Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Persian Fable

"A Persian fable says: One day
A wanderer found a lump of clay
So savory of sweet perfume
Its odor scented all the room.
'What are you?'  was his quick demand,
'Are you some gem from Samarkand,
Or pure nard in this plain disguise,
Or other costly merchandise?'
'No, I am but a lump of clay.'

'Then whence this wondrous perfume--say!'
'Friend, if the secret I disclose, 
I have been dwelling with the rose.'
Sweet parable!  and will not those
Who love to dwell with Sharon's rose,
Distill sweet odors all around,
Though low and poor themselves are found?
Dear Lord, abide with us that we
May draw our perfume fresh from Thee."
-quoted from Streams in the Desert

Monday, December 10, 2012

Inner Resources ~By Frances J. Roberts

Today is a new day; His limitless grace and inexhaustible mercy are yours.
Take them, SHINE, and then spend your all giving it away!
Never allow circumstances to frighten you, My child. You are not defeated by outer circumstances, but by inner weakness. Whenever you are challenged, look not at the magnitude of the problem, but examine your inner resources. Out of the abundance of My Spirit within you shall come the necessary strength to meet the demand; nothing shall confront you that is greater than My grace.

It is easy to walk in the Spirit, because to do so implies the flow of My life through your heart, your mind, your actions, and your speech. It is the life of Christ made manifest. It is the new creature displacing the old. It is the kingdom of God evidenced where once reigned the kingdom of self. It is love supplanting hatred, and righteousness triumphing over evil. It is hope, joy, and peace. It is kindness, tolerance, and understanding.

To move in love is to move in power, and the deeper the love, the more effective its action upon the total personality.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On a morning damp with dew
In a garden silent and still,
The statue said to the bird,
"Oh, if only I were real.

I would smell the blossoms and hear the wind
And feel the warmth of noon.  
I would taste the rain and sing with bees
And rest under the moon.

I would see the sun arrive each day
To bathe the garden in light.
I would touch the velvet of a rose
And envy the birds their flight.

I would cool in the shade of the massive tree
Whose arms I'm sitting under,
And know the God who made all this
And stop and think and wonder...

Why He would put me among such life
Yet make me so cold and still?
What don't I have?  What's not here?
Why am I not real?"

The little bird couldn't talk.
In pity he hung his head,
Then soared above the statue and thought
Just what he would have said...

"To accept Pure Love then give it out,
Unmeasured, no effort, no will,
Unrequested, undeserved, just given
Is all that makes you real."
Lisa Williams Coggin

Lisa Williams Coggin is a missionary to Northern Uganda.  She and her husband, Keith, are the founders of Sanctuary of Grace Christian School.  Sanctuary of Grace Christian School is supported by Far Reaching Ministries.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Love Covers

Let your whole heart open up and take this in my sisters…

The Holy Spirit,
the Comforter,
the Giver of Strength,
the Dispenser of Grace,
the Revealer of Jesus,
the Reminder of Hope,
the Seal and Promise for us

is beckoning you to let every last fear and drop of unbelief pass away and cling to Him.

O My Beloved, abide under the shadow of the lattice – for I have betrothed you unto Myself, and though you are sometimes indifferent towards Me, My love for you is at all times a flame of fire. My ardor never cools. My longing for your love and affection is deep and constant.
Tarry not for an opportunity to have more time to be alone with Me. Take it, though you leave the tasks at hand. Nothing will suffer. Things are of less importance than you think. Our time together is like a garden full of flowers, whereas the time you give to things is a field of stubble.
I love you, and if you can always, as it were, feel, My pulse-beat, you shall know many things and the knowledge of which shall give you sustaining strength. I bare your sins and I wish to carry your burdens. You may have the gift of a light and merry heart. My love bower is the place where you shall find it, My love dispels all fear and is a cure for every ill. Lay your head upon My breast and lose yourself in Me. You shall experience resurrection life and peace; the joy of the Lord shall become your strength; and the wells of salvation shall be opened within you. – Francis J. Roberts, The Call Of Love

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Channels of His Love

I am here to tell you that only Jesus can supply the amount and intensity of love you require.
Our husbands can’t do it precious sisters –
we need to stop trying to force them to give us what they don’t have.
Our kids can’t do it
Neither can our career,
our education,
or any other thing we seek after for our identity.
LOSE yourself in Jesus, let Him sweep you away with His love tonight
and you will find real LOVE, rich PURPOSE, and resounding JOY!
We were also created to be channels of His love to others
Love is what draws all of us to Jesus.

