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Dear friends, When we find ourselves seeking something to satisfy our hearts, something to take away the ache, or the fear or the restlessness, we often go to what has temporarily worked before: food, Facebook, shopping, controlling, cleaning, hording, or other escapes less “acceptable” in the Christian community. The result is regret and shame and often, returning to the same false comfort. This morning as I read the quote below,  I was encouraged and wanted to encourage you as well. You see, we are led to the false comfort by the Enemy of our souls…and once there, we are shamed and condemned by this one who is intent to “kill, steal, and destroy” us.

Jesus is not like that.

He created our hearts to live in delight and the exhale of wonder, not just surviving. We sometimes risk to believe it can “be more than this” and go about wandering. Sadly,  we are told to put these desires down, to “stomp on them”, and are given nothing with which to replace the.

Jesus said “All you who are weary and heavy-laden, come to Me, and I will give you rest for your souls”. Matthew11:28

Here’s what David says about the Lord: ” You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is FULLNESS of JOY”; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore “.

“Forevermore” is not later on in heaven, forevermore starts now. We are not relegated to “survive” now and have joy later…

I pray that the Spirit of God will open our hearts and souls to risk seeking Him, and that you and I will smile and sigh and even cry with the delight of being with our Lord today.

Please take time to read the quote below. With great affection and expectation, Beverly

John Flavel (English Puritan – 1630-1691), was one of the main influences in Charles Spurgeon’s spiritual formation in the gospel. This quote will let you know why.

“Ecstasy and delight are essential to the believer’s soul and they promote sanctification. We were not meant to live without spiritual exhilaration, and the Christian who goes for a long time without the experience of heart-warming will soon find himself tempted to have his emotions satisfied from earthly things and not, as he ought, from the Spirit of God. The soul is so constituted that it craves fulfillment from things outside itself and will embrace earthly joys for satisfaction when it cannot reach spiritual ones. The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savoring the felt comforts of a Savior’s presence. When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers. By the enjoyment of the love of Christ in the heart of a believer, we mean an experience of the “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us” (Rom. 5:5). Because the Lord has made himself accessible to us in the means of grace, it is our duty and privilege to seek this experience from Him in these means till we are made the joyful partakers of it.”

Good morning my dear friends, I was so encouraged by this devotion this morning, I wish I could sit down with each of you personally so we could read this together and look into each other’s eyes and say “It is SO true!”

I especially love reading Spurgeon because he was a brother who struggled with his wandering emotions, and yet he continually turned to the Lord and the Holy Spirit was ever faithful to show him the overwhelming love and faithful devotion of Jesus to us.

http://spurgeon.lukesterwebdesign.com/devotional/2012-06-28-0                            “Looking unto Jesus.” Hebrews 12:2                                                                                                 It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus;                        but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.                                                                                                 He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.”                                                            All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self he tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.”                                                              Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith.                                                                                                                            We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings;    it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.”          Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.                       “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:                           I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

Oh, take the risk to look away from your “doings” or “not doings” and believe He is Who He says He is.                                                                                                                            “What must we DO that we may DO the works of God, Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He has sent .”

John 6:28,29

All my love, Beverly

 

Dear friends,

There are few things more despairing in this life than to believe than we are alone in our difficulties, and nothing that can give us more strength than to know that we are not. In his book “Moving Mountains” John Eldredge yet again turned my eyes to Jesus:

 “These passages intrigue me deeply. It is a source of enormous comfort to know that Jesus is interceding for me. (Did you know that Jesus prays for you?!) But to be honest, it is also a little sobering to know that I am living in a story where Jesus needs to pray for me! Wouldn’t you love to know what Jesus is praying over your life right now?” 

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus Who died—

more than that, Who was raised to life—

Who is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34

 “Because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. 

Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, 

because He always lives to intercede for them”. Hebrews 7:24–25 

 Oh my sisters, who would you call if you needed prayer, I mean REALLY needed prayer.       Who do you know that when they come before the Father they have faith to believe they are heard, and they are confident in His love for you? 

I pray for us all right now that we can believe the truth that Jesus Himself brings our lives before our Heavenly Father, and that He knows how to intercede for us in a way that will bring about God’s highest. It is true. 

Do you need prayer today?

“He always lives to intercede for them…”

 

Dear friends

As I read this excerpt this morning from the book “Moving Mountains” by John Eldredge, I thought of you all.

I hope this encourages your heart today….Oh, who knew that prayer was not about our striving to “say it right” or “say it long enough”?

Prayer, yet again, as with so much of our revelation lately, is about the Father desiring us, and desiring to reveal His heart to us and His heart regarding those we bring to Him in prayer.

As we explore the many beautiful and intimate ways Jesus comes to heal our inner being, keep in mind that whatever the damage may be, in any realm of your inner being, the essence of healing prayer is always to facilitate the presence of Jesus into the specific places of damage. Whatever else might be involved, it always begins with, “Jesus, come into this and heal.”

