Friday, November 16, 2012

Come to Me

Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." 

I have read this verse so many times, especially when I was tired and needed rest.  But this morning, as I was spending devotional time with God, what hit me fresh in the face was the image of Jesus.  He stands in front of me, stretching out his nail-pierced hand, and with unspeakable tenderness and love whispers, "Come to Me..."  I find myself catching my breath and feeling tears streaming down my face.

Jesus, Lord of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth, wants me. 

We all want to be loved and cherished.  We all want to belong to someone and share our lives in love.  How often do we watch as the media shows as a man kneels down, hand outstretched to the woman he loves, asking her for her hand in marriage?  Isn't a woman's heart meant to be thrilled by that kind of love?

And yet here I am, faced with the reality that Jesus Himself is asking me to be His bride - to come to Him and let Him love me forever.  To be wrapped up in His loving arms for all eternity.  He will never leave me, never divorce me, never hurt me.  I can be myself with Him, because He always knows the good/bad/ugly of me.  I don't have to pretend to be perfect, or worry about saying the wrong thing and feeling vulnerable and foolish and scared in His presence. 

He will always be there to listen, to encourage, to share His wisdom for my life.  He will protect me, be my ultimate knight in shining armor and love me unconditionally and sacrifically... always.  He laid down His life for me already... and conquered death... for me.  For me...

Jesus, as I write this with the tears blurring my vision, I once again say yes.  In my head I see myself resting my head against You as You wrap your arms around me and hold me close.  Draw me close to you... never let me go...

I love You.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's That Scent You're Wearing?

Have you ever walked past someone and caught the slightest trace of their perfume? The aromatic bouquet seems to slowly rise in the air like the smoke from incense until it quietly swirls around your head and tickles your olfactory senses? Often I find myself turning around to see who is wearing it, and may even go up and ask what the person is wearing. I want to know!

I love my fragrances and have my own “signature” scent which I always apply before I leave the house. It’s one of the primary and mandatory accessories of my wardrobe; it matches everything and always fits. While I don’t douse myself with it (or at least I try not to), a little mist in the air here and there does the trick. It makes me feel more feminine and even a bit prettier. I like to think that whenever someone catches a whiff of that particular perfume, they will think of me.

When I read 2 Corinthians 2:15, I wonder…does the fragrance of Christ within me catch the attention of others and make them turn their heads from a pleasant scent encounter? Do they want to know more about it? Without a word, does Christ’s presence in my life make itself know? Does a quiet, gentle and obedient spirit give rise to a delicate aroma? Am I a fetching fragrance of my Lord? Do I rise up into His heavens and please Him?

Or is my behavior, words and attitude more like the stuff which causes God and people to wrinkle their noses as if they’ve just stepped in something not so nice or just driven past a ripe landfill on a hot July afternoon? Haven’t you ever caught yourself saying someone’s attitude stinks? Well, there you go… and no amount of lovely or expensive perfume can camouflage the truth of a foul disposition or a disobedient heart.

Before you leave your house today, be sure to bathe in the Word of God. Don’t leave without a time of prayer with Him. Let Him cover you with the fragrance of Christ that will rise up and envelop you throughout your day, wherever you go. Today, make your life a sweet-smelling offering to the Lord.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Riverfront Property

Psalm 1:1-3: Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Luke 7:37-38: 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

John 4:13-14 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Recently I was reading about prayer, and in Mark 9:29 when Jesus is talking with His disciples about prayer, the Greek word is “proseuche” (Strongs 4336). It means prayer addressed to God; a place set apart, a synagogue. Such places were situated on the bank of a stream or the shore of a sea where there was a supply of water for washing the hands before prayer. I loved the fact that this noun is a feminine noun, just made it a little more personal for me.

It brought to mind one of my favorite verses in the Psalms - Psalm 1:3. I’ve always imagined a beautiful weeping willow tree next to a flowing river. It’s so peaceful and comforting – a place of nourishment where one can retreat and find rest and renewal. I have found that some of my closest times with the Lord have been when I’ve taken my Bible, a notebook and just gone to a local park or wooded area where there is a stream or river. There’s just something about that place -- the natural sanctuary crafted by my Father, where I feel most in His presence as the winds dance across the grasses and the water bubbles over the rocks in harmony with the praises sung by the birds.

So... when I pray I take this body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, and allow Christ to fill me to overflowing from within. It is a choosing to set myself apart to be nourished and renewed, drinking Him in and allowing Him to wash over me and flow through me.

