Feeds:
Posts
Comments

“If you could sneak into Satan’s office, wherever that might be (he’s not in hell yet), and take a peek into his files, you might be surprised to find a file folder with your name on it. I’m not exaggerating. He keeps a file on you, and inside that file are all the strategies he’s tried on you—the ones that have worked and the ones that have failed” (Quote from Dr. David Jeremiah @ preceptaustin.org).

Akk! Satan is real? He has an office? And he has a file on me?

You betcha!

If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you’ve got a bulls-eye on your backside. And there is a real battle going on and whether you want to be or not, you’re a warrior.

What kind of warrior? You get to choose. But sometimes we neglect to put on the armor God provides, choosing instead to engage the enemy in our undershorts and we become casualties.
DSCF2870 005
Casualties with broken homes, broken lives, and broken dreams.

“He doesn’t waste his time with the ones that don’t work anymore. Instead, he uses variations on the strategies that have caused you to stumble in the past. As long as they keep working, he keeps using them. Somewhere in that file cabinet there’s a file labeled: Jeremiah, David. In this file, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was a notation that reads something like this: Subject may be prone to discouragement, especially if he becomes overly weary. This has worked several times before and seems a promising IMG_2653 006method of attack. Suggestion: Make sure he stays very busy, overcommitted, and physically tired. At all costs, keep him from extended times of Bible reading and prayer” (Quote from Dr. David Jeremiah@preceptaustin.org).

What would the devil’s file say about you? Or about me?

Like Dr. Jeremiah, I struggle with maintaining any ability to follow those twenty-five instructions we talked about in Ephesians last week when I’m bone weary and overwhelmed with doing. And for years I’ve written I believe one of Satan’s slickest tricks is to keep God’s children running like those furry little creatures on a hav-i-trail. Trapped in busy work, church work. So busy living life in the fast lane—whizzing by important things God would have us do. Confused, irritated, frustrated and missing His blessing.

“So what is Satan’s strategy for me? He looks for ways to discourage me, and if possible, cause me some depression. He will use whatever people, means, or circumstances it takes to achieve his goal.

It’s the same for you. Maybe your file says, “Frequently tempted to gossip,” or “quick temper,” or “prone to coveting and jealousy,” or “weak in the area of lust” (Quote from Dr. David Jeremiah@preceptaustin.org).

And all this time you had no idea you wore a bulls-eye. A bulls-eye meant to harm or destroy you. Most of the time, we’re not even aware there’s a battle.

God tells us Satan is the prince of the power of the air. And if we could see the spiritual world around us it would scare the bejeebers out of us.

We forget Satan is a toothless lion for the bought-and-paid-for believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a child of God, because of the mercy and grace of God and because of the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, the only power Satan has in your life is what God allows or what you surrender to this enemy. That’s why God tells us to “walk in a manner worth of our calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1 NAS). So we don’t give him an opportunity to get a foot in the door.

How do we get through this mine field of life? Maybe we should hide in the church or under the covers? Right?

Of course not, that’s what the enemy hopes you’ll do. And that’s where the politically correct church in America is today—drowning in fear. Fear of doing saying or standing for something unpopular. They attempt to blend with the scenery, elevating wallflower to a new level of insignificance.

Jesus instructs to “…walk in the Spirit so you will not fulfill the deeds of the flesh.” And get dressed for battle in the armor He provides.

• Gird your loins with His Truth – saturate your mind with scripture

DSCF2530• Put on the breastplate of righteousness – do what is right and good

• Put your feet in the shoes of the gospel of peace – maintain a sure-footed confidence where you stand

• Take up the shield of faith – answer every doubt, trial, and request with complete confidence in The Lord God Almighty and the promises of the Word.

• Put on the helmet of salvation – be absolutely sure you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, forgiven and placed in the Kingdom of God

• And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God – be ready to give an answer to those attacks with the written Word of God you’ve committed to memory

But you say I just want to love everybody, I didn’t sign up to fight a war. Well, dear friend, love isn’t warm fuzzies. If you say no to your child about something that will hurt them, does that mean you don’t love them? Of course not, you say no because you do love them. In the same way, we are to say no to things that will harm us, destroy our children, and corrupt our nation.

