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do you question

trust encaustic
TRUST – encaustic

Do you think God is eager for us to enter heaven?
Why doesn’t He take us as soon as we believe?
What purpose is there to endure earthly life and death before our heavenly one?
Is our earthly life only a testing before the sifting and judging?
Are the things we do and skills we learn on earth needed for our eternal future?

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge! Its depths can never be measured! We cannot understand His judgments or explain the mysterious ways that He works! Romans 11:33 VOICE

 

Our “natural” minds can’t understand. That is also why we have the Holy Spirit as our Counselor and why He says we need to renew our minds. Romans 12:2

 

Thank you Lord for Your Word. It is a great way to get to know You and hearing Your voice is so encouraging! Thank you for Your Presence that dwells within us, that You walk with your children every moment of every day – even if they don’t know Your saving grace. We seek further wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You as we continue our journey of faith on this earth. 

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seems right

under the surface webI woke to this verse several weeks ago.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
Proverbs 16:25 ESV

Am I heading in a wrong direction? Is this a warning to me? Is this to guide me in pray for someone else? I wasn’t sure so I continued to ask… As I wrote yesterday, this verse came again and reminds me also of Romans.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV

Sometimes when we are doing what seems right to us, it’s acceptable to the world and to what we know of God’s ways, yet the results can be detrimental.

Maybe its words spoken that hurt relationships.
(No, we can’t control when saying “Hello” will bring someone pain.)
Times we settle for easy fixes that cause even bigger problems.
(That would be me in some of my home repair projects.)

Jonah decided he was not going to do as God asked. Was his reaction fear? Plain ole disobedience? Or just a matter of being in control instead of surrendered to God? His choice didn’t go well and came with a great cost to others. Jonah didn’t die in that fish belly – but a part of him was certainly killed after that experience! God’s grace redirected him so his purpose was completed.

Why do I talk about the dreams God has for our lives so often? Because I know that is part of His message for me to share. He has uniquely designed each of us “in His image and likeness” and He really NEEDS us to walk in that.

It’s not just a matter of us needing God but even more is His need for us to be “fully” who He created us to be. The master blueprint before you were even born showed a God sized destiny – not just an earthly lifespan. Will you dare to dream big again?

 

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showing wisdom

IMG_1408
One Lord One Church

I’ve heard it suggested when you are reading the Bible, if you don’t understand a verse, press in to find out. I think our normal practice is to ignore it and move on to what is easy and comfortable. Another said we should look closer at the verses we have not underlined in our Bibles. I definitely take that to heart when digging into a specific area.

A recent verse I have discussed with others is in bold below. 

9 …This plan, kept hidden for ages by God, the Creator of everything, 10 is for the rulers and authorities in heaven to learn, through the existence of the Messianic Community, how many-sided God’s wisdom is. Eph 3:9-10 Complete Jewish Bible

How does the “church” (not a building or pastor, but the body of believers) make God’s wisdom known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places?
Please share your thoughts as well…

Who are the rulers and authorities in heavenly places?
Does this include both angels and demons?
Do we really have more wisdom then they do?
How are we teachers to them?

Manifold wisdom is “many sided or multi-faceted” and that definitely describes our God. I think of the verses that talk of “making known” what God has done and how He doesn’t just call us servants, but friends and shares “His business” with us (John 15:15).

Do you think we as a “church” know God’s business?
Are our weekly gatherings about His wisdom?

Another place of having more questions than revelations…at this time. Definitely a section of scripture I will pray into further.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. Eph 3:7-13 ESV

Thank you Lord for the richness of your word and that You do want Your mysteries brought to the light. Give us the wisdom and revelation we need to know You better. 

 

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you are

crown…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

Looking in our mirror we often see flaws and failings, but that isn’t our TRUE reflection.

We really should be asking God what He sees in us?

In Christ, we have been made new.
In Christ, we are redeemed.
In Christ, we are more than conquerors.

We are not our past, we are not our circumstances, we are not our job or family. We are each made in His image and likeness. Unique. We are not designed to be like everyone else but to be more and more who He created us to be. It’s not about what we once were, but what we are becoming.

