Cuffs off! Shackles laid down.

6 “The night before Herod was going to bring him out to the people, Peter was sleeping between two guards. He was tied with two chains, and there were guards on duty at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and a light shone in the cell. The angel shook Peter by the shoulder, woke him up, and said, “Hurry! Get up!” At once the chains fell off Peter’s hands. 8 Then the angel said, “Tighten your belt and put on your sandals.” Peter did so, and the angel said, “Put your cloak around you and come with me.” (Acts 12:6-8)

God is a breaker of chains. I have a testimony to share from my life recently and a journey that I invite you to embark on with me if you feel led by the Lord. This past Friday into Saturday I fell into a pit of despair and depression that was so deep that I felt no light could get past it but oh, how wrong I was. I know the Word of God and I stand by God’s Almighty authority that His Word is faultless and true, but at times I have my struggles the Lord knows. The Word of God tells us in psalm 139:11-12,

“If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, And the night will be the only light around me,” Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You, But the night shines as bright as the day; Darkness and light are alike to You.”

The Lord led me to pray to Him by the power of His Holy Spirit, to make a declaration to have enough with the lies of the enemy, and to stand on the authority of the Word of God which tells me that He came to give me life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). I cried out to God to give me His living water so that I might live and not perish any longer. The Lord shined His light into my life and a healing in my heart began, one that I had tasted but had never experienced in its entirety before, like the Samaritan woman at the well.

“Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you-I am he.” (John 4:4-26)

I went to sleep soon after the prayer was spoken and at 2am I was woken up by the Holy Spirits whisper to my soul. I heard “40 days” and “March 1st”. I inquired as to what that meant and decided I would head off to sleep but then images began to flood into my head. I saw myself doing a video on Facebook and taking pictures of myself and of my wedding ceremony. I heard a call from God inviting me to get out of my comfort zone and the shackles of shame I had allowed to take hold of me. I tasted the freedom that the Lord promises and so graciously provides but tried to go back to sleep thinking how ridiculous this idea was, laughing at the thought like Sarah laughed when the Lord told her that she was going to have a child in her old age (Genesis 18:12). I realized my error, confessed and repented to the Lord, recognized the blessing of answered prayer, and accepted His calling on my life.

Anyone who knows me can tell you why this was such a miraculous event. I don’t take pictures of myself, I have so many times refused to do a video even to give a testimony of the goodness of our Lord, and because of my overwhelming shame of myself I even refused my own husband the blessing of a wedding day photo. The Lord was freeing me as He so graciously does. I was terrified and excited. I went to the “Life Mission” church app and was going to watch their latest sermon entitled “The Battle” but when the pastor began to ask the hard questions about the battles that we face I knew that I wasn’t ready to receive the word. On Sunday morning however the Lord made me to be ready to listen and to receive. I was blessed with confident hope and trust in the Lord that in Him I could be victorious, and in turn help those who are suffering and in need of the only truth in Christ that will set the captive free.

“The [captive] exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his food be lacking.” (Isaiah 51:14)

So as all of you know today is the first day in March, which I was at the onset unpleasantly surprised by since I thought I had much more time in Christ to prepare. Now I know experientially as I have seen before, that God’s time is always right on time and perfect. Today I posted my first live video ever in life on Facebook for all to see, speaking of my testimony, the 40 day calling and inviting others along with me, to Salvation in Christ, and onward to His promise of freedom.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

So I am telling you all of this to say that God in Christ wants you to be free and to find joy in His gift of Salvation. Perhaps you too are struggling too with shame, despair, fear, or depression. Perhaps you are shackled in by sin in your life, the shame of regret, or are finding a lack of peace from the worry and the stress of life. God wants to meet you where you are and the perfect thing about it is that if you allow Him in He will go above and beyond everything you could ever hope or imagine. I invite you to let Him in and if you don’t believe in Him, give Him a chance. If He can give me victory and invite me of all people to lay down my own selfish intentions, He can and He will free you from your cuffs so you can lay your shackles down. Trust in Him and you will never regret it. My own journey deeper in God has just begun. Won’t you call on the name of the Lord with me? What have you got to lose but your enslavement?

