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ConqueredbyLove
Jul 12th 2008, 01:20 AM
Light Pierced the Darkness!


~The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined~
Isaiah 9:2


Darkness…how dark it had been for hundreds of years! It was a time of political darkness as a cruel king ruled. It was a time of spiritual darkness and social-economical darkness. Palestine was in a state of decline. Hopelessness and despair abounded in many hearts.

Why were You silent, oh God? Why were You silent so long? But, quietly God stirred beneath the darkest of nights. He was born; the long-promised Messiah was brought forth in humble surroundings.

There were only a few during those early years that recognized Him as Emmanuel, God with us. Of those that God so favored, Heavenly praise burst forth from their tongues. And Mary, the mother of Jesus, wondered.

Unnoticed by most, He was born in an obscure town. Under the cover of night His mother and step-father fled with Him to Egypt, fearing the wrath of King Herod who wanted to slaughter Him. When Herod died, back the couple came with the young Jesus and dwelt in a city called Nazareth.

And then, the quiet years, as He grew up. How He must have loved nature and spent much time alone with His Heavenly Father observing the birds, the flowers, the ways of God. Years later He would gently say, in the common language of the day, things such as ~Your Father knows~, ~Will He not take care of you, oh ye of little faith? ~ ~Your Father cares, and knows all of your needs, little ones~. How tender, how kind, this gentle Jesus was!

Finally the time appointed by the Father, for His public appearing, came. ~Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world! ~ John the Baptist cried out upon seeing Jesus. John, the apostle, later wrote of the first public manifestations of Christ to a waiting world:



In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.


John 1: 1-17

Onward to the wilderness, the Holy Spirit drove Him to be tempted by the devil for forty days and nights. He then returned in the power of the Holy Spirit…


And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luke 4: 16-21

With these words, He announced, that the greatest Love and Light of the world had come down from Heaven to dwell amongst His creatures – Emmanuel - God with us. It was a fulfillment of the words of Isaiah from hundreds of years earlier of what Jesus Christ came to do….


The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound
Isaiah 61:1


He had come! God finally came to this sinful, dark, death-filled earth to fulfill what He promised to do.

So, let us follow Him, two thousand years later, watch with awe and wonder and see how He sets prisoners free. Let us gaze upon Him as He gives sight to the blind. Let us adore Him as we see Him go after the outcast, the sinful, the despised. Let us see Him give hope to the hopeless, joy to the broken-hearted and how He can make beauty out of a life that has been ravished by sin and despair.


~To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness~

Mandi
Jul 12th 2008, 04:58 AM
Yes, the Light has come, bringing hope for the hopeless and joy to the broken hearted. Sounds like a good start to your Bible study. Thank you for sharing!

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 12th 2008, 03:27 PM
Before His Feet Were Pierced




~How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!


~Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing!


How tiny His holy feet were when He was born. He came from Heaven where He is adored down to this dark world. Emmanuel, God with us is Jesus.

Born King of the Jews, yet He humbled Himself to take on the form of man, born in a feeding trough.

As we think of those precious feet of Jesus we see them first carrying Him coming from Egypt back to Nazareth, drawn by God the Father to fulfill His mission of love.

Embarking on His public ministry, those blessed feet brought Him to John the Baptist. In awe and adoration, the humble John cries “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”! Oh, behold Him, for there is no spot in Him! Perfectly holy and harmless is He! Guided by His Heavenly Father, those feet carried Him north to the Sea of Galilee where He would reach out the most during His three and one half years of being in public.

Those feet carried Him through dusty Palestine, up into the hills, down to the sea, out into the wilderness bringing His message of perfect love to sinners, the outcasts, the sick and the dying. Those feet carried Him to a tomb to raise the dead. Those feet carried Him to teach the message of God’s perfect love and hope for the desperate, to set the captive free and to promise everlasting life to those who would receive Him. Those feet walked on water.

It was a woman who recognized the value of the holy feet of Jesus. Adoring His beautiful Character, she must express her adoration in any way that she could. Breaking the perfume over His beautiful feet, she washed them with her tears and dried them with her hair.

Oh, the fragrance of that one act to our beautiful Saviour! How it gave Him the courage to continue on to fulfill the last part of His earthly mission.

As we travel with Him during those final hours we see those feet carry Him to the Garden of Gethsemane where His struggle was so fierce. No mortal man can understand the agony He went through in that Garden! He went through the struggle for you, dear reader; He went through the struggle for me.

As His earthly life comes to a close, His feet carried Him up the bloodstained path to Calvary. That path was covered with our precious Jesus’ blood. We follow the Lamb of God up the hill Golgotha. Finally, as He offers His perfect Soul as a ransom for our sins, we see the nail go through those beautiful feet.

Fixed in agony and bleeding, those precious feet were nailed to the cross until He died.



~They pierced My hands and My feet~


ConqueredbyLove,
2006

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 13th 2008, 09:40 PM
I have had the privledge of studying the ways and character of Jesus of Nazareth for years now. During my quiet moments and hours, while doing this, I am often transported back in time. I wonder how the Apostle John could have had such a close, intimate relationship with the Master. This devotion is one result of my wondering....



Beholding God



“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life”
(1 John 1:1).


The great Apostle, John begins both this Epistle and the Gospel of John speaking of God. It is as if his heart is full and overflowing with thoughts of the One that he was so close to. He tries his best to communicate to us of Jesus Who he dearly loved. He had touched the face of God and he wants to share with us the reality of Immanuel, God with us.

He first reminds us that Jesus is from eternity past. He is the great “I AM” of the prophets of old. He is the self-existent One and there has never been a time that He did not exist. At the perfect time the Heavenly Father sent Him to us. During the thirty-three years that He lived upon this earth, Jesus was God veiled in human flesh.

John heard Him speak the words of eternal life. If we need to know what God the Father is like, we need only study the life of Christ to hear the words of God. He speaks in many ways but, in the gospels the kind, gentle heart of God is opened up to us through the words of Jesus.

John then tells us that he gazed upon the Face of God with his own eyes. Such a Face was veiled for centuries from mankind but John saw His lovely Face. Such tenderness, compassion and loving-kindness radiated from those Divine Eyes. Such peace and tranquility was etched in that Face. John could not get close enough to God so he laid his head on the breast of God gazing into the Face of his Beloved.

And then as if it was not enough to say that he saw the Face of God he said that he looked upon the Word of life, Jesus. When he said that he looked upon Jesus, it means that he observed closely or perceived. John studied his beloved Jesus; he could not help but study this loving Being.

Finally, at the close of this beautiful verse, John said that he handled God. He touched the heart of God with his love and his hands handled the being of God. It was if he wanted to be sure that this was truly God in the flesh. So enraptured with love for his Jesus, he must touch Him to fully believe that this very One was real. The word “handled” means to “verify by contact”.

In the end, John must share with us the reality of God manifest in the flesh. He was actually there with Jesus for three blissful years but he never forgot Who he saw, Who he gazed upon and Who he handled. He so adored the Son of God that he must share with us the One who was so real to him so that we might look, gaze upon and handle Him with a heart full of faith.

conquered...

Mercy4Me
Jul 14th 2008, 02:04 PM
Hi, Conquered! I really like your user name, by the way! I just wanted to suggest to you that you post each of these as individual devotionals...I think it's easier for your readers to find them.

They are excellent, by the way...

Just to clarify, they are original works of yours, are they not? I see your signature at the bottom, so am assuming they are...just want to make sure they are not copyrighted in any way.

Thanks for your contributions!

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 14th 2008, 03:04 PM
Hi, Conquered! I really like your user name, by the way! I just wanted to suggest to you that you post each of these as individual devotionals...I think it's easier for your readers to find them.

They are excellent, by the way...

Just to clarify, they are original works of yours, are they not? I see your signature at the bottom, so am assuming they are...just want to make sure they are not copyrighted in any way.

Thanks for your contributions!

Thank you, so much...

Yes, they are mine. I will follow your advice.

Blessings!

Mercy4Me
Jul 17th 2008, 04:10 AM
I am happy to report that this thread has been reopened, and is again ready for discussion!

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 11th 2008, 12:45 AM
If I Could Describe Him


If I could describe to you the greatest love story ever recorded, I would. If I could tell you of hands that touched the untouchables, I would gladly do so. If I could help you understand weary feet that traveled constantly up and down dusty hills, of a regal head that had a stone for a pillow, of a body that had no place called home, I would try. If I could describe to you His face that radiates the purest light of love, how could I hold it back?

I cannot. Because His story is so incredible, it cannot adequately be described. It is the story of the God who angels bow in absolute adoration to. It is the story of One Who all history points to. And it is the story of One Who millions worship and bend their knee to.

It is the story of Emmanuel, God with us; God, Who condescended to leave the glories of Heaven to come to this dark, cruel, sad world. He came for us. He came to teach us about the Father. He came to live for us. He came to die for us and then...the Heavenly Father resurrected Him.

Since no mortal being can fully describe Him, I can only attempt to take you by the hand and bring you to Him so that you may discover Him for yourself.

I have intensely studied His encounters with individuals from the Bible. I have gazed upon Him and noted how God treats the rejected, tormented, the hated and the fearful. I have fallen in love with Him as I have watched Him reach out to the outcasts. I have watched Him be a friend of sinners. I have seen Him touch the untouchables.

For you see, I have been each one of those people. And, as I watched Him reach out to them 2,000 years ago, it gradually dawned on me that He was doing the same with me.

The great longing of God’s heart is for us to know and experience Him. So, let us see how He invites us to Himself, reveals Himself to us and how He is able to ravish a person’s heart with His tender-mercies, gentleness and indescribable love.

author's note...
I decided to pull this thread up and post my devotionals on this thread. I am doing this only for the reason that it is what I am used to and it is easier for me to keep track of what I have posted....I sincerely hope this does not confuse any of my treasure readers....

moderator...
Is there anyway my first posts on this thread can be deleted so that I might start the thread with this post?

Mercy4Me
Aug 11th 2008, 11:08 AM
Conquered, we usually don't delete posts in a thread unless there's a really good reason, especially when there have been some replies...otherwise I'd have to delete not only your posts but others' as well.

