THANKSGIVING

 

HOW PRECIOUS ARE YOUR THOUGHTS TO ME

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.35.44 PM“How precious and weighty…are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How vast is the sum of them” (Ps 139:17 AMP)!

“…You did form my inward parts;

You did knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13 AMP).

 

“O LORD, you have searched me [thoroughly]

and have known me….

You understand my thought afar off….

You are acquainted with all my ways….” (Ps 139:1-3 AMP).

 

“You drew near on the day I called to You;

You said, Fear not” (Lam 3:57 AMP).

“You heard my voice…” (Lam 3:56 AMP). “O Lord,

You have pleaded the causes of my soul…” (Lam 3:58 AMP)

 

“If I ascend up into heaven,

You are there;

if I make my bed in…(the place of the dead),

behold, You are there” (Ps 139:8 AMP).

 

O GOD, how precious and weighty

are Your thoughts toward me.

How vast is the sum of them (Ps 139:17).

O GOD, You know me!

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CONFESSION

THE SIN OF FRETTING

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.26.05 PM“Worry is a window into the unregenerate soul [Matt 6:32]—worry is the evidence that satisfaction is being sought apart from God—the soul is searching for satisfaction in idols, the fear that an idol may not be available—worry is the evidence of what one is pursuing, of laying up treasure on earth” Dan Cummings (ref#141, “For the Love of Christ,” Jan 22nd, 2006).

FATHER, I know that all fretting and worry is caused by calculating without You (ref#7, July 4th). I also know letting the enemy’s thoughts take root in my head is disastrous but they seem to get planted before I realize. I have to experience Your intervention or I will spin in circles reviewing in my head all the carnal and evil suggestions that are there.

“…don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 23rd).

In all situations You put in my path the ending is more important than the beginning. My mistake is being at the beginning of a situation and wanting to see a swift and good ending, but You control the situation; I need not be concerned about the outcome.

FATHER, show me the blessings of leaning—leaning on You as the situation unfolds and caring only about Your will in the situation, not a comfortable outcome for me. Worrying is unbelief.

ADORATION

Prayer Facts:

“Prayer…cannot request too much because the Father desires to glorify his Son as much as possible” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p97).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.19.54 PMBecause You have given me the Word of Truth and the Gospel of my salvation in CHRIST (Eph 1:13), I will wait for You.

Because You, FATHER, have blessed me in CHRIST with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm (Eph 1:3), I will wait for You.

Because You caused CHRIST to suffer by being tempted, therefore He is able to run to my cry as I am being tempted and exposed to suffering (Heb 2:18), I will wait for You.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

PILING UP GOD’S PROMISES—NOT GOOD

2/9/10

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.07.54 PMMy name is Bonnie, I’m a pessimist. My fleshly members seem to be never happy and my selfish nature pouts because of it. Sin has a natural grip on me as I continue my longing to be happy—as I continue to envy positive-thinking people.

I want to experience joy but I can’t find it naturally. However, I must thank GOD for making me a pessimist because in my state, I can’t pretend to have the joy of the LORD. When I have joy, I know it is His spiritual joy.

So, let me acknowledge my melancholy-ness and confess how sin easily entangles me. Then let me turn to buffet myself. If I seek true joy, I will find it only with much effort. Buffet, buffet, buffet.

Here is another note as I was care-giving: In trying times reading Scripture will not do—meditating on a verse or two, will. Singing songs will do if they are simple enough and repetitive enough that I can grasp one concept.

Piling up GOD’s promises—just collecting them in my brain gives me a knowing of the greatness of GOD but only by concentrating on one or two can I embrace them enough that they lift me out of the misery of this world.

If I don’t force myself to settle on one or two wondrous works I get ADD—like my 5-year old grandson at Wall-mart when I said he could buy anything he wanted. Everything looked so good he couldn’t make a decision.

FATHER, today Your mercies are new—every morning Your mercies are new. Great is Your faithfulness. I come desiring to discipline my mind—subject it to You that You might renew it so I’m able to think eternally—able to see the big picture that will make my problems for today seem non-existent.

I desire to look over the top of these earthly struggles and fix my eyes on CHRIST, the One who rules all things with abundant, unending love—who continually watches over my every move and is able to overcome the sin that assaults me.

So, this latest care-giving episode is just another example of the enemy binding me and GOD loosing me to find joy once again. This will always be the story of my life. It’s the valleys and mountaintops—the two extremes of living on earth. Joy comes in the morning, oh praise GOD! Yet, I will never be free of the black nights. Praise GOD for those, too, for they test the genuineness of my faith (1 Pet 1:7).

