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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

candle-1428234_1280Have you ever noticed that a candle doesn’t burn long if the heat of the lighted wick does not begin to melt it?  The wick ignites the flame, but it will quickly snuff if the wax around the wick doesn’t start to liquefy. The closer the wax is to the flame’s heat, the quicker it melts.

As kids, my sister  and I used to love to swipe our pinkie fingers through the liquid wax and watch it almost instantly turn opaque again on our fingers. Wax, when taken from  the flame, solidifies again in an instant.

So, where am I going with this?  John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I have often heard about solidifying my faith, but I suggest we keep our faith liquid. We need to remain close to the fire of the Holy Spirit and the Light of Christ. We need to melt into a clearness that is pure and fluid.

Alone, we become opaque. We hide our true selves from others and mold to our surroundings.  But as the Light of Christ pours into our hearts and souls, we melt in His loving presence in order to become molded by Him. We are free to be transparent. After all He is God. He sees everything anyway and still loves us enough to give His life so we can be in communion with Him once again. Through His light, people can clearly see our witness.

Now, occasionally a bit of soot may drop into the hot liquid wax from the wick.  But, in it’s melted state, it is easy to see the soot particles and then scoop them out. Much easier than if there was no flame and the soot became embedded into the solid, cloudy wax. We could dig down deep into the wax and find the soot ourselves, but how much better to let the flame melt the wax so it is easier to see and remove.

Any sootiness we have can be eradicated as well as long as the flame of Christ burns in us.  He fuels our faith, right?  Our sins may be revealed in His fire, but He makes it easier to remove them. Truth be told, we will be less scarred and gouged in the process than if we try ourselves.

No matter what is happening right now in your life, melt into God’s love. Let His fire purify and liquefy you. You will most likely find purpose in your struggles, even if it only used to draw people near to the flame as they marvel at your ability to smile through it all. Or perhaps, a bit of soot will be revealed and removed so you can more clearly reflect His love.

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ID-100210229Jesus said,  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5.

Charles Stanley explains:  “The branch doesn’t make grapes; the sap does. In the same way, the Spirit flows through us, producing God’s love in us, so that we can pass it on to Him and others.”  http://bit.ly/2arv7z2

Want to be a sap? Then you need the Holy Spirit flowing through you. You must be the type of branch that is alive, healthy and strong. And you must be willing to be hollow,right? Hollowness pushes your agenda aside so God’s can flow.

You must be:

S -susceptible to His guidance, so you do not block His flow out of you into someone else.

Aavailable – to be used at any given moment to God’s glory

P penitent – until we have confessed our sins and received His mercy, we are not as open to seeing the mercilessness His Spirit want to produce through us. Our anger, prejudice or hurts may close us in and restrict the flow.

So, pray to be a sap. Then go with the flow.

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Would you think me crazy to say I found God today in my tea cup?

IMAG0126As many of you know already, I ‘m an avid Anglophile. I was weaned on Earl Grey and milk…well, almost. It has always been my comfort drink. When I am hurting, physically or emotionally, just wrapping my fingers around the warm mug and inhaling the soft scent of the tea relaxes me. Then that first creamy sip…hmmm. The world is a better place.

Now, I can drink tea without the cream, but somehow it is not as the same. The swirling white liquid changes the color, the texture and enhances the taste in my opinion. It makes it oh, so much better.

This here is where the God part enters the picture.

My faith acts in much the same way. When I am hurting or frustrated I can wrap my soul around His Spirit. It envelops me and  swirls through me. Immediately, I feel as sense of calm flow over my shoulders and down my back.  When, through prayer, I drink in this holy peace, I begin to feels its effects from the inside out.

I suppose I could exist without my faith. Many people do. They drudge through life with a fatalistic, self-orientated attitude.  But like the cream in my tea, faith enhances my life. It recolors it, IMAG0127enriches its flavor, and makes my day more appealing, no matter what happens.  I really prefer having that dash of soul-cream in my day.  When I pray to my Lord and read His word, it as if I am swirling goodness into my life.

As the tea warms my belly, faith warms my soul.

Of course, there are times I just want to bask in a good cup of tea–just because.  Nothing is making me anxious. My aches and pains are minimal. Life is chuggin’ along just fine. Get the connection? I knew you would.

Enjoy some tea time with your Lord today.

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IMAG0105Ever get a scraggly place on your fingernail. It’s not a break, or even a  chip. Just an almost microscopic rugged spot enough to catch materials, like clothes, hosiery, etc.  And yes, it seems to catch on everything!! A slight aggravation  seems to grow. You rub it against a rough surface, but that doesn’t do it. You need a file, the correct tool.  And, until you can get to that nail file or emery board that rugged place bothers you.

(Guys, tell me you have this problem at times, too. Surely it is not just a girl thing. If not, bear with me. There is a point to this – no pun intended..)

But, once you get the file, it takes work to right the situation. You have to buff it away, feel the place, nope- not smooth enough yet. Buff…feel, nope…file a bit  more.  The thing is, the more you file, the more evident it becomes that the nail is damaged and needs to be re-shaped. At last your nail is smooth, well -shaped and presentable again.

Are you beginning to see the God-connection?

Sin can snag us. Until we bring it to God, it will nag at us, and as we go through the day, or week, or months, it keeps catching on our thoughts and actions. We know it’s there, even if no one else does.

