Broken

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Devotion: 1 Corinthians 11:24

Finally, a diagnosis.  I shared with you my emergency room experience a couple of weeks ago.  I was experiencing tingling in my right arm; and chest.  Thinking it was my heart; we went to ER; waiting fourteen hours.  Mercy, what a night mare.  Since then; the tingling/aching has not stopped.  In fact; it’s become heavier, stronger feelings of numbness and aching comparable to pins and needles going up and down your arm.

X-rays were done when I was at the hospital before; however the x-ray technician took two pictures and sent me back to my room. I was dismissed the day after a nuclear stress test.  They injected dye into the veins to get a closer look at the heart muscle.  As I was being dismissed I felt like; “Well, it’s not your heart; so go have a nice life.”  The real problem was never addressed.

As the symptoms grew worse; I called my doctor’s office.  The nurse got me in to see one of CMC’s Northeast medical group. This doctor sent me for another x-ray.  On this particular Monday; the x-ray technician (a woman) took five to six pictures of my neck and shoulder area.  Low and behold there is not only a pinched nerve; I have a separation in my cervical/spinal area. The nurse who called; put the fear of God in me about picking anything up, which means no grand babies for a time.  She said I could become paralyzed.  Yikes!

With a stern warning; the nurse said absolutely do not go to a chiropractor either; because the place could easily break.  She told me; “Go to ER if you experience any changes whatsoever. My flesh wanted to say; “So I can sit there for fourteen hours. No thank you.”

The next step is an MRI and visit to neurosurgeon.  Our bodies begin to wear out as we get a little age on us.  Hey, at least it wasn’t my heart.  If I have to have surgery; I am very thankful it’s not open heart surgery.  There’s got to be an upside somewhere in this life experience; right?

My one word this year is trust.  I must trust the Lord Jesus; even in this.  He is in control.  He has a purpose and a plan for every life event.  I don’t understand this halt in my life; however, I know my God is with me.  I also know He will accomplish what concerns me.  Jesus was broken for our salvation; as well as for our physical healing.  God will heal either now, later or in eternity. I trust Him.

Prayer in Motion:

Thank You Lord for revealing the hidden things.  You are such a good God.  I trust You to heal in whatever way you see fit.  You will heal either supernaturally;  (I would love to avoid surgery)  or You may choose to use a surgeon to strengthen my neck. I trust You to be my help and my strength.  I love You my Lord and my God.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Just a Shadow

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Devotion:  Hebrews 10:1-4

Over a week ago; my dear friend Tina Hunt fell and broke her elbow.  Of course she had to have an x-ray.  She got the best doctor possible and waited for his schedule to open.  (Not fun when you are in pain.)  Tina Hunt is one of the most prepared women I have ever known.  She knew it would be better in the long run to wait upon God’s best surgeon.

The doctor told her the surgery would take about an hour.  However; when he got into the surgery the x-ray had not revealed the whole truth.  Her elbow was shattered more than showed on the x-ray.

As we texted I said, Tina it’s interesting that the x-ray did not reveal the extent of the damage.  Tina says to me, “Mrs. Libby, the x-ray is just a shadow; it’s not the real thing.”  I thought how true.  It’s rather disconcerting but true non the less.

The doctor would be operating with one view in mind; however, he had skills to help him go beyond what was seen on the x-ray.  It’s the same way with the laws of God and the first sacrifices of goats and bulls.  These people followed what they saw and knew; as far as God’s Old Testament Law.  They had no idea it was a fore shadowing of the blood of Christ which would cleanse them from all their sins.

At the right time; Christ died for us.  He would reveal to those who would believe, an earthly priest would not be needed;  for He became their High Priest.  The hidden things were revealed to those who would name the Name of Christ.  When they confessed their own sins; He opened up their hearts and removed their sin from them.

He restored and repaired what was missing; so they could finish well the race set before them.  My friend Tina walks a close walk with Jesus.  Not only has she experienced earthly restoration of her elbow; she has experienced the restoration of her soul by Jesus Christ her Savior.   Thank You for the gift of her in my life!

