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GOING THROUGH THE FIRE

Chronicles 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying,
the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices;
and the glory of the LORD filled the house.

We won't enjoy His glory without His fire. His fire consumes a willing sacrifice now, or an unwilling sacrifice later. It is not the 'flesh' that will taste of His glory (1 Corinthians 1:29), for 'the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord' (Proverbs 20:27). His Word searches out the inward parts, igniting us with His fire, burning out the dross of worldly things. 'Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures? 'said the disciples of Jesus' words (Luke 24:32). His 'rhema' words search us, try us, locate us, take us through the fire, reveal His glory! Peter tells us the 'fiery trials' also come to make us partakers of Christ's sufferings that we may rejoice in His revealed glory. Again: no fire, no glory! It was in fire that the early Church was born on each head a tongue of fire at Pentecost. It was from a bush of fire that Moses heard God's command. The fire may be unpleasant, but the glory is worth it! Jesus counsels you, today, to'buy of Me gold tried in the fire' (Revelation 3:18). John the Baptist introduced Jesus as the One Who would baptize with the Holy Spirit, and with fire! Let us welcome the fire as we would His Spirit. From whatever source comes the heat of unkind words, the pain of persecution, the blessings He would seem to withhold He is at work, dear one, forging you in the character of His mould!

FOR THE LOST

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.... I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matt. 9:12-13) Imagine you stumble into the doctor’s office with a severe case of pneumonia. You discover the doctor is not in his office, but out conducting a special conference. He cannot see you today. “What is the conference?” you inquire. The nurse informs you that he has called all the people who are not sick to gather and talk about how great they feel. They are discussing illness, but only to the extent that they are celebrating the diseases they don’t have. You rush down to the convention center and stomp into the conference screaming, “What are you doing? I need a doctor!” All of the well dressed, healthy folks peer down their noses at you as you hear someone exclaim “get her out of here, she is sick!” You immediately feel a tug at your arm and a burly gentlemen leads you out of the building. Sadly, we sometimes operate our churches that way.We spend the majority of our lives trying to please other Christians. We forget that we are suppo sed to be helping the “Great Physician” minister to the sick. Don’t forget your commission. Prayer: Lord help me to seek out the lost, not gather in a holy huddle.

DO YOU BELIEVE?

And when He came into the house the blind men came to Him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Imagine you are at the circus. The ringmaster makes an announcement. This act involves a member from the audience. At that very moment, you raise your hand to waive at a friend and accidentally are chosen as a volunteer. The usher takes you right down to the center ring, where you stand next to the tight-rope walker. The ringmaster thrusts the microphone in your face and the circus performer asks, “Do you believe that I can walk across that rope way up there?” “Of course you can,” you confidently respond. “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m sure.” “Then,” continues the performer, “right now you are going to demonstrate your belief as you ride on my back across this arena.” “But..but..wait..” Your voice trails off as they lead you to the top of the ladder, your anxiety is quickly replace with fear. Your belief in God only go as far as you are willing to exercise them. We say we believe in God, but many times it is only superficial belief. Additionally, a lack of belief can cause many serious problems:
Despair = a lack of belief God can solve our problems
Anxiety = a lack of belief God is in control
Fear = a lack of belief God will protect
We can’t avoid life’s struggles. Are you willing to believe? Are you willing to substantiate that belief with action? Do you believe that He can? Will you say, “Yes Lord?”

WHOSE YOKE ARE YOU CARRYING?

