Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: January 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

God's Gifts of Grace and Mercy

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)

How can we not be joyful when it comes to God’s faithfulness, His never ending love and His new mercies for us every day! I can’t read these scriptures and not think that the Joy of the Lord is my strength! When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, we receive gifts that we would never be in position to receive otherwise.

God’s grace is a gift to His children, a gift he gives to those who have made Jesus their Lord and Savior – we don’t do anything to receive this gift, it’s part of our inheritance.  

Just like the grace we extend to our own children when they haven’t done anything to deserve a reward. I’ve often given my sons gifts simply because they’ve asked – not that they have gone out of their way to do something for me – but simply because they asked and I was able to give them the gift they asked for.

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:7-11 NLT)

There is nothing that our God can’t do for us – He is able to do great and exceedingly wonderful things, He doesn’t put limitations or requirements on His gifts – He only tells us to ask Him and receive by faith.

Mercy another gift from God, given to us because we’ve either made a mistake or just because in this world, there will be trouble – isn’t it good to know that Jesus told us that, “…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33c NLT)  

Think of this: if you have told your child a thousand times to stop climbing and jumping out of a certain tree, yet he continues to do so and one day breaks their arm - are you going to stand there, shaking your finger at them and give them a lecture on listening to you? Heck no, you are a good parent – you are going to carry him to the ER, while trying to calm him and reassure him, lavishing all your love on him – not because he made a mistake, but because you love him no matter what and want to ease his suffering.

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16 NLT)

I’ve heard this said before, the difference between mercy and grace is – MERCY is NOT getting what you deserve and GRACE is getting what you DON’T deserve. There’s nothing more joyous to my heart than the love I have for my family and when I think of the love God has for his own Son Jesus, and the price Jesus willingly paid for us all; I can’t even imagine the extent of God and Jesus’ love for us.

I know when I give my children a gift, I love to see them use their gift, I don’t want to see it sitting on a shelf never to be used. This is how I see God’s mercy and grace for us. He wants us to be blessed, He wants us to use the gifts He’s already given us! Jesus already paid the price – so let’s not put it high upon a shelf to gather dust, thinking it’s too special for us! 

Don’t get caught in a trap thinking, “we’re not good enough for those gifts, you got this wrong God – there are just ‘some things’ that the blood of Jesus can’t clean”… don’t buy into those lies of the devil! The devil wants you to think that way because you become very dangerous to him when you accept God's gifts of mercy and grace! And when you receive all of the gifts God has for you THAT is when you can become WHO God called you to be!

Receive God’s gifts for you today, claim them with the blood of Jesus, stand on the promises you have been given and then give God all the honor and glory He deserves.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will Provide

Well, I made it through a whole week of Homeschooling and let me just say, it was amazing!! I am so overjoyed that God has led our family to this exciting adventure! I've loved spending so much time with my sons and getting to know a different side of them (I really do think teachers see a side of our children that we don’t always get to see, after all they get 40 hours with them a week).

One lesson that Mommy/Teacher learned this past week: one sure fire way to discover if you are on the path God has for you – constantly taking direct fire from the enemy - if you have that happening, you are probably doing something right! 

So it’s no shock when there have been various little issues that have plagued us – my sons and I would stop what we were doing and pray for God’s provision.  Each time we were blessed by God’s provision, building up and strengthening our faith. Now, a HUGE financial pitfall/disaster/circumstance has occurred and the weight of it was simply too much for me to bear, so I did the only thing I could do – I gave it to God, and you know He is faithful and true, His mercies are new everyday –  I've been so blessed by the sweetest peace He has given me! This issue hasn't gone away and I don’t know how the Lord will provide, but I KNOW He will.

I feel like the devil is attacking us especially hard right now, simply because of the glory we are giving to God for this opportunity. More people have come up to me and asked about homeschooling, which has opened the door for me to talk about God and how He is the reason we are doing this.

Although I was sure homeschooling was what God wanted for my sons, my husband hadn't received that answer yet – time messes with you when you’re sure what God wants for your family, but your spouse hasn't received the same answer yet – you will question yourself. I knew that in order to homeschool, I would need to put our sons back in Karate – they had been out for only 6 weeks but my budget was pretty tight that month, so I wasn't sure how I could pay for it. Then I got a call from our church on Dec 21st , someone had anonymously given a monetary gift for my family (no one knew we were having a hardship – no one except God!). So on the way up to the church I was thanking God for however much I was about to receive; I then said, ‘God, I honestly believe you want us to homeschool, and I believe you want us to start as soon as Christmas Break is over – but God, I would need to be able to put the boys in karate and I don’t have any extra money for that right now – so if this ‘gift’ is enough for that, I’ll know that without a doubt, you are telling me YES, go ahead and do this NOW’. So when I got home and opened the envelope, it was enough for karate and ‘then some'.  I knew in my heart that God had said YES, but knowing there was ‘more’ to this - I held on to the cash, waiting to discover what the ‘then some’ was for.

Our church has an awesome Youth Retreat every January; four days of teenagers worshiping God, having fun, fellowship,  and drawing closer to God – but again, the cost was more than I could afford at this time and I believed it was really important for my teenager to be able to go, especially now that I knew we would be homeschooling! A friend at our church told me that I should apply for a scholarship (after all my teenager volunteers every Sunday to help with the Pre-K kids) I would only have to pay a smaller deposit with the scholarship.  Totaling up the cost for the karate lessons and then the deposit to the youth retreat, that would leave 10% of the total blessing (hello, tithe!!) – Which showed me, without a doubt –that God’s hand was in this; he showed me that HE is our provider, no one else!

So now, I’m clinging to that promise – God was so exact in that blessing, that He needed me to see before the seas got too rough, before I would even have a chance to take my eyes off of Him, that we are doing His will and He will not leave us or forsake us – HE is Jehovah-Jireh (The Lord will provide)! (Genesis 22:7-14)

Every school day, we start out with prayer and then read from our Bible and have a devotional time together. I was even able to share this experience (God's provision) with our sons last week, they were in awe - not realizing how intricate God's provision can be and just for them! This time has been my favorite part of our day and my sons have even told me, that it’s their favorite too. God knows exactly what we need, when we need it and how we need it – the blessings He gave us, are an anchor to hold onto during the storm we are now experiencing.  We know that God doesn't give us the storms in life, but He will give us shelter through them and having His promises to fall back on gives us a peace that only God can deliver.

Labels: , , , , ,