Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’" (Romans 1:16-17)

The gospel reveals the wondrous POWER of God! This word is just so dynamic! Which makes sense considering the original Greek word used here for power is the word δύναμις (dynamis). This is the word for power, capability, accomplishing force, and even miracle!

"...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38)

In Acts 10:38, the word δύναμις depicts the fact that the Lord Himself constantly poured out His divine and miraculous power into Jesus, Emmanuel (’Εμμανουήλ - meaning God with us). This dynamic and potent power of God was deposited into the very hands of Christ the Messiah. Those are the hands that heal and set free!

This word δύναμις is also used to refer to those in authority, that is, mighty and powerful figures. These powers can refer to heavenly bodies as well as earthly authorities. However, we must remember that it is written that all authority has been given to our Lord Jesus Christ seated at the Right Hand of God Himself.

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (Revelation 5:12)

Our Lord is worthy to receive all praise. He is full of glory and miraculous, authoritative power! He has also given us His Holy Spirit, therefore implementing His wondrous power into our very own hearts.

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

The power that we receive with the Holy Spirit is the same δύναμις power with which God has raised up the Son. He will raise us up with this rich and glorious power as well.

"By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also." (1 Corinthians 6:14)

He is resurrecting our cold, dead hearts. The moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour is the very moment that He begins cultivating our soul soil. He is planting His almighty love and power into our hearts, and each day we spend time with Him, these crops begin to multiply and overcome darkness, loneliness, and sadness. Through the Lord's gardening in our hearts, we're made radiant, peaceable, and joyful. His merciful might is transforming and bright!

I want to touch on one more aspect of the word δύναμις. This is such a multilayered, prismatic word that there's simply too much to overlook. The word can also depict an abundance or plenitude.

"For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power." (1 Corinthians 4:20)

God's Kingdom is filled to the brim with this abundantly dynamic power. His supernatural saving sovereignty sweeps us away.

"Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened." (Hebrews 6:4-8 MSG)

God's sheer goodness and electrifying magnificence changes hearts - for the good. One cannot experience the marvellous magnitudes of His might and leave still hardened in heart.

This is why we, God's chosen ones, can't simply stay silent. We cannot contain the dynamic δύναμις power that the Holy Spirit has planted in our hearts.

"I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:7-8)

We are not ashamed! We are not ashamed of the astounding authority of God. We are not afraid to tell the world of all His healing power. We're exuberantly declaring His glorious goodness everywhere we go. We are not ashamed! We are redeemed, set free, and forever transformed within our hearts. Let it be known wherever you go, God is full of glory and dynamic power!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Be Still

Be Still:

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass." (Psalms 37:7)

Many people rush in life. They rush to get to the next event, the next exciting thing. However, in all their rushing, how much of their day is spent simply soaking in God's goodness? How much spare time does rushing leave you? And if you're negating God to "spare time" then what does that communicate to Him? God wants to be your delight, your safe refuge, and your everyday companion.

We are not meant to live alone, apart from Him, buzzing around place to place attempting to satisfy everyone's requests. We're not made to be people pleasing machines, we're created to be God's very own.

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

I've never seen a rose bud reject its bush, and try to bloom apart from its life source. Neither have I ever witnessed a mulberry fall off the tree and yet continue to ripen.

All these plants require a source of life and nourishment which can be found in only one place. The rose bud must abide in the rose bush in order for it to fully blossom, and the mulberry must remain on the mulberry tree in order for it to fully ripen.

In the same way, we must abide in Christ our Lord in order to reach our destinies. In order to produce the wonderfully sweet fruits of the spirit, we must become saturated by the Holy Spirit. How do we do that? We root ourselves in Him. We neither neglect our time with Him, nor shove it into a place of unenjoyable routine.

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." (1 John 4:15)

When we deliberately plant ourselves in Him, He is faithful to live within our hearts. When God sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, an inner transformation occurs. Our once cold and hardened hearts turn into warm, tender, and merciful vessels filled with the gentle, forgiving love of God.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26)

How? How can we free our hearts from the weeds that grow wildly? How can be liberated from the vicious cycle of sin and shame? How can our hearts be transformed to be more like His?

It's often said that you become more like the people with which you spend your time. Because this is the case, wouldn't it make sense to you that the more time we spend in the Presence of the Lord, the more like Him we become?

"that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)

It takes is stillness in His Presence to feel Him move in your spirit. Quietness, so that you might hear His loving whispers. Openness, to become filled with His goodness. Willingness, so that you may be used to deliver His love to others. God is searching for those patient, obedient, and eager souls.

"Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." (1 Peter 1:13-14)

Stillness, readiness, and obedience. It all seems so difficult, because the flesh will revolt. Our flesh will attempt to utterly and deliberately reject the attributes that the Holy Spirit imparts in us. This is why it's imperative to come to the Lord in humble repentance with your heart wide open, because He will uproot any unrighteousness for you. Trust Him, it's for your good.

"Obey me. Do what I say and I will be your God and you will be my people. Live the way I tell you. Do what I command so that your lives will go well. (Jeremiah 7:21-23 MSG)

It's hard, I know, but all things are possible with God on our side. So, let's come into His Presence this morning, and let Him take care of our heart-gardens. Let's set aside any pride, and simply be still in the rejuvenating realm of His Presence.

