In the Potter’s Hands

1

We often wonder how the Lord can help us.  We are wounded and scarred, beaten down, and weary by the time we realize our need for a Savior.  But as the Master Potter, He can take that which is viewed as unworthy by the world and with the power of the blood of Jesus redeem that which is lost.  When He works in our life, He deals with various areas in His perfect timing and makes us whole once more.  That truth applies to me and to you as a child of God.

Years ago, one of my pastors learned in Biblical days when a potter had to repair an old clay pot that the new clay was mixed with the blood of a certain tic.  This was the only way an old vessel could be repaired and made useful once more.   Below is just a short story revealing that process.

The young man handled with damaged pot with great compassion.  Many people would have simple tossed it aside, but this worn vessel had special meaning to him.  As he placed it on the counter before the Master Potter, he stated

“I don’t think there is much hope, but I thought….”

“Leave with me.”

“I hate to lose it.  I know it just an old worn out pot but it is important to me.”

“It will be a few days.”

Slowly, the old man lifted the jar. He glanced at the damage before placing it on the shelf.  “This one will be tough.”  He would glance at it closer tomorrow.

The sun was rising the next morning as he carefully turned the old jar in his hands.  The crack was significant, and a hunk missing on the side.  He imagined the number the hands that carried the old thing to the well.  How many times had it filled and refilled over the years?  At one time this old thing was beautiful.  He could see the faint markings of a long lost design.  No one cared enough over the years to be careful with it.  Now it was an old pot – but for some reason it seemed important to the young man that carried it in.

The potter knew from his years of experience the vessel would need several firings.  The damage was too severe for the entire repair to be done at once.  Diligently, he worked at the top portion of the crack.  Slowly he mixed the new clay with the blood he had squeeze from the ticks, he kneaded until the clay was malleable and the blood evenly spread in the clay.  Few people knew the tricks of his trade.  New clay would immediately pop loose after firing unless the blood of a certain tick was mixed with it.  His father and grandfather taught him to recognize the tick and fortunately, they were plentiful on his few sheep.

He gently pushed the new clay into the smaller end of the fracture, twisting his fingers this way and that way.  Gradually the new clay covered the upper portion of the damage.  He knew it was time to apply heat to the vessel now.   Gently placing the jar in oven, the potter went back to work on other vessels, he knew it would be a while before this one would be ready to work on again.

Again the next morning, he lifted the old jar back to the work station.  Examining the earlier work, he was pleased at the progress.  Once more he worked his magic, again twisting his thumbs this way and that to finishing closing the gap.  Oven time again.  The morning would reveal whether with vessel could be saved.

Once more the sun rose, with the old man looking carefully at his work.  “Yes, yes, yes!  It worked.” There were a few scars but from the severe damage it could not be helped and to the potter, it simply added charm.  Now, he had to close the large opening of the missing hunk. He worked tirelessly; several times he removed the new clay to knead it again.  It must be perfect for it to work.

Finally, he was pleased. Once more the vessel was fired.  Taking it out the next morning, he inspected his work.  Yes, the old vessel was once more ready for use.

Today, I pray that if you are worn and battered that you see the truth that no matter how damaged you are, there is still hope.  It is through the touch of the Master Potter.  He can repair your wounded heart.  For Him, it is never too late, too hard or hopeless.  Allow His touch to begin His healing work today.  Let Him work the blood of the Lord into your life today as you cry out in repentance.  Yes, let the touch of the Master Potter come upon you today.

Turn That Mirror Around

1

“I sure hope Brother Sam is listening to this sermon.”  “I wonder if Sister Wanda came today, she sure needs to hear this word.”  How often do we sit and listen to a sermon and think about how it applies to everyone else around us.  At times, we even snicker deep within because we just know that this word relates to what is going on in another’s life.

However, what about us?  Yes, you and me!  Too often we sit silently judging another by the little bit of information that we know.  Their problems, or attitudes, and even sin in their life are evident.  We want the Lord to reach out and touch them.  We can only hope the words of the sermon are not falling on deaf ears.  They really need the Lord’s hand upon their life.

