Monday, December 30, 2013

The Shield of God

   Hey now, it might seem impossible, and it may feel like the end is here, but I know a place of refuge. It's dark and difficult right now, and you might feel empty and lost, but I know the One who fills you and invites you in.

   There is nothing too dirty for Him to wash away. There is no shame in the Presence of the Father. Whatever lies the enemy has drilled into your mind are debunked by the truth that is in Jesus.

   The devil relentlessly attempts to destroy you, but God graciously blesses you. The action of lifting hands, humbling spirits, and falling tears is our white flag. We're admitting we can't do this, not alone that is. We're not strong enough, not without God's strength. We're hopeless, that is unless we put our hope in Him.

   "You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word." (Psalms 119:114) God is our shield. If we just fully cover ourselves in this shield, and immerse ourselves in His Word, we'll never have to limp through the difficult times. 

   We can stand tall in the confidence of God's power and provision, because we're under the security of His wings.

   "Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice." (Psalms 63:7)

   Rejoice in Him at all times. Praise His glorious name every day and every night, for He is worthy to be praised. Pour out your adoration and lavish Him in songs of love.

   Rejoice in knowing that you are always secure. There will never, ever be a time when you have to face the troubles of this world alone. God is always near to His sheep.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

-The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Keeping on Holding on

   "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." (2 Timothy 4:5)

   Fulfilling our own specific ministries destined by God is our life-long journey. Each step on the rugged road to Heaven is a step taken to fulfill the Lord's plan for our lives.

   It's often very difficult to keep on going, because our adversary chimes in and tries desperately to mess with us. Our enemy's ultimate goal is really to ruin us. He only wants to destroy God's children and distract them from doing what God has for them.

   However, what we don't acknowledge in the midst of the chaotic attacks is the fact that God really has the best in store for the ones who love Him and follow Him.

   "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

   See right there, it is written that God gives us a future of hope. Imagine if we would just remember these promises from God and truly know and hold on to what He has miraculously shown us. If we would do this, if we would recall the truth and close out eyes and hold on to His hands, there'd be a world if difference in the middle of our trials.

   "But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them," (2 Timothy 3:14)

   Can't you hear Him saying, "Hold on child, for I will never leave you. Hold on to Me when your strength is failing, and I will strengthen you."

   Trust in the Lord, for He has promised great things for those who are faithfully His. That's all we need to do. We need only be fully His own, and walk by the Spirit.

   Trust in the Lord, and everything will work out for your good. Trust in His love, trust in His grace, and trust in His strength. God be with you, and may His peaceful, assuring Presence rest upon you always. Amen.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Gift of Jesus

   The perfect One entered into our imperfect world, so that He could save the people He loves. He loves, and that's truly what Christmas is about. Christmas is about God's love, and how God's infinite love for us drove Him into action. This drastic action being the sacrifice of His only Son, His perfect Lamb. 

   The perfect Lamb of God is the real meaning behind our Christmas season. This season of love, giving, and joy began because of God's love, God's Gift, and the joy that it brings to us. We have joy because Jesus gave us hope. 

   The day before that first Christmas, the world was so lost and dark and there was no hope, but God didn't leave us there. God didn't leave us for dead (to sin), so He sent the final sacrifice of Jesus. From that moment in time, Hope was born into the world.

   "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." (Philippians 2:6-7)

   You see, from the very beginning of time, Jesus held authority and power. Jesus from the very start was our Lord and Savior. He is our humble King, for He entered into our sin-stained world to save us. King Jesus humbled himself to be born into the world as a baby in a filthy manger. Think of the love! God's love is so perfect, that His perfect lamb, the King of kings and Prince of Peace, was meek and humble to take this place of a servant!

   "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:1-4)

   So, this Christmas, remember the true meaning. Remember that Christmas is all about God's pure and spotless Lamb, Love's pure Light, the One who humbled himself to be born into this world and save us. May the peace and joy and freedom of this truth envelope your Christmas. Be joyful, for God's Gift has given us every reason to be glad! God bless you and Merry Christmas!

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christ Died for Us

   "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." (Romans 5:6)

   The love of God is so perfect and pure that, while we were so dead in sin, He gave His spotless Lamb to redeem us. The blood of the Lamb of God saved us and gave us hope. Our salvation in Jesus Christ is the hope that's in our hearts forever.

