Unpack That Verse… Psalm 119:162 The Greatest Treasure

another place

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

Unpack That Verse… Psalm 119:45 Walking in Freedom

feet2

And I will walk at liberty, for I seek YOUR precepts.  Psalm 119:45 (NKJV)

God’s precepts are His Word… seeking His precepts are actually seeking Him. For, remember, His Word was made flesh through Jesus. Seeking Jesus is how we seek His precepts.

Through this seeking and then finding and because God is always there just waiting to spend time with us, well, we find freedom. Freedom, liberty in Him, in His Word, because that is where true freedom comes from.

Because I know you Jesus, in my heart, I know what it means to be free from slavery, free from sin… I know that You are with me, protecting me, guiding me, keeping me in liberty.

he presence of His Spirit is where true release and freedom are present. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom! (2 Corinthians 3:17)

If I soak in this truth it becomes a reality. Thinking back to many times in my life where I felt so stuck, cornered, in bondage and basically hopeless. As I prayed and let Holy Spirit do His “thing”, it all lifted like something that was weighing me down. The next impression was one of almost weightlessness… definitely free!!!

Learning to let go and let God be in control is the first step and often the most difficult one. Take that first step into freedom and the next steps will be ones like you have never experienced before!

We must be free not because we claim it, but because we practice it.  William Faulkner

The Secret Place

paths

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

1126_candles

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   

 

Unpack That Verse… Thursday, March 16, 2017

unpacking

Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.                 Matthew 6:6 (MSG)

Hanging out with God is something that should be authentic and real. In other words, we don’t have to try and impress God, but rather just be ourselves.

As we are who we were created to be with our Creator, we become one with our Lord in His Presence.  To me that is the most amazing feeling ever!

Too often, as with many things in life, we try to perform for approval, acceptance, love… we even do it with God. We try to act more spiritual, or try to set up the “perfect” time with Him, or try to act like we are “doing it the right way”. The bummer is, we miss out on Him. When we try to do it a certain way, we totally lose sight of who our Father is.

God is found in many things, but He is definitely not found in things that are not true… after all He is TRUTH!

Let’s go forward in this thought…

Spending time with God doesn’t look like anything except what HE wants it to look like. So, begin by seeking the Father and then letting Him find you right where you are… and then sit back and enjoy His Presence!

“People seek for methods of learning to love God. They hope to arrive at it by I know not how many different practices; they take much trouble to remain in the presence of God in a quantity of ways. Is it not much shorter and more direct to do everything for the love of God, to make use of all the labors of one’s state in life to show Him that love, and to maintain His presence within us by this communion of our hearts with His? There is no finesse about it; one has only to do it generously and simply.”
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God   

 

 

Trials God’s Way…


Challenges come every day. That is in fact what life is all about. It is documented in the Bible by many and it all comes back to the same thing, challenges come every day. 

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.                                        

James 1:2-4 (NASB)

In fact, we are told that these trials make us stronger, draw us closer to God and make us more like Him even. Hum… That’s a thought to meditate on…
The trials make us stronger and more like God the Father. 
That’s really good, because you know what? It is so true! You know why? 
Well, as we are in a trial and we call out to the Father, what does He do? Well, for me, He usually gives me words that guide, comfort and essentially love me. My Lord guides and loves me in a moment that might not be “love-worthy”. 
WOW… And honestly, that’s the best I can say. 
In that moment when I feel so unworthy and so unlovable, God, the Creator of the Universe, loves me. 

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5 even when we were dead [fn]in our transgressions, made us alive together [fn]with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.        

Ephesians 2:4-7 (NASB)

HE loves me even when I fall. 
That is truly amazing. Because we as humans will often turn away from each other in those moments. But, not God. He loves us anyway.
So, my challenge to you and to myself is to choose to love anyway. Forgive and forget. Move forward. Look for the lovability in everyone. Because God sees it. And as you become more like Him, walking in the calling He has placed on your life, you will see it too and love like He does, without abandon, unconditionally. 

Love Never Fails

image

LOVE…

I write a lot about love. To me love is the ultimate, the only, the everything. I believe love is the answer. Love has a way of overlooking and pushing on regardless of the situation. Love looks past the bad thing and sees the good on the other side.

Love has the capability to heal. Love can heal anything that is broken. Love can make all things new. Love can restore and draw close.

Love chooses love above all else and believes in itself…

Love is a powerful force within our world. Love gives joy, peace, forgiveness, grace, hope and essentially, life. Without love there is pain and suffering, greed and jealousy, anger and revenge, thus making death imminent.

Love is given to us by the ONE who defines love. GOD is love and therefore love is HIM. So, everything love is, well that’s who God is.

The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] 1 John 4:8 (AMP)

This is just one verse that shows us who God is and how important love is. Because God is love, we should do everything in love.

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NASB)

As we walk in love, we are patient, kind, hopeful, peaceful, encouraging, not boasting, complaining or giving up. Love enables us to believe in all things and hope for all things for all people.

4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (AMP)

In life, we each have a choice how to live each moment, each day. Sometimes trials we face present difficult choices and walking in love is a struggle. But as we persevere and stay in that love, the Father is with us covering us with His love, protecting us. I believe that even in the hard times, as we stay in close connection with the Father, the hard times are less difficult, bearable even. These times only become unbearable when we throw off that blanket of Love. We then are exposed to the cold world and a battle that we cannot win on our own.

