Friday, October 31, 2014

Oh Death Where is Your Sting?

Oh Death Where is Your Sting?

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)

On this day it is particularly imperative to remember that death and destruction have been definitively defeated. Christ's crimson blood has won the ultimate victory. We are no longer held hostage by the threat of sin and its punishing penalty of separation and agonising eternal pain. We have overcome sin and death because He has paid the price and defeated the cross and the grave.

Our futures are secured by salvation. The gruelling grip of death has permanently lost its strength, because the earth-shaking might of God has loosed the chains of our shameful sin from the atoning sacrifice of Christ once and for all - that means for us all as well. The Lord's wondrous work on our behalf has forever freed us, and it's through the power of His blood that was shed.

"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction!" (Hosea 13:14)

Θάνατος. This is the Greek word for death. It can also mean the eternal, horrendous separation from God the Father. This ghastly disgrace is the shame which results from our sinful nature, and this is precisely the pain that Jesus endured for our redemption.

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone." (Hebrews 2:9)

The word death here is also θάνατος (thanatos). So as you can see, Jesus suffered the most unthinkably harrowing hurts for us. He bore the bruises. He endured death. He pressed on so that we may live abundant eternal lives in fellowship with Him, for He loves us so dearly. And His love has proven faithful time and again.

Today instead of celebrating death, let's chose to celebrate the gift of pure life in freedom. He is the God of grace, love, and life, so we ought to radiate life too! May the Lord bless you all abundantly with joy and hope unending.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Heart in Good Hands

Heart in Good Hands:

It's not up to my hands to control, but my heart to surrender. In the midst of this storm, take me to the Rock that is higher than I.

"Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalms 55:22)

"The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14:14)

Let His pure love be the rope that keeps pulling us in closer and closer. Though we fall, He shall always uphold us. Though we stray, He calls us Home.

"But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”" (Matthew 14:27, 31)
God allows us to feel hurt. He allows the hurting to pull us closer to His heart, His heart beating - beating for our brokenness. He longs to burn away the burdens which break us down and crush our joy, freeing us to know Him more, to know His gracious heart ever so deeply, and to be sure of His merciful goodness.

"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds." (Psalms 147:3)

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”" (Revelation 21:4-5)

So do not fear my friends, for we are worth much more to Him than we can imagine. He is holding us in His tender lovingkindness. He is making all things new. Sorrows will be turned to rejoicing, pain shall resurrect in peace, and hurting to hope. He is coming. He will never leave us. He is for us. He is good, oh so wondrously good.

May we never forget: underneath all this majesty and glory there lies a heart that burns for our deliverance and safe keeping. He pursues us personally and passionately. He is our Lord, yes, but He is also our Lover. Have no fear. The Almighty God of miraculous marvels is here. He is right by our side.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Photograph Taken By: My Friend Kerrie

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unimaginably Immense Love

Unimaginably Immense Love:

"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19)

We were born hungry. Hungry, empty, seeking, and searching tirelessly. Restless souls we entered this world, and restlessly we may choose to exit. That is, if we so choose to neglect the burning passion of the One true pursuing Lover. The One that chose thorns for our freedom. Ridicule for our redemption. Hatred for holiness. The Sacrifice that provided sanctification. There is nourishment for the starved souls. There is peace for the oppressed.

"The human heart by nature seeks after God. There is a spiritual vacuum in every man until it is filled by Christ." -Richard Wurmbrand

"And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)

The Well never runs dry. The love of Christ never stops rushing over us. In times of desperation? Let it flow over you. Let the realness of His peace-giving love comfort you.

The love of Christ is unimaginably immense. This love has plundered the deepest depths to bring us Home and pay our debts.

This is true and imperishable Love. Love that gave it all to win our redemption, our freedom, and ultimately our hearts.