Oswald Chambers, a man who wrote profoundly and elegantly on prayer, made a radical statement when he said, “The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God.”

Good heavens—it’s not? What then is the purpose?

“Prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God.”

A mighty truth is being uncovered here. Oneness with God is the goal of our existence. It’s not merely to believe in God, although that is better than not believing in him. It is not merely to trust in God, though that is far better than simply believing in God. It is not even to worship God, which is higher still.

 The destiny of the human soul is union with God. The same oneness that Jesus talked about with his Father is our destiny as well. That’s what we were made for. Prayer is one of his primary means of doing it, drawing us to himself, getting us to pour out our hearts before him so that we can receive his heart toward us.

Isn’t He lovely!

All my affection,

Beverly

He is at work

He is at work

“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out,

till He has brought justice through to victory.”  Matthew 12:20

 “Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
Say to those with anxious heart,
’Take courage, fear not.’ ”   
Isaiah 35:3

My dear friends,

There are times that I have felt my heart “bruised” and the fire inside of me “smoldering”.

I have felt exhausted and anxious and fearful. Last night was such a time.

My thinking had shifted into anxiety regarding my adult children; my mind was filled with the incessant, “What can I do?  There must be something I can do.”

I sensed the Lord waking me this morning and calling me to be with Him. With tender mercy He spoke compassion to my heart and correction to my mind as He reminded me of a scripture, John 5:17, that has become alive to me lately. 

“Jesus said to them,‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.’ “

“To this very day”

The familiar burden that seems to return to me with the tenacity of the swallows at

San Juan Capistrano, was once again lifted because… He is at work.

I encourage you, if you have such a burden, to join me in bringing it to Jesus.

To Jesus, Who has been at work regarding your heart’s concern before you even asked.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:16 

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”  Ps. 94:19

Oh friends, Jesus is so wonderfully patient with us,

He “knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust”.  Psalm 103:14

 With much affection,

Beverly

My dear friends,

I was reading in an old favorite book today, “Overcomers”, by Richard Wurmbrand.

If you are not familiar with Richard Wurmbrand, he pastored an underground church during the Nazi and then the Communist invasion of Romania.                                                   He was imprisoned for 14 years. His biography, “Tortured For Christ” is a must read.                The love from Jesus that he walked in transformed many lives. I read this passage today:

“Can we become masters of a joy that persists even in the midst of terrible suffering?”

After reading this today I wrote the following letter to a young wife I know, she is weary and suffering in a difficult marriage.

“I felt the Lord talking to me today about you.

To encourage you to be calm. To be noble. To do everything in love.

He is guiding you to a life of great joy in the midst of  your sufferings.

Hold this close to your heart.

He knows of loving when love is not retuned.

He will guide you my dear…to love.

There is nothing higher”

 

My friends,

I pray for us, that as we walk through our days we will see clearly that our lives were created for one purpose, and that is to know our God, to truly know Him and to know His love; that we may thus be compelled to live out lives of love,love for Him and for others.

Any other pursuit or vision or agenda will lead us to wandering.

I have all confidence and great thankfulness that the  Holy Spirit of Jesus will lead us in this, He is such a good Shepherd.

With much affection,                                                                                                                                     Beverly

My 5-year-old granddaughter, Grace, was asked to be Mary in their church’s Christmas program this year. There were about 50 children who would be singing carols and then as the Christmas story was read, Joseph and she would come out, carrying the baby Jesus (a doll of course). She, Joseph, the angels, the shepherds would all have their places.

Unfortunately the rehearsal had not been clear enough, so when Grace came out carrying the baby Jesus she didn’t know where to go. Seeing the children all up on the risers singing, she joined them.

My daughter was trying to get a picture of her, but the place where Grace had found to stand was right behind a boy much taller then herself.

“Was Grace sad or worried that you couldn’t see her?” I asked my daughter.

And here it came.

“Oh no”, my daughter explained”, I was trying to get a picture and then I saw her hands lifting up the baby Jesus so I could see Him.”

My spirit heard the truth of that simple action.

“It’s OK if you can’t see me as long as you know He is here, as long as you see Him.”

My friends, so much of our effort to “carry Jesus” at Christmas and throughout the year, often seems thwarted. our best intentions don’t turn out well.

We can become confused and feel lost in the distractions and not sure of how we are to be placed on the stages of our stories. We end up “behind the tall boy”, feeling unseen and rather useless.

The picture of my little Grace holding up Jesus has been my Christmas gift from the Lord this year, and this has become my prayer:

“Oh Lord, it doesn’t matter if anyone see me, or if they think I am doing my part well. Hide me if You need to, only let them see You. Let me be like Grace, let me see that my main part in the play is not to be seen, but to be content that others would see You.”

Oh my friends, can you hear Him?

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32

Emmanuel, God is with us.                                                                                          Merry Christmas,                                                                                                            Beverly