then GOD steps in

suddenly their paths cross

two become friends

in the midst of their storm

searching for light

swimming in life-giving water

immersed in GOD’s Word

clinging to JESUS

SEEKING…

SHARING…

FEELING…

TOGETHER…

once weak and broken

only to become strong and new

side by side

standing on what is True

and as HE promises

they trust and believe

the light in each other

they have seen

the darkness

has disappeared

into each other’s hearts

they have been

finding a love

that could only be from HIM

warmth and joy

fills their hearts

these two people

once alone

are now connected

FOREVERMORE…