God Is Up Close and Personal

We stopped at one of those kiosks in the mall. A younger man came up to us and proceeded to test a fingernail buffer on my hand. We laughed and talked a little. Then I asked him where he was from. His reply was Israel to which our eyes lit up. Both my friend and I said we love Israel and pray for the country. I ministered to him that God had a marvelous plan for his life. He said “there is only one God.” I asked Jehovah? To which he replied I know you have your god. But there is only one God. I asked his name and told him I would be praying for him. The conversation was soon over and we were on our way. 

Such a strange encounter and yet there was heavenly activity going on all the while. Obviously God wants to speak to his heart. And obviously he had never thought about asking God about his life. We are blessed to know that our Lord is up close and personal. And wouldn’t He be? He is the Only Living God!

Oh beloved, rejoice! You are born again into a living faith. Your walk with the God of the Bible is lively – because Jesus is alive! He’s no longer a babe in the manger He’s a risen Savior! While we celebrate His birth – we cannot stop there. While we rejoice that He died on the cross for our sins we don’t stop there! You, beloved, are walking in victory today because God is alive! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is your God! 

You’re not following the tenants of one in the grave. No, you are being built up into the strong and mighty warrior of the God who is alive! You are filled with His Spirit and you are anointed and appointed to live for Him all of your days! You are under His watchful care and every problem you have is being solved by the Only Living God! Your faith is real and when you encounter people your faith touches their lives just because of Who lives inside of you!

God loves you and He’s for you! It says so in the Bible but it’s more than that. You are in a relationship that is alive and powerful and wonderful! Run to the Lord this morning and thank Him for His unspeakable gift and allow Him to speak to your heart. And then walk in faith as you live in the Light of your Everlasting King!

Matthew 16:15-16 Then He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jeremiah 10:10a But the LORD is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King! 

I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

I John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and He has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and He is eternal life.

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Your New Name

Mrs. Danny Beene. 

I can remember writing out my new name before I got married, practicing how it would look. Back then you took on your husband’s name for the official things like checks. I loved signing Mrs. Danny Beene. It was comforting and exciting. To take on his name meant our plans were signed and sealed. As Mrs. Danny Beene I would have access to everything and be known by His character. I couldn’t wait!

Oh beloved, once we are born again the deal is sealed. We become betrothed to the Lord and we have a new name. Our new name has connection to the Lord who is now our husband. Spiritually we take on his nature and character – we become like Him. But the danger is in independence of Him – trying to live our lives by our own name – our plans, our nature, our rights.

Because of this great news, you can rest. You can delight in the Lord. You can know that Christ made the way for you to be seated in heavenly places with Him. Now you are under His Lordship and your problems are under His Lordship as well! You don’t want to be independent. Those situations you are dealing with that seem so overwhelming? You can take them to the Lord and leave them there! The nature of Christ says that He will take care of you always and He will be with you forever. There’s no need to try to make your own way or heal your own wounds or live with your problems. God has become your salvation – but more! As betrothed to the Lord you can expect His Word to be your access to everything you ever need – healing, deliverance, wisdom, power and love! Others may have told you that you are worthless, useless, hopeless and more. But they don’t realize whose you are!

As you practice His presence and practice His Word you become more like Him and find heightened wisdom and power! No longer can the enemy come in and say things that aren’t true because you are standing on God’s truth and you have authority to overcome all the wiles of the enemy!

God loves you and He’s for you! From the cross where He made the way to the grave where He secured your victory to the resurrection where He has given you new life – you are anointed and appointed to walk in victory as you live in the Light of His Name & His Nature!

Hosea 2:19-20 I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD. NIV

Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Colossians 3:1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

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Live With Extravagent Joy Today!

My daughters and I had a great visit via text messaging last night. I know you’re thinking that’s not a visit but we were texting Christmas memories and favorite songs of the season. We also messaged one another about our favorite Christmas movies of yesteryear. It got sentimental too. I texted “I miss my mama”. We all agreed that we miss Christmases of the past where all our extended family was still present. We also miss the nuances of the season that the old days presented. Great memories surfaced including the one of my dad who put the old record player out on our huge porch and played Christmas records for the whole neighborhood to hear during the season. Yes Christmases of the past were wonderful.

Past Christmases, like other seasons, are wonderful. But God wants us to live in the day. Enjoy today and rejoice in His presence right now. He makes every Christmas wonderful and continues all year long.

