Darkness Broken by the Light

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The Light of Life breaking through into our darkest places.

You are my lamp, O Lord;
the Lord turns my darkness into light. 2 Samuel 22:29

Living is full of dark rocky places, but Jesus brings light and life to our darkness.

 

White-Gloved Hands of Praise

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Ponderosa Pines lifting white-gloved hands in praise.

I can read Isaiah 12 over and over and it never loses its power, or joy, or wonder. I can dwell on each verse and my song of praise and thanksgiving keeps building with in me for I know it is just the beginning.

 

Redeemed for a Purpose

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22

God redeems us so we can be with Him.

Lone pine overlooking Yosemite Valley, CA

Sweeping away the clouds to reveal the beauty of Yosemite Valley

“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

He has saved us to love us and rejoice over us.

Delight in Fear?

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Sunlight scattering the darkness

“… and He will delight in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3

I know this is prophetic and speaking about the coming Messiah, but how do you delight in fear?

“He will not judge by what He sees with His eyes,
or decide by what He hears with His ears;
but with righteousness He will judge the needy,
with justice He will give decisions for the poor of the earth. Isaiah 11:3-4

The Messiah will not be driven by the fears He sees with His eyes or ears, but allows the fear of the Lord to reign, responding only to God’s will.

Whether I am dealing with health issues, or listening to the news I need to remind myself to delight in the fear of the Lord––to take refuge knowing all is under His control. I just need to follow Him.

Breath of Heaven

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Breathe deep of the heavenly air.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5

The love of God is the air of heaven, and the joy of earth. You breathe it in then breathe it out.

Breathe in––God’s love is greater than all my failures.
Breathe out––I can rest easy for His love watches over me.

Breathe in––Jesus loves me, and died in my place.
Breathe out––His life for mine, such love overwhelms me with gratitude.

Breathe in––The Spirit of God has freed me from the dark powers of this world.
Breathe out––peace and blessed assurance the victory is won.

Breathe in––God’s love surrounds me, and will never leave me.
Breathe out––I am His, and He is mine.

Breathe in––God’s love makes me what I was meant to be.
Breathe out––A reflection of Him to those around me.

Breathe in––Jesus loves me, and sent His Spirit to live in my heart.
Breathe out––Jesus loves you, and invites you to breathe Him in.

It may take you a number of slow deep breaths to have His love sink in, but I can guarantee even after a thousand years you have not begun to breathe in the depths of God’s love in Jesus.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21

Stand on the Heights

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Reaching above the clouds

God does not give us tasks we can do by our own strength or ability. He gives us good works to do that require us to rely upon Him.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

We are not just called to do the ordinary with integrity, but also to do the extraordinary work of the Kingdom of Jesus. Not by our strength which is insufficient, but by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.

It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights. Psalm 18:32-33

Joy to the Full

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Hawaiian sunrise

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:11

Every once in a while I am struck with the joy of life. It is not because of the freshness of the mountain air or the brilliant morning sunrise. It is that these joyous moments are but a foretaste of eternal life in Jesus. When I sit down and contemplate why I have such joy, it always comes back to His love for me. The verses just before John 15:11 confirms it:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. John 15:9-10

“As the Father has loved Me,” Jesus says, “so I have loved you.” There it is––Jesus loves me deeply.

Part of that love for me is to tell me how I should be. Jesus uses the word command because what He says next about staying in His love is absolutely essential. It is the difference between looking through the window at the Christmas celebration, or going in to sit down to fully partake in it. Jesus is telling us that to have complete joy you have to join in His love:

Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

I urge you to let the Holy Spirit pour His love through every part of your existence and join the celebration of joy to the full.

The Power I Cannot See

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Wind power

Without the wind these machines can produce nothing, but with the wind there is power.

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD Almighty.  Zechariah 4:6

Without the Holy Spirit we can do nothing, but with the Holy Spirit all things are possible.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Acts 1:8

Hide and Seek

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Trees playing hide and seek in the clouds

When I play hide and seek with my grandkids the joy is in being found. “Come find me,” they yell from their hiding place, then squeal for joy when I find them. Unfortunately, as children grow up they become more like adults and want to stay hidden. Even more sad they don’t care to play at all.

Thankfully the Lord knows that our real joy is in being found. Don’t miss out on life by trying to stay hidden from God. Become like a little child by calling out–– “Come find me,” and Jesus will come running to embrace you with all the joy of heaven.

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7