He is good, and He works for our good. He won't leave us batter and betrayed. He won't forsake us, nor will He manipulate us in our weaknesses. Be still soul, for the Lord God is on your side. Be still soul, for in Him you shall abide.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Purpose Not Perfection

Purpose Not Perfection:

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." (Psalm 138:8)

Perfect. The concept of perfect had to be forfeited two years ago on the longest, most agonising car ride of my life. Everything was so debilitatingly confusing. How did I end up here? Why did God do this? Is this the end? Are You still here, Lord? Do You still love me?

"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 8:38-39)

If I could, as the person I am today, go and visit my distressed self on that very night of July 6, 2012, I would tell myself these things:

"God's going to use this, yes, all this madness and sorrow, for your good. You may feel abandoned, alone, and forsaken tonight, but the joy of the Lord is coming. His love will never depart from you. His Presence is going to lead you through this difficult time. You may feel like God's punishment is on you, but this is far from the truth. In fact, God's favour is upon you. Just think, He went this far to bring you back to Himself. He wants you. He misses you. He simply wants your heart back. You may feel like you're stranded in a dried up desert right now, but I promise you that the rushing rivers of God's mercy are headed your way. Don't let the chaos of this environment steal away the peace that God is providing for you. Right here, in this moment, you must choose to whom you're going to surrender."

It was a very long eleven days in that place. During those long nights sitting on the world's most uncomfortable bed, I began to understand that all I had left was God. And now, as though the light has clicked on, I can see that if God is all I've got, then really what more could I need? What more could I want? He was not punishing me, He was purposing me and perfecting His strength in my weakness.

"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." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Why do we strive towards perfection? Why do we run and run until we're far out of breath toward this abstract concept of perfection? To feel accepted? To feel loved? To feel important? Stop your tireless toiling! There is a better way!

This is precisely what God was saying to me in those eleven days, "Stop your striving. I have a better way for you. My way involves peace, love, joy, and abundance. Wait on Me, and I will deliver you."

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him." (Lamentations 3:25)

The good news is this, God always has a better path. Feel completely exhausted? Come to the Well and be refreshed and revitalised.

How do we know that we're accepted? My friend, it's not because we're "good enough" that we're accepted. It's because of Christ, the One who took our place. He is the One who bore the strife, the sins, and the suffering. He purchased our peace, and now our freedom and fellowship are secured in Him.

"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation" (Ephesians 2:14)

Separation. Just the word itself is sharp enough to slice through the emotions of the heart like a sword. One of the reasons we strive toward perfection? Fear of rejection, separation, and isolation.

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)

We were once just that - separated by sin, rejected because of our unrighteousness, and isolated in this word so far away from God. But now, Jesus, oh, Jesus has redeemed all! Because Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God, we need not wrestle to attain perfection of acceptance. We need not fight for forgiveness, because forgiveness is a gift from God given by grace and received by faith.

So now, you might question, "I no longer need to strive for perfection, but how do I know that I'm purposed?" Well, this theme of purpose is actually beautifully weaved throughout the Bible. From the first bite of the apple, to the birth of our Saviour, to His death on the Cross and Resurrection on the third day, implementing purpose is a characteristic of God.

"Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:18-19)

Adam sinned and cursed every generation of humans with condemnation and sinful nature. However, have you ever known God to allow the opportunity to turn something seemingly devastating into something miraculously magnificent? Nope. Every time God amazes me. Where SIN abounds, His GRACE abounds exponentially more!

"Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:18-21)

This is what He does in our lives. Each day we may try to be a better version of ourselves than yesterday. The fact of the matter is however, that when we're not in fellowship with the Lord, there are no improvements to be made. Apart from God, things can only plummet downhill. In all our struggling, God, in all His compassion, comes down and says, "Enough My child, I can take it from here. I've got a better way."

God has a BETTER way than perfect. God is more than perfect! He's above perfect. Perfection simply isn't perfect enough to describe the glorious greatness of our Lord.

"Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You." (Jeremiah 32:17)

Nothing at all is too difficult for the Lord. Will you trust that He can take all your painful mess and turn it into prosperous purpose? I don't know about your soul, but mine just jumped within me shouting, "Yes!" God has a plan, He has a purpose, and perfection plays no part!

Our job? To stand in awe of Him who is worthy to be praised. To hold our every hope, dream, and desire in outstretched hands lifted to our Heavenly Father, and trust that He can take care of them much better than we can. This surrender demonstrates not only that we trust that He is faithful and won't forsake us, but also that no matter how much we love the things that we surrender, we ADORE Him radically more.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Take the leap into His arms today my friends. Trust that He's got a plan that's better than the plague of this concept of human perfection. He knows your heart, your hopes, and your desires, so trust that He'll maintain them for you. All it takes is one simple little "yes" from your soul, and you'll be on your way to living out that peaceful purpose God has for planned you!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Raphael

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thank You Lord

Thank You Lord:

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’" (Hebrews 12:28-29)

His eternal Kingdom is in the midst of us. We fellowship with the King Himself each and every day. His return is approaching, and it's closer than ever before. However, we need not wait until that Day to make our requests known (Philippians 4:6-7). Because He lives in us, by the power of Christ's redeeming sacrifice, we have the gift of continually communing with Him.

