Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Names of God

Elohim - God
El Shaddai - Lord Almighty/ All-Sufficient 
El Elyon - Lord Most High
El Olam - The Everlasting God

Adonai - Lord, Master

Yahweh - Lord, Jehovah
Jehovah Nissi - The Lord my Banner
Jehovah Raah -  The Lord my Shepherd
Jehovah Rapha - The Lord that Heals
Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is There
Jehovah Tsidkenu - The Lord our Righteousness
Jehovah Mekaddishkem - The Lord Who sanctifies you
Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will provide
Jehovah Shalom - The Lord is Peace
Jehovah  Sabaoth - The Lord of Hosts

Friday, December 10, 2010

At The Father's Feet

This morning we asked God anew to speak to us about what He wants us to do. We were guided to Mk. 11: 23 and to speak to selfishness, greed, poor self discipline, disease to be gone and we spoke to wealth, self-control, hearing from God to come. It has been granted and now we just have to protect it against the attempts of Satan and distractions to steal it from us.

We don't want to limit God to what He can do with the wonderful gifts he has given us. Lord, help us to see the big picture and a bigger picture for the ministry you want us to have and to do than we have ever had before. Help us also to see supernatural confirmation and manifestations (Mark 16 - healing, divine protection, casting out of demons, speaking in new tongues, etc. - not in order for us to believe, but because we already believe and to help others to turn to you).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Cares of this World

I've been reading and pondering the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-23) recently and it has really struck me that currently I'm falling into the second and third categories.
Here is my summary of the facts in the parable:

I've placed myself in the second category, because I do get very excited when I listen to a sermon or read a book and learn a new truth about God's Word. I try to apply the newly acquired truth to my life, but I quickly forget about it as I go through my day or week. Within a few days I can't even remember what it was that had me so fired up.

The third category refers to the "weeds" of this world. There are so much distraction today with the television, the internet, responsibilities as mother, wife, and homemaker, financial concerns, hobbies and other pursuits. I feel that instead of all these things simplifying my life and making it easier, it is only complicating it more and more, filling my days and my mind so that it squeezes out the most important aspect of my life - my relationship with my Creator.

I want to be "fertile soil" and I'm coming to the renewed realization that fertile soil takes work, dedication, cultivation and discipline. The desire to BE fertile soil is not going to ensure that I AM. I must take the time to study the Word, meditate on it, ponder how I can apply it to my life and seek God's guidance in everyday situations.

Location where the seed fell
The result
On the path/road that was hardened by many people walking there.
The birds came to eat it.
The person doesn't really pay attention to what is spoken or read, but is distracted.
On rocky ground with shallow soil.
The seed sprang up but was quickly scorched by the sun.
The person gets excited about the Word, but then forgets quickly, especially when things get tough.
Among the weeds.
It was choked by all the overgrowth and weeds.
The person also gets excited, but is so distracted and busy with worldly things, material things, and their own activities, that the Word is pushed out by everything else in that person's life.
Fertile soil.
It grew and produced fruit, 20x, 30x and some 100x.
The person hears the word and it bears fruit in their life, because they cultivate it, mediate on it and live it every day.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fellowship With God - The Key To Success

An intimate relationship with God is key to success, blessing and freedom from the corruptive influences of this world. 

We're reading 2 Peter 1:2-4 today and asking God to reveal to us His purpose and to give us an understanding of His Word. 

 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 

The "knowledge of God" is the core to being blessed. Grace and peace are multiplied in the knowledge of Him. He gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him. We should strive to increase our knowledge of Him if we want to see increased blessing and prosperity, grace and peace in our lives. 

What is the "knowledge of Him"? Does it refer to how well we know the scriptures, how many verses we've memorized? How much factual knowledge we have of God? 

I understand the "knowledge of Him" to refer to the ability to know Him personally. Not to know OF Him, like we would know of a celebrity, but to have an intimate relationship WITH Him. Do I KNOW God? Do I have fellowship with Him in such a way that I do not only speak to Him, but He also speaks to me? 