SABBATH

THE SABBATH DEFINED

“…remembering the Sabbath by keeping it holy is integral to…life as the people who are sanctified (or ‘made holy’) by the Lord…” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p 196, [Ex 31:12-17]).

“…actual intent of the Sabbath – to bring rest and well-being…” (ref#125, p1844, [Matt 12:8]).

“The Sabbath is given as a gift to man (for physical and spiritual refreshment)” (ref#125, p 1897, [Mark 2:27-28]).

“…the Sabbath was not meant to be a day of total idleness, and of entire cessation from all kinds and sorts of work. ‘The Sabbath was made for man,’ for his benefit, comfort, and advantage” J. C. Ryle (ref#13, Vol. Three, p280, [John 5:17]).

“Our Lord’s reply…’Though my Father rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, He has never rested for a moment from His providential government of the world, and from His merciful work of supplying the daily wants of all His creatures….I do not break the fourth commandment when I heal the sick, anymore than my Father breaks it when He causes the sun to rise and the grass to grow on the Sabbath’” (ref#13, Vol. Three, p277, [John 5:16-23]).

“The Sabbath is a covenant sign that represents a lifestyle of devotion to the Lord, for it requires the practical reorganization of every week around him (cf. Ex 31:12-17; Ezek 20:18-20)” (ref#125, p1342, [Isa 56:2]).

CHRISTMAS 2015

WHY A JESUS?

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 2.23.07 PM

It’s easy to say, Jesus Christ was born to die because it’s true.  “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:45 KJV)

Thomas Chase (1598-1682) wrote regarding the mystery of God:  “Jesus was a Son in heaven without a mother; and a Son on earth without a father.”  Jesus was born without an earthly father to fulfill what was uttered to the serpent, by God, in the Garden of Eden.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 KJV)

Spurgeon said:  “Here a blessed promise lies like a pearl in a shell.  The serpent’s curse is for us a blessing, for Jesus our Savior is therein foretold.”  In Isaiah 7:14 it’s told nearly a century before the birth of Jesus:  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (KJV)

In Matthew Chapter One we read:

But while he [Joseph] thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  (Matthew 1:20, 23 KJV)

Like a big “connect the dots” picture!  Jesus had no earthly father; his miraculous conception was between that of the Holy Spirit and that of the seed of a virgin woman!  Just as God said it would be in Genesis 3:15 and forward!  But there are even more dots to be connected in this unfolding drama!

I opened with the statement that it’s easy to say Jesus Christ was born to die because it’s true, but you know what else is true?  We were all born again to die.  From the moment we were born we began the process of dying.  But listen to this!  Christ died to take away the curse of death!  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)

That’s why the Bible says:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3-6 KJV)  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  (John 1:12 KJV)

Did you hear that?  If we believe in the work Jesus did to reverse the curse of sin and death; if by faith in his shed blood we are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit—we become SONS (AND DAUGHTERS) OF GOD!  What amazing grace and phenomenal news!  To be spiritually born again, is to be like Jesus…having no need of a heavenly mother….all we could ever need is our Heavenly Father!

***

An old cliche applies to me–after 40 years of walking with Jesus I find: “The more I learn the less I know.”  The gospel message is so rich and full I scarce can take it in!

Lorraine McWethy

THANKSGIVING

CHRIST’S INTERCESSION

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.51.21 AM“Immanuel, God with us…—in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Dec 25th AM).

FATHER, how thankful I am that CHRIST is not come to You as He left, but now comes to You not only as the “Son of GOD” but also as the “Son of Man.” Because He ascended as the “Son of Man,” I can follow Him straight into Your holy of holies.

“As the Son of Man Jesus Christ deliberately limited omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience in Himself. But since His ascension these qualities are His in absolute full power” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 17th).

He has all power at Your throne. He is now King of kings and Lord of lords (ref#7, May 17th).  And as King He does not just rest on His throne:

“…the essence of Christ’s intercession is intervention in our interests rather than supplication on our behalf…” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1505, “The Ascension of Jesus”).  “He sits at the Father’s right hand—not to rest, but to rule. The picture is not of inactivity but of authority” (ref#56, p1572, “Jesus’ Heavenly Reign”).

From His throne He sends the HOLY SPIRIT and equips me for service. I now have at my disposal all the benefits that His suffering won for me (ref#56, p 1505, “The Ascension of Jesus”).

“Jesus provides his righteousness for our sin, his strength for our weakness, and his relationship with the Father to replace our alienation (2 Cor 5:21)” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p87).

