Living in Sanctuary

Sanctuary- What a powerful word. When I think of this word Psalms 84:10 always comes to mind, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere”. I love to be in the sanctuary of the Lord, living in His presence and yes, one day in His presence is better than a thousand anywhere else. I believe God is calling all of us to live in that place of sanctuary with Him. The word Sanctuary by definition means a place of safety or refuge. We are told all throughout scripture that He is our safe place and our refuge, making Him our sanctuary. In John 17:20-22 we read a prayer of Jesus to the Father, which to me is one of the most powerful expressions of His love for us. He prays that we will be one with Him, “as You Father are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us….that they may be one just as We are one. I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one”. How amazing that Jesus is praying to the Father saying that He wants us to be one with Him and the Father. These words seem too powerful to fully comprehend, that we could live in oneness with our Creator. However, I believe if we can take hold of these truths and live in that place of unity with our Father, allowing our bodies to be a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), living and moving and having our being in Him (Acts 17:28) then we will be empowered to live in sanctuary. To live in a place of refuge and safety enveloped in the love and presence of our Father where there is no room for fear and every plan of the enemy for our life is thwarted. The powerful fruit that comes from living in this place is that now we are enabled to become a sanctuary for someone else. God can bring those to us that are looking for the sanctuary He can provide through us. We become a partner with Him providing others a safe place and a refuge to find help, encouragement, strength, hope and love. Let’s set our hearts to live in the sanctuary of our Lord and then from that place provide sanctuary to all those we come in contact with.

I say yes Jesus, I too desire to be one with You, thank You for bringing me in so that the world may see that I am loved by You as You were loved by the Father and that same love continues to draw all men unto the Father so they too can find redemption and live in sanctuary.

True Love

We are told in Matthew 7:12-14 to, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” I think that sometimes in our pursuit to love others we make the mistake of trying to broaden the path to be more accepting and perhaps to include or embrace or encompass more but true love would say, “Hey my friend here is the narrow path, you don’t want to stray off because that broad path that may be enticing you will only lead to destruction”. Sometimes compromise can be the very tool the enemy uses to open the door to deception that leads to destruction. Let’s love one another by encouraging each other to keep our feet on the path that Jesus designed for us so that we are enabled to walk in His fullness and love not the deceptive love of this world that encourages us to do what ever feels good or looks good.

True love does not try to broaden the path but lets you know when you are straying off the chosen path.
Trying to broaden what God calls narrow will only lead to deception.

The Bride

When I think of a bride walking down the aisle to wed the love of her life or the groom standing there waiting for his love to appear adorned in beauty, there is such anticipation in their hearts. No matter what has transpired in their lives leading up to this significant moment, it is now behind them. It is a new day, a start to a new life. The expectation is a life of love, devotion, intimacy, faithfulness and fruitfulness. Sure, there may be ruff days, days you may feel like giving up, but you won’t. You are both committed to walking this journey out together letting nothing come between you. Did you know that God wants to make us His bride? Have you stopped to meditate on this truth? Just imagine a perfect wedding day and it is Jesus at the altar. He is waiting for you to walk down that aisle and receive Him as your savior. Just remember, that He has the same expectation as the bride and groom mentioned earlier. This is the start of a new day. No matter what is in your past, once you repent and accept Him as your savior, you are now His. You begin your life of faithfulness, intimacy, devotion and fruitfulness with Him. Make that step or if you have already walked that aisle, re-new your vows today. Walk out this journey of love with the One who is fully committed to you and wants to give you abundant life as you fully commit and remain faithful to Him.
He is faithful, true and unchanging.

It Is Not Worth It!

I used to think this verse, “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” sounded so harsh (Mark 9:47). However, after years of observing the devastation of sin in people’s lives: destroyed marriages, relationships, families,health and all that sin leaves in its wake, I now feel that I can see the heart of Jesus in this verse. It seems to say, “sin is NOT WORTH IT; do whatever it takes to get it out of your life, nothing is too extreme in your pursuit of freedom from sin”. In His great love for us He wants to protect us from the destruction and devastation that sin brings. “For the wages of sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Choose His gift of life. Abundant life is available for us as we choose Him and His way each day for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Let’s say YES to walking with Jesus and determine to partner with Him in eradicating sin from our lives so that we can walk in His fullness. He gives perfect peace, joy unspeakable and full of glory, a sound mind and so much more as we learn to renew our minds to line up with His truth, His way and His life. Don’t settle for what sin is offering you because it is only temporal and in the end can only bring death and separation from God. Have faith in the One who gave His life for you, that He can also empower and enable you to live and walk in victory over sin.