Too often, we fail to turn the mirror in our own direction.  It is always easier to look at those around us and point out their failures.  But we forget that as we point in their direction our hand has three fingers pointed right back at us.  Yes, as we point out the faults in others, our own hand is condemning us.   Our shortcomings, failures, and our sins are just as evident to others as their faults are to us.

Except for the grace of the Lord, where would you be?   Would love fill your heart or hatred?  Would your speech be edifying or condemning?  Your smile most likely would be a frown?  Maybe the problems in our life would send us down a path filled with alcohol or drugs.   And I dare say, some of us would not even be alive.  The cares and troubles of this life would have driven us to give in to the despair.  Except for the grace of God, I have no doubt my life would have ended years ago.

Except for grace – do you really understand what that word means?  Grace is kindness, grace and well-favored.  Think about your past, your failures and your sinful nature. Take a moment and how you acted and treated others.  Do you (or I) really deserve grace?  NO and again I say NO!  Not a single solitary person living or dead deserves God’s grace and yet He poured it out on us.   In fact if you dig deeper into the original Hebrew, the root definition means: to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior.  The Creator of our entire universe bent down and showed you His kindness.

G – God

R – Reaching out

A – Assuring His

C – Children of His

E – Eternal love

Yes, His grace is revealed to us every day.  His grace pours over us even when we don’t deserve it.  Nothing can compare to His grace and mercy.  You have much to be thankful for.  Turn the mirror around, see your own faults and then rejoice that you have been purchased with the blood of the Spotless Lamb.  Celebrate that He saw you and wanted you as His child and He bent down and poured His grace out upon you.  You are loved and you are cherished.

Refuge

1

“I don’t know!”  God asked Cain one simple question, “Where is your brother?”  And his answer was a bald face lie.  Abel was dead.  The Lord had listened to Abel’s blood as it cried out from the ground.  His blood was shed in a jealous rage by the very one who should have been there to guard and protect him, his own brother.  And now, Cain stood before the Lord acting innocent and unashamed of his actions.  The Lord knew the answer before He asked the question, but He wanted to hear Cain’s reply nonetheless.

For many years, the Lord has impressed on my heart that there are two places that we should feel safe and secure.  The first and absolute most important in our life is our homes.  This is the one place that we should be able to shut the door, closing out all the conflict and pain caused by the world.  Home the place where we lay our heads to rest and the one place where love should be overflowing.  Differences will come but in all honesty, love should reign supreme over all.

The second one is our churches.  They should be the same as our homes, a place of security. We should be able to share our hearts, our hurts and our needs without fear.  Fear of what someone else thinks or fear that our ‘needs’ will be scattered near and far through those who just like to ‘spread the good news’   It doesn’t mean no one ever has a dispute, but they are willing to sit down and deal with the situation.

At times, the shepherd has to intervene.  After all that is part of his job.  The shepherd is to guard, protect, and feed us the Word of the Lord.  Unfortunately a shepherd also has the difficult job of bringing correction to any sheep that have strayed too far.  In today’s world, too many people have developed the attitude that ‘no one’ has the right to tell them what they need to do anything.  But think about it for a moment – if sheep are sooooo smart, then why do they need a shepherd.   One of the very first verses most children learn is Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.   Yes, I understand that not all pastors are who they need to be but I also know that they will answer to the Lord.

Years ago, almost everyone went to church Sunday morning and night, and Wednesday.  In today’s society, if you attend church in a regular manner you are the oddball.  In some circles you are considered a fanatic, just taking this ‘religion’ thing too serious.  Let’s face facts; the world will continue to be offended by those who are truly following the Lord.  We are taunted and ridiculed for standing on the Word of God.  Frankly, the world is going to do all it can to kick in our teeth.  We will be hated for speaking words of truth.

It was the same when the Lord walked this earth.  As He spoke words of truth in front of the Pharisees and Sadducees, his words were confronting.  Hatred filled the hearts of the men who refused to see the truth of what was in their hearts.   We see the same thing today and unfortunately, it will only grow worse in the future and it will become even more important for our homes to become that shelter of love and protection.

Is your home filled with love and compassion?  Are the words that fill the air, ones that build up or tear down?  Can your family find comfort and healing within the walls of your home?   Can they pour out their heart to you without fear of ridicule and laughter?  Do they know that even when conflict arises that love will win out in the end?  Your answers determine your next step.  If you can answer yes to most of them, then rejoice.  Then continue to seek the Lord for your family and your home.

