Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Living Word


O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.

So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
Psalm 63:1-5 (NASB)

Has your thirst been quenched by “living waters”? Have you felt the power of the Living Word?

The power of God is astounding! His power at work is staggering! That power either attracts or disgusts; it wins or offends. The power of God quenches the thirst of those seeking God. The power of God flows from the Living Word of God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5 (NASB)

The Word is God and the Word has been here from the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word and the Word is Jesus. In the Word is life and it is the Light of men. It shines in the darkness and the darkness can not comprehend (the Greek translation of comprehend means “to extinguish”) it. The darkness can’t extinguish the Light. The Word of life and light is powerful!

Imagine watching the attentiveness on a person’s face, whose heart is open and ready to receive Christ, when the Word is revealed to her. As the veil is pulled away from her eyes and the knowledge of the Lord is introduced for the first time, an awareness and acceptance shines from within her being. The Light of Christ radiates amazing grace and thankfulness pours from the lips of a sinner.

Picture another sinner in desperate need of a Savior yet totally unaware of his own deprivation. He thinks he is a child of God while at the same time his anger burns at God because he feels abandoned. He says he cares about God, but he hates God’s “fan club”. He wonders why people quote Scripture instead of speaking for themselves. As the Word is spoken, confusion and fear envelope his face. He backs away and turns his back on the Living Word of God.

This past week God allowed some of us MPs to see His immediate power at work in two different people. One appeared to receive God’s Word and another seemed to reject His Word; only God knows their hearts. But His power manifested itself in both situations and those present witnessed evidence of the Living Word. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NASB)

Read the Living Word below and know the power of His cross.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (NASB)

The Word of the cross is either compelling or repelling. I pray that you are compelled by the Living Word to live by His words and speak them into the lives of others. May He draw you closer every day and make you bolder in every way!

Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB)
Praise You, Jesus!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Living Water


Have you ever been physically thirsty, really thirsty? Your mouth is parched, your tongue sticks to the roof of your dry mouth, and your lips are painfully chapped. Nothing holds your attention but the thought of water. WATER - it’s your heart’s desire!




Have you ever been spiritually thirsty, really thirsty for the Lord? Your mind is fatigued because you’re constantly striving to “get-ahead” at work. Your body is worn-out from all your good works at church. Or maybe you’re seeking satisfaction in all the wrong places. Does your heart desire more?

Picture yourself in a dry and burnt-out land. Before you lies a myriad of rocky cliffs surrounded by sandy dirt. There is no vegetation because there is no water, yet the only thing you think about is water.

Now picture yourself in a land of plenty. Green lush meadows encircle you as you stand at the doorfront of your manor house. Running water is readily available. You lack nothing, but you thirst for something. What does your soul search for? The psalmist (David) says:

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
Psalm 42:1-3 (NIV)
As you read those Scripture verses, can you feel David’s thirst? Does he speak for you? Have you been searching for “living waters”?
Those “living waters” can be found in Jesus Christ. Hear what He says in John 7:37-38 (NKJV). On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
The above mentioned feast is the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. Annually the Israelites celebrated this feast in remembrance of God’s provision for 40 years in the wilderness and for the yearly completion of their fall harvest. It marked the beginning of the winter rainy season and the Israelites observed the festival by praying for rain. The high priest and worshipers processed to the Pool of Siloam to gather water while another group of worshipers gathered willows of the brook from a place called Motza. Some of the willows were drooped over the altar and the water was poured over the palm branches as an offering to the Lord. The Levites sang the words from Psalms 113-118, marching around the altar and waving their branches, while the congregation waved their palm branches toward the altar singing Psalm 118:25--”Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.”
Psalm 118 is a messianic psalm and it gave the feast a messianic emphasis. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-13) was greeted with palm branches and ‘Hosannas’ (Hebrew for “save now” in Ps. 118:25). The people that saw Jesus enter Jerusalem on a donkey knew that there was something special about Him. They remembered their celebrations of the Feast of Tabernacles and used the same imagery of worship with palm branches as they humbly adored Jesus. They recognized Jesus as their answer to prayers for rain and abundance.
Back in John 7, Jesus is preaching in the Temple to the Jews. The Pharisees questioned Jesus’ authority and desired to trap and kill Him, but His time had not yet come. Jesus declares that He comes from the Father and that whoever believes in Him will not thirst. He says that living waters will flow from the inner being of a believer in Him, the Christ. There were some Jews who quenched their thirst by believing in Jesus the Christ, while others walked away parched.
Jesus quenches our thirst. He is “living water.” He is whom we seek, our heart’s desire. He can save us now. Do you believe in Him? If so, Jesus says living waters will flood your soul and flow from your innermost being. Raise your palm branches and praise His holy name with the psalmist:
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8 (NASB)
We praise you, Christ Jesus, for satisfying our thirst. As your waters flow into us, may we pour into others so that all can see your glory. Hosanna! AMEN!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

God's Mercy, Our Trust




Christ Jesus



God’s
M - marvelous
E - excellencies
R - reveal
C - Christ’s
Y - yes


But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NASB)

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV)


Our

T - total
R - repentance
U - uncovers
S - salvation’s
T - truth


Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Romans 5:1-9 (NASB)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I AM with you


God is with us; Immanuel is His name. He repeatedly reminds us of His presence in His Word.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43:5-7 (NKJV)
Scripture tells us that He’s always with us. When will we ever learn to trust Him? Let’s make a conscious effort right now in this new year to surrender our uncertainty and begin to totally trust in Jesus, our Creator, Redeemer, Comforter, and Sustainer. He is the Great I AM!


Thank you, Lord God, for always being with us. We give you praise, Immanuel! 


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Immanuel, God With Us


Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
Immanuel means God with us. The promise of God with us was fulfilled in the birth of Christ as told in Matthew 1:18-25. But what did Isaiah’s prophecy mean at the time it was given and what does it mean for us now, some two thousand years after the birth of Christ?
Initially, Isaiah’s prophecy about Immanuel was given to King Ahaz of Judah. Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, wanted to make war against Jerusalem, the house of David (Isaiah 7). Can you imagine the fear that grew in Judah from the threats of their enemies? But within the very same verse (vs. 1) about war are the words ‘but could not prevail against it’. Why couldn’t their enemies prevail? Because God’s covenant with David promised an eternal kingdom and God’s plans would not be disturbed by the fruitless plans of mankind. The Lord sent Isaiah to King Ahaz to say, ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah...’ (vs. 4). In other words, don’t be afraid because your enemies will not conquer you.
What threats are coming at you from your enemies? What fears are paralyzing you? Can you hear God saying, ‘Take heed, (your name), and be quiet...do not be afraid (Is.7:4)....Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Can you hear Him saying, “Your enemies will not prevail!”
Christmas is past and Immanuel has come. He came over two thousand years ago. His name is Jesus and He is with us. Do we daily live with the expectancy of a ‘God with us’ or are we still waiting for the coming of our Savior?
Luke 2:25-35 tells us about an ordinary man named Simeon who waited for the coming deliverance of Israel. Because he believed in God and listened to the Holy Spirit, he went to the temple at the same time that Mary and Joseph brought the Child Jesus to the temple. God allowed Simeon to literally see the promised Comforter of Israel, the Light to the Gentiles, Jesus the Savior of all people. Simeon blessed the Lord with all his heart for a promise fulfilled in his lifetime.
Are you still waiting for the fulfillment of a promise or can you declare with Simeon that your eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord? Can you proclaim with faith that come what may, God is with you? Do you believe God’s Word? Listen to Him:
...thus says the Lord GOD:

“ It shall not stand,
Nor shall it come to pass.
For the head of Syria is Damascus,
And the head of Damascus is Rezin.
Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken,
So that it will not be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
And the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son.
If you will not believe,
Surely you shall not be established.”
Isaiah 7:7-9 (NKJV)
God was with His people in Jerusalem. He promised that the enemy would not prevail over them; they only needed to believe in God’s word. He then gave them a prophecy through Isaiah that there would be a Son born of a virgin and His name would be called Immanuel. This prophecy concludes with a promise about the demise of the enemy’s plans. It says in Isaiah 8:10...“Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” These words were for King Ahaz of Judah and they are for us.
Do you believe the word of God? Do you believe His word is truth? Do you trust in the Son of God? Do you believe that God is with you? Believing the Lord is crucial to receiving His promises, and God’s people desire to receive His promises.
Today is the first day of the year 2012. Let’s resolve to believe God and His Word with our hearts as well as our minds. Instead of waiting for God to show up, let’s believe that Immanuel is ALREADY with us, just as He says. The great I AM has been with us in our past, is with us in our present, and will be with us in our future. Hear Him speaking to you:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.‘
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
Whatever you are facing, begin the new year with a firm belief in Immanuel who is Jesus Christ. He is God and He is with us ALWAYS. He said so....and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20b (NKJV)