Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Heat of the Fire

“He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness."  Malachi 3:3

When the silversmith is working with silver he puts it in the hottest part of the fire so that the impurities are burned away. But as he does this he must keep his eye on the melted metal the whole time so it will not be destroyed. When the dross is gone he can see his image and he knows the silver is ready to be used.

“Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of your wings.”  Psalm 17:8

In scripture God’s children are sometimes called the apple of His eye. This is speaking of the pupils. Our pupils are very valuable to our sight. When the LORD designed our eyes, He put a reflex protection for this very important part of our eyes. So when God refers to us as the apple of His eye----He is speaking of how much He loves and protects us.

"For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." 
2 Chronicles 16:9a

Even when He allows us to go through the valleys of life, we are still the apple of His eye.  He does not take His eye off of us.  He is protecting and loving us even through the trials which He allows. These trials draws us closer to Him---which is where we want to be.  How comforting to know that while we struggle in our trials, He is watching and protecting us throughout as the dross of our lives is burned off.

“For thus says the LORD of Hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.”  Zechariah 2:8

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire of the refiner, remember that God has His eye on you and He will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Call on Jesus

I’m so very ordinary
Nothing special on my own
I have never walked on water
I have never calmed a storm
Sometimes I’m hiding away
From the madness around me,
Like a child who’s afraid of the dark

But when I call on Jesus
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus
Mountains are gonna fall
‘Cause He’ll move heaven and earth to
Come and rescue me when I call

Weary brother
Broken daughter
Widowed, widowed lover
You’re not alone
If you’re tired and scared
Of the madness around you
If you can’t find the strength to carry on

When I call on Jesus
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus mountains are gonna fall
‘Cause He’ll move heaven and earth to
Come rescue me when I call

Call Him in the morning
In the afternoon time
Late in the evening
He’ll be there
When your heart is broken
And you feel discouraged
You can just remember that He said
He’ll be there

When I call on Jesus
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus
Mountains are gonna fall
‘Cause He’ll move heaven and earth to
Come rescue me when I call

By Nicole C. Mullen

Friday, June 18, 2010

Capturing our thoughts of jealously, anger, and hatred.

".....taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5

I know what it is to be so very, very hurt. It is easy to be angry at certain people and sadly, sometimes everyone else----plus angry at God.

I also I know what it is like to be jealous or even worse----to have the feelings of hatred because people have what you desire. ( I, personally, am not speaking monetarily, but it could be that for some people)

I heard a radio lesson recently concerning how to deal with this very issue (jealousy, anger, hatred because we have been unfairly slighted to whatever degree) and it was an answer to much prayer.

I am dealing with my own feelings in this area and recently could not see through the darkness enough to encourage others.

"Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy." Proverbs 14:10

These are the best parts of the program that I can remember:

1) Comparing ourselves to others: The subject is Peter at the beach with the resurrected Jesus. This is in John 21 (read the whole chapter) In verses 15-22 Jesus has just finished asking Peter if he loves Him. Then Jesus tells Peter pretty much what will happen and how he will eventually die. Peter goes from there into comparing himself to John. He says, "what about that guy?".  Peter wanted to know if John would have the same thing happen.

(After all it won't be fair, right?-----Oh, my----I can see myself asking this!) Jesus' answer is profound---it isn't any of your business.

"If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?  You follow Me!" John 21:22

John did not remain until Jesus returned the second time, did he?  Because that wasn't the point.  The point is that it wasn't Peter's job to know about John's future or to compare himself to John.

Peter's job was to FOLLOW JESUS. And this is also our job--- to follow Jesus.

Life may not be fair to any of us, but our job remains the same----to FOLLOW JESUS.

(Thankfully) we are not all the same and so we should never compare ourselves to others no matter if it is---- "they have what I desire---why is that? That’s not fair!" ----or "look at me! I am not like them! I am better than them!"

To Follow Jesus we need to keep our eyes on Him (PRAY and READ HIS WORD ) and do what He wants us to do no matter what anyone else has or does.

2) Capturing our thoughts: -----Thinking Biblically wrong thoughts? Just don't go there.

God doesn't want us to be going down wrong roads, especially if they are feeding our desire to hate, become more jealous, and angry.

If we do not stop ourselves now when the pain is so very great--------then when we are finally blessed with solutions, we will just continue with that sin cropping up EVEN when we finally get the blessing of what we really desire.  This sin will overshadow our joy in some way----because we will have fed this sin all along, practicing it so very often that it has become an incredibly ugly habit.  Avoid this sin! 

We need to capture our thoughts all day long and follow Jesus.

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Hebrews 12:15

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Work of my hands

My life continues to be busy.  (Haven’t I written this before?)  I have longed for the days that my life would slow down, but these days never really come.  As I move on to "next things" there are always new ones to replace them!  Sometimes this is overwhelming for me.  One dear friend has described her life as a runaway train.  This is how I feel sometimes.

In reality I am able to stop and smell the roses   :oD  It is not like I am busy 24/7. I realized long ago that keeping my hands busy is a good thing.  As my hands are busy so is my mind. This can be good or bad depending on what I am thinking while busy.  Hmmmmm.....

The same is true while resting.  When I am at rest I can think of good and right things and be very blessed by thinking. When I am emotionally sad and resting it is very easy to go down wrong thinking roads.  This can lead to spiraling downward into more unbiblical thinking.  As we focus in on ourselves we can feed unbiblical thinking.

I did not expect June to be so busy. I actually haven’t even thought of June yet. (Isn’t it April still?)  And here we are about half way to July.  My June has been spent doing everything that is normal, harvesting a bumper strawberry crop, and preparing for a garage sale.

The garage sale completed and the strawberries finished---this week I have been cleaning, reorganizing, and just enjoying working in my home. I feel confident knowing my house is in order - or getting that way.  :oD 

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Blood of Christ

Nothing can melt the stony heart of a sinner
–but the blood of Christ.

The pardoned sinner looks upon a bleeding Christ
–with a bleeding heart.

Thomas Watson 1620-1686

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Women and Modesty

My gentle readers---I want to encourage you to think seriously about your own modesty in this world which is extremely seductive in so many ways.  As Christian women we can justify practically anything and everything for ourselves and our own daughters because our culture does it.

But we must remember that we are new creations!

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold new things have come.”   2 Corinthians 5:17

We are not to be like this wacky, evil world.  We are to be new!

On the other side of this “clothing coin,” we do not have to be completely different and stand out (e.g., full coverage, loose-fitting clothing). There are many ways for us to be modest and fashionable, if we consider rightly.

On the Write Narrow Path, May 31, 2010, Cherry has an article concerning modesty and women of any age, which I highly recommend.  She writes a poignant story which makes the reader truly think about this issue.

May each of you be encouraged as you consider this serious subject. Jill