12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
You saturate us with the wellspring of life.
Your vine is rich and sprouts from our souls.
~We rest on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Holy Spirit fills us from the depths of true love.
Colored. Green. Vibrant. Life.
~We stand on Your bed of imbue ivy.
The doors of our hearts remain open for ministry.
You line the path with flowers from heaven.
~We walk on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Worship. Prayer. Word. Revival.
Tongues of fire can be heard from your ivy laced windows.
~We bow on Your bed of imbue ivy.
The world watches and awaits its turn.
Holy Spirit fire falling upon unreached nations.
~We dance on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Your Word shall not return void.
Promises. Truth. Deliverance. Freedom.
~We pray on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Ivy ripples cannot be stopped.
The righteous stay fresh and green.
~We praise on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
Blessings permeate the toughest soil.
~We listen on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Speak, for your servant is listening.
Ears. Eyes. Mouth. Hands. Feet.
~We prophesy on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Darkness trembles as we open the doors.
Healing. Salvation. Growth.
~We commune on Your bed of imbue ivy.
Holy Spirit, come!
Fire. Water. Wind. Oil.
~We revel on Your bed of imbue ivy.
In honor of my dear friends in ministry: Summer Bailey & Debbie Cruz.
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
I hear you God! Our lives are an alabaster jar…poured out! You amaze me, honestly. Early Sunday morning before church, I was reading the passage in Matthew 26 where the unnamed woman opened an expensive bottle of perfume and poured it all out on Jesus’ head. The Holy Spirit spoke heavily that morning, and I was prepared to journal my thoughts as He directed.
Following church, I returned home to find a surprise in the middle of my living room floor. I noticed that our glass oil fragrance burner had fallen from our fireplace mantle; oil was pouring out into a perfect pool of liquid in the middle of the floor. The glass lamp had fallen from a height of approximately six feet without suffering any cracks or shattering. The top of the lamp was tipped open and the oil was flowing ever so gently out of the vessel. I hear you God! I will be obedient and write your Easter message.
Jesus – The Anointed One. We have many names for Jesus: Lord, Messiah, King, Shepherd, etc. Yet, many of us fail to understand one very important meaning of His name, Anointed. Jesus was anointed by the Father to bring salvation to the world. Acts 10:38 also tells us that, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
During my meditation time, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly when He said that we often seek God’s anointing but we fail to bless the Anointed One. [Pause]. Hear me clearly. There is nothing wrong with seeking! Yet, dear brother and sister…drawing near is truly the first step. Your life is an alabaster jar. He is the Anointed One. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit is trying to get our focus on blessing the Anointed and stop focusing on ourselves. We should, instead, pour ourselves out and then He, by nature, will fill us up!
Often, believers spend an exorbitant amount of time seeking gifts but not the Giver. I think we are getting the point now. This Easter is about the Anointed One. The One who came to seek and save the lost. Therefore, we bless you and pour ourselves out for You, Lord. This Easter, may we open our alabaster jars of our lives and pour them fully onto the head of Jesus. Not only does He deserve it, but there is no better place I’d rather be than anointing my Savior with my words, life, giving, thoughts, actions, sacrifice, etc.
You are an alabaster jar, and you are pouring yourself out to something. Trust me when I say that. Your life is expensive. It was bought with a price! You are most certainly opening your expensive jar and pouring yourself out to something or someone. Only you can answer that question. This Easter, ask God to seek your heart and burn up what is not of Him and to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Open your expensive jar and pour yourself onto His head as a peace offering, and be prepared to receive a rebound of His fullness in love, grace, mercy, and gifts.
In other words, you get the fullness of Jesus Himself through the Holy Spirit. Then, you are able to work in your gifting to do exactly what Jesus did…”doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil” as stated in Acts. How do we know this? For the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. Apart from Jesus, you can do nothing.
