Friday, September 30, 2011

I Just HAVE to Share!

I've been completely stressing out this last week. Our house is still a disaster zone as we continue to paint and move furniture. On top of that I have major papers due for school and finals coming up. I think my boys are sick and my kitten has fleas.

These are just life stuff, but what I HAVE to share is what I read this morning...

Isaiah 11 is where Isaiah not only prophesies about the coming Messiah, but also His eventual reign over a perfected earth. 

Now that may not seem exciting to you, but Holy Cow! Isaiah is basically telling the people of Israel and Judah that with all the crazy stuff that was happening to them and that was going to happen, their hope was to be placed in the fact that Jesus will not only come to earth as a man, die and be resurrected, but that He will return again and set up His kingdom where those who have been obedient to His call will live with HIm for eternity. This is in the Old Testament people! Before Jesus even came, before David was even born. Way, way, way back, this is where they were told to place their hope.

Boy, do I feel like Peter right now. Peter took His eyes off of Jesus for just a moment to look around him at his present situation and started to drown, when if he had kept his eyes ahead of him, on Christ, he would have continued to defy the laws of nature. (Matt. 14:22-36).

Basically, I was reminded to quit looking around me at what is going on in this life, and look to what I know is to come! Whew! What a relief and fresh sense of energy and renewal. 

Nothing in the present matters outside of the context of the future. If that doesn't give you a new perspective, you're dead.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

To Save a Life...

Recently, I shared a little bit about this with the women in my Bible study group, but I"m going to expand on it some here, for good reason.

A while back my husband and I were having some major issues in our marriage. During this time, I was hurt, angry, bitter. It had gotten so bad that I wanted a divorce and was trying to figure out how I could leave. Then, I found out I was pregnant. I did not want this baby. After all, how was I going to take care of these children on my own? What was I going to do if the child looked like him and was a living reminder each day of how much he hurt me? What was I going to do?

I could not have an abortion, but what I considered was just as ugly. Self-induced miscarriage. I spent a lot of time trying to think of ways I could make myself miscarry this child. I even looked up some things on the internet. It wasn't just because I didn't want to have another baby, but I also wanted to hurt Josh as much as I felt like he had hurt me. 

God got to me. He refused to let it happen. He opened my eyes and made me realize how ridiculous I was being. It took a miracle, but He delivered. Why? Because He is the God of miracles. 

In my brokenness, I cried out to Him. Literally, cried, weeped, was on my knees before Him in prayer, because I was tired of trying to do this on my own. I couldn't handle my life anymore. For three days, this is what I did. By the end of those three days, I was ready to listen to what God had to say, and what He said was that divorce and losing this baby was not in His plan for my life. And then the miracle happened. The major issue that was ripping my family apart was eliminated. There was still a lot of work to be done on repairing our relationship, but I knew that I was not going to go through with a divorce and yes, I was going to have the baby. I do not have a particular Scripture that God used to speak to me at that time, because quite frankly, I was not in the Word. However, because of what I had learned through the years, in my time of prayer God brought back to my mind some of the truths in His Word.

Jade is turning four today. She is a true delight! Such a blessing from God. Jade is definitely strong-willed. She is always surprising us with how well she understands things and is most always giggly and goofy giving us all a good laugh! I can't imagine my life without her.

Funny thing is that Jade is the most like me out of all of my children. It's a reminder that during a time when I wanted to self-destruct God has something different in mind - life. 

O Lord, I thank you that you are love and that you saw fit to extend your grace and mercy to someone as undeserving as me, and that you did what you had to do to preserve Jade - may she be forever Yours!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Choosing to be a Prisoner?

At church yesterday, my pastor and our worship leader spoke about freedom and being freed from the bondage of sin. I started thinking...

Imagine you have been convicted of a crime. You pleaded guilty, you knew you did it, so you didn't even bother trying to deny it. The judge sentences you death. But then someone offers to take your place. The judge takes their offer and lets you go free. You are ecstatic!! You almost had to spend the rest of your days in a prison cell until they finally decided to carry out your death sentence, but now you are free! 

Now imagine one day, you walked into the prison, went into a cell and closed the door behind you, then started crying out for someone to help you.

We are sinners who have been convicted of death. But Christ took the punishment of death for us. When we give Christ Lordship over our lives, we are granted freedom from the punishment of our sin. 

You are probably asking the question, "Why would anyone have walked back into the prison and put themselves into a cell when they are free?" 

This is what we do, when we live as though we are enslaved to sin. You see, when Christ died on the cross He took on all our sin - past, present, and future. He took it. He gave us freedom. Walking into that cell is what we do when we begin to feel defeated by sin. We go back into old habits and patterns, or even start new ones. Then we cry out to God for freedom, and He says, "I've already given you freedom, now start living like you're free!"

His death was once and for all. He doesn't need to keep freeing us over and over again. We just need to start living like we are free. 

So what does it mean to live like you are free? If you asked someone who had been released from prison what it would mean for them to now live like they were free, I'm sure they would not say that going back to their old life of crime with the threat of going back to prison would be true freedom. But being released as though you had never committed a crime, no record to stain your reputation, now that's true freedom. That is what we have been given. Christians have the choice to live in the freedom that they have been given through Christ's blood, in Christ's strength. Or to allow themselves to be falsely bound by sin. I say falsely bound, because once we have been freed by the blood of Christ, sin no longer has power over us. Satan no longer has the upper hand. We may feel like it does, because we are weak in our own strength - but it doesn't.
What sins are your prison cell? 
Are you going to continue to live as though you are a prisoner, or are you going to live in your freedom?

I thought of a few of my own, and let me tell you, I would much rather live in the freedom I have in Christ. 

Go live in freedom.