Faith

The Back Story

In writing, there is a term called the “Back-story.” The back-story is simply “background information about a real person or thing that wrtpromotes fuller understanding of it.”

 

As believers, our back-story, in many cases, becomes the cornerstone of our testimony.  Our back story begins with who we were before Christ- lost, blinded, desperate, needy, and dying. Added to that is the defining and life changing moment in time when we experienced merciful and gracious intervention. The day the Healer of our souls opened our eyes and heart  to our desperate need of a Savior. Our back story is the moment He allowed us to see we stood wanton and condemned before the awful and awesome Holy God of Eternity. Our back story was when Glory intervened among depraved humanity, revealing. condemning, ransoming, delivering, and Saving us so we could be who we were created, called, and  destined to become.

 

Unlike fictional work, our back-story is unique in that it is ongoing and will never be complete until Christ returns. At the end of every day, we have actively lived and experienced countless moments that bare witness of a faithful and glorious God actively at work among us. Our back story builds and swells ever moment of our lives, paving the way for the next.

 

Lamentation 3:19-27 says:

19I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

 

What an eloquent summary of the back-story of every believer!

 

At night, when my head hits the pillow, I can and must reflect upon the back-story of the day. It is during these quiet periods of reflection that I am able to see quite possibly what my physical eyes missed during the chaotic moments of the day. For, every second I drew a breath, He was miraculously and glorious present in my life.

 

buildEvery moment of Divine intervention, grace, strength, joy, sorrow, suffering, and Victory, yet another row of “faith” bricks are laid. Each day’s faith bricks building upon the last, and not one line of my story takes place without His presence. He is there holding my life, my back-story, and my life story together. Within the Divine mortar that affirms, confirms, and establishes my life, the King and glorious Creator of the universe takes pleasure in weaving His presence and glory into my meager story, making it His own!

 

This amazing Montage of the Divine intertwined among raw, needy humanity shines more brilliant than the most beautiful of sunsets. Daily, and faithfully He builds, what human eyes can not fathom. Day by day He builds what makes the unseen heart soar and rise above circumstance and sorrow. Brick upon brick, story upon story, faithfulness that binds, grace that transforms, lives consumed by the glory of His love.

 

And from among the ash and the chaos of life His glorious church is built. The many become one. A mysterious and unified body. A million voices crying out in perfect, haunting harmony. Each back story confirming and testifying with the next. A unanimous, faithful, consistent symphony, building upon the every note that swells from hearts overflowing with Divine Grace. No one story rising above another’s, for every story proclaims equally and  gloriously the Sovereign Reign of a Holy God.  And as our voices join with those “Graced” in the past, we beckon and testify to those who struggle tomorrow that He Is, He Was and He will forever be. Those who “know” and have experienced, call out to those yet suffering among the ashes of sorrow, pain, heartache and failure. To these we cry “Lift up your head, He lives, He breathes, and He is here among you. He sits with you among the ashes, He understands your fear, He feels your pain, and He has an answer to the questions you falter to ask”  Our back-story becomes the hiding place for those so broken, battered, and weary they can’t see him though their pain.

 

What is my back-story, you might ask?

 

broken heart He loved me enough to expose the hidden sins of my heart. He cared about the things others couldn’t see, seizing the opportunity sin meant to use for my destruction and instead  used it as an opportunity to lavish upon me His glorious grace.  When I was wounded by the sinful hearts of others, He whispered I am here, I am in control, and it is your heart I will make new. Though I did not understand it then, I see now that He smote me, not to destroy, but to restore. He broke me beyond what man could repair and then He repaired my spirit, soul, and heart in a way only the God of the Universe could. He replaced ashes with Beauty, sorrow for Joy, turmoil with Peace, Anger with Gentleness. Though I was blind, now I see, and what was dead, He brought back to life. Oh look at my life and you will see Him there. Oh to be able to adequately convey what He has put to death in my heart and life.  If only you could see the ugliness and depravity His Spirit works diligently and skillfully to cut away.  He has gloriously replaced a hopeless future, with His glorious Hope!

 

This is my back-story and this is His glory!

 

What is your back-story?

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Learning to live with a heart that is broken but a life is not.

Living with a Heart that is Broken, but a life that is not!