"The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)

He is the Lord over our lives, and out of our hearts there flows an overflow of joyfulness and gratitude. Our thankfulness produces praise to our Father in Heaven. Worship is not a just Sunday morning ordeal. Worship is a lifestyle, an everyday surrender.

"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him." (John 4:23)

The hour is coming when every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:11), but, again, we do not need to wait. The time is also now when we can lay aside the sins that enslave us (Hebrews 12:1), and lean into Him with adoring hearts and exalt Him in all His glorious goodness.

We praise You, God, for all that You are. We thank You for Your marvellous mercy, persevering patience, provision, and protection. Our enemies cannot harm or defeat us, because You are our shield. You are the fire that burns in our hearts with passion, the fire that burns away our sorrows and our fears, and the fire that annihilates our enemies in their tracks.

"Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory." (Psalm 97:3-6)

We're founded upon the solid Rock that is our Heavenly Father, and we are completely decided that this Kingdom cannot be shaken! There is no end, no weakness, and no fault or deceit in our Lord whatsoever. What proper response can we give? How can we possibly express the amount of awe and wonder that He kindles in our souls?

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name." (Hebrews 13:15)

Oh Lord, we come into Your Presence, and we openly proclaim Your goodness. We confess Your faithfulness, and we declare Your great and glorious power. We delight ourselves in You. Hear our hearts pleading for more of You, for You alone satisfy our hungering hearts. Come and fill us, Father. We wait in expectant faith, full of immense gratitude.

"Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name." (1 Chronicles 29:13)

Our souls were headed into death and destruction, but Your great grace came down and redeemed us all. Hope has been renewed to the maximum, and Your perfect peace is perpetually available in any and all circumstances. Oh Lord, we can't help but declare...

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Go in the most energising exuberance today everyone! God is with you, and His abundant blessings are upon You. Praise the Lord, our Heavenly Father with thanks!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, July 27, 2014

No One Like You

No One Like You:

"Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears." (2 Samuel 7:22)

Oh how great You are, Lord! You are the One Who was, Who is, and Who is to come. The First and the Last. You reign from everlasting to everlasting. No one and no thing can compare to You, God.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,"(Ephesians 3:20)

My most ambitious and exaggerated dreams are a mere taste of all the greatness God has planned for me. His plan is exponentially more enthralling, and it is birthed out of His pure and genuine love.

"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." (Jeremiah 31:3)

His lovingkindness bewilders my mind, but in the most awestruck and thankful way. He blesses abundantly, simply because that's who He is. He is our Lord of abundance and compassion. Though we sin, His patience never runs out. His mercy is never withheld from the repentant heart.

He draws me in closer and closer to His arms. His hands are stretched out far and wide to lead and guide. I know that God will never leave my side, so neither should I fear, nor try to hide. Oh it's You, God, who shall be forever glorified.

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good." (Psalms 52:8-9)

This mercy has made me new, and it's all thanks to You. Your great unending grace is so powerful that it ignites in me a burning flame of passionate gratitude, and envelopes me in a warm, compassionate robe of royal righteousness. I'm swathed in Your spectacular splendour.

My parched roots penetrate the ground of Your gentleness, digging in deeper and deeper. Tapping into the source of Your luscious Living Waters, I am revitalised and invigorated. You have revived this broken spirit of mine, and daily you satisfy my hungering for more of You.

"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You." (Psalms 139:17-18)

Even through the horrendous raging storms, You never left my side, Lord. I am with You always, because You're the One who will never walk out on me. You simply love me too much to forsake me. It's not in Your character to desert me, instead you delight in me.

Did you know that we are constantly on God's mind? Yep, He cannot stop marvelling over how beautiful, extraordinary, and set apart we are. Every detail about us causes God's heart to skip a beat. Every time we remember to look upon Him to simply stand in awe of all of His wonder, the mutual marvelling is more harmonious than a thousand symphonies all in perfect tune.

"The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

He's rejoicing over you know. He is gazing upon you, and delighting in your fellowship. This God we serve, He is so incredible. The Maker of the stars, Creator of the universe and all of its entirety, He is our God.

Our God takes the time to listen to each and every one of our concerns, grievances, and even the things that bring us joy. He truly cares, and He desires for you to come to Him as a friend simply to enjoy His Presence and be at rest.

Our God is mighty to save. Our Lord Jesus Christ, He is the propitiation for our unrighteousness. He came to deliver us from the forces of darkness and bring us into a new field of freedom.

No longer are we slaves, bound up in chains of sinfulness and destined to be separated from God. Now we are sons and daughters of the King of kings. We are the Lord's children, and we are reconciled to His righteousness by the blood of the Lamb. We posses the gift of freedom to present ourselves before Him completely blameless - covered in the covenant of Christ. Our destiny is dwelling in His divinity.

"let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."(Acts 4:10-12)

Our Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. There is no one like You! You are mighty, holy, and full of grace. You're the only One for me, and You are all I need.

Step into the goodness of His embrace. Understand that He simply adores you. All of you. Whatever shames you can be nailed to the cross, and all fear of rejection can be relinquished into the hands of the Lord who loves you unconditionally.

