Thanksgiving

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29, NIV)

For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes

in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him… to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20, Amplified)

And without faith it is impossible to please Him… (Hebrews 11:6, NASB)

Today is Thanksgiving! We give thanks to God for all that He has done in our nation and in our lives. We give thanks for all the good things and wonderful people in our lives. All good things come from God above (James 1:17). So we thank Him for the good in our lives.

I had an interesting Thanksgiving moment today. As I was busy running around the house preparing things for our Thanksgiving celebrations, I happened across some scriptures I had posted around the house. There were six scriptures on one piece of paper. Three scriptures each for two promises God has made in His word to me. Two promises that I have not seen come to pass in my life yet.

I read the scriptures. They stirred my faith (Romans 10:17). I smiled and then I said these words to God, “Thank You”.

I found myself thanking Him for something I haven’t seen yet. Simply having His Word on the matter settles it so much in my heart, that I already have a thankful, a grateful heart for things I haven’t seen yet. I haven’t touched yet. I haven’t enjoyed yet.

That’s faith. That’s believing without seeing. I am blessed. I pleased Him today.

So this Thanksgiving let us thank Him for all that He has done and let us thank Him for His promises to us, that are as good as done, because He said He would do it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

His Poem

O my luve’s like a red, red, rose.

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my luve’s like a melodie

That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

(first stanza from “A Red, Red Rose” by poet Robert Burns)

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10, Amplified)

For we are God’s masterpiece… (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

We are God’s handiwork, His workmanship, His masterpiece.

The Greek word translated as workmanship in Ephesians 2:10 is the Greek word poiema. Greek scholar Rick Renner says this word “carries the idea of something that is artfully created” (from Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems From the Greek)

He shared that “the Greek word for a poet, poietes, comes from this same word… one who has the extraordinary ability to write or create a literary masterpiece.” (Sparkling Gems From the Greek)

I think of God writing His masterpiece. I think of God writing a beautiful poem which is my life.

At the beginning of this post I included the first stanza from a very famous poem. See how beautiful it sounds with a lovely rhythm and rhyme.

Now imagine the poem, the life, being written saying, “I don’t like that line. Maybe we can do this instead.” Breaking the rhythm and rhyme of this beautiful masterpiece.

“I really don’t like that line about forgiveness. I really don’t like that line about loving and praying for my enemies. I really don’t like that line about living a holy life. I don’t really like that line about love not seeking it’s own way. I really don’t like that line about loving my wife. I really don’t like that line about respecting my husband.”

So this poem, this masterpiece, begins to try to write itself without the Master.

Without the Master, it is no longer a masterpiece.

With His leading, guiding and instruction in your life, He is writing a masterpiece. He is creating a thing of beauty. Let the Master mold you. Let the Master make you what you ought to be. Let the Master, through His Presence and through His Word, paint the picture that is your life. Let your life be His masterpiece.

They Carried Him

Then they came, bringing a paralytic to Him, who had been picked up and was being carried by four men. And when they could not get him to a place in front of Jesus because of the throng, they dug through the roof above Him; and when they had scooped out an opening, they let down the [thickly padded] quilt or mat upon which the paralyzed man lay. And when Jesus saw their faith [their confidence in God through Him], He said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven [you] and put away… But that you may positively and beyond a doubt that the Son of Man has right and authority and power on earth to forgive sins – He said to the paralyzed man, I say to you, arise, pick up and carry your sleeping pad… and be going on home. And he arose at once and picked up the sleeping pad… and went out before them all… (Mark 2:3-5, 10-12, Amplified)

There is a verse in the Bible that touches my heart each time I read it. It is found in John 5 and is the account of the invalid healed at the pool of Bethesda.

There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? …The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. (John 5:5-7, Amplified)

This man was helpless. He said he had no one to help him. I thank God that Jesus came to him that day and healed him.

There are so many out there in this same condition. I see them almost every day, in the hospitals, in the nursing homes. People who have no one to help them. No one to carry them as the four friends carried their paralyzed man to Jesus. Many have been that way for years. Who will carry them?