God didn’t tell us to charge. He told us to stand firm! After we are dressed in the armor He provides, we are to dig in and to boldly stand firm in His truth.

“Don’t kid yourself, he knows very well where your vulnerabilities lie. It’s all in his file. You’ve heard, perhaps, that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. That’s very good news, but it is also true that Satan hates you and has a plan and strategy to destroy your walk with Jesus Christ” (Dr. David Jeremiah@ preceptaustin.org).

IMG_2625 012But believer, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and instructed to daily wash yourselves with the water of the Word. And therein lies the problem. We walk the aisle pledging our faith in what Jesus did to save us, we get baptized, and we take our seat in the pew. Relaxed. Finished. Smile pasted on our faces thinking we’re done.

Oh no, we’ve only just begun. Begun the journey to know God, His promises, who He is, and what He is going to do. Learning about the power He gives His children to make it through this journey here on earth.

The Word tells us:

“Study to show yourselves approved unto God, a workmanIMG_2644 036 needing not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
You can’t live, teach or share what you don’t know. And that’s why our kids have gone crazy. We haven’t taught them God’s Word ‘cause we didn’t take the time to know God’s Word ourselves. And maybe our parents didn’t know either.

Victory in the battle comes with desiring and seeking to know the Word of God. Knowing and trusting in His promises. It’s a process, precious one, so you’d best get started…today!

“If you could sneak into Satan’s office, wherever that might be (he’s not in hell yet), and take a peek into his files, you might be surprised to find a file folder with your name on it. I’m not exaggerating. He keeps a file on you, and inside that file are all the strategies he’s tried on you—the ones that have worked and the ones that have failed” (Quote from Dr. David Jeremiah @ preceptaustin.org).

Akk! Satan is real? He has an office? And he has a file on me?

You betcha!

If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you’ve got a bulls-eye on your backside. And there is a real battle going on and whether you want to be or not, you’re a warrior.

What kind of warrior? You get to choose. But sometimes we neglect to put on the armor God provides, choosing instead to engage the enemy in our undershorts and we become casualties.
DSCF2870 005
Casualties with broken homes, broken lives, and broken dreams.

“He doesn’t waste his time with the ones that don’t work anymore. Instead, he uses variations on the strategies that have caused you to stumble in the past. As long as they keep working, he keeps using them. Somewhere in that file cabinet there’s a file labeled: Jeremiah, David. In this file, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was a notation that reads something like this: Subject may be prone to discouragement, especially if he becomes overly weary. This has worked several times before and seems a promising IMG_2653 006method of attack. Suggestion: Make sure he stays very busy, overcommitted, and physically tired. At all costs, keep him from extended times of Bible reading and prayer” (Quote from Dr. David Jeremiah@preceptaustin.org).

What would the devil’s file say about you? Or about me?

Like Dr. Jeremiah, I struggle with maintaining any ability to follow those twenty-five instructions we talked about in Ephesians last week when I’m bone weary and overwhelmed with doing. And for years I’ve written I believe one of Satan’s slickest tricks is to keep God’s children running like those furry little creatures on a hav-i-trail. Trapped in busy work, church work. So busy living life in the fast lane—whizzing by important things God would have us do. Confused, irritated, frustrated and missing His blessing.

“So what is Satan’s strategy for me? He looks for ways to discourage me, and if possible, cause me some depression. He will use whatever people, means, or circumstances it takes to achieve his goal.

It’s the same for you. Maybe your file says, “Frequently tempted to gossip,” or “quick temper,” or “prone to coveting and jealousy,” or “weak in the area of lust” (Quote from Dr. David Jeremiah@preceptaustin.org).

And all this time you had no idea you wore a bulls-eye. A bulls-eye meant to harm or destroy you. Most of the time, we’re not even aware there’s a battle.

God tells us Satan is the prince of the power of the air. And if we could see the spiritual world around us it would scare the bejeebers out of us.

