Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘victory’

Seeing God’s Glory in Parkinson’s Disease

Reprint of a column from the Baptist Voice in honor of the birthday of this saint who shows us the way of Christ!  It was our joy to see Dave & Terri on our NY trip this year.  They both press on in the face of Parkinsons–bringing great glory to God.  Love to you both, my friends!  Thank you for helping me grow in grace & knowledge simply by being yourselves!

Parkinson’s disease is relentless and destructive. It attacks the body in a myriad of ways: hand tremors, walking impairments, speech, and even involuntary movements such as blinking. Seldom is Parkinson’s linked to the concept of a blessing. Our victory report today, though, is somehow who sees eternal victories in this earthly curse.   God’s glory is present even in Parkinson’s…

Perhaps you have unknowingly enjoyed some of the victory yourself through attendance at one of the Southern Gospel concerts at First Baptist Church of Port Crane. Dave Samson, the concert organizer, is God’s victorious soldier of today’s column. His victory report is not without the reality of damage inflicted through Parkinson’s. The loss of his job and its income; increased difficulties with basic and necessary daily tasks: speaking, writing, typing, buttoning a shirt, driving, walking; impairment of his carpentry hobby; and greater burdens on his wife and family are all part of Dave’s battlefield losses. Nevertheless, Dave also sees a field of sowing and harvesting created by the Parkinson’s because it narrowed his options and increased his focus!

Dave had long enjoyed listening to Southern Gospel Concerts. He and his wife, Terri traveled to area performances as their schedules permitted, but never dreamed of organizing local events. As Dave’s disease progressed, his sales career in Christian resources became difficult to the point of danger. His driving ability impacted by the disease, Dave accepted the need to apply for disability. The debilitation to Dave’s overall motor function sped the disability process along and financial worries were somewhat eased. However, Dave officially became ‘disabled’ rather rapidly, and he felt at loose ends. Though all of his movements had slowed, he still wanted to live fully!

Much to his frustration, the diagnosis generated such sympathy from those who cared that others often restrained him from doing even what he could. In fact, the kind intentions began to make him feel not like an invalid but as if he were simply in-valid—of no apparent use anymore. Fortunately, Dave believed (and believes) that when God allows one door to close, it is so He can clear the path to a better doorway. Such was the case in this situation.

It began when Dave agreed to the simple task of making a phone call to find out about the availability of a gospel group. It has grown to a Southern Gospel concert ministry with hundreds who attend at a tiny country church in rural New York. Every concert touches hearts for Jesus; many times, there are professions of salvation or rededication.

Dave willingly pays the physical costs for this labor of love. He says his illness has given him time; the ministry provides him purpose. He sees victories that are eternal because he accepts the disease as filtered through by the loving hand of the Sovereign Father. Is there something in your life that needs a new perspective? Ask God to show you how He can transform your roadblock into a doorway to blessing!

Jeremiah 29:11

We’re only human

“But we’re only human…”

For one who has accepted Christ as Savior, that statement–usually offered as an excuse for sin–is a powerful example of a half-truth being a whole lie.  The foundation of the Christian life is that our flesh is crucified and our life is in Christ.  “But we’re only human…” has the sound of humility but it emanates from the father of lies.

Galatians 2:20 says:  My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

True humility sets the flesh aside and boasts in the power of the Cross…in the One who triumphed over the father of lies by dying on the Cross.

May I never boast in anything except the Cross of Jesus Christ–by whom the world was crucified to me and I was crucified to it (the world).  Galatians 6:14

Victorious Christian living NEVER trust in the flesh.   The flesh is ‘circumcised and buried in Christ’ – cut off, put away!

Knowing the source of our life, surrendering to His life and power in us, is the key to victory.  Take time to feed on these truths and fight lies that rob God of the glory He deserves.  Claim Christ’s victory and help others do the same!

Romans 8:10

2 Corinthians 4:6,7; 13:5

Galatians 4:19

Colossians 1:27

Faith is the key to our victory.  Ephesians 3:17 tells us that Christ dwells by faith.  2 Corinthians 13:5 admonishes us to be certain of our position of faith!  Faith is not just a reading of words or an emotional desire.  Faith is confidence that creates action.