You're welcome to continue posting here, and I'm sure people will check in and read, if that's what you choose to do.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and blessings to you today!

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 11th 2008, 10:11 PM
Conquered, we usually don't delete posts in a thread unless there's a really good reason, especially when there have been some replies...otherwise I'd have to delete not only your posts but others' as well.

You're welcome to continue posting here, and I'm sure people will check in and read, if that's what you choose to do.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and blessings to you today!

Thank you, so much....

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 11th 2008, 10:15 PM
He Wore the Crown of Thorns




~Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands~



Your Sacred Head was wounded for us; You felt the deadly pain. It was the end of Your sorrowful life, walking amongst Your beloved creation.


Your Sacred Head first lay in a feeding trough because there was no room for You in the inn. You were born into a world that rejected You, yet You loved us until the end.


As You grew, You grew in wisdom. No evil of us filled Your thoughts. Perfectly Holy and harmless were You. And yet, You were hated by most.


Pure kindness and grace poured from Your mouth. Heavenly mysteries You unfolded to us. The common people heard you gladly. The sick, infirmed, brokenhearted and sinful flocked to You.


You taught us the truth about the Heavenly Father. You taught us about the birds the wildflowers and You had pity on the innocent animals. You loved the children. But the religious leaders wanted to kill you.


Tears flowed from your eyes at the sight of suffering. You wept over others grief, You wept over death, You wept over Your beloved Jerusalem. You are a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.


Towards the end of Your life, You presented Yourself as the King of Israel. As You came to the descent of the Mount of Olives the people cried ~Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord ~


But it was not to be; for now. They mocked You saying ~Hail, King of the Jews~ They put a purple robe on You. They smote You, they mocked You. They cruelly shoved down on Your regal Head a crown of thorns. Oh, such pain and anguish, shame and disgrace You suffered; for the lost, for those with no hope, for me!


As You hung upon the cross it is possible that the only thing you wore was that cruel, cruel crown of thorns. You bowed Your Head. Your arms were outstretched to all embracing all who would come to You. Your Head bent unto death under the weight of the Crown of thorns.

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 13th 2008, 04:45 PM
In The Storms of Life
Part One
Jesus Sees Us


~It is I; be not afraid~.

Have we heard Him speak to us? Have we heard Him whispering those gentle, kind words to our hearts in the midst of our fear? Best known as the miracle where Jesus walks on water, let us not overlook many other treasures in this wonderful story.

The Sea of Galilee is surrounded by mountains and deep canyons. Storms can come up suddenly with winds whipping down through the canyons upon the lake. But the disciples were seasoned fisherman and Jesus had directed them to go by ship to the other side of the lake.

Then the storm came! How frightening it must have been as the raging storm tossed the ship! How could this be? They were under the Lord's directive when this life-threatening storm hit them. How can this be when we are following the Lord and suddenly our storm of life hits us? Certainly our faith can be near shipwrecked during these times.

We may be encouraged as we look closer at the ways of Jesus when we are in the midst of a tempest. First of all, Jesus went up the mountain after He sent the disciples. The mountain represents the place of authority. Our Lord has authority over all the affairs of our life, the calm and the frightening. Even though dark times may come, at one command He will put an end to our storm when He sees the perfect timing. In this story, He waited until the fourth watch of the night. It must have seemed like an eternity of tempest and darkness to these men. Has your storm seemed like and eternity, dear reader? Do you feel as if your faith is about to fail?

But our text says ~and He saw them toiling in rowing~. Oh, His loving eye is ever upon us while we are in the storms of life. There is great comfort remembering our loving Lord never takes His eyes off His bewildered and frightened children in the midst of our storm! We are not alone in our difficulty. Jesus sees us and is with us!

Author's note~ My treasured readers. Lately, I have started linking some of my writings to various songs and videos. Although the song I link to with this devotional is not one of our better "fits", nevertheless, I love the song and wanted to share it with you. Moderator, it is a link to a youtube video and song by Nicole C. Mullen :hug: ~enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATBLXyJxyTI

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 14th 2008, 05:32 PM
In the Storms of Life
Part Two


~I have prayed for thee~


~ And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them,
Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid~
Mark 6:45-50


In our first lesson together we looked at some dynamics of the Sea of Galilee. We also learned we can be in the midst of faithfully following Jesus when our storm can come suddenly upon us bringing great fear and perplexity. We learned that often Jesus waits until we are stretched almost beyond our limits before He commands the storm to depart our life.
We saw that Jesus went up the mountain and from that high vantage point He could see the disciples in the midst of their storm. Oh, there is great comfort when we know that Jesus has not left us alone and that He sees us and is with us in the midst of the tempest!

However, let us glean further comfort from the ways of Jesus during the raging sea of our lives. From the place of authority and seeing the disciples, Matthew’s Gospel says that He went up the mountain to pray.

Do we remember that Jesus ~ever lives to make intercession for us~? All authority has been given to Him by the Heavenly Father. He sits at the right side of the Father, the place of authority. His prayers are always answered by the Father! Always! And ~if God be for us, who (or what) can be against us~? Our heavenly Father, through His Son’s intercession, will not let us escape out of His omniscient right hand! No tempest will destroy us! He will bring us through! His faith will never fail and He is praying for us!

Sometimes, when I feel stretched beyond my limit, and feel no one else is praying for me, out of pure desperation I cry “Jesus pray for me”! Following this prayer I receive God’s peace. For I know He already is praying for me, He has my best interest in mind and His prayers are always answered. Somehow, though, I sense that He stands up from His lofty throne when I pray that and His attention is absolutely fixed on…me.


~I have prayed for thee, and when thou are converted, strengthen your brethren~.

Let us note in this verse, where Jesus spoke to Peter, ~when thou are converted~ not if thou are converted. There is no question in the heart of Jesus whether we will ultimately be victorious through our trial….Let us take heart.

To be continued…

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 15th 2008, 04:57 PM
In The Storms of Life
Part Three


Cry out to Jesus



~ And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them,
Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid~
Mark 6:45-50


In our first two lessons we learned that great storms of life can visit us in the midst of following Jesus. We learned that Jesus sees us in these storms. We learned that He is in the place of authority as He prays for us and His prayers are always for our good and always answered by our Heavenly Father.

How frightening the storms of life can be! The darkness can feel overwhelming and we can feel totally alone. We may question whether it will ever end and we feel stretched beyond our limit. The pain or fear is almost unbearable. Sometimes we feel as if God is nowhere to be found or that perhaps He does not care as much as we once thought. The enemy darkens our minds with tormenting questions such as “if God were so loving…”

It is imperative that we don’t feel condemned or guilty for our doubts or thinking such things. It is normal for mere mortals to have doubts and Jesus knows that such doubts may come our way.

In our story above, let us glean one final thought. Our text says ~he cometh unto them….and would have passed by them~. I have always wondered why He would have passed them by. What caused Him to change course, so to speak and caused Him to talk with and reassure them?

They cried out to Jesus! Oh, how precious it is to Him when we cry out to Him in our distress! It is not His way to interrupt our lives uninvited. He waits until He is invited to help in the midst of our despair. He is sensitive to our desire or lack of to have Him take part in our life. When they cried out to Him, however, He immediately talked with them, calming their fears and reassuring them that He was with them. His gentle, loving, kind Presence can bring peace to the most desperate of hearts.

Have we cried out to Jesus in the midst of our storms of life? Have we ever cried out to Him? He longs to be part of our lives even if we, by our past follies brought our troubles and heartache upon ourselves.

Let us cry out to Jesus. Would we have Him come and comfort us and bring His great peace to our lives? Do we desire Him to bring beauty out of our sorrow and pain? Would we desire to mount up with wings of an eagle and soar above our circumstances, having Him embrace us in His loving hand while we arise to a new life filled with hope?


~Listen and watch by clicking below. You are very precious to Him~


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqhEWpGVJSs



A link to a Christian song and video on youtube

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 21st 2008, 07:17 PM
That Mighty Nail-Pierced Hand




~Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway~
Luke 8:54


That hand swept across the darkness and said ~Let there be light~, and the light pierced through the darkness. That same hand came as a tiny hand waving in the air as the newborn God-man came to earth – Immanuel, God with us. That hand took the hand of its mother as a young child fleeing to Egypt; a cruel king wanted to kill him.

That hand was raised in prayer to His Father as He fought through near starvation and temptation before His ministry started. That hand gently and lovingly opened the Scriptures as He proclaimed He is the long awaited Messiah ~ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised~ No more precious words have ever come from the lips of man. He had come. Messiah had come.

That hand was placed on the heads of little children as He blessed them. That hand touched the hand of the blind and the first face they saw was the face of Jesus. That hand led the deaf mute away from the crowd, placed His finger in the deaf man’s ear as He sighed and the man’s ears were opened.

That hand broke the bread and fish and fed thousands with only a few fish and loaves. That hand reached out to Peter and lifted him up to safety after Peter cried out he was perishing in the storm. That hand touched the leper, the untouchable and cleansed him, making him white as snow.

That hand stilled the waves, cleansed the temple, was raised in blessing to His Father. That hand healed the sick and raised the dead.

And then…that hand was bound. Never allowed to do good anymore while He walked this earth. That loving, kind, generous hand was then…crucified…fixed in agony…on a cruel cross.

Yet once more, that hand will wave across humanity. That loving hand will still have the nail-prints upon it. Mightly, all-powerful it will sweep across this earth, raising multitudes from the grave so that we may forever be with Him and kiss that nail-pierced hand. That loving hand will be placed on our heads as we bow in wonder and adoration before Him.

conquered,
9.04.07

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 27th 2008, 09:09 PM
My Redeemer Crowns Me!


~Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies~


Such contrasts as can hardly be conceived by mortal man have we here in this psalm of King David.

He speaks of our great Kinsman-Redeemer, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ. He speaks of the transformation that takes place in the lives of those who were heading for destruction, but now have turned to God. They are now crowned with loving-kindness and tender mercies. The price for such goodness to occur in the lives of those who now belong to God was the brutal suffering, death and shedding of innocent blood of our Redeemer, our Jesus.