No matter how far you've run, Hope is right beside you ready to welcome you back in. If you're still breathing, then it's not too late to receive what He has for you. There is none like our Lord! Overflowing with mercy, abounding in grace, and tender hearted towards all who draw near to Him. Be blessed today everyone.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Jon Courville

Saturday, July 26, 2014

You Make Me Brave

You Make Me Brave:

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

You're not entering into the unknown alone. The path on which you are embarking may appear shrouded with fog and darkness, but the Lord your God will guide the way. More often than not, He beckons us to do things that make no sense whatsoever.

With fear looming over our heads, we shrug our shoulders at God and question whether or not He really thought this one through. Believe me, God has NOT lost His marbles. In fact, He merely wants everyone ELSE to be baffled by the benedictions He bestows on His bashful sheep. The forgotten ones everyone else has overlooked, these are precisely the ones God wants to abundantly bless and prosper.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

If you're the one everyone seems to ignore and pass by, don't be discouraged. Instead, be encouraged, because this means God has placed something special inside of YOU. Yes you! Contained inside of you is the mighty resurrection power of the Holy Spirit, and He's put something in you that has the capability to revolutionise the whole entire world for the Lord!

You may be thinking, "But, I'm not quite the 'revolutionary' type. I just don't *feel* like I have what it takes to make a difference for God's Kingdom." Well, my friend, let me tell you... I've said words just like those. I understand that *feelings* can bemuse us, but God has never been one to be limited by our feelings. Rather, He takes the lowly vessels and fills them with the treasure of His glorious might.

"He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength." (Isaiah 40:29)

Faith. It works. Even just a teeny tiny, itty bitty, microscopic amount of faith can do the trick. You know why? Because it's not actually the FAITH that does it, it's the One in whom you place your trust Who accomplishes the grand feats. Those things everyone else reckoned to be impossible, too much to ask, or too good to be true, are exactly the things that God succeeds in carrying out.

"I *feel* like this is just too big of a request on my behalf." The good news is, it's not about YOUR hard work or strength.

Christ came and bore every bit of brokenness, every gram of shame, and every account of condemnation that was on you, and HE took it all on Himself for you. Jesus stands in the Holy Throne room, at the Right Hand of God, and He is interceding on Your behalf right now!

So it's not about YOUR goodness, YOUR deserving, or YOUR righteousness. It's about your Good Shepherd, the One who poured out His life for your redemption, the blameless Lamb of God.

Your past record? The one that occupied pages and pages of unrighteous iniquities? Gone. Yes. Completely and totally wiped away. What remains? The pure and Holy garment of Salvation. The freedom of the Father's faithfulness resting upon us. What could possibly hold us back from the great things He has in store for us?

"But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

No matter what infirmities we posses, God is stronger than them all. God doesn't just move around our infirmities, He magnifies His power through them! He supplements peace for the easily frightened, joy for the brokenhearted, and bravery for the unassuming.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Through Him, nothing is too wondrous to achieve, too good to believe, or too holy to receive. Go in bravery and courage, expectant for God to do something absolutely incredible in your life today.

-The Introvered Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Raphael

Friday, July 25, 2014

Never Lose Hope

Never Lose Hope:

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken." (Psalm 62:5-6)

It's very common that people allow anxiety to steer the boat of life, however, when it's worry who leads trouble proceeds. Anxiety is the result of attempting to secure your hope on something other than God. Adequate finances, career advances, good grades, and even good health. These are all splendid things, but if these are the anchors of our hope and joy, then we're all going to drown. Hoping in worldly successes leads only to dissatisfaction and discontentment.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)

It's not uncommon to become overwhelmingly confused in this fallen world. The aforementioned faulty foundations all depend on circumstances, and we know that what solely depends on circumstances most often results in grievances.

What is it we've learned about circumstantial joy? It's poison to the heart. So if JOY that is dependant upon fleeting circumstances is flawed, then shouldn't it make perfect sense that HOPE built on the same tossing tide of circumstances is just as unsound and unstable as well? With these as our captains, we are bound to shipwreck! Where can we find a strong, solid foundation on which to build our hope?

"I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name." (Psalm 119:131-132)

The direction of God guides us into meadows of mercy, streams of salvation, and paths of peacefulness. When we long for His gentle shepherding, we are never set up for disappointment. God won't trick us into a state of spiritual starvation. As we long for more of Him, He longs to pour more of His blessings onto us. Even when we turn away from Him, He still pursues us with His all consuming compassion!

"Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:16-17)

All blessing flow straight from the pure and blameless heart of God. When we follow on the path He has planned for us, the obedience we exhibit opens the gates to let those living waters come rushing down to heal and set free. Burdens are released. Deceptions come undone. Hope is restored, and redemption is freely received.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8)

This promise, this grand and glorious promise that's come from the God over all, never changes. There are no loopholes that shall sneak up on us and pull the ground out from under us. No. This promise He has given us is secure. The ground on which we stand by it is sure and steady.

The doubts in your mind are of the enemy, and they are pestering you to try and KEEP YOU OUT of this promised land! Don't you see? The enemy wants you to stand on faulty ground that will slip right out from under you and cause you to fall. However, God has a paradise of peace awaiting you, and all you need to do is say yes and step into it.

Follow the Lord's leading, and be filled with His hope that contains no artifices whatsoever. He works for our benefit not for our befall!

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

He is our Good Shepherd. He leads us into abundance. Wouldn't you think that a life of blessings is abundance? Of course! God doesn't want you living a miserable life. Far from it! He desires for you a life that is jam-packed with His goodness, and overflowing with His marvellous mercy!

