Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Like Flowers

Will you sing to Him with me?
"Joyful, joyful we adore You, 
God of glory, Lord of love,
Hearts unfold like flowers before You
Opening to the sun above!"

On Fire for Jesus

I believe the most powerful force on earth is the human soul on fire with love for Jesus as Lord. 

His love for us is like that--a more firey and passionate and all-out-love than we can even imagine! The most fierce mother-child or father-child bond or the most passionate love relationship are not enough to describe the love of God. When we receive His love, its like lighting a torch within us. In Song of Solomon we read that many waters cannot quench this kind of love.

In Revelations the passage that stands out to me is chapter 3, verses 13 to 15. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches...I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."

John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (See Mat. 3:11-14.) “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29.) To preach Christ is to preach what He is. Without fire, there is no Gospel, only cold dead words.  I’ve heard it said: “In His house, God wants a blazing altar, not a refrigerator. God is a fountain of flaming glory.”

Hebrews 1:7 states, "He makes His ministers a flame of fire."

Jesus said, “I have come to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (See Luke 12:49.)

The physical effect of God upon Moses was that his face shone with God’s radiant glory. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 that the glory on the face of Moses faded away, but the glory that God gives us now remains and is much more glorious. Are we, His ministers, on fire for Him?

Smith Wigglesworth said, “I believe God’s ministers are to be flames of fire--nothing less than mighty instruments, with burning messages, and hearts full of love. They must have a depth of consecration, so that God has taken full charge of the body, existing only to manifest the Glory of God. A Baptism into death in which the person is purified and energized…”  

I remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the gift of God [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity--He has given us His POWER! (See 2 Timothy 1:6,7.)

Brian Simmons wrote, “Undistracted devotion to Jesus will brand the heart with burning passions. Nothing can be compared to this love. Intense, unyielding, like a million nuclear reactors of blazing fire....This is the seal He invites you to place over your heart! It is a seal that will brand you for life...God says: My love for you will be consuming as the very flashes of fire from My burning heart. Place this fierce, unrelenting fire over all your being until you are consumed! (See Song of Songs 8:6 The Passion Translation.)

 You never have to advertise a fire. 
Everyone comes running when there’s a fire.
--Leonard Ravenhill

May our hearts be ablaze in our loving devotion to You, Lord Jesus God. 
Wherever we go, let us leave revival fires in our wake!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Future is Bright!

I am an extreme optimist...
The Bible says:
"The time is coming 
when the earth 
shall be filled 
with the knowledge 
of the glory of the Lord 
as the waters 
cover the sea." 
See Habakkuk 2:14.

The Lord God is 
a Sun and Shield; 
the Lord bestows on us 
His grace, favor and glory. 
No good thing 
will He withhold from 
those who walk uprightly. 
O Lord, blessed is the one 
who trusts in You 
and continually 
commits all to You! 
(See Psalm 84:11,12.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If I Lived in Bible Days

What would my job be, if I lived in the Old Testament Bible days? As a woman, my choices are limited, but since I love to dance and sing, I would choose to be like Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. As a little girl, she was such a genius at how she saved the life of Moses. I also like how later she inspired the women, put starch in their spines, and led them in praising and rejoicing in the Lord. To rejoice and make His praise glorious with flags and dancing are some of the greatest joys of my life. Three Scriptures come to mind…

(See Isaiah 62:10.)

Honor His name; Make His praise glorious!
Say to God, ‘How awesome are Your works!’
(See Psalm 66:2-3.)
Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang…
Sing unto the Lord,
for He is highly exalted.
The horse and its rider 
He has hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise Him,
My father's God, and I will exalt Him!
(See Exodus 15:1-21.)
We see that Miriam is a leader of the women. They followed her. She has musical ability and she is a dancer. She takes her place of leadership, but her leadership directed them to the Lord--in praise to the Lord.

I want you to notice the word that is used to describe her. What was it? Prophetess! What’s a prophetess? A female prophet! What’s a prophet? A prophet is one to whom and through whom God speaks, revealing Himself and His will.

God gave us information on prophets in Deuteronomy 13. It says that if a person says he’s a prophet and he says something’s going to happen, and it happens, then you can say he is a prophet of the Lord. If it does not happen, he is not a prophet of the Lord, and the Lord didn’t send him. The test of a true prophet is that if what he says comes to pass; but the emphasis must not be on foretelling the future, although the prophets do that—a prophet practices forth-telling the Word of God. God uses people to speak His Word. When people, both men and women, communicate what God reveals to them to the people, they are being a prophet or, as in the case of Miriam, a prophetess.

If I’d lived in New Testament Bible days, I would choose to be one of the disciples. I can’t think of anything I’d like to do better than to have been one of the followers of Jesus. When they met Jesus, they dropped everything to be with Him. I like to think that’s what I would have done too—followed Him, hung on His every word, learned from Him first hand, and copied Him. Maybe I would have been one of the seventy disciples sent out by Jesus when He sent them out two by two. (See Luke 10:1.) Surely some of those seventy disciples were women?

As disciples of Jesus, who are sent to represent Him, ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, it is part of our function in the body of Christ to know what our gifts are and to use them, for His glory. In Romans 12:6-13 it says each of us has been given a gift--let us use them!

However, no matter what my particular gifts are, no matter what else I do in my life, no matter what day or age I live in, I consider it a priority to get closer to Jesus and to worship Him. Today I read a bit of the Passion Translation of the Bible from the Psalms and it was so powerful and beautiful and expressed my heart so well I thought I would share it with you.

Every evening I will explain my need to Him.
Every morning I will move my soul toward Him.
Every waking hour I will worship only Him,
And He will hear and respond to my cry!

(See Psalm 55:17.)
The Passion Translation by Brian Simmons www.passiontranslation.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How Close is God?

As a child I thought of God as seated on His golden throne far, far away in Heaven somewhere. He sat there like Abraham Lincoln in His giant monument in Washington D.C., far removed from my childhood in Redwood City, California.

I came to know the Lord Jesus and His awesome love when I was 16. I invited Him to take up residence in my heart. At first He was a good friend, then a best friend, then family, and now the love of my life. He is closer than a brother and closer than my husband.

In Ephesians 3:17–19, the apostle Paul prays for the people of God: “…That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend…the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

The Bible says: “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (See Acts 17:28.) The Lord spoke this to me through that verse: "In Me you live and move and have your being. But this is also true: In YOU I live and move and have MY being as well. We are ONE Spirit. When you walk into a room, I walk into that room, too; within you. You cannot mark where My Spirit ends and your spirit begins. That is why you are seated with Me on My Throne in Heaven and walking on the earth at the same time. Where I AM you are, and where you are, I AM. "

The Lord wants us to know His love for us and for us to love Him in return. Jesus said, “Abide in Me.” (See John 15.) Abide means dwell or live. He wants us to live with Him and be in an intimate, love relationship with Him 24/7. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (See James 4:8.)

How close is God? As close as our heartbeat!