The King Invites You to Feast

In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin from prison on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived. 2 Kings 25:27-30

Jerusalem has been ravaged by the Chaldean’s and is in captivity.  The glory has departed from the royal city, for the King of Judah is taken prisoner and the principal officers have been put to death.  All hope appears lost for the “thrones of the house of David,” Salomon’s temple was burnt to the ground, and the sacred vessels are carried away to Babylon.

After thirty-seven years while the King is imprisoned, a glimmer of light appears. Hope is restored to the captive people. The King of Jerusalem is invited by the King to dine daily at his table.  He is also given minimum security prison conditions. 

In the midst of a storm or tribulation…Jesus speaks tenderly to us through His Word, gives us new clothes…robes of righteousness, and positions us at a seat of honor at His table. He invites us to come and eat with Him and feast at His table of abundance.  He provides life…abundant life!  Jesus brings release from bondage and bestows instead foretastes of the infinite pleasures at His right hand. Are you troubled?  Are you weary?  The temptation can be to seek TV, a hobby, work, or anything else that can provide a distraction or what we think can soothe us.  Seek Him!   Seek the source of life…Christ.  He is our bread.  He is our fountain of life.

“They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.” Psalm 36:8

“My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”  Psalm 63:5


He Heals the Brokenhearted

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

The past two years have been challenging in several different areas of my life.  The most emotional challenge has brought about the most painful hurt.  Isn’t that the way it usually is?  My most painful hurt was to be misunderstood by two friends and then subsequently lose their friendships.

When I reflect on the situation, I become sad by the loss and sometimes anger is stirred because of the way it transpired.  The anger stems from the unanswered questions of “why would I be treated this way by a friend?” or  “why weren’t my friends more supportive?”

The story of Job is an example of friends who came to console but ended up causing Job more heartache.   His friends came to him with the right intention, to comfort; but ultimately with the wrong message,  “you’re doing it wrong!”  Job’s hope was in God, but his friends did not agree with the way he was handling the situation and thought he had done something to bring on all of this tragedy and pain.  Oh, I pray that in that situation, I would be quick to listen and slow to speak!

Our perception is so faulty at times because of our sinful nature.  Unfortunately, our flesh has a tendency to raise it’s ugly head when we least expect it.  You may not think that is true, but think about this.  Have you been with an acquaintance or friend and they poured their heart out and you caught yourself tempted to one-up their situation?  Or, have you ever listened to someone pour their heart out and then you presumably had “all” the answers?  In situations where a friend is hurting, with few exceptions, the best friends are usually the quiet and listening friends.  And you know what?  Listening is so often difficult, but most of the time it is what is truly needed.  Sometimes there are no immediate answers.  Sometimes the answers are hidden from us.  Sometimes what seems apparent is not the case at all.  And sometimes the answers are just not what is important, it’s the being there for the friend that is needed.  “Bear one another’s burdens, and therefore fulfill the law of Christ.”  Galatians 6:2 says.  Paul further exhorts us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15.

The modus operandi of my flesh when I am hurt by someone is to initially feel sad, question, and then go back and forth with thoughts of self-pity and feeling sad.  This is where our foot gets caught in the trap and Satan is allowed a foothold.  The enemy of our soul is always looking for opportunities where we “feel” cheated or mistreated because then we are vulnerable to the set up of thinking we deserve more or better.  Isn’t that what happened to Eve in the Garden of Eden?  Satan tempted her by appealing to the idea that God was somehow holding out on her.  He then led her down the path of thinking she deserved more or better than God was giving her.  The snare is set.  In this particular case,  Satan turns the tide toward self-pity and despair.  Repeating lies to you until you agree with him.  When we choose to step deeper and deeper into the waters of doubt; which leads us right onto the deserted Isle of self-pity; then before we know it, the hurricane of despair has engulfed us and drowns us in it’s sorrows.

The real question when I am sorrowful is how much time am I spending in His Word and on my knees with the Lord?  The more time on my knees spent with the Lord, the more I fully release my burden to Him and receive His peace.  The more time in His Word, the more I gain His perspective regarding the situation and allow His Word to minister to me.  What is God’s response when we seek Him?  He will reach down into the depths of the sea of despair and grab you by the hand and pull you up and place onto the solid rock.  He is our refuge.  He is our shelter.

Beloved, we will all suffer hurts, pains, and wounds in this life from all different sources; but Jesus is the One we must run to.  He has designed us to seek Him.  When we come to Him in truth and transparency, He will give us His peace and rest.  Let’s not be of those that run to substitute gods; such as:  alcohol, sex, drugs, money and many other forms of idolatry that only provide us with empty promises and ultimately a spiral down the sea of despair.  Jesus will heal your broken heart.  Be persistent.  Don’t give up if you don’t sense  relief right away.  Get on your knees and get in His Word.  He WILL heal your broken heart.  Don’t walk…run to Him, beloved, run to the rock that can’t be moved!  Run to the arms of true love and bask in His peace and rest.  He is the “balm of Gilead” and He will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds.

Do Not Be Afraid!