"But I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence." (Psalms 17:15)

Even the most voraciously hungering hearts cannot go unsatisfied by the Bread of Life. He feeds the famished souls, and He nourishes the neglected. No one goes unloved. No need goes unnoticed. Every heart is cherished. Every soul He desires will find salvation. In Jesus, oh only in Jesus, His love never ends. His love has no boundaries. It's available for you today. Embrace the overflowing grace of His wondrous love. Let Him cover you this day, and let Him fill up your empty places. He is good; He is our God. He is marvellously merciful. Trust. Trust in His good heart, for He will care for yours that has broken.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Road is Joy

The Road is Joy:

"You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence." (Acts 2:28)

Nothing in this world will last. All is fading away fast, but Jesus is mine even unto eternity. From His Presence I may stray, but by my side He'll always stay. Oh bring me back to the joy, the joy found only in You, beloved Lord.

Your persistent promise of perfect patience pulls me closer, ever so close to Your pure and spotless heart. What detail of my life has gone unnoticed by the God who cares, cares so intricately intimately?

"casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

Cast all, ALL cares, oh my soul. Hold nothing back, for He withholds no blessing from you. If He gives all so unconditionally, why should I be hesitant to trust Him with the technicalities of my life? After all, I am of more value than sparrows, and yet He divinely cares for them with delicacy.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31)

He knows the hairs on my head, therefore can't He be certain of the concerns on my heart? The worries in my hands?

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

Approach Him. Approach Him with confident, trusting faith. Abandon. Abandon those hindering fears into the hands of the Almighty. Exult. Exult in the celebration of peace and joy which flows freely from the all generous heart of God.

You lead me back home. You lead me away from the path of dismay and onto the road where joy is the way. Jesus, You've ransomed my sorrows and transformed my hurts. The road on which we travel together is dotted with divine grace, perfect peace, and never failing joy. May I never forget this promise of joy.

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:11)

Your joy is always available to me. Your joy is readily accessible to every heart that's anchored in You. Guide us to this place of peace, O Lord. Welcome us into Your wonderful embrace. No matter where we stand this day, there is healing joy found in Your name.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Thursday, October 23, 2014

God Loves Even the Unlovable

God Loves Even the Unlovable:

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10)

Can you see it? The astounding reality of the God we serve? He loved us first. He set aside His great and authoritative dignity to take on the form of a rejected and hated servant, and He did it all for us. He gave it all for me, and He humbled Himself to the lowest of positions for you as well.

Why? Why did Jesus trade His divine Deity for the suppressing subjugation of human flesh? Were we just so righteous and deserving? Certainly not. Had we earned our reconciliation? Preposterous! The answer to the burning question as to why Jesus purposefully brought Himself low and surrendered all for our souls? Self-sacrificing, unconditional Love.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Whilst still sinking in sinfulness, God devised a divine plan. All the while bitterness constricted our souls and intoxicated our hearts, the Great I Am loved us unrelenting. Oh how His limitless love has shown us such immense favour!

"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Romans 5:10-11)

But now has been birthed something completely brand new. In fact, "New Testament" also means "new covenant." Therefore, as we see in verses such like the ones above, we have been completely saved and set on a brand new path.

A path of righteousness that brings sanctification through His holy blood. A path of redemption which releases us from the chains of old unrighteousness, as well as washes us clean from the filth of our former fallen flesh.

Lastly, a path of rejoicing. The Lord is full of compassion and His heart is moved greatly for His children, even in the most minute details of our tedious, everyday lives. He has purchased and promised an eternal life in His courts of Heavenly Splendour for each one of us. That day is coming soon, but must we wait our entire earthly lives for joy to come? Of course not! God has given us all we need for a joyous life today!