So, we finally carve out time to fall to our knees and give it to our Lord. He scrapes it away, and at first, it makes the sin seem more obvious, so much larger. But with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that sin can be buffed away and we fully restored. Now we can grow again–in the correct direction.

But we know in this fallen world, we will  brush against the harshness of sin again. We women usually carry an emery board in our purses  so we are prepared when an unexpected snag occurs. May we all carry the Holy Spirit that close, and stop to correct the situation the first chance we get. It will make the day go, well, a lot smoother.

 

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John stands knee-deep in the river, day after day. He feels this inner fervency to draw people to repent. So much so that he lives off the land and sleeps under the stars. Relentlessly, he cries out, taking no notice of how he is received.  Maybe, just maybe a few will respond.

Then, one day, the Son of BaptismOfJesusByJohn-787653God,  for whom he has been preparing others to receive, arrives and wants to be baptized as well. John says, “Uh, no. You are the one who should be doing this to me. I am not worthy to untie your sandals.”

But Jesus tells him this is what must be done, and there is purpose in it.   I can picture him as he looked into John’s eyes. I almost hear him say, “Trust me on this. You have to do this. You’ll see why in a minute.”

As he is baptized,  the Holy Spirit comes to bolster Jesus through the next three years of grueling ministry.  God anoints Him for the task. He confirms that Jesus is His Son.

Jesus’ baptism has another purpose as well. It’s is also a foreshadowing of Jesus passing that same Holy Spirit on to each believer who is baptized in His name and receives Him into their lives.  While John baptized for repentance of sins, Jesus takes that and turns it into so much more. John’s baptisms was temporary and temporal.  Jesus’s obedience turned it into a divine and eternal action of our loving and willing-to-forgive Father in Heaven.

Have you ever felt inadequate for a ministry God has called you to do?  Then you can relate to John. But just as Jesus told John that what he was asking him to do was purposeful and necessary, so He tells you. Just do it, trust and then watch what happens. Christ can take your simple acts of obedient talent and manifest Himself into them so they become  significantly more than you ever imagined.. He did it with water jugs at a wedding, with a boy’s meal of fish and bread, and with two pieces of wood tied to make a cross bar in which to punish thieves and murderers.

So, do what Christ is calling you to do, no matter how insignificant it makes you feel. Obey His command. Perhaps the skies won’t open up and an illuminated dove descend. But God will nod and say, “This is my child, with whom I am well pleased.”

 

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We knew it would happen, eventually. It always does. That didn’t make the waiting any easier or the day it arrived less exciting.

ID-10019954Finally the cold front barreled down and broke the sweltering summer temperatures.  A few rumbles of thunder, a welcomed rain storm, and a gust of wind ushered in the relief. It was as if the fridge door had finally been opened onto Texas. Everyone stood with eyes closed in long-awaited bliss and breathed in the coolness– ahhhh.

Windows were thrown open to let in the breeze. Joggers and their dogs scampered on the knolls. Sweaters were dug out of cedar chests and the back of closets. Kids skipped to the school bus.

When I came home, the AC hadn’t kicked on because it was not yet 78 inside, thanks to the cloud-cover and lower temps. But, since the house was still shut tight, it was stuffy and still. So, I dropped my purse and dashed to the windows to lift the sash. Immediately, the cool, fresh air billowed in through the curtains. I could almost hear my furniture heave a sigh of joy.

The Holy Spirit can be that same breath of fresh air in our lives, but – and this is key – we have to let Him in.  Before the Holy Spirit can refresh our lives, we have to throw open the windows of our souls. That means change. And good or bad, change is a scary thing to many people.

But what can be more exhilarating than to have your sins washed away by the Blood of the Lamb so His Spirit takes up residence? How invigorating to have Him sweep away all the stale and gloomy cobwebbed corners of your life with a swish of fresh, clean air!

You know it’s coming.  You know it will be glorious.  You see it ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????happening to others.  You witness them basking in the breath of the Spirit. So, go to your own life, open up your heart, and let Him in.

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When the fires of life’s demands are blazing around you, and the corruption of the world is lapping at your hands and feet and threatening to suffocate you – how do you react?

© Sergiu Bacioiu Dreamstime.com

© Sergiu Bacioiu Dreamstime.com

Recall the three young men – Shadrack, Meshach and Abdenego ? Their story is found in the third chapter of the Book of Daniel. They refused to denounce their faith so the king threw then into the fiery furnace. At first they crouched down. But, instead of the fires consuming them, the Lord came and protected them from the flames. Together, they walked in it and through it.

The Lord promised He would never forsake us (Psalm 37;28), and that He is with us until the end of the ages. (Matthew 28:20). Even when we feel the heat of evil and worldliness flickering around us, He is always present.

We just need to seek Him.  If we cry, “Daddy!?,” He will come. He will take our hand, and walk us through the situation, or if we are too weak to walk, like a heroic fireman, He will carry us out.

As Natalie Grant, and others, sing in the song, In Christ Alone, there is no power of hell nor scheme off man that will ever pluck us from God’s mighty and loving hands.  But even more than that, His holy fire protects us.

In the Texas Hill Country, when a brush fire forms, the volunteers often start a barrier fire in it’s path to thwart it’s  spread.

The fire of the Holy Spirit is stronger than any other fire. He will thwart any scorches of hell or schemes of the secular world from consuming our souls once we ask Him into our hearts. We may feel the heat, but we won’t be eternally singed.  So walk- heh, why not dance?  You have a covering of holy asbestos.

In the midst of the flames, let people know you are “on fire” for Jesus.

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