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

That's an incredible promise of hope right there! Jesus, our Shepherd, gave His life so that we may live! Not so that we would just survive until our time here is up, but to thrive in Him! To flourish where we are planted - right in His healing streams of mercy. He is renewing our hearts, and filling them with His Spirit.

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)

He has poured hope and unending love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. He is planting this seedling of multitudinous potential in our hearts. When we walk in communion with God, He rains down His replenishing goodness to water, lavishes us in His warm rays of Light, and nourishes that little seedling. Time spent with Him goes on, and now the hope seedling sprouts up and amply prospers to bless not only us, but all those with whom we live our lives.

Hope abounds when God's goodness surrounds. And, remember, God is good at ALL TIMES. So surround yourself with His Presence. Draw near to Him with humble expectation, knowing that He is faithful to provide and guide you. There is nothing He cannot do, and He has given His life to BLESS YOU! He is perfectly blameless, and in Him we find the One True secure foundation on which we build our hope, faith, and trust. Go out in His wondrous peace today.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Proclaim His Greatness

Proclaim His Greatness:

"I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!" (Deuteronomy 32:3)

The whole earth and all of His creations radiate His glory. Every sunrise and every sunset remind us of His wondrous beauty. He is breathtakingly marvellous, and He works in ways that mystify the mechanisms of our limited human comprehension.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

God chose the meek and unnoticed underdogs. He chose them. He manifests His glorious ways in them. Why? So that there be be no misunderstanding that the mighty work done in and through us unpretentious ones, was accomplished by HIS power and HIS glory and not our own.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." (2 Corinthians 4:7)

He is the Potter and we are His clay. He designs with divine destiny in mind. He creates us for fulfilling hopeful futures. He placed together our pieces with purpose, and our purpose is to portray His majesty in our everyday lives. How? By letting His Spirit manifest His glorious and transforming power in us.

"O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds?" (Deuteronomy 3:24)

Your mighty, mighty deeds, O God, are uncontainable and indescribable. They are proliferous throughout the earth each day. Your splendour is sovereign, and Your greatness is made known throughout all the earth.

Every birdsong that chirps in the early morn glorifies the compassion in Your gentle, caring heart. The young spring flower bud beams with Your bright and beautiful tenderness. The rain which showers onto the land to nourish, heal, and replenish testifies to Your faithfulness in any and every situation. Features of Your wondrous ways are displayed all around. Whether in massive miraculous mountains, or in the tiniest of ladybugs, Your goodness knows no end.

"The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom." (Psalm 145:9-12)

Oftentimes, all that needs to be written is what is written in His Word. This is because the soul inside is so easily overwhelmed by the unending wonder of all that He is. Grace anew every morning, mercy never ceasing, and love without any limitations or expectations? Quickly the soul within is moved to awestruck amazement, and to the knees we fall, hands thrust over heads, and hearts surrendering all. We desire more of You, O Lord, how we adore You!

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts." (Psalms 145:3-4)

Unsearchable greatness is found only in the Lord God on high. How we ache to release our exultation upon Him. No we won't be satisfied until we've come undone with abounding rejoicing in His Presence.

We crave more of His glorious goodness. We press onward with passionate perseverance, and we pursue the finish line with a burning drive. For we are well aware that the divinity we experience now is but a taste of what awaits us in the next life in Heavenly realms, so we run! We run on to finish our race and meet Him face to Face.

"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

He is coming! The One behind all the awesome greatness, He is returning soon! What an encouragement! This is our future, it's in Him! The day is coming when He will appear, and all the great, powerful glory in Him shall reign supremely. Be ready, for His return is known by none but God Himself.

"This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears." (Titus 2:13 The Message)

Take a moment to revel in all the amazing greatness of God that surrounds us. Let it soak in. Let it excite you, because this is only the beginning. The appetiser to the feast of His grandeur.

There is so much more to our Lord than we can see right now, and the day is approaching when we'll be able to behold Him in all of His splendour. Rejoice! For this glorious future is what we are heading to experience!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Raphael

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

He Knows The Plan

He Knows The Plan:

"For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Grace! How can it be! That God would take little lost me to transform into a masterpiece. How gentle, how sweet, I worship at the Creator's feet. He who made my mess into His righteousness. How good and how pure! I am His, and this is sure.

I never would've imagined this miracle God has done for me in my life. This life was once so broken, so empty, so... disconnected. Until one day, God decided that He missed me. He missed the time that I spent in His Presence, marvelling at all of HIM. His beauty, splendour, glory. He wanted me to come back. He wanted to show me all that He is. That He is faithful, loving, gentle, and kind in heart.

"the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." (Psalm 103:8)

Love abounds, even when pain surrounds. Sometimes it takes a dark night to see His light. And this is exactly what happened to me on July 6, 2012.

Drowning in my own sinfulness. So wrapped up in the deceitfulness of the enemy's attacks on my mind. I was falling, lost, and confused. I calculated to be doomed to a life of strife over matters that didn't really, well, matter. I needed my priorities to be prioritised. Badly.

"The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." (Psalm 145:8-9)

Compassion came and corrected, but gently. God is so gentle. He is so pure in heart. There is not even a trace of malicious motive in Him whatsoever.