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:11)

Because His love has ransomed us, rescued us, redeemed us, and remade us, we are a brand new creation. The old ways are dead and gone. No more shame, fear must leave in His name, iniquities are wiped away, and we rejoice in this NEW DAY! No longer orphans, we are His own. We are Children of the Almighty Lord.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1)

We've been adopted into the loving arms of the Father, and it's all because of His marvellous love and grace towards us. It doesn't matter how rejected I am by the world, God will always accept me into His glorious embrace. No matter what venomous repulsion the world may spew at you, the all powerful love of God has conquered all. His love outshines even the most hurtful worldly rejection. If you're feeling lonely now, call on Him. He has named you His very own friend, and He would do, and has already done, everything for you.

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." (John 15:13)

There is no greater love. O Father Your love surpasses all else. Your love brings comfort to my restless soul.

So if the world's insufficiencies are impeding on your joy, rebuke this tricky tactic in the Name of Jesus. Call to the Father of Love, and remember all the wondrous works He has accomplished to make you (yes YOU reading this right now) His very own beloved child.

The world is ever changing and inadequate to administer the love our souls desperately desire, but the Lord is constant and His love never fails. Turn to the Satisfier of your soul and receive refreshment for the weary heart within. Cast your cares onto the One who cares for you more than you could ever comprehend. His love is all we could ever need. His love is all we seek with the entirety of our hungry hearts.

His love is filling us with hope, courage, and joy. Remember, no matter the opinions of the world, God holds you ever so dearly. He loves us, and that's enough. Hallelu YAH! Praise the Lord of Love!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Kindling of our Souls

The Kindling of our Souls:

"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalms 118:24)

"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)

You're my light, O God; You shine bright, even in the pit of my fight. You give me hope, You give me joy; It's by Your side, where I reside. Peace is my companion, and love is my cloak; in Your wondrous light do I soak. Every day is a perfect day to delight in this divine grace; the glory of Your gleaming upon my face.

"But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18)

Your glorious light in me shines ever so brightly. Forever increasing, abounding in hope, abounding in utter joyfulness is this grace. Your light in me is my delight, for it glows brighter and brighter even up to the day that I shall cross over into the home of eternity by Your side.

"And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:5)

Oh Heavenly Father, thank You that Your illuminating light outshines all the darkness surrounding us in this world. We give You thanks for the gift of Your light inside our hearts. Without Your radiance in us, we would be lost and wandering in deeply dark depression. Lord, thank You for rescuing us from the prison of isolated pitch blackness - the shame of our shadows. Thank You for inviting us into Your loving arms. Thank You for shining on us forevermore. We praise You Father, for Your goodness and graciousness overwhelm us. Your generosity is undeserved yet unrelenting. What glorification is due unto You!

"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being." (Psalms 104:33)

We thank You, Yahweh! Thank You for rekindling our snuffed-out spirits. We are alight for Thee! We shall praise You as long as we live! Hallelu YAH! Thank You God!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reston in His Unending Grace

Rest in His Unending Grace:

"And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”" (Exodus 33:14)

The crisp breeze blusters blissfully, and the leaves serenely sweep o'er the vibrant blades of grass. The golden autumn glow is bright, and all the world seems in delight. O Heavenly Father, Your Sabbath is beautiful. O Lord of mercy and grace, let Your light shine upon our face.

"The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you" (Numbers 6:25)

Yes, God, You are so gracious! Your kindness calls us into praise, and Your faithfulness deserving our devoted exaltation. I cannot help but revel and rejoice in this grace. I cannot help but shout it out. You are good, and Your grace is never-ending. Your mercies are sufficient in our wandering, and Your love forever fulfils our deepest desires.

We turn our hungry hearts to You, God. We sing a new song of joy and freedom. We trust in Your goodness, and we look to You for all we need. When rooted in You, we shall never be disappointed or shamed.

"They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed." (Psalms 34:5)

When focused on You, we find all we could ever need and all we could ever want. When we abide in You, grace upon grace shines from Your face. Your warm smile, Your kind heart. Oh this is truth of our joy. This is the anchor of our resting rejoicing.

