There’s life in there yet!

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.”  Rev. 3:2

Is there a spiritual discipline in your life that’s ready to die?  Has your worship begun to wither, or your prayer life been declining?  What is it that’s dying?  When that happens, we know it.

We must take inventory today of the things which remain.  It is time to strengthen them.  It’s not time to simply “give up the ghost” on those things and let what will be just be.  No!  It is time to strengthen what remains!

The hour of Jesus’ return is upon us, but is not yet here.  We who overcome will be clothed in white, our names confessed before the Father, and will inherit all things the Father has in store for his children.

Let us take the time to strengthen what remains and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe new life into our relationship with Him.  We are not done for or so far gone that we cannot be renewed!  Now is the time!  Today is the day!

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with Him, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Rev. 21:3-4

Looking forward,

jamie

For all these blessings…

The Bible says we should comfort one another with these words.  I pray they not only bring comfort, but cause our grateful hearts to rejoice this Thanksgiving. 

“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”  1 Th. 5:9-10

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life…”  Jo. 3:36

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”  1 Th. 4:16-17

Happy Thanksgiving!

jamie

 

Where is He?

Pr. 15:3:  “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” 

We’ve heard the question, “Well, where was God when…?”

Psalm 11:4 tells us that “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold.”

He is keeping watch, and even when it doesn’t “feel” like it, He is still on the throne.

If we are daily seeking after Him, spending time in His presence, and trusting in Him, we will not be disappointed.

Malachi 4 promises:

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.  And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “that will leave them neither root nor branch.  But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.  You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this, ” says the Lord of hosts.

Continue with God.  Don’t give up now.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He does not change.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Press on, my friends,

jamie

Reality

I’ve been sick for a while.  While I was simply trying to function, blogging was beyond the scope of possibility.  This morning is the first day I have been mentally/physically able to read the Word in quit some time, and as always, God was there.  Waiting.

Sickness has a way of making it feel as though weakness is the reality in which you live.  Then I read the words in 2 Cor. 5 that speak of the way our tents groan; being burdened, because we long to be clothed in immortality, which God has already prepared.  It reminds me that all of us groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.  This weakness is just part of my groaning.

Reality is that while we are at ‘home’ here on this earth, we are absent from the Lord, and nothing will ever be perfect until we are present with Him.  Reality is that there is something wonderful awaiting us.

Verse 16 says, “we regard no one according to the flesh.”  Vs. 17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.”  I cannot regard myself or my reality according to the flesh.  My flesh may be weak, but that does not cancel out the fact that I am a temple of the living God.

I think it’s significant that 2 years to the day that I was re-baptized, I wound up in the ER.  Sept. 18, 2013, I was re-baptized to publicly make known that no matter what struggles I may have been presented within my body, the Lord was and will continue to be my God.

2 years later I was lying in the ER, barely able to hold myself up.  Weak as I may have been, I am still a new creation.  I may have dark, sunken skin around my eyes right now, but through Christ Jesus, all things in my life have become new.  I may have physical issues that I continue to carry around, but my sins are no longer imputed to me because my Savior bore them upon Himself at Calvary.

Reality isn’t what we see or feel on this earth.  Reality is God.  Reality is that our Savior took the sins from all of us, offering forgiveness and salvation to all who will believe in Him and call Him Lord.  Reality is that one day soon God will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death, sorrow, or crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things will have completely passed away.

No matter your struggles or weaknesses here on this earth, remember that there is so much more to your reality.  Christ WILL appear a second time, and your groaning will end.

Thank you for this guarantee, Holy Spirit,

jamie

Keep watching

Pr. 29:1:  “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

There is a punishment and a destruction that will come that will indeed be without remedy.  This morning, I was reading Luke 12 where Jesus talks about the end coming.  There is a punishment for those who do not choose the Lord as their Master and their Lord.

As this year comes to an end, it is a good time for a reminder that there is an eternal reward, or punishment, that awaits.  Our lives are not about what we see and experience here on this earth, but about the Lord, His will, and eternity with Him.  We cannot harden our necks to this truth, but must stand corrected and ready, waiting on His return.

Jesus tells His disciples, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

This entire passage reminds me of Christmas evening.  We knew that some of our family was expected to arrive that evening.  When they called and let us know that they were 3 hours from arrival, we left my parents house and our other family and went home to prepare.  We wanted to be home when they arrived, to have our home nice and cozy, and to have food waiting on them upon their arrival.

As we waited excitedly, my kids were watching out the window and asking for updates on the time, hardly able to contain themselves with the anticipation.  Luke 12:37 says, “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.”  This reminds me of what we were doing Christmas evening.

The difference is that we knew what time to expect our company.  We do not have that knowledge about the return of Christ.  vs. 45 says, “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink, and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”

When we lose the anticipation about the Lord’s return and become distracted and caught up by this life, He will come back to find us unready and we will be appointed our portion with the unbelievers.

That is not God’s will for our lives.  Hell was created for satan and his angels, not for us.  (Mt. 25:41)  Heaven is the kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world.  (Mt. 25:34)  We are meant to spend eternity in heaven with our Savior and King.

