Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas humility

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
When things can’t be formed into words, we can take confidence that even the groaning of our heart is understood by the Lord. I take confident that I have Jesus as my great high priest and that He is interceding for me the prayers that are beyond what I think I want or above all needs. We think of Jesus as a baby, Jesus who is coming back, but Jesus right now is praying for us! When I get to seasons in my life where it feels like my prayers become sighs or groans, I get to a place of brokenness where I begin to walk by faith and not by sight.
With brokenness I’m reminded of humility before God; that sweet humility that reveals the power of God that is at work and not human effort. This season in thinking of Christmas as a time to reflect on the grand entrance of our savior... a savior who came in absolute humility! It isn’t necessarily a grand entrance to our human measure to think of a king entering not in mansion, but in a manger, and as a baby… the most humble dependent state of being. It’s a day where we don’t only remember His birth, but His life and His death… and the purpose for His life- the only being who came with the purpose of dying.


We read Hebrews 12:2. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“I asked, “What, or who, was this ‘joy’ that was set before Jesus?” This ‘joy’ must be important because it helped him endure the cross and the shame and pain he would go through. Of course, pleasing the Father was his joy but there’s so much more. We are his joy, also! Jesus knew that his finished works on the cross and his resurrection would create the possibility for mankind to be reconciled back into eternal relationship with the Father. The possibility of this brought him so much joy that he was willing to lay down his life to save ours. Consider this – we are worth the life of His Son!” (Weekly Ministry Report from “Christians in Action”).

I hope you all had a blessed Christ-filled Christmas and got to spend time remembering why we celebrate this day! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Below

Below is a 31 day devotional that I went through in the month of October. It was called "Discovering the Father's heart." It dives into scripture to point out what our Heavenly Father has to say about us! I remember this longing in the beginning of this year to know God's thoughts toward me. It was Psalm 139 that spoke to my heart that His thoughts are as numerous as the sand, but still I wanted to experience more! This devotional blessed me so much and I hope it encourages you as well!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 1


"Oh 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. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory." Psalm 63:1-2
There is a longing at the bottom of the heart of every believer who is the least bit responsive to the initiatives of the Holy Spirit. Once we begin to understand that our passions were meant to be satisfied in Him, and that only in Him is found the pleasure that every person seeks, we find our focus narrowing and our options becoming few.
In these verses, the psalmist is acknowledging that there is no true enjoyment outside the presence of the Lord. He has sought for pleasure in the dry and thirsty land, and has realized that even in those dry places he has in fact been looking for the Lord. Having found nothing in those dry wells, he wisely turns to the place where the Lord may be found-in the sanctuary, the place of worship and meditation, Only the consideration of the beauty and power of the person of Jesus is enough to satisfy the longings of the heart, and those who seek with passion and wisdom will turn their search to where joy may be found.
Prayer: Jesus, my heart is filled with desire, and only You will satisfy my thirsty soul. By Your help I will be wise this day, and seek You where You may be found-in the place of worship and meditative prayer. Let me not be satisfied too easily, but increase the longing in my heart until I seek only You.
Day 1 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 2


"Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with narrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. Psalm 63:3-4
Every individual has the freedom to determine how they are going to spend the resources of their time and energy, and those decisions are based on their perception of what will bring the greatest freedom and fulfillment. The writer here has come to a very important and fundamental understanding: the experimental reality of knowing the love of Christ is more important than life itself. He would rather forfeit other pleasures and even necessities than miss out on the experience of being loved by God. Therefore, he has set his will to the focus on the wisest and most important activity-the worship of God. Anyone who has ever been in love knows about the reality; other things are simply not important. Only the presence and attention of the Beloved is worthy of our full attention, and so we give ourselves to this most important thing-loving God.
Prayer: Oh my Beloved, waken my heart to see the wisdom of loving You as the first thing, the one thing that is necessary. All other realities come into focus when this first thing truly is first. Let Your lovingkindness fill my soul, that I might know life as You intended it to be known.
Day 2 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 3


When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; your hand upholds me. Psalm 63:6-8
Who hasn't known those times when sleep is distant and the hours of the night seem far too long? It's often during those sleepless nights that the enemy can come with all his weaponry-worry, anxiety, stress over what needs to be done, and fear that the resources to meet the needs are not going to be in place. In those times he also seems to bring his supply of false comforts, like fantasies and hunger for inadequate stuff, and we find ourselves wanting to eat and drink of the wrong kinds of pleasures.
It seems pretty clear that the writer of this psalm was familiar with those kinds of nights, and yet he found an antidote for the pain. His key? Remember the Lord and meditate upon the beauty of the man Christ Jesus. David's strategy was to let his mind become full of thoughts of the Lord, reviewing the history of God's faithfulness to him, and settling his heart in the comfort of God's constant nature. He sets his soul-mind, will and emotions-squarely in the path of the Holy Spirit, and places himself in God's hand, for only there is he surely secure.
Prayer: Father, I look to You to send Your Spirit to my aid in the night hours, when the enemy's worst seems to plague my soul. You are faithful and kind; Your nature is unchanging, and I will trust in You, following close behind You as You lead me. Thank You, Father!
Day 3 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 4


"Now I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first Heaven and the first Earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband. And I heard a loud voice from Heaven saying. "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 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." Ans He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 21:1-5
I love to read adventure stories and watch movies that are made from books by authors like John Grisham or Tom Clancy. In a well-written story there is always a skillful building of tension, great disasters that loom as not only possible but likely, and surprising twists of deliverance and resolution that leave me cheering that once again the bad guys have been defeated, and the good guys have won. Occasionally, the suspense get so great that I have to sneak a peek at the ending, just so I can relax.
I think sometimes in the adventure of life, it's good to consider the end of things from time to time for the same reason. God has told us how this adventure called life on Earth is going to end so that we can rest in His marvelous strength and goodness. I encourage you today to consider this passage from Revelation 21 and just let your heart rest in the fact that the outcome of the story is already decided, and not only does the Good Guy win, He gets the girl! Over the next couple of days, we're going to consider this reality, so set your hearts at rest in His sovereign power and might, and give Him thanks that you are included in this great adventure!
Prayer: Father, thank You that You are the mighty God who sees the end from the beginning, and You have made every provision for the outcome. I give You thanks, Lord, that I included in this City that is really a Bride, and I can't wait for the story to unfold. Thank You, Lord!
Day 4 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 5


