Wednesday, December 30
Today I am blessed to share with you the following THREE MESSAGES:
* I CAN HEAR A BIRD!
* PRAYING THE WILL OF GOD
* DRAWING NEAR TO THE LORD
May you be blessed, encouraged, and inspired. And may the Lord be glorified! To Him be all the glory!
love & blessings,
I Can Hear a Bird!
I can hear a bird! I thought to myself as I walked the short distance from my hotel room to the trash can by the lobby where I needed to dump paralyzed ministry dog Miss Mercy’s dirty diaper. Not exactly a fun and inspiring chore. But oh, how I could hear that bird! I felt thrilled I could hear that one single bird twittering away. I have struggled throughout my life with one thing or another pretty much daily for decades, and the past year had its own set of challenges including physically and emotionally. But now I had the blessing of a sunshine-y winter day and hearing that happy tweet-tweeting bird! And I was so very thankful! How much do you suppose of our everyday lives do we miss in the way of neglecting to acknowledge, enjoy, and be thankful to the Lord for the countless blessings He bestows upon us? Right down to the seemingly very smallest of blessings?
The biggest blessing in the universe is God almighty and having a forever relationship with Him through turning from our sins and believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and in His death and resurrection and genuinely devoting our lives to God and His ways and His will for our lives. And that’s just the beginning! He gives us endless blessings spiritually, emotionally, and physically each and every day and throughout our lives some of which are more obvious and which we may acknowledge and others of which we may overlook because they seem smaller! Then there are all the ones in between the enormous ones and the smallest of them! Blessings, blessings, blessings!
I wonder, how many of them do we miss because our eyes, ears, and hearts are turned in another direction no matter the seeming size of the blessings?
What if you and I from this day forward make a conscious effort to keep our eyes, ears, and hearts much wider open to the Lord’s countless blessings – and remember to enjoy them and to be THANKFUL TO THE LORD for them? And to EXPRESS our thanksgiving to Him in praise to Him directly and as we praise Him as we speak to others of Him and His awesomeness and amazingness and goodness?
“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” Genesis 2:19
Our whole lives will not be long enough to notice and enjoy and thank the Lord for the blessings concerning just nature and animals, and yet that one bird I heard and all of nature and all the animals on this earth are just an infinitesimally small amount of all of God’s endless goodness and greatness and blessing after blessing after blessing – now and forevermore, AMEN! Oh, praise the Lord, friend! Praise the glorious, glorious almighty Lord! Amen, amen, amen! Hallelujah!
Praying the Will of God
When you read the three sets of Bible verses below, what do you see they all have in common? Let me encourage you to consider this as you read through them. The Lord shows us through all of them the vitalness of the Holy Spirit when it comes to prayer! We who have turned from our sins and put our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord who died to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, making a genuine commitment to live for Jesus and following through with it, now have the Holy Spirit living inside us! How then are we to pray?
According to the will of God! According to the leading of the Holy Spirit! With the help of the Holy Spirit! In line with the Bible! Trusting God’s Holy Spirit to guide us as we pray and as we yield ourselves to Him!
Please be inspired as you read them to reflect on how you pray and to see if you need to make any changes. I have found the closer I draw to the Lord, the more I read the Bible, the more time I spend in God’s presence, the more I surrender myself to the Lord and His ways, the more I live for Him, the more Jesus lives in and through me, the more I ask God to fill me afresh with more of His Holy Spirit, the more sensitive I aspire to be to the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the more I sense how God wants me to pray! According to HIS WILL – for HIS GLORY! Amen!
“praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” Ephesians 6:18
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 1:20-21
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
This verse does not mention the Holy Spirit directly, but please note the importance of PRAYING ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD ALMIGHTY!
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
Drawing Near to the Lord!
“But it is good for me to draw near to God…” Psalm 73:28
Some of us hold onto the world and our everyday lives and our calendar books and appointments and responsibilities and our relationships and our to-do lists and our families and social lives and agendas and school work and jobs and entertainment and enjoyments and doctors’ appointments and the whole of our everyday lives so tightly that we can’t even conceive of coming away from it all each and every day to draw near to God!
Or, we have made the commitment to draw near to God and spend time alone in His presence daily but we can’t seem to see this dedicated time as more than an obligation, drudgery, something to get over-with, something we simply must do, something to cross off on our must-do list, etc.
Oh, but what we miss when we don’t draw near to the Lord each day! And, oh what we miss when we draw near to Him daily but have the wrong heart, attitude, and motive! Oh, what we miss!
Do you realize the Lord of the universe, Creator of the world, Savior of the world, God almighty, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Father in heaven loves us so much He sent His only Son Jesus to the cross and to be raised from the dead so we could have a relationship with Him we could not otherwise have through repenting and believing in Him as Lord and in His death and resurrection?
Do you realize Jesus died and rose again to bring us back to God? To break the divide sin has caused between humanity and God? SO WE WHO TURN TO JESUS AS LORD AND TRULY LIVE FOR HIM CAN HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM NOW AND FOREVER IN HEAVEN?
SO WE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO HIM EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY FOREVER?
SO WE CAN BE IN HIS FELLOWSHIP FOR ETERNITY?
Do you realize HE WANTS US IN HIS COMPANY FOREVER?
Do you realize in His presence is forever JOY and everlasting pleasure?
Do you realize this relationship with God almighty doesn’t begin in heaven but is for us right now on earth once we receive Jesus as Lord?
Do you realize He wants us to spend time with Him to learn of Him and from Him and to enjoy Him and be transformed by Him and to grow more like Him and to experience His gloriousness even now on this earth before we get to be with Him face to face in heaven?
There is no greater invitation in the universe than to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and to enter into His forever Kingdom and to draw near to Him day by day and everlastingly!
Yet is it not true some of us may at times or even all the time pitifully, dreadfully, ashamedly, tragically take for granted the Lord’s call to us to be forever His and to spend time alone in His presence even as Jesus Himself spent time alone with God the Father in heaven?
Oh, how far short I have fallen in this! Probably true for so many of us, is it not? But let us not waste time mourning over where we have fallen short in this. Let us repent and receive God’s forgiveness and be glad! Let us rejoice! Let us celebrate!
And let us say to the Lord, YES! I will draw near to you, oh Lord! I will come to you, oh Lord! I will spend time with you, oh Lord! Thank you, oh Lord, AMEN!
Be encouraged, friend, to take the time and to enjoy the time and to be thankful for the time you come away each day to be with Jesus. Draw near to God, oh yes! Draw near, my friend, draw near!
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18
“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:18
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11