Advent is a season of expectant waiting and a time for preparation as we make ourselves ready for the coming, or birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The word advent means the arrival of something of great importance. I can’t think of anything more important than the one who saved us. Many Christians have faith that this is a time when we see things progress in the natural. Is there something you have been waiting for? Have you pressed into your relationship with God? Is God dropping hints to you in the glorious ways he communicates?
There is a parable that Jesus tells to help us better understand about how the Kingdom of God operates. A man sells everything he has to buy land that possesses hidden treasure. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure in a field, which someone found and hid: then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” ” Again, the kingdom of heaven is a like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
This teaching is much like what the scripture says in Matthew… Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it
What do you think our Lord means by losing our life for his sake? It is actually very simple but not easy to live out. Jesus is speaking that we are not of our own. We do not own our bodies or anything else that we are stewarding including our children. It is the complete opposite of human thinking. We think self, self, and self instead of Jesus, Jesus, and Jesus. Jesus is telling ( not suggesting) that we must lose our independent ways and seek his ways which will progress into his will for our lives. This verse is a principle of the kingdom of God and not to be taken lightly.
Think about all our wrong thinking and doing even though we have a guide, a wise counselor beckoning us to come closer and learn. Now is the time to make God the serious business of your life. Now is the time! In order to have true life now and in eternity we must lose ownership to ourselves and that could very well include our possessions, actually God’s possessions. ( sell your possessions and give to the poor, provide yourself with purses that will not wear out, an exhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys). It could be anything that we hold higher than God himself.
As God sifts through our lives, we will then have life. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxurious of life. Christ is our Master, and we are his servants;not only working servants but waiting servants. We must be as men that wait for their Lord, that sit up while he stays out late, to be ready to receive him. In this Christ alluded to his own ascension to heaven, his coming to call his people to him by death, and his return to judge the world. We are uncertain to the time of his coming to us, we should therefore always be ready. If men this take care of their houses, let us be thus wise for our souls.
Make surrendering a part of your Advent this year as you wait expectantly upon the Lord. All the gifts that we really want are there as we make the exchange of our old ways with his new ways.
Food for thought….
How often do you give God even a thought?
How often do you thank God?
How often do you really bow your head and pray?
How often do you open your bible, read, and receive?
How often do you sacrifice for the sake of another without wanting something in return?
Is God trying to reveal something he wants you to do but you still have not listened and obeyed him?
Again, Advent is a season of preparation ( the above) that direct our hearts and minds to Christ as well as his second coming and his birth.
The clock in my head was ticking, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. I grabbed my phone to see what time it was as my mind combed through my circumstances. I began adding numbers in my head of bills, tuition, insurance, essentials and so on. “How?”, I thought. I laid in the dark wondering and worrying, worrying and wondering. Then a thought popped into my head…. worrying is a waste of time. I chuckled because of course I know worrying is a waste of time but it seems humanly impossible not to worry and you know what? It is!
I prayed through the worry and fell back asleep. The next day I asked God to show me where I was missing it. The pressure was heavy but maybe it was supposed to be. We will go through the furnace of affliction as God shapes us to be more like Him. The bible calls this the dross. It’s a process of removing the junk, the ick from our insides and from our lives. There are at least 27 verses about this refining process. We will feel pressure and we will go without. Pressed down on every side but not crushed.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.
“Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
I want God’s insight and I want God’s blessings but more importantly I want to become what God intended me to become so I spoke it again. “God, give me eyes to see”
Panic dissipates when we count our blessings and get into the word of God; when we are controlled by The Holy Spirit.
Let the holy spirit fill and control you, then you will sing and make music to the Lord and gives thanks to God the Father
As some of you may know when God calls you to something, it often times feels scary and illogical. Ruth didn’t go back to what was familiar. She stepped out in faith and walked into the unknown. Her courage brought her to her divine destiny. DON”T LOOK BACK.
God didn’t want me to complain, worry or look back, He wanted me to worship Him as I hold on to His promises for me. There is a time under the sun for everything….
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
The word of God is life and if you don’t have the word in you, you are losing out on life. We need both church and the word of God so we can be carriers and receivers of the promises God made when things don’t make sense, when our world feels like it may just crumble around us. We should never doubt God’s word. If the bible says it, that settles it. God is in the waiting.
If the bible says it, that settles it! So I opened my bible and the words flooded over me. All those deep seeded thoughts, God washed away within minutes. I felt safe again. God settled my soul with truth. Pray and expect, so I did!
Abigail’s story starts in a place familiar to all of us: a coffee shop. She had been there many times before and was excited to meet her friend.
The man she was meeting was already seated as she ordered her favorite drink. Their conversation felt as comfortable as if she had known him for years. Little did Abigail know, this man added something to her drink…. and in an instant, her worst nightmare had come to life.
