Tuesday, November 13, 2018

COLOSSIANS 3:15 LET GOD'S PEACE REIGN AND BE THANKFUL


LET GOD’S PEACE REIGN AND BE THANKFUL

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other,
in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—
have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives.
Instruct and direct one another using good common sense.
And sing, sing your hearts out to God!
Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—
be done in the name of the Master, Jesus,
thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Colossians 3:15-17 (MSG)

God is sovereign, is completely in charge, and when we surrender our all to Him, we will have the peace and confidence to live in harmonious community with our brothers and sisters in Christ. There will be peace in the “familyship” as we each have the peace of submission and obedience ruling in our individual hearts and lives. The word of God is our instruction manual, our life-coach, the source of continuity in living for Jesus. As we fully immerse ourselves, soaking in the Scripture, we will not only have peace ourselves but will be able to encourage others to live and dwell in peace by abiding in the word. As the word begins to seep into and overflow our being, the Lord will infuse us with the power to accomplish all He has called us to do in the grace of and to the glory of God. When we are steeped in the peace of God, all that we desire is to be an overflowing reservoir of gratitude and thanksgiving.

Father, may our hearts burst out in songs of praise and thanksgiving as we realize the peace that passes all understanding has been bountifully accredited to our accounts because Jesus paid the price of our sin on the cross and was raised from the dead. Thank You, Lord, that Your peace permeates our lives in such a way that we need not live in fear and we can share peace with others. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 JOY NO MATTER WHAT

JOY NO MATTER WHAT
Dedicated to Betsy Hall

At this very moment, I am in pain. My foot that is no longer there is having spasms, phantom pain. We tend to think of rejoicing as a feeling, but it is not. It is bound up in relationship, my relationship to our heavenly Father that I am devoted to and committed to no matter what. Joy is possible because God loves me and chose me when I was unworthy because of sin. I wouldn’t even have the capacity to love Him unless He loved me first. I can give thanks to God when I pray, even when I am in pain, because He is faithful. I have trusted Jesus, surrendered my life to Him; and thanksgiving is His will and destiny for me. What the Lord instructs me to do, He empowers me to do through the Holy Spirit within me.

Lord, in obedience and by the power of Your Holy Spirit within me, I thank You for the phantom pain, the spasms, the sleep apnea, and all the challenges Cerebral Palsy gives my earth-suit. Thank you for giving the calm assurance of joy deep within even during the times of greatest struggle. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

2 CORINTHIANS 2:14-15 ABUNDATE GRACE: ABOUNDING THANKS


ABUNDANT GRACE
ABOUNDING THANKS

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

We celebrate Thanksgiving Day later this month. To whom are we giving thanks, and why? Of course, we as believers are directing our gratitude to the Lord God Almighty. We may be thankful for many specific things this year—God’s provision in our finances, the Lord’s healing of a loved one, the safety of our military and first responders, a new life brought into our family, or God’s mercy in the homegoing of one of His saints. However, the primary point of Thanksgiving, our main focus, should be to express our gratitude for our Lord Jesus Christ, and His vicarious satisfaction of the Father’s holiness by dying in our place on the cross. We need to thank God that because of Jesus’s sacrifice of Himself, we experience atonement—the privilege of being one with the Lord as He prayed for us as our High Priest which is recorded in John chapter 17. Because we have been given the faith to believe and trust in this truth, we have the assurance that Jesus will come back for us so that “where He is, there we may be also” John 14:3 (personalized). This shout of thanksgiving should rise up from all believers in a resounding chorus bringing glory to our loving Father, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. We should use our voices as instruments or even megaphones of thanksgiving. As a once popular chorus said, “We’ve got so much, so much, so much to be thankful for!” This should be our theme on Thanksgiving Day and every other day of the year. If you belong to the family of God, join us in lifting your voice in praise and gratitude for all He has done for you. If you do not know yet know Jesus, please contact us via our website www.preciousjewelsministries.org and allow us the privilege of sharing more about Jesus with you!