We forget Satan is a toothless lion for the bought-and-paid-for believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a child of God, because of the mercy and grace of God and because of the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, the only power Satan has in your life is what God allows or what you surrender to this enemy. That’s why God tells us to “walk in a manner worth of our calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1 NAS). So we don’t give him an opportunity to get a foot in the door.

How do we get through this mine field of life? Maybe we should hide in the church or under the covers? Right?

Of course not, that’s what the enemy hopes you’ll do. And that’s where the politically correct church in America is today—drowning in fear. Fear of doing saying or standing for something unpopular. They attempt to blend with the scenery, elevating wallflower to a new level of insignificance.

Jesus instructs to “…walk in the Spirit so you will not fulfill the deeds of the flesh.” And get dressed for battle in the armor He provides.

• Gird your loins with His Truth – saturate your mind with scripture

DSCF2530• Put on the breastplate of righteousness – do what is right and good

• Put your feet in the shoes of the gospel of peace – maintain a sure-footed confidence where you stand

• Take up the shield of faith – answer every doubt, trial, and request with complete confidence in The Lord God Almighty and the promises of the Word.

• Put on the helmet of salvation – be absolutely sure you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, forgiven and placed in the Kingdom of God

• And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God – be ready to give an answer to those attacks with the written Word of God you’ve committed to memory

But you say I just want to love everybody, I didn’t sign up to fight a war. Well, dear friend, love isn’t warm fuzzies. If you say no to your child about something that will hurt them, does that mean you don’t love them? Of course not, you say no because you do love them. In the same way, we are to say no to things that will harm us, destroy our children, and corrupt our nation.

God didn’t tell us to charge. He told us to stand firm! After we are dressed in the armor He provides, we are to dig in and to boldly stand firm in His truth.

“Don’t kid yourself, he knows very well where your vulnerabilities lie. It’s all in his file. You’ve heard, perhaps, that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. That’s very good news, but it is also true that Satan hates you and has a plan and strategy to destroy your walk with Jesus Christ” (Dr. David Jeremiah@ preceptaustin.org).

IMG_2625 012But believer, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and instructed to daily wash yourselves with the water of the Word. And therein lies the problem. We walk the aisle pledging our faith in what Jesus did to save us, we get baptized, and we take our seat in the pew. Relaxed. Finished. Smile pasted on our faces thinking we’re done.

Oh no, we’ve only just begun. Begun the journey to know God, His promises, who He is, and what He is going to do. Learning about the power He gives His children to make it through this journey here on earth.

The Word tells us:

“Study to show yourselves approved unto God, a workmanIMG_2644 036 needing not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
You can’t live, teach or share what you don’t know. And that’s why our kids have gone crazy. We haven’t taught them God’s Word ‘cause we didn’t take the time to know God’s Word ourselves. And maybe our parents didn’t know either.

Victory in the battle comes with desiring and seeking to know the Word of God. Knowing and trusting in His promises. It’s a process, precious one, so you’d best get started…today!

In my younger years I refused to make lists. Thought they were a waste of time, troublesome, definitely not my thing. Then I grew DSCF7591older and I’d forget things.

Trips to the grocery store became jumbled journeys, having to return multiple times for items forgotten. So I succumbed to jotting a few DSCF7575things on the back of an envelope as I headed for the aisles and found what I neglected to write on the list I forgot.

Books are written about lists. There are lists for everything. Grocery lists, ingredient lists, menu lists, to-do lists, password lists, Christmas card lists, address lists…blah, blah, blah. Our lives are consumed with lists. Lists to remember to make lists.

Why?

Because we forget.

Unmentioned things fall through the cracks as the clutter of our lives buries the important, allowing whatever screams the loudest to take control. And that’s the way he likes it! Clamor and chaos. Satan steps back, surveys the damage, brushes his hands and walks away. Satisfied with a job well done—according to his schemes.

Look around. What do you see?

And where is this enemy of your soul busiest creating this age old dynamic? Yep, in the church and in the home. Because of folks, just like me, don’t like lists nor margins. Folks who live life in the fast lane. Folks whose to-do list is always the longest.