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29)

Happy Sabbath to you all my friends! Embrace His grace. Be blessed and find rest in the Lord.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fill Me

Fill Me:

"How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver." (Proverbs 16:16)

O Heavenly Father, You're so much more than my words can describe. Your power is limitless, and Your wonder immeasurable. Your authority is above all else, yet Your mercy endures throughout all generations. You have compassion on each and every soul, for You are Love and we know love because You have loved us perfectly.

"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him...We love Him because He first loved us." (1 John 4:16, 19)

Oh how dearly do I love Thee, Lord my God. There is none like You, no not one could ever compare. You know all, for You are the Author of all times. How I long to be close to Your tender loving heart. I'm eager to hear You whisper wondrous things in my ear, to breath Your awe-inspiring life into my soul.

"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)

You are coming. You're coming for us. You're coming to swipe out all sorrows and pain. Our futures are in You. Our destiny is for You.

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts." (Revelation 21:4-6)

You speak words that are only true and faithful, and these I hold dear to my heart. I cling to You, my God. I grab hold of Your promises and proclaim them over myself. You are faithful. You are coming. You are sovereign. You are my King, and I am Yours.

You make me new. Each day You cleanse me from my iniquities, because second chances are unrestricted when I'm bowed low in the Presence of Your throne of mercy. I am confident in my Saviour's redeeming love and atoning sacrifice, therefore forgiveness is never far. The Great Forgiver is who You are!

You're pouring out living waters into my soul. My spirit is becoming more and more alive each day, because Your Holy Spirit is living within me. I thirst for You, God. I thirst for more of You. I long to experience more of Your astonishing goodness and glory. And I know I shall, for You are unending and unrelenting in marvellousness. I trust that even while it's quiet in my life now, You're filling me with more of You. Thank You, Lord. I will wait, wait on You.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hallelujah. A Broken Cry of Worship to my God.

Hallelujah. A Broken Cry of a Worship to My God.

"In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears." (Psalms 18:6)

Hallelu YAH. Though I am broken, I still shall sing. Hallelu Yah. Though my world falls apart, O God, hear my heart: Hallelu Yah, oh Hallelu Yah. My soul shall never be silenced; my hands shall always be lifted. You are forever gracious, and I am forever grateful. You are my peace when all else is overthrown, and I shall always praise Thee. Hallelu Yah. My God, to You I give unending adoration.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Slow Down and Breathe in His Grace

Slow Down and Breathe in His Grace:

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

You beckon me into Your Presence as Your very own beloved child. You're orchestrating my life with a rhythm of peace. You're never rushed, for Your timing has supremacy - even over all my stressing.

Though the world clamours and corrodes, You welcome me into sacred, rejuvenating rest. You lead me beside the most serene waters, even when all the world around threatens with its roaring waves of worry.

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake." (Psalms 23:2-3)

With paths of righteousness arrayed before me, You've shown me marvellous measures of mercy. Your compassion depends not on who I am nor on how well I preform, but rather solely on You. Your majesty, Your sovereignty, and Your immense lovingkindness uphold me. This is my anchor. Your goodness fixes a firm foundation beneath my shaking feet. You steady me with grace, and Your unsurpassable peace guards my heart.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

Be anxious for nothing, and this includes the still quietness you may be experiencing today. God has a season for everything. He destines a season for proliferous productivity and busyness, but He also appoints seasons for ease and placidity. Just because God is working quietly, doesn't mean He has forgotten about you.

Rest. Rest and receive this season of tranquility He has for you now. Trust. Trust that His plan is wondrous and often times beyond our understanding. Release. Release every burden that troubles you into the hands of the God who fights for you valiantly. Slow down. Slow down and listen closely to the sound of His heart beating passionately for you. His love for you knows no boundaries, no limitations, and it never ends or lessens.