Wednesday, October 31, 2018

NOVEMBER SCHEDULE


NOVEMBER SCHEDULE

We have a couple of challenges to our schedule this next month. First, we are trying to put together a year-long devotional book to be published by December. Second, we are moving to a new apartment, an opportunity we could not pass up because it is completely power-chair accessible. Praise the Lord!  However, this means we will have limited time to post to our blogs. Our plan is to put a “Thanksgiving” devotion post up each Thursday in November on https://susiesmusings-ksh.blogspot.com/ and resume posting on the other two blogs in December. We appreciate your prayers as we take this brief break from blogging to take care of other necessary business!

Friday, October 26, 2018

1 SAMUEL 16:7 THE LORD KNOWS WHETHER THE INSIDE GLOWS


THE LORD KNOWS
WHETHER THE INSIDE GLOWS

But the Lord said unto Samuel,
Look not on his countenance,
or on the height of his stature;
because I have refused him:
for the Lord seeth not as man seeth;
for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)

Susan: When people look at me, I often feel the chair is the first thing they see. Next, they see the contracted hands and arms, followed by the fact that my legs have been shortened by twenty-three inches, and I am now three foot, two, (I’m little but mighty). They speak to me as if I am deaf and mentally impaired, loudly and with simple words.  My roommate, Susie, has even been quietly asked whether or not I can read. Under the disguise of my earth-suit, I am an ordained minister with a master’s degree from Oral Roberts University and a megaphone for the Lord. The most important things is what God sees and loves about me: My earth-suit houses a heart that loves the Lord Jesus and surrenders to His will.

Susie: A former first-grade student of mine was battling brain cancer as a third grader. After chemotherapy, her head was as so bald and round that she looked like Charlie Brown. After she informed me she was comfortable talking openly about her challenges, I asked how she felt about her looks. She said, “At first, when all my hair fell out and my face got fat, I was really sad. Then I remembered that you taught us that God looks on the inside, and I feel good about how Jesus inside me looks to God.” Out of the mouths of babes!

Father God, when You look inside our hearts, we are thankful that You see the righteousness of Jesus there. May the love You have placed in our hearts radiate so strongly it is visible to all. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

PSALM 37:11 PEACE PREVAILS FOR THE MEEK WHO SEEK GOD’S KINGDOM




PEACE PREVAILS
FOR THE MEEK WHO SEEK
GOD’S KINGDOM


The meek are those who are humbly committed and submitted to God, whose desire is to further the Lord’s kingdom and agenda rather than their own. They are those who wait patiently for the Lord. Patience is forged in trials and adversities. According to Psalm 37, the evil-doers often appear to prosper in this world; but in God’s economy their prosperity is only for a short while. God laughs at their haughtiness because He knows their end will be that of destitution, devoid of all that is good, apart from His presence forever. But the humble servants of God inherit the earth. What does this mean? Does it only mean the peaceful New Earth of eternity, or is there some provision for us now? We will inherit a peaceful New Earth at the end of the age, when God casts Satan and all those who do not believe into eternal punishment. However, in this present life, believers have the “peace of God that passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), despite difficult circumstances. How do we experience that peace in the middle of our storms? We seek intimate relationship with our sovereign Lord who has the power over all circumstances through His word and prayer. We humbly make the needs and desires of our hearts known to our Heavenly Father, thanking Him in advance that He will be and provide everything we need. Because we as believers have the relationship of being God’s children, His desire is to provide all that we need, all that is for our best.

Father, help me to internalize the following verses of Scripture to be reminded that Your peace can reign in my life here and now: Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:16-18, Romans 14:17.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

2 TIMOTHY 4:2 LONGANIMITY


2 TIMOTHY 4:2
LONGANIMITY

Preach the word; be instant in season, 
out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort 
with all long suffering3115 
and doctrine.

One meaning of “longsuffering” is longanimity. The definition according to Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language:

Longanimity - Forbearance; patience; disposition to endure long under offenses.

Timothy’s overarching purpose was to proclaim the Gospel fearlessly, with abandonment, and without shame. He was to teach the principles of godly living to the believers in Ephesus. He was to identify, isolate, and rebuke the sin of the believers at Ephesus and any others within the sphere of his influence. However, this was to be done with all patience and love, exemplifying the character of Christ.

It is never easy to confront a brother or sister in Christ concerning sin in his or her life. Teaching on how to do so is often lacking in modern churches. Because of this, many people stay stuck on the hamster wheel of sin instead of being lovingly led to victorious living. Their spiritual growth is stunted because a more mature brother or sister failed to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Therefore, the entire body, the congregation is stunted.

