Frankly Speaking- “Idea from a Prayer”


on Emmaus Road.jpg

And they said to one another,
“Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road,
and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32

I must admit that I get ideas from the most unusual places. These thoughts today came from another man’s prayer! At a men’s prayer time for our church, one of the men, Dr. Byron “Dad” Tippey, a retired college professor, made reference to the two men on the road to Emmaus. During his prayer he mentioned what they did and did not have as they were returning to Emmaus. When I got home, I tried to put down some of what he said. It goes something like this:

What did they have?
1. Doubts—was He the promised Messiah or not?
2. Disappointments—He died! How could this have happened?
3. Despair—they were leaving for another place. The Kingdom of
Heaven didn’t come!
4. Discouragement—they had worked so hard for and with Him.
They had failed.
5. Dejection (i.e.—downcast)— What’s the use of going on?
6. Depression—they were running away. Their ‘old’ life was
better!

Then Jesus shows up and starts walking with them. Believe it or not, they almost missed Him! Here’s what they almost missed:
1. His Presence—He was there but they didn’t see Him!
2. His Promises—His Word holds truth and life and light!
Regardless of the circumstances!
3. His Purpose—to be the salvation for ALL men as it was written
in the Scriptures.
4. His Power—the scars in His hands revealed He indeed had
come back!
5. His Prayer—we don’t know what He prayed but it opened their
eyes!

“Dad” Tippey that day finished his prayer by saying, “they almost missed the BLESSING of Him being there!” WOW! Powerful thoughts, huh?

I don’t know what you are going through at the moment, but let me encourage you to think through the 6 D’s above and add your own situation.

Then lay hold of and don’t ever let go of the 5 P’s! HE IS ALIVE! And He is still here! (Via His Holy Spirit!)

Oh, there’s one more thing. When those two disciples from Emmaus realized it was Jesus who was with them, they returned to Jerusalem to tell the others. There’s a principle here for you: when you see Jesus in your situation and how He has helped you and prayed for you, then return, meaning—tell others, what He has done for you!

Blessings!

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Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace


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I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

What picture does the word Peace paint in your mind?

For some it is a beautiful ocean scene with emerald blue water and rolling waves that softly glide onto white sandy beaches. Yet, for others it means a rustic log cabin set back in the piney woods with a creek gently flowing out front. Maybe for you it is a grand mountain range with deep, vast canyons and majestic mountains that seem to reach the sky.

No matter what picture comes to mind when you think of peace, it can never compare to that moment when God’s peace sweeps over your weary soul. The most beautiful landscape you could imagine could not compare to the peace that passes all understanding, the peace that only Jesus can bring.

Have you experienced that peace? I surely have many times.

Oftentimes when we think of peace, our minds tend to also picture a worry-free setting. We are quick to assume that peace means a lack of trouble. However, as I was reading in Acts 12 this morning, I came across a verse that caught my attention. In my mind it painted a rather unusual picture of peace. Acts 12:16 tells us, “And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.”  

In order to fully grasp this picture of peace, let us go back just a moment and examine what is going on in this passage. Prior to Peter being imprisoned, he has had to endure seeing his fellow disciple, James, put to death at the hand of Herod. Now Peter finds himself imprisoned,no doubt facing the same fate that he has just watched James meet.

Now, we can continue our discussion on peace. Does the word peace come to mind when you read this story? Understandably not. So, how is it possible that we find Peter sleeping in this passage? Peace, Friend. It is because of that peace that passes all understanding that Peter can find himself chained between two guards, seemingly facing death, yet he sleeps.

I dare not say that I would handle such a situation the same way. Recently I have been going through some trials much less than imprisonment and death, and still I find myself worrying. Complaining. Fretting over things of which I have no control. I forgot to choose peace. I chose to place my focus on my problems rather than giving them to God and resting in His Peace.

Friend, I am reminded this morning that peace is a choice. Peace should not rely on our circumstances. Peace can not and should not be measured by our surroundings. We, like Peter, should choose peace in the middle of even the most dire situations. Peace can only be found in Jesus. You see, when we take our focus off of our problems and put it on Jesus, then and only then can He give us the Peace that we see in Peter. We can rest, right in the middle of our trial, knowing that God is working for us.

Will you choose peace today? Will you choose to stop looking at all that is wrong around you and focus on the One who holds you in His hand? It is a choice. Today, I choose peace. I choose the peace that passes all understanding. I choose to rest in Jesus today. I pray you will do the same.

 

 

Your Past Does not Define You


future

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Do you ever reminisce? Do you like to sit with family or friends and talk about the way things used to be? Maybe you discuss experiences you have had or lessons you have learned?  Does your past ever trip you up? Maybe there are things that you would rather forget.

I would say I fall into both categories. I love to sit with family and listen to old stories being told. I enjoy the memories that go through my head as my brother and I reminisce about our younger years at home together. I laugh with my husband as we remember our dating years. Yet amid all the fun memories there are many I would rather not speak of. There are sections of my past which I am happy to leave right where they are. There are even some over which I still trip from time to time.

One of my favorite parts of a new year is the feeling of freshness that comes with it. For me it is like turning the page in a book and beginning a new chapter. Sure, you can go back and visit the previous pages if you would like, but oh the excitement that comes with the many blank pages that lie ahead, just waiting to be filled! The possibilities are endless.

Many times, however, the devil wants to steal that joy from us. Yes, he wants to hold us back, to bind us down. He reminds us of our mistakes. Often times he tortures us with our past. You see, satan has no hope. He was given a choice many, many years ago and he made it. His fate is sealed. Now he wants nothing more than to keep you down, to hold you back. Remember friend, the devil is the father of all lies. (John 8:44)

I want to encourage you today with these words. Your past does not define you. No matter what you have done, or what your past may hold, God loves you. He sent His Son in order that you may have a future. When you confess your sins and give it all to God, He makes all things new. He wipes your slate clean and gives you a fresh start. (Psalm 103:12) What better way to start a new year than with the realization that you are God’s child? The plans He has for you are amazing! (Jeremiah 29:11) Do not let your past failures hold you down any more. Do not allow the devil to fill your head with lies. Hold fast to Jesus and the promises that He has made you.

Will you commit with me right now to put the past behind? Can we lay down the weight of our past mistakes and boldly walk into the future that God has for us? My prayer for you today is that you will take hold of the hand of Jesus and allow Him to lead you to the things He has waiting for you in this new year. The possibilities are endless if we will let go and let God.

 

 

 

 

 

Did God Really Say…


question

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning,

that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

Have you ever heard someone ask this question?

Maybe you have even asked it yourself a time or two.

A fellow blogger and I were discussing an entry which he had written and this was the subject of our conversation.

We both agreed that, yes, God did mean exactly what He said in the Scripture and that we are not to take it lightly or to question how serious He truly was about a subject.

This is exactly what led to the fall of Adam and Eve. From the beginning of time this very question has been getting us in trouble.

Let’s look at Genesis 3 and see just how the story went:

 vs.1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

The first thing the devil did was plant a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind: “Did God really say…”

You see, the devil is called the father of lies for a reason. It is not a mistake that the Bible tells us that he roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

From the very beginning the devil tries to get Eve to doubt. He tries to confuse her and cause her to question what she knew God had told her. How can we be sure that Eve remembered what God had said? Let us read the next verses and find out.

Vs. 2-3:  “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

We know from these verses that Eve did not have a sudden case of amnesia. She quoted God’s words back to the devil. She remembered exactly what God had told her.

Where she messed up was this: She allowed the devil to cause her to doubt. She allowed him to plant that tiny seed of doubt in her mind: Did God really say…

The next thing that happened was just as dangerous to Eve and in the end led to death for her and Adam.

Vs. 4-5 : “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Eve lends the devil a listening ear for just a moment and she is deceived with a lie.

First, the devil gives Eve reason to doubt, and then when she drops her guard he feeds her a lie. The devil, however, is a sly old beast. He did not just feed her a line that he thought she might believe. No, he wrapped a lie in just enough truth as to assure its success. The devil knew that she would not just die right there on the spot. The death that God was warning against was a death of innocence, a break in the fellowship between God and His creation, and ultimately an eternal death if provisions were not made.

It worked. We know from reading the rest of the story that Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, took some to Adam and he ate it as well. Their eyes were then opened and they realized what they have done.

Friends, our lives are no different from this story that was told so many years ago.

If we allow the devil to come in and plant that little seed of doubt, If we allow him to whisper in our ear, ” Did God really say…”, we are opening ourselves up to be lied to and then deceived.

We need to realize that when God says something He means it. When God gives us a commandment, it is not to keep us from having fun. It is to protect us.

God knew that as soon as Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that their eyes would be opened and they would no longer be innocent. He was trying to protect them.

God gives us His word for the same purpose.

When God’s word says, “Thou shall not…” that is exactly what it means. It does not mean maybe we can later, or maybe if you are good I will let you. It means no, not even almost, never.

I pray today that we will take the verses which God has given to us in His word, and that we will hide them in our hearts. I pray we will not allow the devil to plant that seed of doubt, and whisper that lie into our ear. I pray we will realize when God says, “No,” that it is for a reason. That reason is because He loves you and me. He wants to protect us, and to give us a home in Heaven with Him some day.

Pray Through


Pray

” So He left them,

went away again,

and prayed the third time,

saying the same words.”

Matthew 26:44

Monday I posted an entry entitled “It Is Okay.”  The message in that post was that it is okay not to be okay. There are times when we say we are okay, but truly in our hearts we are broken and torn. This week, after posting that blog, the question has been ringing in my ears, “What do you do when you are not okay?” So today that is what I want to discuss. If you have not read Monday’s entry, feel free to do so now and then you can come back and pick up here.

There are many times in our lives when we are not okay. Somehow we find ourselves in a situation that we just can not seem to handle. We find ourselves torn, broken, and helpless. As I have pondered this situation this week, and have even found myself in a bit of one as well, I have struggled with how I should handle it. I have prayed about it, cried over it, and prayed some more, but have yet to find any resolve.

The question I want us to consider today is this: “What do we do when we are not okay?”

Here is the answer I believe God has given to me:

“Pray through.”

“Hmm,” you might say. “That is it?”

I know, it seems so simple, does it not?

Let us think about this for a moment. Do we really understand what this means?

I would like to share with you what God has been speaking to me concerning this answer. I pray that it will speak to you as well and that you will find some comfort in it.

Pray it through. I believe this is exactly what Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane. If you go back and read the verses that come before the one I shared this morning you will find that Jesus has actually gone back to pray two other times. (Matthew 26:36-43)

I can not imagine the situation that Jesus was facing and the anguish that he must have been feeling. Jesus knew what was to come and He knew that it had to be done, yet He still struggled as a man.

In Jesus’ prayer to His father, He asked for two things. First, He asked that if there was any other way to accomplish the goal to let it be. The second thing Jesus prayed, I believe was the most important. Jesus told His father, “Not my will, but thy will be done.”

Each time Jesus went to pray, the Bible says that His prayer was for exactly this: The will of His Father.

Three times Jesus went to pray, and then comes the beginning of God’s will for His Son.

I believe that Jesus did exactly what we have been discussing here this morning; He prayed through. After praying again and again He knew the will of His father, and He was willing to accept it.

This is what God has been speaking to me this week:Pray it through, let your request be made known unto Me, and then accept My will.

When you are facing trials and trouble, Pray it through. Seek God and cry out to Him. Tell God how you feel ( He already knows anyway) and ultimately, seek the will of the Father.

Sometimes God may allow the cup to pass from you, and other times you may have to drink from that cup. Be assured, however, whatever the outcome, God has promised to never leave nor forsake us. God will be faithful to His promise.

No matter what you are facing today, God knows, He cares, and He will be faithful to carry you through.

I pray that this has encouraged your heart today.

Life is full of trials and storms, but we can find comfort in the fact that we know who holds tomorrow. Life is no mystery to God. There are no surprises for Him.

Please remember: No matter what situation we are facing today or in the future, we must pray through.