We praise You, O Heavenly Father. We give You honour and glory, for You are marvellous and worthy. We trust You this day, and every day we shall lean closer and closer into You.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Light the Way

Light the Way:

"For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness." (2 Samuel 22:29)

I stumble and I fall, but I know You're with me through it all. Though I often fail, Your love shall always prevail. My eyes are shrouded by clouds of confusion. O Lord, would You come and clear my vision? Won't You light the way ahead of me? Enlighten the darkness, O Father God, illuminate the path that is before me.

"Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”" (John 8:12)

This is one of Your promises to me. You promise that the light of life - true life shining forth from Your Holy Spirit - shall light up the way before me and fill the emptiness within me. I needn't walk in dismal darkness.

Because of You, my path can grow brighter and brighter day after day. Your goodness and glory blaze my future trails. Your faithfulness fills those paths with abundance, for You are purely good with no shadow in You whatsoever.

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

Your goodness and grace give me courage. Your faithfulness ignites in me a fearlessness unlike any other. It's because I know I'm in Your hands - the very hands that formed the entire universe and everything in it - that I am able to confidently live by faith. I must have faith in Your never ending goodness, faithfulness, mercy, forgiveness, and graciousness. You are good, good good, and You'll never stop being good to me no matter how undeserving I am. You are constant, never changing, and it is written in Your word.

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

"For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob." (Malachi 3:6)

Because Your wondrous mercy steadfastly endures throughout all of eternity, we are not consumed or destroyed, as some translations put it. I can hold onto these truths with vigorous hope, as I watch and see Your great glory come to my rescue. Not a single one of Your words shall ever fail.

"God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfil?" (Numbers 23:19)

So this day, O Lord, I call to You from my dismal despair. I'm in dire need of You, and I am certain that even just being in Your Presence for a moment can work a mighty miracle in my soul. I'm longing for Your love light to shine upon me. I am awaiting Your illuminating. Please come and fill me with Your glowing hope and joy.

"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)

Because Your light leads my way, I shall not be afraid. I am fully submerged in Your loving Presence, therefore fear has to leave, because Your perfect love drives it out. You're the strength of my life, and apart from You I am nothing. Apart from You I am weak and quickly fading. It's only in Your arms that I find the strength to carry on, the joy to face another day, and the hope to believe.

Please light my path this day and every day, O Heavenly Father. I am relying on You completely. I know Your goodness and graciousness shall never fail me. I trust You and I thank You. Thank You for always lighting up the darkness and casting out the shadows.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, October 12, 2014

You are Loved

You are Loved:

A little encouragement for your Sunday evening?

You are loved. Whoever may be reading this right now, understand this: God's love conquers every one of our fears, insecurities, and doubts. His love always wins, always provides, and always amazes. He pursues you, yes you! No matter what happened in the past, His love makes ALL things new. His love is covering YOU! YOU are loved by an Almighty God!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Struggle is Part of the Story

This photo was taken approximately two years ago. I was suffering malabsorption and my hair was falling out. God is my healer. He rescued me. As one of my favourite Tenth Avenue North song says:

"You break me to bind me You hurt me, Lord, to heal me
You cut me to touch me
You died to revive me"

Every moment we suffer, God is working vigilantly to break us free of the chains that hold us captive. No pain is pointless, but all pain hold purpose. The struggle is part of the story.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Cease Your Striving

Cease Your Striving:

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Psalms 46:10)

I live for Your glory; I'm alive to serve You and to bring praise unto Your holy Name. At the very centre of it all, there You are. You're my joy, my hope, my salvation, and my ultimate destination. The pure purpose of my existence is for You, O Lord.

"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3)

To You I turn my eyes. My heart is steadfastly trusting in You, for I know Your faithfulness never ends and Your love never weakens. You passionately pursue me with a never ending persistence. Oh how I love Thee, Lord Jesus!

"He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." (Psalms 112:7)

No force of hell can dampen the divine grace of Your marvellous embrace. And isn't that Your ultimate hope for me? To rest, and to release every burden that's been pent up inside? To allow myself to fall back and be caught in Your wonderfully loving arms of care and embrace?

