Tag Archive | Grace

2014 – National Day of Prayer

Roses_Bunch_Of_FlowersI come before You Oh Lord – may You be praised, honored and glorified today – may we all – the creation that You made to praise You – Praise You today and touch that place in Your own heart and may You see us and hear our hearts. As we touch Your heart in unity and faith – may You release the ability to ascend, higher and higher in You.

Father may our focus today be on You, not just today – everyday and – on Your heart not selfish ambitions. May we ascend in praise with You.

Holy Spirit – we invite You to each and every gathering and into each and every heart – light Your fire within us and may we burn for You so brightly that others see the flame and enter in.

May we not grieve You Holy Spirit and may we ascend in Praise with You higher and higher and higher until we are the complete – Shalom filled – unified body of Christ that He is coming back for.. I stand as Your watchman on the wall in the name above every other name – Jesus Christ my Lord Amen.

Discerning Between Good Or God By JoBeth Kested

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Have you ever presumed that just because something is good means that it is God’s will? The Bible does say that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). But, we also need to understand that sometimes good can be the enemy of God’s best for us.

Many years ago, I remember hearing a sermon titled “One Too Many O’s”. The gist of it being that the reason we must ask ourselves if there is one too may O’s is because sometimes good is not God’s way! That insight has kept me from settling for some things that seemed really good, but helped me to wait a little bit longer to find God’s will. I have learned to stop and ask myself, “Is there one too many O’s?” And, “Just because it is good is it God?” We cannot presume that just because something is good means it’s God’s will for us. We will do well to remember that the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden was the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). Settling for or pursuing good things can be just as big an enemy of God’s best plans for us as any evil!

Looking back upon my life, it’s clear to see that many good and seemingly wonderful things or opportunities were definitely not God’s best plan for me. I can honestly thank the Lord for a lot of unanswered prayers! It’s so clear now that God protected me from a lot of not-so-good things. I am thankful that many things that looked so perfect and important, that I had prayed and prayed for, were definitely not for my good; even some things that broke my heart and caused me to question God’s love for me at that time.

So, how can we know the difference between what’s good, but not God? There are a few questions we can ask ourselves:

1. Does it disagree with or compromise scripture?
2. Does it honor God and lead me into closer relationship with Him?
3. Does it bring peace to me and those important relationships in my life?

Here are several scriptures that have also become guiding light to me when trying to discern God’s will:

By prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) First of all, it is very important to take everything to the Lord in prayer and to thank Him for circumstances that give Him the opportunity to demonstrate His power, provision and love to us when we need His help or guidance. Then, we are in the place to experience His peace that passes understanding which will guard our heart and mind; helping us to determine the difference between good possibilities and God’s best for us.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6 (NKJV) Besides encouraging us to trust The Lord with ALL our heart, the hardest part of this verse is the challenge to make sure we are not leaning to our own understanding. Many times it is so much easier to settle for the good options because they usually make much more sense to our natural understanding.

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) One of the hardest things to do is to wait upon The Lord and His timing. (This is an active waiting, continuing to ask, seek and knock, doing all we know to do in the mean time. (Matthew 7:7)) The temptation to settle for a good thing is often because it seems so much simpler, easier or more comfortable. But, the main reason I mention this verse is because doubt, confusion and fear weigh us down with such a heaviness. When we wait upon the Lord and his will becomes clear, there is a great uplifting peace and joy with a renewed strength that launches us into the new way.

Next time something seems too good to be true or seems so good you think it must be God, I encourage you to stop and ask yourself, “Are there one too many O’s?” and, “Is it good or God?”

Dear God, give us the ability to discern the difference between the traps of good that rob us of Your abundant blessings. Show us Your way and shed Your light onto our paths. Help us to wait on You, to trust You in all our ways and to lean not unto our own understanding. Grant us Your peace that will guard our hearts and renew our strength so that we can mount up with wings like eagles as we discern Your way. In Jesus name. Amen.
How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You. Psalm 31:19
© JoBeth Kested 2014

Blooming In The Hard Place By JoBeth Kested

jbBloomThis is a picture of my first pansies to bloom this spring. I was so surprised to see them blooming in the minuscule cracks of a hard place instead of the soft prepared soil of my garden. I felt like the Lord was speaking to me through these pansies when I first noticed them this week.

Have you ever felt like you are between a rock and a hard place? We’re facing some hard changes in our circumstances and the very real possibility of some hard decisions ahead. Lately, I often feel rather delicate, small and fragile just like these little pansies. I was so intrigued to see them bloom and thrive in the crevice of some old cement. They are obviously so much stronger than they look and by the grace of God, so am I! It seems like such a great illustration of the hope we have in the Lord’s promises of His provision, protection, and blessings for us no matter how hard our current situation seems to be.

These blooming little fragile pansies may be a small thing, but it encourages me to know that if God can provide for some delicate pansies to thrive and display such beauty in a difficult place, how much more is His desire to take good care of us. In Philippians 4:19 we have the promise that “My God will supply all your need according to His riches in Glory in Jesus”.