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.”  Romans 8:15

A traumatic incident which occurred on the edge of the Grand Canyon when I was six years old created a fear of heights in me.  It would affect me on occasion, but most poignantly in my 30’s when my husband, Bob, our boys, and I would travel to New Mexico or Colorado to snow ski.   Sitting on the ski lift would stir the butterflies to flight in my stomach because my feet would be dangling out and over, what appeared to be, a huge expanse between me and the snow-covered mountain below.  Once the bottom of my skis met the top of the snow I was fine…until…I was in a clearing amidst the trees on the mountain in which I could see the town below; I would start to perspire and my heart would pound wildly in my chest.

I am reminded when Peter, James and John accompanied Jesus up the mountain top.   All of a sudden before their very eyes, Jesus was transfigured.  His clothes became bright white and His face shone like the sun.  Without time to grasp what had just happened, Elijah and Moses appeared and they discuss with Jesus his impending death.  Then a bright cloud surrounds all of them and the Father speaks from within the cloud and says, “This is my son, whom I love; with Him I am pleased, listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5b)  The Father settled any possible doubts in their minds that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, in their experience and hearing.  The Father also confirmed that when Jesus spoke, He spoke the very words of God.  The disciples did exactly what I think I would have done, they fell face down on the ground.  They had been walking and living with God incarnate, God cloaked in flesh, glory hidden.  Now, they are in the presence of the fully glorified King of Kings and LORD of Lords, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.  Can you even imagine the speed of thoughts that are running through their minds and the intensity of differing emotions that are exploding within them?  These three chosen disciples were honored with a precursor of what was to come in glory.  They traveled up the mountain top with Jesus, their teacher, master, Lord and beheld THE Revelation of revelations and became overwhelmed with fear.  They had encountered the true “mountain top” experience face-to-face with the glorified LORD of Lords.

Realize possibly for the first time in your life, that He is in control of life and death.  He is the beginning of time on earth and the end of time on earth because He is eternity.  There is no life apart from Him. The very air we breathe is but a gift from Him to sustain our life in the physical.  He is the First of everything created, visible and invisible, and He is the Last of everything created, visible and invisible.  He is I AM WHO I AM!  Let this reality overtake you with the majestic wonder that it truly is.

Now then, if you are a child of God, then you, hopefully, not only know Him in all His majestic glory, but you are also privileged to know Him as “daddy.”  Our “Abba” Father is our daddy who loves us more than we can even imagine.  Jesus does what only a loving and caring Father will do to reassure his children, he put out his hand and touched them and said, “Do not be afraid.”  This majestic LORD of all creation, put out His hand as a Father would to comfort a child.

My fear of heights was a faulty perceived fear that ushered me into a feeling of terror and a thought of imminent death.  But, my God and my Father takes me up to the mountain top, puts out his hand to calm my fears and says, “Do not be afraid.”  There is nothing to fear when you are in the very presence of the essence of peace.  He holds eternity in His hands and He set eternity in the hearts of men, so that they would seek Him.  Are you seeking Him?  Do you know Him as LORD of Lords and Abba Father?  When you seek Him with all of your heart, you will find Him.  You will find Him in the entirety of who He is…I AM WHO I AM.  Beloved, seek Him and find Him.  Then, you will taste and see that the Lord is good.

A New Beginning…2011

A new beginning…isn’t that what God offers His children every day of our lives. You never have to fear God’s rejection when you come to Him.  You never have to fear that He won’t forgive you.   A new year has begun.  A new beginning.  A new year to walk in the abundant life.  “The old has gone,” as Paul stated in 2 Cor. 5:17, “the new has come!”

I may not always know or understand what God is doing in my life.  Even hindsight just gives me a partial view and in that only in some circumstances.  But, what I do know, is that God always works in my life for my best and for His glory.  So, I pray in this new year NOT for more “things” to distract my attention and devotion, NOT for plans of mine to succeed, but for MORE of HIM!  His plans to succeed in my life!  That He attracts all my attention and devotion!  I want more of Him and less of me!

So, my New Year’s constitution is: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13b-14

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

He said it!   Done!   Walk in His truth!   Rest!

In Darkness, Light Dawns!

I don’t know about you, but I love the way God uses His creation to point to and proclaim Jesus.  Not only does God use creation to point to Jesus, but also to reveal that creation was made by Him and for Him and thus to display and give evidence of Jesus’ power over creation.  (Col. 1:16) Continue reading

He Came to Take Our Burdens and Set Us Free

“it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

One of the many benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection for us is in exchanging our yoke of weighty burden for His easy and light yoke which gives us peace and rest.  I know sometimes this is easy to say and not so easy to do. We think we’re doing fine in our walk with the Lord and then all of a sudden we are thrown for a loop.  If you have a difficult time with this, then this is for you. Continue reading

Which One Are You? Weight or Wait

Let the weight of the world that you put on your own shoulders be put on the shoulders of the only One who can shoulder the responsibility. Continue reading

Is Suffering Really Necessary? Part 2: Surrendering Ourselves/Surrendering Idols

We will park here to explore more deeply the topic of surrendering.

Christ wants every area of our lives surrendered to Him.  When we surrender our whole heart to Him, evidence will be reflected in our daily life.  That means that each area of our lives will reflect His desires.  That includes:  our vocation, family life, friendships, hobbies, past time experiences….every area!  Christ wants our undivided devotion.  Continue reading

Is Suffering Really Necessary? Part 1

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:10-11

What’s the first thing that grabs you when you read these verses?  If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s most likely the knowledge of having to share in Christ’s sufferings.  Continue reading