"Now I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth... Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband." Revelation 21:1-2
One of the questions that comes often concerns the focus we have at the International House of prayer in Kansas City regarding God's love for His Bride, the Church. We believe that the highest revelation of the identity of His people is that of being the Bride of Christ, and this passage is one of those that helps us understand this. Notice how the apostle John sees the city of God, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven, but that the city has now been transformed into a glorious Bride! This is an indication that no matter what else we are called as the people of God-His people, His army, His flock, His city, His holy nation, His children, His servants-the culmination of the whole thing is the identity He gives us as the Bride of His beloved Son!
Let you heart focus on this reality for a few moments, and give thanks that no matter where you are in understanding His revelation of your identity, where you are in understanding His revelation of your identity of a Bride perfectly adorned and made beautiful for her Husband. In other words (for you guys that haven't quite got this Bride thing figured out yet!), at the end of the day you will be perfectly prepared as the eternal partner of the Son of God, and He is filled with gladness at that prospect!
Prayer: Jesus, I thank You that you Holy Spirit is working in my heart even now, preparing me to be like You, to be perfectly conformed to what You have in store for me, that I might know the joy of anticipating that day.
Day 5 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 6


"And I heard a loud voice from Heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God." Revelation 21:3
This little verse is one of the most powerful and significant verses in all of Scripture, for it reveals the eternal purpose of God and declares that this purpose will be fulfilled at the culmination of natural history. This eternal purpose is an astonishing reality-the God of the universe wants to be with human beings forever! The phrase "the tabernacle of God is with men" is not referring to an idea that God has a big building that He is going to inhabit, but rather that in Jesus, God has clothed Himself in humanity as His choice of how He wants to spend eternity!
From before the foundations of the Earth, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit decided together that they wanted to have intimate relationship with human beings, and that the only way this could happen was for the Son of God to take a form that would embrace created people. So, God became a Man. His decision was to be a human being forever so that He could have intimate relationship with people, including you and me. Focus your prayer time today on giving thanks for this astonishing reality that lifts us to an incredible place of dignity and significance.
Prayer: Oh Lord, my heart is stunned as I consider the reality that You desired to be a human being so that I could come to know You. Open my understanding, Lord, that I might comprehend the things You have in store for me as Your Bride and partner , and that You will be my God, and I will be one of Yours forever!
Day 6 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 7


"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." Ans He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 21:4-5
There is a reality of wonderful comfort in this short passage, for each individual is able to experience the healing power of the Lord as He ministers to His people at the end of the age. Sometimes we can easily believe the God will be close and intimate to everyone else, but it's more difficult to believe that He will come to us individually in that kind of way. But the language in verse four is very clear-God Himself will wipe away every tear! In other words, there will be a personal encounter with the living God in which every sorrow that has touched your heart will be healed by the tender touch of the beloved Lord. Nothing that has to do with death, sorrow or crying from pain will touch you ever again! You will never again know pain of any kind, for the King of Heaven, who is you Bridegroom, is going to heal your heart in a deeply personal way.
The good news for us is that we can begin to experience that touch in a real way now, even if not in its fullness. As you fix your attention on the beauty of Jesus and set your heart to worship Him and to believe His Word to you, the Holy Spirit will come in a place of peace. Ask Him to do this today, and wait patiently for the Lord to come to you.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I bring before You the hurting places of my heart today. I fix my gaze on Your beauty and love, and I ask that Your Spirit would strengthen my heart to receive Your healing touch in Your perfect timing. And as I wait for You, I will worship You, love You and serve You with everything that is in me. Thank You, Lord.
Day 7 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 8


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 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, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6
For the next few days, we want to focus on the process that the Father set in place in order to bring His chosen Bride tot he reality of the wedding feast in Revelation 19 and 21. The letter from the apostle Paul to the Ephesians is very helpful in giving us some understanding of this. I would encourage you to consider the thoughts i this passage today, and in the following days we'll look at each of the parts.
Notice that this amazing plan is set in place by the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as he orchestrates human history for the pleasure of His Son. See that He has given us all the resources we need- every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places- in order for us to fulfill His purposes for our lives. COnsider that the end result has been established in God's mind and heart from before the beginning of time; therefore, your destiny is secure in His love. Understand that His whole point is to include us in His own family by the acceptable activity of jesus, so that our hope rests completely in Him.
Keep in mind that, in the heart of God, this whole process of redemption is for the purpose of making the wedding feast a reality for His Son. As you pray today, give thanks that you have been included by the will of God, and that His desire is focused upon you as part of His beloved family.
Prayer: Father, I ask that today You would strengthen my heart in the knowledge of Your definition of my life, and the purpose for which You have created me and redeemed me. Thank You for making me part of Your family, so that my life will bring pleasure to You forever. I worship You, Father, and give You thanks.
Day 8 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 9


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ... Ephesians 1:3
You are invited to consider an amazing reality today- the God of the universe has granted you a standing to His own heart, to be included as a recipient of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. This is the kind of statement that is so grandiose that our minds tend to skim over the top of it. But let the words roll around in your mind right now.. every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Such a phrase requires that we come before the Lord and cry out for help from the Holy Spirit to even begin to conceive of what He was thinking when He gave that phrase to Paul. The very blessing of Heaven are already conferred upon us by our Father, who is the Almighty God.
As you pray today, ask the Lord to help you understand these things. Look at verses 19-19 of Ephesians chapter one, and ask the Father to release to you the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, so that you may be able to comprehend at greater levels the joy and beauty in store for you because of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You who are the giver of the Holy Spirit, release into my heart today the power to comprehend just a little more the realities that You have made available to me. My heart longs to know the truth of who You say I am, and what my inheritance is because of Your great love for me. I'm grateful, Lord, and I thank You and ask You for more.
Day 9 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 10