Beth Moore at Living Proof Ministries is hosting her women’s summer Bible study. I signed up at Women’s Bible Cafe to join over 600 women who will participate in this study via online and community small groups. We are studying the book of Nehemiah and using Kelly Minter’s book Nehemiah: A heart that can break. 

There is still time to join over 600 dear, like-minded, passionate “Siestas” in Christ. You can follow along personally, join a virtual small group (what I am doing), or hook up with a group in your area. Check out any of the above links for information.

Brokenness isn’t an activity your normal human being would sign up to experience. Everything about the word screams run, but when we are straining to “see the unseen”, and to live for the “Eternal” versus the temporal, brokenness should become our hearts desire and aim.

Over the next few weeks I will post thoughts and insights gleaned from this study. My heart has all ready been blessed as I have joined in prayer with women I have never met, yet feel great love and compassion for. What a powerful image six-hundred women, on their faces before the Lord, crying out for brokenness, evokes!

To ask the Lord to break my heart with the things that break His, is a daring prayer. It is not a self-seeking desire to suffer for the purpose of winning the praise and accolades of man, nor is it an attempt to obtain righteousness through works. The desire to have a heart, broken by God, is a desire to see and feel as He sees and feels. It is a prayer to have myself moved out-of-the-way so I can see and be moved by the pain, suffering, need, and hopelessness of man. A heart, broken by the Spirit of the Living God, is to posses a heart that mourns over the destruction that sin is wreaking in the hearts of fallen man.

 

Today, as we studied the prayer and heart of Nehemiah found in chapter 1:1-5, A verse kept coming to mind:

Psalm 17:15

15 As for me,

I will behold thy face in righteousness:

I shall be satisfied,

when I awake, with thy likeness.

I believe this desire should be the heart and sum of all we strive to do and be as children of God. A broken and contrite heart He will not turn away! Would you be daring enough to embrace the cry, “Lord break my heart?” Can you utter with me. in Your brokenness, let me become Your likeness, and in Your likeness there let me dwell satisfied?

The truth and reality of the fallen world we live in is  that everyone we will be broken.  The question we must ask ourselves is what will we allow to break us, sin or a Savior?

 

Matthew 21:44

And whosoever shall fall on this stone

shall be broken:

but on whomsoever it shall fall,

it will grind him to powder.

The world will crush and break us ruthlessly, our Heavenly Father breaks us with love, compassion and a divine, God glorifying purpose.

Only One can promise fulfillment with abandonment, and bring beauty from ashes. Only one Master can satisfy and fulfill the desires and yearning of the yielded and broken heart.

Lord God Almighty, posses and reign my heart and life. Make is soft so that it weeps when you weep, delights when you
delight, and breaks at what breaks yours. O Father, I shall be satisfied only when I awake with your likeness, when there is less of me for the world to see. Amen

My Prayer for you: Truth

Truth….will set you free

Truth:

We are told to acquire it, no matter the cost, and to never relinquish it once it is in our possession.

Proverbs 23:23
Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

God delights in the man who posses it.

Psalm 51:6
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

God is near the man whose conversation is guided by it.

Psalm 145:18
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

True worship requires it.

John 4:23
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

It brings freedom.

John 8:32
“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

A relationship with the Father is made possible by it.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

It brings sanctification and cleansing.

John 17:17
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

It holds our faith and everything we believe and confess together.

Ephesians 6:14
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

He demands that truth resides in our inward parts because He is the Truth, and the center of our life is where He delights to dwell. For the lost, afflicted, weak and needy, no other word contains greater meaning, power, hope, or reward? Jesus Christ the Way, Truth, and Life purifies the sin afflicted heart and unshackles the weary and groaning prisoner. Once given free reign within the heart of man, the liberating power of truth ignites the irrepressible worship of the redeemed.

Truth may be intangible and unseen, but it’s fruit and the effect of its presence upon the heart and life of mankind is not. I praise the Lord, because we have seen the truth, and felt its imprint seared eternally upon our hearts, life, and marriage. My prayer for you today has been that you would be empowered by the truth that  brought you liberty, and that you would cherish the truth that transformed your life. I pray that you would cling tightly to it, be guided by it, and live your life according to it. May you weigh every thought, impulse, and decision with the light of Truth. May He guide your heart and mind today and as you seek truth may you find the sweet presence of He who is Truth!

