Thursday, March 23, 2017

Luke 10.27


Luk 10:27  And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

What truly does God want from us? What does He desire from His people? If you're reading this, I would encourage you to truly allow Him to search your heart and and see what you really believe about this. I know personally, I probably would have said that He wants us to love Him with all of our heart and love and serve others. I would have said that, but God has been revealing to me that I I would end that sentence with "and.....". For a long time now (too long) I have had an unrest in my soul. I've hen carrying around in the depth of my heart an angst that I have yet to attain what following God is really about. I don't know where the root of it came from. I don't know what lie I choose to believe and allowed this to root in my soul. But I know that I have hidden it in a desire to love and serve God. That is the desire of my heart. But God has been showing me that I have misunderstood what it means to love God and serve others.

Sitting on the floor with your bible seeking the One True God is loving Him.

Serving the local church, teaching the Word, living life alongside God's people, enjoying God and worshiping Him every day in whatever circumstance you find yourself...this is loving Jesus. Living sacrificially for others, for the glory of God, this is loving Jesus. Lifting up the name of Jesus in every opportunity you get, this is loving Jesus. Looking unto Him daily for your salvation, this is loving Jesus.

It sounds so simple, nearly boring and mundane. We think it is suppose to be fancy and special but the gospel is so simple. What does God want from us? It's actually simpler that we think. Love. He wants our love. For Him, and for others.

We go throughout this world, with Christ in us, the hope of glory. This life will go by so fast. We don't want to get to heaven and realize that we were living for the "bigger and better" when Jesus points to a much smaller and humbler story.

I heard these remaining words from a sermon and they spoke to my hungry heart.

"God moves through those who realize that they aren't qualified. God put the Spirit of God and a message in a few broken guys and through them, He changed the world.

When we get to heaven I hope this is my testimony.

That I read the Bible more than the news...

That I built the local church rather than a following...

That I trusted God more than i tried to control my life...

That I spent more time on closet foors with my Bible than on social media...

That I choose the small rather than craved big...

That I choose Jesus."

Friday, March 10, 2017

2 Cor 13.4

2Co 13:4  For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

"All you need is need" -Tim Keller

Weakness. Need. Affliction. What person wants those words to describe them? Nobody wants their lives to be defined by those things. The Bible is so paradox because in it we see that God uses weaknesses, need and affliction as an opportunity to shine His glory in our lives. I think one of the problems is that we have a warped view of weakness in the kingdom of God. We forget that God is drawn to weakness. We forget that in weakness, we are drawn to God. The Body of Christ is trying to be strong in our own strength when God tells us that it is through our weakness that we are strong. Most of us would YES and amen this, but do we truly believe it? Do we believe it when we are weak, afflicted and don't see how God is using the situation for His glory? I know personally, if I can't SEE what He is doing, I quickly lose heart and wallow in self pity. I was just recently faced with this again as we were out of town for three days and I was sick and was stuck in bed. As I laid there, I was asking God "God I truly just want to know how You are using this to glorify You?". I couldn't understand or see how He was using it to glorying Him and that made me lose heart. What I didn't understand is how He was using it to shine through my weaknesses. To draw me close to Him and mold and shape me to look like Jesus. Jesus suffered and Jesus died in what the Bible called weakness. If that sentence doesn't settle well with you (it didn't with me at first) then maybe you don't know how beautiful God sees weakness when it is given to Him. What happens to our weaknesses? They are resurrected by the power of God into new life. Jesus died in weakness and rose and lives in the power of God. We are weak. I am weak. BUT in that weakness we LIVE by the power of God.

I was listening to a podcast by Joni Eareckson Tada and these words of hers seemed to sink right into my heart.

"Christians who suffer are a spectacle of glory like burning bushes not consumed. We are bushes unconsumed. He wants us, to whom He displays His glory.

The best benefit of affliction in our lives is the urgency that we need Jesus. It is the waking up in the morning "JESUS I NEED YOU" life. Blessed are the poor in spirit. This is the biblical way to live."

In the unknown, we draw to the One who is know. When our vision is obstructed, we allow Him to clear the way. When we have no strength, we wait on Him, and He will carry us on eagles wings. We don't look to what is seen, but to what is unseen. And we know, that whatever we see or don't see, He is using it to produce a weight of glory beyond all comparison.

Psa 119:71  It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ecc 3.1

Ecc 3:1  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

Some mornings It's hard not to look at my remaining field time (one month + one week) and wish it away or rush it away. Not because it's bad or I want to leave Cambodia, but because my mind is constantly looking to the next thing. It is constantly looking ahead and wanting to rush seasons for the next. Closing out seasons of your life can be intimidating and hard and sometimes mentally and emotionally it's just easier to skip ahead and imagine you're already gone. It's hard not to want it to be over. I truly love living in Cambodia, I truly love my team and I truly love the ministry we get to go. But on the days when you wake up and your heart seems to be on a different continent, it can be hard to live in the present. It can be hard not to see every affliction and obstacle instead of every blessing.