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... Ephesians 1:4
I invite you today to fix your thoughts on this reality: you were chosen by God in Christ before the foundation of the world to fully meet His desires as one He loves. Le me set the scene for you. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were in an eternal relationship of joy and delight. The Son is forever the perfect fulfillment of all that the Father is, the full expression of the heart, mind, will and emotions of God. Hebrews 1:3 calls Jesus the "exact representation of the divine nature." In other words, He is everything that God is.
As the Father gazed eternally on His Son and enjoyed Hi, He beheld in Him all those would come from Him; generations of children conceived by God in Christ for His own pleasure. Even as the Father delighted in His Son, so He delighted in these children who were seen and chosen and was well-pleased, for His is confident in His own ability to being all things into conformity with His will. He has loved you forever, and your destiny is settled in His love. Consider this and give thanks today, asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to this amazing truth.
Prayer: Father, the thought that I have existed in Your heart from before creation is staggering to me. Help me to set my mind and heart in agreement with the truth that You know me and love me more than I can imagine, and that You have planned my life for Your own enjoyment. Thank You, Lord.
Day 10 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 11


Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. Ephesians 1:5
As you meditate on this verse today, keep in mind where this is going; the end of the story is the wedding feast of the Lamb, and you are the Bride! This amazing plan of God from before creation was to bring created people into the eternal family that is called "the Godhead." He purposed in His own heart that you and I would be included in this family, giving His own Son as the one who would accomplish this task by the sacrifice of His own life.
Here's what I want you to focus on today: this was motivated by the good pleasure of His will. The motivating factor in God's decision to include you is good pleasure, or simply, joy. He chose you because your presence in His family gives Him pleasure and joy. The eternal Father has known from eternity that you would be a perfect partner for His Son, and that as He brought you to Himself, His power and love would provide everything you need to fulfill all His desires for you. Your real Father is God, and He is a good Father. He will accomplish all that is needed to present you as a flawless partner for Jesus on the day of His great gladness- the day we all together become His Bride forever!
Prayer: Oh Lord, my heart is overflowing as I consider the astonishing things that You have for me as part of the Bride of Christ. Please help me understand this, and settle my heart in the wondrous truth of Your affections and purpose for my life. I love You, Lord, and I want to know You more.
Day 11 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 12


To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6
Today the focus of our attention is that the ultimate purpose of our existence is for all creation to praise the glory of God's grace. In the book of Esther, there was a point in which the king desired to display the beauty of his wife, Queen Vashti, so that the nobles of the kingdom would see the greatness of the king's glory. The apostle Paul tells the Corinthian Believers that even as a man's wife is his glory, so human beings are the glory of God, or in other words, the ultimate revelation of the beauty of God made visible.
So, God's purpose for you is to make you beautiful, to pour out upon you every blessing from heavenly places, to perfectly father you, to present you to His precious Son, Jesus, so that in the perfect revelation of His beauty in you, His Name will be praised by all creation forever. It's as though the Lord is asking the created order, "Do you want to see how majestic I am, how wonderful My grace is? Look at this!" Then He shows you off as His beloved son or daughter, the perfected partner for the one Son, Jesus Christ.
As you pray today, ask the Holy Spirit to settle your mind and heart in this reality, that God has created you for His pleasure, to perfectly reveal His beauty to all creation.
Prayer: Lord, help me to get this truth deep into my heart and mind, that I might enjoy You as You enjoy me. Heal the broken places of my heart, so that I might understand and comprehend Your love, which is beyond measure. Thank You, Lord.
Day 12 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 13


Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and My delight was with the sons of men. Proverbs 8:30-31
These two little verse are the climax of a section of poetic Scripture that speaks about the emotions int he heart of the Godhead as They made the worlds ready for the introduction of human beings onto the scene. Today we want to focus on the delightful, joyous relationship between the Father and the Son as They made preparations for the creation of people for Their own pleasure.
The Person speaking in this passage is identified as "Wisdom," but it becomes clear that the speaker is really the second Person of the Trinity, namely, the Son who would come to Earth as Jesus Christ. He was the "master craftsman," the designer of the creation, and the text says that He was daily the delight of God. The Father's full pleasure is int eh Son; everything about Him pleases the Father, for He is the exact image of the divine nature (see Hebrews 1:3).
The Son is pictured as "rejoicing always" in the Father's presence; this is a delightful term that is best translated "to be at play." The creation of the universe, in preparation for the creation of human beings, was the product of a delighted Father and a playful Son who had a wonderful plan for Their own enjoyment. Let your heart consider the reality of an eternally glad God whose pleasure is fully focused on His Son, and on Their mutual plan of having an eternal relationship with you and me!
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I ask You to reveal the Father's heart to me today. Grant me just a small sense of the Father's pleasure in His Son, and in the work They have done together to create a people for Themselves. I long to know the joy that burns in God's heart, and so I ask for Your help. Thank You.
Day 13 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 14


Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and My delight was with the sons of men. Proverbs 8:30-31
Today, I want to draw your attention to what was exploding in the heart of Jesus during the process of creating the human race. The Son knew the incredible pleasure of being the Father's delight, and His response was to play in the Father's presence. This is a wonderful insight into the nature of work; God has established work as the creative expression of a playful heart between the Father and the Son.
The Son was rejoicing before the Father; He was spinning, laughing, dancing and creating. Verse 31 tells us that the focus of His rejoicing was the people that inhabited the newly-created world. The next phrase makes it even more clear- His delight was with the sons of men! This is a marvelous statement because we get an insight into the very emotions of Jesus as He looks at you and me, awaiting the time when by His own power we will be made ready for Him as the perfect bridal partner.
As you pray today, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to your heart the truth of how the Lord feels about you. Jesus had no false illusions about your life; He understood that it was going to cost Him His life to have us with Him, and the Scripture says that "for the joy set before Him" He gladly paid the price. You were worth it to Him, and as He considered your life, He was filled with joy from the very beginning of time.
Prayer: Lord, my heart needs to know this at very basic levels. As I meditate on these truths today, cause me to understand and to come to a place of experiential belief that what You say is true. It's too good not to be true, and I want to know more! thank You, Lord!
Day 14 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 15