CONFESSION

REVELATION IN MY INTUITION

 Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.33.36 AM“His timing is perfect, His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus keep me in Your will. Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it” Corrie TenBoom (ref#84, p218).

FATHER, being obedient to You sounds simple enough, but how do I know it is You giving the orders instead of my flesh desiring to be spiritual? Can I not hear the same words from both You and my flesh?

No prerequisite is required for fleshly desires to enter my head. They are stand-alone commands rising from my depraved nature. They masquerade as important spiritual ideas appealing to my sense of logic. They beg to be put into action.

“Carnal pleasure, worldly profit and honour, the things of sense and time, are the things of the flesh…The favour of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit” Matthew Henry (ref#18, [Rom 8:5]).

FATHER, draw me into submission. Make me wait on You to receive Your revelation in my intuition otherwise my flesh will assert itself (ref#101, p43). If I sense I’m being the boss over any spiritual project, I can be sure it is my flesh directing me. You FATHER, do not delegate authority over the control of Your work (ref#101, p42).

“Despite a great revival in Samaria, Philip was not responsible for the follow-up labor of strengthening. He must leave immediately for the desert in order that a “heathen” eunuch might be saved….All acts are in the hands of the Spirit; believers simply obey. Had it been left to human thoughts and wishes, many places which ought to be visited would not have been, and many others would have been visited which ought not to be. These experiences from Acts inescapably tell us that we too must follow the guidance of God’s Spirit in our intuition and not follow our thoughts, reasons or wishes” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p 42-43).

“Jesus takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

ADORATION

“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise” (Prov 27:21 ESV).

MIGHTY IN BATTLE

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.19.08 AMIn remembrance of what my Elder brother,

JESUS CHRIST has done for me,

I sing this prayer to You, FATHER

so I might review the acts of Your Son.

 

The LORD JESUS upon Calvary routed every foe,

“breaking the weapons of the enemy

by His finished work of satisfactory obedience;”

and “by His triumphant resurrection and ascension” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Dec 3rd PM).

 

My LORD “completely overturned—

the hopes of hell” (ref#34, Dec 3rd PM)—

making a show of His enemies openly,

“triumphing over them by His cross” (ref#34, Dec 3rd PM).

 

Every arrow of guilt that Satan shoots at me

is now broken.

“Vain are the sharp swords of infernal malice,

and the perpetual battles of the serpent’s seed,” (ref#34, Dec 3rd PM).

 

For in the midst of the church

I, the lame take the prey,

and I, the feeblest warrior am crowned.

“Who shall lay anything to the charge of GOD’s elect” (ref#34, Dec 3rd PM)?

 

With You I shall do valiantly;

it is You who shall tread down my enemies (Ps 108:13).

You, yes, You will certainly deliver me

from every assault of evil (2 Tim 4:18).

 

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTPS

BURYING MY HEAD

5/28/13

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.13.31 AMAnother week of care-giving mom has been to my benefit. Whether it is pure mercy from GOD or my striving to make a better habit, I rejoice in the outcome. Two notable situations I want to record.

The first: I found myself very often into my familiar scenario of how to best plan for mom’s future. Yet, my mind did not go far until I was aware of the old rut I was in. Once aware I threw myself on GOD and ceased planning. It amazed me how many times GOD’s words to me were, “Wait before you draw conclusions.”

This faith I was able to cling to encouraged me. I was able to stay trusting GOD’s counsel and reaping its benefits—that is until another precarious situation arose and I was back scenario planning about what I need to do if… But, I would hear again, “Wait before you draw conclusions.”

Second: early on I asked the FATHER that I might just bury my head in CHRIST’s breast. I admit I just wanted out of the approaching situation. I knew I was just coping out—trying to avoid my responsibility, but, hey, this was the desire of my heart. And, as it turned out, this was exactly what I needed.

The request turned into a vision in my mind and through the days I often went to dwell in the vision and bury my head in CHRIST’s chest. At the time little did I realize the vision made it possible for me to let situations go and let GOD handle them. I see now this was exactly His plan all along.

A few times a situation called for suggestions from me and decision-making from mom. Past experience proved such situations did not go well. I would get frustrated and mom would get mad.

But ignoring the past, I prayed and clung to CHRIST and suddenly found myself through the situation with an agreeable compromise between mom and me. I don’t quite know how to explain it but I know GOD did something miraculous.

FATHER, it’s now time again to go back home to continue with my own life. I rejoice that You have carried me through this time here and have convinced me through the ups and downs of the care giving that You have kept me sane and mom secure in Your hands.