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Archive for the ‘God’s Presence’ Category

 
Through Jesus let us continually offer
 
to God a sacrifice of praise.
 
Hebrews 13:15
 
 
As we enter the Advent season, let it be a time of sacrificial praise. 
 
Praise be to the Lord because He has come to rescue us and enable us to serve us Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.  Praise be to the Lord, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.  Adapted from Luke 2:68-79 
 
 
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You,
who walk in the light of Your presence, O Lord.
Psalm 89:15
 

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We saw clearly that the Lord was with you.
Genesis 26:28
 
 
Today is my forty-third birthday.  I love birthdays.  For me, they are time to reflect and refocus my life.  I just went out on a two-hour lunch date with the Lord.  I brought my Bible and my journal and went to my favorite Japanese restaurant.  These are the verses I focused on:
 
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
He makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
For only he will release my feet from the snare.
Psalm 25:14 & 15
 
I want my eyes to always be on God.  I want to continually be aware of His presence.  I want my life to be so consistently faithful that it is clear that the Lord is with me, regardless of how difficult my circumstances may be.  My challenge to myself and to you is to live a life of faith that others can imitate.  “You became imitators of us and of the Lord …” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).  We can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit and by deliberately keeping our eyes focused on God.
 
God is with you in everything that you do.
Genesis 21:22
 

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His word is in my heart like a fire…
Jeremiah 20:9
 
 
My Dad has started writing poetry; I love it when people surprise me.  His favorite style of poetry is haiku, and he has written over 2,000 since August 2008.  I asked him to write about fire and he sent me these two poems.
 
I can go no other place
And find the abiding peace
In quiet He comes with fire
Lighting up my soul
 
Come be the fire inside me
Your presence is what I need
To make Your presence real here
This is my desire
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© Terry S. Smith
 
 

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walk through fire

When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2
 
 
My friend Christine was burned many years ago, so she has a unique perspective about what it means to walk through fire.  Here is a devotional thought she wrote in 2000.
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On June 19, 1997, I walked into my kitchen and found a pot of grease on fire. In an effort to save the house from burning, I accidentally spilled the grease on myself, burning 38% of my body.  I was rushed to a burn unit in Mobile, Alabama where I spent the next 31 days.  It took two full years to recover.
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As I fought for my life and struggled with faith, God whispered His promises to me, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name; you are Mine!  For I am the Lord your God – the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!”
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With the comfort of these verses came confusion.  How can He say, “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze?”  I clearly had proven scripture false because I had been burned.  Where was the protection He’d promised when I needed it most?
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God reminds His people Israel that He knows them by name, has made a special covenant with them and He will not let anything overcome them.  He does not promise a life free of “floodwaters and fire,” but He does promise His love and protection.

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Our physical bodies are not exempt from floods and fires, but our hearts are held in the hands of our Redeemer.  He doesn’t promise protection from physical pain, but He does promise that He will be with us (Isaiah 43:2,5). He will love us because we are precious to Him (Isaiah 43:4), and He will bring us back to Himself (Isaiah 43:4-7).

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Three years later, I have walked through the fire and have smelled the stench of charred skin: “But I have also tasted the goodness of God’s love!”

On June 19, 1998 an ultrasound revealed God’s gift of twins.  As I sit here now listening to the playful voices of Abi and Micah, I rejoice that God has a perfect plan that doesn’t depend on my faithfulness.  I am so grateful His passion to pursue my heart and fill its thirst is never ending — even if it means walking with me through fire.

“It may not be the way I would have chosen

When you lead me through a world that’s not my home

But you never said it would be easy

You only said I’ll never go alone.”

 Ginny Owens, “If You Want Me To” from the CD Without Condition 

Christine Davis                                                                                                     Knoxville, Tennessee                                                                                           From the Heart of a Lion, © 2000 Bryan College: Bryan College Press, Dayton, Tennessee.

 

 

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surround me

You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7
 
 
~ God of Grace ~
In the shelter of Your presence You hide us. (Psalm 31:20)  Please help us to feel Your protection from trouble.  Please help us to hear Your songs of deliverance.  May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You.  (Psalm 33:22) In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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my beautiful one

My Beloved speaks to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
          and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
          the rain is over and gone;
          the flowers appear on the earth;
          the time of singing has come…”
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 
 
 
Recently, I was blessed by going away for a weekend for a time of spiritual rejuvenation.  My precious friend Christine shared this verse and wrote this inspiring note:
 
“My prayer for you this weekend is that you will hear Jesus, your Beloved, calling, ‘Arise, my love my beautiful one and come away with me.’  He is inviting, alluring your heart to the wilderness (of pain and desperation) so that He can meet you there.  He has tender words for you!  Regardless of the inconvenience of pain…the time of singing has come.  Flowers are appearing on your heart as the fertile soil of struggle brings forth life and peace!  REST in His transforming work.  
 
This weekend is about you and Him.  Lay all other burdens at the foot of the cross and saturate yourself in the Presence of your Servant King!  His plan is often inconvenient and rarely free of pain, but it yields the beautiful fruit of righteousness and intimacy with the living God!”
 
Therefore, behold, I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.  Hosea 2:14 

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shine like the sun

 

May those who love You
Be like the sun when it
Rises in its strength.
Judges 5:31
 
 
From my journal: May 18, 2005  Seaside, Florida
 
The sun is starting to set and the ocean is no longer emerald green.  It takes the sun shining on it to show its true beauty.  The ocean is still pretty, but when the sun is shining it is spectacular.

We as women are the most beautiful when God is shining through us.  Many women turn to their culture’s standard of beauty to decide if they are attractive.  When our focus is on God and His presence is shining in our lives, we are beautiful.  “The King is enthralled with your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord.” Psalm 45:11

 
Instead of looking at what we think are flaws, let’s look to the Lord.  Challenge:  Everyday say, “I am beautiful.  I am created in the image of God.”  Genesis 1:27
 
 
“God wants to unveil our face, showing the beauty in us to everyone…”
 
For the beautiful ones in my life: my sisters, cousins and friends

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