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Give Me Jesus

During the months of September through May I lead a woman’s bible study,  Due to everyone’s busy schedule, we take off June through August. It is a time when I use to rest and spend time doing some other things that I enjoy. The Lord led to purchase a bible study by Sheila Walsh entitled The Longing in Me. I planned to spend the summer months working through this on my own but God had other plans. I had the joy of doing the study with three friends who also have the summer off from their normal bible study time. It was a blessed time to get to know one another better and spend time sharing with each other.

The study focused on the man and character of David. David was known as a “man after God’s own heart.”
We find much of his character in the book of Psalms as he opened up his life for all to examine. David’s life was portrayed by both success (he killed Goliath – I Samuel 17) and failure (his sin with another man’s wife – 2 Samuel 11) and he was far from perfect.
So the question is, how could God call David “a man after His heart” when David was such a terrible a sinner, having committed adultery and murder? Let’s look a little closer at the life of David to see if we can find out the answer to that question.
David had solid faith in God. In 1 Samuel 17 where David as a young shepherd boy fearlessly killed the Philistine, Goliath. His faith said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David,”Go, and the LORD be with you!” David was fully aware that God was in control of his life, and he had faith that God would deliver him. How else would one venture into a potentially fatal situation with such calm and confidence? David knew early on in life that God was to be trusted and obeyed. As we see in Scripture, David’s faith pleased God, and he is rewarded for it by the Lord.
David also loved God’s law. Of the 150 psalms in the Bible, David is credited for writing over half of them. David repeatedly mentioned how much he loved God’s perfect Word. We find a beautiful example of this in Psalm 119:47-48: “For I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.” It is not hard to see his complete adoration for God’s Word. But also notice how he mentions that he “meditates” on God’s statutes. God granted David understanding and wisdom through daily meditation. What a beautiful example to us, “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways” (Psalm 119:2-3).

David’s experienced seasons of great peace and prosperity as well as times of fear and despair. But through all of the seasons in his life, he never forgot to thank the Lord for everything that he had. It is truly one of his finest characteristics. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4,). A s followers of Jesus Christ, we would do well to follow David’s lead of offering praise through thanksgiving to our Lord on a daily basis.
I believe David’s greatest characteristic was that he was truly repentant. Not only had he committed adultery and lying, but also murder. He had sinned against God and he admits it in 2 Samuel 12:13: “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” But admitting our sin and asking for forgiveness is only half of the equation. The other half is repentance, and David did what we should all do: repent of our sins. One of my all-time favorite scripture is Psalm 51. This is David’s prayer of repentance to God: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Psalm 51:1-2).
David was truly repentant and God forgave him. David is a role model for us and he indeed, was a man after God’s own heart.
When we fail God through sin and disobedience, we can go to him in confidence knowing that “if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to not only forgive us but to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
Are you a woman after God’s own heart? What is the desire of your heart? Do you have that longing in your heart that says, Give Me Jesus?
Give Me Jesus is a fairly old hymn, originating as an African-American spiritual written during the time of slavery in the Untied States. Each time I hear this song it touches the true desire of my heart. The lyrics of Give Me Jesus are simple, but powerful. My prayer for you is that this is the message of your heart. Whether you are going through a time of success or a time failure, do you want Jesus more than all?
Give me Jesus
Lord when I am alone
And when I am alone
And when I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world

As I sit here reflecting on 2013 and thinking about a new year soon to dawn upon me,  I think of several verses in Isaiah that talk about forgetting the past and looking ahead to the new things God wants to do.

With the end of the year approaching, there are many regrets, sorrows and disappointments.  Mistakes have been made; hopes and dreams have been crushed.  There have been times of discouragement and hardships and struggles.

This is not to say there were not times of encouragement and blessings because there were. But, for some reason at this time of year I tend to focus on those things I want to change.

There’s no reason to remain enslaved to the mistakes and sins and the shortcomings of my past year. I don’t have to continually feel guilty  because of something I did or didn’t do this past year.  God in Christ has forgiven me and I chose to accept His forgiveness and say “thank you.” Because of God’s grace and mercy I can move on to the new year with new hope, new determination and new strength. God says He is doing a new thing; He has already begun.

I don’t know what lies ahead in 2014.  I know there are things about myself I want to change and I know there are things in my life God wants to change.  In either case, I know I can’t change on my own.  I will need God’s help.  He has promised not to leave me nor forsake me.  He will give me the strength and courage I need if I just keep my eyes upon Him.  There will be more disappointments and discouraging times, more hardships and struggles but I also know that God promises that His Holy Spirit will be there with me and be my companion and helper.   He will lead me and guide me in the way I should go if I seek Him.