My Prayer for you: Perserverance

Power

Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

I am not sure why, but when I think of the word power, the first image that comes to mind is a pink bunny with earphones and a drum. I am sure glad that in real life, my confidence and source of strength and power doesn’t come from a man-made consumable battery or bunny for that matter.

God isn’t just powerful, He is power. The ability to create the universe by commanding it into existence is sheer, raw, unparalleled power! I can barely keep my head from popping off when all three kids clamor at the same time for my attention, yet the God of the Universe can listen intently, personally, and intentionally to every prayer being uttered, by every soul crying out to Him, while at the same time holding all things together by the “Power of His word.

This is my Papa, my Advocate, my Benefactor, my source of Strength and Might, and according to His Word, Power endues to His Children power,  so that they can be renewed, mount up, soar, run, and walk.

Today my Husband, I am praying for the anointing of the power of the Lord upon you. Weather He asks you to fly, run, or simply walk, may you draw upon His Power. I pray you do not get discourage by your own weaknesses and limitations, for in those moments of God ordained humility, His strength flows freely and His grace will rest firmly upon you. I look at you and wonder what the Lord has in store for you, for us. No matter that He asks of you, and where He calls us, His Power will be present. May you follow hard  and finish well, and may your life bring glory and honor to Him as His power is made perfect. Amen

Credits:
Image Credit: M16, the “Eagle nebula”  NASAESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

My Prayer for you today…..Love

 

The world eagerly flaunts its misguided perception of love. Sitcoms feed gullible seekers a steady diet of unrealistic dreams and a list of demands to bring into their relationships. While the world relentlessly presents it’s weak and whimsical definition of love, we tend to miss the most important aspect behind true love. The vitality & power of love is not found so much in what Love does, but rather in what it does not do.

I Corinthians 13:1-8a

 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,

I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,

and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,

 but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient and kind;

love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

I found it interesting that this famous section on love begins by listing a host of admirable, even desirable actions, abilities, and gifts followed by a shocking revelation. In the midst of suave, flowery, romantic speech and the ability to say and do all the right things, love can be glaringly absent.

You mean I can take a meal to a neighbor I secretly despise, or put a new roof on for a couple I care nothing about and it means nothing? I can tell my spouse everything is ok and even dish out a kiss or two yet despite all my actions and professions, love can be missing?

Yup, in the midst of all that pomp and clanking, there can remain an emptiness and void where love should dwell but isn’t. Doing doesn’t guarantee loving!

If you think  the idea of love being absent in the midst of noble actions and sacrificial giving, a paradoxical concept, then  read on! Next in the chapter comes a mind-boggling list of how love is powerfully demonstrated during “inaction.”

Love is demonstrated when envy is an exiled and unwelcome guest.

Love is present when a boasting heart is consumed upon the altar of humility and grace.

Love is the absence of arrogance.

Love raises its gracious head when rudeness bows in subjection to the feelings of others.

Love voices it’s true intention when it calls out passionately in constant purposeful yielding to the desires of others.

Love resides unshaken, faithfully pressing onward while riding out the never-ending swells of unpredictable human emotions, weakness, and reasoning.

Love removes itself from the presence of all actions, attitudes, and situations that would make it a bedfellow with the enemies of its soul.

Love has no finish line, no expiration date, and no exception clause.

Love is endless, abounding, and nonnegotiable.

Jesus had compassion on the crowds and preformed many signs and miracle. He healed, fed, taught, and rescued thousands but I think His greatest demonstration of Love came during those sacred moments of silence when he stood unshaken before his accusers and as he hung willingly upon the cross. Truly, only the God of the universe could have kept silent while those He created beat Him!

As a kid I played out how I would have handled the crucifixion. I would have popped off that cross, and showed the crowd who I really was. I would have struck the pharisees down with gruesome and painful diseases. I would have given that unbelieving pompous crowd gawking at my nakedness and shame a momentary glimpse of the Heavenly Host straining at the ready to exact judgment upon them. I would have preformed an amazing lightening show and topped it off by spinning Jupiter on my finger.

This is everything I would have done!

Yet Jesus did something mysteriously more powerful than any action. He demonstrated His love by doing  nothing. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter and he never opened him mouth. He endured suffering silently without returning condemning upon His inflictors, when reviled He did not revile in return.

He demonstrated the depth and height of His love by silence and something even more unpredictable, death.

And herein lies the secret of love.