   "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," (Ephesians 2:4-6)

   Victory in Christ is completely secured for those who love Him. How we love our Lord, and we glorify the wonders of His works. 

   He loves us unconditionally, for He has shown us great mercy like no other by the sacrifice of His perfect Son. The perfect Lamb of God, the One who defeated death once and for all, has freely shown us love and mercy.

   "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39)

   This love and mercy that compelled our compassionate Father in Heaven to take action and save His children can never be removed from us. Peace is discovered within, because the Word of God assures us of His never ending love.

   It is written that no thing coul ever cause God's love to be removed from us, His children. The ones who believe and have faith in the Lord will live to see His glory. There will come a day when all else fades away, and when only the magnificence of our Savior Jesus remains and reigns. Only He remains, only He reigns.

   Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

   Secure your soul in His mighty hands, and you shall live with Him for all of eternity. I can't think of anything better than spending all of eternity with the Prince of Peace, Lord of Love, and God of all Comfort. 

   An everlasting communion of compassion with Christ, peace surpassing all understanding, and the Love of God that has been planted inside our hearts grows uncontrollably. This is what our lives look like when we are submitted to Christ. Our lives reflect the love and compassion of Christ when we decide to be His.

   The beauty of His love is infinite, and it may seem difficult to grasp, but you need not fret, for God has made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue the ones He loves so dearly. 

   Jesus, the Lamb of God, Love's pure Light, He was the final sacrifice. Final meaning there is no need to be punished or to work to repay your sins. Not only is there no need, but you can't repay your transgressions. Neither harm nor works can get you into Heaven, remember, only Christ can do that, and, He's already done it! 

   Our part now is simply to receive the ultimate gift from God, and to say yes to all He has done. This gift cannot be earned, because we could never be righteous enough to deserve it. But isn't that the beauty of His mercy? Yes, Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and that's how we know His love will never end.

   "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

   This is the anchor for our souls, the hope for all humanity, and the joy that's in our hearts. Christ died for us, and all you need to do is receive it and live in it.

   - The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holding Onto Jesus

   Hold on. Hold onto Jesus, even when everything seems hopeless. Jesus gives hope to the disheartened, strength to the weary souls, and peace to the restless. Hold onto Jesus, and you'll find your hope.

   "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;" (1 Peter 1:13)

   Jesus is our Wonderful Conselor, Lord of Light, and Healer. Trust in His goodness, unfailing love, and mercy. Jesus crowds out the darkness, so when you look to Him, even in your darkest hour, He will pull you into His light. In His light there is no darkness.

   "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:46)

   So then, we are children of the Light. We are heirs with the One who has given hope for all humanity. The day Jesus entered this world we were set on the path toward eternal freedom. When He died on that cross the work was finished, yes, death and darkness could not hold Him down. Therefore, because He has redeemed us by His perfect blood, those in Christ have overcome sin and death and darkness. Jesus is our victory, and Jesus is our hope.

   "And your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning." (Job 11:17)

   It may seem like you are drowning in sorrows, but take heart Jesus is near to the brokenhearted. Jesus gives comfort to the sorrowful.

   "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;" (Luke 4:18)

   Take up your shield and proclaim that you are a child of the Lord of Light, and that you won't succumb to the lies of your adversaries.

   "He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler." (Psalms 91:4)

   If you feel like you're trapped in a prison, don't give up. Jesus can set you free and give you liberty. Don't allow the enemy to stab at your mind with his malicious lies.

   "Then surely you could lift up your face without spot; Yes, you could be steadfast, and not fear; Because you would forget your misery, And remember it as waters that have passed away, And your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning. And you would be secure, because there is hope; Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety." (Job 11:15-18)

   Take your eyes off of the troubles, and fix your focus on the One who is faithful. This simple act of looking to Him and remembering that your salvation in Jesus is unalterable will provide you with safety, and it will show the enemy that his tricks are useless.

   Don't give up, I tell you. Don't give in, for there is Hope, and His name is Jesus. Come and rest in safety in His arms. Let His angels surround you, and you don't have to fight this battle. Just focus on your Hope.

   - The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Songs of Hope

   Songs of hope and courage pour out from my soul. Joyous worship fills my mouth. My eyes are shrouded in awe at the wonders of my Lord. My overjoyed heart rejoices for my Heavenly Father, for He has shown me great mercy.