Our beloved Jesus lovingly drew us to Himself from lives that were headed for certain destruction. Our eyes were blinded to the destruction that we were headed towards. Without Jesus buying us back we would continue to destroy ourselves or those around us. Oh, Lord, open our eyes to show us the terrifying end to a life apart from You! For a life apart from God is nothing less than hopelessness and desolation.

But there is One who will not allow our lives to be destroyed when we allow Him access into our lives. And what does this lovely Redeemer do for the one whose life is brought into union with God?

He lays upon our sorrowful heads crowns. He crowns us with His own loving-kindness and tender mercies. His crown of loving-kindness replaces our crown of thorns of shame, fear and disgrace. His crown of acceptance replaces our crown of guilt, despair and hopelessness. He replaces crowns of hurt and rejection with crowns of pity and adoration.

And what of His crown of tender mercies? We go from experiencing harshness, meanness, insensitivity to be crowned with tender mercy. This speaks of the utmost of warmth, protection, and being enclosed in a surrounding of complete safety. For the word here and elsewhere in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word which means compassion, tender love, great, tender mercy and pity, as cherishing the fetus in the womb.

To come from a life of desolation to a life of such tenderness, pity and love is almost beyond fathoming! To come into the warmth of such protecting, hovering, covering love is almost too much to conceive!



~Bless the Lord, oh my soul
And all that is within me bless His holy Name~


My Redeemer Jesus has replaced my crowns and...


~ I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold~ The One Who has crowned me so…


I know that my Redeemer lives by
Nicole C. Mullen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATBLXyJxyTI

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 6th 2008, 08:52 PM
Before His Side was Pierced




~One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water~



We will never fully understand the depths of the love of God for humanity. Even those that belong to Jesus Christ will never be able to plunge the depths of that love. Throughout eternity the love of God towards us will unfold. Because God is infinite, there can be no end to the revealing of His glorious Being to us. Richer and fuller will be our bliss as He pours out His love upon us.

The earthly life of Jesus, while He revealed to us the character of God was one of love, love, love! Never a man has loved as the God-man. Oh, how He pleaded for men to come to Him!

Behold Him as He grieves over the peoples’ sorrows and sufferings. See Him weeping over death and the grief at losing loved ones. Jesus wept near the tomb of Lazarus as He saw the grieving hearts of those who loved Lazarus. He felt the pain of their loss. See Him sighing and groaning over the one who was deaf and had a speech impediment. Behold the God-man as He yearned over His beloved Jerusalem and pleaded with the unbeliever one more time to come to Him. ~O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood and ye would not! If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace~

Towards the end of His life, we observe Him carrying His cruel cross up the hill to Calvary. So beaten beyond recognition is He that another is called forth to finally carry it for Him. As He is crucified, darkness descends upon the horrific scene as His side heaves, struggling to get a breath as He hangs upon the cross.

What incredible love flows from Him as He hangs upon that cross. His last breaths of air are spent on pleading for others. ~Father forgive them, for they know not what they do~ is His incredible plea of love as He was nailed to the cross.

Finally He dies. To make certain that He died ~one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water~

Every human act in the crucifixion was a revelation of fallen man and our rejection of God. “And yet to crown it all, one man, as though representing the whole fallen race, took a spear and drove it into the heart of God.”


© Conqueredbylove
2006

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 9th 2008, 01:02 AM
And The King Wept



~And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen,
Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord:
peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
And when He was come near, He beheld the city and wept over it.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them
that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!!



He did not deny the fact that He is a King. Born King of the Jews, He traveled over Israel, doing good wherever He went. The blind received their sight, the broken were made whole, the sinners were set free. He preached good news to those who longed for hope. He spoke often of His Heavenly Father’s kingdom, He loved the little children and He raised the dead.

As He came to the descent of the Mount of Olives, He was only a few days away from being brutally murdered. The people that were with Him called Him King as they praised God for all of the mighty works He did. Jesus did not deny that He is a King. He could not deny it because He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. However, only a few days later, some of the same people that called Him King turned on Him and said “crucify Him, crucify Him”.

And Jesus wept because He knew when He beheld Jerusalem, that the people would reject Him.

Behold such love as has never been seen before as He reveals His longing after His own people. “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem!” His great Heart broke as He knew that the people would not come under His Heavenly wings to receive His comfort, love and compassion. How He longed to cover them under His wings, bringing them warmth, security, safety and protection.

But they would not come to Him. And the King wept.

Treasured reader, is Jesus weeping over you? Have you strayed from Him? Have you ever cried out to Him? Have you ever told Him you desire to put your trust in Him?

Oh, for the wandering one, for those who have never turned to Him, to those who do not know of His great love and longing for them, Jesus weeps. He longs to bring you under the safety of His Heavenly wings.



~Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.~

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 13th 2008, 10:47 PM
But He Would Not Leave




~When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken~



Eternal love bound Jesus to His astonished disciple. From eternity, Peter was carried on the great heart of Jesus. From eternity he was imbedded into the nail print of God’s hands which stretched out upon the cross, embracing all who come.

It was the beginning of a love affair between an impetuous Peter and the “Most High God”. God revealed Himself to His beloved disciple by reaching out to where Peter was at the time, in a fishing boat.

Peter, upon seeing the miracle of fishes, recognized the Divinity of Jesus. “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” But Jesus would not leave Peter.

For three and one half years, Jesus patiently led and taught His disciple. Many times God’s kindness was revealed to sinful Peter. Peter saw the face of God, in the person of Jesus, ever clearer as this glorious Being unveiled Himself through the mistakes and pride of Peter. How many times Peter was humbled as the Son of God, Son of Man taught him the way of love. How many times would Peter bring grief to Jesus, in the end, forsaking Him. But Jesus would not leave.

Finally, as Jesus was nailed to the cruel cross, Peter must have thought that the end had come, and his beloved Master finally left him through death. Peter’s whole life was shattered; the end had come as the body of Jesus was placed in the tomb.

“Go tell my disciples and Peter that I am risen and I go before him unto Galilee.” What is this? Peter being especially sought after from God who died and rose again? Peter, the one who had sinned so against Jesus, finally denying he knew Him?

But He will not leave. He cannot leave. He is bound by His faithfulness to stay by sinful disciples. It is against the very Love of God displayed on that cross for you and for me.



~I will never leave or forsake you~


Who am I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqk53sAxLmg&feature=related

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 18th 2008, 12:53 AM
A Heaven Sent Message


~ The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee ~


~ Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it ~


Oh, LORD, how beautiful You are! For here we observe protection and comfort. Here we observe power and faithfulness. Here we observe safety and hope. ~ Oh, LORD, our LORD how excellent is your name in all the earth!

Our eternal God is our refuge, our dwelling place. It is into His arms we may flee when we are overwhelmed with sorrow or fear. He is already our dwelling place for the one who trusts Him is already enfolded in God’s loving presence. At the same time, He is preparing an eternal home for us where we will go to when our last breathe on earth is taken. ~ Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.~ His everlasting arms are underneath me and I shall never fall so much that God's enfolding arms will lose me.

All of the while that we are safe in the refuge of God, He is driving out the enemy so that the enemy or whatever the enemy is using against us will not possess us. Though evil may come against us or we may become entangled in sin, God is at work driving it away from us. It will never posses us. If need be, for a season, God may allow us to struggle against sin or evil. However, He knows the perfect way to set us free. And, He will set us free!

Our God is a faithful God. He will hold us and keep us while He drives the evil away. Oh, that we would come to trust Him ultimately with our lives! Oh, that we would be persuaded that He is trustworthy! For it is when we place ourselves into His nail-pierced hands that He will work on our behalf. Our part is to learn to trust Him. His part is to work on our behalf. And while we trust Him, He will be faithful to thrust out the enemy from before us.

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 22nd 2008, 12:35 AM
Jesus, Beautiful Light of the World



~In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness~


~Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, “I am the light of the world”~


Light was the first visible thing that God created and God called light good. Light is a great beauty of the earth and creation is drawn to it. It pierces and sends fleeing darkness which is compared to evil. In the wisdom from old it is said, “Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.”

Darkness is associated with demonic forces, evil and death. Hence we have the opposites. Light associated with God, good and pure versus darkness associated with evil, pain and death.

God, being pure light can do no evil. In other words, He can do nothing to cause us fear, hurt or pain.

Jesus pierced this world of darkness when He came from the pure light of Heaven to bring us into His marvelous light. “Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness” begins the song of worship. Without Jesus coming to redeem and claim for His own, we would remain forever in darkness. He came to earth at a very dark time of history and brought light, hope, healing and love. He rescues those who receive Him, from eternal darkness, and brings us into His marvelous light. For, those who refuse the love of Jesus, only have eternal darkness to look forward to after they die.

But in Heaven it will always be light for it is said, “there is no more night there.” How wonderful! To never experience darkness, fear, death or destruction throughout eternity. Oh, glorious light!

The Apostle Peter calls Jesus the “Day star” as he states in his writings, “Ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shined in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day star arise in your hearts. Precious reader, are you experiencing a time of darkness in your life? Do you need the Day star to dawn in your heart?

During a dark time in my life, I moved from a very dark house to a house that is the opposite. My current house is full of light and sunshine. The light illuminates the house and God has used the house, along with other means to bring warmth to my soul.

Now, there is nothing that brings greater peace to my heart than to sit by the window, letting God speak to me, as the sun arises and pierces the darkness, sending it fleeing away. He is bringing healing to my soul and is driving the darkness away with His healing light. The “Light of the world”, my Jesus, will continue driving the darkness away from my life until I someday dwell in Heaven where no darkness can enter.

Precious reader, are you going through a dark time in your life? Won’t you cry out to Jesus, the Light of the world, so that He may drive the darkness away?