Scripture references: Matthew 5:29-30; Mark 9:43-48; Philippians 4:7; John 10:10, 14:27, 15:11, 17:13; 1 Peter 1:8; Romans 12:2, 15:13

Let Love talk the Loudest

It is important to acknowledge as Christians we should all be desiring the same things: A close intimate walk with God; to fulfill our God given destinies; to live life as Jesus did impacting all those around us for Gods glory. What we can sometimes forget is to give grace to those who maybe get there a little differently than we do or their priorities and focus at one time or another may not pattern ours. Lets determine to focus on who God is wanting to be in and through our own lives and not try to be god in the life of others.

Jesus is the one constant…

Tuesday night I had an amazing evening with my son Joshua at a Blues concert he took me to. We enjoyed a nice Bart ride out to San Francisco then chowed down on southern creole while taking in such incredible talent. I enjoyed every sound, every smell, every taste and especially that I was sharing it with my son. I felt so blessed and that everything was right in the world.

Wednesday night I sat in a church surrounded by people in despair, full of questions and broken hearted as we laid to rest my friend’s son. A 15 year old boy that must have felt that nothing was right in the world because he decided to take his own life.  In this night I listened to the sounds of tears and songs sang to try and somehow bring comfort to a mourning mother. People drank mountain dew and ate pecan pie because those were his favorites. We watched a slide show of years gone by of a sweet boy who will never again share an evening out with his mother.

How can I have such a perfect evening followed by such a heart wrenching evening? Unfortunately, this is the pattern of life. We have good days and we have bad days. One moment we feel happy and full of life then a cross word is spoken and in an instant sadness can engulf us. Sometimes we feel blessed other times we feel cursed. Life at times can feel like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. We try and cling to those moments of happiness praying they will last forever but deep down knowing they always come to an end.

So, what do we do? We cling to the One who never changes. We cling to the One- Jesus Christ that in happiness, sadness, confusion, or pain can always bring peace and sustaining joy in the knowledge that He will cause all things to somehow work together for our good if we will put our trust in him. Happiness comes and goes but the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. He promises us peace that surpasses all understanding. In the good and bad, place your life in His hand knowing that He alone can sustain us and bring hope in the midst of a world that is so unpredictable.

 

Joy: is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart.

Our joy remains because our minds our stayed on Him and our hearts are full of His love.

Happy: feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.

Happiness comes and goes as we experience the special pleasures of life and love.

Only through Jesus can we have joy through all of life’s ups and downs….He will sustain us.

Put your trust in Jesus for He loves you with an everlasting love that can heal, restore and renew.

Jesus is the one constant.

A Yielded Heart

As I sat in my favorite chair, with my warm cup of coffee in hand on Thanksgiving morning, I thought of the many things I had to be thankful for. Always, at the top of my list is my gratitude for my life of peace. For the true peace that can only come from my Heavenly Father. A peace that I feel no matter what war may be waging on around me. We are told through John in 14:27 Jesus words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. This is the perfect peace that is described to us in Philippines 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.  If you do not have this peace that I am describing, you now know that Jesus wants you to have it. Jesus is just a breath away. Invite Him into your situation, your day, your life. Jesus is described as a friend that sticks closer than a brother. If you have invited Him into your life and yet still cannot seem to feel His peace and presence, ask Him to reveal to you what is blocking you from feeling Him and the peace He has for you. Then ask Him to empower you to remove any blocks or obstacles. The funny thing about obstacles is, the longer you look at them the bigger they get. So, keep your eyes on Jesus, not the obstacles, and allow Him to show you how to navigate through them. Yes, you can talk to Him. Share with Him all that is in your heart, all that is troubling you. He wants to take you on a journey of discovering all the amazing gifts He has for you. He just needs a yielded heart.

A farewell

We said good bye to one of our own tonight. Parting with sweet sorrow knowing she is leaving us to step into an exciting journey of embracing the hurting, orphaned souls of Haitian children to bring them the love of their Heavenly Father, letting them know that they have been adopted by a King; King Jesus. Our loss will be their gain. These beautiful children in Haiti are receiving a gift wrapped in love brought “special delivery” from their Heavenly Father that loves all His children so deeply.

God has a special journey, place, calling for each of us. Just remember, that life is a journey not a destination. So embrace the journey of discovering who you can bring life, hope, and love to. Sarah heads off to her new family in Haiti but who is in your sphere of influence that may need to know the love of their Heavenly Father. Perhaps, it will be the single mom across the street, your hair dresser or the grocery clerk. Let’s be mindful of those around us that may need someone to help put a little sass in their step.

P.S. You too can follow Sarah and her family’s journey to Haiti. Meet all 43+ kids that they are embracing as their own. Perhaps, it will inspire you to step out and go for your dreams. http://www.ayitibound.com