He Reigns!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

You Were Chosen

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:3-4)."

God chose YOU before the foundations of the world were even in place. Do you know how special that makes you? Before the God of the universe even created a place for you to live, He was thinking of you. He knew even then who you were going to be, what you would look like, and He created all the people in order to ensure you would be born right on time.

My life was filled with horrible situations. I was molested as a very young child, I lived with physical and emotional abuse, I was a drug addict, I've attempted suicide, I was raped... and while I know that it happened, I don't dwell on it because when I look back, all I see is God's footprints on my life. I was called to be His daughter, precious in His sight, and loved beyond measure. The devil tried to kill me, to make me give up, to be such a huge shadow in my life that I couldn't see God but the devil is a liar (John 8:44); he is a thief out to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) our lives. But he can't change God's plans for our lives.

God loves each of us as if we were His only child. He set the plan of grace and mercy through faith in Jesus Christ in motion before He ever decided to separate the light from the darkness. He had each of us in mind the entire time He was creating the heavens and the earth. Even knowing how we would fail, turn against Him, and choose death over life, He remained faithful in His plan for us. Before He became human and died on the Cross, He knew He would because His great love for us prevented Him from doing anything else. He knew His life would be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and even then, He knew we would still fall down. Yet, He could do nothing else but leave the glory of Heaven behind and die on the Cross to save us from ourselves.

"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10)."

We are the jewels in Christ's crown. We are the reason for everything He has done since He said, "Let there be light (Genesis 1:3)." Comprehending that God, who had everything He could want just by whispering it into creation, wasn't satisfied with "everything" until it included you is a mind bender! He had the heavens in all their glory. He had Heaven in all its splendor, with the angels and heavenly beings, yet YOU were the one He wanted by His side for all of eternity. You were created specifically for God, by God, to spend forever with God! You couldn't be more special if you tried.

Look in the mirror and remind yourself that no matter what life throws at you, no matter how satan tries to destroy you, the Lord of all Creation holds you in His hand. Remind yourself that you are 'fearfully and wonderfully made' (Psalm 139:14).

"I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:18)."

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Fear Of The Lord

"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure."
~Isaiah 33:6

People have lost the fear of the Lord. On one hand, fear of the Lord means a reverence and respect for who He is, what He has done, and continues to do for us. As Christians, that is what is meant when we say we fear the Lord-- we have the utmost respect for Him, for what He has done on the Cross, for His salvation, tender mercies, and loving kindness. But there's another kind of fear that people should know about. God says that He is a God of wrath, a Man of war, and when it comes down to the endgame, people should be in fear of God because their eternal souls are in danger.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)."

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9)."

According to these verses, God does not want any of us to perish. He wants all of us to repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He wants each and everyone of us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. But the simple fact is, it's our choice, not God's. He gives us the chance but unless we take that opportunity, we will spend eternity in hell.

The word repent means to turn around, change direction, walk away from whatever it is you were doing. In essence, it means change your life for the better. When we repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior, we are to follow Jesus. We are to read the Bible, go to church, and stop doing the things we used to do. Yet I see people who profess to be Christians who continue to post lewd and lascivious memes on Facebook, they continue to use foul language, they continue to dress in revealing outfits, they act exactly the way they did prior to their so-called conversion.

"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:4)."

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)."

Hell is a real place of torment and separation from God for eternity. A lot of churches these days don't preach Bible basics. They don't preach salvation, mercy, or grace. They certainly don't preach how to live according to God's Word and what will happen if we don't. And they will be held accountable for those people who were lost because of them. We will all be held accountable, whether we are Christians or not. The difference is, Christians will be held accountable for their deeds as Christians and rewarded; non-Christians will be found guilty for not accepting Christ as their Savior. But for those who claim to be Christians and sit in church on Sundays but live like there is no Cross the rest of the week, I think it will be worse for them. Imagine facing Jesus Christ and explaining how you knew what was right according to His Word, yet chose to ignore Him. It makes my blood run cold.

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).”

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Fury of God's Love

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved."
~Ephesians 2:4-5

I remember when my kids were babies and I loved them so much, and thought there was nothing I wouldn't do for them. I would die for them, I would kill for them, I would do anything for them. And I still would. Most parents feel that way I'm sure. We might say we would die for our family, but chances are, we're never going to have to prove that. In reality, there's only one person who ever died for humanity. There's only one person who ever died for you. There's only one person who ever died for me. That's Jesus Christ. He said that He loved us, and He proved it by dying for us.