But oh how He is showing me that when He is my treasure, when Jesus is my Worth, when He is my greatest reward, He is what I see in every affliction and obstacle. If drawing near to Him is really my desire, then I have been given the desires of my heart.

I have been sick a lot since coming here and this past week and a half I have been feeling great. Yesterday I woke up congested and with headaches and started pumping the vitamins and water. Kayla reminded me of a great truth last night, she heard me sniffle, saw me take vitamins and looked at me and said "there is a season for everything. And sometimes there are sick seasons." This perspective was such an encouragement to me. Life is truly learning to embrace every season for what God truly has in it. It is learning to embrace Jesus in every moment of every season.

Only by the indwelling Holy Spirit can we walk in and out of seasons, affliction and blessing and remain joyful and Jesus centered. It's all His grace. I want to close out my season being here, now. Fully engaging with the people in front of me instead of dreaming and wondering what I will do after I get home. Instead of being consumed with the small details of the unknown, I want to be consumed with the known details of God. To be consumed with His goodness and His glory.

Jesus, keep my heart present. Jesus, give me eyes to see you in the trial and affliction. Give me eyes to see Your love when I want to flee. Steady my heart and direct my gaze back to You. Purify my hearts desires. Make them be You Jesus. Instead of looking to the difficulties and afflictions, may my mind be ever meditating on Your goodness.

Not only is there a time and season for everything. But He calls it beautiful.

Ecc 3:11a He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Pro 19.23



Pro 19:23  The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

I'm letting go of my idol of satisfaction.

The idol that tells me that I will be 100% satisfied on this earth. The idol that screams that I will find this satisfaction in the perfect ministry, body, relationship, children and life. I'm giving it up because I will never find this! This yearning in my heart is a yearning for heaven. It is a yearning to be perfectly glorified and to be in God's perfect and holy presence.

I will be satisfied in Jesus continually everyday until I am perfectly satisfied with Him in perfect eternity. That is the only place where I will live in perfect communion and satisfaction. Until then I can fully worship Him by enjoying the blessings that He gives me, but I am sick of the race and war that I put myself in trying to find the perfect formula for satisfaction. There is no worship experience or encounter with God that will satisfy me completely until I see Him in eternity. In the Psalms David prays "Satisfy me in the morning with your likeness.". Jesus satisfies. He does. I believe that the satisfaction and joy He brings is supernatural. But I'm learning that it is continual. I will never get a dose of Him and be satisfied for life. My flesh is strong and looks for comfort and satisfaction apart from in Christ. But the Spirit is so willing and gracious to continually pull us back to the truth of Christ and His victorious life that He imparts upon His people. My heart is so needy, but every need is filled in the rivers of His grace. If I got satisfied from every craving and desire the moment I become born again, I would not have a strong drive to to receive from Him all that He has to pour out. He knows my nature and created me uniquely and intricately so He could continually satisfy me. That is grace.

We were created as very dependent and needy people. And our Creator knew exactly what would satisfy the depths of our need. Every need is satisfied in His likeness. I love that this verse uses the words "rests satisfied" and that is exactly what a life of a daughter of God looks like. It looks like the end to striving and the end to trying so dang hard. It looks like being rested in who He is and knowing, truly knowing that our life isn't for our glory but for His. That truth brings so much freedom.

I am set free and I am satisfied in Him. And tomorrow, when I awake with desires and need, He will satisfy. And the next day. And the next day... Into eternity.

Exo 33.17


Exo 33:17  And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”


Jesus I want to hear you say my name

This was a prayer that I prayed on a sleepless night. Some might call it selfish and self focused, but for me, and it was a prayer for intimacy. It was a heart cry to know Jesus. To walk with Him, to touch Him, to be so close physically, emotionally and spiritually. It was a yearning to know Him as my friend and to have the intimacy and oneness that He prayed we would have in John 17.

 Not even 5 min after I prayed this I started listening to a teaching from Francis Chan and right away he read Exodus 33:17.

Exo 33:17  And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”

I know you by name. While I didn't hear an audible voice or see the heavens part and Jesus descend, I knew that this was the answer to my prayer. I knew that He has seen me and heard my desire and answered. I Knew at that moment, that I was in the presence of Jesus and that I am His beloved daughter.

Lately my heart has been crying out to know Jesus. We talk about this, we read books about this, we sing about this, we preach sermons about this, but do we truly experience it? Can we truly say that we know Jesus as our friend? I recently watched the movie Risen (yes I know I am late to the party) and it refreshed my heart and ignited my heart to truly know Jesus. It is so easy to read about Him in the scriptures but have it be far off in my mind. But as I watched the movie and watched how they portrayed Jesus, I was overwhelmed and moved to know Him as my friend. He invites us into this covenant friendship.