The title of this post is They Carried Him. I see that this can have many different meanings. But each one means that we do not sit idly by and watch a helpless person try to do it themselves.

The first meaning I see is just like the men in Mark 2 who carried their friend to Jesus, we too can carry others to him. We can carry them to Him in prayer. Spending time praying not only over our own needs, but taking the time to pray for those in need of a touch from the Healer.

I like that it says in that scripture that Jesus saw their faith. Their faith helped draw healing for this man.

I like that they were not deterred when they couldn’t enter the building Jesus was in. They went above and beyond and carried this man to the roof of the house, tore a whole in the roof and the four them lowered him down in front of Jesus. They worked together to get healing for their friend.

Another meaning I see in this title is they carried Him. In the case of the man at the Pool of Bethesda, he was helpless, he had no one, and Jesus, the Healer came to him. There are many trapped in their own bodies unable to leave hospitals, nursing homes, or their own homes, but we can carry the Healer, Who lives on the inside of us to them.

And these signs shall follow them that believe… they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18, KJV)

He who believes in Me… as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. (John 7:38, Amplified)

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even great things than these, because I go to the Father. (John 14:12, Amplified)

He “went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38, KJV).

Find someone who is helpless. Find someone who has no one. Carry them in prayer. And also go and preach the Gospel (the Good News). Carry Him to those who need Him most.

Faith Works By Love

I have been ministering to people in need of healing for almost 12 years now. I’ve seen people at many different stages in their walk with God. Some who didn’t know Him yet, to those who had known Him all their lives. Some who simply knew His acts, and others that knew His ways.

The other day I made a statement that summed up the relationship of many of those who found it difficult to receive their healing. I said it concerning one person, and then realized how true it was for many. “She knew the law, but she didn’t know the love.”

Let’s take a look at two scriptures that will help us see the importance of this statement.

For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect; because the law worketh wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace… (Romans 4:14-16, KJV)

Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace… (Romans 4:16, Amplified)

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:6, KJV)

In Romans 4 we are told that when we think we have to earn His promises by keeping the law, our “faith is made void”, the promise is “made of none effect”.

I have seen so many try to ‘earn’ their healing by being very legalistic. We could never earn our salvation. It was a free gift. We will never ‘earn’ healing. It too is a free gift.

In the Amplified Bible it said receiving God’s promise “depends entirely on faith… that it might be given as an act of grace.” In James 4:6 in the Amplified Bible we are told what grace is. It is the “power of the Holy Spirit”. Isn’t that how you were born again? With your heart you believed. With your mouth you confessed. And by the power of the Holy Spirit you became a new creation.

That’s how you receive healing. By faith so that it might be by grace.

Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works by love. If we go after the things of God by becoming harsh and legalistic, our faith won’t work. And we won’t access the grace to receive the promise. But if we realize Our Heavenly Father loves us, and that out of that love He sent His Son to take our sins and take our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24, Psalm 103:3) we will trust Him, believe Him, rely on Him to heal us. That’s called faith and it will access the grace to be healed.

I’m Not Who I Was

I’ve heard the song “I’m Not Who I Was” by Brandon Heath on the radio many times. Very catchy tune. Good and interesting lyrics. But just haven’t thought about it much.

Today as I worked around the house, I heard that song come up in my heart and the words, “I’m not who I was” brought a smile to my face.

I’m not who I was and it’s entirely because of my God, because of His Presence, His Word and His love in my life.

I was the one who got in trouble a lot in my family. I tested all the limits.

I was the one who was mostly depressed from a very young age.

I was the one who was scared of just about everything. Literally, it was easier to name the things I was not afraid of than to list those I did fear.

I was the one who many believed was least likely to succeed.

I was the ‘fragile’ one, emotionally and physically.

I was the weak one.

Then I found out who I was in Christ.

When trials, tribulations and tragedies struck our family, I turned out to be the strong one that helped the rest of the family stay strong and stay together. Only because He is My Strength.

When attacks came and fear tried to take control, I was the one who did not fear and helped others not to fear. Why? Because His love had driven all fear out of my heart.

The emotionally weak one had become the strongest and today I help to strengthen others through His Word and through His grace.

