Miracles, Miracles, Miracles and then the storm!

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The passage Matthew 8 is so timely to me this week…my 11 year old son, Sam and I have
been having conversations about God and His existence.  Sam has had some disappointments lately that
have caused some doubt to creep into his mind about God.  This was serious to him and he did not want
me to be upset.  But he did want me to
know.

I myself do not question God’s existence nor even His
presence but privately have questioned what His will is in a particular area of
my life.  In trying to discuss with my
son the doubts he is having I am finding some things too difficult to
explain.  I mean some of what I know is
only through experience.  He says to me,
when the discussion is over his head, “my head is full!”  That is my cue to back up.  I have tried to teach my children that God is
not a magician.  But trying to teach them
who and what He is, sometimes makes my head “full!” 

In going to God’s Word I find something that I can show
Sam.  I find a recounting of grown men
who doubted the Lord, who were afraid when a storm came upon them even with
Christ in their midst.  Not to mention
the fact that they had just witnessed miracle after miracle following a
mountain sermon. 

Can you imagine those first days after hearing Jesus speak
for the first time? The moment one became mesmerized by his wisdom and his air
of authority.  Both of which would have
been hard to miss by those who could sense they were in the presence of
something Holy.  I would have like to
been a person in the "multitude" coming down off the mountain after
his sermon, following him, wanting to know more.  Wanting to see more and hear more. That is how
a good message from God’s Word moves me.  It makes me hungry to know Him more. 

Those following Jesus that day got to see more…they saw
miracles. The healing of the leper, the healing of the Centurion’s servant,
healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and the two men possessed of devils. Can you
even fathom what was going through the minds of those witnessing the two men
being set free and becoming normal, while witnessing the swine throwing
themselves off a cliff?

In my discussion I had with Sam I spent several minutes
recounting all the things God had done for our family throughout his 11
years.  As I was listing them I felt my
heart begin to understand something that really had not occurred to me.  The disappointment I have often felt in not
getting what my heart desired or what my mind believed it should get was merely
a sign of un-surrender(if that is a word?) 
I don’t necessarily believe it to be rebellion as much as I think it to
be ignorance of what can be accomplished through spiritual death of “dying to
self.”  Just allowing God to do His will
with no “but”! 

What if I never doubted? 
What if I never questioned?  Has
there ever been a person who never did? 
Did it occur to anyone that Jesus questioned His father?  “My
God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?” 
I
for one have asked that question in grief and even with the gut wrenching
effort it took for me to utter those words, would not even compare to the depth
of Christ’s grief on the cross.  What is
it that God placed into each man that causes us to doubt and question?  How do I explain that to a child?

The disciples went with Jesus on the ship, which found itself in the midst of a
storm (tempest) being covered by waves. Even after all that they witnessed, the
disciples were afraid and went to Jesus  and cried out to Him.  Did their actions show doubt or faith?  If they had faith that Jesus could protect
them, then why did they fear in the first place?  What were they questioning, certainly not His
ability, because He is after all the one they went to for help.  I believe, and this is my opinion, that they
were questioning His willingness.  Would
He do it?  Do we deserve it?  Can we trust Him to do it? 

This is where I believe God shows us if we are surrendered
or not.  If we trust completely, if we
know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves us enough to protect, provide and
care for us when the storm comes then why would fear enter into our minds at
all? 

What did the Lord do?

He arose, rebuked the wind & sea and then all was calm. This they marveled
at! This caused them to ask themselves, finally after all they had seen, what
manner of man is this that the wind and sea obey?

What will it take in our lives to not only marvel at the Son of God but to so
trust Him that there would be no questions in our minds at all? 

And that is what I told Sammy. 

Grace to you all…

Shell

PS…this was the Bible verse for today on Biblegateway…go figure!

Isaiah 26:3

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Just One Hour?

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"It is as strange that a man
can be in a sinful, miserable condition, and not be aware of it, as that a man
should have a beam in his eye, and not consider it; but the god of this world
blinds their minds."
Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Matthew 7:7-11

How many times do we rush to judge others while ignoring what is
in our hearts and life? The whole chapter of Matthew 7 points us to how
sinfulness shows up in our lives. He paints the picture for us so we can
understand how easy it is for us to be blinded to the condition of our lives.