[I pray] that the God of out Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17-18
In this passage, the apostle Paul is seeking teh release of the Holy Spirit's power on all Believers so that they might know the fullness of God's plan for their lives. Notice the name that he gives to God, "the Father of glory." One of the main definitions of glory in the Scripture is the revealed beauty of God, made visible so that people might enjoy and worship Him. Our Father, who planned this whole thing from the beginning, is the Father of all beauty, and He desires to send us to the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we might know Him better.
Our hearts have a desperate need to know the Lord better, to understand the kind of God He is, to know His goodness and kindness to us, and that His eternal purpose is for our blessing and fulfillment as the beloved Bride of His Son. In order for this to happen, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is required in out lives. Pray this prayer over your own heart today, that the Father would release the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to you, so that you might come to know God as He really is.
Prayer: Father, send this Spirit of wisdom and revelation to me today. My heart longs to know You more, to see more clearly the kind of God You are and how You love me. Awaken my heart to Your truth and to the desire that You have for me to understand Your love. Thank You, Lord.
Day 15 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 16


[I pray] that the God of out Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17-18
Paul's prayer has three points of focus that are revealed in verse 18: that our relationship would be awakened, that we might know the hope of our calling, and that we might comprehend the rich glory of God's inheritance in us.
There is a longing in our heart to be awakened to the knowledge and understanding of the nature, character and purposed of God. In our human weakness, we do not have the ability to comprehend these realities, and o in a miraculous way, God has provided the one and only door for understanding. His Holy Spirit will come to our human spirits and awaken the knowledge of eternal things. All He asks is that we acknowledge our need for this, saying, "Lord, I admit that in my own strength I am blind and confused. But You will send help to me, Lord, by the power of Your Spirit. Touch my eyes, Lord; I want to see."
This prayer of humility is pleasing to the Lord and He is delighted to release to us the power to see and now Him as He really is. Make this your prayer today.
Prayer: Lord, I so desperately need and want to know who You are, and how You feel and think concerning me, I know I can't understand this without You Spirit revealing it to me, and so I ask for what You have promised. Thank You, Lord.
Day 16 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 17


[I pray] that the God of out Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17-18
I want to draw your focus today to the knowledge of the hope of His calling. Remember, the whole point of the creation of human beings is for the pleasure of God in relationship with us, and in order for that to happen we must come into His likeness and character. In Paul's letter to the Colossian Believers, he makes a marvelous statement that settles in us the issue of hope that God's purpose will in fact be accomplished. He reminds the readers that the Holy Spirit has revealed the "glorious mystery" of God's plan, namely, "Christ [is] in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)."
This sentence is packed with power, for we are being told that Jesus Christ Himself has come to live within our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and therefore the completion of His purpose is a certain thing. Redemption is far more than just being rescued from Hell; it is the release into our hearts of the power of God to accomplish His will and destiny for us.
Today let your heart be filled with the good truth that Jesus lives within you and is working night and day to make you a suitable partner for Himself. He will accomplish it, for you are all that He desires!
Prayer: Lord, my heart is stunned that You would come and live in me by Your Spirit, that You would ensure by You own power the fulfillment of my destiny as Your partner. The thought is more than I can bear, but I ask You again to help me get it! I love You, Lord, and my heart aches to be a worthy partner of this Man, Christ Jesus.
Day 17 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 18


[I pray] that the God of out Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17-18
One final glance at this passage, focusing today on the very last phrase, "what are this riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." This is a segment that is filled with wonder, and is worthy of much meditation and prayerful consideration. Several thoughts; first, it is a staggering thought that God would have an inheritance in human beings. We usually consider an inheritance as something that comes from beyond us, that makes us more wealthy, or gives us something that makes our lives more enjoyable. And the truth of this phrase is that God, the Creator of all things, has decided that an eternal relationship with you and me is going to make His perfect existence even better! What a mind-boggling idea! Toss that one around in your mind and heart for a few thousand years and see what happens!
Secondly, let's consider what this inheritance is to Him. Remember, the whole point of creating us was to have intimate relationship with Himself, namely as the Bride of His Son Jesus. In genesis 1:18, God speaks to Adam as he first man, and promises him a "helper comparable" to him. We know from Ephesians five that the Genesis passage is a picture of Christ and the Church, so what God is setting in place here is a picture of Christ and the Church, so what God is setting in place here is a picture of what we are to Him- a helper comparable to His Son, the perfect counterpart, the partner in ministry that will walk alongside the Son as co-heirs of the Kingdom of God. Let your heart be expanded with the truth of this, asking the Holy Spirit to empower you to receive and understand what He has in mind as His glorious inheritance in the saints.
Prayer: Jesus, my little mind is too small to comprehend the reality of this, beyond just saying the words. Send Your Spirit to open my understanding, so that I may know Your thoughts and sense the joy of Your heart as You look forward to my becoming all You have created me to be.
Day 18 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 19


For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named, that He would grant you, according tot he riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 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 3:14-19
As we consider this passage over the next few days, there are several points of focus that will draw to your attention. There is a wonderful and natural progression of revelation that is put forward here, beginning with the loving Father who sends Hid Spirit for the purpose of strengthening our hearts. The reason that our hearts need strength is to empower us to receive the presence of Jesus inside, establishing us in the love of the Father. In the context of this seedbed of unconditional love, we grow up into the ability to know the full love of Christ, a love that is incomprehensible apart from the power of God.
The end result of this process is beyond imagination- the knowledge of the love of Christ that fills us with all the fullness of God. This is an unbelievable statement, one of those things that, were it not in the Bible, would sound like heresy. The fact is that God has some things in store for us that will boggle our minds. Fix your heart on these things and ask the Holy Spirit to prepare you to consider them over the next few days.
Prayer: Jesus, my heart is overwhelmed at who You are and who You say that I am. send me Your Holy Spirit and open my heart to understanding, for I deeply desire to know the things You have for me, together with all the saints. Thank You, Jesus.