The love of God is so far beyond our reach that we have a hard time understanding exactly what it means. We think of it in the love we have for our children, or our spouse, or parents, or friends. But the love of God is so far beyond what we can think or imagine. We have no concept of the far-reaching manifestations of the love of God.

God's love began before humankind was even formed on the earth. God's love for each of us was formed long before we were. And no matter what humans did, or how far they strayed from the Creator of all that they had, God continued to love them, provide for them, and to make a way for them to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. And when the law and sacrifices no longer accomplished that task, God Almighty made Himself human, left Glory to be born on Earth, and grow up the same way we do. But then His purpose, his provision for each and every one of us, culminated the day that Christ died on the Cross. I'm sure the devil thought he'd won but he hadn't seen God's endgame! He pushed His plan into the Heavenly realms when Jesus rose again on the third day.

"There's a wideness in God's mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God..."
(God's Love by Rich Mullins)

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we too, are caught up in that "reckless, raging fury." This is the kind of love that transforms the worst of human beings into something precious and sweet before God. This is the kind of love that changes lives, that brings alcoholics and drug addicts out of their addictions. This is the kind of love that brings men who have committed the most atrocious crimes to their knees in repentance before God. This is the kind of love that can change your life no matter what is going on in it. This is the kind of love that can keep you from repeating the mistakes of your past. This is the kind of love that transforms your past into a life worth leading. This is the kind of love that only Jesus Christ can offer each and every one of us.

"I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39)."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Be Grateful

"I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise; I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your Name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word."
~Psalm 138:1-2

The word 'grateful' is often translated as a feeling about something but the biblical meaning of 'gratefulness' and 'thankfulness' goes far beyond a feeling. It is actually translated in the New Testament as "giving praise." The word in the Greek is "eukharistos"
with its root being the word "Kharis," which means "Grace" particularly, "the Grace of God." It is much more than just saying "thank you" to someone for something that they have done.

Gratefulness is not about thanking God for anything that we have, it is thanking God for the privilege of knowing Him as Lord and Savior. Gratefulness is an attitude not a feeling. Gratefulness is how we wake up in the morning, to begin our day knowing that we are alive simply because of the Grace of God. Gratefulness is not just a feeling but rather, the absolute knowledge of Who Christ is, what He did on the Cross, and what He is doing in our lives. Gratefulness is having the attitude that no matter what goes on in life, God is in absolute control. So as we go about our day, in the back of our mind, praise continues for God, toward God, and about God, simply because He is God. Gratefulness is our weapon against the world. Gratefulness, coming from our heart, develops into our minds and produces praise and glory to Jesus Christ.

Once we understand 'Eukharistos' as being the fullness of God's Grace in Jesus Christ poured out on our lives, we begin to get a gleaning of who God is. This is knowledge that gives us power in Christ. This is transforming power. This is the kind of power that builds our faith to a point where we are absolutely convinced when we say to the mountain, "move", it will actually move. This is the power that gives us the ability to move past failures, and pain, hurt and hard feelings, hatred and all of those other horrible things that life teaches us. When we understand the absolute grace of God, it translates us into an absolutely grateful person, living out our gratefulness in the lives of others.

So begin each day in 'Eukharistos', in the absolute gratefulness of who God is, for what God has done, and continues to do in our lives each and every moment. Begin your day in gratefulness and watch your life transform.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Get Some Sleep

“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep.”
~ Psalm 127:2

Sleep. We all need it, yet 1/3 of all adults sleep less than six hours per night when studies show we all need 7-9 hours per night. Unfortunately, I fall into the category of less than six hours of sleep per night… actually, six hours of straight sleep sounds like a dream because I usually get 3-4 hours of sleep. There’s a few reasons why I don’t sleep. The main one is pain. I am in an immense amount of pain all of the time but when sleeping, laying in one position for too long causes me to wake up. I also have furbabies who need to go out, and once they wake me up, I’m up for good. Another problem is light. As soon as it’s light outside, I’m awake. I remember the days when I could sleep. It was long ago and far away, but I do remember what it feels like to sleep and I often daydream about. To shut my eyes and drift off…

