February 16, 2012

abiding

     I love my church.

    At our ladies' Bible study last night, I finally met one beautiful woman I've heard so much about; she touched my life by displaying naturally in all of her laughter and every sweet word the simple joy she has in Christ.

    I believe God is talking to me most about my selfishness. Everywhere I turn, no matter what I do, the Spirit warns me every moment of those little selfish thoughts and desires that put myself before God and others. Last night, I admitted this sin to the women in my dear small group, and was encouraged that the fact that I'm paying attention --- that I realize my selfishness --- is a good sign. Now, I just need to take it to the Lord in prayer and exercise the strength He willingly gives me to say NO to that selfishness.

    One of the ladies in my small group handed out a small devotional to each of us called "Abiding in Christ" by Andrew Murray. I'm so excited to begin reading it! It has a devotional every day for thirty-one days, but I don't think I'll be able to wait until the beginning of March to dive in. *wink*

In our study we talked a great deal about that popular phrase 'let go and let God'. It's absurd. Obviously there are times when we need to wait for God, but it's foolishness to sit still with a devil and his demons at our backs, never sleeping. God doesn't do every for us; we're not mean to cruise through life. Life does not become easier being a Christian; if anything, it grows more and more difficult. (More joyful, to be sure, but much more difficult.)
    God has told us the things we need to do through the prophets, apostles, and our brethren of the early church --- that is, in His Word. Now, let's not use Grace as an excuse for continuing in sin. If anything, the sacrifice Christ made for us and every hourly blessing our God still gives --- and not one of these blessed things we deserve --- should motivate us to serve Him all the more! Let's not waste a moment of the time He has given us. (My apologies for rambling; I just get so excited!)

    It's so good to be motivated.... Now all I have to do is close the laptop, get out there and get to it, always abiding in Christ.

    Once again... I love my church!

February 8, 2012

prayer of a broken soul


Prayer. It's more than just asking God for things, but that seems to be what I most often turn it into when I bow my head. Sure, I say, "Thank you for this day" or if I'm about to eat "Thank You for this food", but what does that signify? If my heart isn't truly thankful, I'm merely breathing out thoughtless words that get stuck in a passing wind of thought, are swept away, and disappear.
    Also, if I've learned anything about prayer, anything I offer to God without having sacrificed something else for it is potentially worthless. If all the time I give to God are leftovers, a little bit of free time to spare, it's not worth very much. On the other hand, if I give up that time I was hoping to watch Pirates of the Caribbean to get down on my knees, fold my hands together, and push everything out of my mind but my God, that would be worth a little more. Deciding to not go to that late-night party in order to spend the last hours of the day with God --- this too is worth something. Not only do these things honor God, but they help the Christian grow. I've found that the less time I spend on me and the more on God, the better off I truly am: I can respond to my sister with patience and love, when I would normally brush off her questions or suggestions with curtness and frustration; I can jump up from what I'm doing and oblige my mom's request to do my daily chores with a bright smile on my face (and yes, this too would otherwise be quite impossible). Mundane things are not so disgusting when the blood coursing through working hands comes from a heart that is full of Christ.






Thy hand is on the sickly one
The one who doubts and fears
Your hand is gentle 'pon the weak
'Wilst wipes away their tears

In Your own good and perfect time
Cure every hurt You will
And bring to life the souls of which
Hearts beating have grown still.

As the deer panteth for his drink
Of waters pure and sweet 
Our hearts all long to see Your face;
The God-head one day meet.

The vastness of Your glory, Lord
Expands beyond the skies;
Amongst the wonders of the earth;
And all things 'fore my eyes.

Your mercy I do not deserve
Nor breath, nor steps, nor days.
For grace from Christ's most precious blood
I'll give You endless praise.
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