Love is death. It is quiet yielding and sacrifice. It is silence in the face of unjust accusation. It is willing brokenness for the sake of the broken and needy not the deserved. This is such a different image than the one hollywood hawks. Love is often absent in the getting, doing, giving, being, to busy to stop crowd, for any emotionless, selfish, warped, unloving, sick person can do these things.

This is Love

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends.

1 John 3:16
Hereby perceive we the love of God,

because he laid down his life for us:

and we ought to lay down our lives

 for the brethren.

My prayer for you today my husband is a prayer for us both. My prayer is for love. Jesus love drove Him to the cross to be broken. Those precious, nail scarred hands now break us daily that we might also love. May the Lord fill our hearts with an understanding of His love for us, and may that precious gift flow from our own hearts as an unquenchable stream of love for others. May we lay down our lives together in these battles we fight together hand in hand. Let us be silent together, raising up feeble hands and weary knees yielded to His purpose and plan for our lives. May we die spiritually together each day and as we live to die, may we discover with more intensity and satisfaction than the day before, the joy that comes from sacrifice, the purpose that comes from pain, and the power that is unleashed through our weaknesses. Your path is mine David, your calling is my calling. Ours is a sacred dance, beauty displayed among chaos. I praise the Lord for the gift of you and for your Love. I praise the Lord for calling us to be his and for allowing us to run this race together. Amen

Praying for my Husband A to Z: F is for Favor

Favor

Psalm 5:12

For you bless the righteous, O Lord;

You cover him with favor

as with a shield

Psalm 84:11

Today I have prayed that my husband would be anointed with favor. Psalm 5:12 has been my heart-song for David. Some have said that Grace is God’s unmerited favor, a gift we do not deserve but are given liberally.

The Heavenly Father has chosen David and called him to Himself. He has called, and then promised that as he calls and leads he also will equips. He has also promised that He will perfect and finish the work He has begun in David’s life, & our marriage & family. So my prayer is that God’s grace would compass David as he works, thinks, interacts, and goes about his day.

 

I am also praying that David would find favor in the presence of his employees, customers, vendors, and all others the Lord brings into his life. His day is filled with much stress as he tries to keep the peace, make customers happy, all while growing and leading his company.

 

Father, it is true that your grace and favor is upon the life of my husband. You have loved and been intimately acquainted with him from His youth. I have seen your hand upon his life and I ask that your grace, love and favor would not depart. May your favor guide, protect and transform him. Father David deals with so many people and so many high pressure situations every day. Please give him the wisdom, discernment, understanding, and compassion he needs as he works with those you bring into his life. Please give him favor in their eyes, and give him the ability to defuse anger, animosity, physical limitations & weaknesses. Amen

Praying for my Husband A to Z: C is for Calling

Calling

2 Peter 1:10

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren,

give diligence to make your calling and election sure:

for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

 

My husband never ceases to amaze me. He assumes so many roles during a 24 hour day. He wakes up early every morning and is my breakfast buddy, Bible study partner, leader, husband, and friend. We chat over coffee, cramming in as much “us” time as we possibly can before footfalls on the wooden stairs announce the arrival of our kids. With the quiet morning interrupted David assumes the role of “daddy” to three energetic kids who clamor for his undivided attention. Once David backs out of the driveway and passes through the doors at work he adds boss, accountant, teacher, counselor, advocate, and mediator to his growing list of duties.

 

Not all his tasks are enjoyable, but in order to provide for us and help his guys provide for their families, he does what has to be done. His days are spent sustaining, leading, and sacrificing for others, but his day does not end when he clocks out return home. He has been chosen and set apart for the Lord’s work and and for the Lord’s glory and testimony. A fifty hour work week, demanding wife, sick child, or broken down car does not excuse him from his God-given calling, “Be Holy as I am Holy, Love the Lord with ALL your heart, study…rightly dividing the word of truth”….Somewhere between the necessities, duties, and responsibilities of life, my husband is called by the Lord to embrace and fulfill God’s purpose for his life, to live, love, and serve his Creator with every ounce of strength and passion within him.

 

Our husbands are amazing men, with complicated, stress filled, demanding lives.  Somehow a midst all the physical demands and battles they endure, they have to simultaneously wage war on second front, the spiritual one.  Today my prayer is that the Lord’s calling upon my husband’s life would embolden, impassion, and drive him throughout  every aspect of his day.