Did you know God gave us lists?

One of the first God lists appears in the Book of Exodus. Uh-huh, the Ten Commandments. A list of ten things meant to be a yardstick to show Israel the error of their ways. Oh, that doesn’t apply to us, you say, we’re under the New Covenant. Grace.

Really?

We’ve been studying Ephesians (New Covenant grace related scripture) and you know what, I found—another God list. Yep, but expanded. Twenty-five life-changing instructions, commandments, statements where God said walk this way.

And if we obeyed (Oh, there’s that word again. Same word ancient Israel struggled with) …if we obeyed God’s lists, Satan would flee and America would be restored. And all twenty-five commands are about relationships.

I’ve simplified them and listed them in order and hope you’ll take the time to read my list, then go to Ephesians, verify, and question how many of these instructions you struggle to obey. Remember this was written to the Church at Ephesus—to a body of believers. And preserved for the Church today.

• Lay aside lying. Speak truth, each one with his neighbor. We are members of one another.
DSCF7593• Be angry, but don’t sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, because you give the devil and opportunity.
• Don’t steal. Work. Performing with your own hands what is good so you have something to share with those in need.
• Don’t speak rotten words, but speak words that edify and give grace to those who hear.
• Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who sealed you for the day of redemption.
• Put all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice away from you.
• Be kind to each other. Tender-hearted. Forgiving each other—just like Christ has forgiven you.
• There must be no immorality, impurity, or greed among God’s people.
• There must be no filthiness, silly talk, or coarse jesting among God’s people, but rather giving of thanks.
• Don’t be deceived with empty words.
• Don’t be partakers with the sons of disobedience. Walk as children of Light.
• Don’t participate in unfruitful deeds of darkness. Expose them.
• Walk as wise men, not as unwise men. Because the days are evil.
• Do not be foolish. Understand what the will of the Lord is.
• Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
• Speak to each other with psalms. Let your spirit make a thanksgiving melody in your heart to the Lord.
• Always give thanks for all things in the name of Jesus.
• Be subject to one another in the fear (respect) of Christ.
• Wives, be subject to your own husbands—as to the Lord.
• Husbands, love your wife. Nourish and cherish her just like Christ does the Church.
• Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.DSCF7594
• Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
• Slaves (we could compare this to employee-employer relationships) be obedient to those who are your masters (according to the flesh) with a sincere heart.
• Masters, be good to slaves and give up threatening, knowing both their Master and yours is in heaven. There is no partiality with God.
• Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so you can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Are these easier to obey than the Ten Commandments? No. Are they impossible to obey? Not if you know them. So what’s the problem? We don’t know what God requires of us because our copy of the Word sits on the shelf, collecting dust.

If your husband, wife or boyfriend/girlfriend wrote you love letters and you refused to open and read them, how would you maintain that relationship? A relationship with God the Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit—requires time. Time to read, listen, understand, and know the Word of God.

There are no magic wands, no hocus-pocus, just relationships with God and with each other. Children growing to maturity in Jesus, in the Spirit, in the Church. Because—

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NAS).

Yes, those bought and brought by the blood are family. So Church, let’s “try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” by reading and remembering and practicing what Satan wants us to forget—nourishing and cherishing each other just as Christ loves the Church.

WORLD BLOG HOP

In this enormous Cyberspace World it’s increasingly obvious we are but wisps in the wind. I pound the keyboards each week, flinging my words into the airwaves of the universe to land where they may.

Last week I received an exciting invitation from friend and fellow Prism author, Rachel James, to join this blog hop of recommended artists, writers, and creative Christian minds. The purpose? To help you find authors whose words tickle a lasting harmony across the chords of your heart.

Each one of us is asked to answer four questions for you, so here goes:

What am I working on?

Always on the ADHD side, I’m never working on one thing. Brain’s just not wired that way. In late September God opened the door and I signed with Prism Book Group for publication of my MG/YA western adventure Roped. And while working on the edits and publicity plans for introducing rodeo gals, Crissy Crosby and Jodie Lea Fairgate to the world, I’m also twelve chapters into Twisted—Roped’s sequel.