How did I cope? How did I cope with being separated from my family, locked up in a hospital corridor with no familiarities to bring comfort? God and God alone. He became my comfort, my refuge, and my safe hiding place.

"My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." (Psalm 62:7-8)

He revealed to me so much. He revealed His love, the way it's completely unconditional and passionately pursuing. He revealed my gift, the way I connect to Him with a pen and paper. Writing became a newfound passion in my life. But, most importantly, God Himself became my passion. His goodness imparted in my soul, His love planted in my spirit. I couldn't help but overflow with it all. How could I not? How could I go on in my hurt, knowing the antidote for the anxiety and aching, and yet still watch as those around me suffered with anguish and resentment. They needed to know.

Confined into consolation, but a strange sensation of safety and security of which I could not get enough. We endured. Together. God saw me through. He prospered me into a new season. From uncertainty to uncertainty in circumstantiality. But one thing was of the utmost certainty. God was and is always with me. No event, season, or storm can ever make God change His mind. He loves. Never changing, never ending, and forever pressing onward.

Flash forward to now. Two years, two weeks, and two days later. I can confidently look back on all the dark and foggy moments, the raging seas, the things that slashed my heart into pieces, and the things that I simply didn't understand their reason for occurring, and I can say, "God is still so, so good."

"I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me." (Psalms 13:6)

Writing. Everyday is a new day to pen the words, express the passion, and let the awestruck soul inside overflow His marvels onto others, because a revelation this great can't be selfishly kept to just myself.

And this is where the VRSLY app comes into action. I discovers VRSLY a few months ago, and instantly fell in love. I've always been one who thought that typography was such a beautiful gift. However, I am no pro myself, so that's when God got to putting the puzzle pieces together in my mind. I'm no artist, that's not my gift, but I am a writer. (The awestruck soul giggles at this statement "I am a writer", because it's simply so incredible what God has made from such a fall.)

How can I apply what God has given me? How are You going to use this, God? I give this to you.

Weeks upon weeks of daily devotionals that are written solely dependent upon the grace and goodness of God were born from this humble little iPhone app. God does indeed work in mysterious ways.

"‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I'm amazed at what He has done in my life. Coming from one who used to detest reading, and struggle with the writing prompts in grade school, I can honestly say that God has made me completely brand new.

Are you willing to let God make you into a brand new masterpiece? Are you tired of feeling empty, alone, and disconnected? It's time to come back to the source of abundant Life. It's time to return to the Wellspring of Life found only in Christ our Lord.

Don't fear the hand of God coming in and restoring the life that is so broken now. In time, you'll come to see that all God does truly is for our good. He knows the plan!

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

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Jon Courville

You can dowoad the VRSLY app in the iPhone AppStore for 99¢. I highly, highly recommend.

The One I Love

The One I Love:

"O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water." (Psalms 63:1)

I have tasted and seen that there is none other like You, O God. There is no wellspring abundant like You, and none are as sweet as the sweetness of Your mercy and grace. I formerly ran to the other streams in life. I once came to their banks tired, weary, and desperate with desert like thirst, but their waters did not quench my thirst. Only You can drench my soul with a divine downpour of grace. Only You can satisfy me.

"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)

Can these minute worldly waters produce in me eternal reward? No, certainly not. The distractions and discontent I receive from them are far more taxing on my dry and cracked soul soil. I'm in need of a torrential monsoon to nourish this land. I'm longing to come to the Creator, and not the creation, for the renewal I need.

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." (Revelation 22:1-2)

My heart is lost in the wonder of Your ways, Lord. Nothing else will please my spirit, but to drawn on You and You alone for every one of my needs. In You alone, we can find all we need to heal these lands. Not just the land in our hearts, but the nations that so desperately need revival.

In the threshold of Your abundance and compassion, I am overwhelmed. This earth is devoid of what can honestly feed my soul desire, for You are the One I truly love.

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalms 37:4)

You are my desire, so why do I so easily drift off? Why do I so readily stray from the course and dip my toes in the waters of the other rivers that don't satisfy? Patience and commitment. Every loving relationship takes time, patient endurance, and unswerving dedication.

I must translate the soul's plea for devotion to God to the mind. Then flesh must be crucified, for the flesh is an unruly, untamed, and self-seeking beast. I must take all that is within me, and surrender it up to You, my Lord.

"Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalms 37:5-7)

When I commit my corrupt, you renew me to righteousness. Then the confinement is undone, and to You I will run.

I'm here revelling in Your streams of mercy. Your grace, it rushes over me with redemptive power. You are making me new. Each day that I come thirsty, You refresh me. Not a moment passes when You tell me to figure things out on my own. I am filling leaning into You, my Lord, my Love. I am forever devoted to you, and You are forever inviting me into Your glorious, unconditional Love.

"And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)

"Come!" He calls to you. Hungry souls simply need the nourishment found only in the Lord Himself. Thirsty souls have simply lived too far from His streams of mercy and Living Waters for too long. We're not meant to live apart from God. We're made for Him, to love Him, worship Him, and bring Him glory.