~Oh, Great Light of the World~ by Bebo Norman


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdkmcUPxsF4&feature=related

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 23rd 2008, 10:30 PM
From Darkness to Light



Jesus heals the man born blind


~Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him ‘Dost thou believe on the Son of God?’ He answered, and said, ‘Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.’ And he said, ‘Lord, I believe!' And he worshiped him~
John 9:35-38


The depths of the beauty of God, as related in this story, cannot be plunged. The beauty of Jesus is as a many faceted diamond, brilliant and blazing with radiance whichever way it is turned.

Jesus restored sight to this Jewish man who had been blind from birth. Following intensive questioning by the Pharisees, who were very envious of Jesus, they cast the blind man out of the synagogue. For a Jew to be put out of the synagogue meant that he would be considered an outcast. This man had suffered much already from the Pharisees who were convinced that he or his parents had sinned which resulted in his blindness.

How hard it must have been to receive rejection, criticism and condemnation from the religious leaders of the day.

After Jesus heard that the cruel men cast him out, He looked for the man until He found Him. Oh, the seeking love of the compassionate Savior!

Having found him, the Lord asks him if he ~Believes on the Son of God~ Imagine the reaction of the man as Jesus reveals to him that He is the Son of God. ~Thou hast seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee~ The man stared at the compassionate, tender, loving Face of the One Who he had experienced healing from. One of the first faces that he gazed upon following the restoration of his eyesight was the gentle Face of the one Who loved him so.

As he gazed upon that beautiful Face, and heard His gracious words of love, the depth of that love shone brightly against the cruelty and rejection of the Pharisees. The brilliance of God’s love blazed against the darkness of the religious leaders of the day.

No wonder this one who had been healed and sought after until he was found was in awe. No wonder he that saw the beautiful, sweet Face of God and heard His speech full of grace, worshipped.


~The Power of Your Love~
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga6Qtxzd6vk&feature=related

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 27th 2008, 04:22 AM
God's Broken Heart


Our Broken Heart



“He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”


“Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none”


Jesus Christ speaking in Isaiah and the Psalms


When we speak of the suffering of Christ on the cross, we rightly speak of the extreme physical pain that He endured. Such physical suffering none have endured as He!

However, how little we speak of the emotional and mental anguish that He suffered.

Jesus Christ allows Himself to be vulnerable to abuse and rejection from men.

“Reproach hath broken my heart,” He says, because “He is despised and rejected of men.” He was despised and rejected two thousand years ago and He is despised and rejected by men today.

If we were to ask people who suffer from chronic physical and emotional pain which is harder to endure I believe many would say that emotional pain is the harder of the two. Certainly, chronic physical pain is horrible. It can lead to depression, early death, and put great stress on the recipient and their loved ones. But prolonged emotional abuse and rejection can break the strongest of hearts.

“Reproach hath broken my heart,” says the harmless Savior. And for those of us who might question what reproach means, it means to find fault with a person, to blame or censure.

Have we been, like Jesus, the objects of reproach? Do others find fault with and criticize us? When we know that we are innocent and yet others criticize and shame us what do we do? Has our heart been broken, perhaps many times?

Let us go to the One Who made the heart. Jesus knows so well the pain we are experiencing. Perhaps His heart was ruptured so that our broken heart could fit inside of His; two broken hearts beating together as one.

O, my precious brothers and sisters in Christ! Let us commit our sorrowful hearts into His, where we will find acceptance instead of rejection, encouragement instead of shame, gentleness instead of harshness and sweetness instead of bitterness.



Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.


Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! Leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.



~ Charles Wesley ~

The Power of Your Love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga6Qtxzd6vk&feature=related

ConqueredbyLove
Oct 18th 2008, 06:24 PM
How Precious is His Kindness!




“And all bore him (Jesus) witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth (Luke 4:22).



“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).



It is noteworthy that Luke relates the public ministry of Jesus beginning with a description of the Lord’s speech. After Jesus quoted from the Book of Isaiah, He stated that the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in Himself. And what was the mission of Messiah, the Christ? It was that He would heal the brokenhearted, preach the gospel to those desperate in their need, He would set free those that are held captive in sin and by Satan, He would give the blind their sight and that He would set at liberty those that are bruised.

His ministry, while on earth was a gracious ministry and it was no more apparent than in the graciousness of His speech. His were kind words that flowed from his lips. His were gentle, loving and compassionate words. His were words that built people up, strengthened them and gave them hope.

How kind were the words that He spoke to the woman caught in adultery when He told her that He did not condemn her. How He brought joy to Zachaeous, the chief of the tax-collectors when He told him that He wanted to spend the day with him. Zachaeous was probably one of the most hated men of his time but Jesus poured words of grace upon him even before Zachaeous had repented of his sin. How He always saw the best in people and instead of pointing out their faults He spoke to them of the good He saw in each individual.

And so it is today. Jesus has not changed and one way that we can recognize the way that He is speaking to us is the way He whispers His love and encouragement to us. He wants to build us up. He wants us to hear His gentle “fear not”. He wants us to recognize His kind and gracious ways with us. He wants us to hear His gentle voice.

Sometimes it can be difficult for us to believe that God is gracious. His words of love and encouragement can be so different from what many of us have experienced during our painful life. But He is there and He desires us to recognize His wonderful whispers of love to us. Beloved, are we still enough to hear Him?

ConqueredbyLove
Oct 30th 2008, 11:14 PM
Jesus Christ is Very Great
.

Where is the darkness that He cannot vanquish? Where is the life He cannot heal and save? Where is the impossible He cannot do?

"Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war." (Revelation 19:11)

Today, right now, right where you and I live, God is faithful. Jesus will make a way. In fact, it's better than that. Jesus is the way.

Remember the people in the Gospel stories? There were people born blind, people with shriveled hands, people with useless legs, people with leprosy, people whose lives were in the very hands of demonic spirits. Many of these folks had lost every hope -- until Jesus came along. And some of them had little hope that even Jesus could really help them out.

But you know what? When Jesus spoke, the dead woke up. When Jesus touched a life, everything was set right. Nothing was impossible for Jesus. And right now, in your life, nothing is impossible for Jesus.

Jesus is the ultimate power and principle that saves the world. He is the faithfulness of God at work. Jesus will make things make sense. Wherever you are in your life and walk, remember what God has said. God will not fail to do all that He’s promised. Whatever God has said, God will do.

Don't lose hope. Don't waver when the going gets difficult — and then impossible. When the days grow dark and the storm rages all around us, we’ll be kept by Him who keeps us. Even if we should perish in this world, we will stand in robes of righteousness at the throne of Him who died to save us. He is our King, our Shepherd, our Life and our unfailing Hope. He is our Savior and Lord. His Name is Jesus. All praise and honor and glory belong to Him forever.


He is Mighty to Save :hug:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYqogpLpC5Q

ConqueredbyLove
Nov 1st 2008, 01:07 AM
:hug:


Jesus, Friend of Sinners


And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.


One aspect of Christ’s character that most endears me to Him is He never turns away sinners who come to Him.

The woman in this true story was known in the city as a sinner. Imagine how she must have felt to be labeled a sinner! The guilt and shame must have been unbearable.

For this is what sin does unless our conscience is seared. It brings guilt, shame and disgrace to the one in sin’s captivity. And the downward spiral gets worse as we try to cover up our shame.

However, this woman experienced a flicker of hope as the stories came to her about Jesus of Nazareth. For it was the publicans, sinners, broken and guilt-ridden that were flocking to Him. She came to believe that He was the One who could help and forgive her. And, He did, as at the end of the story we read that He assured her that her faith had saved her.

Oh, what a beautiful friend of sinners He desires to be to us! Notice how He turned and looked upon her as an individual and affirmed her to the proud Pharisee! As He kept His eyes fixed in love upon her He noticed every detail of her loving acts. He defended her while Simon was critical. What joy, hope and relief this must have brought to her. Finally One recognized her worth and value after perhaps years of hiding behind shame and guilt.

We desire to hide from God when we sin. But it is His desire for us to come to Him, pour out our hearts to Him and learn of Him. As we do this we will be set free from our sins, guilt and shame.

Let us turn to Him today. He will defend us against our critics.

Dear, precious soul...Are you hurting or bound in a sin? May I encourage you to cry out to Jesus?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqhEWpGVJSs

ConqueredbyLove
Nov 28th 2008, 09:44 PM
To my treasured readers...

I find it necessary to leave the forums for a season. God is calling me to spend more time with Him and to spend more time on what I so love to do...To write.....about the Lover of my soul, my Jesus :hug: I will be first spending time writing about Emmanuel... God with us, as the mystery of the incarnation becomes ever more precious to me each Christmastime.

I so apprecitate your reading my humble writings and for the many kind comments you have showered on me. It has been your kindness that has inspired me to keep on during this, the most difficult season of my life....

I leave you with my favorite (modern) song. I have posted it before but it is so powerful and beautiful, that I wanted to share it with you. I long that you would watch and listen to it, prayerfully.

May you ever draw nearer to the great heart of Jesus and please pray the same for me.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwzt9jRUPNg&feature=related

neverleaveunorfors
Nov 29th 2008, 01:23 PM
I believe what was touched was the promise of the father [which was the Christ ]and also from the begining eternal life which was in the garden of Eden [the tree of life] which after the sin of Adam and Eve was taken away untill the womans seed was to come and change death not to rule over us

ConqueredbyLove
Mar 8th 2009, 09:39 PM
Bumped up...

God knows why :hug:

ConqueredbyLove
Apr 26th 2009, 07:15 PM
Oh, Comfort Your People




~And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon;
and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost,
that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought
in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.


A rare thing it is to have one’s name mentioned in Scripture. His name was Simeon and his brief story can unfold beautiful mysteries about God’s ways with His people.~

The name Simeon means “hearkening” so we are safe to conclude that He was a man who listened, for during Biblical days a person’s name was a reflection of their character. He was devout and he was waiting for the consolation of Israel. The consolation of Israel was the Messiah to come.

It was a dark time in Israel during the birth of Jesus. For an unknown reason, Simeon was troubled or frightened because after He recognized the Lord’s Christ he told God that he was ready to die in peace. He saw and recognized that the Deliverer, Comforter, our Peace had come as promised.

