Thursday, August 25, 2016
Romans 6:2 (NIV)
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Sometimes confession is the only thing that will release us.
I'm running late to work this morning.
I looked westward into the countless vehicles coming in my direction.
Concerned I drove one-quarter mile to the highway entranced and notice the traffic. It was like a parking lot. Different shades of color on every rooftop, all on a stand still. I now understood why the local road was so occupied.
I remembered I was familiar with another road that seemed a little out of the way, but I challenged myself to take it.
It was a clear. I am now on schedule to arrive to my destination with maybe a 5 minute delay.
Roads are a funny thing especially when construction has somehow changed the landscape.
So, I am almost there. GPS says exit N or S. The roads signs say A or B. A quick decision puts me on the entrance to the NYS Thruway. What, Huh, I just came from there!
Where is my exit? This highway leads me South to where I just came from or North where I do not want to go to. I asked the Toll Booth Collector, "I need to get off here". She replied almost in her own familiar frustration, "this is their way of making driving better".
Well needless to say I was annoyed.
I drove north with the closest exit being 20 miles away.
I drove for about 5 miles and made and illegal U-turn. Only police are allowed to do this.
I have not elevated myself to the highway authority. On the contrary, I understand I will probably be penalized and ticketed. The E-Z Pass system will probably note what I did and negatively reward me for it.
I am not endorsing this move.
I write to share that confession is good.
Today can be called Tell the Truth Thursday. Well everyday should be that!
Today's lesson: Repent and don't do it again.
Truly, I confess and cry out for mercy.
God bless you!~Liz
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. (Acts 12:6-7, NASB)
Have you been struck lately? Well, what kinda’ question is that?
When I think of chains, most of the time I think of restraint; an instrument causing restriction; something limiting me.
Sometimes restriction is for our own safety, perhaps even for training or a waiting period.
A prisoner is held in chains for fear he will run from the law; put behind iron bars so that they won't escape. But what if you are innocent and wrongly accused?
Those same chains and cell still keep you unless you are released by the same law that convicted you.
As a child of God we are often asking God to free us from chains, difficult situations that have bound or trapped us. But what if God has freed us and we are still detained.
Life is full of exciting roads to travel but sometimes we are afraid to put our feet on new pavement. FEAR itself can keep us, speaks to us, convinces us we will never be free to move forward.
Has the Lord spoken to you about a new road? Have you come to a crossroad and are afraid to make a turn? Perhaps its fear of the unknown? Does your heart quiver because you do know that something new is coming but you have never threaded those waters before?
Chains are important.
If you have a new pet, a dog for example and you are trying to train him, you will probably use a chain. You restrict him for his own protection. We don't want this creature to escape or end up in danger. You keep him bound so he won’t harm himself, even worse bite someone.
But, who would keep the dog tied forever? Does not this poor four legged ball of fur need freedom to run and play and explore? Once trained, he is now free. He knows his boundaries.
You are on the waters and your boat needs to anchor. You are enjoying a quiet time, maybe fishing. Soon the clouds come in and you are in the midst of a storm. It’s time to go, but you can’t seem to pull the anchor out of the crevice that has obstructed it. Don’t you do everything in your power to be free? Cut the rope if possible or just chuck the rest of the anchor overboard. But you must go! The anchors purpose is no longer needed.
Amusement parks use chains and ropes to control the lines. They bring order to the masses who want to go on the new thrilling ride. Once you arrive, those chains mean nothing to you anymore. They no longer serve a purpose. You have arrived and the ride is about to begin. Buckle up, here we go!
What if we have been restricted for a short time by God for my own good? He has been training us and soon he is about to launch us into areas of the unfamiliar? Will I refuse and hold dear to my familiar chains? Sadly, sometimes that does happen.
We must decide that it’s time to move forward.
We must get on our feet and embrace the new journey.
Peter was in jail not because of any wrong he had done. He experienced an incredible encounter with an angel from the Lord. The Scripture reads that Peter was commanded to stand up after the angel struck him; in other words, he woke him up and got his attention.
As he obeyed, the chains fell off his hands! Hallelujah! No longer a prisoner; the innocent man was set free. The ministry that the Lord had given him was unfolding!
I don’t know why he startled him that way. But, as he obeyed, THEN the CHAINS fell off.
I think the Lord is about to strike some of us.
He is going to rouse us out of our slumber.
He is going to get our attention and when we respond THEN THE CHAINS WILL FALL OFF!
The preparation is over.
It’s time to move.
We have been trained; we have endured storms, and the ride is just a few steps away.
We are about to tread new waters.
The road is new and I shout out “I am not afraid.”
Chains off—Ride begins!
God bless you!~Liz
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
Dreams are kinda’ funny.
Sometimes they don’t make sense.
Other times God’s speaks through them (Joel 2:28).
Late last night, more like early morning I had a dream.
In my dream I was called to lead worship at a wedding. It seemed that all my music was missing and no matter how hard I tried (in my dream) I could not produce a song set. Printers printed the wrong music; my packets were incorrect and it was moments before we were to begin worshipping the Lord. It seemed no one had the correct music!
My friend leaned over to me and said “if you don’t start singing I will”.
It was like the very breath of God –it filled me. I turned to the team and said, “forget what you’ve prepared, forget the songs selected”. In a moment’s time we began to sing the old song, “I exalt thee” and the entire auditorium erupted. I remember a time of spontaneous worship and all present were honoring our God! It was explosive! Lord you alone are worthy!
Preparing is good; actually we are good stewards to manage our responsibilities well. But, when called to bring Glory to God, be ready!
There are songs of praise and worship anchored to my heart. Some are written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit and other songs are songs birthed by the Holy Spirit as he sees fit.
I love spontaneous praise above all!
Oh, let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. (Psalm 150)
Dreams can be silly. Some don’t make sense.
This dream reminded my I’ve been made to worship the King!
God bless you!~Liz
Image: Orange County Fellowship Sunday Worship
Image: Orange County Fellowship Sunday Worship
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