Lesson: The most amazing thing is that your jar is never too empty; you are never too spent or cracked! He wants what you have, and He will fill you to an overflow in return. You are an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, and you were bought with a price. Let us pour ourselves out this Easter as a peace offering. We bless the name of Jesus. Poured out for you this Easter and forevermore.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Life. I love when God reminds me to…look up! He often does this when I’m around a lot of people or in a busy season. You see, what I consider “big” in my life cannot compare to the existence of God and His creation. Life.
Sound. A baby cries. I am reminded that all of life creates sound harmoniously. We may not be able to hear it with our human ears, but trust me when I say…it is speaking! Even if man seals my lips, the rocks will cry out. In my time of spiritual meditation, I love when the Holy Spirit pushes my finite cognition. When a baby takes his first breath, he signals to the world that he is born. He cries. In response, his mother places him on her chest to feel her heartbeat and breath. She speaks over him and he knows her voice. What was it like when Abba Father spoke creation into existence? Sound.
Light. I can only imagine that the light flickers in wonderment as it peaks above the horizon bathing the land day after day. When light speaks, flares shoot into the atmosphere shouting praises to Yahweh. The light drives out darkness as a mirror image of God the Father. It dances over the land as it rushes its brilliance over the Father’s creation. Light.
Seas. When God separated the land from the sea, I can only imagine that the blue waves clapped in reverence. When the seas speak, the whitecap waves reach up high and kiss the face of God as He leans down. The seas sway in perfect cadence day and night as the angels sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord, and all-powerful God.” Seas.
Land. When the dry ground appeared, I can only imagine that it rumbled loudly in admiration of God’s masterpiece. When the land speaks, the entire landscape transforms: grass stands at attention in amazement, mountains tremble in His presence, tree branches crackle as they reach to the heavens in praise, and rocks inhale collectively across the globe in perfect anticipation…they cry out, “Our God is the Rock. His work is perfect.” [Deuteronomy 32:3–4]. Land.
Sky. When Father God separated the sky from the land and water below, I can only imagine that the clouds reflected the most beautiful rays of His face that day. When the sky speaks, it thunder-claps like a symphonic orchestra. The trumpets vibrate from cloud to cloud in pillowy showcase to His glory. Lightening twirls around like a Prima ballerina dancing for her King. The sun brushes each cloud with indescribable colors as a present to Elohim. Sky.
While I was in the middle of writing this journal entry, some dear friends of mine shared a special message and passage with me. This not only confirmed why the Holy Spirit was speaking so loudly to me, but it affirmed my purpose!
Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” I wanted to be in shock when this passage was shared with me, but I was honestly brought to my knees in praise. I was writing a personal journal entry about how God’s creation speaks when my friends sent me a message about the earth being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
God, in all His glory, is continuing to bring about His vast, deep, and powerful knowledge to the earth…just as the waters cover the sea. I am thankful God chooses to use common people like me and you. We must make that point very clear. He CHOOSES! Just as He spoke light into existence, He could do anything with the power of just His breath. Yet, He chooses to use people: love God and love people.
I’m thankful for Holy Spirit connections, power, and revival. Remember, life creates sound! Are you alive? Are you making a “sound” for the King? Even creation speaks.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I no longer believe in four seasons…summer, fall, winter, and spring. No. You showed me otherwise this weekend. FaithWalk. You, Holy God, plant seasons in the heart far greater than the four times we experience change in one year. You see, atmospheric change cannot describe heart change. It cannot describe the seasons of the heart…but you still produce them.
Some of these heart seasons remind me of cold, dark, and lonely times where growth appears stale. I cry out to you in those “wintery” seasons and beg you to shine new light on me. Yet, the bitter cold of the tongues of men strike daggers through my bones sharper than any known human weapon. Frozen. I’m unable to move from the pain. The windchill from words of death have paralyzed me. However, I’m always reminded that you never leave me nor forsake me no matter how bitter cold those valleys become. Your light is warmth for my soul.