   My Lord, I'll worship You forever. Thank You for redeeming my life and giving me hope and meaning and courage to continue. It is in You I place my trust. 

Oh God of mercy, oh Lord of Light, I'll love you day and I'll love you night. Abandoning fright I'm covered in Your might. Keep me in Your glorious sight.

   When trials come and cloud my vision, I'll take heart and trust in Your promises. You, Lord, are my sovereign Shepherd. You guide me on the path of Your everlasting light.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." (Psalms 119:105)

"Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip." (Psalms 17:5)

   Your lovingkindness blesses me and it touches my heart. Thank You, God, for loving me even when I was so lost. Thank You for redeeming me.

   With the hope of my salvation in Jesus Christ, I sing songs of worship and awe. My soul is overflowing with joy and love. May my life be a reflection of Your compassion, Lord. May my life radiate praise to my Father in heaven all of my days.

   "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." (Psalms 150:6)

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Constant Help

   Your struggle hasn't gone unnoticed. It may seem like no one hears or cares, but I assure you that the One who loves you with an unconditional love sees every tear. He hears your every cry, and He wants you

   He wants your attention, your affection, so He can heal your affliction. Turn your eyes away from all this chaos, and gather up all your strength to focus on Christ.

   Gaze upon grace, pray for peace, and reach for Him. Reach out for the hope that's found only in our God. He is already inviting you in; all you need to do is say yes. Declare your decision to be decidedly His.

   Verbalized your desperation for the Father, and your adversary will depart. No matter the incoherence of the sounds from your mouth. Whether your call is quiet or loud, if you're formerly scared or proud, God is near to all who call. There is hope and courage for those who call.

   "He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength." (Isaiah 40:29) Jesus. Jesus is our hope and strength. Though I am weak, He is strong.

   "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (II Corinthians 12:9)

   His grace is sufficient for me. His grace is sufficient for you. That means that all these troubles are powerless at the Name. Nothing that threatens in this life has a stronghold over us, children of King Jesus, because His grace is sufficient.

   Haven't you heard about His unfailing love? You are a partaker in the promises. You are a child of Love, and Love has called you His own. So in tribulation and sadness, call on the One who is faithful and sufficient to deliver you.

   "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses." (Psalms 107:6)

   Let's lay aside any remnant pride, and humble ourselves at His feet. The selfless act of bowing to Him, glorifying Him and magnifying His goodness to forgive is our white flag. We're confessing that we cannot do it ourselves, and proclaiming that He posses that power. The power to forgive and to cleanse us of our filthy unrighteousness is His.

   But the most baffling part of it all is that He graciously chooses to no longer hold onto our previous wrong-doings. He compassionately caresses us in His righteousness, so that we are now Children of the Light. 

   Love has come to redeem us, and Love has overcome the law of sin and death. This is our battle cry, and knowing we're victorious through Christ we shamelessly shout it out. Troubles? They're powerless. Sorrows? He encourages. Anger and hurt? Jesus heals.

   Come to the well and receive everything you need. You have not been forgotten, far from it! You are faultlessly cherished by a flawless Father. Yahweh loves, Yahweh hears your every cry, and Yahweh will comfort you. Just call on Him.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Flood My Thirst Soul

   To my Father in Heaven I cry. With eyes filled with tears of desperation, I seek. I seek Him with all my might. Every ounce of my being trembles in desire for my Lord.

   What more can I do? What must be done to feel You more and more each and every day, God? Come down and flood my soul with your peace and goodness. I long for the light of Your Presence to shine upon me. Come Father, come.

   I've been weary, and I've felt deprived. I want to be so hidden in You, Jesus. I want to be wrapped in Your love, and in awe of Your glory. What splendor there is in You, Yahweh!

   Inhabit my every thought and fill my mind with Your truth only. I don't want to stray or lose my focus, but I want my mind to be set on You. Everything else takes the back seat, because You are my ultimate and sovereign God. You are my all.

   No attack can plunder the treasure that's in You my Lord. You are my first Love, for I was created to praise You. From the start, my heart hungered for You. For all of eternity I'll be breathing You in, and wanting more of You. Yahweh, Yahweh, I love Thee, Yahweh. I'll never stop wanting more of You.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hungry Souls Find Their Nourishment

   Lately I've been a little distracted. I haven't been seeing things right, and it's been zapping my energy and vitality. I'm in great need of a revival of hope. I'm searching for more of Him.