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14 (NASB)

Choose love over all things, share love, give love… even when you don’t feel like it. Love, God’s Love, will always comfort, heal and fill our hearts with peace and joy. That love spreads and covers others. By putting on love, we have on our armor to face the attacks as we go into battle each day. At the end of the day, we are whole, having been protected by the love of the Father. To me, that is the best feeling ever and something I never want to lose!

image

2 Samuel 23:4

2 samuel

Time for my weekly, “Hey God, what does this mean to me?” with a verse from the book of second Samuel.

And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after the rain. 2 Samuel 23:4 (NKJV)

This verse spoke to me on many different levels. Initially, I looked at it as a picture of purity and a newness. The clear blue sky and the rain on the grass are untouched, a picture of God’s beauty. The Father as he washes us clean fro m our sins, our beauty emerges. Often, this beauty has to be dug out of many layers of dirt in order to truly shine.

As we seek the Lord, He will make our way possible. He will bless our way.

When I think of the sun rising in the morning, I think of great joy. To me, a sunrise and the first, morning’s light, is representative of hope, a new beginning. Nature and it’s beauty is amazing, if we take it and enjoy time to look at and enjoy it.

God continually gives us indicators all around us of His presence. He is always with us. He never leaves us. He never forsakes us.

Now there may be other ways to look at this verse and I am sure I might even look at it differently at another season in my life. Currently though, I see this as a hope for new life and even new direction in my life where God is leading me in a totally new way.

Take a moment to look around at the beauty in the morning, and after the rain on the grass… see the newness and purity and have hope in what the Father is going to do next!

god-has-plans-jeremiah-29-11

Psalm 43:3

marshall-point-lighthouse

God’s Word is a guidebook to how we should live our lives. It’s truth from God and it’s what I believe. Moreover, it is how I live my life, by seeking God through prayer and reading and meditating on His Word.

I love to dig into the scriptures, looking for nuggets of wisdom. The Father speaks to us as we read about Him.

I have found that writing down the verses that hit my heart help me understand God more. These verses are also ones that often become my favorites that I memorize and remind myself of in times of need and share with others for encouragement.

This week I found a verse in the book of Psalms that really stood out to me…

OH send out YOUR light and YOUR truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to YOUR holy hill and to YOUR tabernacle.  Psalm 43:3 (NKJV)

I also really liked the way The Message Bible puts this verse…

Give me YOUR lantern and compass, give me a map, so I can find my way to YOUR sacred mountain, to the place of YOUR presence.  Psalm 43:3 (MSG)

In looking at this verse, we find out much. The first sentence includes light and lantern. Specifically the light or lantern of God. God lights our way with His light, the light of His Son, JESUS. When we seek God and His wisdom, He shows us the path to take and He even lights it for us, by making it clear which way we should go.

Your word is a light to my feet and a lamp to my path.   Psalm 119:105 (NASB)

This light also represents keeping us out of the dark with His light. As we step out of the darkness to follow the light of Jesus, we become transparent before the world. We are no longer hidden, but out in the open for all to see.

The second part of this verse talks about truth and a compass as well as a map. As we seek the Truth, we find the way. The Truth represents God’s Word. His Word, guides us on the path we should take. How cool, that the light and the truth are both elements that represent God. God is the light and the truth! In this light and truth, our path is made clear.

The final part of this verse takes us to the place of God… His holy hill, the place of His presence. So as we seek Him, we ultimately come into the place of His presence. What a comforting thought and such an amazing truth!

God is so good to us. He shows us how to follow Him and be with Him. Just look into His Word and come to know the heart of the Father!

Life…???


Who are we really? Have you ever thought about it? I mean really thought about it? Where did we come from? Why are we here? What are we supposed to do? Is there a GOD???

Deep questions for sure and ones that many of us have thought about, not once or twice, but often even.

Did any of you come up with an answer? Or answers? I am sure many of you have your own ideas and answers to theses questions. I, too, have my own ideas… My answers.

First off, the most important question’s answer… yes I do believe there is a God and only one God, the creator of all. Within that there is Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.   Colossians 1:16(NKJV)

Now, from there we can build on the other questions and their answers. Since God created all, that means He created us, all of us.

 

 

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:27(NKJV)

 

Finally, the last questions about who we are and why we are here on this earth. We are God’s children, every one of us. He created us and He is our Father.

 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,                                                                                                   Romans 8:16(NASB)

As we accept Jesus into our hearts and are filled with the Spirit of the Father, we are His child. Once that happens, we step into our destiny as heirs to the inheritance of the Lord. Sons and daughters of the King is who we are, our true identity.

 

 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
2 Peter 2:9(NASB)

 

A son or a daughter of the King are called to love God and love others. By doing this, we are imitating Christ and showing the world who God is and what love is! This is our reason for being here and our destiny in life.

We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.  1 John 4:19(MSG)

Ultimately, these seemingly hard questions are actually fairly simply to answer. God and His love is truly the answer to it all. Look to the Lord in all your life questions and trust Him to show you the answer that best suits you, His son or daughter, whom He truly loves!