Come to the water of life, the stream of abundance found only in the Lord. You will discover the One true Source of real, never ending and never changing Love in God the Father alone. His love never runs dry. You will never thirst again when you live in the constant current of His love and grace.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Rosette Claire

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Restore Me

Restore Me:

"Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit." (Psalms 51:12)

Joy of salvation. There is none like it. The joy of salvation is unsurpassable, incomparable, and incorruptible. No other worldly possession or even a fellow human being can deliver to your soul the joy like salvation in Christ will. The world cannot offer joy like the joy of salvation. When we wander off and begin searching for joy in tangible objects or mortal companions, we leave still feeling empty and despondent. This is because the only Way to achieve truly satisfying joy is by coming to the Way Himself.

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

Jesus IS truth. He is the complete opposite of fallaciousness, impurity, and fraud. He is all that is honest, dependable, trustworthy, and faithful.

Jesus IS Life. He is the very mighty Life Force that blooms within our souls. Christ is the One who sparks our spirits into revived life. Apart from Jesus there is no life, therefore there is no joy either.

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you - even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets." (Acts 3:19-21)

Quiet soul within, for the Lord's restoring power is coming closer. The day is at hand when all dry bones will be resurrected into life again. Soon we will be planted by His streams of living water, and never again shall we become thirsty. Restoration is drawing nearer and nearer.

We know that God's promises will never be taken back or renounced. We also know that what is written in His Word is not hollow, fictional literature, but living and active spiritual weaponry. Sharper than any two edge sword! Strong, wise, and power-packed!

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

God has implanted His very Own righteousness within us. By the grace demonstrated through the sacrifice of Christ the Lord, we are made right and whole within our hearts. Now His mighty resurrection power resides in each one of us!

"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Do not be distressed, O soul, for the Word of your God abounds in promises of great and glorious blessings. Corruption shall not grip your grace-covered soul.

Hold onto the HOPE of His promises. Fight the good fight of faith by fixing your eyes on the Prize that is laid up for you in Heaven, which is meeting Christ the Lord face to Face.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

"God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged." (Hebrews 6:18)

Be GREATLY encouraged! The hope of joy in salvation, full restoration, and eternal relation with God is in front of you! This is not a fantasy. This is our future! What a precious blessing and honour it is to serve our Sovereign Lord!

Don't lose hope, because the day when life and joy will be reimplemented unto our lives is closer than ever before. The day when the glory of our God shall be recognised, proclaimed, and renowned among ALL is nearer than we think. So hold fast to hope and courage!

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

May your hearts be enriched with the strength of that marvellous joy of salvation. Let the hope of God's glory radiate from within your spirit and overflow onto all you meet.

Share the excitement! Declare that the day of the Lord is approaching! The Lord Jesus Christ is returning! Reinstitution of restoration is at hand, so be encouraged today and everyday!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Jon Courville

Monday, July 21, 2014

No Longer Broken

No Longer Broken:

"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite." (Psalms 147:3-5)

I know this old battered up heart has seen many dark nights and death frights, but how many of these scares have I honestly faced alone? Have I ever truly been abandoned by the One who loves me most? Certainly not! In every circumstance, He is always faithful to deliver and redeem.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all." (Psalms 34:17-19)

Every calamity results in His redeeming love, so my soul reaches out to Him. He cares for me, and no struggle of mine is ever unnoticed or unimportant to my Lord. Oh how good He is!

"He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned." (Psalms 34:20-22)

Because it's the Lord who watches over me, every bone in my body is preserved. Because I am His, my soul is saved. Because I belong to God, my trusting in Him will not be forsaken. Every concern of mine is cradled in His caring arms. So here I'll cast the burdens off. I'll bring the sacrifice of a broken life to Your Throne of grace.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise." (Psalms 51:17)

As I lay down the shattered pieces and painful scars, I watch Your gentle hands intricately place my fragments in order. Not in the likeness of my former self do you put me back together, but rather, a brand new creation. I am completely redesigned, repurposed, and reignited with passion for You, O God. How I love You my Lord!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

As I approached the Presence of my Lord, I felt the burdens melting right away. The closer I became the more the former self floated right off with ease by the renewing power of God being released upon me. Pride paled into insignificance, and the past person perished. You make all things new, God!

"that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)

I once was wandering and empty, but now, by the grace of God, I am made anew into righteousness and holiness. The power of the resurrection is manifest in me, because the Spirit of God has been poured into my heart.

Jesus paid the price for my redemption, renewal, and revival. This alone is reason to rejoice! Jesus has secured my salvation!

I no longer die a little each day as I become older, but I am becoming more and more alive with everyday that passes. By the supernatural grace and power of God living in me, I am being renewed daily.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:3-5)

I am no longer a shattered, shadowed mess. I need not fear brokenness, because brokenness is simply an opportunity to be made whole in the Presence of God. I need not fear the fiery arrows, because I am shielded by faith in Christ. Nothing formed against me shall stand. I know full well that the Lord will provide a way for all He has planned, for He who promised is faithful.

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17)

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21)

The Lord's purpose shall come to pass, regardless of the obstacles that pop up. I must keep reminding myself. Even though I've struggled through mountainous roadblocks, God's will - His marvellous plan - shall not be forfeited. His ways remain and endure. What is His purpose? Good question.