Day 19 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by: Gary Wiens

Day 20


For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named, that He would grant you, according tot he riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 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 3:14-19
Paul begins here with an appeal tot eh Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the source of all fatherhood in Heaven and on Earth. This is a power-packed phrase, because it settles for us the reality that our true Father is God Himself, and that we were not brought forth out of mere human process or desire, but by the will of God. In understanding this, we echo what John states in his gospel that we are those "who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13).
This is a most important understanding for us to focus on in prayer. You exist because of the desire of God, not because there was a human interaction between a man and a woman. Regardless of your life history, whether you have had the most horrible or the most wonderful background, the reason you are alive is because God desired you and has caused you to come into relationship with Him for His express pleasure and purpose. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your understanding to this reality, that He desires and loves you in the perfection of His fatherly heart.
Prayer: Father of glory, send You Spirit to me today and help me. I long to know the kind of love that You have for me, a love that is beyond my comprehension without the help of Your Spirit. Thank You for loving me more than I can understand, and strengthen me to understand. Thank You, Lord
Day 20 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 21


For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named, that He would grant you, according tot he riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 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 3:14-19
The first focal point of Paul's prayer for the Ephesians is found in verse 16, namely that God Himself would grant each person the strengthening power of His Spirit so we can realize His purposes in our lives. A couple of ideas for your consideration: first, remember that it is the Holy Spirit inspiring Paul to pray this prayer over Christians. God has designed reality so that His power is loosed upon the Earth human beings who agree with His character and His purposes on the Earth. It is the will for God to empower you to believe and receive His love, and His way is to find human intercessors (us) who will agree with His agenda so that He can release this power to mankind.
Isaiah 59 tells us that God Himself provided this intercessor (Jesus, of course!) when He couldn't find another willing human, and now Paul is standing in that role. The Father's purpose is to give you His very strength, the Spirit of the Father, to empower you to receive His love and believe what He has in store for you. Bring your heart and mind into agreement with that today, concerning your own life and the lives of those you love, and ask for the Spirit of the Father to be released with the power into your heart.
Prayer: Father of glory, I agree with You that Your purpose is to reveal Your love to my weak heart. Send Your Spirit today; establish me in the truth of who You are and of who You say that I am. Thank You for loving me, and for helping me to know Your love in the deep places of my heart.
Day 21 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 22


For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named, that He would grant you, according tot he riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 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 3:14-19
There is a powerful reality communicated in these verses that can be understood when we remember that God's whole point in creating human beings was to present us as the Bride of Christ, the perfect counterpart to His Son, Jesus. In Ephesians 3:17-19, we are shown an incredible plan for the perfecting process given to us by the mercy of God. By the ministry of the Spirit of the Father, Christ Himself takes up residence in our hearts by faith, and His initial role is to establish a groundwork of confidence in the Father's love. Like a flowerbed prepared of confidence in the Father's water, the heart of the Believer is prepared to receive the seeds of God's love as our Father, so that we may grow up with the capacity to receive the love of Jesus as out Bridegroom. A bride must be well-father before she can be well-married, and this passage shows us how God intends to prepare us for this.
As you pray today, ask the Holy Spirit to ground you in the knowledge of the Father's love, so that the revelation of the love of Jesus as your Bridegroom can be released to you in the perfect timing of your Father.
Prayer: Jesus, I long to be established and unshakable in the knowledge of the Father's love just as You are. I believe this is what You want for me, so today I agree with You and ask that as I need Your Word, sing Your songs and talk with You, the roots of Your love will go deep.
Day 22 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 23


For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named, that He would grant you, according tot he riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 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 3:14-19
Here is the point of the whole process of being established in the love of the Father- to know the love of Jesus, which is beyond comprehension, and to be filled with all the fullness of God. This is an astonishing verse, one that would be impossible to believe if it were not in Scripture. Paul gets so caught up in his excitement over the love of Christ being revealed that before he realizes it, he's talking about four dimensions of Christ's love! It's incomprehensible, and yet God intends to reveal it to us by the power of His own Spirit!
We might ask how a human can be filled with all the fullness of God. I don't know the answer, but I do know that it has already happened once-in the person of Jesus Christ. He was a man completely filled with the presence and power of God. And because He lived as a man in that way, so too will you and I as we are conformed to His image and identity as Hi Bride. As you meditate on this overwhelming truth today, give thanks and ask the Lord of glory to reveal these things to your heart.
Prayer: Jesus, just the thought of these things makes my head spin and wonder and delight. Could it be that You really love me like this, and that You will show me the fullness of Your own identity as the Lord of the universe? Oh, my God, increase my faith! Thank You for loving me.
Day 23 of devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 24


Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot of wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loved his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Ephesians 5:25-32
This passage has long been seen as one of the primary passages about marriage, and is often used as a basis of exhortation at weddings and occasions of similar emphasis. What seems increasingly clear, however, is that far too little energy has been expended coming to a place of experimental understanding of the romantic love of Jesus for the Church, which is the real focus of the passage.
Consider the statements made concerning the purpose of Jesus' self-sacrifice on behalf of His bride: He loved her, He gave Himself for her, to wash and cleanse her, to present her to Himself as glorious, fully perfect and without fault. He loves us as He loves Himself, and He nourishes and cherishes us with the singular goal of becoming one flesh! What a mystery!
Over the next several days, we're going to focus on specific phrases in this passage, but today let your prayer be one of preparation, that the Holy Spirit will make your heart ready to receive these things.
Prayer: Jesus, this is such a familiar passage, but I ask You today to give me a new ability to comprehend what is being said here, and to experience what it is to be loved by You in this way. I long to know this love, Lord! Help me, for Your own sake.
Day 24 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 25


Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot of wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loved his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Ephesians 5:25-32
Our focus today is on the cleansing and sanctifying properties of the Word of God that prepare us for being presented to Jesus as His Bride on that day. In the second chapter of the book of Esther, we are told how Esther, as one of the candidates to become the Queen of King Xerxes, was taken through a 12-month process of baths and perfume applications so that she would be ready for the day of her presentation to the king. When that day came, she was radiant and totally pleasing to him, and was declared to be the king's new bride!
This is what happens to us when we take the Word of God into our hearts on a frequent and consistent basis through meditation and through devotional prayer. The Spirit of Jesus uses the Word to cleanse and prepare us in the beauty of holiness so that we will be like Him on that day. Notice how our interaction with the Word is not to be a dutiful thing, but something that is driven by romance and by the anticipation of His great pleasure in us. As you meditate on the Word today and in the coming days, let your heart be settled in the truth of His love, and that you are being made ready to meet Him on that day!
Prayer: Jesus, come wash me with Your Word! Make me ready for Your own pleasure,and cause me to desire the preparations that You have set in place with me in mind. Thank You for loving me enough to prepare me for Your good pleasure."
Day 25 of devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart: by Gary Wiens