You can watch the video itself on my facebook page and I am inviting everyone to put #cuffsoff and share your testimony for the day. Please leave a comment on this post or send me friend request on Facebook: Crystal Spence. I would love to hear from you, to pray with you, to fellowship with and support you, and to see people set free through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Let us pray:

Lord we thank You that You are inviting us to be free in You. Thank You for Your Word which proves the truth that You have come to set the captives free. Please help me to trust You in this process and the plan that You have laid out for my life before time began. I admit that I am a sinner and I repent of my sins. I believe that You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins, so that I can be reconciled in blissful and blessed relationship to God the Father. I believe that on the 3rd day Jesus Christ rose from the dead in fulfillment of the Scriptures all so that I might be saved and live my life through Him. I offer You my life in sweet surrender. I am all in. I give You my life, my heart, and my spirit to be conformed into the image of Your Son. Set me free Lord. I have been weighed down by the shackles and cuffs of lies that I have bought into. You are the Word, the Truth, and the life and I am trusting in You for a breakthrough. Heal my heart Lord. Lift me up and see me through all to Your honor and glory. Watch over me and open my heart to see my shackles so that through You I might lay them down these 40 days if it is Your will that I partake, and into Your life everlasting. Save me. Recommit me to Your love. I honor You and I worship You and I bless Your Holy name. Thank You for Your love, the graceful gift of Salvation, and for freedom. Yes! For freedom. I believe and receive that the truth has set me free. Hallelujah! In Jesus name. Amen.

Called into a battle that’s already been won

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:3-5)

As babies we are all born into the fight of life where we wrestle with men of flesh. As Christians we are “reborn” onto a battlefield which the bible tells us is one of the spiritual realm, and we have to be armed at all times. We have to recognize who our adversary is and lean on the Lord for our strength by the truth of His Word.

“Be alert and of sober minded. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

God has given us many promises from His Word and yet He also promises us that there will be trials and tribulations here and the reminder that we are to be firm in our faith in Him. I have been tried and am still being tried by the enemy everyday as I am sure all of my brothers and sisters in Christ are, yet we have hope and strength to be found in that thankfully the victory is not based on us but the overcoming resurrection power of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

The adversary often appears in our minds and in our hearts and we have to stand strong. We are called into battle so let’s fight the good fight of faith lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ who have fallen and catch those who are in fear of backsliding. Let us lift up the souls of those who are lost and not allow the enemy to win. Too many times we are shaken by what the enemies henchmen have to say but we have to realize that just as the weapons we are fighting with are not of the flesh, our enemy is not those who are of flesh and blood. There is a place out there that the world doesn’t know. There is a Kingdom ahead of us that the world chooses not to see. There is a King on the throne on whom we choose to believe. Let us do all that is in our power to live in the light of the One who reigns and whose Kingdom has no end.

Brothers and sisters if God has made you aware of this fight and if the enemy is trying to steal your joy today, the Lord deserves all of your honor and your praise,

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

The bible does well to advise us without apology or regret,

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

We have been called into battle my brothers and sisters and we are victorious in it through Christ who has already defeated the enemy for us. If we have accepted Christ we have already accepted the battle and therefore also share in its victory. Let us remember then that there is now no reason for us to live in defeat.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

May we live in victory today.

To Live is Christ. To Die is Gain.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

The blood of Christ covers me,

And I am not ashamed.

Though my life blood run, on the carpet,

The Gospel’s not to be contained.

Poured out living life of light

Into a darkness that won’t believe it,

It’s Gods choice and not my own

Who here will receive it.

Praying night and day, however, I am confident in this

Salvation comes to the perishing by faith in Christ, for all those

Who accept it as a gift.

