Poured Out Grace

Are you feeling Divinely Inspired and Victoriously Anointed today?  Hallelujah!   Let us be among those the Lord counts as obedient so He will cause our enemies (seen and unseen) who rise up against us to be defeated before us!  When our enemy marches out against us in one direction may the Lord cause them to flee from us in seven! (Deuteronomy 28:7)  Shall we join together in obedience to the instruction of Ephesians 4:29?  I stand with a Yes!  How about you?

“No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need so that it gives grace to those who hear it.”  I think we can all get a picture of the importance of having “no foul language come from our mouth” if our goal is to lead people towards Christ.  Foul language could be a stumbling block and one we would not desire to put in anyone’s path.  But what about language that is “good for building up someone in need”?  The remainder of the verse reads, “so that it gives grace to those who hear it.”  We can all be counted among those who have made mistakes.  You can probably count several you have made in the last week alone.  If you are like me, you have also been around people who are quick to point out your errors and bring them to your attention.  Maybe you have been guilty of doing the same?  But glory and praise to God if you have been blessed by someone who sees your error and has quickly expressed that you are either forgiven, that it is OK, or that they understand!  In that situation have you sensed grace extended to you?  A person with that ability has freely received grace from the Lord and has therefore been able to freely extend to others.  Would you agree it is a building up?  Someone receives a filling from the Lord, notices the need of another (this does not require a significant error but can be something trivial) and pours out grace.

Let us be challenged to begin our day purposefully building up our household members, taking no account of our own needs (because we go to the Lord for our filling).  Then off to our meetings, seeking still more of His creation to build up with grace (again taking no account of our own needs).  Anytime we have an encounter with someone and we notice an error, an uncomfortableness, a shyness, a burden…we pass on some of that abundant grace that we have been filled with!   What if we have not been filled?  Go to The Source and ask for it!  How about if we go so far as to completely empty ourselves to others and then run back to the Lord for more filling and we are ready for the next time?  Can you imagine what that would look like?

Thank you Lord that you fill us up so that we can be a vessel of grace to pour out to our spouses, our other household members…and beyond!  We pray that our conversations will always be full of grace and seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6) because we so desire to extend Your love and grace to others.  Help us to rid ourselves of all anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language (Colossians 3:8) so we can be a vessel ready to pour out Your grace to others.  Give us a heart that desires to build someone up so they can see the love of their Savior.  Thank you Jesus for the opportunity!

In His grace,

Amanda

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A Fast with Authenticity

As we contemplate the way we approach the Lord, the way we offer Him our fast, and the way we bow our hearts to Him, please pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17) and a heart that is teachable before you proceed.  Thank you Lord.

“Why have we fasted, but You have not seen?  We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed!  Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast…You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist.  You cannot fast as you do today, hoping to make your voice heard on high.  If you get rid of the yoke among you, the finger-pointing and malicious speaking, and if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like noonday.  The LORD will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones.  You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry.  Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will restore the foundations laid long ago, you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of streets where people live.” (Isaiah 58:3-4, 9b-12)  Take the time to read this over continuously!  Read it until the words of truth penetrate your heart and you are escorted not only to the path of understanding but to repentance.  Thank you Lord for the opportunity!

Are we rebellious even when we fast?  “Will the fast I choose be like this:  A day for a person to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?  Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD? (Isaiah 58:5)  Do we have mere surface sincerity as we approach our time of fasting?  Or is our heart pricked to sorrow as we behold our deep need for the Lord’s power and mercy!  As in these verses do we claim to deny ourselves before God, and wonder why He has not yet responded?  Are we wanting Him to intervene in specific areas of our lives yet deny Him complete access to other areas?  Is God not responding to our request for intervention because we are not authentic?  Remembering that God shall not be mocked (Galatians 6:7), He recognizes if our fast and approach to Him is manipulative.  Oh Lord work a sorrowful repentance in our prideful hearts!  We desire Your life!

Let us join together and approach our fast not from a habit rooted in obligation.  Instead, let us offer our fast as a true denial of self and humbly ask the Lord from the sincerity of our souls, to assist us in our time of need.  If we have fumbled for years with sincerity let’s be bold and confess our lack and expect a filling!  Shall we reason together that as we admit our shortcomings to Him we are not revealing issues of which He is not already aware?  (He knows we all fall short of His glory.  Romans 3:23)  It is an admittance brought to the light, which now is available for the Lord to apply a healing work of ministry.  Hallelujah!  We praise you Lord and seek You as we humbly lay our requests before your astonishing throne of grace.

Amanda

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The Peace in Thankfulness

“Let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts.  Be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15  How shall we have peace in our hearts in the midst of adversity?  Jesus tells us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”  We let peace, which originates from and gifted by the Messiah, have complete access to our hearts and minds!  His peace must not only be in us but go before us.  Would you allow the peace of the Spirit to go before you in all your actions?  Before you enter a situation, consider the Spirit.  Before you speak, consider the Spirit.  Before you act, consider the Spirit.  Before you rest, consider the Spirit.  Do you get the idea?

