(From journal entry, October 10, 2013)
It’s raining tonight. A steady quiet stream of rain pattering lightly on my window. I can hear little splashes of water as drops of rain fall into small puddles where there are indentations in the grown. the sound is calming as if God is resting, heaven is silently listening, enjoying the sweet sound of quiet rain.
The night is calm…daytime noises have ceased. Day light is halted…all enjoying the sound of rain; the quiet move of God as He makes Himself known in the falling of the rain drops. Even quiet and still, He is at work sending the rain; bathing the earth; cleaning each tiny blade of grass; washing the tree limbs with their leaves hanging limp, bowing to the rain…receiving the freshness, feeling the cleansing…the earth being refreshed as it soaks in the water from heaven.
I pause as I listen and ponder: “where would we be without the Lord? Who would send the rain? Who would refresh and replenish the dry earth; the starving vegetation whose only source of life is from above…the sun and the rain…without which, we would all perish.
THANK GOD FOR THE RAIN!
How does prayer speak to you? What does it say? What thoughts come to your mind when you kneel down to pray?
When you approach the throne, what do you wish to see? An empty sea of space? A high exalted place? Or do you enter in concealing all your sin?
What does prayer mean to you? A receptacle revealed wherein you place your heart’s desires and have them all fulfilled?
What does prayer show to you? A reflection of who lives inside the pages of your secret book; the real “you” you seek to hide? Do you tightly close your eyes, approaching prayer in great disguise? Hoping desperately not to disclose the things you don’t wish to expose?
How do you come to prayer? With your inward thoughts concealed? Not desiring God to steal a glimpse of what’s inside? Not opening wide the secret place that holds the things you dare not face? The unsightly things, the untold story; the things in which you dare not glory? Continuing to be deceived, yet desperately hoping to be relieved.
What does prayer say to me?
When I approach the throne, I know I’m not alone. I come in haste to boldly see a loving God who waits for me; to welcome me into that place where I find comfort, peace and grace.
In reverence I honor Him. With thanks and praise I bless His name. I bring my life before His face; sometimes in shambles, sometimes disgrace. I humbly acknowledge all my wrong, and pray “Dear Father, make me strong. Wash me clean, forgive my sin, heal my heart and ease the pain so that I may, once again, feel free to praise your Holy Name.
What was Jesus’ mission on earth? What were the chief reasons for His coming?
There are three main reasons why it was imperative that Jesus leave His heavenly abode and come to the earth. Without His coming, the original plan of God could not be completed. At the completion of creation (beginning at Genesis 1), the power of the Kingdom was invested in the hands of Adam and Eve, the first created beings. After Adam and Eve committed sin by disobeying God’s command not to eat from the forbidden tree, The Kingdom and its power and authority was usurped from them by God. Therefore, since the fall of Adam and Eve, the Kingdom of Heaven had been absent from the earth.
Reason #1 – Jesus came to re-introduce the Kingdom – When Jesus began his ministry on earth, the first message He brought to the people was, “Repent! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). Jesus was telling the people to change their way of thinking for their thoughts were corrupt; and now the Kingdom of Heaven had come near to them, giving them an opportunity to reclaim what had been lost since Adam and Eve. They had lost the kingdom because of sin.
Reason #2 – Jesus came to restore our righteousness and holiness – Since the whole world had fallen into darkness because of sin, every living soul had been tainted with sin and unrighteousness. Their right standing with God could only be restored by the death of Jesus on the cross; the only one who could take away our sins and cleanse us by His blood. To be made righteous is to be in right standing with God by accepting Christ’s death as payment for our sins, and to be holy is to be washed clean by His blood.
Reason #3 – Jesus came to restore the Holy Spirit in man – Only when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and be made righteous and holy through His blood, are we fit to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spiritual connection between us and the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit fills us with Spiritual power; guides us; leads us into the knowledge of the truth and brings to our remembrance all the things that Jesus taught.
The Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus had finished His work on the cross, had risen from the dead, and applied His blood for the cleansing of man’s sins: after which we were ready to receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:19-23)
When the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples and believers gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, the Kingdom of Heaven was re-introduced in the earth, filling them all with Power from on High.
Today the Kingdom of Heaven is within every Spirit-filled believer in Jesus Christ.
How will you account for your day when it is done? Will you pick up after yourself the pieces of your life left scattered on the floor of time and try to arrange them in the order they were meant to be?
Or will you find a day well spent that started out with knees bent in prayer and an upturned head toward the true source of light, asking earnestly if He might guide your footsteps throughout the day and make your pathway bright?