We have all sinned and fallen short of glory

But sin and death no longer have a sting,

Believers are resurrected,

Hearts can now begin to sing.

When the blood of Christ is our cover

Let us not be caught ashamed.

Though death may find us barely breathing,

The Gospel, cannot be contained.

The World may offer us many ways to God,

Believers can be confident there is but one:

The One, the truly, and the Only; Gods begotten Son.

Though hell prevail on earth,

Though our hearts are targets with arrows aimed,

May we live by what we preach:

“To live is Christ.”

“To die is gain.”

You have nothing to lose. All is gain.

“God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

When you experience the love of God nothing else can compare to it. When you experience the lavish forgiveness that He bestows upon you nothing else in all the world can bring such a dramatic transformation to a heart and sing to a lost soul. No matter how many times I have turned my back on God, no matter how many times I have rejected Him by an act of faithlessness, or a deliberate and willful sin, He continues to provide me with His love, His grace, and His mercy. He wants to extend that same love to you today my friend.

I have been struggling with a temptation of my own that has had me falling back into the sin cycle of confess, repent, accept forgiveness, sin again. In my willfulness to still want what I want and even to take the Lords grace for granted for some inclination towards worldly pleasure, He has had to discipline me but only as a loving parent will do for their children. For without the correct discipline a child will go astray and act out in rebellion that will cause them more harm in the long run. Notice that I use the word “correct” here because I don’t want my words to be taken out of context. There is such a thing as discipline that is offered out of love and our just Father is the most gracious and just of them all even in His discipline to His little ones.

God Disciplines His Children

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:4-11)

Every discipline from the Lord is meant to teach us a lesson, just as every act of His grace, mercy, and blessed gift of forgiveness allows us to rest more in His love and find our ultimate satisfaction in Him. This morning after falling into the shameful sin again I came to the Father with heavy shoulders and a heart in sorrow for my transgression. Instead of finding a judgmental God, I found a compassionate and loving friend. Trembling in my tears I heard a song playing in my heart called “You lift me up.” by Dea. This song always leaves me in tears of wonder, peace, and joy. I accepted the Lords call feeling more like an impostor than a child of God, listened to the song, and felt an overwhelming sense of His peace and love falling graciously upon me. In my shame I turned away from this offer of love but He didn’t draw back His extension of love to me. His love just kept right on coming until it was so beautiful to me that I couldn’t hold my acceptance of it back any longer. When I accepted His love I heard the whisper of my soul speak His words to me,

“Treat my people like this.”

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12) so I knew that these words aligned with scripture and I could trust in the words that I heard. When God disciplines you run to Him with confidence, and when He offers His love accept it, for it is the greatest gift of all leading you to extend His love to others. If you haven’t accepted Christs love for you I invite you to do it now, if you are struggling with some sin perhaps even one you had thought you had won the victory over, don’t be afraid of the Lord for He is there to extend His mercy and grant you forgiveness. No matter where you are in your walk of faith our good Lord is right there ready and waiting for you to draw near to Him with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Trust in Him. There is a lesson of love just waiting there for you to receive it so that you can extend it; one prayer, one minute, one loving moment of radiance to a heart in this world starving for love. Dare to choose to accept it. After all who in this world couldn’t use a dose of unfailing love?

Let’s rejoice together:

Lord Your blessing and Your leading are granted and accepted. I choose this day who I will serve in this moment. I lay down every grudge and unforgiving thought in the dark recesses of my soul, and every sin that trips me up. I let each one of them go. Your people are Yours and not mine as they always have been since the beginning of time. I choose to love them as You do. Thank You for breaking each one of my chains with Your offering of love. Thank You for showing me Your love and that how You love me is how You love them, so in turn I can love without hesitation as You do. Amen.

Relationship or Religion?