Live the reality of the redemption!

Jesus did not stay on the Cross or in the grave…He rose in eternal life.

 

michael flickr

Which side of the Cross will you choose?                                          Picture: Michael/Flickr

 

 

 

Faith Delivers. Fear Kills.

We know the story.  A dozen spies were sent into the Promised Land to check out what God had promised to give the Israelites.  Five-sixths (almost 85%) of the spies choked…they couldn’t believe the promise.  We are called to be different!

The majority chose fear over faith and brought a negative report back to the people.  Anything not of faith is fear–and fear kills.  Humanity is created for faith…designed for belief in the Creator who conquers all. 

Fear is irrational.  Listen to the spies:  “The land devours its inhabitants….the inhabitants are giants.”  What?!  If the land devours, how would the inhabitants be giant? The people couldn’t hear the inconsistencies because fear deafens. 

Today, the majority choose fear as well.  We need more leaders of courage, more heroes who choose faith.  Let’s look at what God had to say about one of the heroes from the ‘spy story.’

But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.  Numbers 14:24

Faith is the vehicle that delivers the promises of God.

Caleb had a ‘different spirit’ — a faithful, fervent spirit that brought results.  As Christians, we need to be different. We need the courage that refuses to fear.  We need the courage that embraces challenges as opportunities for God to produce miracles.  We need the courage to go after the promises God makes, the blessings He offers.

Caleb was 40 when he went into the Promised Land.  The fearful spirit that the other spies allowed to overtake them infected the rest of the nation.  That led to forty years of desert wandering–and never entering the Promised Land for all but Caleb and Joshua.  But listen to Caleb 45 years later:

I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.  Joshua 14:11,12

Caleb experienced the faithfulness of God and knew the battles belonged to Him.  Even at 85, he was ready to take the land with the ‘giants.’  He knew the goodness of God and trusted that the results would be what was best.

A WORD ABOUT FACING GIANTS

There are two words I found for giant in these passages.  There are scholarly depths beyond my ability to plumb, but there is an exciting glimpse I feel I can share.  One of the words for the giants who dwelled in Caleb’s chosen land were called rapha.  That intrigued me because Jehovah Rapha is The LORD our Healer.  As I searched, I found the words are related–and the giant has an attribute of ‘invigorating.’ And the word, when used as healing speaks of restoration to the intended purpose.

So for my readers who are facing a giant in their life:  Be like Caleb.  Choose faith and watch God take that giant down.  Trust in His purposes of restoration and life-giving, and claim the promises of God.  Let that giant invigorate the faith of yourself and others.  Giants slain with faith are a source of freedom and life!

Knowing the King

Soaking in the presence of God restores my strength.  It is such a joy.  Sometimes the weights of the world deceive me into thinking I must carry them.  It breaks my heart to see and hear the ways the devil steals, kills and destroys.  This morning, this quote blessed me as I sought His face this morning, and I wanted to share it with others:

“He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron.  He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He hath led my captivity captive and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Do you know Him?  If you know Him, you will surely enjoy Him!

 

Turning Life’s Battles into Victories

Battles in life are a sure thing.  Those battles are our individual, unique opportunities to enjoy the victory of Christ personally.  Each of us has victories to give back to Jesus that only we can give to Him! Isn’t it exciting to think of giving Jesus Christ a special gift?!  Unveiling God in the details of our days is both a privilege and a responsibility.  Every child of God is blessed by His presence; it is challenging to fix our eyes on the victories in our lives though.

Leave a note about Jesus victories that have blessed your life, won’t you?

The battles of life are as diverse as our own individual personalities. A battle against alcohol may have no greater spiritual significance than another saint’s battle against critical speaking. Self-mutilation, lies, murder, unforgiveness, slander—all are sins which, when grown, produce death and destruction. Jesus came to set us free from sin’s captivity. Giving Him the glory for chains released is our glorious privilege. It has been said that our battles are our unique opportunities to give a victory to Jesus that only we can give!

We love to recite Romans 8:28 but too often we present Christianity as a future hope more than a present reality. People need to know faith in Jesus Christ can make a difference when:

• The children are sick and the boss insists on your presence at the meeting.

