Thursday, July 21, 2016

Who Is This?

Who Is This?



  O God, Worthy are you to be esteemed and exalted! You are above all kingdoms and created things. Please forgive me of my sins and cleanse me of all my unrighteous ways. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Bless pastors, ministers and teachers that they may walk in and teach the uncompromising Truth. Lead and guide me that I may walk in obedience to you Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.  

Who Is This? by Veronica Garrett 

   He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.
      In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."  Luke 8:24-25

If you've walked with Jesus you realize that His ability far exceeds what we expect of Him. Quite often it is during a storm that God reveals himself to us in a new way.  We spend many hours praying that he removes us from the storm and yet there is nothing more precious to us than the moment Jesus speaks peace be still to our storm.  It becomes a life defining moment and surely God reveals himself to us in the storm. We could have never known Him as such without the storm. The disciples knew that Jesus could perform miracles but he kept blowing their mind as they saw them unfold.
One day Jesus told his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." They got into a
boat and sailed while Jesus fell asleep. A fierce windstorm came onto the lake and they were in great danger.  
The disciples went and woke Jesus saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"  When Jesus got up he rebuked the wind and waters and everything was calm. 
Jesus asked his disciples, "where is your faith?"  They looked at each other in fear and amazement and said "Who is this?" He commands and even the winds and water obey him. 
There are times in life when storms are raging and we are doing our best to stick the course and keep the faith.  As I read this passage I noticed that the first thing Jesus told his disciples is let us go to the other side.  Since Jesus had already told them they were going to the other side, they were going regardless of the storm and it's threat. His words are always true. 
These are times when we are in a situation and He says it's going to be alright.  And that is all that we have to hold on to. Isn't it enough to have a word from the Lord? The threat is real and there is no evidence of Him working on our behalf and yet by faith we must hear the voice of God and to know that He is above all- yes, even the raging winds and the waves obey Him.  The question is not if but when, and the answer is whenever He determines, He will speak peace be still and the storm has to go away.

 As His disciples we are always learning of him.  It is often during hardships that we are watching closely enough to see the miracle of God unfold right before our very eyes. When God reveals himself to us once more, we are prepared once again to answer the question, Who is this?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Show Me Your Glory

        Show Me Your Glory



Great and Mighty God! You alone are Holy!  Wonderful Father I exalt thee! All Power is in 
your hands. I'm so thankful that nothing happens unless you allow it or decree it. I praise you 
Lord because you cause all things to work for my good. Help me to see your grace and
favor on my life. Remove all pride from my heart. Teach me to have a grateful heart and to
 walk in humility. Bless the Nigerian Christians who are experiencing persecution. Please 
protect them from the enemy and give them surmountable grace, comfort and peace in the 
mists of great devastation. In Jesus' name, Amen.

                 Show Me Your Glory by Veronica Garrett 
Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." 
And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."  
Exodus 33:18-20

Moses wanted a new revelation of God. He wanted to know the Him better so he asked to see the glory of the Lord. And although Moses really didn't know what he was asking for the Lord responded by revealing Himself to Moses in a new way. Moses wanted to see God but no man can see the Lord's face and live. I'm so glad that the Lord knows what's best for us inspite of what we might ask of Him.
Moses stood on Mount Sinai and the Lord came down in cloud.  He hid Moses in the cleft in the rock and covered him with his hand until he passed. Then he removed his hand and allowed Moses to see his back. He allowed Moses to see his back, but Moses could not see His face. And as the Lord passed by in front of Moses proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished...(Exodus 34:6-7)" 
. And here we have Moses experiencing God's first self disclosure in scripture. Moses is getting a new revelation of who the Lord truly is.  His response is he bowed to the ground at once and worship. When the glory of the Lord enters we are always humbled.  Here Moses was about to begin a new phase of his journey because he's bringing the ten commandments down to the people. Sometimes a believer is in need of a new revelation of the Lord.
A greater insight into God's nature and character would bless Moses as well as those under his leadership. Far too often the body of Christ misses the opportunity to see the glory of God because our vision is far too short sighted, we tie God's glory to tangible things. God's glory brings me face to face with truth, most often it brings godly sorrow which leads me to repent of my sins. I find a deeper commitment, spiritual hunger and spiritual insight when the Lord reveals Himself. Pray that God reveals Himself to us in a personal way so that we too can learn more about His glory.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

If It's The Lord's Will

If It's The Lord's Will



Gracious and loving Father, Thank you for allowing me to see a new day to serve and praise 
you, Lord. Please help me to be filled with gratitude for every mountain you've brought me 
over. Bless marriages throughout this city, state, and nation--please send your peace and 
your love into our homes.  Help Christian singles to live holy and to be filled with your 
presence and power in their lives.   In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

If It's The Lord's Will by Veronica Garrett 
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:13-17

The farmer realizes that his success is dependent on factors beyond his control such as the weather. Extreme temperatures as well as excessive showers or drought will affect his crop. Regardless of his spiritual beliefs, he depends on the one who controls the weather for a bountiful harvest.  Prior to reaping his harvest you won't find  him boasting about how great of a harvest he's going to have. He speaks with humility as he tells of his plans because he know a harsh winter, dry summer, or drenching spring could ruin his crop.