Prayer in Motion:

Lord God, the foreshadowing of Jesus Christ has brought to light the sins of many and when the truth was revealed, they confessed and invited Christ into their lives.  Oh Jesus, please reveal the hidden things to those who need salvation.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

 

Telling and Showing

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Devotion:  Romans 1:16

Most Christians do not have the gift of evangelism.  Does that exclude us from sharing our faith?  NO!  We are to share our faith with our lives and our mouths.  Here’s the problem. We say;  I am afraid I’ll mess up and lead the person even farther from God.  May I say:  You cannot mess up when speaking a word for Christ.  He will give you His strength.  He promised; ” If we open our mouths, He will fill them.”  The more you open your mouth, the more He will embolden you to speak up for His Name’s sake.

Give the word of your testimony to those in your sphere of influence.  Ask the Lord to show you who needs to hear about Him.  He will show you.  The people He places in front of you; may not look or act like the people in your little world.  That’s ok; they need Jesus too.  Remember; they come as they are, to a Living God they do not as yet know.

Non-Christians are always searching for what makes them happy and content; the next new house or car, the greatest vacation ever to be taken, or the greatest experience ever to be had.  Those things may make you happy for a month, a week or just a few days but then the happiness is gone.  They are left empty.

Don’t expect the unsaved to act saved!  You will be very disappointed!  You may be the one who sows the seed of the gospel into their lives.

Joy and peace can come no other way than through Jesus Christ.  Contentment is found only in Him.  Happiness does not equal joy and peace.  Go out and share the joy and peace God has given you.  He is our strength.  He is our song.  He is our light.  He is our hope.  Will you go and tell and then live out your days exhibiting those Christ-like characteristics to those He has given you?

Prayer in Motion:

Oh God; this is my prayer today; that I may exhibit Christ like character to those whom You have given me.  I want to grow in the grace and knowledge of You Lord.  You are my strength, my song, my light, and my hope.  Give me someone today to share Your gospel message.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

A Decision Leads to a Direction

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Devotion:  2 Chronicles 15:2

How many times have you made a decision that led to a direction you never saw coming?   Then again; you made another decision that led to a stable place, a place you were glad you landed.  Decisions matter.  How you make them matters. When you make them matters.

Decisions made on a whim are problematic.  You are vulnerable to succumbing to your fleshly desires.  If you are Christian, pray about your decisions.  God promises in our verse today, “If we seek Him, He will let us find him when we search for Him with our whole heart.”  Prayer takes time.  Talking to God and listening for His voice is critical to godly decisions.

Evaluation is important.  Take time to evaluate the possible outcomes.  If I do this thing, I may need to give up something else. Other wise my schedule will be flooded and I’ll be overwhelmed by my calendar and to do list.

Andy Stanley says, “In light of my past experience, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?” Great question Andy.  God help us to ask ourselves and our Lord that question.

Lisa Terkeurst says, “God will use the good and not so good parts of the decisions we make.”  Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  The Bible also reminds us that “What Satan meant for evil, God will use for our good and His glory.”  We won’t always make the right decisions but while living in this world; let’s determine to seek the Lord on important decisions.

Prayer in Motion:

My Lord and my God, may I make it a habit to consult You and Your Word when making decisions.  Help me to remember I won’t always make  the best decisions and that You will forgive and restore when I make wrong decisions.  Thank You for hearing and answering this prayer.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

Martyr Strong

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Devotion:  Revelation 6:9

I remember I time I was sitting on a bus on the side of a mountain in the remotest part of an Asian country; thinking I didn’t really want to be martyred but no one would ever know what happened to us; except that we just didn’t quite make it back.  We obviously were not martyred or I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.

How does one prepare to be a martyr?  Even Jesus asked that His cup be removed from Him.  Christians believe they are martyr strong until the day comes to give up their lives.  There will be grace for the moment and not a second before.  God’s Holy Spirit never leaves us nor forsakes us.  He will give us the strength in the time we need it.

There’s a song called “Ready Yourself.”  We ready ourselves for any and every situation that only God knows about.  Lisa Whittle in her book “Put Your Warrior Boots On,” says this.  “We will never just one day wake up warriors.  We will prepare for the day we need to become one and find out we already are.”