I’ve typed the first few chapters of my WIP which was to be titled The Scarlet Cord, ‘til I found out another Prism author has just published one under that title. No problem. Titles change all the time.

These words have been playing ping pong in my head for four years and will be the stories of folks who’ve been through the loss of a loved one and found the comfort of God at GriefShare.

There are also several other books I’ve written and illustrated laying in a drawer, waiting to be discovered.

How does my work differ from others of my genre?

Well, I’m an artist, as well as a writer, and tend to look at stories like a painting—in shades and hues of brilliant colors and deep, dark blacks. The fact I’m older than dirt gives me a different perspective of life’s issues. My husband just calls me different. Very, very different. Hmmm.

Why do I write what I do?

When I was fifteen I won a writing contest with a short article entitled The Basis of a Great Nation Is A Christian Home. And all these years later I’ve come to realize how profound my topic was—then and now. You can’t teach what you don’t know. That’s why so many of our young people have no clue about God’s Word—Mom and Dad don’t know. My purpose is to teach both parent and child—one spoonful at a time. One life lesson at a time. One hardship and loss at a time.

How does my writing process work?

I’m what is fondly, or not, referred to as a seat-of-the-pants writer. And that’s my modes operandi for life—God gives the idea, I shift into gear and push the pedal to the floorboard. Yeehaaa! I make organized and sane people crazy. Having been a legal secretary for years, my fingers fly as fast as my thoughts. Then the real work begins—editing. And editing. And more editing. But that first draft is sheer delight. At least for me. For my edit group? Not so much.

Look for Roped to be released hopefully next Fall.

Be sure to visit Rachel James’ blog at:

http://l.facebook.com/l/ZAQFuuAxuAQG2yVm4lc9BSB-Uqe99ReiZ6za60oov2Dcl1g/www.rachelajames.com

NOW…ON WITH THE TOUR. WELCOME MY FRIEND AND AUTHOR HEATHER BLANTON!

heather_hat(3)

Heather started writing when she was five; her first tale was a ghost story that her mom typed up for her on a Brother typewriter. Over the years, she has worked as a journalist for newspapers, magazines, and blogs. She has also spent decades in the corporate communications field, marketing everything from software to motorcycles. (Did she really just say “decades”?)

Heather has two sisters whom she loves dearly. One is still with us, the other crossed over to be with Lord in 1999 and it is she who inspired the character of Hannah in her Defiance series of books.

Heather grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne Westerns. Her most fond memories are of sitting next to her dad, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester! She loves exploring out West and would happily spend all her time researching and exploring ghost towns till the cows come home.

She lives with her husband and two adventurous boys on a farm outside Raleigh, NC. They enjoy riding practically anything with four legs or two wheels, and being outdoors.

Author, A Lady in Defiance

https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton

https://twitter.com/heatherfblanton

919.697.0404 (cell)

http://ladiesindefiance.com/my-novel-blog/

I’m pleased to have my friend and author, Jewell Tweedt, visit with us on my blog today. Jewell’s book A Bride for the Sheriff was released this week and is available on Amazon.com.

Jewell, tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks, DiAne. I have written the fictional series, The Back to Omaha Adventures, and the newly published diary, Gold in My Pocket. And this week Prism Book Group has released my novel A Bride for the Sheriff. I’m a field editor for Our Iowa magazine, and I teach American History and love to read, watch old movies and anything Okoboji.

You can read more about Jewell at her blog site tweedtjewell.blogspot.com. Take a look at this cover and blurb from this must read new book.

“Claire cocked back the trigger and fired. Bud staggered back, a look of disbelief on his face. A patch of crimson blossomed on his left shoulder, and he fell to the ground, blood forming in a pool around his body. Claire looked at the gun and the body before her in wide-eyed horror. Her legs went rubbery and the yard spun. She clutched the barn wall to steady herself. Tom where are you? Her world went black.”