Beloved, have we seen our Deliverance, our Saviour, our Freedom from death, pain and fear? Do we experience the peace of God? Have we seen, with the eyes of trust, the goodness, mercy and compassion of God in the Person of Jesus Christ? Oh, His arms are outstretched to us!

What makes Simeon, precious to me was His obvious relationship with God. From our short glimpse of him, we know he had a holy but healthy fear of God. He had obviously fled for refuge from his fears into the arms of God and poured out his heart to him. This we know because God comforted him by promising him that he would not die before he saw the face of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Hence, he was looking for Him, our Peace.

Have we cried out to Jesus in our distress? God kept His word to Simeon and He will keep His word, His promises to us. He is completely trustworthy. All that we need to do is cry out to Him and flee to Him for refuge, courage and strength. He will be our Peace. He will be our Comfort.



~Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people saith you God~

ConqueredbyLove
Jun 20th 2009, 12:32 AM
Oh, So Precious!


I am grateful God chose human instruments to be the vessels to write the Bible. For it allows us treasured glimpses into the love, grace and tender-mercies of God, colliding with sinful men and women. It is story upon story of His love, transforming these men and women into priceless masterpieces; the crown jewels of His creation.

Such a one is the Apostle Peter. Many of us know his story: an unlearned fisherman of Galilee, chosen by Jesus of Nazareth to be one of the twelve apostles who would change the world. One of the three, in the inner circle of Jesus and…the one who denied he knew Jesus with oaths and curses.

But Jesus never gave up on Peter as He lovingly forgave and patiently taught His mortified disciple. Indeed, Jesus continued to show him special favor as Peter was allowed to preach the first sermon after the death and resurrection of Christ, amongst other things. Peter was and continues to be used mightily as an example of the transforming power that the grace and love of God desires to bring to an individual.

As we look closely at the writings of Peter, which came towards the end of his life, we are afforded wonderful glimpses into his heart and what sustained him, especially as he neared martyrdom. Having done this recently, one word in particular stood out to me; the word precious. Peter used the word precious to describe three things. Looking closer at this word, Strong’s Greek Dictionary describes it as: valuable, that is, (objectively) costly, or (subjectively) honored, esteemed, or (figuratively) beloved: - dear, honorable, (more, most) precious, had in reputation.

Remembering that Peter had intimate fellowship with Jesus as Jesus walked this earth, let us look at the things that became precious to Peter. The first is the blood of Christ. Nothing is more valuable to God than the blood of His Son. Without the shedding of Christ’s blood for us, we would be forever separated from God and everything that is good. Charles Spurgeon writes ~ standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. The blood of Jesus! Sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven’s gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! We shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power! ~

Next, we see Peter describing our faith as precious: ~ That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ~ . Oh, matchless grace of God! For here God uses the very individual whose faith had failed to describe our faith or trust in God as more precious than the finest thing in the world. God had born long with His servant that failed Him; patiently and lovingly teaching Him, all the while strengthening Peter until one day he would be an epitome of faith; an example to the whole world of what God can do with a fallen disciple. Blessed, blessed Jesus! How we love You that You are this way!

Finally, Peter points to one more thing that is precious. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. He is so very precious to God our Father and He is precious to every believer ~ Unto you therefore which believe he is precious…~ As the Christian comes to know this God, in an ever-increasingly intimate way, the more beautiful He becomes. The more we see of Him, the more we love Him. The longing of our hearts becomes to see His face and to gaze into His eyes.

Are these things precious to us, my dear reader? It is God’s desire that they would be. Oh, how He longs for us to trust Him! How He longs for us to count His blood the most valuable thing ever. How Jesus Christ, Himself wants to be the most precious One in our life.


Scripture References:
1 Peter 1: 7
1 Peter 2: 7

ConqueredbyLove
Jun 25th 2009, 12:04 AM
For the Love of Christ!





For the love of Christ constraineth us



( 2 Corinthians 5: 14 )



Never has a mortal body been so driven by the love of God. A murderer and persecutor of the new sect of Christianity, he was full of hatred against Christians and their God. And yet, while on his way for further persecution of the Church, the greatest Light of Love knocked him to the ground and, arguably, the greatest love story between God and His creation began.

For the love of Christ constraineth us! (2Corinthians 5: 14) Up and down the land and by sea his wearied body could hardly contain the love of God that swelled within him. From that day onward his whole life was consumed by the One Who so constrained him; held, as with a vice, by the love he once tried to destroy.

What is it that has kept millions of Christians faithful to the G0d-Man Who walked this earth two thousand years ago? The love of Christ is the great underlying motive. We must consider, however, it is not just love. It is the love of God. It is the love of God to us. As one continues the Christian journey, questions abound when sorrow and pain come. We would turn from this God if we could, at times. Our hearts might harden to Him as we wear down through this difficult life.

But the more difficult the circumstance, the more this love abounds to and keeps us. Tender are the gentle whispers to the heart that is grieving. Faithful is the right hand that mightily holds us in its grasp. Persistent is the seeking heart of the good Shepherd as He goes after the lamb that would wander away.

No matter how we would run from Him, attempting to flee the pain He allows, the more the Divine impulses of love hold our heart as He pours out His infinite wisdom and goodness upon us as only an all-wise God can do. The deeper the valley, the more of His love our heart can contain. Until…we are finally able to say, even though the difficulty might not be over, the love of Christ constrains... me.

Oh, what a firm foundation that we stand upon! What irresistible pleasure we continue to have in our God even when we cannot see the end of the difficulty. We press on, upwards towards the ultimate goal of seeing our Saviour’s face clearly…and the Divine Eyes that gaze on us now and forever in perfect love.



For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,



Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Romans 8: 31-35, 37-39

ConqueredbyLove
Jun 26th 2009, 10:59 PM
Beauty from Ashes





~To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified~



How soon we forget lessons we have learned from previous difficulties that the Lord has led us through. Perhaps that is why He told His chosen ones, in Old Testament days, to build alters and memorials. They were used to remind frail human beings of God’s faithfulness to them in past days and that He promises to be faithful to us today and in the future. Now matter how difficult or lengthy the suffering we are in, God will be trustworthy to bring us through it as more than conquerors because of His great love for us.

Of this, He reminded me this morning. I am coming out of the most agonizing time of my life. At times the pain has been so great that I thought I would die from it. Deeper grief, I can never imagine.

Perhaps my reader is going through a most difficult time of testing. As I write this, financial stress abounds and a climate of fear seems pervasive throughout the world. I hear of others with diagnosis of cancer or losing loved ones. All around, I see and hear of many of God’s children being tested in ways unfamiliar to them.

It can be most difficult to trust God to bring good out of our circumstances when all seems so wrong. We may become baffled, discouraged or disillusioned. At the extreme, we may become offended at God and, if this attitude is not dwelt with quickly and firmly, the seeds of doubt soon sprout and can become firmly rooted in our hearts as bitterness towards God grows. To combat this, it is imperative that we keep seeking God through His Word and prayer; calling upon others to uplift us in prayer, also.

Do we really believe the scripture ~ and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to hispurpose ~? I love that little word “all”! For there is not a trial so small or great that He is not able to weave into our lives to bring sometime beautiful out of. Over and over, in my journey with God, I have witnessed Him bring the greatest blessings and fruitfulness out of the greatest disasters of my life.

Do we trust Him? I admit there are times I have great difficulty in the area of trusting God. And yet, it has been futile in imagining the worse when I could have been resting in the arms of God, sheltered under His wings while the storms of life pass.

Jesus Christ is very great. There is absolutely nothing He cannot turn around from the ash pile of our lives and bring beauty out of. He is a faithful, trustworthy God. He cannot nor will He fail or forsake us through our difficulties. His love for us is too great to let us fall and His reputation is at stake. He cannot and will not deny us or abandon us. He will bring beauty out of the ashes of our lives and we will yet rejoice in Him.


Scripture Reference
Isaiah 61: 3
Romans 8: 28

ConqueredbyLove
Jun 30th 2009, 03:51 PM
God, our Shield and Protector




~Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: because thou defendest them. For thou, LORD wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as a shield~




We may rest assured because God will defend and protect us if we are His. When we become persuaded of God's faithfulness to His children we will enter into blessed peace and our troubled souls will find the rest that we long for.

Experience of His faithfulness and His protection in our lives in the past persuades us that He will defend and protect us now and in the future. Even the great Apostle Paul had to become persuaded that He would never be separated from God's love ~ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord~ (Romans 8:38-39).

~Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoices~ The word "trust" in our verse means to flee for protection, to confide and to make our refuge in God. Oh, to bring all of our concerns to God who bends His ear to hear our cries for help! He wants us to confide in Him. He longs for us to come to Him! Do we go to God with our concerns? Do we pour out our hearts to Him? I know I often do not. Often I seek man before God.

And yet, even as I seek man for answers, God has His arms outstretched to me as He gently whispers, ~Come unto me, you who are weary and I will give you rest. Learn of Me, (about Me and my ways) and you will find rest for your soul~ The gentle beauty and peace of God is what our hearts so desperately need. Oh, dear one! Our great need is to know He will take care of us!

The great saints listed in Hebrews, chapter eleven, gave us by example the exhortation ~looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith~ We are to look to Him for our salvation and deliverance our entire Christian life. In this verse, the word look means to consider attentively. ~Consider Him (Jesus), lest ye be weary and faint~ Jesus Christ is completely trustworthy.

The more we consider attentively Jesus and confide and make our refuge in Him, the more protected we will feel. We will experience peace as we feel covered by the wings of our loving God.


~Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it~


Oad8ov10AjY

Keturah
Jun 30th 2009, 06:23 PM
I would rather have One Day in His Court, than a million elsewhere.

Praise God! His love is eternal, and never will he cast out those who come to him, in Spirit, and in truth.

Thank you for this word, and song.
It blessed my heart greatly! :hug::thumbsup:

ConqueredbyLove
Jun 30th 2009, 10:18 PM
I would rather have One Day in His Court, than a million elsewhere.

Praise God! His love is eternal, and never will he cast out those who come to him, in Spirit, and in truth.