   The love of God is immense. It's so great that when I think about it for a long time, the hardness built up on my heart begins to erode away. Then, there is revealed a tender and empty heart begging to be filled with this love, this Lord. Dear Lord, I need to be filled with more of You.

   It's clear that when people are empty, they do not thrive. Empty people are searching, hungry, and hurting people. What is it that we seek? Do we even know? God knows. We are all looking for love, but we keep getting let down. People cannot fulfill what our hearts crave. The only love that can satisfy is the Love of God. His love is perfect, and His love is a river.

   In Him there is no more emptiness. When we come to the Well, we don't thirst. When we reach for the Word of the Lord, our hungry souls find nourishment. There's no more hurting hole inside our hearts, for the God of love has come and saved us all.

   In the midst of the pain it may not seem like there's any hope, but I assure you that He sees your hurting. There is no need to feel lost anymore, God has called you His own. Wanderers find shelter, empty souls are filled to the full, scars are covered by the blood of the Lamb, and bondages are undone in His mighty Presence.

   There is power in the Name of Jesus. Tremendous glory is owed to the Son of God. We will stand in awe and worship. The spotless Lamb of God was sacrificed for abundant and eternal life, so do not fill your life with questions and want. Declare with your mouth the truths that are found in the Lord, and stand your ground with certainty. 

   We are not orphans, we are not missing anything, but we are children of God and complete in all righteousness of Jesus. It's through Him and for Him, so our thirst is quenched in Jesus.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

   Giving thanks at all time. All times. Good time. Hard times. Trying times. Tiring times. All times. Giving thanks requires a shift in focus. A turning of eyes away from the circumstances and onto the Creator. He creates joyfulness and abundant peacefulness.

   "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

   It's the shield of faith in who He is that never lets up on our outlook. This shield protects our minds and attitudes. It refreshes our eyes to view things in a new way. A God-centric mindset covers over all the hurt.

   His peace transcends all else. It gives hope, courage, and clarity to the hurt, scared, and confused. He is a caring Father after all. He only wants what is best for His children, and what's best is looking to Him. In all situations and at all times, look up.

   Thanks be to the One that saves. He saves our souls, our joy, and our peace. He wipes out bitterness, sorrow, and fretfulness. Thanks shall be the response for our eternal victory. We are victorious through Christ alone forever and ever.

   Nothing at all could ever snatch this away. It's only appropriate to feel an overwhelming urge of gratitude and praise to Him who saves.

   Savior Jesus, thank You. Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus, for saving my soul and redeeming this life. Your presence is my heart's desire. I long for You constantly, but I will wait for You. I will wait with continual thanks. I will sing of Your greatness for all my days. And when I pass on to be with You forever, I'll still be praising You. 

   Thankfulness flows out like a river from my heart. Thanks be to the God of comfort and Lord of mercy. May our Father in heaven bless you on this day of thanks.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jesus All The Time

   Today, and everyday, I'll remind my soul to whom I belong. I belong to Jesus. I'll write His name on my heart, my hand, and across every land. Jesus. I'll trace those beautiful letters everywhere I can. In a journal, in the sand, in the fog, or in the snow. I don't know where it'll go, but I'll keep on telling self that I'm His and He's mine.

   No matter the day's difficulties, I'll find hope and peace and rest at the mention of His name. The day can completely turn around with one five letter word - Jesus.

   I know I'll fall short throughout the day, and I'll find myself in many dead ends, but with the help of my Savior, Jesus, I'll come out victorious. There's nothing at all that can ruin me, because I have Jesus. All I need is... Jesus.

   It's so simple. Fear is not needed, and surely not welcomed, for I have the God of all comfort on my team. Sometimes it's easy to become consumed with earthly things, but once my lips utter His glorious and powerful name, it's all better. I find my rest, I find my assurance, and I find myself in Him.

   So many people are wandering in this life. They're wandering because they don't know who they are. It's so simple. It's so simple to just lose oneself and let go of the world's customs. Let go of what the world does and desires, and embrace all the glory that's found in the Lord.

   An all consuming, all powerful Fire is waiting to be ignited within your soul. Open up your heart. Let the iciness melt, and allow Yahweh to fill you. Let every breath, every moment, and every space be fully filled with Jesus.