The past few weeks our nation has been swept into the turmoil of Nurse Kaci Hickox and her rebellious shenanigans to escape quarantine upon returning from working in Africa among diseased Ebola patients. Even though she is schooled to know the truth of this deadly disease, she insists on playing the odds with her life, the lives of her loved ones, and the remainder of those her life touches.

And the media has swarmed like rabid flies at a summer picnic over Miss Hickox and her boyfriend and their refusal to abide by nationwide standards. This woman has stolen media time from ISIS beheadings, elections that could change the direction of our nation, and countless stories of heartache and despair. All for her boorish self-centered behavior.
Hot in the Kitchen.jpg 1
But how about the endless list of lies that have swallowed our people, our nation, and our world in the last fifty years?

• A woman has the right to determine whether or not the baby, living in her womb, lives or dies.

• If I want to dissolve a family, toss away a mate and sleep with another—there’s no fault.

• A person can kill another person on the whim of you name it and be exonerated or sentenced to mere months behind bars.

• Child molesters get their hands slapped and are released to repeat their crimes, over and over again.

• Elected officials lie, cheat, and steal and face no public humiliation, removal from office, or legal penalty.

• And state by state our judicial branch strips the American people of their right to rule their land by saying we must accept what is an abomination before God. That act which even animals don’t participate—homosexuality.

While the disease-spreading hordes of media flies refuse to report, speak, and influence truth.

Truth has stumbled in the streets of America.

And Americans, just like that rogue nurse, wander aimlessly about plucking dried-up dandelions, hoping, wishing, and blowing the seeds of those invasive weeds to the wind.

Seeds of evil weeds that scatter and take root in the minds and hearts of families, communities, schools, and churches, bringing unrest, unbelief, and tragedy to people ignorant or dismissive of the Word of God. Irresponsible people. People foolish enough to ride these wild waves of doubt and deception and are crushed in the undertow of subterfuge, dragging their children and friends who refuse to believe in the absolute truth of God to an eternal judgment and tragic destination.

A destiny that Christ suffered, bled, and died to save them from
God’s Word is still the Truth. God’s Word is still Love. Everything else may whither and die but the Word of God will stand forever. It is our plumb line. And when you go to the polls tomorrow you will vote for or against the Word of God.
Hot in the kitchen 2
• A vote for a candidate supporting abortion is a vote against the Word of God.

• A vote for a homosexual candidate or one supporting same sex marriage is a vote against the Word of God.

• A vote for eye-winking at stealing, lying, perverting justice, and destroying what God created is against the Word of God.

• A vote for hatred of one another is a vote against the Word of God.

• A vote against the Lord Jesus Christ, Messiah and Lord, is a vote against the Word of God.

It is long past time for the church of Jesus Christ to stand up, proclaim the Truth of God’s love and sacrifice for His creation and snatch those who will believe from the eternal flames.

Ask people in Syria, Iraq, and other parts of the world what happens when evil is allowed to rule. Unless we stand for Truth now, we will be partakers in their horror and persecution tomorrow.
Hot in the Kitchen 4
“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all things. Better is the poor who walk in his integrity, than he who is crooked though he be rich. He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination. When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves. An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous increase.

When the righteous increase the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan. If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked. Many seek the ruler’s favor; but justice for man comes from the Lord” (Proverbs 28 and 29 NIV).

FRESH EYES

Vacations are wonderful things—times to relax, unwind, regain perspective—so we return with fresh eyes and a renewed spirit to tackle the challenges of life.

My husband and I returned yesterday afternoon from a week’s vacation in Maine and when I walked in our front door a whiff of house-e-tosis curled my nose hair.

Our fresh vacationed eyes rested upon a heap of garbage and gunk we had grown accustomed to in the middle of the kitchen floor. The place was nasty and I determined to clean up and toss out offensive odors and clutter we had allowed to swarmed our home and cloud our vision for goodness knows how long.

This morning I charged out of bed intent on shifting into hyper-cleaning mentality. However, my Precept homework was a week behind, so I grabbed a cup of coffee, my Bible, and study notebook and headed for my chair.

