Tag Archives: praise

Ten Lepers – Discovering the Difference

23 Dec

What made the one leper different?

If you’re familiar with the record of Jesus healing the ten lepers, you’re already thinking, “One leper returned to thank Christ for healing him.”

This is true, but there is another distinction.

As Jesus traveled between Samaria and Galilee, ten men with leprosy called to him from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

To all of them, Jesus said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” (According to the Mosaic law, the lepers had to remain outside the city a certain number of days and if they appeared clean, go show themselves to the priests for further instruction as to when/how they may reenter the city.)

And as they went, they were cleansed.  

When the one returns, falling at Jesus’s feet with praise and thanks, Jesus says, “Were not all ten cleansed? …..Rise and go; your faith has made you whole”  (see Luke 17:11 – 19, KJV). 

Do you see the other distinction?

Yes, the one leper was different. He alone went to praise and thank God. His heart stood apart from the rest.

The other distinction is what Jesus told him. Whole. Your faith has made you whole.

So what’s the difference between clean and whole?

Could it be a glimpse of this truth–Christ was born to all, Christ died for all, yet only some surrender to praise Him as Lord and become a servant?

Lord, please make me your true servant. Let me not raise my hand to receive what you give me without falling at your feet to praise and serve. This Christmas, may I not celebrate the fact that you came without using my life here to follow.

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Thankful for Beautiful Things

22 Nov
Hair dryers, cosmetics, exercise equipment. . . or at least those great suck-you-in undergarments (sometimes I’m extra grateful for those).  Since November began, I’ve enjoyed reading many wonderful lists of things friends are thankful for. And though most of us use them every day, I’ve not seen a list including things to make us beautiful.
I guess in all practicality, I am thankful for such things. Or maybe it’s a love/hate relationship. They certainly get a lot of attention from me. 
But, today, I’ve listed some truly beautiful things–favorite things–to share with you.
1. The sound of crunching leaves on a brisk morning walk
2. Smiles of a baby when sleeping
3. Belly laughter…you know that real deep kind
4. An elderly couple holding hands
5. The sound and feel of a pencil writing smoothly and quickly on the page 
6. A breeze on your face with sunshine beaming down
7. Knowing God is talking to you and you can hear Him
8. Helping someone just because you can
9. Knowing you are loved with no fear of losing it
10. Your loyal dog following you around just to be close to you
11. Snow falling
12. The silver of ice on bare tree limbs
13. Rocks in the mountain stream and the rippling sound the water makes
14. Fireflies in the night air
15. New friendships
16. An unexpected letter from a friend
17. Forgiveness – both to give and to receive
18.  Bright blue sky
19. Belonging
20. Tall pine trees, red dirt, and blue sky
21. The waterfall at the end of a long hike
22. The anticipation of the waterfall at the end of a long hike
23. The beginning of a trail you’ve never taken
24.  Certainty
25.  Discovery
26. Freedom
27. A singing child when he doesn’t know you’re listening
28. Vastness of the ocean
29. The night sky lit up with the moon and stars
30. Seeing something for the first time with someone you love
31.  Knowing you made a difference
32. Holding a loved one’s hand as they slip into eternity
33. Fall weather after a hot summer
34.  A listening friend
35.  Seeing your child gain confidence
36.  A life lived on purpose 
As I reflect on the list, almost every one of them involves a relationship or part of creation; something I can’t experience without God providing it.
At my house, we have loads of things to be thankful for which are just that: “things.” But the truly beautiful things aren’t “things” at all. 
And here’s the most beautiful thing I’m thankful for:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJM0hFvz_64&feature=related
How many beautiful things can you see? I’d love to read some in the comments.

What’s Biggest Today?

8 Nov
“…we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”  Hebrews 6:18b-20. 
What’s biggest in your life today? A problem. A need. A hurt.
Even something good can feel like the biggest thing. A surprise. An accomplishment. An opportunity. 
But our LORD is the greatest of all. Nothing is bigger, nothing more powerful. Nothing can stand against Him or rise above Him.
I’m in the midst of a wild storm, clinging to the One and Only Living God and His Word to me. May my hands and heart be blistered from gripping His anchor which never fails.
So if you’re tired or hurt today, God is greater than that hurt.
If you’re thrilled about something, it still can’t compete with the fullness and everlasting joy of our God.
Click on the song link below and worship Him right now. Tell Him He is above all things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca1EEYayu4M

What’s Your Mile Marker?

