Monday, March 26, 2012

Can You HEAR His Voice?

Ephesians 3:17 - May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love...
May Christ, through faith, dwell in your hearts. Settle down, abide, make His permanent home.  Tyler & I were talking about this this morning. It came into a perspective that I haven't thought about in a long time... and now that I'm at a different place in life, it takes a WHOLE new meaning!

Imagine this.... Tyler compared it this way. "Amy, imagine loving the Bestul Family so much that we sacrifice Tyler Junior so that we can dwell in their hearts. We sacrifice our only son because our love is so great for the Bestul's."

Imagine a love so great! Imagine a love so great that you are the reason for the great sacrifice. A love so great, that someone would be willing to sacrifice their only son. I mean, have you SEEN how cute Tyler Jr is?!?! That puts it into a huge perspective. To sacrifice MY SON because of a love so great for you!

And that is exactly what God did for us! He sacrificed His ONLY son and we now have the opportunity for Him to come DWELL in our hearts. We have the opportunity for Him to take up His PERMANENT home! To dwell: settle down, abide, make His permanent home. What a place of peace, to be abiding with Christ. To be dwelling in the same place as Christ! Right?! Imagine. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and picture it. Sit with Jesus. In the peace, in the quiet. No toil. No stress. No chaos. No turmoil. No struggle. But......imagine, complete peace. Sitting with Jesus and you are overcome with complete peace.

That is exactly what God wants for us. He sacrificed His only son for a purpose! I can't IMAGINE loving someone so GREATLY that I sacrifice what is most important to me in my whole life, and then that person does not even receive the gift I have for them. Think about your son (or daughter). Imagine sacrificing your son, your only son that you love with ALL your heart. Imagine sacrificing him, so that you could dwell with, make a home with your in-laws, your sister, your best friend.

Christ came to earth. He came with the purpose of being victorious. He came with the purpose of saving us, the sinners. He came with the purpose of setting us free from death. But it doesn't end there. He came with the purpose of not just a "Security Plan" for us to get into heaven. He did not merely come that we may have "Fire Insurance" from hell. He came, His Father - God, allowed Him to be sacrificed that He may DWELL with us DAILY! That He may take up PERMANENT residence in our hearts, in our life! That He may direct us in daily decisions as we look to Him. That we may walk & respond in peace. That our homes would be filled with peace. That toil & chaos that the enemy tries to bring onto us would have NO place in our lives and homes. Christ came, lived, and was sacrificed, rose again, ascended to heaven so that that Holy Spirit would be left in His place to live inside of us. Jesus himself was fully man and could only be one place at a time. Because Jesus lived & died & rose again... that allowed the 3rd part of the Trinity to become a part of every believer. The Holy Spirit to live inside of each of us once we accept Christ as our Savior. (Romans 10:9-10)

I ask you today.... Are you saved? Do you know Jesus? For many of you, the answer is yes! You are! But don't let it stop there!! Don't live life with just a "Fire Insurance" plan! Allow the FULL BENEFIT of the Sacrifice to LIVE! Allow the Holy Spirit to direct your life. Lead your life. Take time to develop your relationship with your Father! Take time to get to know Who He is. This starts with time in His Word. This starts with planting the Word in your heart. It starts with consistency. Take time to listen. It says in John 10 verse 27, the sheep know My Voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow. I ask you.... if you do not recognize the Voice of the Holy Spirit, GET TO KNOW HIM! You can only learn someone's voice clearly by KNOWING THEM! Get to know your Father! Spend time with Him so that during the day you CAN recognize the Voice of the Holy Spirit in your life! Like how I can recognize Tyler's voice on the phone. I recognize his voice easily because I have spent a lot of time with him. I KNOW my husbands voice! The same is true with the Holy Spirit. The more time we spend in the Word, studying WHO He is, time in prayer, time practicing the art of LISTENING to Him... the more we do those things the easier John 10:27 is a reality in our lives.

The sheep know my Voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow. 

I ask you today, can you hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit in your life? If yes, great! Continue in that relationship. If no, the answer is easy. It takes TIME, time spent with Him to get to know His Voice. Commit today to spending time, daily time getting to know Him. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#246 - Are YOU a 10?

Proverbs 31:15a, 26 - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household ... She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
I was recently having a conversation with someone about the Proverbs 31 woman. The woman whom I've read about so many times before, the woman whom I feel like I know, I'm friends with, who I aspire to become. Despite the many shortcomings & imperfections that I still have to work on, I look to this woman, this 1 chapter in the Bible that gives us women some direction. We have 1 chapter devoted to being a blueprint of the model woman, the ultimate woman. We have 1 chapter that lays out the inside & outside of who this woman is, what she does, how she does it & even the rewards she receives for being who she is. So this morning, as I read again, for maybe the 100th time (probably more) about this woman, I read it differently.

