Dear brothers and sisters,
Welcome to another Heartstrings day! My concern for this Saturday is that we would know without a doubt that we are treasured, and our hearts are captured by our loving Father.
I believe God can do anything. When I remind myself this, I automatically want to tune in to His wave length, the song of God's heart. This channel is the worship and voice I need to heed to resist giving into the mindless lies of the enemy.
One thing I know too, is that on days that are especially gloomy, I don't dare entertain dark thoughts or a pity party arrives, pounding on my door to let them come it. NO Way GO Away! Claiming the blood of Jesus over the doorposts of my life...they have to leave.
When God says, "Go!" He means it. When Jesus spoke to the demons, they had to leave. I don't want to be bound to a graveyard. Instead, I will invite Jesus Christ to be my tomb raider and extract me from that darkness.
God sees us as a precious jewel, His prize. He wants us free from despondancy and being stuck in depression.Oh, let His Love capture you! He wants to bring us into His eternal light!
Proverbs 15:15 is a great one to memorize to ward off the darkness. "All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]."
I love this! We are preparing to take a trip in March back to my home state. We will see my parents and our children and grandchildren left behind there. Now, Montana seems so far from Oregon! Especially in the last 7 years.
My health has been a times a difficult trial. My memories tend to crowd in on all the times I personally disappointed the Lord and others in that place. So, it has seemed kinda scary to think of going back. But, we have a blessing waiting there. The way to get it is to return, only for a few days. The Lord goes before us. He made this plan so we will move forward in His grace.
In the meantime, I have been anxious and have worked myself up so I can't sleep at night. My brain tends to analyze; examine to a fault the details. So already I am trying to detail the who, what, when and wheres. It a crazy wheel of misfortune!
That is why I call on Jesus to take me out of the tombs of my past, my shortcomings and failures. I want to really know that I am His treasure and worth saving. Don't you? He already paid the greatest price for us. WE are His and welcomed back to the Father. Changed, transformed and resurrected into new life through the work on the cross and that empty tomb. He is conqueror!
Why am I being so honest here? To expose the darkness and bring my mind into the LIGHT! It really is those anxious thoughts that get each of us in trouble. In the LIGHT we find reasons to be glad of heart...regardless of our circumstances.
The LORD spoke to my heart two days ago. I was to make a list of all my fears. Wow! That was not a short list! Then, I was to make a list of the blessings by going on this trip. That list is still being added onto today. The fear list was burnt in the woodstove. Then, I explained my raw heart to my husband. WE prayed together and took communion. Since, my heart has been so much lighter.
Do you feel raw, like there are chains around your wrists and ankles? Do you want to be at a continual feast of joy and freedom? You can! Jesus says, "Come" to you today. Let Him raid the hidden chambers of your heart, expose that darkness and set you free to leave that life behind. He has such good plans for you!
Well, if you have made it through this very long post, I know God has something wonderful in store for you. Sometimes we have to go through a dark place to get to the blessings. I believe there is more to be revealed as I surrender my life completely to Jesus Christ.
This is my testimony. What is yours? Be encouraged, even without the change of circumstances. That is a key to unlock those things that bind you. Rejoice with gladness in the Love of the LORD. You are in my prayers and I trust you to let God show you how much He treasures you. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ, be free! Amen.
Abundance is...from fear to feast
Dear brothers and sisters,
By your own admission do you feel hopeless? Is it due to the huge weight of guilt on your shoulders? Are others influencing you so that it seems impossible to be a righteous believer? You try but only see your strength failing.
Whether this comes on the words of false prophets or of our own choices, we must decide who we will believe. Even when the Lord spoke to the people in Jeremiah's day, they still chose to remain deceitful and wicked in their hearts. Jeremiah 19:9. There is still a chance for change.
From generations that walked with God to the many, many who were rebellious with hard hearts, God still kept His Word. What He said He would do, became a reality. Even in taking His presence from Jerusalem and His Holy temple.
What does this have to do with today? Back to the question, "Do you feel hopeless?" What is it about your circumstances that make you think God isn't the answer? Or you can't see because you have been blinded by the enemy.
The people strayed in their affections. They turned to idols and then complained that God wouldn't bless them. There were 300-350 years of darkness where Israel rejected God as their King. In 1 Samuel 8:5 and then 15:23 you can see God giving them what they wanted. How did that turn out? Read on. There is more than one place where the people turned away from their only hope.
David was God's choice to replace Saul. David had a heart for God. Yes, he really blew it a couple of times, but he discovered in his walk with God that even the sacrifices of bulls and goats couldn't bring relief to his weary, guilt-filled heart.
As you already know, man fails. God does not! He became our Jehovah-tsidkenu, the God of our righteousness. He provided the perfect spotless lamb for the sacrifice that was His own Son, Jesus.
With this new revelation there is a new covenant, the covenant of grace and with it you get a new heart! Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 26:26-28; Hebrews 8:6-13.
Today I am so thankful for the resources I have to show me the way through God's amazing Word! I have written some of the names of God in the past. I pray you find a deeper insight into the character and heart of God for people. You are His prize!