Lord, help us to trust You for the protection and miraculous provision for us in the hard places we often find ourselves in. Thank You for the promises in Your Word that are light unto out path and a life preserver to cling to. Thank You for Your peace that passes understanding, Your strength in our weakness and for the hope of Your sufficient amazing grace for each day. And thank You for helping us to bloom in the hard places to display your glory. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

 

Encouraging Scriptures

 

“…For I know the plans I have for you,declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future…”Jeremiah 29:11

 

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

 

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

 

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed ; for I am thy God : I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness . Isaiah 41:1

 

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

 

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. Psalms 138:8

 

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29

 

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. I Corinthians 2:9-10

 

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

 

He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107:9

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

 ©JoBeth Kested 2014

The Blessing of Purim By Beth Auman

fp052006-22May the Lord Bless you during the Celebration of Purim

 If you stay silent during this time, deliverance for the Jews will come from somewhere, but you, my child, and all of your fathers family will die. And who knows? Perhaps you have been made queen for such a time as this.Esther 4:14 (The Voice)

Purim is the Jewish celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people in the story of Esther. Esther asked the King for all of her peoples lives and she could have been killed under the law of the time if it were not for the Kings grace and mercy and love for her. She would have been killed for asking.

 As Christians, Purim is a truly important Celebration we also need to understand the importance of asking for the salvation of those that are lost. Deliverance for all has been provided through Jesus. If we stay silent during this time.. However, in Matthew 7 Jesus told us to ask.

Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you. All who ask receive. Those who seek, find what they seek. And he who knocks, will have the door opened. Matthew 7:7-8 The Voice (VOICE)

 Jesus speaks of doors opening if we knock. Esther did all of these things and she is an example for us. Has the thought ever crossed your mind that many people dont know Jesus Christ? They do not know who He is or what He did for them and there may not be anyone else that has ever asked God for that persons salvation.

  If you meet someone or are exposed to someone who is not saved you are supposed to ask for their salvation; not judge them in their sin they are sinners thats what they do. Seek the Lord for them, (stand in the gap for them) and knock on the door and Jesus will answer and open the door of Salvation for that person. It is a promise in the Word of God.

  Begin asking. Unless prompted by the Holy Spirit, you do not have to go up to that person and speak to them. You do not have to tell them all of the scripture that you know. Simply ASK the Father in Jesus name for their Salvation and allow Him to send the labors in to His harvest. Jesus instructs us how to pray in Matthew 6.

  When you pray, go into a private room, close the door, and pray unseen to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not go on and on, excessively and strangely like the outsiders; they think their verbosity will let them be heard by their deities. 8 Do not be like them. Your prayers need not be labored or lengthy or grandiosefor your Father knows what you need before you ever ask Him. Matthew 6:6-8The Voice (VOICE)

  Esther was chosen by God to deliver and preserve her heritage. We are here for such a time as this. Are you going to be silent or are you going to ask the King to deliver your people, the people of the human race that Jesus Christ gave His life for?  Many do not know that there is a free gift waiting for them. The gift of Salvation.

  Salvation is a Free gift. if you have received your free gift dont you want others to receive theirs? The Lord Jesus Christ said to ask and it will be given. Ask for people to be saved and delivered today. You may be a key used by God to unlock the door in someones life.. simply by asking.

 Oh, Father. I come before You, in Jesus name, and I ask today for the Salvation of all unsaved that You bring onto my path. I speak blessing and revelation over each of all those who have received Salvation to go further and rise up for such a time as this. We all need You, Lord. And may we learn to ask, seek and knock on the behalf of all those who are unsaved and may our relationship with You grow and grow. We have eyes to see and ears to hear You and we are watching and listening. Please show us and speak to us. In Jesus name. Amen.

 This year, Purim begins at sunset on Saturday, March 15, and ends on Sunday evening, March 16. This is a Great time to start asking for the Salvation for those that God brings along your path.

 

 

 

Jesus or World By Beth Auman

fpx040307-09Are you looking to Jesus Christ as your Lord, Healer, Truth, Redeemer, Friend, Victory and Grace – or are you looking to something worldly – What is being proclaimed out of your mouth today and to whom are you giving all glory, honor and praise.. are you serving God or mammon? People are watching, you are a living epistle of whatever you’ve put your trust in- The Lord is watching too..lead people along the well lit path that God has created for them.. it’s full of love, peace, joy and Jesus..

Lord – I pray for all of my friends and family today that You will open the eyes of their understanding – so that they may know the hope to which You have called them – see the well lit path that You have designed and walk in the center of it – according to Eph 1:17-29 in Jesus name Amen

Just Trust By Conny H.

fpx041107-02Nearly two years ago my husband and I packed up all our belongings and moved from northwestern Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Our little dog Tootsie was getting a little confused. She watched us pack up one thing after another and carry it out of the house, her house, the only house she had ever really known. I picked her up and comforted her by saying, “Oh, my little girl, I know you don’t understand what’s going on, and I can’t explain it to you, but all you need to know is that I love you and you will always be with me.” When I said that I “heard” that sweet familiar still small voice of my heavenly Father whisper in my heart, “and that goes for you, too…and for My people who are struggling and confused.”

I knew that day my little doggie girl needed my reassurance to help her keep trusting me and not get anxious. If I feel that way about my dog, don’t you know your heavenly Father feels so much love and compassion for you, His beloved son or daughter! So when you don’t understand just stay close to Him, like Tootsie did with me, and let Him carry you through. Let His love comfort you today!

 © Conny Hubbard 2014

Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’