What about you?  Where are you at in your walk with the Lord as we approach 2014?  Are there things you want to change?  Are there changes God wants to make in you?  Will you allow him to lead you and guide you, comfort and strengthen you?  Will you seek Him daily?

Prayer:  Dear Father God,

This year is soon to pass.  With it goes all its mistakes and disappointments.  Thank you for your grace and mercy that you extended to me in 2013.

As we approach 2014, let me remember it is a time of new beginning.  You are going to do a new thing.  You have already begun.  I place 2014 into your strong hands to lead me and guide me.  Create in me a heart of acceptance and gratitude.   Help me to know you more, to walk in faith , to serve you better and to grow in your grace.  In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland

 NLT “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

HOPE

 

As we enter Holy Week, I am reminded of this song. Both the traditional hymn and the more contemporary one. It is a song that reminds me of HOPE. The hope that this week brings.

 

How many times have we heard the words “There is no hope”? People are in a state of despair. There are those struggling with finding work, having enough money to pay their bills, sickness all around. Life is such a struggle, why bother. We lose loved ones and feel we can’t go on. We say when will it end. Everywhere we look, we see people who have no hope. Maybe you are facing some situations where you say, when will it end. You may be thinking why bother; things are never going to change or things aren’t going to get any better.

 

I am here to say “Where there’s no hope, there is grace” Thank you God for Grace.

 

In the following song, I see grace. I see hope. I see God’s love story in the words of this one hymn.

 

ONE DAY 

One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin—
Dwelt among men, my example is He

 

There was no hope for mankind because of his sin, but God showed his great love for us through the birth of His on Jesus. In Isaiah 7:14 we read, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. This prophecy was recounted to Mary by the angel of the Lord when he told her she was to be the virgin mother of Jesus and she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

 

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected;
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

 

Hope – he loves me and he showed that love by his death on the cross. Romans 5:8 God demonstrates his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore.

The crucifixion of Christ was a sad day for the disciples. They lost their friend, their companion. The woman went to prepare his body for burial. Can you imagine their surprise when they arrived? The stone was rolled away! The grave was empty? Death had been conquered! Matthew 28:6 He is not here, he has risen! Hope!

 

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

 

Thess.4:16-18 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God,and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

One day he’s coming! O Glorious day! Hope!

If there was ever a event that gives hope it is resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus! He is our hope of better days ahead, our hope of sins forgiven, our hope of eternal life. Yes there are days when discouragement comes, when the bills overwhelm us, when sickness comes our way, when we don’t know where else to turn. But my friend, please take comfort in knowing the our God loves us beyond measure and he cares about our every need. Yes you can go on.

 

 

 

Leave me your comments. If you have been blessed by this blog, give God the Glory.

http://youtu.be/VXp6xcY5IqU  Oh Glorious Day by Casting Crowns

Tell it to Jesus

Matthew 11:28-29Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

As I was in church recently, an overwhelming weariness came over me. I felt really alone and distant from what was going on around me and my emotions seemed to rise to the surface. What had come over me? Was I feeling sorry for myself or was God trying to get my attention?

I am sure I am not alone when I say the holidays are particularly difficult for me. I have very little family left and those that are left do not share in my faith. The holidays can be a very lonely, discouraging time. 

Then, just a few days after Christmas I took my beloved pet Noah to the vet and discovered he had a large mass and I had to put him down. Pets can become a very important part of a single persons family life.

That day I was sitting in church feeling alone and distant a song came to mind

Tell it to Jesus

Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Refrain

Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a Friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Refrain

Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Refrain

Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
For Christ’s coming kingdom are you sighing?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

I recently read a statement on facebook. It said, “Dear Lord, please wrap your arms around those who are hurting today and let them feel how much you love them. I shared that on my facebook page and actually prayed that if anyone of my friends needed to feel God’s love, that God would warp His arms around them. That prayer was not only for them but for myself also.

I must admit that I have a tendency to pray for others but not really pray for myself and for those things that really seem heavy on my heart. Those things that concern “me” and my feelings. So often I try to bury my feelings and not deal with the discouragement and heartaches. Was God trying to get my attention. I do not believe He caused those feelings I had that Sunday morning, but I believed he used them to speak to my heart.

As the tears flowed several times during that week, I found myself crying out to Jesus, telling him about my sorrows, burdens and my weariness. I didn’t need to fear what he thought because He had lonely, weary times. He had family who didn’t see Him for who He really was and he lost those who were dear to Him. He truly is a friend like none other.. In Him, I found rest, in Him I found a gentle, humble spirit and from Him I can learn. He only ask me to come.

How are you today. Are you tired, weary, burdened? Are you hurting or discouraged? Is there sin in your life you need to confess. Are you worried about the future?

Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a Friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Blessings from God’s Word.

Dear Lord, please wrap your arms around those who are hurting today and let them feel how much you love them. 

