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Now Is a Good Time

fantastic-forest-clock

A large number of prophetic words have to do with 2017 being a year of breakthrough.  many are saying that those who have waited for years to receive answers to prayers will finally get them; hopes and dreams are being awakened; upgrades are coming.

I say, now is a good time for that!

What words have you personally received, either from the Holy Spirit directly or through a person?  Now is a good time to claim them

What have you asked God for?  Healing?  Salvation of loved ones?  Now is a good time to pray, believing.

What is God’s call on your life?  Now is a good time to walk in it.

Does it seem especially dark?  The news certainly communicates that.  Now is a good time to “Arise and shine” – Light is much easier to see in darkness.

Now is a good time to walk closely with the Living God.  He is good; his love endures forever; he has wonderful plans for you.  Trust, obey, believe, receive!

Jesus, teach us to ask as big as your answers and to reach as high as you reach.  Thank you.  Amen.

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Different

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I am writing to exhort you today.

We are called to be holy, even as God is holy – to be set apart for Him; different.

That means that we will be the minority.

When the general society encourages sex outside of marriage, abortion and compromise in terms of dress, speech, morality, values or  socialization, we will not be able to participate.
When we are called to tolerate or accept things that God has clearly called sin, we will have to decline.

We are called to give, shine, love, encourage, serve and bless.
That means we don’t curse, “see to Number 1 first and foremost…”

What we get in return is our true identity:  A holy nation, a royal priesthood, people set apart for and in the Most High God.
We get a different inheritance, filled with wholeness and prosperity.
Most of all, we live with Jesus forever.

Applying all of this can seem difficult – so much “gray!”  True enough.  That is why we have the Holy Spirit – Helper, counselor, TEacher, Comfort, to live in each of our hearts.

Don’t know how to think or what to do?  Ask; you will receive all that you need – the answer and the grace to obey.
Do you feel discouraged, afraid or alone, cry out:  The One who sticks closer than a brother is with you always.
Is shame or self doubt nagging at you?  Look to Papa, who knows you fully and loves you completely.

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

(Based on Matthew 5:16)

 

In the darkness of night
And the tumolt of storm;
When violence threatens
To bring in harm,
Let your light shine;
Let it be bright
the most troubling darkness
Can’t stand in the light.

 

In deepest of sorrow
And perplexity strong;
When heaviness tries
To steal your song,
Let your light shine
Lift your lamp high;
Deliverance is coming;
Salvation is nigh.

 

Oh, God’s precious people,
Who are called in His Name,
You are made holy;
You’re not the same;
Let your light shine
So others see
The Lord’s wonderful goodness;
To Him be glory!

LIFT THINE EYES

This beautiful piece was written by Felix Mendelssohn.  It’s part of his oratorio, “Elijah”

 

It comes from Psalm 121

I’m learning it for Sacred Music, a recital in May.  Mine is the second soprano part.

 

Enjoy!

GIVER OF DREAMS

God is the Giver of dreams:
Things we would like to do;
Wishes and ideas;
Thoughts and concepts new.

 

Treasure and act on these dreams:
Part of God’s plan for you;
Meant for direction;
They are blessings true.

 

Know if a dream is shattered:
Taken away from view;
God has another,
Fresh as morning dew.

 

Trust in the Giver of Dreams:
Who gives more than a few
Opportunities;
Richest life to you.

THE ROCK WON’T MOVE

You know how a song can be out for a while; then it’s just the right season and the song really speaks to you?

That would be this one by Vertical Church Band.  Enjoy:

 

PRESS ON

When all seems dark and gloomy;
Sorrow steals your song;
Don’t give up or turn aside;
Press on, dear one, press on!

 

When you are feeling weary;
All your strength has gone,
Rest in Papa’s loving arms;
Then rise, dear one, press on!

 

When you feel lost and hopeless;
You can’t see beyond
Circumstances that hold you,
Press on, dear one, press on!