Day 26


Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot of wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loved his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Ephesians 5:25-32
In verse 27 we are given a clear insight into the ultimate purpose that Jesus has in His mind for you as part of His corporate Bride. The entire goal of His plan of salvation, indeed of the whole history of His interaction with human being, is to have a Bride ready to present to Himself on that day. The text says that He will present a "glorious Church" without any fault, or blemish, or wrinkle- in other words, flawless even as He is flawless!
The term "glory" is used in the Bible to speak of the revealed beauty of God, the manifestation of His ultimate beauty that is called the "holiness of God." The Spirit of God is going to make you and me beautiful, that is, fully conformed to His character and nature, perfectly finished as the suitable partner for His incomparable Son. All of the Father's energy throughout history has been focused on this reality, and everything He has done in relationship with His people as a whole, and with us as individuals, is to get us ready for that day.
This past June I had the privilege of performing the wedding ceremony for my son and his bride. As I stood on the platform watching the bridesmaids enter, I wondered what the Lord was going to speak to my heart in the following moments. When Stephanie entered the sanctuary on the arm of her father, the power of the Holy Spirit hit my heart, and I heard the Lord speak to my heart, "Behold the glory of a bride made ready for a Son who is worthy!" My heart was stunned by this statement, and by the realization that this is my destiny, along with all those who claim His name as their own.
Prayer: Jesus, open my heart to this amazing truth, that You are going to make me beautiful for Your won pleasure, and on that day, together with all the saints, I will be just what You desire. I long to comprehend this more and more. Instruct my heart, oh Lord, that I might wait with joy for the revelation of Your love.
Day 26 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 27


Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot of wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loved his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Ephesians 5:25-32
It is essential as we consider this matter of being fully pleasing to the Lord that we understand it is the power of His Word that accomplishes this in our lives. It is the Lord who is the one at work here, the one who does the sanctifying and cleansing work through the speaking of His Word to our hearts. The only thing that is required of us is that we come before Him with an open heart so that we might receive the word that is spoken over us.
The quickest way to accomplish this is to take the Word of God, the Bible, and find the passages that speak of His faithfulness, His goodness, His holiness, and love, and pray those passages over our own hearts in a devotional way. Doing this in a context of worship and of occasional fasting from food speeds up the process by opening our spirit to His presence and work. The best passages include the Psalms and the "Apostolic Prayers" of the New Testament. As you do this, set your heart and mind in agreement with what God says about Himself and about you. As the Word of God enters your spirit, you are cleansed from the inside out as the power of the Word has its effect. Establishing a regular pattern of devotional prayer straight from the Word of God is the quickest way to experience the joy of His sanctifying work in your heart.
Prayer: Jesus, come to me and do Your work of preparation, for I desire nothing more than to be made ready for when You return fro me. I long to be like You, and I believe that You love me enough to do what is necessary in my life. Thank You Lord!
Day 27 devotional from "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 28


"Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot of wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loved his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." Ephesians 5:25-32
Verse 29 of Ephesians five tells us that Jesus loves the Church just like He loves His own flesh, and because of that love, He is focused on nurturing and cherishing His Body, which is His Bride. This truth touches a very deep place in our hearts, because inside every one of us burns this longing to be loved in the ultimate and perfect way. There is something inside that tells us that we should be the focus of someone's perfect love. We were made to be cherished and nourished by someone whose love is perfect and never-ending.
The good news is that we have a Bridegroom whose love is like that! Gos has decided that it is in His best interest to love us as He loves Himself, and because He is worthy of perfect love, His love for Himself is flawless and perfect. So, because God can only love in a perfect way, His love for you is that same king of love. Jesus prayed in John 17:23 that we would come to know that the Father loves us even as He loves the Son. That is the staggering prayer, and one that is worthy of our meditation. I am loved by the Father in the same way that He loves the Son, and loves by the Son with the same perfect love; I will certainly be made ready for my eternal destiny as His partner, His Bride. Fix your thoughts on these things day by day, regardless of circumstances of feelings, and watch the Holy Spirit change you from the inside out!
Prayer: Lord, Your Word is so amazing to me, and it causes me to face the fact that You have made provision for every one of my desires. Help me comprehend Your love; open my heart and mind to know and to understand, and to love You in return for what You have done. Thank You, Lord.
Day 28 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gery Wiens

Day 29


Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot of wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loved his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Ephesians 5:25-32
"One final thought from this amazing passage. Verse 31 informs us that the standard of marriage is that a man leaves his father and mother to be joined to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh. This idea is first presented way back in the beginning of creation when God speaks it to Adam in Genesis 2:24. Most people assume that God is instructing Adam about what his commitment should be like, but God is not speaking to Adam about himself. This becomes clear when we realize that Adam didn't leave anyone; he had no mother and father to leave! God made him out of the dust, and so that phrase could not be applicable to him in a primary way.
The fact is, God the Father was already giving us an insight into His own commitment to send His Son Jesus to become a human being. Jesus is the one who would leave the Father's home and cling to His Bride by becoming one flesh with her. The fact that the Son of God became a human being forever is the ultimate expression of this commitment, and it is astonishing affirmation of His determination to love us forever. The reason He is so committed to our perfection and fulfillment is that He can't go back! He is a man forever, and will for His own sake finish the work He has begun with you and me.
Set your heart and mind on these things, and meditate on God's eternal commitment to you as the Bride of His precious Son."
Prayer: Oh Lord, You have given me just the smallest understanding of these things, and yet my heart is full to overflowing at the enormity of Your love for me! It is astounding that You would become a human being, with all the implications of opening Your heart to weakness and pain, simply for the love of Your Bride! Help me see, oh Lord, that I may be strengthened in Your love this day. Thank You.
Day 29 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gery Wiens