God’ love is irresistible!

If you are in love with Jesus, it will show.

People will be drawn to you because they see

something in you they want for themselves.

 (John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him).

1 John 4:12: No one has seen God at anytime. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
Whose love are you craving tonight?
Fall more in love with Jesus, and I guarantee His love in you will draw them closer to you. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

More of Him

Today is our only sphere of influence!
Romans 13:11-14: And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. 
Ephesians 5:13-17: Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. 
May we be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Remember, that we can walk in the light just as He is in the light and watch our destiny unfold as we draw ever closer to our Beloved. 
1 John 1:7: But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin
This is our time to ask for more –
more of Him,
more of His wisdom,
more of His power,
and more of His vision.
I want to be changed from the inside out by His Spirit. I want all Jesus has for me…and I am believing that you do to…
Intimately knowing God’s heart is vital to navigating these dark days we are living in. The world is racing along at a breakneck pace. It’s far too easy to get swept into the frenzy and lose our priorities in its tyrannical demands and chaotic trials.

We must run after Him, especially when He calls….

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pleasant Fruits

Song of Solomon 7:12-13: … There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

There I will give you my love.
Jesus always gives, He never takes. This is real intimacy: it’s born in the inner woman, the hidden place of your heart- and it will freely flow out for all to see, hear, taste, feel, and smell!

This is the place a gentle and quiet spirit is born, the incorruptible beauty which is precious to our Jesus (1 Peter 3:4).

He brought you to this moment in time to bless you with His love.

§  That is true if you are going through a divorce
§  Its true if you just lost your job
§  Its true if you are struggling with barrenness…
§  He allured you to the wilderness to speak tenderly to you

Hosea 2:14-15: Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.
Mandrake signify love-flowers or lovely ones, or love-fruits; it was something that was in all respects very grateful.

Your life should have stored up and ready to be meted out pleasant fruits. This is our reasonable service to Him whom our soul loves.

All manner, new and old means grace for all occasions: a well stocked soul, ready in season and out to give an answer that has been thoughtfully seasoned with grace for the hope which lies within us. We must be like the good householder, who has in his treasury not only the products of this year but the remainders of last year also.

Matthew 13:52: Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.

Do not be content with your former good works! Strive to daily store up more treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot corrupt and nothing can be stolen…send it on…earn rewards now while there is still daylight.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Will Give You My Love

Song of Solomon 7:10-13: I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is towards me. Come, my Beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages, let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded. Whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

There I will give you My love . . .

This thrills my heart! God wants to reveal to you personally His great love for you. God draws each of us away to this quiet place so we can sharpen our spiritual senses.
He longs for us to know Him – experientially, not just to be anchored in His love, but to be intimately intertwined with Him. Jesus desires for this encounter to forever and radically change us.  We can – and WILL - experience Him with all five of our senses. The Scripture clearly shows us God desires this intimate connection between the LORD and His church.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Owner Of The Vineyard

Song of Solomon 7:10-13: I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is towards me. Come, my Beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages, let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded. Whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.
There is great wisdom in going with the Owner of the Vineyard to consider its state. He knows everything about this vineyard:
·         What will enrich the soil?
·         What pests threaten and weaken its productivity?
·         Where plants that need sun or shade will flourish?
·         When there is need for a Sabbath?
·         But you must let Him show you how to best care for it….

There are specific things to look for….
See if the vine has budded.
Buds tell us that a flower or fruit is close behind…
what is budding in your life right now?
If there are no buds - why not?
Has some worm eaten away at the vine and obstructed nourishment?
Is it too cloudy? too hot? is there enough water?

Some translations read, “let us see if the vine flourish,” because the Lord desires for fruitfulness.

He does not want any of us to be barren or even sparse.

He wants you to have plenty…we will talk more about this later . . .

Monday, October 8, 2012

Let Us Lodge In The Villages

Song of Solomon 7:10-13: I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is towards me. Come, my Beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages, let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded. Whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

Let us . . .
He says there are three things He wants to do together with you:
V  Lodge in the villages

Leaving the world behind and heading out, as it were, to pasture.
Setting yourself apart.
Intentionally avoiding all that diverts our concentration or hinders
so that we can attend upon the Lord without distraction.