Thank you for this word, and song.
It blessed my heart greatly! :hug::thumbsup:

I am so grateful the Lord used them to bless you :hug:

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 1st 2009, 06:47 PM
The Lily of the Valleys



~And He opened His mouth and taught them ~




Often, we think of the great “I AM” statements of our Lord in relation to strength, power, the Almighty God. And it is well we think this way for this is how God describes Himself in the Holy Scriptures.

But we deprive ourselves greatly if this is the singular way we see Him. For His lovely character is more beautiful than the clearest diamond whose radiance brings delight to our eyes whichever way it is turned.

Palestine, during the time of Jesus, was the land of flowers. But none was more precious than the lily. It was associated with springtime, Passover and purity. It spoke of new beginnings and hope born anew.

Lilies were one of the first objects of love that Jesus spoke of on the Sermon on the Mount. This was not a lesson to be learned in the Synagogue. No, the Master led the people out to the beautiful hillside, full of flowers, gently saying “Consider the lilies.” There they could gaze upon their beauty as He spoke of The Heavenly Father’s tender care of them.

“Consider the lilies of the field”. How much we can learn from that. They are dependent on the Heavenly Father’s care. The trembling lily that the wind can bend, the frost can kill, that the animals can trample – these can bring us the sweet message of our God for they come back to new life after apparent death.

Since God cares so much for flowers, He must be very kind and patient and gentle.
When we hold the flower in our hands, let us ponder how gracious He must be who makes the flowers. How pitiful, patient, tender He is.

But the fairest lily of all is the gentle, kind, sweet Son of God. As He taught the wondering people about the loving care of the lilies from the Father, He was also teaching them about Himself. His beautiful character is the exact representation of the Heavenly Father’s – pitiful, patient, tender, kind.

He also alluded to the fact that He would be crushed and trampled under the cruelty of man. As the Son of Man He took on our frailty just as the lily He taught about.

However, it did not end there for Jesus, the beautiful Lily who was crushed on that cross for you and for me. For He came back to life during brilliant springtime in a blaze of glory, pure and innocent just as the flower He taught about.




~I am the Lily of the Valleys~

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 3rd 2009, 04:08 AM
Jesus Our Defender


~Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.




Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. ~




Great peace can become ours when we realize that Jesus defends, protects and praises His own children for their works done from a loving heart. He knows our limitations and frailties and rewards us at the smallest of efforts that we bestow on our Lord of love.

The woman in our story came to realize that we bring joy to our Savior when we serve Him in whatever way we can.

In this true story, Jesus was spending one of His last days on earth in a town where He was welcomed and adored. How kind of the Heavenly Father to provide His Son with such loving hearts shortly before He was murdered! What courage must have been infused into His heart through spending time with Martha, Mary and Lazarus! He was welcomed and loved by these three. What a breath of joy to Jesus were they as He made His way to the Cross!

As Jesus ate with His disciples, Mary came and gave Him the best she could offer. With rare insight into His suffering and death to come, she anointed His body to be buried with the precious ointment she had obtained. The ointment was the most valuable thing that was hers.

What was beautiful to Jesus in her actions was criticized by some. Isn’t this often the way that others see our actions? While Jesus sees our sincerest efforts and is thrilled, others criticize our efforts or even demand of us more than we can give.

“Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. She hath done what she could,” Jesus said.

Oh, such protecting, defending love! Oh, what great relief it brings us when we know our God understands us and does not expect or demand more than we can give. Others may attack or criticize our work or actions but what does our beloved Jesus do? Our blessed God covers and shields us with His wings of love as He defends and praises even the smallest of efforts.

“She hath done what she could.” Beloved child of God, are your efforts unappreciated and criticized? Do others sometimes shame your best efforts and reward you with condemnation? Let us remember that God, the only one who has the right to judge, does not judge us but says “Let her (him) alone. Why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me.”

matthew7and1
Jul 3rd 2009, 04:13 PM
still reading through these but I am hooked!!!! :hug:

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 3rd 2009, 05:32 PM
still reading through these but I am hooked!!!! :hug:


Ahhh, you are such a love :hug: :kiss: :hug:

I got hooked on Him when I started studying intensly His encounters with, and ways of dealing with people that are just like me :) i.e. very, very needy :idea:

I began discovering that Jesus is seen the clearest through the eyes of need....

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 5th 2009, 06:48 PM
It is I






~ About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them, and said ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down ~


Mark 6:45, 47-51.




With these words, Jesus brought quiet to His disciples' hearts. How fearful they were as they struggled to bring the boat to the other side of the lake as Jesus had directed them. They were seasoned fishermen, but they were no match for the storm that had quickly swept down upon them.


The same voice from Jesus will come to our troubled hearts when we are in the midst of the storm if we desire. He is always but a breath away, willing to help. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee,” (Jeremiah 33:3) He says to us.


So much is spoken of in these three words. Throughout His three years of walking amongst the people bringing hope, healing and peace He spoke these same words in one way or another. Everything that is good, lovely and true are wrapped up in what Jesus means when He whispers to our hearts “it is I”. This is because, when they come from the mouth of Jesus, they speak of who God is and what He is like.


Beloved, if you have never met Jesus you are missing peace for your fearful heart, hope for your hopeless situation, joy for your grief-stricken life and light for your darkened soul.


Come to Jesus who whispers to your fearful heart “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”



"The voice was familiar; the words were characteristic of Jesus of Nazareth. As the disciples saw the familiar figure striding across the waves their hearts quieted and their trembling ceased when they heard the familiar, loving voice." Alexander Maclaren

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 10th 2009, 10:08 PM
Never Alone!




~ I will never leave thee or forsake thee~




Of all the promises given the Christian by God, this certainly must be one of the most glorious! ~I will never leave thee or forsake thee~, our God says. And behind this beautiful statement stands the faithfulness of a God Who cannot lie to us. Oh, lovely assurance that, though all may leave us, our God will not!

So, let us look a little closer at this verse. Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary says that the word “never” in the verse is a double negative strengthening the denial. Blessed God that would have us know for certain when He says never in this verse, He means never! The words leave and forsake indicate that our God will not leave us behind in a place of suffering. He will not abandon us. He will never leave us alone, unaided to defend ourselves. He will be with us through every heartbreak, every loss, every illness, every death.

Quite frequently, I read of dear children of God who question Him during times of deep trouble. They feel alone and abandoned by God; confused and in grief. Oh, I have been there myself! Through dark night of soul and spirit, through being abandoned and betrayed, through losing health and reputation, how often I have wondered where God is, while I grope through the darkest of nights.

Where is He when we have been betrayed and abandoned by our best friend and lover? ~The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms~. Where is He when we know not were our next meal will come from? ~Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things~ He feedeth the fowls of the air. Are ye not much better than they? Where is He when we fear the winds of political change and the economy is failing? ~I am the Lord. I change not~ Where is He when we struggle to be free of addictions and continue to fail? ~Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy~!

Child of His love! He has not left us! He will never leave us! When all is dark about us is the time He is closest to us. The clouds are but the dust of His feet. And the day will come when we shall behold the sunshine of His love again and the earth shall sing with joy around us. We shall behold our Father’s dear face again, look into our Savior’s eyes and see the gentle, tender-mercy that is always there for us.


FtAjrNqEsoM

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 11th 2009, 11:30 PM
My God Has Become




~O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction~


Are we able to proclaim these words? Has the truth of them become our truth? Sometimes it takes times of sorrow, pain or fear before we are able to own that Jesus is our strength, fortress, refuge and, indeed, our very life. However, before we look into what He desires to become for us, let us inquire into Who is this LORD the prophet speaks of?

He is Almighty God, JEHOVAH! ~Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory~ He is the sovereign Ruler over all the affairs of man. He is the ~Lord of Hosts~ meaning He leads the battle against all the forces of evil and darkness. The final outcome is never in question…He is and will be forever triumphant!

He is our strength. This mighty One comes to His children in gentleness to strengthen. Whispering words of kindness He reminds us He is with us. Sometimes our grief of heart is so intense, all we can hear is, ~I am with thee~. He speaks to us through Scripture, other Christians, a bird, a flower, the soft breeze of early springtime. His words to us are….love.

A fortress around us He is. Strong, impregnable, absolute protection. Nothing can penetrate our fortress without His loving permission and ever watchful eye. Nothing can destroy our soul. The Rock of strength is our Rock. When conflict assails us it will not destroy us because it comes against our strong God.

Sweetest of all, He is our refuge. He invites us to hide under His wings of tenderness. Here we find warmth and nourishment as we rest in security and peace against His side. When we cry out to Him, He is swiftly at our side as He envelops us in wings of love. ~How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings ~ He calls out to those who are outside His warmth.

Finally, He is ours. He is our strength, our fortress, our refuge. Nothing can ever take us away from Him. ~ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord~.



~The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God~


-qNOMLS6weE

Maggie7
Jul 14th 2009, 03:15 PM
Dear Conquered by Love,

Thank you so much for these devotions. I'm taking my time going through them slowly because there's so much here. I am so grateful for your ability to gaze on the various Bible scenes and distill them into refreshing pictures of God's love and mercy and grace. Lets me be there and walk with them. Thank you for sharing this gift God's given you. I hope and pray you'll be able to continue.

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 14th 2009, 06:21 PM
Dear Conquered by Love,

Thank you so much for these devotions. I'm taking my time going through them slowly because there's so much here. I am so grateful for your ability to gaze on the various Bible scenes and distill them into refreshing pictures of God's love and mercy and grace. Lets me be there and walk with them. Thank you for sharing this gift God's given you. I hope and pray you'll be able to continue.

You are so kind! :hug: :hug: :hug:

I really needed that as I have been at a hugh crossroad in my life and have not felt like writing much...

Most of the writings I have posted here are a number of years old. But I "hear" Him calling me to come aside again and receive more...

I identify with the singer Todd Agnew's plea in his song "This Fragile Breath" where he pleads with God..."Speak to me, speak to me, won't you speak to to me?"

I need Him to begin speaking to me again...and I pray that in His infinite mercy, He will allow me to continue, also.