Day 30


"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying. 'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel.' Say to them: 'The Lord bless yo and keep; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift us His countenance upon you, and give you peace.' So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." Numbers 6:22-27
I want to finish this 31-day devotional guide with two meditations on one of the great passages of blessing in Scripture. The priestly blessing of Numbers six is such a wonderful window into the heart of the Father as He prepared His people to be the Bride of His Son, and my prayer is that you will make a habit of meditating on this blessing, and of speaking it over your own life frequently, if not daily.
The blessing itself, found in verses 24-26, help us to know that one of the basic longings of a child's heart is satisfied by the Father, which is the longing to be seen and notices by Him. The power of this verse is in the knowledge that Hos has set His eyes upon you, and that His gaze is not the disapproving glare of an angry parent, but the tender, gracious and peace-imparting gaze of a Father of infinite love.His gaze gives to us the pace of approval, of delight and of peace.
When my children were small, one of their constant requests was. "Daddy, watch me!" It's a longing in every child's heart to be notices, approved and loved in such a way that it is communicated through the loving gaze of the Father's eyes. The greatest blessing we can have is to know that the God of the universe is our Father, and that He looks upon us every day with delight, joy, approval and grace. I pray that you are strengthened in this knowledge today."
Prayer: Oh Father, thank You that Your eyes are fixed upon me, and that in Your gaze is my life. Thank You that you see me and that You notice my feeble attempts to please You, even if I'm clumsy or foolish in my immaturity. I love you, Lord, and long to live in the pleasure of Your gaze forever.
Day 30 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Day 31


"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying. 'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel.' Say to them: 'The Lord bless yo and keep; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift us His countenance upon you, and give you peace.' So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." Numbers 6:22-27
One final focus: the reason that God gave this blessing to the priests to speak over the people is found in verse 27. "Sp they shall put my name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." What I want to point out that is so powerful here is the language of covenant relationships. God's desire is that His name would be put upon His children! This is marriage language, the language of permanence and inclusion, and it awakens us to the fact that God has always desired that we become part of His family.
I love how the apostle Peter speaks of this in his first letter, chapter two, verse ten: "...[you] who once were not a people, but are now the people of God..." In our natural state, before we received the grace of God through the initiative of the Holy Spirit, we were "not a people": in other words, we had no identity, no name. But now, God has given us His name, He has included us in His family, and we are now the people of blessing, the recipients of God's covenant of mercy and blessing.
God has set His heart to bless you. You are loved beyond your capacity to comprehend it. My prayer for you is that you would fix your eyes upon Him, and invite the Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you into the wonderful knowledge of the love of Christ for you as His bride.
Prayer: Thank You for loving me, Lord. My heart is stirred with longing and wonder as I meditate on Your love. Send Your Holy Spirit to me that I may know more and more of your love. And Lord, please come quickly, for I long to be with you forever. Amen
Day 31 devotional "Forerunner Meditations: Discovering the Father's heart" by Gary Wiens

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pator's wives retreat





Last week we had a retreat at the Bible College for the Pastor's wives! I got to see Joanna, Pastor Tommy's wife, from my second semester in Japan and catch up with her. My friend Fukiko from my 4th semester in Israel is now interning in Japan and she sent gifts with Joanna to bring to the conference. Thank you Kiko and thank you Joanna for bringing them! It's been such a cool thing that the Lord has blessed me with so many spiritual moms and families throughout my life. Joanna has been one of them. I remember my semester in Japan it impacting me so much to see biblically what it looks like to be a dad, pastor, teacher, husband and missionary from Tommy and a mom, wife, teacher and missionary from Joanna. I have learned so much from them and am so encouraged that two times a year I get to see them! It's always so an encouragement to see her and her family! And then to top it off.. Yubista and Kiya were there as well! It was a reunion of my first semester in Peru getting to see these girls and see where the Lord has taken them. Kiya is now married and living in New Mexico, and Yubista is now living in Costa Mesa working with blueletterbible translating into Spanish. Love you girls!! So great getting to see you all! :)

Christy and Anthony came to visit!




Christy and Anthony are on their 2nd year of marriage and just moved into their new place in Pasadena. I remember when Christy and I were in 8th in 9th grade and we use to daydream about living near each other as adults and one day having our kids live near each other.. and yes of course we planned that they would fall in love with each other and marry so that we could be ever closer! My friend Lili in Peru and I have the same plan with her kids as well! ;) It's such a blessing that Christy and Anthony live so close, and so fun that they came to visit the other weekend! We got to just sit and catch up and go to the park and hang out.. soon it's our turn to go visit them!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Morning Devotional: "Knowledge Puffeth up, Charity Edifyth"

Don't get thrown off by the "eth" that makes this devotional sound like super 1800's.. it is however a super encouraging letter from the author referring to the verse from 1 Corinthians 8 "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." Every Friday morning we have a woman's prayer and we read from a devotional to start. This morning we read from a book called "Let Go" by Fenelon an accumulation of letters answering people's questions. I hope you are blessed by it too:
"It is not at all surprising that you have a strong ambition to move ahead in spiritual things, and to be closely acquainted with well-known Christians. It is very flattering to self when it can gain some esteem by being very religious, and it eagerly seeks such esteem. Oh, how careful we need to be about our motives! The progress we are making in the Christian life and the celebrated Christian friends we are making may be all wrongly motivated if we are simply gratifying self. Our aim should be to die to the flattering delights of self-love. Our aim should be, not greatness, but humility. We must learn to love personal obscurity and contempt, so that our only concern is to glorify God.
We can listen to endless sermons about Christian growth, and become perfectly familiar with the language, and yet be as far from its attainment as ever. Our great aim should be deaf to self, to listen quietly to God, to renounce every bit of pride and to devote ourselves to living. Let's learn to talk less and do more without caring whether anyone sees us or not.
God can teach more than ever the most experienced Christians know. He can teach you better than all the books that the world has ever seen. But be careful about your motives in this eager chase after knowledge. You are aware, aren't you, that all we need is to be poor in spirit, and to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. Although being a know-it-all makes us feel important, what is really needed to strengthen Christian character is love. So don't be satisfied with anything less than love. You certainly don't think it possible that the love of God and the dethroning of self can only be reached through the acquisition of knowledge. You already have more knowledge that you can use. You would do better to put into practice what you already know. Oh how we deceive ourselves when we suppose that we are growing in grace because our vain curiosity is being gratified by the enlightenment of our intellect! We need to be humble, and understand that we cannot receive God's gifts from man. The love of God comes to us only from Jesus.