"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)

His purpose is to prosper us, to give us peace, hope, joy, and a wonderful future. Despite brokenness, desperation, illnesses, and setbacks, God's amazing plan remains. He will put all these seemingly useless shattered pieces together into a miraculous masterpiece that only He could create. Go in peace of this revelation my dear beloveds.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, July 20, 2014

You Carry Me

You Carry Me:

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." (Jeremiah 31:3)

Everlasting. His everlasting love has followed me. Up to this point, I've not known a day that did not hold an above and beyond supply of His everlasting love and perfect patience. Though the skies open up and hurl valiantly aggressive torrents towards me, I am shielded by the Shalom of my Saviour.

"He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." (Deuteronomy 32:4)

He commits no wrongdoing. It's one of those things that we may never fully grasp. His ways are unsearchable, yet still they are unadulterated. Wherever you may be today, you may feel tempted to argue. You may be pleading desperate questions, "If God's ways are just and He is faithful, why am I here? Why did this happen to me?"

God feels the aches that plague your heart. He hears your tearful cries. He is not going to leave you on your own. No matter how scary, miserable, or painful your situation, God is right beside you upholding you by His mighty hand and carrying you through the raging storm.

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

The darkness of these dreadful days begins to drag its dismally disheartening drapes of desolation over me. Before the deep and dreary depression can consume me, I'll turn to the Light of my Lord in trusting expectation. "I know that You're stronger..." whispers my mustard seed faith.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalms 27:1)

He strengthens my weakening heart, and lights up the way before me. No thing can separate me from His Love (Romans 8:38-39). My gracious God consoles me in times of grief, and He fills my heart up with joy and hope. He is righteous and ready to redeem all of this madness into merciful marvellousness.

"Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies"
(Psalms 103:4)

Destruction's grip thrusts out towards me yet again. Again... The five-lettered word punches me in the gut, because I should've known better, but I didn't. Somehow, I've fallen down *again* to the depths of destruction. I begin to feel the snare of the sniper, the agonising accusations of an unrelenting assassin, and I wonder... How did I get down here... Again?

Though I'm weak and strength is dwindling, He is courageously strong and mighty in all my fears and weaknesses. I need not dread these times of weakness because when I'm weak, that's when God can demonstrate His glorious power through me.

"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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

I can take pleasure in the midst of all this dizzying distress knowing that I'm carried in the arms of my Sovereign Saviour. I am confident that He will fight these battles for me and win them victoriously, because He is the One True Almighty God.

"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14)

Be still, O my soul, be still. The Lord your God is in this place. He is compassionate on this crumbling heart, and faithful to carry you through. He shall not ever leave your side, and He will never forsake you in your weakness. He will wipe the tears from this face, and pour out His saving grace upon you. Have no fear, for the Lord your God is near.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I Am Set Free

I Am Set Free:

"In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free." (Psalms 118:5)

A crushed spirit within pounds with painful misery. My contrite heart cries for closer fellowship with the Father. I feel so far, yet not forsaken. I feel so distant, yet not separated. I wonder how much longer, how much longer until I'll be there with Him face to Face.

"I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3)

I remind self that maybe He's not finished painting walls or constructing a desk up there. Convicting my frazzled flesh thoughts He gently reminds me of a different greatly possible factor. Is it possible that I'm the one that hasn't completed my call of ministry yet? Am I the one not done HERE? Could there be more to what feels like an empty life? Maybe I'm not an empty life at all?

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Called according to the purposes of the Lord? Is there any way I am included in that list? Me? Is it possible, that the season of stillness is to spur spiritual hunger and strengthen trust bonds?

I reason again. I reason with the deadly poison of logic and a much too lowly humility. I persuade my easily swayed mind to think it's possible God wants me to live a quiet and unexciting life trapped in my own home. As if I'm of no special importance to His grand plan. Then in all His glorious grace, He convicts my constricted correlation with compassionate care.

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Chosen, royal, holy, special. Words like these are not used to describe something (or someone) worthless. Each one of us has been called out of dismal darkness and into His marvellously merciful light and love. We once were lost and did not belong, but now we've been bought at an incomparable price into redemptive righteousness.

God has a destiny for each of us. He doesn't desire our lives to be squandered away into an oblivion of has been mistakes. God didn't accidentally create too many people with too few purposes.

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." (Psalm 138:8)

Stepping back now, I see it. I'm one of those He predestined to be saved. I'm His very own chosen child.

"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will," (Ephesians 1:4-5)

His divine delight and wondrous will have worked together to splendidly gift His chosen generation of souls with sonship. It is His pleasure to adopt us into inviting arms.

By the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, we've all been FREED from any and all hindrances. Nothing can hold us back from an incredible future of hope. Our future is held in His hands, and our future is IN HIM.

That's the undeniable joy contained in the years of life remaining and the eternity to come. It's Jesus. Jesus is our destiny. He is what makes our hearts bleed with passion, our hands move to action, and our hearts filled to satisfaction. Everything we need, and everything we desire is found in the Father.

"Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" (Philippians 3:8-9)

Though I may feel like I've lost all hope. Hope lives on in Christ, and that's all I need. All the hope and encouragement I could ever require, all in Christ the Lord. I can surrender the struggle to earn my own future and joy, and rest knowing He has secured my future and renewed my joy. I am free! I am free from the burden of striving to earn or deserve!

Walk in freedom and faith in Him today, and be filled to overflowing with abundantly ecstatic expectancy.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: Jon Courville