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Christmas grace

Over lunch this week, we sat side by side. In between bites of pork loin and vegetables, we chatted, our conversation never faltering. It was like a tennis game, each of us taking our turn talking and listening.

It is the way of women.

As I meditate upon Mary’s visit to Elizabeth her relative, so many questions circle in my mind. I want more details. What is left untold is left to the imagination.

Mary hurried to the town in the hill country of Judea? What was her hurry? I have my thoughts. People didn’t believe her story of an angel’s visitation, of the Holy Spirit coming upon her, of a pregnancy before she and Joseph were husband and wife. But perhaps Elizabeth would. She was the recipient of her own miracle.

The long journey on foot would have been weary for young Mary. Perhaps she sighed with relief when the house finally came into view. Longing for some refreshment and a place to rest, she knocked on the door.

Elizabeth greeted her and then the joy happened all around them. The presence of the Holy Spirit surrounded the young and the aged and the babes in their wombs. The atmosphere was electric, and their faith in a God who works wonders united in explosive praise.

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” — Luke 1:45, NIV

When we believe, we are blessed. When we believe, we honor the God who promised. When we believe, we encourage one another. When we believe, the Holy Spirit is powerful in us.

What are you believing for this day? Does it seem impossible? Have you been waiting long?

“Who has believed and confidently trusted in, relied on, and adhered to our message of salvation? And to whom, if not us, has the arm and infinite power of the Lord been revealed?” — Isaiah 53:1, Amplified Bible

Sometimes we need to gather together and believe with each other. Let faith arise. Let God be exalted Encourage one another with words of confidence and trust in a Mighty Savior.

“My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” — Luke 1:46, 47, KJV

Sunday grace.

 

Image result for google images mary and elizabeth

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Walk this way

Finding myself more than halfway through a Bible study becomes melancholy experience for me.

There’s lots of preparation for each and every week that takes a chunk of my time.  But when I gather with a group of wonderful women who become sisters-in-Christ in the truest since of the word, and we talk about God, it is joy.  Plain and simple.

Studying The Armor of God with Priscilla Shirer has been eye-opening to us as we have been awakened to our enemy’s strategies, re-discovering how to fight well, and learning to put into practice what we already knew and what we are learning afresh.

This week’s topic has been the shield of faith, learning that faith is active, moving where God is calling.

I will admit I have had my crises of faith.  Those times when I questioned everything I was ever taught in the face of my present reality.  Times when what I desperately prayed for didn’t materialize.  Times when I wondered if everything I believed was really true.

Often my focus was on me and my faith.  Was it enough?  Was it strong?  Would it be sufficient to accomplish my purpose?

Ms. Shirer made this statement:  “Faith is less about me and more about God.”

I am a dull learner sometimes, having to repeat the same lesson again.  And this time I want to remember this lesson well.

Faith is about a mighty God, a dependable God, a strong and compassionate God.  And let me say it in bold letters, A Faithful God.

When Jesus chided his followers because of their lack of faith, wasn’t it because they were looking at circumstances and themselves rather than looking at Yahweh?  The I Am.  The Self-existent One.  The Everlasting.  The Alpha and Omega.

Oh my, when I look at the God of the Bible who accomplished amazing miracles and who died a selfless, humiliating death for my sake and to pay my unpayable debt of sin, I am filled with a strong faith in a strong God.

Faith is not about me.  Not about how much or how little I have.  Not whether I can talk myself into believing the impossible.

Faith is about a faithful God who can do more than I can imagine or think into reality.  When I fix my eyes on Jesus, when I look toward the only Answer in a broken world of questions, when I see Him in the glory of the One and Only who rules and reigns even when all seems in chaos, then and only then am I filled with faith.

When this vision is before me and making itself at home in my heart, I will have an active faith.  A faith that can move forward where God is calling to me.

I will hear Him say, “Walk this way.”  And I will go with Him.

Walkway

Bruce Park AW Hanks Walkway, Wikipedia

A check-up for the soul

 

I went to the Lord’s Clinic to have a check-up. I was hoping to get a pat on the back for lots of good works and a “well done.” Instead it was confirmed I had some major health issues.

When Jesus took my blood pressure, He confirmed I was low in tenderness and compassion.

He took my temperature. The thermometer registered 102 degrees of anxiety.

He ran a heart catheterization and found I needed several bypasses since my arteries were blocked with envy and hatred.

Next I went to orthopedics, complaining of some pain in my legs. Jesus said I had not been bowing on my knees in prayer enough.

After an eye examine, Jesus told me I was shortsighted, not seeing past myself. There was also a tendency to magnify the shortcomings of my brothers and sisters. Plus there was this great big beam in my eye causing me to be very critical.

When I told Him about some deafness I was experiencing, the diagnosis was that my ears were stopped up with the world’s message. It was keeping me from hearing the Truth.

After the exam was complete, I asked about the bill and was shocked by how much it was. It was way beyond what I could pay. Then I heard the good news . It had already been paid by Jesus.

Jesus then took me aside for a consultation. He gave me His healing remedy which was in the shape of a cross.

He said I should call on Him frequently since He is available day and night, at just the whisper of His name. Why, He even makes house calls at all hours.

He gave me some instructions to follow each day. Here they are:

I absolutely must start exercising my faith on a daily basis.

Every morning, take a full glass of gratitude.

Before I leave the house, take a couple of large spoonsful of brotherly love.

Every hour, sip from the Fruit of the Spirit and receive doses of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

At midday, drink one heaping glass of humility.

When getting home, take an extra dose of love for one another.

Before retiring, have a bedtime snack of the Bread of Life. Wash it down with an ample amount of the water of the Word.

When ready for bed, kneel and lay everything at Jesus feet. Then receive two caplets of a clear conscience.

For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Dear Readers, a sweet friend sent me something similar to this, and I made a few changes to it.  I do not know the originator, and I do not mean to commit plagiarism.  I wish to thank the author, whoever you are.  If you’re out there, please step forward.

I always enjoy hearing back from you.  Please leave a comment.