 

Then when you stand in victory;
Knowing you have won,
Rejoice and dance with gladness;
For you, dear one, pressed on!

EXPECTATIONS

There is an aspect of prayer that I have been pondering for a while:  Expectations.  This matter seems quite basic; yet it is so powerful, we do well to consider it with all diligence and care.

When you pray, what kind of answer do you expect to get?

Does knowing that God absolutely loves you with all that HE is change your expectancy?

I love scales!  That’s because almost all of life happens in degrees and we move one way or the other.  Here then, are my scaling questions for you:
0=Not at all – – – – – – – – – 10=absolutely; without reservation

Does God love you?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Does He provide for you?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Does He heal all wounds and diseases?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Does He forgive all sins?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Does HE protect you?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Does He give you things that you would like to have, but don’t necessarily need?  0 – – – – – – – – 10

Do you trust Him, even when circumstances are hard?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Do you expect to hear and understand when you ask God questions?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Do you expect blessings in this life?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Does God like you?  0 – – – – – – – – 10

Does He think you’re awesome and precious?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

Does God answer prayer in a timely manner?  0 – – – – – – – – – 10

 

I could probably come up with plenty of questions, but I’ll get to my point.

According to Scripture, the answer on every scale is “10:”  Absolutely; without reservation.  We have a hard time living at that level of expectancy, however.  Experience, inner struggles, lies we believe and the fact that God is so much greater than our own understanding get in our way.  The challenge is, we are called to grow into this level of absolute trust.  That is part of what being changed from glory to glory is all about.

 

Just to add emphasis and challenge your thinking a bit, consider this prayer from Ephesians 3:

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend (some versions say “grasp”) with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

 

Such wonderful paradoxes!  He is able to do above and beyond; yet He wants us to grasp the height, depth and bredth of His love…Wow!!

 

In what ways are you most challenged when you consider trusting God and expecting answers that bless?  Confess your struggle to Him; ask for His help; be ready for His answer.

 

When do you find that you trust Him more readily?  Thank Him for His grace that makes this possible; ask for even more in this area.
What do you want most from God?  Ask Him for it.  When you get your answer, please come back and share:  Testimony is a strong faith builder for all of us.

THE STRONG TOWER

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”  Proverbs 18:10

I remember the first time I read this verse:  I was in college.  It was so encouraging and comforting to me!  I lived in fear at that point in my life; something that has gone away as God has healed my soul.
I enjoyed this Scripture for a long time, until I started worrying about whether I’m righteous enough to run into the Strong Tower.  The answer, of course, is yes.  Jesus has made me righteous because I belong to Him.

Here is a bit of word study:
The Name…Shem or Suwm.
Carries the idea of definite and conspicuous position
set, ordain, establish, found, appoint, reputation, fame, glory
I have often heard that the “name” of God refers to His character and identity; far deeper and broader than how we usually think of this word.

of the Lord is a strong tower
Migdal `oz
An elevated structure that is mighty, solid and well, strong.
When the people in Solomon’s time heard this word, they knew that it refered to a place in a city where the people could take refuge during an attack.

The righteous Tsaddiyq
righteous (as justified and vindicated by God;) righteous (in conduct and character)
right, correct, lawful

run into it  Ruwts
dart, move quickly, hurry

If there is one thing I have learned in my faith walk, it is to run to God sooner rather than later – really good plan; saves me from all sorts of trouble!

and are safe  Sagab
To be too high for capture; to be in a place that’s so high, it’s secure.

When I read this, I think of the verses that say we are seated in the heavenly places with God.  Yeah, that seems high enough to be out of the reach of enemies, not accessible for capture and secure!

So, if I rephrase this proverb, it would be something like:
The very nature of God is an elevated, strong, mighty place; those made righteous by Jesus dart hurriedly into it and are too high for capture, since they are out of reach.

How wonderful is that!

IT IS WELL

It is time for a song break.  Here is one to encourage you: