On Fire for All Things Christ

Archive for the ‘Reveal’ Category

Beattitude: Joy

: the emotion evoked by well-being
: a state of happiness or felicity

Two years ago I was going through a heart break situation. In that, I visited a church in which the pastor spoke joy over me. A year later I visited another church and again the word joy was given to me in prayer. Then again just a few weeks ago, I visited yet another church and there the pastor also prayed for me to receive the joy of the Lord. All different churches, all different people but the same message. I think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me to receive joy as my healing strength! But how do I do that?

… the JOY of the Lord is my strength. – Nehemiah 8:10. This verse of scripture packs a punch of truth in such a short statement! (Read this awesome commentary) When I earnestly meditate on God and the great and amazing work He does for me and through me, I in turn take on an attitude of praising Him. When my attention is turned outwardly away from my selfish “pitty-party-of-one” attitude and onto Him and serving others, I see joy in Him – in His work on the cross for me. In His little day-to-day acts of love towards me. And in seeing His amazing hand go forth as I serve Him. The enemy wants me to focus on myself, but the Lord wants me to focus on Him. Thank you Jesus that my joy is found in all things You and that you give me strength to refocus my life.

After several weeks of amazing experiences in serving Christ, His people and in hearing and meditating on His amazing transforming power, I think I have a better understanding at what it means to have a glimpse of joy in Christ. I pray and hope that I continue to receive deeper understanding of this joy as I draw closer to Christ, and that I can give you further encouragement as I go along. May joy become our normal beattitude of living!

In Joy!

For fun, here are a few new songs to listen to and enjoy!!

They All On Me

Cutthroat street poster

I have written a post addressing Cutthroat street posters before, but this time, I want to address this one particular poster that after six months, still remains posted up on an electric box on the corner of Fannin and Wentworth in Houston. I pass by this poster on my way to work everyday, but as I looked at the familiar image again today, a new message came to my mind when I read:

“They all on me”

I stared at the downcast face of the Christ wearing the crown of thorns as I thought about the meaning of those words. Sin, that is what’s “all on [Him].” My past sin, my present sin, my future sin, your past sin, your present sin, your future sin – they were all on Him. He bore all sin as He hung, suffered and bled on the cross. He became sin, satisfying its penalty so that we could become the righteousness of God through Christ.

1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Hebrews 10:10
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Ace of Grace

Grace is defined as God’s unmerited favor.
That is, grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve.

It’s been a rough few days here at the office. I had unintentionally let some things slide through the cracks in some of my projects and now my mistakes are all being discovered all at one time. Yikes! Not good. With all these mishaps, I am feeling very much on edge thinking that I may get fired any day now. How could I let so much go wrong in such short amount of time? And in the midst of the tension, my email has been surprisingly silent. I thought surely I better start packing up my things and updating my resume.

Then yesterday after lunch, my boss came to my desk. He leans over my partition wall, hands me a napkin and says, “Here’s half a cookie. I cut it in half so that it makes a smile for you.” How sweet (pun intended). He knew how I was feeling and wanted me to feel better.

Shortly after I got the cookie, I heard a silent voice from the Lord say to me, “you are given grace.” Almost immediately, tears filled my eyes as I stared into the air. The Lord was telling me that I was being extended grace and that things were going be okay. This whole week I had been thinking about what the punishment and consequence were going to be for my bombing mistakes, but instead I was given grace. Wow, such a God-like gesture. He’s giving me grace and mercy. Aside from the Cross, I think this is the biggest act of grace I can remember. Then, to reinforce His message, the Lord confirmed “grace” to me when the Holy Spirit prompted me with the song “Only Grace” by Matthew West.

Praise to You, Jesus. For You have used this to bring glory to Your Name. Let me always remember Your act of grace and the acts of grace from others. This conforms us to Your image. And may I also extravagantly extend grace to others. Thank You for Your peace despite the difficult situation. Glory be to Your great name.

So ultimately, my circumstance may not be monumental in the long-term, but the lesson surely is. God extends His grace to us in so many ways. And in this lesson, I also discovered that the very last verse in the Bible in the very last book references His grace, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” (Rev. 22:21)

Hebrews 12: 14-15
Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness — without it no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.

2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

1 Peter 1:2
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Your Liberty Bell

In the ladies restroom at the office, I keep a devotional that I read on occasion. Go ahead and laugh, I know that’s funny, but be honest with yourself now… on occasion, you read in the bathroom too! Maybe you do a word puzzle or skim a magazine. Well, I read my small devotional. It’s perfect! The devotion is short and the scripture is already there for me. Okay, anyway, this is not the subject of my message, it’s just now become an awkward introduction.