This is our willful relinquishment of self so we can be wholly taken up with Christ.
You cannot have two masters, you can’t love Jesus and anyone else….
Whom will you serve?

V  Get up early to the vineyards
Our soul is our vineyard;
and we have been entrusted with keeping it with all diligence (Prv 4:23).

How is your vineyard?

If you are anything like me, you can probably better describe the condition of someone else – like your child, husband, or friend – than you can yourself.

I take great comfort in Song 1:6:…mine own vineyard I have not kept
we all need His help, we are inadequate in ourselves.

V  See if the grape blossom is open and the pomegranates are in bloom:

What good motions and dispositions are in you that are young and tender? 
Jesus wants to reveal them so you can look to Him to cultivate them.
He will protect and cherish, with loving, particular, meticulous care,
so none of those things get nipped, trampled, blasted, or rubbed off.
He will nurture that you may bring forth fruit unto perfection.
Isn’t that encouraging?
You need not fear showing Him the vineyard….
o   He won’t shrink back at the disrepair

o   No contamination can harm Him

o   Nothing repulses Him

o   He is a Healer…a Helper…a restorer of Hope!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Come My Beloved

Song of Solomon 7:10-13: I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is towards me. Come, my Beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages, let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded. Whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

I love how this passage opens, “I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is towards me.” I pray this is your heart’s cry this morning. She says with absolute assurance and fullness of joy, “I am my Beloved’s, not my own, but entirely devoted to Him and owned by Him.”

Come, my Beloved.
Quiet your heart for a minute. Listen to Him calling to you personally. This is His field. This is where He has brought you because He has something to show you.

The picture is the Bride humbly and earnestly desiring communion with Him: "Come, my beloved, let us take a walk together, that I may receive counsel, instruction, and comfort from thee, and may make known my wants and grievances to thee, with freedom, and without interruption.’’

Do you make time to talk with Him like this? Oh beloved, please do be open.

Psalm 62:8: Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Just as Christ walked with the two disciples on the Emmaus road, talking with them till He made their hearts burn . . . is your heart burning during your devotions?

Is it burning right now?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let Your Guard Down

You are the Bride of Christ; therefore, realize that our walk with the Lord is the sweetest when intimacy permeates every part of our relationship.

ÿ  Communion with Christ is that which all that are sanctified earnestly breathe after; and the clearer discoveries He makes to them of His love the more earnestly do they desire it. ~ Matthew Henry. 

Mother Theresa used to say if you will learn to spend an hour a day in adoration of our Lord, every day will be filled with sweetness. Be sure that if you make the effort to go before God, He will be there to meet with you!

Intimacy means we love Him but I believe that even more importantly we must grasp onto the glorious reality that He adores us!
Do you realize that our LORD is enraptured with you?
It’s true!
The scripture declares it:

Song of Solomon 4:9-10: Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.  How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine! And the smell of thine ointments than all spices! 

Precious sister….
let your guard down,
give Him free reign,
be entirely devoted and rest in the fact that He owns you.

You have no need to take care of yourself….
your owner will take care of you….
and I assure you His care is tender, gentle, meticulous, and loving.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Don't Settle For Less

Being drenched with His Faithful Husband love is your DESTINY! So don’t settle for anything less…seek until you find.

Look with me at all the times God promised us He would be listening for us to call upon Him:

ÿ  Jeremiah 29:13-14: You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you says the Lord…

ÿ  Deuteronomy 4:29: …you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek with all your heart and all your soul.

ÿ  2 Chronicles 15:2: Hear Me…the Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

ÿ  Hebrews 11:6: He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

ÿ  1 Chronicles 28:9:…know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intents of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

ÿ  Psalm 9:10: And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

ÿ  Psalm 119:2: Blessed are they who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart.

ÿ  Lamentations 3:25: the Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.

ÿ  Amos 5:5: Seek Me and live.