I’d like to challenge you to seek His perspective and ask Him to share how He sees you. You are His beloved, His chosen one and He wants to share His heart with you.

 

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no quitting

Sometime reading scriptures, it’s more self-condemnation than heavenly revelation.

You have not because you ask not. (James 4:2) Or maybe I did ask with wrong motives…search me God – You know my heart, see if there is any more ICK in it. (Psalm 139:23)

My prayers are not answered as “I assumed” so something must be wrong with me because nothing is wrong with God.

Have you ever felt any of those things? Or repeating your prayers gets old and it’s not working so you might as well stop and since there are no roses to smell, you might as well pick up a shovel and dig a hole…

see-a-cloud-webIt’s time to LOOK UP!!! 

In a severe drought…Elijah starts talking rain… es muy loco mi amigo. Yet he prays and prays and keeps looking for what he knows is coming. He keeps looking and trusting and praying. And KNOWING GOD’S CHARACTER and FAITHFULNESS, Elijah doesn’t give up.

You might say, “I’m not Elijah. Well God is still God and He does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

So keep yours eyes toward the heavens…He is still there and you really are seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Eph 2:6) Ask Him to show you things from His perspective. He knows what is coming across the horizon.

….I see a cloud, small as a man’s hand…its rising… (1 Kings 18:44)

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two roads diverged

New Discovery web
New Discovery

In a Bible study it was interesting how a couple of us were hearing different words to study but they were bringing us to the same lesson and understanding…one of the wonderful parts of “iron sharpening iron” when you can have good discussion of God’s Word and it’s impact in our hearts and our lives.

Many say all roads lead to God – in some sense they are right. All will stand before God but yet the only way to the glorious presence of the Father is through the Son.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken
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Jesus prays for glory

 

img_3747For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 60:2

Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

John 17

 

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glory to all

holybameless copy
holy and blameless

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

This verse may be deeply implanted to keep you humble since you’re only human right?

When this verse is used by itself, it keeps us in an identity of shame and unworthiness which is not of God. Jesus came to set us FREE! As with most verses, there is much more to the story.

The discussion was on the law and Jew and Gentile – that there was not one group worthy and making the others outcasts.

Jesus did not die for some – but for ALL.
It’s not that only the good people are created in His image, but ALL.
Grace isn’t just for those in need or who are humble, but for ALL.
Jesus didn’t surrender to the cross just for those “predestined” but for ALL. 

Many will not receive this gift, many seem beyond His reach or ours, but the truth remains that Jesus wants to see ALL come to the saving knowledge of His truth.

And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Romans 3:24-26

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

 

 

For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:36

Thank you Lord that when we receive Your good and perfect gift of grace, we are made new! We are no longer sinners but saints. We might sin, but that is no longer our nature or our identity. The old is dead and the new eternal life starts here on this earth and will reach it’s fulfillment when You return. We are no longer just human – we are one with You and called redeemed! Thank You for these precious gifts!

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its a process

3 in process
triptych in process (3 squares)

Good paintings and not so good ones take time. We regularly seek immediacy. Drive-thru’s are not just for burgers anymore.

We recently exhibited at Great Legs Winery where they shared the process of their wine – it’s been aging five years in anticipation for their business.

How long have you been bottled and waiting?

Do you think our Creator, knows the best time for release?

A regular question we ask God is, “Why?”
I’ve found much better results in asking, “What am I to learn through this?”
Yet Jesus’ first miracle made the BEST wine in a very short time.

Our preparation time, used wisely, sets us up for the right release.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:52

If Jesus, David, Joseph, Abraham and Sarah had to wait a bit, why do we think everything should be immediate? Do we learn listening, patience, peace, and self-control when we rush, whine and demand? 

I am definitely a believer in the power of prayer and God acting immediately but impatience often holds us from the wisdom we need more than our answer.

I pray we will be expectant for His answers and patient in the process as He continues to create the masterpiece of our lives!