25 Oct
Sharing my journey from Good Girl to God’s Girl has me celebrating. And what a thing that is, as many of my loved ones are sick and battling serious situations today. 
A heart that’s able to be joyful in my relationship with God while pouring out the prayers of great need for my loved ones — all at the same time– that’s what turning myself over to Him has done. Let’s keep going, Lord!
A heart in transition; that’s what I want to share with you today. This is a poem from my journal. It’s a mile marker to me as I reflect on it now, a marker of how God began to empty my heart of the old stuff and transform it into a pure heart for Him. It’s a daily process by the way. 
Here’s my journal entry as I wrote it,  back when I first started this journey. A journey of becoming fully and purposefully His instead of routinely His.

 Lord, Be Exalted in My Heart 

God, I believe in who you are
Shaper of moon, earth and stars
Show me how and where to start
So you can rule inside my heart

 

Jesus, You saved me from eternal death
This earth won’t hold my last true breath
To work and play and church I go
Your hymns, commands, and truths I know
 
But God, my prayers are so routine
My do’s and don’ts can’t make me clean
What good comes from this outward game
If in my heart, I’m still the same
 
I try so hard to do what’s right
Performing, working, holding tight
But in my heart You do not see
Yourself exalted, only me
 
Wanting purpose and security
To be known and feel free
I think that now I finally see
I must search for You, not for me
 
At last to find all that I need
Your plan holds my identity
Only faith counts as righteousness
This, my Lord, You will bless
 
Your words are life, Your works are great
On You alone, my Lord, I wait
You are the God of the patriarchs
Lord, be exalted in my heart

Remembering No More

21 Apr

 

A few years ago, I studied Believing God by Beth Moore with our women’s Bible study group. One of the most impactful things for me was seeing how scripture references God remembering, and then provides a direct action He took.

Of course, God knows all. So when we see “God remembered” it is being spelled out for a reason. To draw a connection of intentional action by God to what He specifically remembered.

If you have the study, you can review this section on p 147 – 149.

This morning, as Easter approaches and I’m thinking of the New Covenant ushered in with Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, I’m praising God for what he chooses not to remember. What he chooses not to act upon because of his lavish gift of Christ’s holy blood to cover us.

 

 Hebrews 8: 7 – 12 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.  But God found fault with the people and said:

8 “The days are coming, declares the Lord,
   when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
   and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
   I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
   to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
   and I turned away from them,
            declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
   after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
   and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
   and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
   or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
   from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
   and will remember their sins no more.”

Thank you Father God for sending your Son Jesus, who willingly took the sin of this world, and conquered it. Thank you for remembering my sin no more, for not giving me the punishment it deserves because Christ already bore it all.

Know No Fear

21 Jan

Have you ever considered how impossible it is to not know what you already know?

You may have to read that sentence again. Basically, it is impossible to “unknow” something. Such as, once I know 4 quarters makes a dollar, I cannot stop my brain from automatically calculating it that way. And once I know something about a person, I cannot take that out of my perception of them; be it negative or positive or neutral, it is part of my lense through which I now see.

I considered this for the second time in recent months as I read Hebrews Chapter 2. Verses 14 – 15 say, “….he (Jesus Christ) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (NIV, emphasis added).

I’ll admit, the actual process of dying, depending on the means by which it will come, isn’t something I look forward to. However, I cannot say I fear death; nor do I have any memory of fearing death. Why? Because I was blessed to be raised in church and cannot remember a time of not knowing that Jesus paid my debt, and surrender to him means heaven comes after this life.

I cannot unknow that. I cannot remember ever not knowing that. 

Today I am celebrating my mom’s birthday, who has now entered God’s eternal presence.  And as best I can, knowing what I know, I’m praising my saviour that no fear was present as she went home to him. Not in her and not in me, nor has there been since. No doubt, no hesitation, no slavery to fearing what’s become of her or that I will join her there one day.

 May we not fail to praise God for the wonderful truths we know because of his love, his grace and his word. May our hearts yearn to share Jesus with those who don’t know.

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