Another important point is that by having this close relationship and knowledge of God, He has given us precious and awesome promises that gives us the divine power to manage and rise above the temptations, decadence and immorality of this world. I don't have to be touched by the negative fear-mongering news reports, immorality, economic turmoil, and pervasive diseases of today's society. We cannot "escape the corruption that is in the world" through our own will-power and on our own strength. Freedom from the bondage of this world can only be achieved through the "divine nature" of God. 

This divine nature that we can walk in comes from the Holy Spirit: 

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. ~ Acts 1:8 

At the time of salvation and accepting Jesus as Saviour, we receive the Holy Spirit which gives us divine power and authority. However, having the Holy Spirit, and walking in fellowship with the Holy Spirit are two different things. We can be saved, have the Holy Spirit, but not walk in the divine nature that frees us from the world. We MUST seek the "knowledge of Him". 

We must seek His presence, to know Him better, know His Word, know how He thinks and operates. The only way to do that is to truly meditate on His Word, spend time in His presence and do what He leads us to do. 

Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6 

THEN we can "partake" in His "divine nature" because of the promises He made in His word. One of these promises come to mind in the words of Jesus: 

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. ~ John 14:12 

We see this as a progression: 

Fellowship with / Knowledge of God >>> Promises >>> Divine Nature to overcome the world 

Another verse that supports this "cause and effect" is James 4:7

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7 

We must FIRST submit to God which means we must be in relationship with Him. We cannot submit to someone without knowing that person and what we're submitting to. When we walk in submission we have the "divine nature" that gives us the power to "resist the Devil" and we will escape the calamity that the Devil has planned for us. The part that really strikes me is the blessing and physical outcome of this natural progression - "all things pertaining to life and godliness". 

All things pertaining to LIFE refers to everything we need to live....... clothing, food, money, health, etc. Godliness refers to the "divine nature" in which we can walk. Our physical (material) and spiritual needs will be met.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frugal or Cheap

I've been struggling lately with a comment that was made many years ago by someone I knew from church. This person accused my husband and I of having a "poverty mentality". At the time I just assumed this person thought we were "stingy" or cheap and I discarded the comment because I knew that assumption to be false. We consider ourselves to be frugal, but not cheap. I also did not believe that this person's opinion carried any weight, because he didn't know how we lived, never been to our house and never had any conversation with either of us about how we view and manage our resources.
I never gave this statement another thought until recently when we received an extended visit from friends. Although they never made any clear comments on the subject while they stayed with us, my husband and I perceived in their behavior and some remarks that they frowned on the little "cut-backs" we make. Since this recent encounter the "poverty mentality" statement has been haunting me and I'm realizing for the first time that I don't really know what it means. I now regret not asking the person who made the original observation exactly what they meant and what their understanding of "poverty mentality" was.
My husband and I do strive to be frugal wherever we can, but we do it so that we can spend in other areas and also to have more to give to charitable causes. For example, we don't keep a light on in a room if nobody is in the room. I hang our casual "house clothes" on a drying rack after washing, instead of using the dryer, to save on electric and gas.  We save quite a bit by this minor adjustment. Instead of using the oven 3-4 times per week for meals, I plan ahead and double or triple whatever I'm making so that I only use the oven once. I then freeze the extra food or make lunches for my husband for work, and the rest we eat over the next few days.
These are just a few examples, but it is enabling us to splurge when it comes to each of us having a laptop to work on. It enables us to afford organic milk and eggs, since we wish to avoid the hormones and antibiotics found in regular milk and eggs. I've learned to bake bread, including making hamburger buns, and making meat patties with ground beef so that we don't have to visit a fast food restaurant if we're in the mood for a burger. By making it all from scratch, we not only eat healthier food without the artificial preservatives, colorants and flavorings added, but we also save a lot of money. By being frugal, we have also been able to help friends who have become homeless due to circumstances, give more for evangelistic causes, etc.
We are constantly searching for other ways to cut down on expenses and at the same time live healthier and with more resources for other important things. Although this seems like a very practical way to manage resources, our main motivation for being what we define as "frugal" is to live by the biblical principal of stewardship. We believe that everything we own belongs to God and that we are mere stewards in His service. The wiser we can manage His resources, the more we can do to further the spreading of His Gospel.