He Hideth My Soul

December 23, 2012

He Hideth My Soul in the Cleft of the Rock

 

While driving to work recently a song kept going though my mind . I don’t even know why I began humming it because I haven’t sang it in years or even heard it played recently. But. it was a hymn I learned in my early years growing up in the church. As I began singing the song, it actually became my prayer for the day.

We face the fiery darts of the enemy daily. Many difficulties, challenges and temptations come across our pathway. The good news is that we do not need to face those times alone. God, throughout His word, gives us many promises of protection and deliverance.

As we look at the life of Moses in Exodus 33 (18-23), Moses ask God to see His glory. God responded by telling Moses He would cause His goodness to pass in front of him and that he would proclaim His name in his presence, but he could not see His face. God told Moses he would put Him in the cleft of the rock and cover him until He passed by.

Just as God provided a place of protection for Moses by placing him in the cleft of the rock, He provides a place of protection for us. As I sang this song to God as a prayer, I was asking Him to place me in the cleft of the rock and cover me with his hand. The cleft of the rock is a place where I feel peace and security . It is a place where I see the glory of His ways as He provides and protects me during those daily struggles and temptations. Blind songwriter Fanny Crosby captured this truth when she wrote these words:

 

Verse 1

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, A wonderful Savior to me;

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, Where rivers of pleasure I see.

Chorus

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, That shadows a dry, thirsty land;

He hideth my life with the depths of His love, And covers me there with His hand,

And covers me there with His hand.

Verse 2

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burden away;

He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved, He giveth me strength as my day.

Verse 3

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns, And filled with His fullness divine,

I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God, For such a Redeemer as mine!

Verse 4

When clothed in His brightness, Transported I rise to meet Him in clouds of the sky,

His perfect salvation, His wonderful love I’ll shout with the millions on high.

Do you feel overwhelmed by daily challenges, struggles and temptations? Are you tired and weary? Let God place you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with His hand. It is there that you will find peace. It is there you will see His glory.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,

He taketh my burden away;

He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,

He giveth me strength as my day.

December 19, 2012

Dear friends,

Someone once said, (the author seems to be unknown) that “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, from heaven to the soul”

As I began thinking about starting to blog again in 2013, these verses came to mind: Ephesians 5:18b-20 … Instead, be filled with the Spirit,speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

All throughout scripture we are commanded to encourage one another. Encouragement can change a person’s perspective when they are discouraged, feeling defeated and depressed or lonely. My prayer is that I may bring encourage to you in the days ahead by speaking to you with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit.

 

Music is not only vital to our spiritual well-being, but studies have shown music and singing are also beneficial to our physical health. I hope that as you read these blogs you will find yourself humming along and reflecting on the truths they contain. May they bring encouragement to your soul.

 

Come back next week to read my thoughts on “He Hideth my Soul” I will be looking forward to your visit.

 

Blessings from God’s Word.

 

Control

Last week my pastor finished up a series of sermons entitled “Antidotes for an Out-of-Control Life”. In his last sermon of the series, he encouraged us to lighten our load by “letting go” those things that causes our lives to be out of control.  As we were challenged by his message, I was thinking to myself, “was there anything I needed to let go of to lighten my load”?  Did I need to let go of any activities in my life? What about the guilt of not doing some things I thought I should be doing? What about other peoples’ expectations of me?  Did I need to let go of fear or control? At first, I thought this was a good sermon but wasn’t sure how I could apply it to my life.   But there it was.  God spoke to my heart and I heard the word. CONTROL!

I never really pictured myself as being a control freak.  I did not try to control what other people did or how they acted.  But God did show me an area where I was often in control.  It was the control of my own life’s situations.  Being single, I must take care of things myself.  What needs done, I must do it myself.  Whatever I struggle in, I must struggle myself.

This has often caused unnecessary stress or sometimes even injury.  I am often told I am too independent; told that I need to rely or ask help from others.  I guess I always saw that as a sign of weakness or as bothering someone else when “I can do or deal with it myself”.  This past week in a study on “spiritual gifts” we talked about how we are all part of a body and how one part of the body cannot say to another part I don’t need you.”  We are told throughout scripture how we are to encourage one another, carry one another’s burden and build one another up.

God calls us to be interdependent and have interdependent relationships. Interdependent relationships means committing who we are and what we have to serve others; it’s knowing what we can offer to others and also knowing what others have to offer us.  It is being a blessing to others and allowing others to be a blessing to us. Whether my needs may be physical (sharing a physical need) or spiritual (asking for prayer or guidance) I must be more interdependent and try not to control my own life’s situations.  I am not a lone ranger. I am blessed to be a part of a large body of believers.

Lord, may I be a blessing to others but may I also allow others to be a blessing to me. Amen.

Wilma