Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Christmas is such a special time of the year! Why do we celebrate? Why is this time so wonderful? It is all rooted in the deep meaning of Christmas. CHRIST. Jesus truly is, "The reason for the season." Yet, if we are very honest with ourselves we will admit that we can so easily get caught up in all of the activity around us, the things we need to do, and the places we need to go. As a result, we can so easily miss the purpose that we celebrate this special time of the year.
A few Christmases ago, I was thinking about what I was giving to people for Christmas. As I thought, it came to my heart to ask the Lord what HE wanted for Christmas. So, I asked the Lord, "Lord, what do You want for Christmas?" I remember Him saying, "I want your heart." My heart. The throne of my life, my affections, my will... This throne so rightly belongs to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, deserves to sit on the throne of my heart, as I humbly bow at His feet.
Yes, the Lord does not care so much about all of the decorations and packaging. He cares about the heart. The Lord looks right beyond the outward decorations to what really matters. "...for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 We can put all the effort we want to decorating and wrapping the outside of a box, but if there is nothing inside it will be of little worth. How easily we can put our effort, attention, and heart into the outward decorations of Christmas. This often ends up resulting in an empty feeling even amidst the activity of the season.But, if Christ truly has our heart and is the heart of why we are doing these things, then the activities can be a special avenue to worship, celebrate, and know Him more! The festivities that surround His birth will not be distractions, but will burst forth with meaning and will serve as reminders of our Savior. The decorations of the coming of the King, the gifts of the greatest Gift, the lights of the Light of the world... What matters most and makes all of the difference is where our heart is at! Someone once said, "The heart of the issue is the issue of the heart." The state of our heart dictates, motivates, and affects our actions. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." If Christ has our heart, He will impact all that flows out of it and the results will be incredible.
My friend, the Lord wants your heart for Christmas. A heart that views each situation in life as a gift that will allow it to know Christ more, a heart that beats for the Lord with a love that nothing can quench, a heart that seeks to please Him, and a heart that longs to share Him with a hurting world. He wants to be the focus of our hearts, the reason that we sing, the purpose that we live, and the object of our affection. He wasn’t born with the purpose that we would fill the season of His birth with activity, He came so that we could find the complete fulfillment of a relationship with Him.
I believe with all of my heart that this complete fulfillment in our relationship with Him is what He most wants to give to each of us this Christmas. The gift He is asking us to give Him is our hearts. I am praying that as we give Him our hearts and embrace His gift to us, we will have the most treasured Christmas we’ve ever known.
May Christ be the heart of our Christmas and may we give Him our hearts every day that we live.
Verse: "...for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
Challenge: Give the Lord your heart afresh today. Set your focus on Him. Seek to find a regular time in your day (Both during Christmas and throughout the year) to check up on yourself and make sure that Christ is the heart of why you are living.
Merry Christmas! I hope that you have had a wonderful month and that you are having a meaningful Christmas season. This time of year is always so special to me. It seems to grow even sweeter the more I come to know and love the One Who’s coming we celebrate! To think that He came out of such love, to endure such pain so that we could have a personal relationship with Him if we would accept the gift of His salvation! Such love calls for all that we are! The article I am posting covers something that has been stirring in my heart recently and I pray that it will be an encouragement to you.
You are in my prayers as you continue to seek the Lord and find Him to be the greatest treasure in the world! Have a wonderful Christmas rejoicing in the Lord’s great love for you!
Much love in the One we celebrate,
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Never stop short of total surrender to God.
Surrender means to, “yield, give up, submit, relinquish...”
The world, the flesh, and the devil all try to make us think that if we totally surrender all that we are and own to the Lord, we will be miserable. But the reality is just the opposite.
The secret to finding true life is to die to ourselves and allow Christ to fill us and live through us!
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
~ Matthew 16:24-26
As we surrender our self to the Lord (our will, desires, dreams, loves, things we are holding onto), He is then able to fill us and use us in ways that are beyond our wildest dreams and the make an impact that reaches through all eternity.
It is a step that we take to surrender our lives to Christ and then it is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment choice that we must accept His grace to make for the rest of our lives.
When we “lose” our life in surrender, we truly “find” it in all it was meant to be!
Sisters, let’s not settle for anything short of TOTAL surrender!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
You are always close in heart and we hope you are doing well in the Lord!
The Lord has been doing so much in the ministry and in bringing things together for upcoming days of ministry over the past weeks. He is amazing. We can’t wait to update you!
Upon returning from the last conference, there was a flurry of activities and now currently, I am just recovering from 12+ days of the flu. Now we are catching up and preparing for the coming year with great anticipation for what the Lord has in store!
The Lord has used all of the events of the past weeks in a powerful way and has been doing a deep work in my heart… and I have seen afresh how He has so much He wants to teach us every day, if we will only listen and let Him work! I am so excited to share more in the days to come.
We rejoice in what the Lord has been doing in your hearts and are so excited for all that He has in store for seeking Him together in the days ahead! Know that we are praying for you and we love you very much.
On to love our Jesus more together!
“When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8
Your sister in Him,
Monday, November 30, 2009
You are invited to join us for the Girls Discipleship Gathering Christmas Event on December 12th!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
At the last Girls Gathering we watched Amy's session from the "Changing Your World for Christ" series and discovered “Secrets to Being Mightily Used by God”.
Here are a few of those secrets:
~“Make and keep the Lord as #1 in your heart, life, and focus.” James 1:8
~ “Learn the Power of Prayer.” James 5:16
~ “Live and serve the Lord in His strength.” Isaiah 40:30-31
~ “Live to please Him and don’t fear what other people think of you.” Gen.17:1
One of the very special aspects of being apart of these Girls Gatherings is having sweet fellowship with one another. It is a place where you can be refreshed and encouraged as you interact with other girls who are following Jesus and are desiring to know Him more each day.
If you would like to join us in this month’s challenge, here it is:
~Talk to Jesus throughout the day!
~ Listen to His promptings!
~Purpose to glorify Jesus in all that you do and ask Him to help you not be distracted! “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17
We would encourage you to prayerfully consider joining us on the 2nd Saturday of each month at Vision of Glory church facility to seek the Lord together! We hope to see you there! Blessings to you as you seek Jesus!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We trust that you have grown closer to the Lord and He has continued to do His beautiful work in you!
It was so exciting to seek Him together and we look forward to continuing to do so in the days to come!
As you continue to seek Him, we are claiming the promise that, "...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6
The essence of a life that is beautiful to God is:
Someone who has come to Jesus for the forgiveness of her sins, accepted Him as her Lord and Savior, given Him full control of her life, and now is seeking and living for Him with all of her heart.
It is a life that is SET APART for the Lord.
YOU must personally make this choice! Noone can make it for you! Will you respond to this call to seek the Lord and live a life that is beautiful to Him? There is nothing better in the world!
~ DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN GOD’S BEST!!!! Is. 55:8-9 The Lord’s ways are so much higher than ours and SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!
~ Seek the things that will encourage you in Christ and get rid of the things that distract you from Him and living for Him. Heb. 12:1-2
~ TASTE the Lord’s goodness and the fulfillment of a life lived for Him for yourself! If you have already begun to do this, seek to do it more! I am on this quest with you! Ps. 34:8
~ Continue seeking and growing in the Lord every day! It is the most incredible, life-long journey! Every day is an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord and become like Him! Never settle for where you are at in your walk with the Lord. Press on to know Him more! Hos. 6:3
~ Keep your eyes on Jesus. Seek to know, love and obey Him with all that you are! Your relationship with the Lord is the most important thing! Everything else will flow out of it! Remember, "The main thing is to keep the Main Thing, the main thing."
~ When the Lord is your best Friend and Treasure and you love Him, all of the other areas of life will fit together!
Matt. 22:37-40 - "And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
Matt. 6:33 - "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
As you focus on, seek, and follow the Lord, you will know Him, find true fulfillment, love Him, and become more like Him.
As a result, you will become beautiful to God and impact your world for Him!
He is calling YOU to this - Will you respond?
- Write a summery statement of what God has done in your heart these past 30 days!
- Review the goals that He has given you and find an accountability partner to encourage you in seeking His best for your life!
- Tell the Lord your decision to live for Him and ask Him for His help to live a life that is beautiful to Him!
As you continue to seek, love, and live for Him, you will see the reality that, "...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
It is so important that we seek the Lord for His will, set goals towards fulfilling it, and take action on those goals!
Someone once wisely said, "No one plans on being mediocre, mediocrity is the result of no plan at all."
Proverbs 29:18 tells us, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
One of the greatest temptations we face is to drift through life without clarified goals or true vision. In Christ we are called to so much more than this, friends! Proverbs 14:15 says, "...the prudent man looketh well to his going." Let your vision be Christ. As you seek and keep your eyes on Him, allow Him to give you a vision for your life and to help you set goals that will help make that vision real in your life.
A goal is something that helps you clarify your priorities, grasp what you want to accomplish, and give you something towards which to work.
It is so important that you personally seek the Lord and set goals for your life!
As you set goals, ask yourself:
- Why am I here on earth?
- What are (should be) my priorities?
- Where will these priorities and the resulting choices lead?
- How will this impact my life, those around me, and eternity?
A good process for goal setting is to seek the Lord and:
- Confirm what your goal is. (Set realistic goals. This could be memorizing a verse or two of Scripture a week vs. memorizing the book of Job in a day!)
- Figure out how you are going to practically work towards it. (See below.)
- Ask the Lord for His help. (We can’t do this on our own, but God gives us grace to do everything He calls us to do!)
- Take action! (Goals are good, but if you don’t act on them, they are not going to help you much!)
For example, my biggest goal is to know the Lord more. Writing it out could be something like this:
Goal #1 - To know the Lord more.
Application to life:
- Give Him priority over other things.
- Spend time with Him every day. (Even set a certain amount of time and what part of the day you will aim for.)
- Read a book that will encourage you in your walk with Him.
~ Today - Seek the Lord and set 3 goals for your life. Write out application steps for each goal. Choose 1 goal to focus on today.
We’d love to hear what your goals and plans of action are! E-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Proverbs 4:26, "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established."