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

O Heavenly Father, as we Your children lay down our heads this night, may our souls surrender the stresses which stifle our freedom. We invite Your Holy Spirit to come re-establish the initial, immense joy and liberty of salvation. Come, Lord Jesus, come and make Your dwelling place inside our very hearts. We eagerly anticipate Your intimacy. Come deliver our souls from the strain of striving, and soothe us into the serene pathway of living in Your peaceful Presence.

You're all we need, and that's all we need to know. You're not disappointed in us, rather, You delight over us with songs of gladness. Hallelu Yah! Let us sing a song of praise to our God! He has delivered us and set us on the path of His never ending goodness and favour. Hallelujah! Hallelu Yah! Rejoice and praise the Lord!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

God Works Even When It Is Quiet

God Works Even When It Is Quiet:

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]" (Matthew 11:28 AMP)

There are some days when I just feel... tired out, lonely, and even afraid. Afraid of the future, afraid of failing. However, in all my sorrows, I must not forget that God has a purpose and plan, though I cannot yet see all of it. Though my hope seems fading, His faithfulness is crusading - and on my behalf.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The Message translation puts it a nice way when it says:

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track." (Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG)

I suppose what I'd been doing that caused me to become so overwhelmed and ridden with anxious thoughts was trying to figure things out. Things I'm not meant to speculate myself. Thoughts that are higher than mine own.

"“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For 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)

It is not my place to attempt to conjure up what my future shall look like, nor is it my burden to fret over whether or not it will be prosperous. For the Lord has promised in His Word:

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:10-11)

This promise of prospering purpose applies to what He says of us as well:

"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)

The Lord's promises are not in vain. His Words are packed with truth, hope, and trustworthiness, so don't let your mind become entangled in worry and confusion. God has a plan! His plans are marvellous and miraculous! Don't ever forget His wondrous works. Remember what is written in Ephesians chapter three:

"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)

He is ABLE to do so much MORE than we can picture in our limited human minds. He is exceedingly and abundantly ABOVE what we hope and dream. Our wildest dreams are easy feats for the God who formed the stars with His words. Hallelujah! How mighty and wonderful He is!

Release the chains of doubt and distress, and trust that even though all seems still and quiet, God is working in secret for your good and His glory. He is working a mighty work inside you and me that we may not even know about. It's not our job to justify the way things "seem." It's our mission to be in submission and await His call to us saying, "Now is the time, My child. Step out onto the waters and watch my power ignite in waves of mighty magnitude." He is still here. Even though it seems like He's forgotten, He has not left us. He will never leave nor forsake us. Amen.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Monday, October 6, 2014

More Than Enough

More Than Enough:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

I am a sinner. I have fallen short of Your prodigious glory... yet again. I writhe and struggle in all my shame. O Lord, remind me to call on Your Name.

"If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

If these lips are spattered in disbelief, discontent, and disregard for all You've done for me, O Lord, wipe them clean. I choose to wash my tongue in the truth of who You are. I must make the conscious choice to turn away from this trap set before me, rebuking regression and taking hold of Your helping hands. Knowing that Your faithfulness won't forsake me, not now and not ever.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Why have my eyes become glossed by ingratitude? Have I suddenly forgotten or forfeited the reality of who You are and all You've given so generously for me? You're the one true King above all kings, yet You laid Your life down for me. Little old me? I'm the apple of Your eye, yet I still allow even the small details of Your divine grace to rush past me unnoticed.

How it aches Your heart so deeply to watch bitter greed grow into the soil of my soul. Yet in all my unrighteousness, Your unrelenting faithfulness and favour still predominantly prevail. How undeserving I am, yet how unconditional Your love.

"For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Your grace is a gift. Who am I to lose sight of this? Disgraceful deception had cleared a grave, hoping to bury me in confusion and callousness. Deception desires my destruction, and deception desires my demise.