I want to be a woman of spiritual substance, deeply rooted in Christ wholeheartedly -- passionately and solidly embedded in Him. I confess time and time again in my life these sinful, selfish feet of clay have uprooted like the trees that recently were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. No long entrenched by the Living Waterbed of Christ, my faith has withered. Yet, in His mercy, love and patience my Abba has gently picked me up, replanted me, nourished me and brought me back to life in Himself. He tenderly washes away my sins and allows me to drink deeply of His waters until I am strong once more. I am always amazed at His love for me.

Oh Father, I want to consistently be rooted in You, moment by moment every day of my life. I want to be riverfront property, never moving again from Your side… or Your Living Water. Today I choose to lift my face to the loving warmth of Your Son, drink Him in, and wiggle my spiritual toes down a little deeper.

I love You.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pray and Vote!

2 Chronicles 7:14  "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Before you take a stand at the polls, please get down on your face before the Lord, pray pray pray, and then VOTE!  And then pray all day for this crucial election!

God bless America!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Are You Praying for the Hubs?

I wanted to share this article by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  Whether we are praying for our own husbands, our future husbands, the husbands of our family and friends, or even the ex-husbands, we should be praying!  Wave the man flag, as my friend Karla says -- the hubs of the world need our prayers!!  To read the associated Bible verse, you can CLICK HERE for an online Bible.

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

“She does him good . . .” (Proverbs 31:12a)

Bless your husband by praying for him! The Apostle Paul instructed all Christians to pray for one another (Ephesians 6:18). This includes wives’ responsibility and privilege to pray for their husbands. Earnest prayer for your husband is good for him, for you and the spiritual health of your home (Proverbs 31:11-12).

Satan desires to destroy your husband, especially his character and his leadership in your relationship. Trust God through prayer as you daily surrender your husband and marriage to the Lord’s wise, loving care.

Day 1
Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord. Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines—Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, etc. (2 Peter 3:18; Prov. 4:23)

Day 2
Pray that your husband’s relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in his life. Pray that he will be a man of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord. (Prov. 3:7, 9:10; Ps. 112:1)

Day 3
Pray that your husband will be humble and quick to agree with God about his sin. Pray that his heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord. (Ps. 51:2-4; Micah 6:8)

Day 4
Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship—protecting and providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will be glorified in your marriage. (Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:19)

Day 5
Pray that your husband will be faithful to his wedding vows. Pray that he will have a desire to cultivate your relationship as a sign of his loyalty and commitment to you, and as a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. (Prov. 20:6; Gen. 2:24)

Day 6
Pray that your husband will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that he will recognize and avoid wickedness in his own life, and if necessary, take a clear, strong stand against evil. (Prov. 27:12; John 17:15; 1 Cor. 10:12-13)

Day 7
Pray that your husband will safeguard his heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. Pray that his heart will be pure and undivided in his commitment to you. (Prov. 6:23-24, 26; Rom. 13:14)

Day 8
Pray that your husband will work hard to provide for your family, to the best of his ability. Pray that the character qualities necessary for a successful career and ministry will be a growing part of his character—persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, positive relationships with people, determination, etc. (Rom. 12:11; 1 Cor. 15:58)

Day 9
Pray that your husband handle finances wisely, will have discernment concerning budgeting and investments, and will be a good steward of his money in regard to giving to the Lord’s work. Pray that money will not become a source of discord in your family. (Prov. 23:4-5; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:5)

Day 10
Pray that your husband will cultivate strong integrity, and not compromise his convictions. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, that he will be honest in his business dealings, and will never do anything that he needs to hide from others. (Prov. 20:7; 1 Tim. 1:5, 3:7; Eph. 6:10-12)

Day 11
Pray that your husband will have a humble, teachable spirit and a servant’s heart before the Lord. Pray that he will listen to God and desire to do His will. (Prov. 15:33; Eph. 6:6)

Day 12
Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord and practice self control. Pray that your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, and a reflection of selfless love. (Prov. 5:15, 18; 1 Cor. 7:3; Song of Solomon 7:10)

Day 13
Pray that your husband use practical skills to build your family and make wise decisions for your welfare. Pray that he will serve unselfishly. (Gal. 5:13; Phil. 2:3-4)

Day 14
Pray that your husband will speak words that build you and your family, and reflect a heart of love. Pray that he will not use filthy language. (Prov. 18:21; Eph. 4:29)

Day 15
Pray that your husband will choose his friends wisely. Pray that God will bring him men who will encourage his accountability before God, and will not lead him into sin. (Prov. 13:20; Prov. 27:17)

