January 20, 2012


The boys and I have been doing a study on slavery. You have heard of how slaves were bought and sold like cattle. Treated inhumanely. Families ribbed apart. Daily lives filled with fear and bitterness, bodies beaten and weary.....Our local library has a treasure of resources. One particular novel had us captivated for days. The Lord lead me on another journey at the same time, reading about different slaves in the Bible; Onesimus and Joseph.There is another slave most people miss when they read God's Word.

Imagine with me a typical plantation, slaves working hard under the overseers watchful eye. And a man walks up to the door of the Big House. He looks like a typical man. He knocks on the Big House door and talks with the master. Later all the slaves are summoned to the yard of the Big House. The master comes out and says that this man has paid for all of them. And all are free to leave with Him immediately. But they must accept that He paid for them in full and walk away from the plantation.

Would the slaves chose to stay with what was familiar or accept and follow the Man? Where would He lead them? Do they fear what He might demand of them? Do they trust He will do right to them? When asked why He bought them the only reply was "I love you." Some ask how much He paid. The tender reply comes, "with my blood" Only then do the slaves notice His hands and His feet and the side pierced.

Ah, now you see where I am going with this analogy. You and I, dear reader, are the slaves we miss in the Bible. See we were born into slavery, slavery to sin and death. But Jesus paid for our freedom with His precious blood. But some deny the Lord that bought them and remain in slavery to sin.

Romans 6:16-23 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Summer of 1997 I was set free. And now I serve a new Master. He is the sweetest Master ever. He loves me more than I can ever imagine and I will serve Him with thanksgiving. The journey with Him hasn't always been what I thought. Some times the way was stoney, the valleys deep and the mountains high. Even a canyon I had to go down into. But He was with me all the way, holding my hand leading me gently.

It is my prayer that if you realize you are still in slavery to sin that you will accept that Christ paid for your freedom. He loves you so very much. If you already walk in this freedom, I pray that you are glorifying God daily. Just like at the end of slavery in this country, as long as we are on this earth we are in the time of recontruction. Freedom is given immediately, but learning to live with that mind set is a life long journey. Don't be discourged when you slip and sin. Remember the overseer has no power over you anymore. Stand up again and get following the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Seeds of Faith

In ladies Bible study last week, we were asked to privately write down something we feel is lacking in our lives on a slip of paper. Later, my pastor's wife shared some powerful words.

What we lack is really a seed of faith planted in us. When we find promises we water and cultivate that seed of faith. Slowly it buds and becomes a sapling. By and by it grows into a might tree of faith.

Later in the class she gave us 5 scriptures to look up, to cling to, concerning this lack we feel so deeply:

Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalms 34:8-10 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

Psalms 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

On the outside, I probably looked calm. But my inside were just a churning. Four out of the five verses I have written in my promise journal I keep. But I never looked at what I lack as a seed of faith.

I know what I feel like I lack the most:

My husband and all that he was to us.
My boys lack a dad.
I have friends and family who lack health, children, finances, security, love, freedom, and so much more.

What a way to look at this hole we feel.
There is a little seed in that hole, a seed of faith.

What words of hope!

What a challenge to trust God!

January 09, 2012

Only Believe

Grief and heartache are commonplace in this world. In Mark I read what Jesus said to one such hurting man. Words of comfort, words of hope, words of direction….words I pray encourage every grieving soul….

Jairus sought out Jesus to heal his daughter and fell down at His feet. Many of us are at this same place. Does your love for your child compel you to run to Jesus and fall at His feet? Maybe they battle a disease, or the child is grieving a loved one that has died, or the child has forsaken their faith, or the child has a learning disability. Whatever your deep concern is, have you run to Jesus about it?

“He besought him greatly…” Jairus poured out his heart to Jesus. He believed Jesus could heal her and revive her from her near death state. He desired Jesus to come and touch her. Hope began to fill his heart as the Master listened, He cared, and he begins to head home with Jarius.

Then the interruption came. The woman with the issue of blood touches Jesus and He wants to know who touched Him. Seems like a silly question. Isn’t He God? Of course He knew who touched Him, I think He just wanted her to confess and for the crowd to know about it. The disciples, the crowd, and Jairus needed to hear Jesus tell her that it was her faith had made her whole.

Then came messangers bring the news Jairus dreaded. When he saw them coming straight faced and serious, did he feel the same awful feeling in his gut as I did when the police pulled in my driveway? Maybe for you it was the doctor saying the words “incurable” about your child’s disease, or your grieving son doubting in the existance of God, or your daughter refuses to go to church with you, or the test scores that reveal that your child is years behind where he should be…….…

How many “if’s” must have played through Jairus’ mind. If that woman hadn’t of stopped Him. If I had come sooner. If there wasn’t such a crowd. Don’t we go down the “if” road too? If we had taken our child to this other doctor sooner. If my child would just open up about their grief. If that person hadn’t of offended our child. If if I was a better teacher...

Oh ,hope must have been snuffed out when the words “Thy daughter is dead” came to his ears and slowly sank into his heart. The searing pain, the overwhelming grief that must of sucked Jairus’ breath away and made it hard to stay standing, hard to even take another breath. The fear that must of swirled around him and the blackness of despair that began in his stomach and seemed to consume his insides.

And fears do come. They seem to pounce on our hearts and send us into a panic within ourselves. Fear of a child having physical pain or even dying before you do. Fears of your spouse’s death causing your child to turn away from God and you. Fear that your child has strayed so far away from God that they will never return, fear they were never born-again and won’t ever enter heaven. Fear that your child will have struggles all life long because he cannot read well. Fear….the opposite, the very enemy of faith.

Then through the pain came the Master’s voice, “ Be not afraid; only believe.” Five simple words, five powerful words to the heart of a grief stricken soul.

Our Lord is so wise, He knows our hearts. He knows how a grieving soul’s mind is racing and emotions are so thick that many words cannot be comprehended. Simple words of comfort and hope to a man whose emotions were raw and whose ears couldn’t handle a lot of speech.

Jesus said “..only believe.” He could have reminded Jairus of many of his other miracles, he could have even pointed out about the woman he had healed. But instead Christ said, “Be not afraid, only believe. Believe? Believe what?

Believe on Christ. Believe in Him to heal your child either here on earth or in heaven. Believe He loves you and desires what is best for you. Believe He can help you endure and that He loves your child even more than you do. Believe that He allowed their parent’s death not to destroy your child, but to work something special inside them. Believe that your wayward child will turn to Christ and be born-again. Believe that your children’s learning struggles are to strengthen him to soar like a butterfly’s struggles to get out of a cocoon are to strengthen its wings to soar. Believe that joy will come. Believe He will heal the broken in heart and bind up their wounds. Believe that you won’t hurt forever.

Only Believe
When the pain is blinding, when hope seems gone, when grief and sorrow attack your soul, Cling to Jesus and Believe. Believe He loves you, Believe that He is God, Believe that He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Believe He bears your grief and sorrow. Believe and find shelter in His arms. Believe and find hope and strength in His words.
Be not afraid, only Believe!

Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.