Other heart seasons remind me of new life bursting with color. Your Spirit births words of knowledge, visions, and restoration to what was once dead. Just in these “springtime” seasons, the Holy Spirit blows dandelion kisses spreading His seed all across the field. A doe caresses her fawn the same way you bend down from heaven to listen to me. I hear you too. Meditating on your Word is like honey from the honeycomb…sweet. I’m reminded that the springtime rain is truly your anointing oil kissing the chosen’s head and cheeks for such a time as this.
Yes, there are heart seasons far greater than one can count. Your “summer” showers refreshed all of us this weekend with your presence. I no longer say, “It’s too much.” I desire all of your wind, fire, and living water bursting forth because as an eternal provider it continues to flow in and out of me. Earthly elements are designed to take away and leave empty, but You, Holy God, are designed to give life. You brought butterflies from states away to help produce flowers in us by pollinating your Word all throughout the camp. They are beautiful and gently brush against my skin to remind me of your touch. When they leave, I cry. You’ve created colors on their wings that leave fire pixels wherever they touch so they always point to you even when they are gone.
It’s hard to say goodbye, God! I don’t want to leave your “sunsets on the beach” and your constant whispers from the ocean waves. What is it, Lord? Your colors? I’m not leaving?? You’re changing the colors of my heart, the same way you color a fall tree. I’ve known my gifts before: encouragement/yellow, discernment/blue, vision/red, prayer/white…but you’ve added a new color to my heart this weekend: pastor/green. I never knew the fullness of your heart in me until this weekend walking alongside MY pastor, mentor, and friend. Thank you for using me to help grow/green others, but honestly, Lord, you GREW me.
So, I’ll take your colors with me. With tear-soaked memories, I will forever be thankful and grateful to have walked these seasons with my wife, pastor, and friends. “Wintery” heart seasons won’t be nearly as hard this time…why? I picked a dozen Esther light pink roses to put in my vase. Each one speaks a word to me: leader, beauty, elegance,…
This Holy Spirit nourishment is all I need. May I never forget this experience as I walk the seasons of my life. You, oh Lord, have overly blessed me, and I bless your name with every breath in my body.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When I was growing up, I heard stories about you. We were born around the same day in a small town called Bethlehem. I didn’t know it then as an infant, but I heard that you were delivered and placed in a manger because there was no room in the inn. My parents remembered the townspeople chattering about your birth, “The Savior of the world has come; his name is Immanuel.” How can that be? You were just a helpless baby – crying in a trough to be exact.
I didn’t think you noticed me or even knew my name. You paused…and looked right at me when you were preaching at the temple. Did you know that I had just stolen food and money? Did my nervous energy give it away? Surely that’s the reason! Your eyes were strong, piercing, yet compassionate. At the same time, I heard a dark voice in my head slithering phrases into my conscious: “Who does he think he is? Don’t listen to him! You are filthy and can never be freed from your guilt.” Your eyes spoke of a different story. I’ve heard many teachers, prophets, and religious leaders speak as I walked around the temple looking for something to steal to be frank, but you sounded…different. Yet, the voices convinced me to turn around and walk way. It was easier to continue my life as a thief.