More recently the lives of many Americans have been devastated because their plans have been thwarted by a distressed economy. One such couple spent their who lives planning to be millionaires in their retirement. They made numerous sacrifices and worked many hours to save their nest egg. And yet, their investment failed to produce the financial stability they had hope. In fact, with the exception of their home they lost all of their investment nearing one million dollars.
We all should responsibly plan. However, the problem comes when our plans become idols and we invest all of our hopes and dreams into our ability to plan and to implement our plans. I've heard many explain their plan in great detail while boasting in their ability to carry it out successfully. Some time ago I was speaking to a young wife and she stated that her children were planned and that everything in her house was planned. As I listened I realized that she had no idea the grace of God in that. Many women are so very grateful when a child is born because through many attempts they realize that God is in control. As far as financial planning is concerned God has blessed her in such way that storms such as job loss and illness had bypassed her home. What I've learned is it is by the grace of God that plans work the way we would like them too. 
My mother-in-law says it best when she tells her plans and she always adds if it's the Lord wills.  It's a humbling thing to acknowledge that on tomorrow I may be incapable of doing what comes so easy for me today. And even more she lives as one who believes it. She doesn't delay to do the good she could today because tomorrow is not promised. Each of us has hopes for the future but let us add to them if it's the Lord's will.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fresh Faith

                   Fresh Faith



 Lord Almighty,  I come rejoicing in your presence and manifying 
your Holy Name!  Thank you for being so good to me. Please bless my family, friends and co-workers to prosper in all things. Please protect Christians throughout the world from persecution. Give them grace and strength to endure all hardships. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

                          Fresh Faith by Veronica Garrett 
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17

A simple question is, do we work to be saved or do we work because we are saved? Some will say things like, "I've got to get myself together so I can go to heaven, or "I have some habits I have to shake and then I'll give my life to God."  When they speak it sounds like they need to do something to get right with God.  It sounds like after they work then they will be acceptable to God. In fact, in sounds like after they clean themselves up then they can come to God.
It is unclear if they are always working and wondering have they done enough to be saved or if they really have received the spirit of promise which is the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. Salvation is the gift of God, not attained by works so that no man can boast . When we truly believes something it moves us beyond cognitive recognition. When we believe we are moved to action.
In fact, when we come close to God his power working through our lives moves us to do something. Puny faith sees a person in need and believes someone else will come along to help. Fresh faith causes one to react like in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan used his resources to aid a person in need.Whereas the Levite and the priest avoided the man beaten by robbers and left for dead at all cost. 
In the book of James we are reminded that works and faith go hand in hand. Although we don't work to be saved we work because we saved. My works testify to my faith. Without any activity my faith is as dead as a doorknob. In Hebrews chapter 11 we are reminded what men and women accomplished by faith. As with us when we activate our faith it always works. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Close To The Vine




 Lord God, Great and Mighty are you O God!  I am grateful for all that you have done in my life and I'm thankful for your many  blessings. Bless missionaries throughout this world--those  domestically and internationally. Send your spirit before them to prepare the hearts of the people for the good news. Bless my superior as well as my colleagues. Bless me with wisdom and grace to be a wise steward of my time. Help me to draw nearer to you that the overflow of you working in my life will touch someone elses life. Father, I want to be closer to you, In Jesus' name, Amen. 

                Close To The Vine by Veronica Garrett 
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:1-4
 All Christians do not live the same distance from God. Some are closer to Him than others. Why else does scripture tell us to draw near to God? Quite interestingly enough  those who have close relationships with the Lord are admired but every believer has the same opportunity to draw closer to Him. We are compelled to draw near to God. Jesus Christ is the true Vine and God the Father is the Gardener.  And when we draw nearer to Christ an evident by product is that we are fruitful.
The modern church is at times confused on this one point.  At times she measures her health on her  busyness.  We may view all of our church and community obligations as indication that we are productive while spending little to no private time drawing near to Christ. Sometimes the church is   far to focus on growth plans and competitive analysis.  We miss the opportunity to stay close to the Vine. Often times we have real obligations and commitments that require time that have to done but we must strive for personal intimacy. In this passage, the truth nugget speaks loud and clear. Beautiful edifice, gifted oratory, and modern presentation is not what makes for a healthy body--abiding in Him is the secret.   
What I've learned is that in my own strength my attempts are empty. I must be a spiritually connected person to do spiritual work.  In a healthy love relationship couples are cautious to spend time together.  The hours may be odd for many and the activities may be different than most but they strive for healthy communication in the relationship.  After going through a season of living close to God and winding up seemingly far away from Him I've learned that staying close to anyone is intentional.  Relationships we nurture tend to grow unlike those we neglect. 
I've learned to protect my time with the Lord from family, friends, and ministry. The overwhelming motivator is that time spent with the Lord makes me better for my family, friends and ministry.  During times of weariness and wandering of my heart I recognize it as such and I pray that Christ will woo my wandering heart so that I may be close to Him.  When I abide in Him, He supernaturally takes my human effort and turn it into something meaningful.  When I focus solely on my effort I miss the opportunity to be blessed of God as well as forfeit what it means to truly be a blessing.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Can You Keep A Secret?