Revelation 2:17: Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Everyone who is victorious will eat of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Your Maker Is Your Husband

Have you ever noticed that there are certain truths that just seem to resonate in your soul? It’s like you know instantly its true and it’s for you! Tonight we are going to talk about one of my favorites…

Isaiah 54:5: For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

I learned the tender mercy of God as my Husband in my first marriage. Being unequally yoked, young, and naïve in so many ways, I quickly came to a crossroads. I knew that without immediate action, I would allow bitterness to consume me.

I had a friend serving as a missionary in the Philippines who used to write me the most edifying letters, and when she saw that I was starting to complain and grumble about my marriage she called me out. She told me straight up that my marriage was my cross and that I had to choose whether or not I wanted to be a disciple.

I prayed a lot and I cried a lot, but I knew I wanted Jesus, and if Jesus came with the cross I was willing to carry that cross because I could not make it on my own. God directed me to Isaiah 54 and I lived there for a little while.

When was the last time you read this chapter? I strongly encourage you to read through it today. Look carefully at His profession of devotion to you:
V  With great mercies I gathered you
V  With everlasting kindness I have mercy on you
V  I will not be angry with you
V  My kindness will NEVER depart
V  Nor will My peace be removed
V  I am your foundation
V  I make you steady and sure, with varied jewels
V  I am protecting you
V  I am teaching your children
V  In My righteousness you will be established
V  You will be far from oppression
V  No weapon formed against you will prosper
V  You will judge your accusers

Does that take your breath away? It should…and look at how it closes…

Isaiah 54:17: This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Love of God vs. Love of World

1 John 5:3:
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.
And His commandments are not burdensome.
James 4:4:
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
1 John 2:15-17:
Do not love the world or the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—
is not of the Father but is of the world. 
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it;
but he who does the will of God abides forever. 
Galatians 1:10:
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men?
For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Proverbs 18:24:
A man that has friends must show himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Absolute Surrender

Psalm 139:19-22: Oh that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?  I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

Impenetrable Protection

God is your very Present Help in time of need, your Strong Tower, your Fortress and Refuge. Read Ephesians 1:17-23; Colossians 1:16-18, 2:14-15

Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Irresistible Call

Drawing us into His very embrace…can illicit only one response in us…. In love we relinquish all, lay it down for good in absolute surrender.

Ladies, I am talking about right now giving God His unhindered way in you.

This is a willful abandonment of self because we know the greatness of our Lord.  

It has to start here….

The greatest love of a man is his love for his friends (John 15:13); the greatest love of God is His love for His enemies (Romans 5:8-10); the highest Christian love is that a man will lay down his life for his Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ—“I have called you friends.” Our Lord here connects the highest human love with the highest Divine love, and the connection is in the disciple, not in our Lord. The emphasis is laid on the deliberate laying down of the life, not in one tragic crisis such as death, but in the grey face of actual facts illumined by no romance, obscured by the mist of the utterly commonplace—expending the life deliberately day by day because of my love for my Friend. This is the love that never fails, and it is neither human nor Divine love alone, but the at-one-ment of both being made manifest in the life of the disciple, The supreme moment of the Cross in actual history is but the concentrated essence of the very nature of the Divine love. God lays down His life for the very creation which men utilise for their own selfish ends. The Self-expenditure of the love of God exhibited in the life and death of our Lord becomes a bridge over the gulf of sin; whereby human love can be imbued by Divine love, the love that never fails ~ Oswald Chambers

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life of Love

To Jesus, friendship is an expression of love - another way to demonstrate what cannot be defined.

He says we are to live a life of this love!

Matthew 22:37-40 tells us that love is what fulfills the law.

If we love God and we love each other we are in full compliance with Christ’s perfect law.

John 13:34-35 tells us that we would be living testimonies of Him by loving each other.

Romans 13:8 tells us that we are to owe no man anything except this love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Draw Near To God

Song of Solomon 5:16: This is My Beloved and this is my Friend….

Friendship is a two way street. It requires reciprocity – a big word for give and take.

What is the Lord giving you right now?

What are you giving to Him?

Isaiah 45:3: I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.

You see, precious sisters, even in this, your darkest hour, He has a treasure for you.

You are being perfected.

His love will very soon be shed abroad in your heart,
 transforming you into His likeness.

Commit that scripture to memory….
treasure will be brought forth from these dark hours you are going through.

There is hidden manna for you.

There is hope to be meted out when you need it most….

Run into His secret place….He is waiting for you.

James 4:8: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you….