   It's all I've ever wanted, truly, and it's all He wants. Intimate relationship. God wants you. He longs to hold your heart and be your number one. Bust down the doors to your soul, and call Him in. All the hesitation only harms yourself. God will wait for you, and He's waiting for you to answer His call. Those tugs on your heart, that's Him longing to be with you - forever.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, November 24, 2013

God of Comfort

   All this time I've been trying to earn and honest relationship. I seem to have forgotten that His Word seems to have a trend for weary souls.

   I'm not supposed to work for peace or work for love. Farm from it! I'm called to rest in my Father's loving arms. All that working can earn for me is a heavy, burden-laden heart. Does God really want that for me? Does God want His child to feel the need to restlessly try and earn His love? How could I possibly earn something that's already been freely given as a gift? Why do I so linger with this difficult realization? Why is this love so hard to grasp?

   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

   The God of all comfort. Embrace this today. He is the One who comforts. When this here heart feels tired and worn, my comforting God comes and holds me close. 

   Rest in His arms. Relinquish the desire to earn and please, for the God of comfort is near and He freely gives us His peace and rest and love. After all, the true Savior of the world came to us as a miraculous gift.

   God loves to give, so receive. Receive this gift of His unfailing peace and love. His compassion for us never ends. His patience never, ever runs out. Don't think your weary soul is pesky to our God of comfort. God of love. God of mercy. God of divine forgiveness. Embrace the Father's gifts.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Our Savior is Coming

   "Now have come the salvation (σωτηρία) and the power and the kingdom (βασιλεία) of our God, and the authority (ἐξουσία) of his Christ (Χριστός). For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses (κατηγορέω) them before our God day and night, has been hurled down (βάλλω)." (Revelation 12:10)

   βασιλεία/basileia: This word basileia depicts a kingdom, but it is also royal dominion. Basileia, in this verse, is the kingdom of God. It also expresses the rule within our hearts as Christians, and the way we are lead by Him. This word used in Revelation 12:10 reveals to us that the day is coming when the eternal kingdom of Christ and all of His awesome glory shall reign.

   σωτηρία/sōtēria: Sōtēria comes from the word sōtēr, which means a savior, deliverer, and one who rescues another from destruction or danger and places that other into a shelter of safety. This root is so incredible to me, because of how the word sōtēria is used in this verse.

   The word σωτηρία is commonly used to depict the glorious event of the return of Jesus, but it also has a much more eye-opening meaning. Considering sōtēr, it is evident the word sōtēria has to do with being protected from danger and destruction. 

   The word sōtēria doesn't only mean Christ's Second Coming, but it is also used to depict an eternal deliverance and the preservation from destructive or threatening dangers.

   This deep and meaningful word can be related to how, in the end, many horrifying and detrimental events will occur. In such hazardous times, we must secure our salvation in the One that can save us, protect us, and deliver us once and for all. We will trust in Christ our Lord and sōtēr!

   Χριστός/Christos: The word Christ in this verse is the Greek word Christos. The word comes from chriō, and it's a verb that means to anoint. Therefore, this word clearly tells us that Christ (Christos) is our anointed King, and He's coming with all power and authority.

   ἐξουσία/exousia: The authority of God's Christos is coming soon. This word authority is exousia in Greek, and this noun paints a perfect picture in this verse. You see, this word is the word used for authority, power, and rule. In other words, Christ's reign is coming. 

   One factor of this word I find very interesting is that it can also depict a commission. This gives us the plain understanding that Jesus's duty or command is to save those called according to God's big plan, and to have the dominion and power over all. God has commissioned our Savior and His return is nearing.

   κατηγορέω/katēgoreō: In this verse, accuses is the Greek word katēgoreō. This verb is used to tell us our enemy's motive. This word comes from the word kata, which means against, and the word agoreuō, which means to speak

   When you put these two words together, you get a word that means to speak against, to condemn, to denounce, or to openly shame. In context, you now see that our adversary is constantly shouting out condemnatory accusations at us.

Using our newly acquired knowledge, here is a translated version or Revelation 12:10:

"Now has come the One who rescues His children from danger and destruction. Our anointed King has come to reign over all with royal dominion and power. As for the repulsive accuser, the one who publicly denounces the Lord's children every single day and night, he has been defeated. Our enemy has been thrown out and put into his place by the One who rules in all the earth."

   Take heart and have no fear, for the Redeemer's return is very near. Declare that our accuser is nothing but a loser. The victory is won, because Christ has overcome!

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Joyful Spirit

   "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices (ἀγαλλιάω) in God my Savior (σωτήρ), for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed (μακαρίζω), for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name." (Luke 1:46-49)

   Mary describes her spirit as rejoicing. This word rejoicing is the Greek word agalliaō/ἀγαλλιάω and it's a verb. It is the word that means rejoicing, exulting, as well as possessing exuberance.

   This word agalliaō comes from the words agan (which means very much) and the word hallomai (which means to leap).

   Therefore, when these two words are glued together, you get a verb that pictures much leaping and bounding. Now it must come without surprise that the word agalliaō also means to show joy with skipping, dancing, and excessive delight.

   I find it quite significant that the Virgin Mary chose this word to tell of how her spirit celebrates the Lord. This must mean that every waking moment she would spend with her Savior, her spirit would just leap and bound for joy.

   The word Mary used for Savior in this verse is the Greek word sōtēr/σωτήρ and it's a noun. This is one who saves, or a rescuer. Sōtēr depicts one who delivers another from destruction or death and places that other into safety. Pretty powerful word, wouldn't you say?

   Sōtēr is used to describe the way Jesus saved us from the ultimate misery and condemnation that is the penalty of sin, and gives us the Lord's blessings and eternal abundant life. Jesus, the Savior of all the world, is the most perfect example of a sōtēr!

Here is how I would rewrite Luke 1:46-49 using this knowledge:

"My spirit leaps for joy and I'm filled with ecstatic, celebratory joy whenever I'm with my Savior. My God rescued me from the consequences of my sins, and He restored my destiny. Now I am redeemed, and a place awaits me in my Savior's Kingdom. I will live abundantly with Him forever. Praise His holy name!"

   We all could learn something from Mary here. Are you so intently pursuing the Lord, that your spirit frolics at the thought of being with Him? The more we seek Him, the more we want Him. The more we want Him and really search to know more of Him, the more our spirits will delight in who He is. Every moment is an opportunity to lavish our souls in His love, and to fill our hearts and minds with His truths and promises.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

His Chosen Ones

   "And we know that in all things God works for the good (ἀγαθός) of those who love (ἀγάπη) him, who have been called (κλητός) according to his purpose (πρόθεσις). (Romans 8:28)

   πρόθεσις/prothesis: noun. a purpose or design set forth for a plan. The Lord uses this as the heart of His calling specific people to salvation. You see, all along God knows who He is going to use for His great plan/will/prothesis. He calls certain people for certain reasons. Those whom God chooses are called for His own good pleasure and design, not because they've earned it or deserve it. It's all for His ultimate purpose.

   "For those God foreknew (προγινώσκω) he also predestined (προορίζω) to be conformed (σύμμορϕος) to the likeness (εἰκών) of his Son (υἱός), that he might be the firstborn (πρωτότοκος) among many brothers (ἀδελϕός)." (Romans 8:29)

   Let me focus on the word conformed. This word is the word σύμμορϕος or symmorphos. This word is comprised of the words syn (together with) and morphē (form).

   The preposition syn (σύν) depicts nearness or with close connection. It is also used when one is with and suffers with another in a relationship. In Attic Greek (the prestige dialect that was spoken in Ancient Greek such as Attica, and that includes Athens.), syn meant "including" as wells as "with the aid of", but the preposition meta (μετά) only meant "in company with". Therefore, syn depicts a companionship, association with, and a certain togetherness.

   What I gather from this is that when we are predestined to do the Will of God, we are gifted with the constant help and companionship of Christ Jesus. We are not made to go it alone, We will never be abandoned, remember?

   Christ is the firstborn, and using the theologically significant title, makes Him to have supremacy over all of creation. We are conformed into the likeness of the Son. However, the word used here for likeness also depicts a reflected image. The same way when the sunlight reflects of the water, this doesn't make the water turn into a star, rather it makes a reflection of it.

   We aren't transformed into obtaining supremacy, but we are adopted and conformed as brethren of Christ. When we are made children of God we step into that predestined plan, and in order to fulfill His Will, God gave us the supreme One to guide and have fellowship with us.