It truly is all about knowing, enjoying and worshiping Christ. I can fall in love with doing good things, resisting temptation, taking care of the poor, memorizing scripture...and miss everything. It is about falling in love with Jesus. I want to be consumed with love for Him. Not for what He can do for me or for what I can do with Him, but simply consumed with Him. This isn't something you can explain and measure, but it certainly is something you can see in a person. The thought terrifies me that I could get to the end of my life and serve everyday in ministry and realize I never knew or loved HIM. May this not be so, and His love beckons me into a life of friendship with Him. As my flesh starts to chase a performance relationship, He reminds me that my relationship with Him is sealed and He desires a relationship.


He is the prize. He is my exceedingly great reward. And to know Him, it is beyond comprehension and explanation. It is beauty, it is life.

Psa 34:5  Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed

Monday, January 30, 2017

Psalm 32:1-2

Freed from guilt + Freed from shame

Psa 32:1  Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psa 32:2  Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

How many of God's sons and daughters live in guilt and shame? (✋) Our sin separated us from God and we are innately guilty. That is our state of life before we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. But after we have been washed, sanctified and redeemed by His blood, we have no guilt and no shame. We have been set free from the shackles and accusations.

Why would we break camp in the grounds of guilt and shame when we could be souring on eagles wings? When I am walking in guilt and shame I feel like a lifeless body making my way through life. Of the many things that break God's heart, I think seeing His forgiven children walking in guilt must be up there for Him. It surely stems from unbelief and takes my eyes off of the the final work of Jesus and places them on my depravity. Some days I am running in His victory but some days I wake up and feel like I am drowning in guilt and shame. The enemy of our souls wants to steal, kill and destroy and souls and our daily life on this earth. So often he does this with his accusations and threats of guilt. As soon as I feel guilt and shame as a banner over me instead of "FREEDOM" "VICTORY" "HIS LOVE" my response should be to acknowledge my sin before Him. Confess before Him and rest in His forgiveness. When I keep silent, I am sitting in shackles that have already been opened. When I wallow in guilt I walk back into that prison cell that I have already been freed from. I go pull my old death sentence from the archives that says "PAID IN FULL" and ignore the big bold words stamped on it hang it on my wall and declare its accusations as true.

But oh, it is PAID IN FULL. It has no power over me because my Jesus conquered sin and death and is now victoriously reigning in heaven. He is my freedom. He is my guiding place. He surely preserves me from trouble and surrounds me with shouts of deliverance {victory}. Today I'm looking at the truth that it is paid in full and instead of looking at the accusations, I will look at the One who set me free from them all.

Selah.


Psa 32:7  You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

Sunday, January 29, 2017

1 Cor. 6.19

1Co 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,


I just read in Exodus about all the details of building the tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant and the priestly garments and have been blown away at God's detail in it all. God wrote chapters describing what would be in our eyes, the very small details of the building and making of these things. But this shows that to Him, these details are not small at all. If Creator God, Holy and All Powerful included them in Scripture, they hold much significance to Him and to His story of redemption. It's easy to get caught up in the big picture and miss the details that show God's fingerprints all throughout Scripture. But it's also easy to get stuck in the details and lose sight of Jesus. But if we look for Him, we will always find Him. If we allow Him to open our eyes, He will show us wonderful things in His Word.

Psa 119:18  Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

One of the prayers that I pray continually for me and the people that are in my life is that God will give me eyes to see and ears to hear. In Revelation we read repetitively "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.". The Spirit is speaking to His church. Jesus is always calling us into deeper intimacy with Him. God is always beckoning us into greater dependence on Him and His Word. His Word is alive and sharper than any two edged sword. The details throughout the Bible weave together the most beautiful and epic story ever written. The Bible is not made up of random letters and books, but God has intricately woven them all together to testify of the grace and redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

When I finished reading in Exodus about the descriptions of the tabernacle, ark and priestly garments, I was sitting in His presence and meditating on what I read when I heard His voice speak to my heart.

"Do you see how many details there are and how I care about each one of them? Emily where is my temple now? But now you are the temple of My Spirit. And I care just as much about every detail of you."

2Co 6:16  What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people

1Pe 2:5  you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

And for the priestly garments... God says

1Pe 2:9  But you are a chosen race, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

HE CARES. HE CARES. The God who holds all power of life and death cares about the details of His chosen people, His priesthood, a people for His possession. He cares about the things we don't think anybody cares about. God is a Redeemer and will redeem even the small details and desires of our heart. Walking with Jesus truly gets better each and every day. It doesn't get easier, but it is richer, fuller and more miraculous as we live each moment in the grace that He has freely poured out on us.