• Your frail and aging parents have more needs than you can meet.

• Your spouse chooses to end the marriage.

• Your child loses their way and continues to spin farther from God.

• Failure seems to be the only thing you are capable of…

Jesus meets us in our battles in ways and times perfect for our needs. He uses all we encounter to help us learn who we are and to reveal to us that He is the great “I am.” God reveals Himself in His people (in the details of our lives) so that others can see Him and know who He is too! We have the joy of helping people glimpse new dimensions of our awesome God as we share the victories that walking in the light of Christ’s presence.

God’s Word enlightens our path and reveals ways we can obediently follow Him as we face hard times. Sharing the instructions and victories we receive helps others see Truth as well. Consider the glimpses of God from the battles above:

• A parent learns God still provides as she prays and shares her dilemma.

• The overwhelmed caregiver finds new understanding about God’s ability to meet needs and learns to rest in Him rather than ‘do it all.’

• The abandoned wife realizes more of Christ’s passion for people who have rejected Him as she confronts her own emotions.

• A parent feels the depth of comfort there is in knowing the Shepherd who searches relentlessly for the lost.

• One focused on perfection finds the peace of knowing that the love of God does not depend on performance.

Those of us who walk with God must tell the difference He makes in our day-to-day lives—and what lies we have to release to receive Him. Please consider sharing the details of how you have glimpsed Christ in your life. The Master Weaver entwines the thread of our lives in amazing ways. We need each other to broaden our view:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

Cross-Life Coaching aims to help Christians live the realities of faith in the midst of the realities of life.  Learn more here:  Cross-Life Coaching

Confidence in the Battles of Life

Today, our journey through names of our Triune God provides us a glimpse from the angelic perspective.  Found in both the Old and New Testaments, Christ’s title of Captain opens new vistas for the believer!

We first encounter the name with Joshua.  As he prepared for the battle of Jericho, Joshua encountered the pre-incarnate Christ:

And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.  Joshua 5:14-15

Earthly battles can cause us to wonder if God is for us or against us.   The Captain’s message to Joshua is important for us to hear:  our battles are actually the holy ground of eternal purposes.  Scripture continually reiterates that God is for us—there is no doubt of that.  Recognizing that Jesus is the Captain of the Angel Armies will not only bolster our courage for life’s battles, it places those battles back in their proper realm.  God’s purposes are the focus of the Captain.  Lining up under the authority of the Captain assures victory!

As we consider Christ’s role as Captain of the Angel Armies, our hearts will sing with the angels as we ‘look’ at the birth of Christ.  The incomprehensible truth of the leader of angels accepting the vulnerability and limitations of a helpless human infant awes my mind!  No wonder the angels ‘long to look into’ this matter of salvation—their holy, all-powerful leader submitting Himself to save fallen humanity is breathtaking, is it not?

With the New Testament context of the title of Captain, the picture of Christ as grows even richer:

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  Hebrews 2:10

The Captain of the Angel Armies is Captain of our Salvation!  The all-powerful leader of the angels, the Creator and Sustainer of all, submitted to sufferings that He would fulfill the purposes of God: bringing fallen humanity to glory.  The reality of the Captain’s humble submission to suffering to bring salvation to me reveals the love of God in a special way.  As Captain, Jesus commands the powers of heaven to assure the victorious completion of the perfect will of God.  May the Spirit of God illumine new facets of Christ’s beauty to each reader’s heart.

This is an excerpt from Fixing Our Eyes on God.  If you would like a free PDF list of names of God, visit this page and complete the form.

Struggles? Concerns? HOPE!

Just a short note this morning from the hope I found in Scripture this morning.  Hope in the Bible means confident expectation for good.

The struggle in your face?  

  • God’s got it.  Just like Joseph, we need to remember that evil is turned upside down in God’s hands! (Genesis 50)

Our task?  

  • Respond rightly:  Refuse to indulge in the fruits of the flesh!  Feast on and share the fruits of the Spirit.  (Galatians 5)
  • Be noble like the Bereans:  Examine the Scriptures.  (Acts 17)
  • Focus well:  Look at what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4)

 

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