Watchman Nee, a long ago martyred believer knew all about this.  He was imprisoned for preaching the gospel in China.  He died there while clinging to his deep and unwavering faith.  He writes in his book “Sit, Walk, Stand:”

“No work is worthy to be called a work of God if God is not, in this sense, committing Himself to it.  It is the authorization to use His name that counts.  We must be able to stand up and speak in His name.  If not, our work lacks spiritual impact.  But let me tell you, this is not something that can be “worked up” at the time of crisis.  It is a fruit of obedience to God and of a resulting spiritual position known and maintained.  It is something we must have already if it is to be available in a time of need.”

Not everyone will be called to be a martyr but in the latter days there may be more than we ever imagined.  “Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you.”  You will receive a martyr’s crown to cast at the feet of Jesus, should you be called to lay down your life.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I want to be martyr strong.  May I prepare myself in case it does happen.  I love You and I want to please you in every area of my life, even in this.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

War in the Church

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Devotion:  Ecclesiastes 4:12

Each side calls the other evil.  So who is right and who is wrong? Both name the Name of Jesus. I’m talking about the church. The church divided not the church united.  This blog post will not make me popular but I care more about what God says than what man says.  I’m just to that point in my life.

How can we war against each other and expect anybody far from God to want Him or the church for that matter?  It’s our enemy’s way to divide us.  He honestly thinks he’s winning.  If we as the church do not repent; in a sense, he does win because he’s keeping the door closed for others to come in to receive the gospel.  Every time the church gets in a fight; people leave, friendships are severed and God is not glorified.  It reaches the ears of the lost community and all they have to do is point and say, “See I told you so.  The church is full of hypocrites.”  Yes we are, when we act this way before God and our communities.  I don’t even care which side you are on.

God says in His Word; “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  That goes for individual homes; as well as God’s house. It was built by His design.  The church is suppose to to be a safe haven; a place of unity and peace, not war and fight.  Good grief!

So what are we to do when we find ourselves in the middle of so much confusion?  Just remember; God is not the author of confusion.  If we seek Him; He will let us find Him, when we search for Him with all of our hearts.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Ask God.  He will order your steps and direct your path.  Wait upon Him to tell you what to do.  As far as possible try to be at peace with all men.  Pray, pray, pray and ask God what you are to do.  You may not understand all the whys of the in-fighting; however,  the church needs to be restored to a place where sinners can be saved and the hurting can find healing.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I repent on behalf of myself and the church.  Thank you for the truth of Your Word.  We humble ourselves and pray and ask that You would accomplish what concerns Your Bride, the church.  Please restore the years the locusts have eaten and renew a right spirit within us.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Fierce Strength

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Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

New King James Version (NKJV)Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

I loved this Bible story as a child and I’ve loved it to the moment I’m typing these words.  The Story of David and Goliath.  My mom taught children’s Sunday School classes so she had a flannel board with all the appropriate characters.  Every time I read the story today; I can see little David and Giant Goliath ready to go at it, Goliath with his sword, shield, and javelin; David with his sling and fives smooth stones.

I love David and can hardly wait to meet him in heaven. Dear reader; can you hear him say to his enemy and foe, Goliath; “You come to me with a sword and a shield and a javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts.”

What Goliath are you facing today?  Is it a horrible diagnosis, financial ruin, a prodigal child or an addiction of some sort?   I could make a huge list of woes but you’ve probably already added your own.  There are many Goliaths in our lives; however, we have the Rock of Jesus, our fierce strength.  He wants you to defeat and slay the giant(s) in your life.

As David drew out his first stone; did he know the giant would fall to the ground dead?  He had four more just in case that  one missed it’s mark.  This young man was called “a man after God’s own heart.”

How do you come to your giant?  Do you come already defeated in your mind and heart?  Is your god weak?  No, your God is stronger than any giant you face today!  He’s David’s God, the same One who longs to build fierce strength in you.  He wants you to have God confidence to slay your giant.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for providing me with fierce strength.  You are such an amazing God.  Thank You for helping me slay my giants.  Today, may I take every thought captive and know that if God is for me; who can be against me?