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:30) For some reason, most teenagers all fall into the same trap. I remember turning sixteen and thinking about independence. I assumed, suddenly, I needed to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. As I was shouldering this incredible weight, I failed to notice that there was someone very near that was dying to help me shoulder it – my parents Many Christians treat God the same way. We want to solve all our own problems, carry our own burdens and make our own path. Meanwhile, the Lord stands very near inviting us to “cast all our cares” (I Pt. 5:7) upon Him. The reason His yoke is “easy” is because He wants to lift it off our shoulders. He already paid the price and earned the right to carry it. God will never give us responsibility that He doesn’t have the ability to accomplish. Too many of us work to the level of our incompetence instead of to the level of God’s omnipotence. Cast all your cares on Him and find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

COMPLACENCY

So, then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” -- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked-- (Rev 3:16-17) Too many of our cities, towns and churches live under the disguise of contentment. Under the cloak of false contentment many times likes a festering pool of complacency. Jesus described that attitude as “lukewarm.” Complacency causes us to have a false impression of ourselves. When God blesses us, like He did the Laodaceans, we sometimes become apathetic and proud. We assume we’ve got it all together, but in God’s eyes we are missing the mark. We lose our intensity. We are not against God, but we are not doing anything for Him. We are like coffee that has sits too long on our desk. We appear to God as lukewarm coffee that He can’t tolerate. We should be hot (Lk. 24:32), we used to be cold (Mt 24:12), but now we have become lukewarm. We lose our intuition. When we become complacent we have the wrong impression of ourselves. We shift our value system to that of the world. Because God has brought some success to our lives, we assume that we’ve arrived or “got it made,” yet God says we are really wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked in His eyes. In the later verses of chapter 3, Jesus explains what need to happen. First, God must heat us up and anytime something heats up the impurities are burned off. We must be disciplined. When my kids are obedient, they get a blessing. When they are don’t understand (cold), they get conviction and direction. But, when they are lukewarm (complacent), they get correction. Be zealous for the things of God. Behold, he stands and knocks!!

Petals of Prayer and Praise

MAY EACH MOMENT OF YOUR DAY UNFOLD TENDERLY, LIKE ROSE PETALS IN SUNLIGHT GLOWING SO SOFTLY! TOUCHING EVERY PART OF YOUR LIFE WITH HIS LOVE LIGHT, IN JESUS EVERY HOUR OF YOUR DAY IS JUST RIGHT. PRECIOUS PETALS REVEALING GOD'S LOVE AND HIS GRACE, GIVING GLORY TO GOD AS YOU ABIDE IN YOUR PLACE! PETALS OF PRAYER AND PRAISE UNFOLDING ALL DAY LONG, AS YOU ABIDE IN GOD'S LIGHT YOU ARE ALWAYS STRONG! FOR EVEN WHEN YOUR LIFE PETALS ARE SADLY CRUSHED, THAN GOD'S SWEET FRAGRANCE OF LOVE RISES AND IS TOUCHED! EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY YOU CAN BE, GOD'S BEAUTIFUL ROSE PETALS FOR PEOPLE TO SEE! BELIEVE AND TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST TO BE YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR: YOU WILL RECEIVE GOD'S LOVE AND LIGHT, AND YOU WILL SHINE WITH TRUE BEAUTY FOR ETERNITY!

LIFE

Life's Tug Of War. Life can seem ungrateful and not always kind. Life can pull at your heartstrings  and play with your mind. Life can be blissful  and happy and free. Life can put beauty  in the things that you see. Life can place challenges  right at your feet. Life can make good  of the hardships that we meet. Life can overwhelm you  and make your head spin. Life can reward those  determined to win. Life can be hurtful  and not always fair. Life can surround you  with people who care. Life clearly does offer  its ups and its downs. Life's days can bring you  both smiles and frowns. Life teaches us to take  the good with the bad. Life is a mixture  of happy and sad. So..... Take the life that you have  and give it your best. Think positive, be happy  let God do the rest. Take the challenges  that life has laid at your feet. Take pride and be thankful  for each one you meet. To yourself give forgiveness  if you stumble and fall. Take each day that is dealt you  and give it your all. Take the love that you're given  and return it with care. Have faith that when needed  it will always be there. Take time to find the beauty  in the things that you see. Take life's simple pleasures  let them set your heart free. The idea here is simply  to even the score. As you are met and faced with  Life's Tug Of War. There are only two ways to live your life; One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.

 



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