He says:

  • Wide is the gate & broad is
    the way to destruction, while strait is the gate & narrow is the way
    to life.
  • A good tree bears good fruit,
    while a bad tree bears bad fruit and is cut down and burned.
  • A house built upon a rock will
    not be torn down when the storms come but a house built upon the sand will
    be washed away with the storm.


I find it interesting to note that before Christ paints the pictures with His
words of the spiritual conditions of our lives, He specifically tells us that
we can go to the Father in our conditions and seek His help &
understanding….the best news of all is that He will give it to us.

7  Ask, and
it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened
unto you:

8  For every one that asketh
receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be
opened.

9  Or what man is there of you,
whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10  Or if he ask a fish, will he
give him a serpent?

11  If ye then, being evil, know
how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?


By
this we know we do not have to stay in this condition, we only need to be ever
searching
our own hearts and asking for understanding, from Him, as to the sinful things
we can not see in our lives….

I meet people every day that seem to
be in a trance, you speak to them about spiritual things and they just smile at
you and nod.  Sometimes they may even
throw in their 2 cents, but there is no depth to what they say.  The conversation just hangs there in mid air
waiting to be concluded.  At that point,
I have a sense of disappointment, that I have missed out on an opportunity to gain some insight from another through their wisdom or Chrisitian journey or perhaps even to be used of God, myself to minister to another soul.

I believe each of us has a spiritual
need inside of us that needs to be filled. 
Just like our stomachs need food when it is hungry.  The audible sound our stomach’s make, the rumbling or the "growl", would be the calling for
the food.  As to the spiritual need, I
believe it is a restlessness or a nagging, as I like to call it.  It can be uncomfortable or disconcerting.  But just as many have fed their stomachs too much or when it was not hungry, they have lost the
sensitivity to hunger.  We don’t even know when to stop eating because we have ignored the sensation of being filled!

So as it is with our spiritual need.  We are often so filled with so much of the world that we have lost
the "nagging".  We may still feel the
restlessness but have lost the ability to discern that it is a result of
spiritual hunger.

Just as Jesus asked the sleeping
disciples, “Would you not pray with me one hour?” I believe God is asking each
one of His children, “would you not seek me for just one hour?”

I often feel that way with other
Christians…I am bored of small talk and restless to see the Holy Spirit move in and through God’s people.  ”Can we not discuss our Savior and His truths for just one hour?” I only ask this question because of the restlessness I am feeling and I sense that it is God the Father drawing me in, wanting more from me. A deeper fellowship.  I guess I just wanted some company!

May we all seek Him and fill our needs in Him!

Grace to all my MSN friends!

Shell

Do I Look Like My Savior?


Lie
not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And
have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that
created him:

Colossians 3:9-11

 

An excerpt from Matthew Henry’s Concise
Commentary Colossians 3:9-11

“As Christians are freed from the ceremonial law, they must walk the more
closely with God in gospel obedience. As heaven and earth are contrary one to
the other, both cannot be followed together; and affection to the one will
weaken and abate affection to the other.

 Those that are born again are dead to
sin, because its dominion is broken, its power gradually subdued by the
operation of grace, and it shall at length be extinguished by the perfection of
glory. To be dead, then, means this, that those who have the Holy Spirit,
mortifying within them the lusts of the flesh, are able to despise earthly
things, and to desire those that are heavenly. Christ is, at present, one whom
we have not seen; but our comfort is, that our life is safe with him.

The streams of this living water flow into the soul by the influences of the
Holy Spirit, through faith. Christ lives in the believer by his Spirit, and the
believer lives to him in all he does.”

Did
you know that man was created in the image of God?  The IMAGE OF GOD!!!  I imagine that when man fell into sin that
our image was tarnished, so much so that God needed a way to clean us up…thus
His perfect plan, His Son, Jesus Christ! 
Once a person accepts Christ as their personal Savior, God begins a “makeover”
plan!  He begins to conform you into His
(Christ) image!  I have written before
about how I believe God is doing that in my own life, Mirrors Are Futiile!!! and I believe it is
different for each believer.  While I
think it is good to question how God is doing that in your life, I also think
we should question our intentions in this process. As a believer we should all
desire to be conformed to the image of Christ.