I once had to confront a friend about performing in an inappropriate manner during his musical act. It was not easy. It was not pleasant for me. However, he needed to think about his witness for Jesus. If I had not said something to him, I feel I would have been sinning by refusing to speak the truth in love. He actually thanked me for caring enough to point it out. When you approach a person about wrongdoing, it is because you respect and love them enough to do so. It should not be done with a judgmental attitude but gently with patience to wait on the Holy Spirit to convict. The response may not be gratitude immediately. That’s where the longanimity comes in.

Be bold to speak the truth, but be sure you do so with gentleness and patience. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

GALATIANS 4:6 ABBA, FATHER



ABBA, FATHER
Galatians 4:6

And because ye are sons,
God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

I was blessed to have a good daddy. Ray Hale wasn’t perfect, but he and I had a relationship of love, understanding, and respect. I remember when I was a small child standing on his feet and walking with him. Saturday morning bike rides around our neighborhood were a great bonding time in my early teens as was working on projects around our church; and when I was in high school, we golfed and bowled together. I knew in my heart that if I were ever in any type of trouble, small or large, I could run to him. If I fell off that bike or tumbled down a hill while hiking, I knew my daddy would pick me up and tend to my wounds. I remember one time I fell into a yucca plant and a thorn embedded itself in my knee. It was not pleasant while Daddy was removing that thorn, but I trusted that he knew what was best.

Not everyone has the privilege of growing up with a loving father. Some children see their fathers abuse their mothers or are even subjected to abuse, if not physically, emotionally, at the hands of the man they call “Dad.” Perhaps you are one of these children, now an adult, and have a difficult time relating to the image of God as Father. Perhaps to you, a father is someone you can never please no matter how hard you try. Maybe your dad portioned out “love” based on your performance as the “perfect” child. Or you may have had an “absentee” father, one who walked out of your life, abandoning you.

I have good news for you. Our heavenly Father desires only the best for His children. When He adopts you into His forever family, He wipes away your past mistakes and loves you unconditionally. He promises to be with you every step of the way. You may fall, and there may be thorns that need to be removed from your life. At times the Father’s love may seem painful, but you can trust that God the Father is only doing and allowing the things that are for your ultimate good, to make you more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). If you have not already done so, surrender your rights to yourself and fall into the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27). This Father, the perfect Daddy, will keep you safe in His hands forever (John 10:29). The Lord promises He will never leave nor forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5). Trust Him like a child who squeals “Catch me, Daddy,” as she throws herself off the side of the pool with total abandon and freedom. Cry out to God, “Abba, Father!”

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

LUKE 15:22-24 FORGIVING FOREVER FATHER


FORGIVING FOREVER FATHER

But the father said to his servants,
Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him;
and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it;
and let us eat, and be merry:
For this my son was dead, and is alive again;
he was lost, and is found.
And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:22-24

He had squandered his inheritance in wicked rebellion
and found himself wallowing with detestable pigs.
He felt he could no longer be a part of his family.
His rejection of his father and his sin was too big.
But when he returned home, confessing his wrongdoing,
And planning to beg to be a hired-hand,
His father threw off his dignity, running to meet him
And wouldn’t let him finish the speech he had planned.
“Bring my son a fine robe as my guest of honor.
Place on his finger the family signet ring.
Put shoes on his feet for my son is no slave.
Slaughter the fattest calf to celebrate this thing,
For my son who was dead has come back to life,
My son who was lost is in my arms again.”
He prepared a great feast and threw a big party
Inviting all their neighbors and all of their friends.
I was lost and far from our Heavenly Father,
Destitute, hungry, and utterly dead in my sin.
Then the Spirit drew me to come to my senses,
And the Father welcomed me when I came to Him.
He placed the robe of Jesus’s righteousness upon me,
Sealed me with the presence of His Spirit within.
Then He shod my feet with His Gospel of peace
That I might spread the Good News with all men
That God Almighty takes repentant, humble sinners
And adopts them to be His sons and daughters.
We feast on the Bread of Life and Living Water,
And will dwell forever with our loving Father.