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Archive for February, 2017

Good morning my friends. Last night as I was preparing a devotion that I would be presenting to a group of Home School moms, I was challenged with the topic I was given:

To put into 10 minutes the priority of Self-Care.

You know, in the event of an emergency while in an airplane the importance of putting on your air mask first.

In the exhausting attempt to take care of so many needs around us, we might fall into the trap laid for us: to neglect taking care of ourselves by “missing the most important thing”.

In 2 Corinthians 2:11 we are warned to aware of Satan’s schemes.

I remember when our family went to Hawaii, our host told us to be sure to use sunscreen, because the environment, even though we couldn’t see it, was dangerous. We couldn’t just get up and start running around with our family just because we were excited and there was a lot we wanted to see and do. We HAD to prepare ourselves for the environment, the hidden “battle”, that would harm us and inevitably ruin our time there.

The hidden battle that is laid for us, as it was laid for Eve in the garden, is: To give us a distorted understanding of the Father’s love and His purposes for us, and to convince us that we must determine our highest purposes and accomplish them our on our own.

I have become convinced that the highest and most necessary part of “Self Care” is to daily, or hourly if needed, go to our Father and ask Him by His Holy Spirit to reveal His great affection for us.

My life has been altered as a result of something our pastor said to us a couple of years ago. He encouraged everyone to enter into that week of 24/7 prayer with this simple direction: “Ask the Father to reveal His great love and affection for you.”. Honestly it seemed odd at first, self-serving really, and opposite to the prayers we had always thought were essential and foundational. Shouldn’t we be praying for others, praying for a breakthrough in our homes and cities, our country and the world?

Well, yes of course.

But, if in fact it is the Father’s heart to show us His love; if in fact He created us and our children for the purpose of knowing Him, really knowing Him; if in fact God actually LOVED the world so much that He sent His Son…”, then knowing His love, REALLY knowing His love for us would change everything. It would affect every need, every relationship, every motive and every attempt to find the real meaning and identity in our lives.

In Ephesians 3:19, Paul asks God for this miracle: that those he loved so dearly would KNOW the overwhelming love of Christ.

It is now what we ask everyday over our lives, over our family and today over you.

We thought we knew this already, “Oh yes, the Lord loves us”. But as we have come to believe His affection and devotion to us, we have seen our relationships with Him and with our family and with those who He brings into our lives, be radically affected. I am persuaded that He has so much more for us.

Friends, I encourage you, ask Him everyday, ask Him all day long, to reveal His love for you. His love changes everything. It is my prayer for you, and I believe it is His great delight to do so.

Yes, for “Self Care” we need to: eat well, drink more water, go to bed earlier, rise earlier, spend time with friends who bring life to us, less social media and more time in the Word. But we must make each of these choices as a response to daily (or hourly if needed ) having gone to our Father and asked Him, by His Holy Spirit, to reveal to us and convince us of His affection for us.

Look at this devotion from Ransomed Heart from today by John Eldredge:

We take folks through a discipleship program whereby they master any number of Christian precepts and miss the most important thing of all, the very thing for which we were created: intimacy with God. There are, after all, those troubling words Jesus spoke to those who were doing all the “right” things: “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you'” (Matt. 7:23). Knowing God. That’s the point. You might recall the old proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The same holds true here. Teach a man a rule and you help him solve a problem; teach a man to walk with God and you help him solve the rest of his life. Truth be told, you couldn’t master enough principles to see yourself safely through this Story. There are too many surprises, ambiguities, exceptions to the rule. Things are hard at work—is it time to make a move? What has God called you to do with your life? Things are hard at home—is this just a phase your son is going through, or should you be more concerned? You can’t seem to shake this depression—is it medical or something darker? What does the future hold for you—and how should you respond? Only by walking with God can we hope to find the path that leads to life. That is what it means to be a disciple. After all—aren’t we “followers of Christ”? Then by all means, let’s actually follow him. Not ideas about him. Not just his principles. Him

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Out Of Egypt

Good morning friends, I read this devotion today and began to pray over myself and now over you: Oh Father, in Your kindness and mercy, show us where  Egypt is hiding in our thoughts and lives. Show us the delight and freedom we were meant to live in. I pray expecting and hopeful, in Jesus Name

Some time ago, I heard Christine Caine  describe how the Israelites, when they left their slavery in Egypt and headed for the Promised Land, managed to turn an 11-day hike into a 40-year odyssey!

Her one-liner that struck me most deeply was simply this: “It took a few days for the Israelites to get out of Egypt but 40 years for God to get Egypt out of the Israelites.

exodus

What a powerful and painful metaphor that is. We say “Yes” to Jesus, and are immediately delivered. But sometimes it takes years for us to experience the full freedom which He intends for our lives (Galatians 5:1).

“Delivered but not fully free” might be the uncomfortable admission for many Christ-followers. They’ve gotten out of Egypt, but Egypt has not yet gotten out of them.

Egypt, in the Bible, stands for anything that would enslave us; everything that would destroy our identity as the people of God; whatever would reduce us to nothing more than “bricklayers with mud and straw.” Each of us know the persistent taskmasters in our lives, but Christ intends so much more for us.

How often do we say “Yes” to Christ and follow Him through the Sea (1 Corinthians 10:2), but quickly realize that this deliverance means the end of the “leeks, onions, and garlic” that tasted so good in slavery (Numbers 11:5)? So we complain or we look back wistfully. Some of us may even sneak back to those old places. We’re delivered but not truly free.

If you’ve been in the spiritual wilderness a while, perhaps it’s because you left Egypt but Egypt hasn’t left you. If this be so, here are some simple (biblical) steps to consider.

One, walk away from the ways of the Egyptians; hard as that may seem.

Two, look instead to the promises of God; uncertain though they may feel at times.

Three, trust Him. Every day, trust Him. Profoundly simple; unquestionably challenging. 

It’s the difference between 11 days and 40 years; between simple deliverance and full freedom. May we have grace for the Journey!

 

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