Are
you motivated by how others see you or by the intimacy with the Heavenly
Father?

 

Man

So God created man in his
own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female
created he them. Gen 1:27

 

Christ in Man

For
whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image
of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

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Intimacy with the Father brings about conformity to the image of Christ

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Jesus, being in His Father’s
image, prays to His Father bringing about intimacy.



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Each line of the model prayer Jesus prays is a call to intimacy with the Father
and a call for our worship to be proved by our outward actions.

The
10 commandments were the original “proof”, if you will, that God’s chosen
people were walking in His ways.  The
commandments dealt with their personal relationship with God (1-4) and their
relationship with others (6-10)

How
does Jesus’ model prayer compare to the 10 commandments?  We often forget that while Jesus did away
with the law through his atonement on the cross, we are to seek to live a life
set apart from the lost.  We are to still
walk in God’s ways. But our motivation must be through intimacy and worship,
not necessarily “outward appearance”.  If
there is true intimacy there will be true worship and it will naturally be
proved by our actions.

Jesus’ Model Prayer

 Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For
thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The 10 commandments give us
a picture of what intimacy with God the father would look like when seeking
Him.

The
10 Commandments lived out…

We would have no other gods before the Lord our God

He would be first in all things!

We would not make for ourselves any graven image

We would not strive for more money, outer beauty, put people or
careers on a pedestal, seek satisfaction through empty vices.

We would not take the name of the LORD our God in vain

There would be no cursing come from our lips.

We would remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.

We would set aside one day of worship for our Lord instead of
leasure!

We would honour our father and mother and
our days would be long upon the land which the LORD has God given us.

 We would take care of our parents who
have taken care of us. We would love them and honor them with our words, no
matter the kind of parents they were.

We would not kill.

We would not allow the taking of innocent life!

We would not commit adultery.

We would not look for something else to satisfy, we would be
faithful to all of our commitments.

We would not steal.

We would not take anything which was not ours, we would give
from our hearts in generosity to things of the Lord in stead of keeping for
ourselves.

We would not bear false witness against our neighbors.

We would not manipulate, we would not tell a lie, or white lies –half
truths, or twist the truth so that it benefits ourselves

We would not covet

 We would not want what another has, we
would be content with what God has given us and would rejoice for those who do
have!

 

In walking
in intimacy we would indeed love the Lord our God with all our hearts, our
minds, our souls and with all our strength!!!!

 
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Grace to you!
Shell

I just got tagged…

It has been a busy two days here on MSN…kind of fun shaking things up a bit…I have enjoyed meeting some new people and making new friends here….so many amazing people, from all walks of life, reaching out and being lights…Praise God!! If you haven’t gotten to know anyone on here I encourage you to do so…what a blessing!   May we all keep reaching out and making a difference for Christ!

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Ok, LiveforHim just tagged me, so here it goes…

Rules:
Each person posts the rules before their lists, then lists 8 things about themselves.  At the end of the post that person lists 8 other people they want to tag, then visits each of their sites leaving a comment that they have been tagged & to come to your space & read the post so they will know what to do.

List:
1) I have lost 18 lbs since July 1st 2008 and several more to go…
2) After raising 4 children I have 1 at home currently, yikes I miss them all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3) Scrapbooking is one of my fav things to do and have completed 10 albums since 2002!
4) I love the ocean, the mountains and the hills of Missouri in the fall!
5) My favorite kind of movies are usually based on true stories about overcomers and have to do with sports!
6) I would rather have a kiss than a bouquet of flowers. (but I wouldn’t turn down the flowers Wink)
7) My favorite sensation is being barefoot in the sand and a wave washes over feet on the way back out…
8) My desire is to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength so that in turn His love would flow through me to others!!!

Tagged:
Angie
Bill Loytty
Gerry
Cassie
Chelle
Artisticbaker
Mandy
Will