However, if you have found your answers coming up short, then today make the decision to make a change today.  Seek after the Lord.  Ask Him to let the change begin with you.  As you seek after Him even deeper you will see a change come into your home and your family.  Yes, the change can begin today with you.   Lord, make our homes a place of refuge and safety.

Making a Difference

1

Thought of the day: Everyone is different.  Even at the time of creation, the Lord made mountains different from the valleys.  Elephants were created vastly different from a cardinal.  God made us to be individuals.  Even as Christians – our calling is to be Christ-like, and yet He made us unique.  Some are anointed musicians, or speakers.  Maybe, your gifting is writing poetry or stories that captivate the hearts of the readers.  Others are prayer warriors and intercessors.  Many have a servant’s heart, longing to minister to others as the Lord did.  Your gifting is yours and yours alone.  No one else can do it exactly your way.  Unfortunately, many hide their gifting out of fear.  They are fearful of stepping out and revealing that part of their heart.  Others hide because of past failures – they feel like their mistakes have shut the door on their gift.  Yet Scripture reveals individuals with huge mistakes who the Lord used.  Peter denied the Lord and yet stood proudly on the day of Pentecost ministering the word of the Lord.  Saul murdered God’s children and yet the murderer became the minister.  If you are hiding your gift or talent, let go and allow the Lord to use it.  He gave it to you for a purpose, and for His glory.

But You Just Don’t Understand

1

Pick it up!  Put it down!  Pick it up!  Put it down!  How many times do we do this with a burden?  We know deep down that the Lord is the only One who can deal with a certain situation and yet, we play the pick-up game.  We want Him to handle it.  We need Him to handle it.  Yet, do we really trust him to deal with it and handle it.  Or maybe we just want Him to handle the problem the way we want to take care of it.

Trust is difficult for many of us.  Often, we have been mistreated or betrayed by friends or loved one and find it hard to relinquish that part of our heart to anyone again.  Maybe it was the ultimate betrayal by a spouse – so fear sets in and we push every one away that wants to begin a deeper relationship with us.  Or perhaps the betrayal comes from within the church.  Too many hurting souls have walked away from the church as a whole to prevent another wound from taking place again.

Then, we sometimes lose trust in the Lord.  We are faithfully walking with the Lord and then BAM!  A major event knocks our feet out from underneath us.  Wounded and bleeding, we wonder where the Lord is.  Slowly, we crawl back up but wonder deep within what happened.  Why?  Why did the Lord abandon us?  What did we do wrong?  The answer many times is nothing.  We have to realize that we live in a sin-sick world and people have their free-will.

Abraham walked calmly with Isaac to then place Jehovah told him to go.  “Sacrifice your son to Me,” were his instructions.  They had waited years for the arrival of this promised heir and now he stood with his knife poised ready to be completely obedient to his God.  Abraham trusted Jehovah even in the face of death.  Somehow, someway he knew deep within that the Lord would see him through this.  Was his faith so strong that he believed the Lord could even raise Isaac from the dead?    His heart must have been breaking as he bound Isaac up and then raised the knife.  At any cost, this man was willing, ready and able to follow the leading of the Lord.  Trust was all he had left to hold on to.  Then, he heard the Lord call him by name with his new instructions.  Let Isaac go.  I have made provision for the sacrifice.

Joseph must have felt forsaken as he was forced to travel to Egypt, sold and thrown into a dungeon.  Did the thought repeat on a vicious cycle, why?  Why did my brothers do this?  Why do they hate me?  He had years to replay these questions and yet during this time the Lord used him to minister to others around him.  Then the day came that Joseph saw the answer to all those years of endless questions.  His brothers stood before him in need of the one thing Joseph had in his control.  Food, food for them and his family back home.  Finally, he saw God’s ultimate plan.