On my way to work this morning, I had been praying to God that I wanted to be free from any captivity. I wanted freedom from the thoughts and hurts that haunt my mind and hold me ransom to the past. Why, after so long, do we still ask the Lord about things that happened long ago? How can we get past those questions (pun intended) and move forward?! How can we put that thing to death just as David put Goliath to death? I, as I’m sure you feel he same way, don’t want to give the enemy a foothold from the things of the past anymore! Victimized or deceived, we must break through the chains!

Well, wouldn’t you know it that God spoke to me about this in today’s devotional! (Praise God. I love it when He does little things like that to get my attention and confirm what’s already on my mind.) Below is the devotional…

Also interesting is that as I was reading the devotional, I heard the emergency bell from our office elevator. A little boy had been playing with the button because he liked the sound of the bell. How timely! The last line of the devotional calls out to listen for the “liberty bell” that is ringing. (Awesome, confirmation again!) The Lord is speaking to me in the spiritual and the physical. He wants to set the captive free! “Behold! Your liberty bell is ringing!”

Hell: The Eternal “Scream World”

Image credit to ScreamWorld

If you drive around Houston area freeways, no doubt you have seen a billboard somewhere in the city advertising Scream World. It sure is a “scream world” when you have no hope! That’s what most people who have experienced visions of Hades (God’s holding cell for the wicked until judgement time comes when all who denied Him will be cast into the lake of fire) or Hell say.

While most of the American population gets psyched up for Halloween and the haunted house scares, do they know that each day they live without accepting the Truth of salvation is a day closer to their eternal abyss in Hell? Yes, the screams and fears of a Halloween night are only temporary, but those screams will not be temporary when death curses them into the eternal place of torment. There, they will be in a forever “scream world” with no hope in sight. Hell was only meant for Satan and his angels (better known as demons), Matthew 25:41, but that’s where all who reject Jesus will go after the Great White Throne Judgement proves them guilty.

It pains my spirit that so many delight in the cheap thrills and horrors of Satan’s schemes, including Halloween, a day most regard as harmless enjoyment of candy, jokes and dressing up. The lost live for the short-term satisfactions of this world, they bathe in wickedness, and taunt the enemy for more. Do they know that Satan is laughing at every oblivious step that they take towards him? In this moment, those people probably care less to think about where their eternity will be, but if they fully knew about the torments in Hell, would they choose to turn around and meet Jesus instead?

Nassau Bay Baptist Church (among others throughout) offers an alternative experience to secular haunted houses called “Judgement House.” Here, relief of Hell is granted by another way other than simply walking out the other side of the building 10 minutes later. Here, relief to eternal Hell is offered through the saving grace of Jesus – the only way out of Hell’s own eternal “scream world.”

While Satan uses Halloween horrors to draw people closer to his merciless wickedness, we can be sure that God is also using it to pull His created into discovering His good nature. My prayer is that many will awaken from the schemes of the devil and turn to Jesus to save them before it’s too late!

Appreciating God

In Bible study class last week, our teacher gave us an assignment. The assignment was to consider how we would show honor or appreciation to the Lord for all the things He has done. Later that day, I prayed to the Lord that He would reveal to us how we could honor Him. It seemed like a silly prayer really. I mean, should I really be asking God how I can show Him my appreciation? Am I so needy that I can’t think of my own idea?

So, throughout the week, I thought about it… what am I going to make to show God’s appreciation? Maybe a painting, maybe some writing or a cool design-y type poster? I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what.

Then, late in the week, I finally got it! In trying to figure out how to show appreciation to Him, the Lord revealed to me that I had already been showing Him appreciation. This is what He revealed: through your acts of love to others is how you best show Me [God] appreciation. You appreciate Me by loving others. John 13:34-35 Wow! That was very cool to hear.

Reflecting back on just the past few days, I remembered some of the little things I had done for others that gave glimpses of His love . A journal for a new believer, a gift for my co-worker, greeting cards, encouraging a friend in Bible study, helping a lost shopper, accompanying a friend on a hospital visit. None of these were planned by me, but they were indeed divinely orchestrated by God.

Glory be to God through every small act of kindness and love we show to others. In that, His face lights up in appreciation.

I shared this story with my Bible study class this Sunday and the teacher loved my response very much and she too had received the same revelation during the week. Amen! May glory and honor always be His.

Life Changing Performance to Everything by Lifehouse

This is a drama performed to the song, Everything by Lifehouse. I first saw this about two years ago at a Christian conference and I was very touched by it. So much so, that I haven’t been able to forget it. This is often shown to young adults, but I think it’s relate-able to others too.

Whatever our battle with the enemy has been in the past, as believing Christians, we all remember the day we went looking back for God and He stretched out Himself as we out stretched our arms to Him. Very moving and well done.

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