The physically sick and weak one become the healed and healthy one and daily I help others to receive their healing from God.

The one least likely to succeed has become very successful. Measured not only by material possessions, but  by the joy, the peace, and the love in my life.

The one who swore to never love again due to fear of being hurt, today is teaching others about God’s unconditional and overwhelming love.

The one who was sad and depressed is now full of joy and can hardly keep from smiling and bursting out in song throughout the day.

Because of My God, I’m not who I was.

To Be Known by God

…the man who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:3, NIV)

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep... (John 10:14, KJV)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me…(John 10:27, KJV)

I think of a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few…”

I have many friends and acquaintances. Among those friends and acquaintances, I have all types of relationships. Some I see on an occasional basis. Others I see more regularly.

Some people I see only when I am working. Others I only see in social settings. Some I work with and socialize with.

But the number gets much smaller when you count the friends I would bare my heart to. Friends who know more about me than most.

And even then, only one person really knows me. That would be my husband. He knows things about me that I have never shared with another human being.

But I believe all of us have deep areas in our hearts, parts of our being that no one knows or sees. Memories that we alone remember. Dreams and disappointments that no one else knows about.

It surprises me when after knowing one another for 22 years, my husband and I find out new things about one another. Not because we are keeping things from one another, but things that we just never thought to share, such as a childhood memory.

The other day I was just sitting on my couch thinking, when a smile crossed my face. I smiled because it occurred to me that God knows every thing about me. There is no detail of my life that He doesn’t know. And knowing that, blessed me.

Especially when I thought about the fact that this awesome, omniscient (all-knowing) God loves me. He knows everything about me and He loves me.

There is nothing hidden in my heart that He isn’t aware of. He is even aware of things in my heart that I didn’t even know were there. He knows me better than I even know myself.

I like that. The King of the Universe knows me.

O LORD, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know my downsitting and my uprising; You understand my thought far off. You sift and search out my path and my lying down, and You are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue [still unuttered], but, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. (Psalm 139:1-4, Amplified)

You, O Lord, know me. 🙂

A Heart of Compassion

I’ve spent much of the day thinking about and praying for an elderly gentleman I don’t even know. Who is he? Why am I praying for him?

He is a man I saw for the first time last night and have never personally met. As I stood outside a restaurant after dinner with friends, I watched as the elderly man had trouble figuring out how to turn the lights off on his car. My heart was overwhelmed with compassion for him. I wish now that I had allowed that compassion to move me to speak to him. But I didn’t. I said a little prayer as he walked away into another restaurant.

My friends and I continued to visit with one another on the sidewalk. We noticed one of the valets from yet another restaurant run over to the car as the back lights still appeared to be on.

As he passed us we explained that the gentleman had trouble with his lights and we told him which restaurant he had gone into. He said he was very familiar with this man. He had been banned from the restaurant the valet works at because the man would drink too much and get drunk. And he also brought prostitutes to the restaurant with him. My heart was overwhelmed with compassion for this man. Even more so than before.

I don’t recall what I said, but I expressed my feelings about this man. The valet basically said that I shouldn’t feel sorry for the guy because he is doing it to himself.

Today as I pray for this man I’ve never met, this man whose name I don’t know, some scriptures about our Savior Jesus are filling my heart.

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:15-17, KJV)

And behold, a woman of the town who was an especially wicked sinner, when she learned that He was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment (perfume). And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears,and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. (Luke 7:37-39, KJV)

Jesus goes on to forgive this woman of all her sins and speaks of her great love. He who is forgiven much, loves much. She was forgiven much.

I think too of the words He spoke to the woman caught in adultery.

He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11, NKJV)

I wish I had shared John 3:16-17 with this man. But I didn’t and for that I repent. But today I pray that someone, even if it’s me Lord, will cross his path and tell him the Truth that will set him free.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:16-17, Amplified)

PS… As I typed this, I almost didn’t use the word gentleman at the beginning. I also thought about typing the words, the Truth that could set him free. I chose to call this man a gentleman and to say these words will set him free because just like God I call those things that be not as though they were. Agree with me for this man’s salvation and restoration.