The final exhortation in Colossians 3:15 is to “be thankful”.  Would you agree that expressing thankfulness is closely associated with possessing peace?  Jesus gives us His peace.  Shall we fully embrace it?  If we seek peace from another source we will find it fleeting and unable to meet the requirement of our thirsty soul.  With fullness of heart let us be actively thankful for the peace Jesus has offered us!  Are you willing, from the overflow of your heart, to vocalize thankfulness to the Lord today for His complete mercy and grace that has been extended to you?  Would you be so bold as to even thank Him for the adversity in your life knowing it shall be used to perfect you?  Yes Lord let it be so!  Here is another challenge.  Thank your husband for all he has offered you.  If this is not applicable to you (you are not married), how about thanking those in your family (even a child) for the opportunity they have provided to strengthen and encourage you (if it is through adversity, be mindful of your words – phrasing them in an honoring way.  A thankful heart is able to recognize the good.)

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to speak the truth in thanksgiving to you and others!  Your word says to give thanks in everything (joy and adversity, happiness and sorrow, peace and grief), for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  We thank you Lord for everything! (Ephesians 5:20) In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we thank you!  Use your opportunity to tell everyone!

In His grace,

Amanda

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In Service to the Lord

“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord.  You serve the Lord Christ.”  Colossians 3:23-24  Not every bible has headings over portions of scripture.  If yours does, I am curious what it would read over these verses.  The Holman reads “Christ in Your Home.”  Does it spark your curiosity?  The verses preceeding these gives directives for wives, husbands, children, fathers and slaves.  Verses 23-24 could be read as a continuation of direction for slaves towards their masters but I see it applying to all those addressed in this section.  If you are in agreement let’s pray and read on!  Thank you Lord for your inspired word.  I pray it brings truth and light to our walk.   What an opportunity we have to allow Your light to shine through us so others can behold Your glory through our daily activities!  Show us that the things we do are not mere tasks needing accomplishment but rather an opportunity You have given us!  In service to You, help us to be delightful.  In the mighty name of Jesus we pray!

Whatever you do (“whatever” service “you do” for your household members such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, shopping, preparations, straightening up…you get the picture) do it enthusiastically (as well as “whatever you do” in relationships such as communication, loving, assisting, forgiving, caring for…) as something done for the Lord (as a show of thanksgiving for what He has done on your behalf) and not for men (We are a servant to the Lord first and foremost.  The service we perform is a loving sacrifice to Him.  It is laid upon the altar and others enjoy the secondary benefit of the act.  We shall lay aside our fleshly need for acknowledgement and offer our service as a gift to God.  Can you picture it all?)  You serve the Lord Christ (as opposed to any other person…including ourselves).

The Lord instructed the Israelites on the importance of presenting the “firstfruits” of the land as an offering to the Lord their God (Exodus 23:19a, 34:26a, Numbers 18:12).  They were to offer their best to Him in thanksgiving for all He had done for them.  Afterwards, everyone benefited from the remaining “fruit”.  From this illustration can you see how the Lord desires us to serve Him by offering Him our best?  The next time you prepare a meal, clean the house, or perform any other activity the Lord has graced you with the unique ability to perform, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord.  Offer Him the “firstfruit” of your labor.  Will the sacrifice ascend from the altar as a pleasing aroma?  Oh Lord let it be so!

In His grace,

Amanda

 

 

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Are You Vigilant?

“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”  Proverbs 4:23  The word “guard” is a Hebrew word that means to watch, protect, and maintain.  It is a word that demonstrates action.  If you effectively “guard, watch, protect or maintain” your heart can you imagine there is any way of achieving that goal passively?  It’s doubtful.  How do you guard your children?  What measures would you take to protect them from danger?  How would you guard a large sum of money on the streets of Detroit? (one of the most dangerous cities)  I am sure you can imagine several attempts to rob you of your money.  The enemy also devises ways to rob you of your heart’s contentment.  This verse suggest that you should guard your heart “above all else”.  However you are prepared to “guard, watch, protect, or maintain” your child from danger you should be willing to extend exceedingly more effort when it comes to guarding your heart.

What do you do  when your heart feels oppressed, neglected, rejected, battered, prideful, angry, jealous, burdened, suspicious, confident, peaceful, or even…blessed?  You guard your heart.  You recognize the creeping emotion when your heart is troubled.  It is in that initial moment you should guard your heart and recite the truth of scripture.  Think of scenarios that have the ability to influence your emotions.  These are the times your heart should be well guarded by the truth.  Remember the armor of God? (see the Full armor post)  Have you ever said something you wish you hadn’t?  Or wish you had said something you didn’t? (all in truth to build someone up)  From the overflow of the heart…the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).  After all, the heart determines the course of life.

Strengthen us Lord to understand the empowerment of being a warrior in the army of the living God!  At all times we shall guard our hearts from attacks from the evil one as well as from our own destructive thinking when we let our armor slip.  May we be yielded to your Holy Spirit for guidance just as You have purposed it.  We desire to be delightful!  By the The Name that makes it all possible – Jesus.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – NIV

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life – NLT

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life – ESV

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts – The Message

In His grace,

Amanda

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