This incite blessed me so much to meditate on being that vessel for God's glory. John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

dad and Justin in Murrieta!



Last weekend for Labor Day weekend my dad and brother drove down to come visit. Andrew and I felt so loved that they took time away and came to hang out on campus with us. It went so quick but it also makes San Jose and Murrieta feel so close when we know they are a drive away. It's out turn next to go up and visit them! (maybe Thanksgiving?)
Since Andrew and I are both carless, my dad wanted to bless me with a bike for an early Christmas present, so we went to Walmart to pick one out. The last bike experience I had was in Peru when I ran into a tree because I forgot the breaks were on the handlebars and not by backpedaling. It was an eventful day trying to re-remember how to ride a bike after we got it, and a day full of laughter in facing my fears again. Just last night I finally rode my bike on campus and am starting to get the hang of it again. :) Now my prayer is to get a job soon since I have some transportation!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fall 2010 Semester begins!


Students are here, the campus is filled and classes are in full motion. It has been so sweet getting to see friends from previous semesters and see a fresh variety of returning students and first semester students. Michelle, a dear friend from our first semester together in Peru is attending her last semester here for graduation! So sweet that we have been able to start together in Peru and finish together in Murrieta. I'm on my fifth ( or.. forth and a quarter) semester taking Acts, History of Redemption/Theology, and Intern class, finishing up on the classes I couldn't take while in Israel while beginning an internship under the dean of women. It has been such a blessing to be back on campus and be able to experience another semester here at Murrieta. I will miss Israel this semester, but such a blessing to be near Andrew's and my family to be able to see them often. This weekend my dad and brother will be driving down to visit and be able to have time away to relax. I'm so excited to see them and to have them get to experience the Murrieta Bible College experience! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

knock knock.. Housekeeping

Time for a catchup. Today I sat down and started looking at pictures from Israel. Pictures have become almost like a photo journal in remembering what I was thinking at certain moments and what season I was in.. smells and songs seem to have the same effect. It was a cool reminder to look at where the Lord has moved in my life over the last few years, let alone the last few months. Every time I sit and remember His faithfulness I am blessed, and tonight was just that.
Summer is coming to an end and students are coming soon. :) Summer is flying on by! After leaving Israel, I had a quick few hour stop in San Jose before moving to southern California where I began my job at the conference center at the Bible College. I get to work in housekeeping, where our highlight of the day consists of driving the golf carts around campus and a daily competition of who could find the most fallen change on the floor by the end of each retreat. There are the occasional pillow fights and games we can sneak in, but the biggest blessing of all has been this last retreat from "Joni and Friends," a week long retreat for handicap and special needs friends. My heart melted as one morning we were doing our daily activity of cleaning and one of the boys from the retreat found joy in borrowing our vacuum to vacuum the floor himself. It was one of those contagious joyful moments where I think of how our heavenly Father would be thrilled to see the joy of his son. I think that's what the Lord has been teaching me this summer... what brings joy to Him. It's such a beautiful thing that the Lord enables us to be able to serve Him, but the most beautiful thing to Him is not our service but our heart behind it. I know the Lord was pleased in seeing this retreater's service because He saw right through to his heart.
"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22
God delights in seeing the motivation in our heart. It was another reminder that as a Father His first priority isn't for us to serve, but that we would have relationship with Him and enjoy intimacy with Him. What a sweet thing that we can bring a smile to the face of God by delighting ourselves in Him!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blessed with the surprise lilies to Israel:)



Meet Andrew, this amazing blessing in my life! Such a gift! A man whose shown me more about the Lord through His vibrant passion for worship and sharing the love of Christ with others, his character has grown me, and his friendship has pointed me back to Christ in a deeper intimate way. We met last semester at Murrieta at a conference and started hanging out after a missions trip together to Mexico. At the end of the semester during the break I went to Peru and he blessed me by pursuing a friendship and starting a prayer group for the trip there. His story might be a little different.. but continuing to pursue in friendship, months later after getting the 'yes' from my dad to pursue a relationship, he then asked me to pursue a relationship. I've gotten to see this whole thing unfold and so blessed to be able to work with him this summer at the Bible College conference center in Murrieta, and then even more excited about recent news that we both got offered the opportunity to intern next semester at the Bible College! So excited!

Galilee round 2, Jordan round 2, Nazareth round 1






The last weekend Dave was here at the end of the Joshua class, we went as a group up to Nazareth for a tour, to the Jordan to swim-covering every body of water in Israel, and back to the Sea of Galilee. Fukiko and Hondo got baptized by Dave in the Jordan where Jesus got baptized, and all four of Ernest's kids got baptized by him. In the morning we took a boat at sunrise out on the galilee and read the account where Jesus walked out on water. This story has been a key verse in my testimony.. it says that when Peter told Jesus to call him out on the water and Jesus told him to come, Peter began to walk toward his Lord, "But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord save me'" Matthew 14:30. When Peter's eyes got off of Jesus and saw the 'wind' (something that can't even be seen) he became fearful and sank. It produced a cry in him and a realization that Jesus was the only one who could save him. I think of this story and think of the 'winds' in my life that got my eyes off the Lord and brought me to that cry. He is faithful! How great that our trials can bring us to that point where we can cry out in revelation, "Lord you are faithful!" They get us not focusing on our own strength and own dependency and they turn our eyes back to the One who can save. I encourage you to remember your salvation, what the Lord has saved you from! Today is a day to celebrate His salvation!
"In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears" Psalm 18:6 In the midst of angels crying out Holy Holy Holy, He hears your voice, He knows your cry like a mother knows the cry of her child, and He responds!