Maggie7
Jul 16th 2009, 07:10 PM
Dear Conquered,

We have seasons, don't we? I'm sorry that you've been in difficulty, and hope and do pray that you'll find the answers you need. I think some sort of need is what brings most of us here. Haven't found another forum quite like this one.

There is so much in your series of devotions that it will take me awhile to think my way through them. I love that. I love being able to come to the scriptures with fresh eyes and thoughts...have been dry so long. I totally agree with you that we see Him best through our need. So I guess we have that to thank Him for! Sigh... : )))

If you feel Him calling you, you will discover what to. In the meantime, I thank you for the dews you've offered and pray you'll be refreshed again.
It seems that responding to people on this forum would be a full time occupation!!! I've barely started.

Thanking you for your :hug: :hug::hug:.

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 17th 2009, 12:18 AM
Dear Conquered,


There is so much in your series of devotions that it will take me awhile to think my way through them. I love that. I love being able to come to the scriptures with fresh eyes and thoughts...have been dry so long. I totally agree with you that we see Him best through our need. So I guess we have that to thank Him for! Sigh... : )))



You just take all the time you want:hug: :kiss: :hug: I am sooo blessed if the Lord can bring some refreshment to you.

And...He is giving me a new series of devotions and I can't wait to start writing :pp:pp:pp That is a goooood sign for me :)

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 17th 2009, 12:28 AM
I don't know why the Lord is impressing me to post a Christmas message I wrote last year. But, He knows. So, please don't think me crazy. It was His idea :idea:




The Son and the Child





~But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting~



Micah 5:2




Full of wonder and awe, my heart becomes each Christmastime as I ponder the mystery of the incarnation. It seems each year His story becomes ever more precious as He reveals, through the Holy Spirit, the ways of God to my ever-inquisitive mind.



I thank Thee, O, God, for keeping Your story alive in my heart and in the hearts of millions of Your adoring children. Forever, please, keep our hearts seeking You and your ways so that our worship will never become old, but ever childlike as we ponder Your beauty and glory…


Bethlehem was a small town in Judea, a little south of Jerusalem. Hardly a town one would expect a King to be born in. Especially this King, Who all of the prophets had spoken of for thousands of years. The name Bethlehem means “house of bread” and the name Ephratah means fruitful. In Old Testament times, names revealed character.

As we ponder our Lord’s character, the Christian would gladly tell the whole world that Jesus, as the “bread of life”, truly sustains us and satiates our hunger. He is all the hungry soul needs to keep one full and needing nothing more. He satisfies us with His beauty. He is also fruitful. Fruit represents, amongst other things, the character of God such as love, joy peace, goodness and gentleness. Oh, what a gentle God this Jesus is; how good and kind bringing such peace and joy to our hearts!

However, let us note again that Bethlehem was a small town and such a fact reveals more of the ways of God. How can it be that this One, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, chose to be born in a small town?

These are His ways! For this King, Who is the adoration of Heaven, Who angels veil their face before because of His holiness and beauty, is a humble King. God, our Creator, the everlasting One, chose the lowly, the insignificant, the unnoticed, to begin to unveil before our adoring eyes, the greatest story ever told; His story, the story of Emmanuel, God with us.

He still comes, for the most part, to the lowly, the heartbroken, the needy, the sinners. He still comes to the outcasts, the rejects and those that others look down upon. He still comes to the small and insignificant. My dear reader…you that know you are needy, you that feel insignificant…He longs to come to you and that you come to Him. His arms are outstretched to you.



~ The Child was born in Bethlehem but the Son was from everlasting ~




Y7OzU6FgHC0

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 18th 2009, 06:40 PM
Joseph, A Heart like Jesus



If we pause, at the slightest whisperings of the Holy Spirit, He will be faithful to give us further insight into the Heart of Jesus. Such was the case as I studied the circumstances and people that surrounded the birth of Jesus last Christmastime.

Very little is known about Joseph, who was espoused to Mary the mother of Jesus. They were engaged but a time of great trial came upon the young couple before the actual marriage. Mary became pregnant. One can only imagine the anxiety and questioning that the news of Mary’s pregnancy brought upon the young Joseph. “How could this be”, he must have wondered? He loved Mary very much and thought she was pure. All his hopes and dreams and joyful anticipation of the consummation of the marriage were shattered as the news of her pregnancy sank into his heart.

In those days, an engagement in Jewish culture was more like marriage in our western culture. And if the wife-to-be committed what would be considered adultery, the law allowed her and her sin to be exposed to the public and she would be stoned to death. What a horrible dilemma for Joseph to endure! How confused, hurt and frightened he must have been! His beloved bride was to be openly shamed and stoned? How the thought grieved him!

But he had a beautiful heart like God’s. “Then Joseph her husband…not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.”

Oh, how precious these words are to me! Joseph in vengeance and hardness of heart could legally have exposed her sin to the public, bringing shame and disgrace upon her. Joseph could have had her killed by stoning. He could have been bitter and cruel to her but he was not. He still loved her and wanted to protect her reputation. He would not allow gossip, slander and public exposure to kill her inwardly while her body was being killed outwardly.

Dear soul! Have you been a victim of vicous gossip or slander? Have you heard whispers behind your back as your name and reputation were destroyed by others? Has your sin been exposed to the public bringing shame and disgrace upon you?

God is not like that. His love covers and protects us. He shields our wounded hearts while He gently restores us while He applies His healing balm.

Joseph and Mary came together in holy matrimony following the birth of Jesus. After God assured Joseph that Mary had not sinned but that the baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Joseph took Mary for His wife. Joseph had the incredible honor of being the earthly father of the Son of God.

Joseph had a tender-loving heart that reveals to us the heart of our God. A beautiful, heart that protects from harm those that He loves. We may share with God all our struggles, hurt, pain and, yes, sin. He will never shame or disgrace us. He will hide us under His wings as He gently restores us to wholeness.

Maggie7
Jul 22nd 2009, 07:31 PM
I think July is a good time to start thinking about Christmas. The actual Christmas season goes by so fast. It's so interesting that Jesus was born in the House of Bread and fruitfulness. He was the bread of life, full of the fruit of the Spirit. And then His last meal on earth included bread and wine, which symbolized His body and blood, His life. Thank you again.

Maggie7
Jul 22nd 2009, 07:43 PM
"If we pause, at the slightest whisperings of the Holy Spirit, He will be faithful to give us further insight into the Heart of Jesus."

I've found this to be so true, and I find myself wondering why I push Him away? Why do I feel I'm in such a hurry, or something else is too important? Or maybe just scattered. Which is why I appreciate writings like these, that bring Him, and others in the Bible, back to me in ways my imagination can grasp.

Wonderful how Joseph's kindness and understanding nurtured Jesus.

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 23rd 2009, 12:34 AM
"If we pause, at the slightest whisperings of the Holy Spirit, He will be faithful to give us further insight into the Heart of Jesus."

I've found this to be so true, and I find myself wondering why I push Him away? Why do I feel I'm in such a hurry, or something else is too important? Or maybe just scattered. Which is why I appreciate writings like these, that bring Him, and others in the Bible, back to me in ways my imagination can grasp.

Wonderful how Joseph's kindness and understanding nurtured Jesus.

I know what you mean. I have been pushing Him away. Not for either of the reasons you mention but over things I don't understand why He has allowed in my life.

For the most part, I have been in a long dry period, not even caring to write. The great majority of these writings are from yesteryear. I spent years seeking Him and His ways in the Gospels and in Hebrews. I mean I just parked there. It was Heavenly.

Is was as if I became one with almost each person Jesus encountered while He was here with us. It all became sooo real to me. At one time I would be the woman who touched the hem of His garment, another time, Mary Magdalene, another time, Peter, and then Thomas...I became so many of them because I am so needy that I can identify with so many of them...lol...I was the woman at the well, the sinner woman, I was the Apostle John....

I think I will write about Thomas this week..."doubting" Thomas...He has gotten such a bad rap....

We glibly say these things about all these people, not stopping and trying to put ourselves in their positions...and we lose sooo much by doing that....

Thank you for reading :hug: :hug: :hug:

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 24th 2009, 09:20 PM
And the King Wept




~ And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.
And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes ~


He did not deny the fact that He is a King. Born King of the Jews, He traveled over Israel, doing good wherever He went. The blind received their sight, the broken were made whole, the sinners were set free. He preached good news to those who longed for hope. He spoke often of His Heavenly Father’s kingdom, He loved the little children and He raised the dead.

As He came to the descent of the Mount of Olives, He was only a few days away from being brutally murdered. The people that were with Him called Him King as they praised God for all of the mighty works He did. Jesus did not deny that He is a King. He could not deny it because He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. However, only a few days later, some of the same people that called Him King turned on Him and cried out “crucify Him, crucify Him”.

And Jesus wept because He knew when He beheld Jerusalem, that the people would reject Him.

Behold such love as has never been seen before as He reveals His longing after His own people. ~ O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not ~ His great Heart broke as He knew that the people would not come under His Heavenly wings to receive His comfort, love, safety and protection.



But they would not come to Him.


Treasured reader, is Jesus weeping over you? Have you strayed from Him? Have you ever cried out to Him? Have you ever told Him you desire to put your trust in Him?

Oh, for the wandering one, for those who have never turned to Him, to those who do not know of His great love and longing for them, Jesus weeps. He longs to bring you under the safety of His Heavenly wings.



~ Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls ~



Scripture References

Luke 19: 35-38; 41-42
Luke `13: 34
Matthew 11: 28-29

ConqueredbyLove
Jul 31st 2009, 06:09 PM
Perhaps more than any other scriptures, it is the first verses in the Gospel of John that I have meditated on the most. How often I have wondered what it would have been like to see Jesus of Nazareth, beginning His public ministry and what others might of thought when they first realized that here was the Christ! Here is one of my reflections over those verses...



Did Your Eyes Meet His?



~The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world~





Did your eyes meet His, John? A most honored ministry you had, to prepare the way of the Messiah. When He walked past you did His eyes pierce yours with burning love?