I turned back to the previous lesson for a quick catch-me-upper. And found Paul’s prayer for those Ephesian believers so on point with my state of mind today I had to ponder, pray, and then write this post.

In Ephesians 3:14-21 Paul asked God for five things for you—for me—for all believers for all time:

• That God would grant I be strengthened with power through His Spirit in my inner man.
• That Christ may dwell in my heart through faith.
• That I be rooted and grounded in love.
• That I may be able to comprehend the breadth, length, height, and depth of God’s love.
• That I may be filled up to all fullness of God.

Then Kay Arthur asked us to go to our Strong’s Concordance and look up the meaning of the word “dwell”. “That Christ may dwell in my heart through faith.” The Greek word is “katoikeo” and means “to house permanently, i.e. reside. Or “to settle down in a dwelling, to dwell fixedly in a place.”

Just like I’d grown accustomed to the odor of my house and had overlooked cobwebs in the corners, dust on the baseboards, and sticky stuff on the floors—fresh eyes showed me red zones of squalor. Squalor that needed my attention. Attention that required action to make my house clean. Presentable.

And as God always does, He shined the light of this knowledge deep in my soul where the real house cleaning needed to occur. Several phrases leaped off the page and jabbed my heart.

That I be rooted and grounded in love. That’s right rooted and grounded in love—not rooted and grounded in faith. Ouch! That changes the whole picture doesn’t it? The first part of that verse sets the perimeters: “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love…”

We were in Washington and Boston part of last week and this area of IMG_1897 342

IMG_1806 348

the country is far removed from the Texas way of life. Vast numbers of folks reside in a much smaller space. Dusty, dirty, loud commuter trains take folks everywhere. You see life up close and personal…and personal is always yucky when you look through critical eyes. Having just come from a city concerned about the spread of Ebola, I saw DSCF6767squalor, pictured lurking germs, and looked down my nose at their dirt and noise—ignoring the beam in my own eye.

This morning I wonder what Christ sees when He looks at me? A heart “rooted and grounded in love”? That would be another “ouch”.

What does He see in your heart?

But wait, it gets better (or should I say intimately more uncomfortable). From verses 14 through 19, each verse is conditional upon the former. If Christ doesn’t dwell—hasn’t come in, settled down, and resided in our heart—we can’t be rooted and grounded in love—love comes from our Lord. Nor can we, regardless of our education or church standing “comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth, or know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

So folks, before I begin my Fall housecleaning this morning I am compelled to “bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,” and confess the squalor in my own heart—my lovelessness—my critical spirit—my judgmental nature.

Christ tells us in that day He will tell many who depended on their good works—those who looked down their nose at would be brothers and sisters in Christ for whatever the reason, but cared for themselves, grumbled, found fault, caused divisions, worldly minded, devoid of the Spirit; those with faces painted pious, who never participated in anything beyond an hour on Sunday morning; those who lacked roots of love—these He told, “…depart from Me. I never knew you.” Or in essence…I never moved in, settled down and dwelt in your heart. I don’t know you.

‘Cause when the Holy Spirit lives in your heart, His love shows up in every area of your life. You can’t remain the same because you’ve become a citizen of the Kingdom of Light. You’ve had a heart transplant.

But are the arteries of your heart clogged with pride? Are your veins so corroded with the appetites and longings of the flesh there’s no room for the wind and fire of His Spirit to light your soul like He did with Moses on that mountain top so long ago? Or Abraham, or with David, a man whose heart beat with God’s allowing his soul be illuminated with lyrics and songs of praise to his Lord?

Don’t know about you, but today I’m cleaning Jesus dwelling place and asking “…according to the riches of His glory,” that I “…be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man…”

With fresh eyes I’ll guard my heart for trespasses, offensive odors, a haughty disposition, and a critical spirit which tend to seep in and create squalor. Needing, desiring, pleading instead to be filled with the fullness of God each and every day ‘til Jesus comes.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal…Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” (I Corinthians 13: 1-8(a) NKJ).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 972 other followers