You are also His sheep. You will not want or lack for anything. He is Jehovah-raah, your Shepherd. He is Jehovah-jireh, your Provider. This is His name by which He will be called, The LORD our righteousness." Jeremiah 23:6. WE can be right with God! Righteous means to be straight; God is right and to live according to His standards. But, righteousness in man requires a new heart. That we can have!
Leaving the way of your wrong path and stepping into God's grace, you will know what hope is. Ezekiel 36:26-27 gives us a wonderful promise...
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you: and I remove the heart of stone form your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."
The more I found myself committing my heart and mind to the ways of the world, the more hardened my heart became concerning God. My life became an endless cycle of sin and failure was always lurking to discourage me. Until...I turned all that junk over to Jesus and found myself with a heart that beat after the things of God! I felt like I could breathe again. Peace entered my thinking and I could discern the Truth from the lie.
Read once more Jeremiah 23:1-6 where Jehovah-tsidkenu is first used. Then, become a sheep of the Shepherd and let Him lead you the rest of your days.
Finally, for today, remember the Cross of Calvary. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Romans 3:22 says, "...even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe." Do you believe?
Wonderful news! Have faith. Have hope. Have eternal peace as you place yourself in the hands of Mighty God. He loves and adores you and sent His only Son to save you from the grip of death and separation from His glorious home. Ask Him to be your LORD, your righteousness right now.
We have the hope of home with Him! Think about this today as we close. Ask Jesus to fill you with more faith, a soft heart and ears to hear His precious Word. God bless you and keep you until we meet again. In His matchless name, amen.
Abundance is...where the Lord is hope abounds
Dear loved of God,
Hello everyone. Are you in the fight of your life? Either some physical malady or an emotional loss that continues to keep you in the dark or is it a spiritual battle yet to be won? We all want freedom to live and move in the abundance of what God tells us is ours.
First, we need to need a change. Who can win who is satisfied living in the tombs? Jesus took time to visit a man who was totally in darkness. He couldn't be chained, controlled or passified. Even scraping at his body wouldn't rid him of the torment he was in. Have you ever felt like that?
You can cry all you want, but there are strongholds that will not for the life of you let go their hold. Mark 5 has a story about such a man. But first, something happened while crossing the sea with His disciples. Jesus wanted to go "to the other side". Not for a rest from all His work but to visit one person. After a terrific, wild storm that Jesus calmed; He was on another mission to calm a storm.
This encounter in verses 1-20 says, this man lived in the tombs under the power of an unclean spirit. No one could subdue him, not even with the strongest of chains. He walked around night and day shrieking and screaming, bruising and cutting himself with stones.
Imagine the horror, the terror of that place. When Jesus saw him from a distance, the man asked Him, "What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?"
Where are the disciples? Hiding in the boat? What are they witnessing? I think I would be trembling! Well, Jesus commanded the unclean spirits to come out of the man. There were many, a legion.
Okay, right here I want to ask...do you feel like you are stuck in a graveyard? Christians, I am talking to you. You might be able to pull off a pretty good bluff when you are with the church. But, what do you have when you go home? What do you see when you look in the mirror? Is there a heavy weight of chains around you so you can hardly lift your feet?
Now back to the warfare. In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 we see Paul reminding us that our warfare is not in the flesh using human weapons, "For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that set itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ."
I have spent the last few nights refuting arguments, crazy anxiety and reasonings over the future. Where my imagination rises to make me miserable and hurting as soon as I laid down for sleep, I found the enemy lurking.
I asked the Lord "Why?" My answer was to stand on the Word of Truth with the armor I have been given. Eventually, when I bring those troubling thoughts to rest at the throne of grace, I sleep.
Speaking His matchless, powerful name, I no longer have the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 lulls me back to peace.
When the night is dark without the light of the moon, everything becomes a different view, doesn't it? There are no shadows where there is no light. Only darkness you can almost hold in your hand.
Jesus understands our struggle. Be encouraged believers, He is the Lord who calms every storm! He speaks "Peace, be still" to the place that we truly know He Is God! The storm is exhausted from power to beat our perfect peace.
I have found the greatest battle to be within my own mind. Mostly about things I am not in control over. Stress becomes a cloak that is heavy and cumbersome. There are places that still need the sanctifying work of Christ.
A Christian we may be, but the work of the Holy Spirit continues to deliver us from the tombs yet to be revealed. Control could be an issue. It must be God's control, not ours. Unresolved hurts, our petty hangups and bad habits all need the touch of the Master.
Will you ask the Lord to show you what He sees? Are you wanting to be healed that much? I am. It is scary and yet, so is surgery. We can trust the Lord as we give our lives into His capable, loving hands. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 and here I will leave you.
"And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
"Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you]."
Praise the Lord brothers and sisters! We aren't left to ourselves to wallow around in the tombs any longer! That man was restored perfectly at the command of The Lord of All! We can be too! Rejoice in the Lord's goodness and unfailing Love for you! Bless you in His matchless name, now and forevermore. Amen.
Dear family and friends,
Hello and welcome to Heartstrings. I am sorry I couldn't write yesterday. Hopefully, you didn't miss out on the wonderful things God had in store for you.
