Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Pursuit lead to Marriage

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Today is a day to least for me.  Thirty-five years ago I started dating this young man by the nickname of Papo.  Little did I know my life would change and 3 years later we would be married. I'm sure he would not be shy about admitting his pursuit for me.  He showered me with kindness and love; convinced me to share the rest of my life with him.  Happy "dating" anniversary Papo.  Yeah...I'm one of those girls that remembers these kind of dates :)

Jesus also has pursued me.  He drew me and lavished me with love. He said he would be willing to die for me and he did (John 3:16).  He brought me to the Father, something I could not do without him The Bible says, that I am the Bride of Christ made perfect without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27).  And yes,  I remember the day I surrendered and allowed Christ to lead me down the aisle; redeemed and made whole...Hallelujah!  A life changing event; from death to life!

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Often in reading Genesis 2:15, the thought that comes to mind is that God created the first man Adam in the Garden.  But  the Scripture says, God put him in the Garden of Eden.
He placed him there to work and enjoy creation.  As I was studying this one verse, the phrase "take care of it"  lends to the concept of "guarding" the garden, tend,  or to watch over, or even a watchman.
He had the perfect occupation in a perfect sanctuary. Looking around at the beautiful creation that God placed him in.  He had perfect fellowship with God.  A place to communicate with God, a place of worship.
In the Garden, this place where Adam could adore his Maker, worship was as natural a breathing.  I could imagine, every task he did, tending to all that God had already created; discovering all the beauty and colors and of praise must have echoed throughout the Garden. I could picture Adam bellowing out from behind the trees, tasting every plump juicy fruit, "Lord this is good". Yes, God created all things and he said it was good.  Praise and adoration flowing from the core of Adam's being; love and reverence, thanksgiving and every imaginable act of worship poured out to God! It was out of reverence and obedience that Adam enjoyed this intimacy with God.
When Adam failed to guard the Garden, God's Garden, death entered in and man was displaced because of his disobedience.  If the Lord asked Adam to "guard" the garden would that imply that there was an enemy lurking somewhere? Well, what we do know is that indeed an enemy lured Adam and Eve to sin and the results were just as God said, "you will surely die".
We see the introduction to the shedding of blood even as the Lord prepares garments for the children that disobeyed. Instead of requiring their blood, God gave them garments made of animal skin.  Here we are at the beginning; it is the mercy and the love of God that provided a covering for them. Somebody had to die. A shadow of the things to come.  Christ himself would shed his blood at the appointed time to cover for the sins of the world.
A broken paradise.  A fallen man.  A cursed world.  Worship interrupted by a distraction.  They let their guard down and were deceived.
Since the Fall of man it has become more challenging to worship our God.  Interruptions cause our focus to shift.  Distractions call for our attention.  Pride brings out a mirror and asks us to look at ourselves removing God from his throne and placing a little image of ourselves to adore instead. But, for the worshiper that desires to honor God,  he leads them besides quiet waters and he refreshes their soul.  He give us glimpses of his glory that leave us in awe! Though the place of worship in the Garden is gone, he comes to indwell every believer, he comes and makes residence in us calling us back to a place of intimacy with Him.  Once again we feel the breeze of the day and sense his presence; we know he is here.  He allows us to engage him allowing even a change to occur in us.  Glory to God!
Much has changed; The Garden protected by a flaming sword. Though we were expelled, He pursued us.  It's a relentless pursuit. We've sensed him calling and we've ignored him. The Word became flesh and walked among us but we did not recognize him.  He came to die, was crucified and we despised him. "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God". (John 1:12-13)
For the true worshiper that seeks him, being in his presence is life, a longing fulfilled! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Words

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7(NIV)

I'm always thinking about worship and what it truly looks like. You see I fail in my ability to always bring to God what he deserves therefore I examine and challenge my heart to take a good look inside and see it's intentions, it's motives.  It's only out of a sincere heart of worship that the Lord is honored and given reverence.  It is then that the worship experience has begun. God doesn't need a song for after all, Scripture says he is the song depositor; "He put a new song in my mouth" Psalm 40:3  What he desires from me it a genuine heart that desires to bless him.  
He reminds me who I am; I'm his.   He has made me his heir and co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17) It's out of a heart of gratitude that praise rises up.  I can look at my life and know that the Lord's hand is shaping me.  He takes a broken mess and makes something beautiful.
Sunday morning I was thinking about Adam .  Adam was the first man that God created. Ever wonder what Adam's expression was when he saw his Maker?  When he looked around and saw the beauty that his eyes beheld for the first time, what did he say?  The Scriptures say that the Lord formed man and that he breath into his nostrils.  When Adam beheld his Maker what were his first words?

God is Spirit.  When Adam was created he was perfect, without sin and enjoyed great intimate fellowship with the Lord.  Worship must have been as natural as breathing.  

Overwhelmed by this thought of Adam's encounter with God lead me to ponder; did he talk, did he sing, did he bow, what did he do? I imagine he began to adore his Maker.  A right relationship with God, no sin, no fallen flesh to compete with, no source of contention between his built-in desire to worship God and the ability to just bless the Lord.

Breath entering his lungs, the Spirit of God hovering over this clay that had just been formed.  Made to reflect God.  Made to return God's Glory back to Him.  Made in the likeness of God; a spirit being clothed in flesh.  No pain, no sickness, no envy, no strife, no jealousy, no arrogance,  No need for anything for his life was made complete.  I believe Adam must have adored God from the moment his eyes opened; from the moment he realized he was alive. 

I can image Adam just singing to the Lord...Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me...bless his holy Name! It was perfect communion with God!  What else does one do when encountered by God?  Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me....bless his holy Name!

Though much time has passed since that day in the Garden, I believe this is also the heart of every soul who has trusted God's son Jesus with their very lives.

Yes, now we have pain, disease, selfishness has slithered in, every manner of sin, and our hearts at times are divided.  But like David the psalmist said, Lord give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name!  Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness.  Psalm 86:11  There is still a cry deep inside that desires to magnify and glorify our Maker.  I've been in the secret place where his presence is there; I've tasted of his goodness and he is real; I've dived into a flowing river that refreshed my soul; I've trusted in the finish work of the cross and I've been changed. 

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 105

If you are a parent you know the joy of hearing your child say 'mama" or "daddy" for the first time.  It's thrilling!  Just imagine the heart of  God when you call his Name!
Glory to God!

God bless you!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...