Day 16
Pray that your husband will choose healthy, God-honoring activities. Pray that he will not live in bondage to any questionable habits or hobbies, but that he will experience freedom in holiness as he yields to the Spirit’s control. (1 Cor. 6:12, 10:31; 2 Tim. 2:4)

Day 17
Pray that your husband will enjoy his manliness as he patterns his life after Christ and strong men in the faith. Pray for his physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual strength. (Eph. 3:16; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Cor. 10:11)

Day 18
Pray that your husband will have an eternal perspective—living in light of eternity. Pray that he will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in his life. (Matt. 6:33; Deut. 6:5; Eph. 5:16; Ps. 90:12)

Day 19
Pray that your husband will be patient and a man of peace. Pray that he will not give in to anger, but will allow the Holy Spirit to control his responses. (Rom. 14:19; Ps. 34:14)

Day 20
Pray that your husband will yield his mind and thoughts to the Lord. Pray that he will not entertain immoral or impure thoughts, and that he will resist the temptation to indulge in pornography. (Prov. 27:12; 2 Cor. 10:5)

Day 21
Pray that your husband will learn how to relax in the Lord and, in his greatest times of stress, find joy and peace in his relationship with God. Pray that he will submit his schedule to the Lord. (Neh. 8:10; Prov. 17:22; Ps. 16:11)

Day 22
Pray that your husband will practice forgiveness in your relationship and with others. Pray that he will recognize any roots of bitterness, and yield any resentment and unforgiving attitudes to the Lord. (Eph. 4:32; Heb. 12:15)

Day 23
Pray that your husband will be a good father—disciplining his children wisely and loving them unconditionally. If he is not a father, pray that he will find a young man to mentor in the things of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2:1-2)

Day 24
Pray that your husband will have a balanced life—that he will balance work and play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work and church. (Luke 2:52; Prov. 13:15)

Day 25
Pray that your husband will be courageous in his stand against evil and injustice, and that he will stand for the truth. Pray that he will protect you and your family from Satan’s attacks. (Ps. 31:24; Eph. 6:13; Ps. 27:14)

Day 26
Pray that your husband will discover and live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity. (Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 10:31)

Day 27
Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body—the temple of the Holy Spirit—for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 9:27)

Day 28
Pray that your husband will be a man of prayer. Pray that he will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times. (1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 22:46; James 5:16)

Day 29
Pray that your husband will surrender his time and talents to the Lord. Pray that his spiritual gifts will be manifest in his career, at church, and in your home. (Eph. 5:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:4, 7)

Day 30
Pray that your husband will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that he will obey the Lord from his heart, and glorify Him in everything. (1 Cor. 10:13; John 7:17-18; Col. 3:23-24)

Day 31
Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. (John 8:44; 2 Cor. 10:4-5)

© Revive Our Hearts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Leviticus 20:7-8: Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy.

What does it mean to consecrate myself? It’s so much more than to follow some legalistic rules put on me by some church or organization. Oh, it’s easy enough to put on the front, the false mask of being perfect, consecrated and holy. I can wear the face and clothes of the tight-spirited holy-roller church lady and carry a Bible and spout verses and quotes and speak "Christianese." But when I come home at night and look in the mirror, the soul mirror that reflects who I truly am in front of nobody but me and God, what do He and I really see?

At times it is the woman who doesn’t see herself as being worthy to be honored, to be treated as sacred or sanctified. It is the woman who can’t see herself the way her Lord sees her – special and wonderful and loved beyond measure.

Sometimes it is the woman who follows her rebellious heart to paths that lead away from God’s will. Pride and stubbornness replace humility and obedience and I choose the instant gratification of sin instead of patiently waiting on the Lord. Like a restless and strong-willed child I wriggle away from the loving warmth of my Abba’s hand and go running off to play in dangerous passageways that leave me broken and bruised and hurt.

But on rare occasions… in blessed moments that I pray will happen with increasing consistency as I grow in His grace… I look in the soul mirror and see glimpses of the woman God has designed -- a woman who sets herself apart for her Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. A woman who seeks His will above all and chooses to dedicate and keep holy her mind, her body, and her heart. Reflected back to me is a woman who lives intentionally within His paths of righteousness each day, moment-by-moment. It is in these times of “consecrated choices” I discover my true identify and worth… and with it the sweetest moments of peace and satisfaction and joy.

So today, I will mindfully choose to dedicate all I am, all I have and all I love to Him. I will humble myself and gladly submit to His will for me that I might become the holy and consecrated woman that He has designed me to be. Not perfect… just me, fully me. And so grateful that I am always, no matter what, passionately loved and treasured by my Father.