 

Father, your hand is upon the life and work of my husband. He is flesh, with limitations and weakness, yet at the same time he is a spiritual, redeemed, and living creation called out by you. As he engages in the spiritual and physical arenas of life, help to never loose sight of eternity, and the only thing that truly matter or will stand when he meets you face to face. Help him to discover, fulfill, and accomplish the one calling that matters most, his relationship, walk, and service to you. Give him eyes to see, ears to hear your voice, wisdom, and council. Let his heart be consumed with a desire and passion for you alone. Amen

The Hat You Should Never Wear!

The “Hat” you were never meant to wear!

As a daughter of Christ, wife, and mother, there are many roles I am “called” to fulfill. Some mornings I find a yellow hard hat on top my head. You know the “pardon my mess, your tax dollars are at work” kind of days when all you do is “fix things” like broken attitudes & relationships. Days filled with busted toys, skinned knees, and clogged drains.

There are the trench warfare days when I feel like I am wearing a special ops military grade helmet as I leap from fox hole to fox hole, dodging spiritual, mental, and emotional bombardments from the “enemy”. I am a cook, nurse, teacher, peacemaker, chauffeur, and the list goes on. Not every hat I don is difficult or burdensome. I love my sun visor moments! The mornings I can relax on a park bench with a book, sipping a cup of hot coffee while being serenaded by the sounds of my 3 treasures squealing with delight in the warm spring sun.

While many of the “hats” in my extensive collection require personal sacrifice, momentary angst, and occasional hardships, I would not relinquish any of the roles my Father has entrusted to me. Every “hat” the Lord has ever asked me to wear has been accompanied with grace and strength in abundance. It is a truthful saying,

“Faithful is He who has called you who will also perform it.”

Over the past few years, the Lord has opened my eyes to the fact that the source of some of my greatest struggles, defeats, and failures have come when I claimed a hat I was never intended to wear. If you are like me, a sinner saved by grace, chances are this hat has shown up in your collection from time to time, just as it has mine. Perhaps you are wearing this very hat as we speak.

I unwittingly placed this hat on top my of head just the other day as I stood at the kitchen sink, deep in thought. The week had been a rough one for me. I was exhausted and to make matters worse, I had not responded properly to some spiritual warfare that had arisen in my life. Suddenly an old, familiar foe I have battled for years wrapped its icy fingers around my heart and I immediately went into defence mode. I grabbed the bill of the “hat” with the words “Holy Spirit” stitched brightly across the top, tightened the strap, and set about to take control of the situation. To resolve this conflict, I determined that my husband, who was absolutely clueless as to what was bothering me, needed to do a,b, & c, and furthermore he needed to refrain from doing e, f, & g. (The poor guy!)

As my emotions swirled and the dark clouds grew, the voice of my Heavenly Father parted the commotion of my unchecked emotions and fears. With clarity, I heard Him declare with loving rebuke “Jody, you can not make your husband holy. That is my job and the work of my Spirit.” I reached up and pulled the “cap” from off my head, and I handed it to back to the Lord. In despair, I cried out, “But what can I do for him?” Just as clearly as before, the Lord answered me and He said “You can pray for Him Jody.” I prayed, peace flooded my heart, and the burden of a role I was never ment to fulfill lifted from off my shoulders.

The Challenge

The Lord works in mysterious ways! On Sunday I had to work in the nursery, so I missed the a.m. Service. As I prepared lunch after church, I asked my husband about the message and a smile came to my lips when he said it was about praying for others. As David gave me a summary of the message, all I could think about was that special moment in the kitchen when I distinctly heard God calling me to pray for my husband.

I am ashamed to confess this, but of all the “hats” in my collection, the “Prayer warrior” cap is not as worn and tattered as others are. My laundry, sun visor, chefs hat and workout caps are tattered and painted with sweat stains but my prayers cap looks fairly new. This calling to Pray is not a glorious, win the praise of man kind of “hat”. It is a private, selfless, and sacrificial act of love and humility. I feel the hand of the Lord impressing upon my heart the dire need a husband has for the prayers and intercession of his wife. Ladies, we need to pray daily, intently, and purposefully for our husbands, boyfriends, and future life mates. Single ladies do you pray for the man who will one day be your husband?