Did your eyes meet His? You ~knew Him not~ until you saw the Holy Spirit come down as a dove and rest upon Him. Did He look towards you as He knew you were aware that He was the One Who was prophesized to come? He has the eyes of a dove, harmless and innocent. Oh, such eyes had never been seen before!

What were in those eyes? Did you see the compassion and tender mercies that He would display throughout His ministry? Did you see acceptance in those eyes as holiness blazed out from them? Did He pierce your heart as He gazed knowingly into your soul yet with the tenderness of a mother, yearning for you?

You told us to ~Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world~. As you gazed upon Him you saw the unresisting innocence of a lamb being taken to the slaughter. You saw Him slaughtered for the sins of every human being that ever lived. You pondered His shortened life that would be cut off by the cruelty of man as He hung upon that horrible cross. You saw Him and His perfect love for the Father and for us as He obediently walked up the hill…to Calvary.

You beheld Him, John, you beheld Him! What were in those eyes as they first met yours? How I wish you could share with us of the time you first gazed on Him. Of how your heart nearly burst with adoration as you saw the fulfillment of thousands of years of prophecy walk before you. As He came up out of the water, His eyes gazing towards our Father. As in the days to come you would watch Him and see the eyes of God, the longing of every human being.

We will see His eyes, someday, also, John. As we gaze in wonder and awe at the ~Lamb slain from the foundation of the world~ we will see those eyes with you. We will see the love, acceptance, joy and innocence. We will see Him with His eyes forever fixed upon us in love and holiness. Our eyes will meet His with your eyes as millions of the redeemed finally gaze upon our adorable Lord and I will not need to ask you then. For my questions will be answered as I see Who you saw on that day you first beheld Him.

© Virginia, March 21, 2007

A note from Virginia: For my treasured readers who may not know who John is in this writing, I am writing of John the Baptist

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 2nd 2009, 05:57 PM
:hug:



His Bethany




~And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven~ Luke 24: 50-51





It is difficult to find a more significant location in the Bible than Bethany. Although not as well-know as Jerusalem or Bethlehem it played a major role in the life of Jesus. We can find precious treasures as we look into why it was a place that was cherished by Him.

Bethany is located on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about two miles east of Jerusalem. Its name means house of figs. As we use our imagination it is obvious that figs are sweet and since names have great significance in the Bible we may safely assume that it represented a place of sweetness to our Lord. It was also a place of refuge for Him from the hatred of the Scribes and Pharisees.

Bethany is perhaps best-known from the story of Lazarus who was raised from the dead near Bethany. Jesus also ascended to Heaven from Bethany and the Triumphal Entry in which Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem began from Bethany and Bethphage. It was also here that Jesus was anointed by the woman with a jar of expensive perfume before His death and burial.

However, as we pull the veil away a little further we discover that it was one of the few places that Jesus was obviously adored. It is said that ~ Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus ~ (John 11:4). Although Jesus loved all mankind it seems as if Jesus had a special love for these three. And they loved Him, so much!

Martha, Mary and Lazareth provided a home in Bethany were He was cherished and adored. He was always welcome at their home and it was a place of sweet comfort, peace and refuge for Jesus during the days in which He was hated and sought after to be murdered. It was a serene place that the Heavenly Father provided for His Son in the midst of a most agonizing and difficult life. It was a gift of rest and peace for Jesus.

My treasured reader... Jesus still looks for hearts that will be a Bethany for Him. He looks for those who welcome Him, adore Him and desire to spend time with Him. He continues to look for hearts that desire Him above all else amidst an increasingly hostile world that hates Him.

Are our hearts and homes a Bethany for Jesus? Does He find joy in us because He is welcome and adored in our hearts above all else? Does He feel desired and longed-for in our homes? Let us seek Him until we are certain it is so.

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 7th 2009, 06:58 PM
Author's note...I have posted this before on the poetry thread. I did not want to post it again here today, but the Lord has been pressing me to all morning...Wonder who it is for? :)




When They Ministered to the LORD




~ Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them ~





Here is a beautiful description of God’s desire for us. After the above mentioned, came to know and love Jesus, they found Him so irresistible that they first and foremost ministered to Him. It was Jesus they desired.

God adores and cherishes us. We are His beloved. His great Heart longs to have fellowship with and have intimate time together with us. Before our service, ministry, or anything else He wants us!

A few months back, feeling a cooling off of my heart towards Him, I realized that I had put my ministry and other things before Him. The fire that burned in my heart for Him had dimmed. The pure love of wanting to learn more about Him and His wonderful ways with us had slipped away.

I will share a little poem I wrote shortly after I realized the cooling off of my relationship with Him:



Most Treasured Love



My heart has wandered from Thee,

O, Spirit of God, come, set me free.
Restore unto me a pure love,
O, come, sweet, gentle Dove!





It is Thee I desire to seek,

For all of my days.
O, Dearest Jesus,
To know more of Thy ways.





Bring me back to gaze on Thy Face,

Help me behold Thy mercy and grace.
Sweet Jesus it is You alone I desire,
Send forth Thy love as consuming fire.





For you are beautiful, most treasured Love,

Father, Son and Holy Dove.
Let my life be simply for Thee
For me You died on Calvary’s Tree






How He desires to be first in our hearts. How He desires that we don’t lose our first love. It was when the first Christians ministered first and foremost to Jesus that the Holy Spirit said Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

The early church turned the world upside down. God can do the same through us as we minister to and love first the LORD.



Oh, Abba Father. You have given us Your very best in the Person of Your Son, Jesus Christ. We desire to say “Thank You, our great God”! More than our service, our gifts, more than anything else You long for us to Love Your dearest Beloved. You long for us to be a bride that is so in love with Jesus that we first and foremost minister unto Him because of His great love for us. Please help us Father and bring us back to our first love, our Jesus. For it is in His name we pray, Amen.

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 8th 2009, 11:01 PM
God, My Portion




~Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee


My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever~


Psalm 73:25-26



What will sustain us during the dark nights of our soul? Where do we flee when the times which we live in make our hearts fear? Do we know our God as the psalmist in our above verse did? There comes a time in our lives when all will fail us; when circumstances threaten to break our hearts beyond repair or paralyze us in fear or grief.

Are you experiencing a time of desperate need in your life, dear reader? Perhaps you are going through a time of severe physical need. Perhaps your life is threatened or you have severe pain or fatigue. How hard it can be to cope with illness, pain or fatigue. Or maybe you feel like your heart is failing. You lack courage to continue on in a certain relationship or direction for your life. Or maybe your heart is full of grief and sorrow over the loss of a close relative through death or divorce. Has betrayal by a loved one been brought upon you? It is certainly something that can cause the bravest of hearts to faint.

When circumstances threaten to drown us can we hear the gentle voice of God saying ~I am with thee~? Although it may be the smallest of whispers, God yet speaks to us saying ~ Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine~.

When all else fails, yet there is God. We are His and He is ours. He will give us courage of heart to carry on; indeed, He is our courage for when we have Him, we have all. And He will be our portion. When our dearest human friend has left us, we still have our God. Although our hearts break with sorrow over the loss of a dear loved one and that loss can never be replaced, we will be able to draw upon the Character of God. Eventually we will gaze once more into God’s tender, merciful eyes and His beauty will bring rest to our aching hearts. We will hear His heartbeat of love for us and we will experience the bitter turning to sweet. We will hear, once more, the songbird outside our window and we will see the flowers blossom again. Remembering once again that nothing can separate us from God’s love His gentle sweet peace will envelope us.




Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,


Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,

Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.

Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay




From His own fullness all He takes away

Be Still My Soul

Chippie11
Aug 9th 2009, 05:54 PM
[quote=ConqueredbyLove;2138115]I don't know why the Lord is impressing me to post a Christmas message I wrote last year. But, He knows. So, please don't think me crazy. It was His idea :idea:




The Son and the Child





~But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting~



Micah 5:2




Full of wonder and awe, my heart becomes each Christmastime as I ponder the mystery of the incarnation. It seems each year His story becomes ever more precious as He reveals, through the Holy Spirit, the ways of God to my ever-inquisitive mind.



I thank Thee, O, God, for keeping Your story alive in my heart and in the hearts of millions of Your adoring children. Forever, please, keep our hearts seeking You and your ways so that our worship will never become old, but ever childlike as we ponder Your beauty and glory…


Bethlehem was a small town in Judea, a little south of Jerusalem. Hardly a town one would expect a King to be born in. Especially this King, Who all of the prophets had spoken of for thousands of years. The name Bethlehem means “house of bread” and the name Ephratah means fruitful. In Old Testament times, names revealed character.

As we ponder our Lord’s character, the Christian would gladly tell the whole world that Jesus, as the “bread of life”, truly sustains us and satiates our hunger. He is all the hungry soul needs to keep one full and needing nothing more. He satisfies us with His beauty. He is also fruitful. Fruit represents, amongst other things, the character of God such as love, joy peace, goodness and gentleness. Oh, what a gentle God this Jesus is; how good and kind bringing such peace and joy to our hearts!

However, let us note again that Bethlehem was a small town and such a fact reveals more of the ways of God. How can it be that this One, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, chose to be born in a small town?

These are His ways! For this King, Who is the adoration of Heaven, Who angels veil their face before because of His holiness and beauty, is a humble King. God, our Creator, the everlasting One, chose the lowly, the insignificant, the unnoticed, to begin to unveil before our adoring eyes, the greatest story ever told; His story, the story of Emmanuel, God with us.

He still comes, for the most part, to the lowly, the heartbroken, the needy, the sinners. He still comes to the outcasts, the rejects and those that others look down upon. He still comes to the small and insignificant. My dear reader…you that know you are needy, you that feel insignificant…He longs to come to you and that you come to Him. His arms are outstretched to you.



~ The Child was born in Bethlehem but the Son was from everlasting ~





Awesome !!:pray:

ConqueredbyLove
Aug 9th 2009, 07:05 PM
Awesome !!:pray:

Thank you so much! :hug: And I could use prayer that the Lord would use them :)

Welcome to the forums! :hug: :hug: :hug: