Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Know the Transformer



Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.  Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)


MY LENTEN PRAYER

Draw near, dear Lord, during this personal spiritual season,
Lent—a time of reflection, renewal, and redeeming grace.
It’s introspective and inviting, eccentric and exciting.
Turn hearts toward You, Heavenly Father.
Open eyes to the truth of Your sacrifice.    
Grant sincere realization of Your desire for relationship with us. 
Why would we turn away?

Thank you, Father God, for devising a plan of restoration,
An unbelievable way of taking the world’s sins upon Your back,
Carrying them to a cruel death upon a cross. 
You stepped in and took our place
Because our bent toward wrongdoing needed a Savior.
Imagine the Supreme Creator willing to die for His creation.
Why would we turn away?

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for our foolish ways. 
Deliver us from inciting rebellion and evil.
Afford us searching hearts to know You more.
Establish readiness to reveal what hides within us,
Realizing the disgrace of transgression,
Remembering the worth of transformation.
Keep us from turning away!

You declared YES and AMEN to our deliverance.
May we speak a heartfelt YES in response to Your gracious love!
AMEN!


God, you smiled on your good earth!
    You brought good times back to Jacob!
You lifted the cloud of guilt from your people,
    you put their sins far out of sight.
You took back your sin-provoked threats,
    you cooled your hot, righteous anger.

Help us again, God of our help;
    don’t hold a grudge against us forever.
You aren’t going to keep this up, are you?
    scowling and angry, year after year?
Why not help us make a fresh start—a resurrection life?
    Then your people will laugh and sing!
Show us how much you love us, God!
    Give us the salvation we need!

I can’t wait to hear what he’ll say.
    God’s about to pronounce his people well,
The holy people he loves so much,
    so they’ll never again live like fools.
See how close his salvation is to those who fear him?
    Our country is home base for Glory!

Love and Truth meet in the street,
    Right Living and Whole Living embrace and kiss!
Truth sprouts green from the ground,
    Right Living pours down from the skies!
Oh yes! God gives Goodness and Beauty;
    our land responds with Bounty and Blessing.
Right Living strides out before him,
    and clears a path for his passage. 
Psalm 85 (MSG)

Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.  2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (MSG)



THANK YOU, JESUS CHRIST!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Seeking a Silent God



Lord, I need You. My life feels as though it’s in shambles. It seems nothing goes right. I need Your strength and peace right now. Why, Lord, why is this happening? Why me, Lord? Please, Lord, I need You. Where are You? Why don’t you answer me, God?

Have you ever prayed a similar prayer? You’re suffering and praying and nothing! You want relief and you want it now! Where is God’s answer for you?

There was a time God was silent and it took place during four hundred years between the recording of the Old and New Testaments. Major events shaped the world and influenced the New Testament populace. God’s hand or His divine providence remained at work during this Intertestamental Period, paving the way for God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.

Zacharias (Zechariah) and Elizabeth lived during those years. They were an older couple, whose descendants came from the Levitical or priestly line, thus designating Zacharias a priest. 

As most people do, they desired to have children but Elizabeth was barren. Barrenness was a disgrace in Jewish society and a source of shame for Elizabeth. So they prayed and prayed and prayed. Nothing—no baby—no answer. Or so it seemed. 

The one thing the couple did NOT do is give up on God. They loved Him because He first loved them—He didn’t have to give them something in exchange for their love. They dismissed any notion of walking away from Him because of His silence.

Zacharias and Elizabeth may not have heard or even felt Him speaking to their hearts, but they had the written word. Scriptures handed down from generations of God’s people contained God’s promises. Throughout their lives they’d found Him to be true to His Word—they trusted Him. So they prayed and waited. In their waiting they prepared to meet their God by faithfully seeking and clinging to His promises. Even if God didn’t give them a baby, He promised Messiah would come to save them all.

The last word God had spoken to the Israelites was documented in Malachi 3:1, saying, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts (NASB). God’s spoken words were recorded for all to see. Zacharias and Elizabeth chose to believe God would fulfill His promises. They knew Him to be faithful and true. 

One day it happened—the chance of a lifetime. Zacharias was chosen from among thousands of priests throughout the land of Israel to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense in the Holy Place, next to the Holy of Holies. A multitude of people prayed during the hour of the offering of incense. The Sovereign Lord God worked quietly “behind the scenes” placing all the right people in the right locations at the right times. Because He is boundless and has a MUCH broader view than we can even imagine, He knows how to accomplish all the details!

The day Zacharias entered the temple, God broke His silence of four hundred years, while also giving an answer to the couple’s waiting. A representative for God (an angel) spoke to Zacharias, proclaiming Elizabeth would give birth to a son and His name would be John. Hear what the angel said to Zacharias, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:13-17 NASB)     

Can you imagine being the recipient of such news? Zacharias and Elizabeth would have a baby and their son would be the forerunner of the Lord. He would prepare people to meet their Messiah. Together Zacharias and Elizabeth had prayed and prepared for the Lord, yet Zacharias wasn’t quite ready for the news of a birth to them in their old age. He questioned the angel about the unbelievable news. Because he doubted the message from the Lord, he was struck mute until the fulfillment of the promise. 

Picture Elizabeth’s surprise when Zacharias returned from the temple, unable to speak while excitedly giving signals to her about the news of their baby. In her sixth month of pregnancy (praise God), Elizabeth received even greater news when her cousin Mary visited, telling of her own pregnancy. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth discerned that the mother of her Lord stood before her. What complete joy from a faithful God!

When Elizabeth finally gave birth, neighbors and relatives came to celebrate. Discussion over the baby’s name was quelled when Zacharias wrote the name John on a tablet. Immediately his silence was broken. How they all rejoiced! God’s silence had been broken, Elizabeth had given birth to a baby boy named John, Zacharias could speak again, and Mary would soon give birth to the Messiah. Who could have imagined such workings of a seemingly silent God! 

Are you waiting on an answer from God? Do you feel as though parts of your life are barren and a disgrace? Are you daily praying for the return of a prodigal? Have your prayers only received silence from God? Do you trust the God of the ages who remains faithful and true? 

God may be silent, but don’t suppose His quietness means absence from your everyday. He is there, watching and waiting, as you continue to seek and prepare to meet Him. Make a point to read His word every day—get to know your Savior Jesus Christ. 

Instead of seeing your situation as a futile disgrace, take delight in the fact that God loves you and desires the very best for your life. Stand firm on His recorded promises as Zacharias and Elizabeth did. Use faith eyes to believe His hand is at work, even in His silence, and prepare to receive good news. Trust Him with your life!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)


Thank you, Lord God, for faithfully working out all the details in my life. Even if I only hear silence when I pray, I know you are there. Keep me ever faithful to you! I believe—help my unbelief! In Jesus’ name, AMEN!




Sunday, February 8, 2015

STRENGTH and PEACE

Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in holy array.

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord is over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful,
The voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord hews out flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 
The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”

The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.
  Psalm 29 (NASB)


God’s characteristics are many and mighty! He is worthy of all praise. Give Him credit for His faithfulness. Ascribe to Him the glory due His name for all His has done, is doing, and will do to set His people free.

His voice is powerful and majestic! His voice created heaven and earth and YOU! His voice can separate waters, calm storms, heal blind people, liberate captives, and raise the dead. Is there anything He can’t do?

The Lord God is King forever. His righteous kingdom is eternal. Everything about His temple is glorious! Ascribe glory to Him! He gives strength and peace to His people. 

Bless the name of the Lord God Almighty forever and evermore!

The Lord will give strength to His people and the Lord will bless His people with peace! Strength and peace together—what joy when God fills His people with His own attributes. The glorious Almighty God provides strength and peace to His people! Praise Him for His strength and peace!





He gives strength and peace.........

  • when your loved one dies.
  • when your child turns away from you.
  • when chaos reins in your household.
  • when evil seems to prevail in the world.
  • when situations are frightening.
  • when you enter the donut of an MRI room.
  • when you are hungry.
  • when you experience chemotherapy for your cancer.
  • when your job gets the best of you.
  • when you have no job.
  • when you’re faced with abuse.
  • when you feel hopeless.



Where in your life do you need strength and peace? Ask the forever King, who made heaven and earth, for His strength and peace. Trust our faithful God to supply you with the strength and peace that only He can give. Stand in the peace of your Savior Jesus Christ as you utilize His strength in your circumstances. 

The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.  Psalm 29:11 (NASB)

Bless the name of the Lord God Almighty forever and evermore!
Ascribe glory and strength to the All-powerful God!
Praise His name forevermore!

I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever.  Psalm 145:1 (NASB)

“It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And I am God.  Isaiah 43:12 (NASB)

For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the Lord, and there is none else.  Isaiah 45:18 (NASB)


“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  Revelation 1:8 (NASB)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Jesus, Our Only Savior


Israel’s Only Savior

But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold 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 created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.” 
Isaiah 43:1-7 (NIV)


I, the Lord God, spoke into existence this place you call home. From the dust of the earth I created, I framed your body and fashioned your mind. I created a people for Myself because I love relationship and correspondence. In my wisdom I gave you the right to choose. 

I named you and called you to Me. You are Mine, so don’t live in fear—I have saved you. Your situation may look frightening; worry and dread feels suffocating, but don’t let it consume you. I never said life would be easy, but I did say that I would be with you. You may feel overwhelmed, but I’m here beside you and I want to hold your hand. Let me in. I am the Lord your God, your Savior, Israel’s Holy One.

I walked on the path through the Red Sea with you, protecting you from your enemies. I’m beside you in the hospital as you hold your dying father’s hand. I will be by your side each day as you wait your child’s return. I know your circumstances and I am working in them. Surrender your will to Me, daily follow me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. I am God Almighty—is anything too difficult for Me to accomplish? Remember I created you. You are so precious to Me. 

Trust Me. In my time, I will bring My people back to their borders. I will call out to the four corners of the earth and bring back My people, you and your children, My children. I know it’s hard for you to believe, but I love your children more than you do. I created them and gave them My name. They will return and shine for Me with My glory. Trust Me with your life and theirs. I am Jesus, your Lord and Savior.



Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine.  Exodus 19:5 (NASB)

And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
And My God is My strength). 
Isaiah 49:5 (NASB)

In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the angel of His presence saved them;
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. 
Isaiah 63:9 (NASB)

“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
“And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.  2 Corinthians 6:16b-18 (NASB)

“Declare and set forth your case;
Indeed, let them consult together.
Who has announced this from of old?
Who has long since declared it?
Is it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A righteous God and a Savior;
There is none except Me.
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.  Isaiah 45:21-22 (NASB)

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
And gathered from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.  Psalm 107:1-3 (NASB)




Amen, Lord! We believe you and trust your Word!