Church, We Need A Complete And Pure Devotion

This is what Paul said in his pursuit of the bride of Christ:

“For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband — to present a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ. For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!”  2 Corinthians 11:2-4

If you have taken part in or witnessed a wedding, the care the bride took to ready herself most assuredly did not go beyond your notice.  As everyone takes their places before the ceremony commences, all wait in anticipation for the bride to make her approach to the groom.  When the time has come for everyone to behold the bride, emotion fills our heart but not because of any worldly fulfillment.  No, it is spiritual.  God has planted eternity in our human heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and this earthly marriage covenant is only a shadow of the eternal marriage that is to come (Revelation 19:6-9).  That, my friend, is breathtaking.

In our covenant relationship with the Lord, He has vowed promises to us and He is absolutely faithful.  “I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:27)   In this covenant relationship, our allegiance is not left in question.  God secures the completeness of this covenant with his Son’s own blood and with the power of His Spirit!  He initiates it, He secures it, and He guarantees that it will not fail.  He is a promise maker and keeper.  Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness.

The earthly marriage vow we enter into is also a covenant relationship with promises to keep.  Knowing the Lord keeps His promises motivates us to keep our earthly promises.

Just as the bride goes to great lengths to make herself ready for the earthly marriage, NOTHING should distract you with from possessing even more significant momentum to make yourself ready as the bride of Christ; not a mission to ‘save’ a person, no greater good, and no worthy cause.  These desires, as well as many others, are clearly noble causes but if they are detracting you from preparing yourself to be the bride of Christ they most likely are a cunning maneuver of the enemy to seduce your mind from a complete and pure devotion to our Beloved.

Let’s recall Eph. 6:17. The idea of a helmet is to protect the mind, the intelligence, and the ability to think and reason. God’s helmet keeps our thinking straight and preserves us from mental confusion regarding His covenant and who we are in Christ.

“Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself.”  Revelation 19:7

Jesus is the lamb slain (Rev. 5:6, 12, 13:8).  Even when referring to the marriage, our Bridegroom is still mentioned as the Lamb.  When Jesus went to the Father, it was through the crucified flesh.  As the bride, we must also crucify our flesh in preparation to make ourselves ready.

If you are going to make yourself ready you must know what it requires.  One thing He will be looking for is faith (Luke 18:8).  Are you building yourself up in your most holy faith (Jude 1:20)?  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) so don’t waste a day by not being in the Word.  Have your lamp, take your oil, and prepare yourself to meet your Groom (Matthew 25:1-13).  It’s a beautiful thing.

In His grace,

Amanda

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God Sustains The Weary

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of those who are instructed to know how to sustain the weary with a word.  He awakens Me each morning;  He awakens My ear to listen like those being instructed.”  Isaiah 50:4

Whether this speaker is the purified Israel or Isaiah, the spokesperson is a student of God; trained to provide encouragement to those who are weary.  Each morning God awakens him with new insight. (Holman commentary)  THAT is thrilling.  Lord, create a desire in us to be trained so that we can provide encouragement to those who are weary!  Increase our sensitivity to the Spirit and help our willingness to be instructed.

I find it interesting that Solomon admits, “All things are wearisome; man is unable to speak” (Ecclesiastes 1:8a).  Have you discovered that in your weary circumstances it becomes difficult to encourage yourself to pray as you ought, let alone pray boldly?  I sure do.  I have experienced the incredible blessing of having comrades willing to pray for me when I have become wearied which bolsters my faith so that I can stand firm again.  This my friends, is an absolute must during our days under the sun.  It is one of the sweetest blessings God provides in our lives.

It is true we do not need someone to pray on our behalf because each child of God is expected to approach the throne of grace with prayers.  But when the circumstances become difficult the Lord can provide another Believer, full of faith, to sustain our weary souls with a prayer on our behalf. What is remarkable is how we can apply the Romans 10:17 verse to the transformation that occurs in our mind when this prayer occurs.  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  When we become wearied expect someone speaking the Word of God to us or offering a prayer in faith on our behalf to be a demonstration of Romans 10:17.  Expect your faith to increase when you hear Biblical truth!

The prayer of faith will save the wearied person and the Lord will arouse him again! (James 5:15) Hallelujah!  Thank you, Lord God, for giving us words that are powerful to sustain Your weary people.  Awaken me each morning to your instruction.  Your servant is listening.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Do Your Eyes ALWAYS Reveal The Truth?

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  2 Corinthians 5:7

Greetings fellow sojourners!

One method we typically use to confirm something is real is by the witness of our own eyes.  We can see the car we are about to get into and trust it will reliably land us at our destination.  We can also see the bed we are about to crawl into and trust it will support us properly all through the night.  But what about love?  Have we ever seen love itself?  Perhaps we have seen love demonstrated between people but have you ever bumped into love in order to actually behold it?  I think we would agree that just because we have never seen love in and of itself does not mean it does not exist.  We can examine hope in the same way.  What is interesting about hope is that if it is seen it is not hope at all.  For who hopes for what he can already see?

What about a mirage?  Have you ever seen a mirage in a desert or on a scorching highway?  Does it appear like a pool of water exists in the distance but when you approach it you discover there is absolutely no water whatsoever?  If we can’t always believe our own eyes as in this mirage example, can we then surmise our eyes can’t always see everything and therefore we can’t always believe what our eyes reveal as the whole truth?  Sometimes things are revealed to our senses which we then assume most certainly is the case when in fact it is not.  Our Spiritual life many times operates this way.  Our eyes are vital for operating in the natural life but spiritual truths must be discerned spiritually.  Lord, help us to be steadfast and make our way by faith and not merely by the way something appears.

If our eyes do not ALWAYS reveal the truth what then can we trust?  Is that the most difficult question we ever ponder while in the flesh?  If we are proud it will be difficult to admit when we do not know something.  Truth is, we will not know everything.  Period.  There is a source, however, that we can always trust to inform us of the truth and that is God’s word.

Believe by faith regarding the truth and power of the Word, not by whether your fleshly eyes are able to validate it or not.    Faith is what makes us sure of what we hope for, provides proof of what we cannot see, and most importantly wins God’s approval. (Hebrews 11:1-2)  The revelation of our eyes is not faith, it is not hope, and it does not bring the same blessing (John 20:29).

We are told that righteousness demonstrates itself through faith (Hebrews 10:38) which does not rely on our eyes to witness Truth.  An example of this can be seen in Noah’s life.  Noah was warned about things not yet seen and believed in faith even though his eyes did not first behold a sign.  He even spoke bold warnings to his peers because of his faith in what God would do (Hebrews 11:7).

Thank you, Lord for giving me faith.  I ask for an increase in faith so that I can speak Your truth with even more boldness.  Strengthen me to live by faith and hope which I do not require my eyes to reveal and to love even when I see no benefit.  In the name, power, and authority of Jesus I ask and believe.  Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

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