We can’t change our men, nor can we order their lives so that they never make wrong choices, or never stumble and fall. I can not work and move my husbands heart towards holiness, but the Lord of Creation can. I have to hand over the hat with the words “Holy Spirit” written across it, entrusting the heart of the one I love deeply into His capable hands.  This frees me to accomplish my calling an the one thing I am capable and called to do, PRAY!

Recently I participated in a 26 day blog challenge that was very rewarding. I would like to begin a 31 day A-Z challenge of my own and I wonder if you would consider joining me? You can participate on your own in private, or join in publicly on your blog. I would like to take the next 30 days to concentrate on my husband while developing the discipline and habit of lifting him up to the Lord. Each day I will choose specific things, (mine will correspond to the letter of the day as possible) to bring to the Lord in prayer. As you are led, would you participate in your own way? If you are single, please join us! Oh how I wish I had prayed for David before I knew him. Being a young man in this fallen world is not easy. Satan is a deceiver, a wicked lion who stalks and devours our husbands, sons, pastors, and leaders.

How amazing it would be to have hundreds and even thousands of women around the world lifting up their men to the Lord in humble, loving, God honoring, targeted, specific prayer each and every day. Please join me and if you feel led, pass this along via word of mouth, e-mail, at church, in small groups…..

A to Z: V is for Victory!

Victory

1. Defeat of an enemy or opponent.
2. Success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle.
3. The state of having triumphed.

I Cor 15:42-45, 50-58

42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit……

50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

“Death is swallowed up…..Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory”

Are there any other words as sweet and liberating as these? Over the last few weeks, I have blogged about the atonement of Christ that gave me freedom from the condemnation of sin. I spoke about the liberating power of faith, truth, grace and God’s love. What a great way to wind down this challenge, by speaking about the ultimate fruit and reward of our battle to Overcome and to walk worth of the amazing gift we have been given.

The truth is alive within my heart. Grace has been poured out upon my life. God’s love has transformed me from a condemned sinner to an adopted daughter and joint heir of Christ. I am His and He is mine. My death was swallowed up when Jesus rose from the dead. He bore the sting of death on the tree fulfilling the law of the Righteous and True, the Only Wise God.

Because He is, I have Overcome!

Thank you Father the the Victory that is mine through you!

A to Z Challenge: T is for Truth

Truth

“The quality of being in accord with fact or reality.

Fidelity to an original or standard.

That which is considered to be the supreme reality

and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.

John 8:32
And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”

What do you say to the friend who suffers in an invisible prison, held captive by a smothering blanket of depression? How do you comfort the grieving woman who has miscarried her fourth child and has to bury that tiny life and with it her dream of being a mother? What can you say that will encourage the single woman who sits alone her apartment tormented by insecurity and the unfulfilled desire to “just be loved by somebody?” What words can sooth the raw aching heart of a wife who has stumbled upon the sordid details of her husband’s infidelity? How do we find hope when life seems hopeless?

The Bible tells us that Truth is the key to freedom but it is not merely the presence of truth that liberates. This is evidenced by the fact two people can go through similar circumstances with totally opposite results.

 In “The Passion of the Christ” Pilots wife makes a profound statement to her tormented husband who has begged her to explain the truth.

“What is truth Caludia? Do you hear it, recognize it when it is spoken?

Pilots wife replies, “Yes I do, don’t you?”

Pilot answers back  “No. How? Can you tell me?”

With sorrow Pilots wife whispers, “If you will not hear the truth, no one can tell you the truth.”

 

Truth has the power to liberate and conquer BUT only if that truth takes root deep within our heart and soul. Once truth is heard it must be received, seized, and hidden deep within our needy hearts. It is here, in that deepest part of man’s heart that faith gives voice to truth.

To the hurting and needy I say, it is in “The Truth” that you will find freedom, but if you will not hear truth, you will not experience freedom.

Are you willing to hear the truth? Are you willing to have the scales washed away, so that you can see life as it truly is? If you are hurting and looking for answers, your only hope is found in Him who is “Truth” and who offers that truth to all mankind.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.

Will you listen to His message and plan for your life? He posses the truth capable of setting you free.

Are you seeking to comfort or council a friend imprisoned in hopelessness? Unless they are willing to hear the truth and to allow its roots to be buried deep within their hearts and minds, the truth will not do them any good. The first thing they need is prayer, that their ears would be opened.