   We are heirs of Royalty in Jesus. We are chosen children, and Yahweh knew our stories before we were ever conceived or born. All of His chosen ones are designed differently and specifically so that we would be able to successfully complete His divine plan. That plan He knew before time ever began, and we are the ones to put it into action. We surely are a chosen generation of God's children.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Separation Anxiety

   Well over a year ago, I experienced a very traumatic event that forever changed me. It not only changed the way I live my everyday life, but it also affected my feelings towards being alone. That dreadful Friday evening I was abandoned, or so I though. Turns out I had unlocked a treasury of marvelous Presence. The Lord was closer than ever.

   I would've never believed that such an awful time in my life could've turned into something so beautiful. But, God likes to make beauty out of ashes, doesn't He? Ah, He never ceases to surprise me in the most delightful ways.

   However, that experience did leave it's own share of scars. I now face a fear of being alone, but I know I'm not ever really alone. I know that the Lord is always by my side. I know from personal experience that even when the going gets tough, and I feel abandoned or forgotten, my Father holds me close.

   I've discovered the most satisfying Well of Truths. I have unleashed a brand new perspective on things. I can now see that He has, in fact, always been with me. And, to top it all off, He wants for me to lean on Him. The Lord is filled with joy and gladness. His heart is kind, though I am a mess. I know I am secured right here, right now, so I will never have a doubt. I am not alone.

   I wrote that so that I can always assure myself of the truth, and the truth is I'm not ever going to be abandoned. It's impossible for me to be abandoned, because my Father is always with me. He tells us that in the Bible!

   "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)

   Seriously, could there have been a more perfect verse? Isn't it grand the way God reveals Himself to us? It never lets me down, that's for certain! He is so good. My heart is overloaded in joyous courage. I know who I am; I am His. I know my name, for my name is daughter of the King over all!

   Abba, Father, hear me. Your child longs to be with You. Abba, hear my cry, all I want and all I need is found in YOU. My security is in YOU, not my circumstances. Circumstances are ever-changing, but YOU are everlasting, never-changing. This is where I put my faith, in YOU.

   Abba, Father, hear Your children pleading. We only want to know You more and more. We only want to be held in Your arms, where we know we're safe. We can say with a fearless attitude, "I am never, ever abandoned. The Lord is with me always."

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shelter in the Storm Song

   I trust in You, Father. 
I know that I am safe in You. 
I believe that You are greater than the storms that rage. 
Though the wind blows and rainfalls extravagantly, the Lord is my shelter.

   Thunder crashes all around, and bolts of light still abound. 
But I will not fear, for the Lord my Shepherd is always near. 
My heart is set on trusting in You, and I know that You will see me through. 
I will always have this delight, because I am safe throughout the night.

   The Lord is loving, caring and pure. His protection is for sure. 
Let Him hold you safe and sound, and feel His grace all around. 
Whisper of His gentle voice allow me to still rejoice. 
Father, I know I'm secured right here.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whenever I Stumble

   When Your light shines upon my face, I can feel the warmth of Your love. The animals sing songs of praise to their mighty Creator. The water rushing seems to cry tears of joyfulness. Here I am Lord, Your little lamb. I am ready to be swept away by Your abounding, compassionate, love.

   The world around me is full of grief, but in You I find my shelter. In You, God, I am hidden. I will bury myself inside of You. I will cling to my Father's hand, and in Him I hear His thoughts towards me. The enemies snarl and grasp for me, but my Lord is my protection.

   I never want to leave. I never want to ever depart again. The life within my soul shines because my God has saved me. He renewed my hope, and established my ways. He tells me what is good and pure and trustworthy.

   "This is what the Lord says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.'" (Isaiah 48:17)

   He teaches me what is best. The thing about teaching is that it's a process. You cannot learn a skill or any sort of formula the very first time you hear it. It takes a little bit of time to understand. It requires learning from mistakes.

   Whatever it is today that's getting you down, take it to the cross. There you will find unfailing mercy. The Lord will pick you up and walk you through the steps again with love and compassion and beautiful grace.

   The Lord is patient with us. Whenever we stumble He doesn't condemn us, but instead He caresses our wounds with His warming kindness. Trust in all that He is - kind, patient, loving, merciful, and full of joy.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, October 19, 2013

This Renewed Understanding

   My eyes are filled, they're filled with tears of joy and gratitude. This love I find in the Father is so pure. It's never ending and never failing. It hasn't given up on me, even though the road has been rough and often painful. Through all of the hurt, I know I can press into my Savior.