Is that you? I see you coming. Through blood-soaked tears and painful muscle spasms contracting every connective fascia in my body, I see you carrying that cross. What did you do? I’ve watched you over the years, from a distance of course, and I’ve only seen you preach, teach, deliver, and perform miracles. What crime did you commit? What could you have done to receive this type of punishment? I know my sins equal my punishment, but truly what have you done? Why are they nailing you to this cross? I want to feel rage, but I know my crimes. How can you offer forgiveness when they are killing you? Yet, I’m not surprised as this rings true to your character. Seeing you offer forgiveness, love, and zero retaliation began to change my heart. At that time, I couldn’t stand to listen to the insults any longer. You ARE the Messiah and our Immanuel. You don’t deserve this punishment like I do, but please remember me when you come into Your kingdom. Then you said, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” [Luke 23:43]
Listen dear child, the unlikely gift this Christmas season is the free gift of Jesus, which brings salvation, wholeness, freedom, healing, restoration, peace, forgiveness, and deliverance. Please do not let the true meaning of this season become overshadowed by worldly presents, trees, and lights. Even while his flesh was dying, Jesus was still in the business of saving lives! Yes, the baby in the manger changes everything, but you still have to accept Him. The two thieves on the cross are truly the perfect example! Jesus did not turn to the other thief and condemn him or harass him for his unbelief and insults. Sadly, Jesus knew where that man would spend eternity, but He did not force Himself upon him even as the other thief was dying. What a lesson!
Do not wait for a deathbed confession! Today is the day for salvation. No matter how old you are, what you’ve done, or how “bad” you “think” you are, Jesus is MORE than able! However, no matter where you are in your life: young, old, or truly in a season of death and dying, Jesus can restore your soul in an instant; you simply have to accept.
~Do you need peace? JESUS
~Do you need healing? JESUS
~Do you need restoration? JESUS
~Do you need joy? JESUS
~Do you need fulfillment? JESUS
~Do you need deliverance? JESUS
~Do you need clarity? JESUS
~Do you need freedom? JESUS
~Do you need salvation? JESUS
Question: Will you accept this unlikely gift? One that offers you EVERYTHING by accepting, repenting, and confessing.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Mary, did you know when the angel entered your home and said you were favored by the Lord that there would be many trials?…
When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”
29 She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant.
30 The angel told her,
“Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. 31 You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. 32 He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be? I’m a virgin.”
35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy child developing inside you will be called the Son of God.
36 “Elizabeth, your relative, is six months pregnant with a son in her old age. People said she couldn’t have a child. 37 But nothing is impossible for God.”
38 Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”
The response of FAITH and pure JOY!…”Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”
Mary, did you know that trials would engulf your family and attempt to steal your joy when Joseph woke up from a dream and said your family had to flee to Egypt because Herod was plotting to kill all the male children two years old and younger?
Mary, did you know that the trial of misplacing your preteen son, who was also fully God, during the Festival of the Passover for three days would cause you great anxiety?
48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Mary, did you know the trial of watching your son, the Savior of the world, being beaten and crucified would cause anguish and grief?
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Mary, did you know that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection would trade pieces of faded joy for a cup overflowing with everlasting life? Just as the angel said decades prior, “Nothing is impossible for God.”
I’m reminded this Christmas season that not everything is jolly and bright. We must be sensitive to those around us and the trials they are going through. In fact, YOU are probably going through some trials of your own! As believers, it is our duty to carry each other’s burdens.
Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Truly, Christ carries us and ALL of our burdens but this passage reminds us to be outwardly focused.
~This Christmas season, there are families that will attempt to cook their family Christmas dinner without a loved one. Tears replace laughter.
~This Christmas season, there are co-workers who are lonely and seeking to fill a great void in their lives that only the risen Christ can seal. Depression replaces peace.
~This Christmas season, there are single parents struggling to pay rent and feed their children while the world continues to spiral out of control. Chaos replaces security.
~This Christmas season, there are neighbors in your community who won’t be able to see their loved ones leaving them all alone for the holidays. Silence replaces chatter.
~This Christmas season, there are foster children begging for a permanent loving home. Sadness replaces contentment.
~This Christmas season, there are souls all across the globe who are either lost, hurt, or struggling. Trials replace hope.
No matter where you see yourself (or others), trials produce spiritual perseverance. Therefore, this Christmas season, we take notes from the greatest overcomer: Jesus Christ. Despite the various trials He experienced, He ACCOMPLISHED what He came to do: To seek and save the lost.
Oh dear child! That simply gives me chills. He seeks you! The eyes of the Lord are upon you even in your desperate time of need. I challenge you to trade your faded joy for Christmas hope!
This type of hope does not come in a pretty package. It cannot be bought, and you will NEVER find it in a store. You will find Him [HOPE] this season wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Do not be dismayed…this baby changes everything!
I’m thankful for my dear wife, Aimee, for sending me the picture of her coffee mug this morning with the title: faded joy. It is overwhelming to see the Holy Spirit speak and use her as He does.
14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
11-14 [The Message] But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
This tree, full of life, is clothed in your beauty.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
You, Lord, are our place of refuge and safety. I shall not want.
Your vibrance reaches across the expanse from your breath of life as you whisper to all souls.
Yet, death lurks in the distance.
Sin, that so easily entangles, is wagging war for the same space.
Drunkenness, lust, pride, bickering, and greed are the brittle limbs holding the last of your colorful gifts.
These sins have eaten at your soul and lay waste to the ground in lifeless decay.
Your trunk is surrounded by death as you war against: “Whoever finds their life will lose it.”
Yet a still small voice paints a different picture: “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Picking up your cross, daily, leaves deep wounds.
No one promised that this life was going to be easy.
However, consider it pure joy when you go through various trials.
Don’t squander an opportunity…get dressed and clothe yourself in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your covering drapes over me like a rich anointing flowing from my head to my knees.
As I bow, you cover me to where others only see the Son.
Conversely, sin has a covering.
This veiled sackcloth suffocates the very spiritual breath required for healthy spiritual fruit.
Your vibrant greens are fading to fragile browns.
This tree, full of life, is clothed in your beauty…your love ran red and cleansed me.
When others look at me, they can only see your skillful creation and handiwork.
So with fresh spiritual eyes, awaken O sleeper.
The time is near and He is calling.
Cast off all the sin that so easily ensnares and clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reclaim what the locust have stolen and take your rightful place.
Stand firm with your trunk unwavering on the cornerstone of Christ.
Don’t sway or turn to the ways of this world.
Remain in the light and He shall cover you with His wings.
The time is now…don’t wait or linger.
You were called for such a time as this but don’t go at it alone.
Putting on the full armor of God protects you in this spiritual battle.
He promises to protect you from the fiery darts of the enemy with the shield of faith.
He waters your soul because He is living water just as the moss helps hydrate the tree.
Remain refreshed by filling yourself with all things just, fair, noble, and true.
Clothe yourself in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Cast off everything else you’re not meant to wear or carry.
Wake up! It’s time to get dressed!
Challenge: What or who are you wearing? This is not a question about designer clothing. This is a spiritual matter.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
Your destination does not mean that you’ve arrived! Arrival is set for when you meet Jesus face-to-face. It’s what you do in the middle that matters. From the time that I was a child, my wise aunt always said, “The train keeps moving if you’re on it or not so you might as well get on the train.”
I come from a long line of both intellectual and spiritual warriors so this adage stuck with me. Following high school, I climbed aboard and have ridden the rails between vast cotton fields of northeast Louisiana, through bright city lights in the heart of Texas, and on country back porches in the “Heel of the Boot.”
All of these destination stops were God-designed, God-ordained, and God-breathed. Yet the journal was not easy! Through many years of hard work and dedication, I am stepping off my fourth train and looking forward to this next season/destination of life. These trains may have awarded me more credentials and degrees on my “rail ticket” or “life’s passport,” but I’ve gained something more valuable as I watch the train leave the station: contentment, peace, love, joy, appreciation, and servant-leadership.
Simply put, I’ve spent twelve years in post-secondary education…climbing up; can you hear the sound of the train’s whistle as it climbs? Yet, the entire time, God was teaching me to kneel and wash the feet of those He placed in my care. Let’s just say, the ride wasn’t always easy, and some years felt more like a rollercoaster versus a scenic ride through the mountains. Pride’s fuel results in an erratic and unpredictable terrane. Whereas, humility’s fuel brings smooth rides through lush landscapes.
Don’t forget…your destination, wherever you are, is NOT your arrival. These are two separate and distinctly different words. Will there be another train ride? As my wise aunt stated, “That depends on the Conductor [Jesus Christ]. He has delivered you [and all of us] through all the high mountains, low valleys, deep waters, and stormy weather. So whatever He plans for your life, we trust in His direction for your future.”
As I turn and wave goodbye to this faithful ride, I never want to forget the sounds of the wheels that remind me of the roughness of life. The “clickety-clack” is a constant reminder that we will face MANY trials in this life, but we are to consider them PURE JOY for the testing of your faith produces perseverance [James 1:1-3]. I want to hear the blast of the train’s whistle one more time, which reminds me that Jesus will send out his angels with a LOUD trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other [Matthew 24:31]; therefore, we must be intentional about sharing and SHOWING the gospel EVEN outside the walls of the church. Finally, I want to hear the roar of the engine, which reminds me that when God is in control of YOUR vessel…NOTHING can stop you because even the winds and waves obey Him [Matthew 8:24-27].
God has a high-level view of your life! As I walked away from my final train station, He allowed me to see that all four stations represented His Son, Jesus Christ. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?! Therefore, wherever you are, please be encouraged!
(1) God may be telling you to get on the train (whatever that train represents for you). Remember, “The train keeps moving if you’re on it or not!” Where might the Lord want to “take” you next in your spiritual journey. Time to let go and climb aboard!
(2) He may also be trying to fill you with courage to leave the station and finally begin your new journey/destination. You weren’t meant to stay at the station forever. It’s time to go make an impact for Him. Get off the bench; pick up your bags, and make the first step. He will honor your faithfulness.
(3) He may be trying to OPEN your eyes to your surroundings and others and stop focusing on life’s negativities. Again, wherever you are, I can guarantee you one thing…He will always be with you!
In the last year and a half, we have seen extreme suffering and loss. The world AND OUR neighbors are hurting. Don’t let the enemy stifle God’s purpose for your life. You have a choice. Let today be your day to make an impact for the Kingdom.
17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Psalm 39 describes it quite well, “Everyone is but a breath.” This world and everything in it is truly passing away, but that is not the end of the story. Whoever does the will of God lives forever. In order to do the will of God, you must first know God! Yet, knowing God is more than mere knowledge. The space between your brain and heart is approximately eighteen inches. However, eternity hangs between this minuscule space. In a blink of an eye, eighteen inches will become the most important measurement you’ll ever make – not how much money you made, how many cars you had, how many stocks you had, or what position you held on this earth. No. The distance you travel from your head to your heart will determine your eternity.
I know someone who spent decades operating out of the heart of God and is now walking alongside Him on streets of gold. In a blink, she traveled from pain to praise. I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t share her mission, which proves God’s ripples cannot be stopped!
From foreign missions to neighborhood soup kitchens, a servant’s heart she most certainly possessed. She never met a stranger because she saw the image of Christ in all human beings collectively. To some, spiritual anomalies bring about surprise and extreme wonderment. Yet, our friend would say, “Isn’t that what we were expecting?”…with a beautiful smile and confident laugh to follow.
She taught us all to respect one another and to love deeply. She praised with her whole spirit across all settings, and she wouldn’t think twice about praying for someone in need. Some call her teacher as she spent countless years shaping our children into the strong young men and women they are today. However, those precious ears didn’t know it at the time, but she was planting seeds for a harvest decades later through the planting of His Word embedded in her curriculum, songs, encouragement, and prayers.
We often referenced this life as a race and used Hebrews 12 as our guide. Our friend was the best spiritual pacer, and it was most certainly a challenge to keep up to her “6-min./mile spiritual pace.” The best way to explain this reference is to copy a reference definition from the world wide web concerning this type of “pace.”