“…our desire to stay in control forces us to pay the highest price imaginable – letting our relationship with God gradually grow cold. Before long, we become mechanical and lose all sense of passion in serving the Lord. We can go through the motions, but our lives become hollow and our faith degenerates into mere surface religion.”
Carol Cymbala, He’s Been Faithful: Trusting God to Do What Only He Can Do

How do we as believers know that we have a relationship with Jesus or just “doing” religion? I have been wondering this lately and I have to admit that at times I fall more to the religious side of the spectrum.

Religion consists of a specific set of beliefs and customs. I would say that Christianity is a religion since we have traditions like the Lords Supper, confession, repentance, and holidays where we come together as a family to celebrate the death, resurrection, and second coming of Christ. A relationship on the other hand is at the center of Christianity. A relationship is a two way street with Jesus the Son of God in which both parties have a say, can we really say that we are giving God the time that He desires to speak to us?

Jesus seems to be against religion in His Word at times and yet what He does in fact guard against is hypocrisy and making a show of religion, rather than allowing our trust in Him to shape and transform our hearts.

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, …” (Matthew 23:1-39)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. (Matthew 23:25)

Jesus observed that the Pharisees followed the law of Moses which we are called to do if you recall Jesus’s summary of the 2 commandments (Matthew 26:36-40) and yet that was all that they had to show for it. What they lacked was a true relationship to God. They cared more about how they looked on the outside and not the change of heart that Jesus was requiring and a true acknowledgment of the One and Only Son of God; their risen Messiah. Religion says that you “have to do” in order to win God’s affections and yet Jesus taught that only through faith in the Son of God was man to be saved.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)

When we become children of God our wants are changed and our lives are changed so that we want to spend time in the Word of God, we want to fellowship with other believers who are a part of our new family, we enjoy speaking with God, and we want to serve Him and obey Him. We know that we don’t need to serve Him or work to be saved but the evidence of our Salvation is a changed and transformed life. Our lives are at once transformed (we are new creations in Christ) and yet it is also a daily process as we choose everyday of our lives to put on the attitude of Christ like a suit of righteousness unto the Lord.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Romans 13:14)

When we have faith and trust in God we are justified and when we accept His gift of Salvation we are saved. When we humble ourselves before God in confession and repentance we are pouring out our hearts in an act of worship that shows our acknowledgment of who He is and is also a sign that we are seeking to have a relationship with Him. When we come to Him by faith in prayer and the reading of His Word He will draw ever closer to us. Let us not make a show of our faith but live it in Spirit and in Truth accepting His free gift of Salvation and allowing Him to do the rest in our hearts as we come to a dependency on Him.

8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” (Ephesians 2:8)

So where are our hearts before God? Are we trusting in Him, speaking to Him, loving one another, and allowing Him to speak to us and transform us or are we living in a show of religion that only seeks to prove to others that we are holier than they? This lesson is for me because today I have felt more like a Pharisee than a child of God. When we are convicted by the Holy Spirit let us take notice of this and come to God with confidence to open our hearts again to fellowship with our most gracious God!

16″ Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

All glory and honor be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for now and forever. Amen!

The Heart of God is Love

I am on a journey of love through Christ. On this journey I have found myself being led, being convicted, experiencing freedom, self-reflection, and the center of who God is.

“The one who does not love has not become acquainted with love, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

I have begun to ask myself certain questions like why am I afraid to love? What’s holding me back from loving others with full abandon and surrender of myself?, and when I blog, when I speak, when I do anything is it from a place of selfishness or one of selflessness, which points others to the love of Jesus Christ our Lord?

“Beloved, let us love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)

Love is the center of who God is. It can be an overwhelming thought and yet one that changes lives and the world. The Word of God is a love story that points to the endless and awe inspiring love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our love is flawed. Our world needs love. Before we open our mouths, before we write a single word, before we preach the gospel, and before we walk a step it’s important that we mindfully search our hearts in the Spirit to make certain that we are guarding our hearts and our tongues. What we say and do as the light of the world must first be kind, patient, thoughtful, encouraging, and enduring.

“Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful… it is not rude; it is not self seeking… it does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4 -8)

To reach the heart of God is an act of Worship to Him for the love He has for us. He will enable us to love as He does in total dependence on His leading. We must be willing to ask ourselves the tough questions about our fear of commitment, our holding back from love for fear of being hurt, our desperation to be loved and yet why it is that we are so incapable of loving as He loves. We are fallible and yet by our willingness to pour out one sweet act of love at a time we can ourselves be expressions of His love to a world that is growing more cold minute by minute, precious second by second. To be salt to this world and the light in the darkness we can begin to reverse the violence and the animosity that comes as we together as a people draw away from the valuable expression of the One true Gods perfect love for his children.

Today I invite you to ask yourself why? Why are you doing what you are doing and is it coming from a place of Christs selfless love for you?

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)

Today let us shine our light through His love: one word, one action, one blessed deed to all in devoted Worship to the One who loved us first.

“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

Pour out His love and live blessed this day. Amen.

Covered by the Lords Protection

“He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (Psalm 33:19)

The Lord sees to it when we place our faith in Him to protect us and to provide for us in our need while we are yet alive here on earth. Spiritually speaking, the Lord preserves our lives or our souls from eternal death and damnation apart from Him while we abide in Him, hope in Him, and yet believe. He will not allow us to fall into spiritual famine, need, want, poverty, or deprivation. He will keep our spirits nourished and well fed on the things of a Spiritual nature as we continue to seek Him and to respond to His calling.

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there. ” (Psalm 139:7-8)

The Word of God says that God is with us wherever we go. That means that He is with us right now and forever, even in death. As believers He will be with us forever and in that our spirits can find rest for our souls, protection even in death, and while we are here on this earth. So in that sense He protects us from death; not that we are immortal but that at the end of our life we can have hope in life everlasting with Him.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father sometimes I doubt that You are the protector of all who believe as I watch so many believers struggle and suffer. At times I admit that I even doubt Your Providence as I watch this pandemic going on around me and believers and non believers alike dying and in mourning for those near to them that have passed on. I ask You to forgive me for my faithlessness and I thank You for Your forgiveness and Your loving mercy. Please help me to see that You are the Protector of my soul and my blessed Provider in the land of the living and that You are intimately acquainted with my ways. Please help me to live in the love of Your light and to know that You are protecting and guarding my soul and my heart through the blood and righteousness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You for fulfilling my needs and for providing for all those who know You as their Lord and Savior. Please save the souls who have wandered away from Your love. Thank You for providing for their needs. Please forgive us all for not baring witness to Your love and Your protection when we see it and while we get the chance. Please comfort all the sick, the mourning, the grieving, those being abused, those treated with injustice, all those who are being persecuted for their faith in You alone, and please strengthen our faith that You are just, that You are in the midst of what we see, and that You are at work in all we don’t see. Help us as believers to bless others through the blessing You so graciously share for us and to share the Good News of Your Salvation with all who we come in contact with. Lord as You promised Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him help me and help us to be blessed to be a blessing to all of Your children under the sun. We love You Lord and we ask all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy Spirit: A Whisper in The Soul

6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6-8)

Whisper.

You enter my heart with a flutter of wings

The calling of butterflies; the loveliness of all things

Whisper.

A stir in my soul.

The rapture of love that never grows cold.

I remember Your blessings in the joy of the morning.

I listen to Your whisper;

I joy to respond to Your calling.

Whisper to me in the starlight, in the heat of the sun

Whisper to me in the heat,

of a day just begun

Whisper sweet whispers that even I, can’t claim to hear

Your whisper is a tugging on my heart

That never fails to appear.

