Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some Favorite Quotes

Just wanted to share some of my favorite quotes that have really encouraged me about God's grace and loving heart:

Always remember, you are not a burden to God, you are His treasure.  Mick Mooney

Grace is a Person.  Grace is the Spirit of Christ Himself within, loving us and living through us.  Rob Rufus

We don't fight sin; we experience LIFE!  That's what the Christian walk is all about! Sammy Bilyeu  (this may be a paraphrase and not exact words, not sure, but I love this idea..)

It is on a foundation of grace that the power of the Holy Spirit moves, not on human performance and effort.  The kingdom of heaven is an ascending escalator.  Rob Rufus

When He gives the Comforter...His pledge is that we shall live forever with Him. Catherine Marshall

[We have] the inward, invincible power of the Lord Jesus in our heart..In this power, He will live in you and carry out His work in you.  As the indwelling Christ, He is bent on maintaining and manifesting His redemption in you..He will by His power...overcome sin in you.  He will carry out His work.  Andrew Murray

Monday, March 19, 2012

Grace and Springtime

I feel ready for Spring, it just makes me think of new and good things coming.  A friend of mine talks a lot about how God is doing new and good things and has good things on the way for us.  I like that, because in the past I have lived under a lot of depressed feelings, suffering under the idea that things would never get any better but only worse.  But God is always about uplifting, restoring, helping and bringing hope. There is always the hope of Springtime and new vitality with Him!  I love that!

It reminds me of a verse I read recently: You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing.  There shall be shouts of joy and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  (I'm writing that verse from Is 55, I think it is, from memory, so it may be paraphrased a bit.)  He is leading us forth into joy and peace!

To me, His grace means He is with us no matter what hard or dark times we go through, even if we bring them onto ourselves sometimes. Doesn't matter.  He won't leave us when we're down!  He loves and accepts us just the same as always and we're still His righteous, beloved children.

And grace gets even better than that!  To me, His grace also means He doesn't just stick with us in the hard moments, when we feel we've been overwhelmed with bitter cold and dark winter.  Grace also means He lifts us up and brings Spring healing to our hearts!  He breaks through the darkness with His loving, powerful Spirit of Life and Grace and Glory!  He overcomes the darkness and drives it away!  He lifts us up on our feet again, brings us out into Spring meadows where we can run free and  shout His praise!  All a gift of grace..

Thank You for Your grace, Lord, that accepts us no matter what and empowers us over everything that comes our way!  It's like grace is just another word for YOU, working in us through Your dear Spirit, bringing us to enjoy the close and loving Communion with You, our Father, that Jesus bought for us, and also bringing out the very Life and Victory of the Son that He won for us on the Cross!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kim Walker on God's Love for Us

Here is the video of Kim Walker's testimony on God's love and how we have a special place in His heart.  I wanted to put it here for all to enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

There's a Place in God's Heart for Us

There's a wonderful place where we find we truly are accepted and cherished.

There's a wonderful place where we truly belong.

There's a wonderful place where we are safe and secure.

There's a wonderful place where we are delighted in and cherished.

There's a wonderful place where we are held and embraced.

It's a Spirit place.  It's in our Father's arms, and the Holy Spirit makes us to be able to experience being in His presence, in His arms.  That's where He has already put us in Christ.  Christ has brought us into the very presence of God and we are safe in His hands, with noone (even ourselves) able to pluck us out!

He's got us where He wants us, in His embrace!  Safe!  Hugged!  Right where He wants us, so He can love on us forever and sing songs over us, shower blessings on us, enjoy being with us in fellowship!

And the Spirit is sent into our hearts to flood us with the love of God and let us really experience that wonderful relationship of intimacy in Daddy's arms that we have!

We will be IN HIS ARMS forever!

Think about it - God has a special place in His arms, in His heart, that only YOU can fill.  We talk about us having a God-shaped hole in our hearts, right, that only He can fill?  Well, I remember hearing Kim Walker, a singer with Jesus Culture, talking about a conversation she had with God where He showed her that HE had a spot in His heart that was just her shape, a place where only she would fit, that was just for her!

We each have a special place in His heart!  We are special to Him and He has a special place in Himself that is just for us, a place where we can rest in Him and feel the weight of our worries fall off our shoulders, a place where we are taken in and loved completely, unreservedly, unconditionally.  Like a little child, at rest in their daddy's arms.  That is a place where we can finally REST and be at peace, in quietness, safe, secure, comforted, taken care of, understood, a place where we know everything is okay, Daddy's handling everything for us.  A place where we find ourselves WHOLE, with the broken places mended and the darkness and confusion gone, a place of restoration of lost hopes and of renewed hope where hope had been lost.  It's the place of the Spirit.  It's the center of God's heart!  That's where we are today and tomorrow and forevermore!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Springtime Photos

Here are some early almost-Spring photos that my daughter took recently.

Joyful, joyful, we adore You, God of glory, Lord of love! Hearts unfold like flowers before You, opening to the Sun above!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Secure in Christ, Part 12 - We're Already There

One thing that amazes me and helps me to see how secure I truly am in Christ is the wonderful truth that our spirits are "already there!"  Our spirits are already in heaven with Jesus!  So really, when you think about it, we are not trying to "get" to heaven or wondering if we will "make it" to heaven, for we are already IN heaven in our spirit!  It reminds me of a quote by Watchman Nee, something to the effect of "There is no need to struggle to get into a room in which you already are.  Once you see that you already ARE in, you make no effort to enter."  He was talking about the "room" of being IN Christ, and that is exactly where we are, IN Christ!  Our life is safely hidden with Christ in God!  Talk about safe and secure..we are already IN Christ, who is already IN God, who is already IN heaven!  Our spirits are safely wrapped up in the most wonderful package of Christ Himself, sealed with the Spirit, held by God, safe already in heaven!

We live in the ALREADY with God!

We aren't trying to get reconciled, we already ARE reconciled!

We aren't trying to get forgiven, we already ARE forgiven!

We aren't trying to get saved, we already ARE saved!

We aren't trying to become justified, we already ARE justified!

We aren't trying to be at peace, we already ARE at peace!

We aren't trying to become holy, we already ARE holy!

We aren't trying to get close to God, we already ARE close to God!

We aren't trying to get to heaven, we already ARE in heaven!

I love that!  I love how we live in the already with God.  We aren't trying to work up enough faith to make any of those things so, for they already are a fact of our existence.  What a relief..

We're already raised with Christ.

We're already seated with Christ in the heavenly places.

We're already blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places!

We're already home.

We're already safe.

We're already born of imperishable seed!

We're already part of the Eternal!

We're already new.

We're already those passed from death into life.

We're already MORE than conquerors.

We're already victors over the enemy.

We're already overcomers and already led in triumph!

We're already in the faith, for we live by the faith of Christ Himself!

We're already living with a new heart!

We're already living with a new nature - His divine nature!

We're already in the Kingdom of the Son.

We're already heirs of the Kingdom!

We're already sons and daughters of the Most High.

We're already in the family.

We're already His building, His temple.

We're already holy.

We're already the Holy of Holies and the dwelling of His Spirit!

We're already possessors of the Spirit.

We're already walking in newness of life.

We're already delivered from the old dead life and its corruption!

We're already free!

We're already whole!

We're already full!

We're already loved!

We're already accepted and taken in!

We're already in the secret place of His presence.

We're already overshadowed by His protective wings.

We're already held, carried and supported by His everlasting arms!

We're already kept safe and guarded by our Good Shepherd!

We're already led in paths of righteousness.

We're already protected from the evil one.

We're already overtaken by blessings!

We're already provided for!

We're already pursued by goodness and mercy!

We're already dwelling in the house of the Lord forever...

We live in the ALREADY with God!  We're already in the new creation, already part of the permanent (and thus our spirits cannot even die)!  Already full of the resurrection life of God!  We are already, in our spirits, in glory!  In glory!  And when Christ appears, we also WILL appear with Him in glory!

Therefore, let's comfort ourselves with these words!  Satan can't take away the joy we have been given of knowing Christ and realizing we'll be with Him forever! Safe in You, dear Jesus - thank You so much!  So good to know my spirit, my real and true new creation self, is already safely in Your arms in heaven...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Secure in Christ, Part 11 - We Are Part of God's Family Forever

Being securely wrapped up in Christ is so wonderful.  He just keeps us secure in so many ways and has it all covered, from beginning to end in our Christian experience!    One thing that has really comforted me and helped me see how secure I am in Him has been the idea of being put into God's family permanently.  We are brought into His family in several ways, I think, and in all those ways we are brought in forever, never to be excluded or thrown out, disowned or excluded..

