Thursday, June 5, 2014

Do You Feel Defeated?

It is easy to feel defeated, day after day, as we pass through this earthly life waiting for eternity.

One thing after another comes at us, and satan tries to confuse us to get our eyes off of our Savior.

..."satan, which deceives the whole world..."  Revelation 12:9b

And the dragon [satan] was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17

"Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time".  Revelation 12:12

(I love how Christ reminds us it's just for a short time :)

Jesus knew His children would have days they felt defeated.  
I love how He loves us so much to warn and encourage us as He said,
..."In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Flip to the back, the last book of the Bible, Revelation, where Jesus invites us to see the end of the story so we can be encouraged.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death."  

This has been on my heart the last few days.  This was my post on FB the other day:

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."  Rev 7:9-10

I love how Paul David Tripp says in his book, Instruments In the Redeemer's Hands, "Think about what they [in heaven] are singing.  [And what we, His children, will be singing when we get there]  It is not, 'I got that job!',  'My marriage was fantastic!',  'I was surrounded by great friends and my kids turned out well!'  'I defeated depression and mastered my fears!' "

This is soooo true!  These things in life start to overwhelm us and defeat us...but then we turn our hearts to Christ, and see the back of the book, the end of the story in Revelation...

... and cry with a loud voice  “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb"! Rev 7:10 

and we cry, "Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever!"  Rev 7:12

and we cry, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing"!  Rev 5:12

and we cry,“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.  Rev 5:9b NASB

And slowly but surely the pull of the world and it's trials starts to dim and I don't feel defeated anymore.

"Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethern is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."     
Revelation 12:10-11


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Blessings and Warning

Oh my... my heart is overflowing with blessings:
 Sleeping in with my children on a Summer's day;
 The sun warming my skin as I watch loved ones fish;
 Picking and eating sweet ripe mulberries in our backyard before they fall off the tree;
 Having my lil lady next to me helping me keep house and sharing what she's been learning in God's Word,
Seeing the smile our son's face as he graduate's 8th grade,
Feeling the tears well up as we think of how far God has brought him,
  Watching the excitement in his eyes as he enters a new chapter in life and enjoys church youth group;
Holding my husband's hand as we talk about our day;
Enjoying other believers in the Lord as we fellowship among the body of Christ,
Even seeing the baby birds on our front porch hatch and leave their nest...
On and on the blessings flow!
And then I get to listen to...
And God reminds me that I have been wanting all these things that I listed above, and more - more than I desire Him!
How do I know?
Because the cares of this world consume my mind more than He does.
Just like Pastor Rick asks in his sermon, Can you imagine knowing that your spouse constantly thinks of others?
If you are part of the Bride of Christ, is your mind constantly fixed on Him?
In my heart I say to Him, "Yes, Lord.  I will follow you... but can I have ____ too?"
Which do I desire more, which consumes my thoughts more: to have felllowship with my Heavenly Father or to be pleased while here on this earth?
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."  1 John 2:15-16
Like Pastor Rick says in the sermon, "What am I trying to fit with me through the narrow gate?"
"Then said one unto him, 'Lord, are there few who are saved?'
And He said to them, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
Luke 13:23-24

Are you too wide for the narrow gate?