“A 6-minute mile is kind of the unofficial threshold of fast endurance running. Casual runners are not likely to run a 6-minute mile on accident, but it’s an achievable – if not high – bar for an aspiring new runner who is training hard.” http://www.quora.com
You see, our friend was not running by accident! She trained her whole life for this type of spiritual endurance race and she expected you to run alongside her! She was definitely an elite spiritual runner, and she expected you to be as well through encouragement and prayer! Trust me…it was a challenge and you often left pouring sweat! Yet, it was the best experience of your life. You left fulfilled and full of the Holy Spirit because you served, loved, gave, prayed, listened, laid hands, taught, and discipled.
Fear never got off the starting line as that spirit had no room around her. Power, love, and a sound mind flanked her at all crossroads in her life. Even though she beat me and crossed the finish line, I will continue the mission we started from the very beginning, which was to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ in all the nations. I pray that my words will travel across the globe and touch many lives. Even more, I pray that multitudes will come to the Father through Jesus Christ even through this message. I pray that every single one of you love hard and always keep your eye tuned to the needy and hurting. Serve as often as you can, and leave more than you take. Come and go quietly but leave a massive impact wherever you go – remember it’s not about you; it’s about the Lord.
Well done, good and faithful servant! You touched heaven from the other side of your eyelids. The Word prayed over you is now the flesh standing before you. His hands, His feet…that smile!! Oh how He’s waited for this day to show you the Father, the indescribable beauty, and the angelic choir.
Until we meet again my friend…there is work still to be done (as you would say) so we will go for now, and we will always be looking for those Jesus opportunities everywhere we go.
24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Don’t mistake my silence for anger! As I listen to your accusations, I am not sitting silent in bitterness; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about how I held you when you were born and your parents disowned you. It was me kissing your head and breathing life into you as you fell asleep. I am the one who comforted you as you grew older and couldn’t find your way. I will always chase after you because I love you. You can spit on me, but I came to set you free.
Don’t mistake my silence for weakness! As you beat me, I am not sitting silent in rage; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about how I healed you when someone prayed for you. I smile when I look into your eyes because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I see the image of my Father in the flecks of your eyes. I remember the conversations we had as we spoke life over you. You can beat me, but I will always love you.
Don’t mistake my silence for unforgiveness! As you nail me to this cross, I am not sitting silent in revenge; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about how your world is going to change when you accept me and I live inside of you the rest of your life. I know everything about you, and you will change the world for me! “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” You can lift that hammer and slam nails into my skin, but I will always see you as mine.
Don’t mistake my silence for pity! As you gamble for my clothes, I am not sitting silent in sorrow; it’s not my character. I’m actually thinking about the joy of fulfilling my Father’s will. I long to please my Father who sent me, and I long to be with you for eternity. I am going to prepare a place for you so don’t be sad for I have overcome this world. You can have my clothes…they are meaningless to me because I have come for your heart.
Don’t mistake my silence for death! As you pierce my side, I am not sitting here in defeat; it’s not my character. I’m actually walking in victory as we speak for I crushed the head of the enemy and took back the keys of death. Satan’s false, temporary rule is over because the King of kings and Lord of lords sits at the right hand of the Father. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. Your false reign is over. You can believe you are greater, but you and I both know how the story ends!
Don’t mistake my silence for failure! As you roll the stone over the tomb entrance, I am not sitting here in darkness; it’s not my character. I’m walking out in light three days later, and you will not find me here! This is not my grave because the grave cannot hold me down. The Father has found no fault in me. I gave my body as the final sacrifice for the world. My shed blood freed all of humanity and is alive even today. I breathe renewed life onto all of humanity and offer the Holy Spirit for those who believe.
So…waiting in silence is really rejoicing in victory!
Happy Easter friends and family. Behold the Lamb of God on the cross – walks out like a lion three days later.
NEVER underestimate a season of silence!…for a lion is coming!!!!