We are born into God's family, born of the Spirit, born from above.  We are rebirthed through the living and permanent and lasting Word of God that never dies or changes or fails!  We are born again with a newly alive spirit, a righteous spirit that can never, ever die, for it has its life source in the very Spirit of God, the eternal Life of God Himself!  His Life is our life now, is at the center of our being, and that is a fire that can't be extinguished!

Birth is truly permanent!  Once a new being is conceived and born, that person is forever in existence.  There's no way to go backward and be "un-born" or erase the spiritual DNA with which God has made and equipped us.  We are part of His family with His spiritual DNA in us, made from His Life, with the family traits existent in us forever!  Just as earthly parents would say a baby has their eyes, their nose, their temperament, our Father says of us that we have His nature, His life, His Spirit!  We are forever and permanently His children because we've been reborn that way, made forever in His righteous image, thus righteous forever!

Another way we are brought into the family is by adoption.  I am still learning about the meaning of adoption in the first century, but from some things I have read, it seems the term adoption was used differently than it is today.  I read that "placed him as a son," so to speak, giving him full rights to his inheritance.  It marked the time when a biological child of yours came into the full privileges of being a son, with the inheritance, authority, blessings and rights that came along with that.  Everyone on earth was created by God and is in one sense His child.  When we accept Christ through faith, we come into our full rights and privileges as His adopted children.  He planned from before time began to adopt us like this! And all the gifts He has given us, grace upon grace and blessing upon blessing, all the blessings of our inheritance in Christ, - He planned all that for us from before the foundation of the world, a love plan beyond our comprehension.  He always meant that we would end up graced, loved, blessed and full of all the family privileges, set into a permanent place of love and honor in His family circle!  We are called sons, not just offspring!   We are not servants who live in the house and can be fired at any time for poor performance - NO!  We have been placed as sons!  A servant does not abide or remain in the house forever, but a SON abides or remains forever!  Jesus said we, as sons of the Father, remain in His house forever!  He is never going to disown us or kick us out!  He has given us sonship, and the Spirit of adoption testifies to that by crying out "Daddy!" within us!  That is the best gift He has given us, too, in this inheritance - the gift of an intimate relationship with God whereby we can call Him "Daddy!"  And all His gifts are irrevocable - He is our Daddy and FOR EVER AND ALWAYS we have the inheritance (which includes not just that wonderful intimate relationship, but also authority in Christ, peace, righteousness, provision, wholeness, joy, abundant life, eternal glory, etc.).  The Son calls us his brothers and we are co-heirs with Him, will share in His glory!  We can even say that the Lord Himself is our inheritance for always - "the Lord is my portion forever!" What a bright future we have with Him - Wow!

But there's more!  There's another way we are brought into God's family: through marriage to the Son!  We are called the Bride of Christ, and the Spirit is our eternal engagement ring or guarantee that this marriage will be completely realized one day at the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Talk about being loved and wanted and chosen!  We are so special that we were picked to be the very Bride of the only begotten Son of God!  God says in Hosea 2:19 "I will betroth you to me forever, in love and faithfulness."  I like how the Message puts that verse:  "I will marry you true and proper.  I will neither leave you nor let you go."  God will be faithful to us and never leave us.  But also He will hold on to us and never let us go!  He will never let us drift away from Him.  He has put the fear or reverence of Him in our new heart so that we will not turn away from Him - our new hearts are good and are in love with Him forever, never to wander away. That's our new nature - to always believe, to always follow, to always stay with our Husband.  As Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and they know Me, and they follow Me, and noone is able to snatch them out of My hand.  My Father is greater than all, and noone is able to snatch them out of His hand."  Even ourselves!  He has given us a new heart and nature that won't desert our Lover.  And we know for sure Our Beloved won't desert us, because He has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:6)!  We can say "I am my Beloved's and He is mine!"  He is ours and we are His forever!  This is a forever marraige, never to be dissolved, and we will enjoy a wonderful relationship with Him forever!

We are brought into the family of God by birth, adoption and engagement/marraige - and all these things are permanent, always and forever.  Thank You, Lord!
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14