Today we should share with others what we are hoping to find, complish, restore and create during this season of Lent and Easter.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3 NLT
For other inspiration messages from Therese go to http://www.theresemarszalek.com/InspirationalMsgs.html
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
I am spending the day outside in nature. I write this in advance in the hopes that you to can get outside in this winter weather and see where you hear HIM while enjoying what HE created!
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I am certain that God, who began the good word within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Phil 1:6 NLT
I know that even when I am not working on me, HE is. The reminder, the touches, the hints. Why are they so hard to hear some days? What is in your way and mine?
Today, I will spend time with myself to listen and work on who HE wants me to be.
While starting to use the 40 Days book, I realized I don’t reflect or mediate or just spend time with God each day. Do you?
Therese says, “Daily, I will respond when Jesus says, “Come.””
WOW, powerful! I think I usually say something like hold on a minute, I just need to finish XYZ. Today I will stop when He calls.
I try to come up with 1-something to give up 2-something to start new and 3-something to change.
My family loves that every other year I give up french fries OR diet coke. They would much prefer that I DON’T give anything up for Lent. They are sometimes the beneficiaries of the other two options. Sometimes it is writing a note in their lunch boxes or cleaning out the toy closet for them. Or spending some quality time with my husband each and every day. It is amazing how much time can go by where you and your hubby act as ground control in your home. “Off to take X here” or “You are needed for vocabulary testing in Y’s room”.
Well this year, I am going to do all three in one. I am going to give up some of my personal reading time to DEVOUR the book 40 Days. I assume working the assignment will help me change many of the things I do today and help me create new and better habits.
Would you consider joining me on this JOURNEY?
While listening to a recent message by Jack Hayford on the “Spirit Formed” broadcast, I heard him describe Easter in this way…
The whole message of Easter is not that there was an event. The whole message of Easter is that Easter released a power that guarantees to everyone who will come to Him that there is a force that will reverse any situation that looks like its been a set up for a put down…to reverse everything in our lives that looks dead. But there is no promise of a schedule, of a schedule that will suit us.
Easter released a power into our lives that is available to us every day. Jesus is ever-present with us and He’s given us the Holy Spirit to forever abide in us. He is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). When we believe in Him, life is present ALL THE TIME. There is a constant release of divine life and grace that’s always there for us.
We need to not only be conscious that it is there, that HE is there, but we need to RECEIVE this power so it can work in our lives. God will never force His will upon us, but His will for us is always for life and health and fulfillment.
If there is any area of your life that seems “dead” as we celebrate Easter this year, look to Jesus and receive His life-giving power for that situation. Receive His wisdom as your answer. Receive His strength to continue on the journey. Receive His deliverance.
There is no promise that it will happen on OUR schedule, but there is a promise that it WILL happen. Hold fast to that promise and you will see it realized!
Simply say, “Thank You, Jesus, for Your resurrection power that is available me to today to breathe Your divine life into my situation. I receive from You this free gift of power and declare that it will infuse my situation with life. Thank You for reversing anything that looks like a put-down in my life, for promising to turn it around for my good, and for using it to bring glory to the Father. I trust You and look to You as the source of the answer for every problem I am facing. In Your Precious Name, Amen.”
My love for you is more precious than gold,
Please believe it and enter my fold.
I have placed in your heart a longing for me;
Open your eyes, my child, and this you will see!
My love for you cannot be fathomed;
It reaches from heaven to the deepest chasm.
Since before you became, I have loved you, everything in life proves this is true!
I have pursued your soul from before you were born;
I have loved and protected you, and carried you through the storm.
I promise to be with you every single day,
“I will never leave nor forsake you”, you have heard me say.
I have loved you before I even made time;
I ask you this day, will you be mine?
Everything I have, I offer to you,
Just say “yes” and I will prove it’s true!
I defeated the enemy by my Son, Jesus Christ; when you accept Him I give you true life!
When you trust me I forgive all your sin, I cleanse you and wash you and we begin again.
I know your name and the number of hairs on your head,
Come to me, my child, your old life is dead!
Life is not easy I know that it’s true, but sin, death, and Satan have no hold on you.