March 4, 2010
Can You Keep A Secret?

Merciful Father,Great and Awesome Wonder! This is the day that you have made and I will 
rejoice and be glad in it. Please help me to walk in victory in Christ. Please deliver me from 
sin that so easily entangles me. Help me to not focus so much on being 
a perfect Christian as I am a true witness of your redeeming love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

 Can You Keep A Secret? by Veronica Garrett 

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:5  
If we are ever to dismantle one of Satan's greatest devices we must first learn the power of keeping a secret.  Some are private matters and are better kept between those closes to us. However, far too often the body of Christ is unhealthy because we have lots of secrets. Quite naturally it seems that if we are struggling with sin we should hide it, but this my friend is the enemy's greatest power in our struggle.  When we expose our struggle with sin the power of darkness is overcome by light.
The enemy's strategy is to divide and conquer so when we are involved in isolation and deception we play right into his hand.  We dismantle his devices when we expose our struggles to trustworthy men and women. As soon as we tell what he’s harassing us about in darkness his greatest weapon of secrecy is destroyed. The secret is brought to light and he loses the threat of exposing us. We relinquish the guilt and embrace the redeeming love of Christ.
The fear of being exposed gives him power over our confidence because we retreat from the freedom we deserve. If we lie to others eventually we believe the lies which lead us deeper into darkness and his deceptive tactics.  As we read the New Testament, the apostle Paul addresses all types of sin in the early church.  God's people are not infallible, only He is. When we willingingly walk in darkness and pretend that we are walking in light we are hypocritical.  
Sharing our struggle with those who make fun, gossip, or condemn us wouldn't be wise. Nevertheless, we find great encouragement and compassion in the arms of those who will help and pray that we overcome.  Satan needs the dark to help us in destructive behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes. We must find freedom by exposing ourselves to the light of God's word. We pray that God will lead us to people who can help us in our time of need and not let keeping a secret have power over us.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Truth like Surround Sound


Awesome God, in you I live, move and have my being.  You beckon me to draw near to you, abide in you, and to seek you with my whole heart. Most gracious Father, allow your truth to flood my life through all my reading, listening, and speaking. I humbly present myself to you so that your Spirit may flow through my life and overflow into the lives of others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.    

Truth like Surround Sound by Veronica Garrett 
  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist… Ephesians 6:14

When you buckle the belt of truth around your waist you are surrounding yourself with those things that are true. This sounds simple and yet it can be very difficult to do in our world.  If you work, live, or play in an environment surrounded by people who don’t share your love for Christ you must create the right atmosphere. 
 How do men and women who love God turn away from truth?  Simple. By living outside of it. Gradually, we trade the truth for lies.  If you stay in darkness long enough you your eyes readjust and you begin to see with distortion. The world tells us these are our ways walk in them.  These are our truths believe them.  Precious one, if you are not consciously rebelling against, disagreeing with, and transforming contrary to worldly truths it will happen all too gradually and your eyes will focus just like those who have no Savior.
 It begins with simple things. You begin to fear what they fear. You begin to value what they value. You begin to define success the same way that they do. You begin to believe you are strong when in fact you are weak. You begin to think you are rich when indeed you are poor. You begin to have short sighted, temporal goals with no eternal perspective.  You begin to work hard to get to places in a perishing world and spend no time thinking of the life that God rewards in eternity.  You begin to see people in terms of class and race, have and have not’s, instead of considering that all things are truly no value in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ.   The truth is those identified as children of the Lord Jesus Christ are most precious regardless to their position in this world.  And one day it will be obvious that they know the One in the highest place after he splits the sky and they meet him.
 There was a season in life when through the work of the Spirit there was a cleaning of my home to sweep out those things that deny the truth of God.  It could be compared to spring cleaning because the books, cds, dvds, clothing, internet sites, and television shows had to be tempered by truth.  It was a painful process but indeed it was necessary.  I am one being transformed from the inside out and everything changes when Truth takes over.
 Legalism is a kill joy but those who walk in truth, work together for truth, and love the truth must first surround themselves with its belt that secure us against our evil desires and the enemies schemes.