Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Affirmation #225

  I have received an unshakeable kingdom. Hebrews 12:28
  "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." NKJV
  "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe." JCB

  Reverence: a profound adoring awed respect. It's an old word not heard much any more. It's definitely not one that has crossed my path in a long time yet reverence is part of my own faith. It's kneeling or standing silently before God, humbled and filled, worshipping Him through the language of my soul because, sometimes, words aren't enough. Sometimes there is no place for making a joyful noise. Sometimes there is no place for prayer. Sometimes there is only being present with Him, in the now of an eternal moment.
  Reverence is about coming to the foot of the Cross with grateful humility and an awareness of our own insignificant significance. What I mean by that is being aware of human frailty and our wayward natures. It's knowing God will forgive us because He has a place in His Kingdom, His heart, for every single soul that lived, lives, or will live. In that we are significant to Him, to His plan.
  We are His Kingdom's treasury.
  It's up to us to make the choice to reside there or not.

  My own understanding of a Kingdom is limited by trying to define it through what I know about kingdoms. Castles and moats, ramparts, borders, knights in shining armor, handsome princes, maidens fair, and dragons make up most of the fairy tale and historic kingdoms I am most familiar with. Then there is the happily ever after...yup, a fairy tale for sure! At least while we dwell on earth where there be real dragons.
  Yet, in earthly sorrows and poverty of spirit, there is found the priceless jewels of joy and comfort and assurance.
  So, can I wrap my head around God's Kingdom? No. Nor do I have to but I am filled with grateful, awe stuck wonder and amazement because His love, His Kingdom, stretches far beyond the moon and back. Even though I struggle to love Him back or to live through His incalculable love, He is changing me because I want, more than anything, to be changed, to slay the dragons.
  God's Kingdom is built on Christ, the Cornerstone carved by love. It's unlike any cornerstone the world has ever seen. Christ who is our solid, grounding foundation and the highest pinnacle of hope at the same time. Who will help us persevere until the dragons breathe their last. Whose death opened the gateway to life in His Father's Kingdom. A life that, even though it is in the here and now, extends beyond our mortal bodies and mortal understanding.
  Words cannot begin to describe...

Monday, 19 March 2018

I Have Received Mercy. 1 Peter 2:10

  For he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light...(2:9)
 "Who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." NKJV
  "Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God's people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God's mercy." JCB

  Mercy : compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.

  I've spent a long while thinking about the times when mercy has been the farthest thing from my heart; when the thirst for vengeance and retribution has clouded my soul with darkness and bitterness. Yet, I can also reflect and give thanks because when I lifted these things to the Light, the Light wasn't long in helping me let go of these toxic feelings by letting love and compassion in.
  Repentance, forgiveness and grace: mercy in action.
  The biggest stumbling block has been finding the ability to forgive myself for the choices I made, the harsh words I spoke in the heat of the moment. A big part of this has been finding forgiveness for believing the lies that buried the truth of who Christ is and how He sees me.
  The devil is good at reinforcing his lies. It's what is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think we are unworthy, the devil is more than happy to show us just how unworthy we are. If we believe  negative things about someone else, the devil will gladly show us just how right we are because we go looking for things to prove or justify that "truth".

  We don't even need to say it out loud.

  This is a tough one when I think of the number of times in a day my mind thinks an uncharitable thought about someone else.
  "Boy, she's gotten fat!"
  "I wish he'd stop complaining so much!"
  "Man, that guy's an idiot for driving so close to my car!"
  "Why can't they shut their yappy dog up!"

  This could be a long list.
  Forgive me, Lord, for allowing judgement and negativity into my thoughts.
  I have a question though. Does pity come from a place of judgement? Of superiority?
  Lord, I want to do better.
  Because You have shown me "better" in action every time I look at You. Because You showed me mercy and love even when I lived apart from You. Because You keep on showing me, teaching me, these wonderful things. Because You opened Your merciful arms, welcoming me home just as I was, dressed in rags and covered by the stains of the world. (Luke 15:11-32)

Saturday, 17 March 2018

I am Rare. Proverbs 20:15

  "There is gold and a multitude of rubies. But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." NKJV
  "Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies." JCB

  I am having a difficult time relating this affirmation with the chosen verse. There have been a couple of typos in the list that haven't posed a problem to sort out but this doesn't seem to be the case today. Hmmm...
  Then Proverbs 20:24 says, "The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"
  Why do I? Because I love a puzzle. I love doing picture puzzles that are tackled with a methodical system. Find the corner pieces and as many of the edges as possible while turning every piece face up. Put them together establishing the puzzle's boundary. Search through the pile for a common colour that belongs to a specific area of the image. Pull out as many that match as possible. Put them together. Repeat. Celebrate that the final edge piece was discovered. Look at the remaining individual pieces and compare them to the photo on the box to find out where they go. Sometimes it takes a methodical try it here, turn it around, try it there before it slips into the place it belongs. Eventually, the puzzle is complete. Yay! It is just as satisfying breaking it up and returning it to the box for another day, another go.
  Gluing them to a board is not for me.
  There's few things more frustrating for me than a puzzle with a missing piece. Where did it go?

  There's few things more enjoyable than seeking the pieces needed out of a mishmash of fractured completeness.

  Hmmm...It's pretty much the way I go at everything. It's why I am passionate about creating anything because artistic expression, creative writing, and composing music are about making something out of nothing piece by piece.
  Knowledge. Finding the pieces. Putting them together. Hoping that knowledge will be the birthplace of wisdom and understanding, trusting in the Holy Spirit to make that happen. Trusting that the Holy Spirit will help me recognize a piece that doesn't belong to the puzzle I am working on. (Oh, that's where the missing piece from the last puzzle went! How did it end up in this box? How I love answers to a mystery!)
  Yet, there's another part of me that is more than willing to embrace the understanding that some answers won't come this side of heaven. I will have to wait. Ha ha! Who am I kidding? (Smile.) I want to know now!
  Or maybe it's possible to be content to journey along, finding pieces, when I have no idea what the finished picture will be.
  God is outside the box after all.