Let us not become so distracted, as we wait, that we lose our anticipation of His coming.  He will return!  He will come back for us.  Let’s keep watching, expecting Him at any moment.  Our blessing awaits.

Eagerly,

jamie

Keep strengthening your temple!

Pr. 14:1:  “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”

As I am sitting here reading the word of God, I am now aware of the fact that I am building on to the temple of God.  Each time I read of Jesus’ compassion toward those who came to him on earth, I am adding to the foundation.  Each promise I read of eternal life gives me a new window to let in the light of hope.

When I find the verses on how God hears our prayers and we can boldly approach His throne in time of need, my security system becomes even more protective.  Reading the examples of the times when God, in fact, did not forsake His people, my roof becomes a more solid layer of shelter than ever before.

Knowing the Word makes the doors to my house and my heart impregnable to the lies of satan.  When he tries to whisper his way inside, I am able to recognize that his voice is not the voice of my Father; therefore, I do not open the door to him.

The walls to my temple are made stronger by my obedience to the Word.  Each time I put up a boundary, I build onto my walls.  Every sin I do not commit allows extra support to come from my trust in the Lord.  Strength and protection are found through my faith to choose to follow God.

I am remembering the times when I’ve torn down my temple with my very own hands.  When I have deliberately chosen to put off my reading of the Word and my time with God, I have allowed my foundation to become cracked.  Once I allowed the foundation to crack, my temple began to shift, being then moved to the shaky, unstable foundation of selfishness, sin, lust, and pride.

When my foundation became cracked, it also allowed satan to creep through the cracks instead of coming right to the door.  He found his way inside and began eating away at the solid structure I had built.  I may have looked fine on the outside, but the walls of obedience began to crumble and become unstable.  The door to my heart became virtually irrelevant as the enemy ate away at the Word I had hidden in my heart.

My roof and security system also became inconsequential, as the promises and faithfulness of God began to be replaced by lies from the enemy.

A neglected or abandoned house eventually falls into such disrepair that it must be condemned and torn down.  We must continue to build onto, secure, repair, and strengthen our temples day by day.  Our time with God, in the Word, in prayer, and under the teachings of other men and women of God help us to do those things.

We cannot neglect our temples.  Instead of being condemned, they can stand solid until the Lord returns.  A heavenly palace awaits!

Working on my house,

jamie

A plan for strength…completed

Pr. 19:21:  “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel–that will stand.”

I have had tendonitis in my toe since the beginning of July, but for the last 19 days I’ve been walking around in a “boot” from the podiatrist.  So, now my secret is out.  Everyone who notices it asks what happened.  My answer:  I tried to jog.  LOL!  Funny and sad, but true.

Almost 3 years ago I had a lot of plans.  Exercise was my hobby and I loved trying and learning new things.  The more hard-core, the better.  I had big plans for my body fat.  I had a plan and was training for a race I couldn’t wait to enter, and was looking for others.  I had plans for a few 5K’s with my work out buddy.  And then, one day it all changed.

No doctor has ever figured out what happened, but my body broke down and I could no longer exercise.  It eventually got to the point where I could barely walk.  Almost 3 years later, I am much stronger and very functional, and yet here I sit in a boot because I have stubbornly tried to exercise yet again.

Today I found a note in my Bible that is interesting to me.  I was reading Matthew 6 and in the middle of the “Do not worry” section I see that I have written, “Grow my faith, Lord.  I trust in You.”

Over the last few months I have realized that it’s time to stop.  I have come to understand that with all the plans I’d made for myself, it’s clear that my plans were not the same as the Lord’s.  I am reminded that His thoughts are not my thoughts, and His way are not my ways.  So what if I can’t exercise?  It is very clear that’s not what God needs from me.

What do I really want from the Lord?  Was it really so critical that I met my body fat goal?  Was that race the most important plan in my life?  Sure, if I could do those things now, He’d receive glory, but He should be receiving the glory regardless.  He is God.

How about me asking Him to grow my faith?  It is clear that to God, that plan was the most important of all the ones I had.  It coincided with His own plan for my life.  Even though my faith wavered for a moment during the last couple of years, I continued looking to Him and I have grown closer to the Lord than ever before—because of this trial.

Being humbled physically has helped me to humble myself spiritually and to submit my entire life to Him.  Truly I trust in Him in a way I never did before.

My body is the definition of weak, and in this weak state in which I now live, my God’s strength is evident in my life.  Indeed, He is mighty and His plans are perfect!  It is plain to see that His thoughts are of much better things than my own.  I know clearly that His ways are much more pure, productive, and beneficial than mine.

I am grateful for the opportunity to see God’s plans becoming completed in my life.  In my trust, I asked Him to grow my faith, and truly my faith has grown exponentially.  How amazing to see that prayer answered!

What will stand when Jesus returns is all that matters.  His thoughts and His ways are working perfectly together to get us to that place.  If we can but trust in His sovereignty and His provision, we will grow in ways we never thought possible.

Weak in body, but stronger than ever in Him,

jamie