I have defeated them and I have set you free;
Let’s get started… come join me!
I am the Way and the Truth, and I am the Life;
No one comes to me, except through Christ!
I won’t force you to come… because I love you so much,
But I hope you say yes, that in me you will trust!
If you do you will feed my sheep;
You will love me and others… with a love so deep.
We will share my truth, to the ends of the earth,
Together we will go, and share “new birth”!
I have written this Valentine through the pages of the Bible;
A love letter of sorts, your only chance for survival!
I long to spend eternity with you, please say “Yes”, that you love me, too!
(written by Mark Halla as a Valentine’s Day reminder of how much God loves us!)
New Living Translation (NLT)
4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
I have a DREAM that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: / we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
I have a DREAM that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a DREAM that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
– Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.
(I have a DREAM wasn’t part of his written speech. He strayed from his written speech and reacted to a cheer from the crowd asking him about his dream.)
Just the other night, I was watching a Christmas movie on GMC. ‘Tis the season for Christmas movies on a number of channels! The movie was not very interesting, to be honest, but I kept flipping back to it because there was nothing else on TV worth watching. There came a part in the movie where an older gentleman read the Christmas story while a young girl acted out various parts. Once the play was completed, he said one of his favorite parts of the Christmas story was actually a part that was seldom read – the part about Simeon. He then proceeded to the following passage in Luke:
“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
‘Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.’
And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’” Luke 2:25-35 NKJV
Hearing this made me pause to think: What would it have been like to be Simeon? That’s when I knew I kept switching back this movie for a reason. This was the part that God intended me to hear. He wanted to get a message to me, and to you.
Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us WHEN it was revealed to Simeon that he would see Jesus before he died. What if the Holy Spirit spoke that to him when he was 30 years old? He could have taken that one of two ways: either Christ is coming soon and I’m going to die young, or I’m going to have to wait a LONG time for this promise to be fulfilled.
At first glance, neither prospect seems “fun”, I have to admit. Simeon heard the voice of the Holy Spirit give him this wonderful promise… but how would he know when “the time” had come? I believe that as the years went by, he continued to practice hearing and obeying the Holy Spirit. Each time the Spirit spoke, Simeon obeyed. Simeon probably figured that when the time came for this promise to be fulfilled, he didn’t want to second guess that is was God who had spoken to him.
When the Spirit led him to the temple at the appointed time, it turned out that he was being led there not only so he could see the Lord’s Christ with his own eyes,
but so he could release words of blessing over Jesus and also Mary and Joseph. In fulfilling His promise to Simeon, God used him to bless Jesus’ earthly parents and communicate a specific message to them.
God is a connecter and a multiplier. Allow the story of Simeon to sink deep in to your heart, pondering how it applies to you and how it applies to the promises God has spoken to you.
But, Simeon was “just and devout”, you might say. So are you, if you’ve been washed by the Blood of Jesus, accepting Him as your Lord and Savior.
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” 1 Corinthians 1:30 NKJV
Now that we’ve got that point settled, consider what it is that the Holy Spirit has been speaking to you. What has God promised to YOU? Are you waiting expectantly for it? Are you endeavoring to follow the Holy Spirit in your daily walk, fine tuning your listening skills?
Are you willing to do what it is He says to see the promise come to pass? Like Simeon, will you follow the Holy Spirit as He leads you to the temple, or wherever that place is for you? At the exact day and in the exact hour? Will you be ready, in the midst of the fulfillment of His promise to you, to reach out and be His hands and His mouthpiece to bless others?
The promise that God made to Simeon may seem extra special, because it involved the birth of His Son, Jesus. But as sons and daughters of God, He treats each and every promise He makes to us the same way. It is important to Him that they come to pass in the right way, at the right time, and that we are prepared to receive them.
Listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit is vital. Reading the Word of God is vital. Prayer and worship is vital. It strengthens our relationship with God, which allows us to trust Him more fully and deeply. It gives us a certainty that can be obtained no other way.
Jesus came, as is said in Luke, to be “a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Allow that light and that glory to penetrate your heart afresh and anew this Christmas.
The story of Simeon is my story. It’s your story. It’s the story of a person who dared to trust God.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Celebrate Your Faith!