Reading through Genesis, I came to chapter 19 this morning. I have read it many times but for some reason what struck me was that Lot's wife looked back. Her reasons? From what I understand Lot's wife not only "looked back" to where her heart's interests were, but she lingered behind; and probably overtaken by the fire and brinmstone, her dead body became incrusted with salt. Layered. Salt packed in the area which is today called the Dead Sea.
So, as I thought about this I had to question my own heart to see whether I look back and linger in the wishes and longings, my interests and desires yet unfulfilled. I have. That is where I get stuck.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for hanging on to those things that are only of my own agenda. Those desires that are not of you. Even to the point of trying to fix a situation from years past. No wonder, there is a struggle.
Will you make me so focused on Your desires and the passion of Your heart for my life, that I do not question, only believe You have the very best for me. In Jesus name, amen.
When Jesus told the story of the salt, He said in Matthew 5:13..."You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men." Thrown out the old and ask the Lord to make you new!
As I reviewed Lot's wife, I could see simularities in my own thinking. Then, by stepping back, I could see the reason for my stale witness. My lack of desire to share The Good News with others, freely. Being tied up with unmet wishes, a person can get stuck. By looking back all the time and not finding a resolution to those situations, we can easily loose our way.
By spending time alone in God's Word and not expecting to be spoon fed by our pastors and teachers; we can see more clearly the hope of our future. The healing of our past is found in Jesus Christ. So, we need to begin there. Then, we can be that light of the world Jesus spoke of in verse 14. The Holy Spirit is your teacher. He won't let you get lost. Only trust Him as Proverbs 3:5-8 says.
Do you need a new path? Do you need a mind change? How about trusting the One Who made you? He is able to keep you moving forward, climbing away from the destruction of your own Sodom. It was the mercies of the Lord that led Lot and his family out safely. Their lives were far from perfect, but God had a plan and He keeps His promises.
Today, there is still time to bring all the crude of your life to Him. Let Him bathe you in the cleansing pool of His forgiveness and step out renewed, refreshed and ready to witness.
Now you can declare, as it says in Luke 12:8..."openly [speaking out freely] and confess that you are His worshipper and acknowledge Him before men, then the Son of Man also will declare and confess and acknowledge you before the angels of God." Praise the Lord!
You won't be stuck any longer. Your freedom came with a cost. You know that Jesus took your sin upon Himself to the cross, then conquered death so you can live eternally with Him. Redeemed to come freely to the Father in heaven. Talk to Him now.
Lord God, forgive me of my sin and all the longings to go back. Forgive me for thinking my way is better and I can fix myself. I cannot. Will you help me find my way to You? Thank you for saving me today. In the matchless name of Jesus, amen.
I am so glad you prayed this prayer with me! Now you can enter in with a grateful heart lifting praise to our Mighty God! Decide quickly to pick up a Bible and read God's love letter for you. You can start with the book of John. You won't be disappointed! Give glory to God!
Abundance is...Jesus says I am worth the cost
Dear brothers and sisters,
Are you an oak tree? The Bible refers to being an oak of righteousness. However, when God plants an oak, He pretty much puts it where it will get some of the fiercest storms. The reason? To make the roots go down deep and the body of the tree to become strong.
Today, I am feeling that storm hit against my body. I don't like it at all. This morning, talking to the Lord, I wanted to know if this was because of sin in my life? If I'd missed something, somewhere in relationship with Him?
I found His peace. His assurance and His compassion. And, a greater desire to press into Him, to know Him as my Living God and best friend.
During my walk over the last several months I have found that the storms do make me stronger. Like an oak tree. The place I am in is not equivelent or match with what my mind has conjured up. This hasn't been a place of ultimate happiness. Much the contrast.
Yet, while this is where Abba has planted me, it is His best to make me all He sees me to be. Prepared to meet His Son on His wedding day. In this I am able to rejoice! And in the meantime, maybe I can provide the shade of His grace for others who are struggling.
We will take Him at His Word and rest upon His promises and know Who He is...LORD of all! I love Isaiah 41:10..."Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice."
I can't help but take a deep breathe, as relief for my soul. No fear, no what if's, or why's or if only's. Read this over again. Do you see anything describing an oak of rightness? There is firm assurance for the oak. It doesn't quiver in fear but grabs the ground with stronger roots. Clinging to the promises of God.
Jesus, Messiah, was sent to bring the Good News to the afflicted. He came to bind up the brokenhearted and set free the captives. He came to comfort those who mourn; giving them beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for our failing, burdened spirit. That we may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinquished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God, the planting of the Lord.
That He may be glorified! Reading Isaiah 61:3 I can see Him making me ready to face any storm, any battle, any trouble. Equipped, with all I need for the day. If only I am having to be still and quiet. Wouldn't it be great to hear the Father call you His friend? He does if you only believe.
Ask the Lord to help you magnify His name whether you are in a storm or in the calm. Tell your flesh that you have His peace. That you trust the Lord with all your heart. That you will let Him do the fixing. Then, stand steady, mighty oak! Bless you in the matchless name above all other names, Jesus Christ, amen.
Abundance is...the blessings will overtake you