   With all my might I cry out and plead for a hand to grasp, only to find I'm already being held in His arms. Love so deep it erodes the fears. Intimacy so pure it changes my heart's desires. Now all I want it to be with my God.

   Renewed vision of who You are, Father, gives me more reasons to fully trust in You than I could ever count. I know why there is an awful roadblock. It is because my enemy wants to keep me from You, Father. He wants to stop me from praising You and living for You.

   The very thought of being kept from You tears me up and breaks my heart. I never want anything else but Your presence filling my being. Please don't ever let this longing leave. Don't ever let this passionate light stop burning within my soul. 

   I will shine until the day this soul departs to be there with You, my God. And once I've lived all my days here on earth, I'll live right there with You more joyfully than ever before. Let this life be unleashed from within me. I will live! I will live for the Lord, and no power can stop me! It's time to demonstrate my love for the Lord, and live in trust. Here I go!

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Friday, October 18, 2013

Endless Wonder

   I am constantly in awe of God. Sometimes I sound like a broken record going on and on about how much I cherish the relationship I have with Him, but I don't mind one bit. The way I see it, as long as my heart is beating, it's beating for Christ.

   Everyday comes as a mystery to us, but not to the Lord. He will provide for us. I know so much more than I did about who He is, but there is still a vast amount of knowledge yet to be discovered. Each day holds the opportunity to get to know Him more and more.

   The future is utterly unknown, but my God is fully faithful. Fear is frivolous, and trust is vital. Each step we take in faith is accompanied by a strong, loving Lord. It may seem like I've written all of these things before, but it has come to my attention that there is a truly endless treasure chest of wonders found in He who is the one and only YHWH.

   It's hard to find the right words sometimes, because in His presence I'm often speechless. Struck with awe and completely compelled to glorify Him. Sometimes the words that we are familiar with just don't cut it. There must be a different language. A pure praise-filled language created solely for those moments, but I have yet to discover this glorious sensation.

   "For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries." (1 Corinthians 14:2)

   The word mysteries here is used to depict what is unrevealed, something that is unknown, or something which is unknown to human reason and only truly known by the Lord's revelation. The truths of Christianity that are yet to be revealed is called the mystery of faith.

   Faith is a mystery, and it's unfolding before us everyday. His ways are marvelously secret to our current understanding. He is so great and so wondrous. Bask in the Lord's endless wonder! May the glory of the Lord inhabit your every thought.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Morning Song

   He came to set us free. He came so that the proper penalty of sin would be removed from us. He saved us from death. He paid our ransom. He gave us life. Glory and honor to the Lamb of God! Shout out His goodness!

   In the morning I arise and turn my head up toward the skies. My heart is replenished with hope at once. The Father looks at me and He smiles. Shortly after my eyes are opened, I lavish my admiration upon the Shepherd. He delights in me and I rejoice in His peaceful Presence.

   A cool autumn breeze rushes through the bright golden leaves. All of the earth seems to declare His marvelous works. Thank You, Father. You are everywhere. I only want to breathe You in continually. I never want to leave Your presence. I am energized and refreshed when I'm with You. My everything, Lord, is You.

   You've covered me with Your grace. You've cleansed me from all of my unrighteous ways. My heart sings for You, and my soul longs for You. You are so pure, so good, and so great. I love You, Lord Jesus, I will never stop praising You.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Zoe Glow - Life Within

   "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

   Doesn't reading this excite you? Doesn't it just open up your eyes? Can't you just feel the sheet being lifted from your face? The devil just wants to take us down, but the Lord gives us life.

   The day you were saved, a powerful source of life was planted inside of you. This life has guaranteed you a permanent home in Heaven, and eternal life with Christ Jesus our Lord. The true source of abundant and everlasting life and joy is radiating within us all. The ultimate life of God is established in each and every one of His children.

   This life called zoe, is the life that is to come. It's the spiritual life of deliverance from what our sin would have brought upon us. If not for Jesus's sacrifice, we would've been doomed to eternal misery and death. But praise the Lord that is not the case, we are filled with life!

   Zoe is not only our promised eternal life spent with our Savior, but it's also the vitality that radiates from within us. This zoe is what people see inside of us. It's our contagious Jesus Joy.

   "We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." (2 Corinthians 4:10)

   We are saved by His life. We are blessed with peace and a shining joy because of His life. Embrace this, your zoe glow. God bless you.

   -The Introverted Evangelist