Oh beloved, God knows. Other Christmases now seem so much better than today. You wish and wish that you could return to your childhood or maybe to your young adulthood. It’s not possible to return there for all you have is memories. What is possible is that you can seize the day! Take today and wrap yourself up in all that Christ is for you now! You aren’t the sum of your past experiences. No, you are destined to live this day with extravagant joy! There may be things going on that could bring you down but you’re not allowing circumstances to take over your life! You’re not going to live in the Christmases of the past. No, you are called to today! God has promised you gifts galore this season – joy, peace, blessings, favor and much love! This is where you find the strength to go on – not in the past but in the now! Give thanks for all you’ve known in the past but don’t remain there. Rise up this morning and thank Him for life to live and love to give! Be among those who have found Christ and live for Him now! Living for Him today will give you purpose. And when you have purpose you have real joy. And beloved, as you find that real joy you will find your reason to celebrate- life, seasons, holidays and more!

God loves you and He’s for you! That’s pretty amazing that the God of the universe who needs nothing wants to lavish His love and pour out His tender care on you! Rejoice as you ring in the Christmas and every other day with joy in the light of His Presence and Peace!

Isaiah 51:11 So the ransomed of the LORD will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, and everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

Colossians 2:6-7 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Psalm 98:4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises!

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How Level Is Your Tree?

Some of the Christmas trees at the farm were growing on the side of a hill. Others had great bases but crooked tops. Once you get a tree home it might end up being pretty uneven. It’s so very important to have your tree sitting straight in the tree stand. Everything needs to be level at the base of Christmas tree. 

Everything is level at the base of the Cross.  

The Lord doesn’t measure things the way the world measures. The addict and the homemaker have it all in common – with Christ every problem is solved, every stone is rolled away, every addiction is slain and all problems are solved!  

Oh beloved, at the cross your life has been straightened out. You may feel alone, fearful, worried, mournful and unable to cope. But if you look at the cross you are on the same playing ground as everyone else. There’s no way to be right in God’s sight without that Cross. And there’s no plan of the enemy that can thwart your future as long as you live at the Cross. Take away that Cross and we’re all in trouble. But because of what Christ did on that Cross our sins are rolled away like the clouds. You may have been measuring yourself for goodness and cutting away at yourself to find perfection and still feel crooked and out of place. No more trying to make yourself good enough! Because of Christ your inner self is promised provision! He rose again! So you too are guaranteed new life! Addictions are healed, destinies are changed, and natures are regenerated! You’ve been trying to make yourself good enough for God and He sent Christ to be your Goodness! This is where your power lies – the inner man changed by the Power of Christ and because of that everything else changes! 

God loves you and He’s for you! Who else who have gone to the lengths He did to save you? He sent His Only Son to take your disjointed, uneven life and make it straight and tall and strong for Him! Run to Him this morning and thank Him for the best gift ever – life, liberty and freedom! Rejoice as you measure up and rehearse His truth as you live in the Light of His Transforming Power!

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Ephesians 2:13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ.

Romans 11:6 And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is–free and undeserved.

Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus!

John 8:36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

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Christmas Is More

Both of my parents were born early in the 20th century. My dad was born in 1900. Their Christmas wasn’t anything like our Christmases today. To get an orange in a stocking was wonderful. When my mother’s family lived in West Texas they even had to resort to decorating a mesquite tree. Candles on the tree were lit just for a little while and then extinguished for fear of fire. We would think we were having a sparse Christmas indeed if we celebrated the way they did back then. But celebrate they did. 

Oh beloved, God wants you to know this morning that your Christmas is more than the items under the tree and the cash in your pocket. Christmas is more than a competition of Christmas lights on the block. Regardless of how you celebrate and how much you have or don’t have, you can enjoy the blessing of Christmas. For Christmas is a reminder of how very blessed you really are. Going through hard times? You are not alone for He is Emmanuel – God with us. Having family issues? There is your Savior who sticks closer than a brother. Feeling like you are walking in darkness? He is the Light of the World. He’s your Wonderful Counselor, your Mighty God and your Everlasting Father. Turmoil surrounding you? He is your Prince of Peace! Everything you lack Jesus is fulfilling it all for you. Lonely? Never alone. Fearful? Strong Tower. Worried? He is interceding for you even at this moment.

There is nothing that will ever separate you from His love. And because of this great love you can live a fruitful, joyous, blessed life every single day. He says turn your eyes from the stuff of this season and look at Him. As you look to Him you will find yourself radiantly filled with joy! And this joy of the Lord will strengthen you to overcome obstacles, believe for miracles and rest in the promises of your King!

God loves you and He’s for you. Run to the manger and look – He was born a babe in obscure circumstances. But your Savior is no longer a babe! He’s a mighty warrior King who is going to return for you one day. Go forth in His Light and stand on His Word and live in the Light of His Wonder Working Power!

Psalm 34:5 Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

Isaiah 9:6 …And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I John 4:10 This is real love–not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

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