Most likely, if you are reading this blog, you are a Christian. If I asked you the question, "What defines you?" most likely you would have the same answer as I do or at least, hopefully you would have the same answer. What defines me? It's not that I am a mom, a wife or a business owner. It's not that I am a former teacher, former Corporate America banking officer, former collegiate athlete. It's not that I am a writer, a blogger, a sister or a friend. What defines me? What defines me is that I am a Christian. What defines me is that one day I met Jesus and He changed my life forever! What defines me is that the Jesus I met so radically changed my life that I owe it to Him to share His love with others. What defines me is Jesus. What defines me is that if today I woke up and breathed my last breath, though my earthly being would be sad to leave my family, I know where I would wake up... I know on the other side of that breath I would be walking on streets of gold. I would be rejoicing in Heaven. When I approached the pearly gates and proceeded to enter in, my name WOULD BE in the book of Life. I WOULD enter in.

I have often known of the "Utopia" that I live in. I've commented with friends about it, friends that live in the same Utopia. I've enjoyed it. Only recently have I been reminded that not everyone lives there. Not everyone lives in this "Utopia," not everyone lives in this bubble. What bubble? What Utopia? A world I have created for myself. I'm surrounded with friends people, who if asked this question would answer the same as me. "If you were to die today, on a scale of 1-10, how sure are you that you would be going to heaven?" Those people who I have surrounded myself with would all say, "10." They would be SURE they are going to heaven. So... as I go through life doing crafts, decorating, raising kids, building a successful business, being a wife .... my life is like a bubble. I spend time with people who we don't have to visit the most important question on earth. I already KNOW that they know the Jesus I know. I already know that they have the MOST IMPORTANT decision already taken care of. They know Jesus! They have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, as their Lord.

I've recently stepped out of my Utopia and been almost speechless. There really are people out there who would not answer a "10." There really are people out there who are searching, some who are not searching but should be. There are people out there who if they breathed their last breath today and approached the pearly white gates would NOT enter in to heaven. Stepping outside of this Utopia I have created is a very good eye opener to me! There is STILL work to be done here on earth. There are STILL people who need Jesus and I may be just the person to introduce Him to them!

So, I ask you: On a scale of 1-10, how sure are you that if you died today you would be going to heaven?

<<<<<<<<<< waiting for you to think of your number >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Do you have a number?

Are you pretty sure? Is it a 7? Maybe an 8? A 5? Just like I would tell my middle schoolers when I taught middle school Bible... anything other than a 10 is not good enough. 99% sure is 100% unsure. I would not want to gamble with my eternity on being "pretty sure." If you want to be 100% sure that you are going to heaven, I have an answer for you if you'd like to know how you can know, how you can be a 10.

The simplest answer can be found in Romans 10:9 - If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved!

So if you want to nail it down once and for all you can say this simple prayer:
Heavenly Father, I want to confess my sins to you. Please forgive me of all my sins. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me. I confess & I believe that Jesus came for me. I believe you raised Him from the dead & that He now sits at Your right hand. Right now I want to ask Jesus to come into my life. Come into my life and save me. Be the Lord of my life. And Lord, help it not to stop with me. Help me to grow in wisdom so that I can be a light to others. Be my compass Lord. I pray all this in Jesus Mighty Name, AMEN!
If you prayed that prayer, congratulations! You are now a 10! You can now say with confidence you are saved, that you are a Christian, that if you died today, you WOULD BE going to heaven! Now... I encourage you.... if you have been in a Utopia like me.... get out.... associate ..... find others who are lost and need to know the way to heaven!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

He Has NOT Forgotten You!

Good morning! I'm just going to share some quick encouragement with you this morning....
Psalm 10:4 - The wicked one in the pride of his countenance will not seek, inquire for, and yearn for God...
The righteous, YOU & ME, we can choose to be the opposite of this verse. The righteous, humble in countenance WILL seek, inquire for & yearn for God! That is how the verse can be stated for us.

This morning as I was taking some time to just listen... this is what the Holy Spirit revealed to me. Maybe it's for you too... if so, grab hold of it and keep it for yourself!
Amy, I have not forgotten you. I have not forgotten your dreams. Keep true north, true north. I promise, listening & following Me will give you all you've dreamed about and more. Amy grab hold of persistence. Grab hold. Be consistent with your goal. Put the hand to the plow. Work until it is done. 
Substitute YOUR name!
Terri, I have NOT forgotten you. I have not forgotten your dreams..... 
Angela, I have NOT forgotten you. I have not forgotten your dreams.....
Sherry, I have NOT forgotten you. I have not forgotten your dreams.....
Melissa, I have NOT forgotten you. I have not forgotten your dreams.....
Holly, I have NOT forgotten you. I have not forgotten your dreams.....

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul & mind. Allow him to be the leader. Allow him to direct you. Allow yourself to listen & obey with diligence. Listen fervently. Obey fervently. Watch the blessings of the Lord overtake you.

What would be the simple task He would tell you to do today? Maybe it is the same task every day? Maybe it is the repetition that will bring you to YOUR fruition of your dreams and goals. He is even in what may seem like the "monotonous."

Bless you today.


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