Did I call into question the marvel of Your mercy? Have I loosed the memories of Your mighty goodness from my mind chambers? Now I can see...

What the lies of demise have so desperately drilled in my thoughts is this: not enough. Not enough? How blatantly fallacious and deceitful! Lord God, my Heavenly Father, hear my heartfelt cry.

This day I do see how I've broken Thine heart. Please send me Your grace, provide a new start. I see the wonders that You've done. I see how You have overcome. Though the road is rough, You are enough. You are enough.

"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)

That's it! Enough of these bondages of discontent! I've had it with the poison of ungratefulness! Oh how my mind has wandered! Lord, bring my heart back to Your own. I choose to declare Your unchanging TRUTH!

You are enough. Salvation is enough. If I've nothing else, I have all I need - all I could ever want - in You. But who You are is so greatly generous. You care! You honestly care for the thing I care about.

Your amazing grace overflows me. Your amazing grace overwhelms me. Blessing upon blessing, You flood my life with goodness. You are the light that shines in all my darkness.

More than just enough, You are extravagant. You give glorious gifts above and beyond all I could ever ask or imagine. This is who You are. You are miraculously more!

"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)

Your spirit in me is all I need, but Your favour surrounding is so much more than enough. It's the pureness of Your heart that penetrates my being and causes me to spill over in unending praise. The wondrous abundance of the undeserved blessings in which You shower me are above and beyond sufficiency.

Truly, what more could I ask? For You have already given me so, so much more than I deserve. Father, forgive me for my ungrateful attitude. I repent with my entire heart, and turn away from my mistake. I choose to worship You for all that You are and all that You've done. Thank You. May the melody of my thanksgiving never grow quiet again. Hallelu Yah, O Lord, I bring to You my praise!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fear Freeing

Fear Freeing:
"Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalms 55:22)
"casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
There's a whole lot of disquieting troubles going on these days. It's very easy and common to become entangled in fear-knots. Yes these disturbing events are real as day, but our God is so much more than them. The certainty of our God's power, authority, and sovereignty must become a shield of comforting courage to each and every one of us, especially when all the world around us is in utter turmoil and upheaval.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
The Amplified Bible translation adds this little gem, which I love:
"For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]" (John 16:33)
Our great and mighty Lord, Jesus Christ, has stripped this world of its authority over us. He's conquered all the evil which encircles us.
Look around, can't you see all the troubling dismay? Can't you see the threatening afflictions at bay? But oh my dear friends, look UP!
Look up into the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Can't you see the loving affection in His eyes? Can't you see the glorious strength of His hands? His triumphant majesty and goodness far outweigh the world's empty, menacing intimidations.
Have NO fear. Fear is a ferocious enemy, and even at the first sign of its intrusion into our lives we must take valiant action. What must we do?
First of all, NEVER simply "cope" with your anxieties. Here's an easy way to remember coping's destructive motive: it's easy to lose your HOPE when you begin to COPE. Coping says, "It's okay that I'm paralysed by this fear, because if such and such ever did happen to me..." Coping condones! Coping condones fear's tyrannical terrorising grip on our lives.
Now we can truly understand the danger of allowing ourselves to cope with the fears that eat away at us. So now what? Well, as it is written in 1 Peter 5:7, CAST it off!

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Ps. 55:22.]" (1 Peter 5:7)

As you can see again, the Amplified Bible translation goes a little more in depth here. You can also see where Psalms 55:22 is referenced (the very same verse I quoted at the beginning of this post as well).

I love how this verse reminds us that God cares for us watchfully. These words right here are a sure-fire way to put to rest any worries that may cause us to think we must allow ourselves to stay confined and imprisoned in the fear that chains us up and holds us hostage. Not only does God watch over us carefully and attentively, but He has also already victoriously conquered every fear trap that tries to constrain us. In other words, it's not only safe for us to step out of the chains, but He has already unlocked and swung open the prison doors for us! Hallelujah!

"Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you." (Galatians 5:1)

We are completely free from fear's suffocating stranglehold. Therefore, instead of simply coping with your fears, CONFRONT and CAST OFF those vile anxious thoughts onto the Lord God, who Himself has paid the unfathomable price for our freedom and shattered those petrifying prison walls! Amen! We are freed from these fears by the blood of the Lamb! Hallelu Yah! We shall forever sing our praises of thanks to God the Father!

-The Introverted Evangelist

Friday, October 3, 2014

God's Wondrous Works of Art

God's Wondrous Works of Art:

"All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." (John 1:3)

In nature I see glimpses of His wondrous beauty. His grace and glory shine extravagantly in the world around me.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork." (Psalms 19:1)

This is a picture of one of my grandfather's pineapple plants. He has well over 100 pineapple plants at his home. He also grows bananas, lemons, limes, plantains, avocados, and many types of peppers.

This picture was taken whilst on vacation this past week, and I think it's truly breathtaking. Just look at the marvellously intricate and detailed beauty of a mere pineapple plant. This is just one of many, many more examples of God's incredible artwork! Just one out of millions, even billions more masterpieces.

This includes me and you. We are God's beauteous artwork as well. Each one of us, artfully crafted inside and out with different gifts and talents.

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." (Psalms 139:14)

Today is a brand new day. This day is a gift from the Lord Himself. Let your soul reflect on the astounding and real truth of God's abundant beauty. His marvellous works are all around us! Take a moment to breathe... and enjoy the gift of being His very own work of art. We are filled with the beauty of His Holy Spirit. Everything He's made is fearfully and wonderfully designed. Selah.

-The Introverted Evangelist

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

God Has a Plan

God Has a Plan:

"We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will" (Ephesians 1:11)

The waters are rough and the winds rage relentlessly, but You, O God, are keeping me steadied in Your sovereignty. It can be difficult to imagine, that You, the God of the whole universe, might take care of me in such a gracious and loving manner.

Then I'm tempted, tempted to fear that Your love has suddenly disappeared. I can see the storm that's coming near, O Lord my Lord, come meet me here and take my fear.

"And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved." (Acts 2:21)

My lips spill over in desperate defeat, "My Lord, I can't walk this path on my own two feet." You hear my cry, and You will satisfy.

"He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over." (Psalms 23:3-5)

You overflow me with blessings, Father. Your tender lovingkindness graces over me with divine diligence. I needn't fear one fragment. I have nothing over which to fret. I know that in Your arms, You will never forget.

Every detail of my life is of great importance to You, for not a single thing goes unnoticed. So why should I have anxiety over these threats now? Have You changed Your ways? Certainly not! Even now, in this seemingly catastrophic turbulence, Your grace is still enough. Your faithfulness shall still prevail through every battle.

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

So even here in the midst of all this troubling terror, Your mercy hasn't fled the scene nor has Your faithfulness forfeited me. I shall not become distressed by this mess, because I am certain You will bless through the mess.

"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)

You work for my good. You determine the path on which I shall walk. You cement every event in the goodness of Your great and perfect will.

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." (Proverbs 16:9)

I like the way the Message translation puts it as well:

"We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it." (Proverbs 16:9 MSG)

We make plans and dream dreams, but when it comes to executing such grand hopes, we often slip and fall. We are only feeble humans, but the Lord our God is mighty and strong to make everything even beyond our wildest imaginations a reality.

Today, I must choose to take these crushing fears and surrender them at the foot of His Throne of Mercy. I must remember how faithful He has been to me before and how His faithfulness NEVER falters or fades. I must remind myself, God has a plan. He has a plan for my good and His glory. Praise Thee, O Lord God Almighty! You are worthy of my trust.

-The Introverted Evangelist