Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A verse to think over today

"Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine." 
Ezekiel 47:12
I've been meditating on this verse for about a week or so now.  I just randomly flipped open to Ezekiel 47 and was particularly drawn to verses 9-12...definitely read it if you can!  Verse 12 specifically spoke to me as I've been praying about what the Lord wanted me to do with my "After high school; before marriage (if the Lord wills)" life.  I saw this verse to mean that I was to be a fruitful tree for the Lord and also one that could be used for medicine for those in need while in my youth.  I have the most freedom right now while unmarried to be used in ministry for the Lord.  If you read a couple verses up you'll see that these trees were watered by a pure river that flowed from the sanctuary of God.  I too am "watered", strengthened, enabled to bring forth fruit by the true River of Life, Jesus Christ.  If I don't have Him my life is meaningless!!  I would be a dry, useless tree if it weren't for His life giving salvation.  Do you have this salvation?  For those of us who do have Him, are we being as fruitful as we can for the Lord right now?  Are we striving to delight in what He wants us to do with this life He's given us?  It's a constant struggles but if we press forward towards the goal we will bring forth much fruit.  I pray often that the Lord will do with me what He wants...but sometimes I take my life in my own hands...that never ends well :-)!  We have to constantly surrender our life, our will, our desires to Him!  I've definitely not learned all about surrender to Him but He's a patient teacher thankfully!!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Review: Joyfully At Home

The book as seen at Vision Forum
About 3 years ago I received a DVD for Christmas, "Return of the Daughters", and through it I was introduced to Jasmine Baucham.  Shortly thereafter my sisters and I began following her blog and just last year found out she was writing a book based on her blog.  I immediately wrote the book down on my Christmas wish-list and guess what??!!...I got it!!  If anybody knows me well they know I love to read!  I just finished the book, Joyfully at Home, last Tuesday (I would have finished it before but....just look at my book list :-) and thought now would be a great time to write up a review.

Inside the pages of this well written, humorous book you'll find tips on how to have a joyful life while at home, how to increase your relationship with your siblings and parents, and ideas on how to minister for the Lord during your single years.  You'll be encouraged to consider using your single years to further your father's vision rather than pursuing a career outside the home; minister to those around you while waiting for the one the Lord has for you (if He has one ;-); and to pursue higher education from your home (see Collage Plus for more info).  I enjoyed this book most because it encouraged me in my convictions, which I see very few people playing out, and helped me know how to answer the "So what are you going to do after high school" questions (there may be a post coming soon about that if the Lord leads).  I highly recommend this book for those wondering if there's another option out there other than the 21st century route of collage away from home with huge boarding fees and student loans.  Also, if you just want to be encouraged as to your role while under your fathers roof, your role as an older sister and helper to your mother, or what to do after high school.....this is for you!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Complete Surrender

Well, COMPLETE SURRENDER has been on my heart lately.  It keeps popping up in sermons, books I've read, and my own personal devotion time.  I thought I'd write down a little bit of what I studied this morning regarding complete surrender to Jesus.
Here are the definitions of "complete" and "surrender" from the Websters 1828 dictionary:

Complete- Having no deficiency; perfect
Surrender- to yield; to give up one's self into the power of another  

Most of us know the song "I Surrender All"...but do we?  Do I?  Have I surrendered ALL my hopes, ALL my dreams, ALL my life, to Jesus?
In John 6:38 it says, "For I have come down from heaven, not to My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."  If Jesus said this as to why He was here, then what can we say about why we're here?  I think the Westminster Catechism sums it up rather nicely...we're here to "Glorify God and enjoy Him forever."  Jesus is the perfect example of what a life surrendered to God looks like.  Notice how He had "nowhere to lay His head". Our Lord was constantly walking from place to place surrounded by people who just wanted to touch Him,  then He died a slow, torturous death on the cross for you and I, and suffered enumerable other things while diligently following His Fathers will.  Life is not easy, especially a life devoted to Jesus.  It says in John 17:14-15, "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one."  You see, Jesus prayed for us, that we would have the strength to be in complete surrender to Him no matter what...and I believe we can do it, but only through Him!
Can anyone think of another person in the Bible who was in complete surrender to his Master?  What about Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian church.  Listen to what the Bible says about him:
"And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit...and Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.  And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.  And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel." Acts 6:5b,8,10, & 15
Wow!  That's high praise coming from the Lord!!  Can people say that about you and I?  I know I still have tons to work on!!  But let us see what happened to Stephen, a man surrendered COMPLETELY to Jesus....
"and they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down  and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin."  And when he has said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:59-60 
He died, faithfully still surrendering his all to Jesus!  Not only that but also praying for his persecutors...Lord Jesus, give me that faith, that strength to love the unlovable, those who persecute me!!
What about Paul, all the disciples, William Borden, Amy Carmichael, Lottie Moon, and other past and present Christians?  We have plenty of biographies of people who have surrendered their all and seen what the Lord has done with them.
Dwight L. Moody once made this statement, "The world has yet to see what God can do with a fully consecrated man [or woman]."  
Will you join me as a vessel  used by God to show the world what Christ can do through those in complete surrender to Him?!

Learning to delight in Jesus,