She woke up with a searing headache in a dark and ominous room. She then waited in dread as men came in and repeatedly raped and beat her. Abigail had been sold into sex trafficking in Greece without even knowing what happened to her. Can you imagine the terror? Can you imagine that happening to someone you love? Gone, without a trace!
With God’s hand and others wanting to help, thankfully the Greek police conducted a raid and rescued Abigail, then brought her to an A21 home where she could heal…a home many support. There, she received biblical counseling, medical care and unconditional love.
When you give of your time and resources to help others, you are also fighting the horrors that the enemy binds throughout our homes and throughout our nations. The enemy uses people to destroy people and we can battle against the wickedness with God’s help and His guidance.
What can you do this Thanksgiving that would be a blessing to someone else? Someone that may desperately need just a little time, a little understanding, and a possible need(s) met.
To learn more about A21 Campaign, go to… www.a21.org
Most of us only see the physical world so we reduce things to what we can actually see or touch, therefore we can miss the wonderful ways God speaks to us. I remember hearing the words, ” God is always ahead of us.” However, I had not experienced it for myself so they were just words with no meaning attached. When I made the conscious effort to “go deeper” with God, those words were no longer just words, they became love in action. I’ve had multiple experiences where I know God is speaking to me. I recently had a friend send me a text message that said, “You could so easily write a book for young women and then adapt it for bible studies!” ” I am praying that for you now.” As I opened up that text, I immediately got goose bumps because I was half way through writing a book on identity and this friend did not know this.
A few weeks before that, I sat down on my floor one night, closed my eyes and said, ” Lord, I am not moving until you speak to me.” The clock said 7:01 and when I opened my eyes the clock said 8:05. That hour felt like time stood still as God gave me a vision of the cover of my book. He also gave me a word. There is nothing that compares to being in the presence of God. It honestly feels like you are coming home from a very long trip. You long to be back in the comfort of your own surroundings. It’s that sense of wonder in something so much greater than what we will ever experience here on earth. God will give us glimpses into the unseen that are so far beyond our own comprehension. A hunger and thirst for more of the eternal ( our true home) rises up in you.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 cor 4:18
Treasures in jars of clay
For our light and temporary ( seen) affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles. Therefore we walk by faith and not sight.
So many times we walk around unconscious of God until tragedy strikes and then something awakens us to our very fragile existence. We realize that we are very small and insignificant compared to God. People who don’t even believe will at some point cry out to God for help. And guess what? He will be there because He’s always been there patiently waiting for us to draw closer and wake us to what is actually happening. Have you ever heard someone say when they suffered a severe loss it is when they became their authentic self; a more vulnerable and aware self? It makes sense when the bible says, consider your suffering a blessing.
You are born with your spirituality, you don’t have to go looking for it. It’s a huge presence that longs to live through you even in your dreams. The more we ask God for eternal experiences, the more we will experience. Keep a dream log and as soon as you wake up, write your dream down before it vanishes. Think about how detailed children dream. It’s because they are open to receiving more than adults. I believe children also carry more wisdom than adults.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you- Matthew 7:7
Prayer is the appointed means for obtaining what we need. Pray and pray often; make a business of prayer, and be serious and earnest in it. Ask, as a beggar asks alms. Ask, as a traveler asks the way. Seek, as for a thing of value that we have lost; or as the merchantman that seeks godly pearls. Knock, as he that desires to enter into the house knocks at the door. Sin has shut and barred the door against us; by prayer we knock. Whatever you pray for according to the promise, shall be given to you, if God sees it fit for you, and what would you have more? All are alike and welcome to the throne of grace, if they come in faith. This is taken from earthly parents, and their readiness to give their children what they ask. Parents are often foolishly fond but God is all wise; He knows what we need, what we desire, and what is fit for us. Let us never suppose our heavenly Father would bid us pray, and then refuse to hear, or give us what would be hurtful. Do not give dogs what is holy; do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do they may trample them under their feet and then turn and tear you to pieces.
The ultimate care of the soul is embodying what God is saying and then being obedient. It’s being so identified with the true life that wants to live through you. At any point you may get a hint about moving on, letting go of something… a job, a relationship, a church or whatever else God is revealing. Most of us get so much into our own head that we will not surrender long enough to allow God to have His way and follow. We think we know best or get into our feelings.
How can we live with more awareness in how God is directing us is to sit still more, listen more, ask more, seek more. When I become overwhelmed in the meantimes of my life, I just ask God to take it from me again. I ask Him to help me be more aware of what is really happening so I don’t fall so easily into traps of deceptions. It’s a daily laying it down to Him so we don’t lose our way. Pay attention because He is wanting us to be awakened to His ways for our life. He will reveal Himself and bits of your future in many different ways. The key is to stay engaged with our creator who is the only one who brings true forever life.