Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clean Sweep

"It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more."
Isaiah 43:25
"I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist."
Isaiah 44:22

Yesterday I did a 'clean sweep' of my home, dusting, mopping, scouring sinks and showers, steam cleaning floors, but today Lord, You are calling for a deeper clean. A clean not of the visible, but the invisible. A confessing of the heart. Father, You are calling me to repentance. Not a generalized, "Forgive me for my sins", but a specific acknowledgement of transgressions.

Your Word says that we are to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16), and Lord, I'm nothing if I'm not genuine here before friends who have come to mean so much to me. How easy it is to write words on a page and appear spiritual at a distance. How difficult it is to live out that life day by day in a world where feelings get hurt, pain happens and wrong choices are made.

Lord, today I confess the attitudes, actions and reactions of my heart over the past couple of weeks as I've been giving extra needed care to my parents. Lord, I confess my impatience, frustration, resentfulness and anger. Lord, I confess words not spoken, but thought. Unkind words. Words harbouring jealousy, envy and gossip. I confess my selfish need for recognition and acknowledgement as I bow on my knees now in humility. I confess personal desires that made me turn to others for empathy, wanting my reactions justified.

Father, I feel so far from who You created me to be. I fail so often. I choose my way. Father break me again of self. At this moment begin a new work in me. Strengthen me for obedience. I confess that serving is hard and self is strong. Today, Lord, help me make choices that honour You, living authentic in Your forgiveness. Only You can make the necessary changes in my heart. I surrender again to You. Thank You for the promise of a clean sweep. A fresh start. A new beginning.

As I leave and head over to my Mom and Dad's in just a short time, Father fill my heart with Your love for them. A love that 'washes feet'. A love that listens. A love that understands. A love that forgives. A love that abandons me and lives for You. Have Thine O way Lord.

"May Your righteousness flow like a river
May Your justice run like a stream
Your love it floods my thirsty soul
And Your grace rains down on me".
Jason Russ

***Friends I must add a postscript: I pushed "Publish Post", wondering if I should be sharing this today and where to draw the line with how real I become in 'bloggy' world. I took a journey over to my e-mail. One message was there. A devotional I receive daily. This is what I read:

"God’s plan for your growth and freedom includes other Christians. Authentic, honest fellowship is the antidote to your lonely struggle against those sins that won’t budge. God says it is the only way you’re going to break free: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16, NIV)

"Do you really want to be healed of that persistent temptation that keeps defeating you over and over? God’s solution is plain: Don’t repress it; confess it! Don’t conceal it; reveal it. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. Hiding your hurt only intensifies it. Problems grow in the dark and become bigger and bigger, but when exposed to the light of truth, they shrink. You’re only as sick as your secrets. So take off your mask, stop pretending you’re perfect, and walk into freedom." Rick Warren

In response to confession of sins, the people prayed. May I ask for your prayers today?

Thank you dear friends.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

At Night

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid."
Luke 2:8-9

Did you happen to notice when the angel appeared to the shepherds abiding in the field? It was 'at night'. It was when darkness dulled all other distractions.

Yesterday my friend Elaine, wrote a beautiful post, "The Dark Side of Genesis", that deeply touched my heart. She wrote about darkness being created to cause the needful longing of the light's approach...the Light's approach.

I don't know about you, but darkness sharpens my senses. Distractions and busyness of day surrender to the quiet, calm of night. I listen more intently. God's Word tells me He brings treasures in darkness, (Isaiah 45:3), and I love in the Psalms where it says that darkness is as light to the Lord. There is no darkness with Him (Psalm 139).

Darkness has a purpose, whether just the going down of the sun for needed physical rest, or dark nights of our soul where we learn to trust in Him. The prince of darkness will one day be forever subdued and we are promised that, in heaven, there will be no night there.

If dark clouds have caused 24 hours of 'night', don't lose hope. Beth Moore writes that, "Sometimes in the contrast of the night, we can best see the glory of God."

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Confidently Confident

"At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly."
Psalm 5:3

I've always heard it said that if God repeats Himself in His Word then you really need to listen and heed His teaching. Well this morning, the verse above was not only the key verse in the first devotional book I opened, but it was the theme verse in my other reading as well.

What so blessed my heart this morning was that before I even opened either book, or my Bible, I had bowed my head and earnestly prayed that the Lord would speak to my heart. Over the next two weeks while we are on vacation, my deepest prayer request is that God will give some clear direction in regards to this upcoming Fall. As I surrendered my plans and schedule to Him at daybreak and pleaded with Him to provide guidance, I just really needed to have that assurance that He heard me. What a delight it was to my soul to open my eyes and read this verse, not once, but twice. The Lord was speaking directly to me and giving me His guarantee that He heard me.

Not only that, but He is telling me to watch expectantly. Oh, how that Word thrills my heart. The Lord IS going to speak. I don't know how, where, when, through what means, but I need to keep my ear tuned to His heart. I can't wait to share with you His Word to me. Beth Moore talks about being "competently competent". Well, this morning I am "confidently, confident"!

What are you waiting to hear from God today? Rest in the knowledge that He has heard your cries for help and keep seeking. His answer is on the way.

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