What is wrong with us? Why do so many of us fail to get enough rest when clearly, the Lord designed our bodies to need sleep? According to studies, caffeine is one of the biggest culprits. We love our coffee and we drink a staggering amount – 12 million pounds per year! That averages out to about six cups per person per day. Considering it takes approximately 3 hours for each cup of caffeine to wear off, we are probably still on a coffee high at bedtime, even if we don’t feel the jittery effects. Another culprit of sleepus interuptess is snoring. Not only does it affect the partner of the snoring sleeper, it causes the snorer to lose sleep. Snoring can deprive the brain of oxygen, which in turn causes the snorer to feel tired the next day. And then we have other problems, like changing schedules, stress, nightmares, children, pets, sirens, neighbors, traffic, etc. that all interferes with sleep. No wonder we feel like we need a nap! And to top it off, lack of sleep has some nasty side-effects:
• Sleepiness Causes Accidents. ...
• Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down. ...
• Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems. ...
• Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive. ...
• Sleepiness Is Depressing. ...
• Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin. ...
• Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful… To name a few!

We weren’t created to go without rest. It’s essential to our health, physically and mentally. God rested on the seventh day. He created the heavens and earth, and separated day from night (Genesis 1:5). “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from His (Hebrews 4:9-10).”

While I have yet to figure out how to get a good night’s sleep, I do know that during those sleepless nights, I have the opportunity to accomplish some spiritual tasks. Praying, reading Scripture, posting Bible study references on social media, are all good places to start. I suppose I could stop drinking coffee but…

Monday, September 11, 2017

Our Battle-Ready Warrior

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
~Ephesians 6:12

I spoke on this verse on 60 Second Scripture on YouTube this morning, and I just wanted to continue it because 60 seconds doesn't give me enough time to really say everything that needs to be said about this verse.

As Christians, our battle belongs to the Lord (1 Samuel 14:47). And the way that we help Him fight that battle is in prayer, worship, and praise.

We see protesters running around the streets like crazy people, and we see protesters forming lines, standing in front of oncoming traffic. I am reminded of the story of Don Quixote, who had his head in the clouds, and his ideas of what was going on was really fantasy that overcame the rational mind. Humans get like that sometimes. The idea of what they want, or how they perceive life should be, overcomes the reality of how life is. That's not to say that things don't need to change, or that we cannot change the problems in this world, but there are ways to do it and there are ways not to do it; and then there are ways that just make you look like a crazy person standing out in traffic.

At present, there are a lot of crazy people standing out in traffic. We see it all over social media, we see it on the news, and we see it online. We make jokes about it because people are really good at laughing at others, and some of it is so farcical that there's nothing you can do except laugh. The problem is, laughing  and making jokes doesn't help anything.

We are currently in a fierce spiritual battle. I see it every single day and it includes all of the things that are going on worldwide. We have a war that has been going on for 16 years, we have storms spinning out of control and wreaking havoc everywhere, we have fires burning out of control, and to top it off the crime rate is through the roof. And it seems that police are stretched to their limits, and aren't allowed to enforce laws without being accused of bigotry and racism. People can no longer speak freely about right and wrong, or mention God without being labeled a racist, or a hater. Common sense has gone straight out the window and lunacy prevails.

It can be easy to get caught up in physical battles against the things that we see going on around us. Those things affect our lives, they affect our loved ones, they affect our finances, and they surely affect our sanity. But as Christians, our battle is not against the people that we see doing these things, and it's not against the police, it's not against the law makers, it's not against Congress, and it's certainly not against the president. The battle that we are fighting is against spiritual darkness.

Jesus Christ has the victory won already. Jesus Christ defeated those principalities when he died on the Cross and rose from the dead.

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14)."

Christians were never meant to be part of the physical battle going on around us. We have always been meant to join with Jesus Christ and battle with Him.

'O give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain. Through God we shall do valiantly, And it is He who will tread down our adversaries (Psalm 60:11-12)."

We are told in Ephesians 6:10-18 how we are to prepare for battle. We are told to put on the "belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

We are to rely solely on Jesus Christ. In the beginning was the Word and that Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:1). He was and is, and is to come (Revelation 1:8). So the next time you're facing battle, pick up your sword, the Word of God, get on your knees and let the Lord battle for you because in Him is certain victory.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Happy Birthday!

Join The Celebration!
Marie Is Celebrating Her Birthday With a Dual Book Release!

The Root The Shoot The Fruit - was originally a Kindle Special released earlier this year. It is now in paperback with added content!

SHINE HIS LIGHT Lessons In Life - is a collection of Marie's writings from her Facebook page, Daughters Of The King, which also appear on this blog.

Both books will be released on October 1, 2017 and are available for pre-order with an exclusive offer. By pre-ordering, you will receive a special discounted price and a gift from Marie.

For more information on ordering, email shinehislightbook@gmail.com