Or will there be some other way to bring into focus a point in between where nothing is clear, but all a hazy, misty dream where nothing is planned; mindset haphazardly free; your thoughts blowing in the wind?
When the hands of time have reached that magical hour that bids a close to your appointed time, and the chilling hand of death lay hold your shoulder firm, and the years long past flash frantically across your vision screen, what will you see?
What will mark indelibly your hours spent while on life’s fleeting stage? Will you see battles fought and victories won, or will there be work left undone? Take heed, my friend, while life still lingers; don’t let it all slip through your fingers.
You are the steward over your life-long reign. So plan wisely, choose carefully and always seek the good. Walk that straight and narrow path that leads to peace and rest for those who run well this race called life.
A few years ago I lost my oldest daughter. She went to be with the Lord on September 24, 2011. This was the first time that I had ever stood by the bedside of anyone and watch them pass quietly into another life.
At first I didn’t know what I felt. However, after a few moments it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Janice was gone, and I would never see her again on this side of eternity. I found it so hard to realize. I could not bring myself to feel the pain of losing her; so I lived, or so I thought, beyond the reality of her passing.
After a few days of living in denial, I found myself caught up in a state of a type of depression or sadness that I could not shake off. I could not bring myself to pray, as I felt so far away from reality. Almost as though I was in another world and another time. I found it hard to recognize the life I had been living. Nothing seemed real anymore. In other words, I was in a daze.
Realizing that I could not go on this way (being so detached from reality) I began to force myself back to reality. I began to pray, but words would not come. I tried to busy myself, but that did not do the trick. I tried reliving events in the past that we had shared together. . . nothing worked.
Finally, in desperation, I threw up my hands and began to PRAISE THE LORD! As I lost myself in praise, I found myself in reality. I was alive again! Thank God, I was alive again! My joy that had been lost in mourning was found in praise. My zest for living was alive and well again.
PRAISE IS WHAT BROUGHT BACK THE JOY IN MY LIFE. It was as if God was waiting for me to acknowledge Him in all things, even in death; for it is God who gives life, and God who calls those to Himself at his appointed time.
If you ever find yourself in a state of depression, or just feeling down and out, just lift your voice to heaven and begin to PRAISE THE LORD! Begin to thank Him for all of life, even that part of life that we find hard to accept. It’s all God’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!
This experience has taught me to cherish every moment of my life; every moment with my children; every moment with my family and friends. I now make the most of every opportunity to sow into their lives and enjoy all that they have to pour into mine. In other words, I have learned to MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT!
PRAISE THE LORD!
Christians who understand and embrace all of the benefits of Jesus’ suffering, scourging, death and resurrection enjoy a healthy and fruitful life. They have believed and accepted, without reservation or doubt, all that Jesus’ blood purchased for them. Not only did His death pay our sin debt, but also made us righteous before God. In other words, He took our sins upon Himself and, in return, gave us His righteousness. Because of this great exchange, we are no longer under the condemnation of sin. Also, according to Isaiah 53:4-5, He bore our sickness and pain. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, striped for our healing. And as if that was not enough, we have eternal life through Him.
Believers who have such great revelation of all that was accomplished by Jesus on that cross for us, rest in that revelation, trust in its truthfulness, and are blessed because of their faith in it; while those whose revelation is small (believing that it only bought them a ticket to heaven when they die), never enjoy the fullness of the Christian life. They never experience all that the Father intended for them to enjoy while on this earth: health, wealth, happiness, an intimate relationship with Him, the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, and every good and perfect gift that comes from God.
If you are one of those believers in Jesus who thinks that the “good life” was only meant to be experienced when we get to heaven, begin to broaden your revelation of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Search the scriptures and learn all that Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplished for you and trust in that accomplishment. Know that God did not sacrifice His Son just for you to go to heaven, but He meant for you to bring heaven to earth. That is what Jesus meant when He taught His disciples to pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Yes, it is possible to live a healthy, happy and prosperous life right here on earth. When our faith is without doubt, and we wholeheartedly trust God for His word, we will begin to understand what the perfect will of God is for our lives.
Take another look at Jesus and all that His death and resurrection accomplished and receive it in its entirety as the greatest gift you will ever receive!
If the high reached down to lift the low,
The rich reached out to secure the poor,
The honored bestowed honor upon the least esteemed,
The privileged considered the underprivileged,
The master lived a servant’s life;
Each seeing the world through the others eyes,
What a different world this would be.