You are a person, a helper, an advocate, sent to lead

By the whispering to my soul

For the benefit of all beings

You are the peace that pours out life to the world

You are the wisdom to the simple

The truth that unfurls

Wrapped in Your whisper

I’m taken over sweetly like the feathering of lace

Until the back of scoffers rejoice

To see Your face in my face

Whisper in my soul

Timeless tug like the wind in a flute

Whisper in my soul

Sweet melody of a bird out to roost

Whisper. I respond

Whisper. I compose

A dance to Your presence

Blooming my heart as a rose.

To tell of Your whisper like wind

To speak of Your power like light

Is an obstacle to those

Who don’t see You in sight

Oh, but there is a whisper

That the searching can find

The Holy whispering of Spirit

Telling of the Divine.

Whisper to my soul now

Whisper a tender tune to my pain

Whisper like a nightingale

That sings to the rain

Whisper my soul sounds

Whisper my breath rings

To the whisper of Holy Spirit

Who, perceives all things

Whisper.

Sweet whisper.

Soul justified cranes it’s ear to the sound

Melodies of love.

Sweet whispers surround.

You I May Know

13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” (Exodus 33:13)

You are my Salvation Lord You have said, “You my child have nothing to fear.”

You are the one who protects me and saves me from my troubles,

If I only would hear.

Teach me to listen and teach me to see

Help me to seek Your face,

So that in Your  Spirit I’m free.

Free me. Free me.

So in me Your freedom might reign

Heal me. Heal me.

In my suffering, so I might be a light through the pain.

You are My Salvation

Your song of deliverance

Permanently torches my sin

Cleansing me, by Your blood

No matter the situation, I find myself in.

Cleanse me. Cleanse me.

Make my sins scarlet, whiter than snow.

Take me. Take me.

I surrender my all.

So that it’s You I may know.

Hold Fast To Faith

“Take care brothers and sisters, that there not be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today.”, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3: 12-13)

As brothers and sisters in Christ we are blessed to serve the One true God the living God who is spirit and intimately acquainted with all of our ways. We also have a physical symbol which is real, bold, and powerful to hold onto the one on which Christ died for us for the cleansing of our sin; the cross of our Salvation. In Hebrews we are taught by Paul that we need to be continually clinging to our faith on a daily basis and be steady in encouraging one another in our faith knowing that although we are saved there are all sorts of temptations of the world and from the enemy set on leading away from our first love, that is Christ.

“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. “(1 Peter 5:9)

“For we have become partakers of Christ, if only we hold firm our newborn confidence until the end, while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your heart, as when they provoked me.” For who were they who heard and yet provoked Him? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dead bodies were scattered in the desert?” (Hebrews 3: 14-17)

In the book of Exodus we are told of how God led His people Israel through the wilderness and out of their slavery in Egypt under the rule of Pharaoh. The Israelites watched God protect their children by the presence of blood on their door posts, they saw Him rain down judgment upon judgment upon Pharaoh in the form of plagues, gnats, frogs, and a river turned to blood. They saw His provision for their needs when the Egyptians offered them their gold and their own possessions, when He caused the sky to rain down manna for them to eat,  when He caused water to flow from a rock to quench their thirst, and when

“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to given them light…” Exodus 13:21

Yet after every miracle and after everything that God was continually doing for them to protect them and to get them to place their faith and reliance on Him they complained, they didn’t believe in Him, and they even wanted to return to their bondage of slavery. Paul pleads with us not to go that route. In this message to the Hebrews Paul is speaking with the Jewish converts to Christ encouraging them to hold onto their faith instead of going back to the Law and to the religious rites that can’t save them and yet he is speaking with all of us today, starting with me. I encourage all of us here to hold fast to the cross of our salvation no matter what it costs us in this lifetime because the prize so often is greater than the effort and the trials it took to gain it. We have a lot to hope for and we have One who we can without any doubt place our trust and our faith in.  So today if you find yourself wavering, hold firm to Christ and let us hear the voice of Paul encouraging each one of us to reach out to one another, in encouragement and in love.