Think about Hannah for a minute.  This is a woman in pain, childless and taunted by her husband’s other wife.  How many years did she suffer in silence?  Did she go to the temple can cry out to the Lord every year?  “If only You give me a child, Lord, I promise I will give him back to You.”  If the answer was yes, Hannah knew she would only have him a few short years.  She had made a vow. And indeed His answer was yes.   She had waited years and finally this woman had a babe in her arms to hold and cherish.  True to her vow, she returned to place her son in the care of the temple.  Once more her arms were empty, but her heart was full.  Yet her story doesn’t end there.  Graciously the Lord fills her arms not once, not twice but five more times.  He honored her obedience and faithfulness to her vow.

So many times the Word reveals the heart aches of those long ago events taking place in His people.  Yet, He never forgot His promises to them.  The children of Israel saw His deliverance as they walked upon the dried seabed to escape the wrath of the Pharaoh’s armies.   Jonah realized the Lord had heard his cry when the fish vomited him out on dry land. Daniel knew Jehovah was in control as he faced the lions in the lion’s den.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saw His Presence as He walked with them in the fiery furnace.  Paul and Silas felt the Presence of the Lord surround them during praise and worship as they sat in the dark, dank prison cell, battered and bruised.   The disciples saw the wind and sea calm at the word of the Lord.

No matter what your situation is He is there.  You may feel wrapped in the depths of despair, you are not alone.  Zechariah 4:6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.   There is absolutely nothing you can do that will help this battle along.  It’s is not by your power, or your might.  It is totally and completely His.  Even if you are in the midst of it, this battle is the Lord’s. 1 Samuel 17:47 Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands.”  

Yes, today is His and everything about it is His.  Put it down – yes put your battle down.  Lay it at the throne of God.  Most of all don’t pick it back up.  Let Him deal with it in His way.  He knows what’s best and in all honesty, He doesn’t need your help in the matter.  Let go and Let God!  Let God be God in your life, your family, your heartaches, your struggles, and your wounds.  Let God be the God of your salvation.  Yes, let go and let God!

The Hard Walk (Pt 2)

1

Misery loves company.  Our attackers are the same way.  In fact at times, the pack looks like a group of hyenas circling their prey, eager for that first chomping bite.  These assaults can come from any direction.  Ezra found them in the people living in the Promise Land.  They wanted to be a part of the ‘new venture’ happening in Jerusalem, but the leadership would not allow it.  Oh, the extra hands would have made the work go faster but this was the temple of Jehovah.  Even in the wilderness, only certain tribes were included in the actual hands on.

Attacks come against all of us at some point, but especially when we are seeking more of the Lord.  We seem to take a couple of steps forward in the Lord, growing in maturity, hunger and thirst.  Suddenly we get hit and hit hard.  It’s like taking ten steps backward, and we never saw it coming.  The same thing happened in Nehemiah.

Nehemiah had a burden for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  He didn’t just manufacture it, or come up with the idea.  The Lord knew Nehemiah would not only mourn over the conditions in his homeland, but he would be willing to take on the responsibility to do something about it.  He wanted to see his home, his town and his people restored.  Nehemiah could favor with the king and left for this new undertaking.  Now, the weird thing is, before Nehemiah had even told his own people that the Lord opened the way for the walls to be rebuilt, the enemy was already working against them.  Nehemiah 2:10 (KJV) When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

Nehemiah hadn’t even gotten to Jerusalem and already trouble is brewing.  Sanballat and Tobiah hated the Jews.  They wanted to stop this ‘new thing’ coming to the land.  Reinforcements were needed, so off they go running to stir up trouble.   Just a few verses later, they have added another foe to the mix.  Geshem, the Arabian has joined the ranks.  They ridicule to Jews out of their hatred.  Then they throw out false accusations.  “You are rebelling against the king!”  Nehemiah had proof that the king allowed him to take on this adventure and yet these three men were trying to instill fear and doubt in all the people.  No one wanted to king to have a reason to punish them.

Well, that didn’t stop the Jews, sooooo the three amigos stir up more enemies.  They bring reinforcements.  What started out as two men, Sanballat, and Tobiah, now include the Arabians, Ammonites, and the Ashdodites.  Anger filled their hearts at the thought of something good happening to the Jews.  They made fun of them, tried to provoke them and even physically attacked them.  Traps were laid out, but Nehemiah refused to play their game.  These enemies of God were willing to do anything to stop something good coming to God’s people.

The same thing happens around us today.  The Lord begins moving on hearts and life.  People join together to minister to others and the enemy attacks.  They attack verbally, emotionally, and at times even physically.  Face facts, Satan is alive and well and wants to destroy every single person who has a heart for the Lord.  And like the people on the wall, we become weary.  We feel alone and ambushed.

But like the children of God, we need to realize we are not in this alone.  There are others in the same battle.  And like the children of Israel, we need to begin working together, guarding and watching each other’s back.  This includes having those who we can call on for prayer, knowing it will go no further than their ears and from their lips to the throne of grace and mercy.  The Lord will provide like-minded friends who desire to see God’s best take place in your life.

Enemies will come!  That is an absolute truth.  Yet, the Lord has provided all you need for the battle.  Look to Him.  Seek His face.  Trust in His Word.  Yes, the battle for many is at hand, yet He will give you all you need to defeat the enemy.  His will shall prevail in your life and those He has placed beside you in the Kingdom.  So press on and upward.

The Hard Walk

1

“I am sick and tired of being attacked.  Every time I start moving in God something bad happens.  If this is what being a Christian is, I don’t want to do it anymore.”  These words are often spoken by someone who felt like they were getting a raw deal from God.  They thought that once they turned their life over to the Lord that everything would become easy and they would have a wonderful future.  I know some that have uttered words similar to these and at times have felt this way in my own heart.   Have you?

However, while studying the Word, one simple truth is found throughout the Bible.  God’s people, His saints in both the Old and New Testaments were attacked or tormented in some form.  Satan from the beginning of time has sought to hinder or totally stop God’ people from moving forward into what the Lord had for them. God never promised us a rose garden or a trouble free life, but He did promise to be with us every step of the way.

From Adam and Even in the Genesis until the very last book Revelations, the people of God have been deceived, attacked, waylaid or just out and out killed.   The serpent’s whole desire was to destroy Adam and Eve’s relationship with God.  He did it with a careful laid plan.  He planted doubt in Eve’s mind about what she had really heard the Lord say.  “Did God really say…?”  Those few words planted a seed of doubt that rapidly outgrew her seed of faith.  In fact, it outgrew and destroyed Eve’s faith in what she heard.  With her downfall, Adam quickly falls for her enticement to eat of the forbidden fruit.  Their failure still plagues us today.

The enemy uses different means to sabotage our walk with the Lord.  In some, the attack comes from within their own family.  A soul comes to the Lord and immediately there is ridicule and taunts about their past.  Words to inflict pain vibrate through the air – “You, a Christian that is laughable.  It won’t last a month.”  Perhaps there are constant reminders of your past, your failures.   It was no different in the lives of those we read about in the Word.  David’s own brother ridiculed him for being wicked and conceited; that his whole desire was to see a battle.  Yet the Lord was setting things in motion for the rest of David’s life.

Perhaps, your attacker is one of your friends.  You spent time together, partying, drinking or worse.  Yet, now they laugh at the thought of your ‘changed heart.”  “You will be back with us before long.”  They hate your change and even worse, you are trying to “change them.”  They can’t see your heart, or your desire for them to see and feel the love of the Lord.  It’s hard to try and walk a new walk before the Lord and you feel alone and abandoned by all your friends.  You really thought they would be happy for you, but…

Sometimes the enemy uses the people in our own church or community to bring us down.  The Lord has been working deep within, and you feel alive and on fire for the Lord.  Your heart wants to share what the Lord has ministered, you want to see the church grow and flourish.  But then the naysayers come in. “Oh, we’ve never done it that way before.”   Ezra found this out the hard way.  King Cyrus sent Ezra back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.  This was great news to the Israelites, until their adversaries heard of the fresh move of Jehovah.  They wanted to ‘help’ but why?  They were the enemy of Judah and Benjamin.  When their offered is refused the result is shown in Ezra 4:4, Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building. These enemies did not want to see the former captives living and flourishing before the Lord.   They weren’t strangers or outsiders; they were the people that lived in the same area.  Yet, the enemy of God used them to slow down and discourage the men and women of God.  This same pattern is repeated numerous times in throughout the Word.

Yes, all of us have been discouraged at times.  Some have been viciously attacked in an attempt to bring us back down to their level.  Others have spoken words to damage or confuse God’s people.  But this much is true; the work of the Lord will prevail.  It might be slowed down and hindered at times but His will be accomplished in the lives of His people.  This was true in Ezra’s day also.  Ezra 6:7 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.  The new king Darius sent word back “Let them alone.”

Is the enemy getting the best of your life today?  Stand on His word that what the Lord has spoken over your life, over your family and over your community will take place. These are His promises to you. Psalms 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;  Do not forsake the works of Your hands. and   I Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;  He is faithful and true and you can hold on to His words  and His promises.  Stand strong saints, stand strong.

Baby Steps

1

Is this how you want to spend the rest of your life?  Take a moment and really think about it.  Are there areas you want to change or improve?  Maybe you want to improve not only physical areas but maybe emotional also.  For some who are suffering with various long-term illnesses, the chance to change something in the natural is more difficult for you.  For others, it’s a process that you need to start today.

Maybe, there needs to be a change in a relationship.  Are there doors the Lord has closed?  Perhaps you keep trying to force the door back open not recognizing that He is the One who has shut the door.  Take time and pray – really pray for wisdom and insight.  Pray for clarity.  Seek Him for answers.  If He has shut a door, then you can rest in the truth that something better is down the road.  He has a plan.  Don’t mess it up by forcing a door back open.   Yes, a door closed in your face is a painful thing but as a friend once shared, “rejection is God’s protection.”  You can’t see beyond this moment but He can.

Perhaps, the Lord wants to restore a broken relationship.  If this is the case then you can rest assured that He will provide the ‘materials’ to rebuild that bridge.  Will it ever be as it was?  NO!  But if it was so great then it would never have been broken in the first place.  It won’t be rebuilt in a moment; it will take time for trust to be rebuilt.  Take those steps one at a time, and in His timing.

What about the most important relation in your life.  Where you stand with the Lord?  Are you hungry for of Him?  Are you seeking His face more in prayer?  Does His Word stir up a desire to learn more about His ways?  Do you find yourself waking up with a song of praise and worship ringing in your ear?  Are you eager to spend time with others that encourage your heart and lift your spirit in the Lord?  Then, press in to all the Lord has for you.  You have only touched the tip of the iceberg – there is so much more to a deeper relationship with the Lord.  You can only imagine what tomorrow will bring when you press in.

Maybe your relationship with the Lord is the one you want to change.  You are tired of living on yesterday’s manna.  The ceilings are brass as your prayers bounce back and hit you in the head.  The Word seems dry and you don’t what to do or where to turn to improve the situation.  Begin to cry out to the Lord, ask Him to help you return to your first love.  Seek His face in prayer, not calling out your needs or wants but to honestly say ‘thank you!’   Take time to show your thankfulness for the many blessings He has already shown to you and yours.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Today, you can begin again.  It’s not too late.  Be encouraged because He has given you another chance to draw near.  He is waiting for your call even now.  Yes. You can begin again.  Take that first step in faith.  He is with you right now.  Yes, step out in faith to the rest of your life.  You will never regret it.

Over and Out!

1

What good can come out of the past?  Some of our memories bring joy, others a smile on our face and still others pain and sorrow.  But no matter what our past holds, there is one absolute truth.  The Lord can use each part of our past for His glory.   But the one question is, “Are we willing?”   Are we willing to bring it to Him and lay it at His feet, allowing Him to handle it His way?

Our past is a part of us, and in many ways forms who we are today.  There are those who allow the past to destroy any semblance of hope for their future.  There are horrific events that they hold on to and cradle like a precious baby.  It is nursed and held closely to their heart and spirit.  They embrace it willingly, refusing to see that it can be left behind through the power of the cross.  But in all honesty they are too busy ‘tending’ to the past that all desire to move forward is lost.  They hang onto those old hurts and wounds nursing the grudges of yesterday and yesteryear.

Then there are those who long to rid themselves of the pain of past hurts that hang around their neck like dead weight.  But unfortunately, they don’t understand how to lay their burden down.  They know that the Lord is supposed to be able to take their pain; however, they have never felt the release of the heaviness as they try to drag their footsteps forward.  They long for healing but it seems just out of reach.  At times, it seems like they have finally laid it down, then a thought or a certain site will bring it all back up and once more the weight has a death grip on their heart.

Then there are the repeat performances when a similar event happens in your life.  You get rejected for another or someone decides you are not good enough for them.  You struggle to understand how and why this took place again, only to realize you will never understand the ‘why’?  It’s just one more trip around that same old mountain.  However, as you grow in the Lord, you learn to handle the situation differently.  Oh, the pain is still there and the situation makes you feel isolated and alone, but each times you become more determine to push forward in the Lord.  You refuse to allow the rejection to dictate who you are.  It’s a situation when you face the truth that “rejection is God’s protection.”   The Lord has removed you from a certain situation for your good.  Trust His wisdom and insight – He has your best interest at heart.

Joseph felt the pain of rejection and betrayal.  Years later, he saw the perfect opportunity to lash back at the very ones who brought him pain.  Yet, through the years the Lord had revealed to him that his rejection was part of God’s divine plan.  Did God want Joseph to get hurt – NO! But the Lord already knew what would take place and He used it for His glory.  Joseph was able to save his entire family even his betrayers.  Joseph was able to lay the past down, seek after the Lord and want His desires fulfilled even more than his own.  What the enemy meant for evil, God used it for His glory.

There is nothing too difficult for the Lord to overcome in your life.  He is able to take the absolute worse event and turn it around.  He is able to use it for you to minister to others.  You will be able to stand and say, “Yes, I failed here, but the Lord has redeemed my life.”  Or if it is a situation of betrayal and rejection, allow the Lord to raise you up like Joseph.  Overcome evil with good.  Be in the position that you can minister to others that this too shall pass.  Allow the Lord to use your past for His glory.  Your testimony could make all the difference in the world to another hurting soul.

The past is just that, the past.  You can learn from it or hide from it.  You can run from it or allow the Lord to use it for His glory.  But, you need to remember one thing – it is the past.  There might be scars from your past – some visible, some are spiritual but scars are simply a reminder of how far the Lord has brought you.  Let it go and move forward.  Today is a new day and the first day of the rest of your life.

.

Who He Really is

 1

Out of the burning bush the Lord spoke so clearly.  Moses asked one question – Who should I say sent me?  God’s reply has echoed across the ages.  “I Am that I Am”   I imagine the sound of God’s voice ricocheted off the nearby rocks with I am … I am… I am… filling the air with a thunderous roar. 

But what does that really mean to you and me.  He often spoke to His people in the Old Testament that he was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Those words brought comfort and the knowledge that they were indeed hearing from the same God as their forefathers.  But who is the great I Am.  What does this mean in your life today?  Is He able to meet all your needs, not just one or two but every single need you have?  Is He with you everywhere you go? The answer is a resounding YES! 

I Am the Alpha and Omega

I Am Elohim – your Creator

I Am Jehovah-Jireh, your Provider

I Am Jehovah-Nissi – the Lord your Banner

I Am Jehovah –Raphi – the Lord your Healer

I Am Jehovah-Tsidkenu – the Lord your Righteousness

I Am Adonai – the Lord of lords

I Am King of kings

I Am Omnipresence

I Am Omnipotent

I Am Omniscience

I Am your Life giver

I Am your Life Safer

I Am your Light in the darkness

I Am your Deliverer

I Am your High Tower

I Am your Rock

I Am your Shepherd

I Am your Comforter

I Am your Protector

I Am your Strength

I Am your Prince of Peace

I Am your Everlasting Father

I Am your Savior

I Am your Redeemer

I Am the Lover of your soul

I Am your Captain

I Am your Rear guard

I Am your Bright and Morning Star

I Am your Rose of Sharon

I Am gracious

I Am Holy

The list could go on and on but these few examples reveal the heart of our Lord.  There is nothing too hard for Him.  There is nothing too difficult for Him.  There is nothing out of His reach.  There is nothing and no one that can remove you from His hands.  He is with you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and has promised to never leave nor forsake you.  You are always on His mind and in His heart.  Yes, no one will ever care for you like the great I AM.  He is the one and only “I AM!”   Every description and every attribute is a promise from the great I Am to you and your life.  From the moment of your conception to the second of your death He will always be with you.  Allow Him to reveal the truth of Who He is in your life.  The Great I AM!