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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

God Speaks

 

I hear this. The world is a stage right now. The enemy has his plan but he does not have God’s playbook. The enemy knows his final destiny. How the plot unfolds will be revealed. The enemy is still plotting and planning even though he has been exposed on so many levels. But God is a God of suddenly. He turned the money changer’s tables suddenly, he turns the storm and the tide with one word. Yet the enemy still believes he can have his way. Keep your eyes open. It will turn suddenly. See what God will do.

 

copyright Laurie Marks Vincent - please do not copy or reprint without permission


Friday, June 10, 2022

Our Crown of Glory

Our value is not what we think we are worth, but what the Heavenly Father sees because of who we are in Christ. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.” — I John 3.

Our value is the unmatched price that our Lord paid for our redemption: His unconditional love. As children of God, it means we are adopted into the Family of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing in his sufferings and his glory. As his children, we also have a heavenly inheritance by hearing the word of truth and believing in Christ (Ephesians 1:13).

First Peter 1:4 describes our inheritance, being born again “into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.” The Apostle Peter described our inheritance with four specific qualities.1)

Imperishable. There is no element, whether it be fire, water, air or any element that can cause our inheritance to perish. Our inheritance is eternal, remaining forever. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:232)

Unspoiled. While the world around is imperfect, his gift of eternal life is perfect. But the gift of eternal life is perfect, because the Giver of eternal life is perfect, holy and blameless. There is nothing of this earth that can touch what God has given us. Revelation 21:27 says, that nothing or anyone who is impure, shameful or deceitful.3)

Unfading. The promise of salvation is “never-fading”. The things of this world will fade, such as our favorite sweater that fades from the brightest blue to a grey-blue. Unlike the world, our garments of praise and our inheritance in Christ will never fade, lose it’s glory or diminish. It never changes, like our Savior who is unchanging. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, Hebrews 13:8.4)

Kept. We are citizens of heaven and so we take possession of our rightful inheritance when we are finally home. The Holy Spirit guarantees that we will receive eternal life in the world to come (2 Corinthians 1:22). In fact, “when you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13–14).

Our heavenly inheritance is beyond what this world can imagine. 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us, “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”.

It is so important as we watch the signs of the times, that we do not fix our eyes on what is seen, because it is only temporary. Instead, we fix our eyes on what is unseen, released from the Kingdom of heaven. This is because what is unseen, is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

While we may face trouble in this world, it is a journey that brings an eternal glory. We read in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all”. So do not be discouraged in this world when you face trouble. We have received salvation through his grace. When we see him face to face, we will see that it is beyond your wildest imagination, wrapped in his eternal glory.

copyright Laurie Marks Vincent – please do not reprint without permission.


Friday, June 10, 2022

Moving in God's Grace

 

 

The world says you get what you deserve, but God’s grace gives you what you don’t deserve.  There is nothing you can do to earn God’s grace. There is nothing you can do to win God’s grace. His Grace is offered freely to us.

Keep reading to find out how God’s grace works in our daily life.

God’s grace is His unmerited favor towards us.  Grace means that God showered favor and blessing on us when we didn’t deserve or earn it. We deserve His judgment and wrath because of our sin. But He has shown us favor. But what sin are we talking about?

Romans 3:23 says All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God

But you might think to yourself… Why do I need to ask for forgiveness?

In our world where evil is present, the door was opened when Adam and Eve first sinned after disobeying God, our Heavenly Father. Now our world is in a fallen state and sin has infiltrated the entire human race. We’re guilty by association. And so, we carry that sinful nature within us. Did you ever disobey your parents? 

We’re admittedly not perfect and simply cannot measure up to God. God cannot look at sin because he is pure and holy.  Yet he loves us so much that he came in the form of a man, his son, Jesus Christ to make things right between God and man. Because Christ took our punishment, literally our death, on the cross, his blood has washed away our sin.

However, it doesn’t just happen automatically. Repenting from our sin is the key. Grace is a gift you receive once YOU turn the key. Once you acknowledge your sin and ask him for forgiveness, then the gift of grace is automatically yours.  Just ask!

Romans 10:9 says, if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

He rose victoriously from the grave to overcome death for us and now you and I have eternal life.  Through a relationship with him, getting to know him, hearing him speak to your heart, as you learn from his Word, God’s grace works actively in our life on a daily basis too.

Lamentations says, 3:23 says, Each day his mercies are new.

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So, when you messed up, you can take it to him, and his love, mercy, and grace are there for you.

On those days when you don’t feel strong enough, he is your strength. He is strong in you because the Holy Spirit, the comforter is there to help you.

2nd Corinthians 12:10 says, Therefore I take pleasure in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It was the Apostle Paul who said we can rejoice in our weaknesses and trouble in this world.

In 2nd Corinthians 9:12 God reminds Paul “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (through Christ) is made perfect when we are weak.

So Paul said, Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Throughout Paul’s life and ministry, he leaned on the Lord. He drew from God’s grace, to overcome difficulties.  It’s a much more victorious life this way, rather than struggling on our own.

Even when we are weak, when we mess up, when we have a need, God is strong. He provides the strength, through his Grace for us to withstand whatever challenges that we face. God is more than enough EVERYDAY!

copyright Laurie Marks Vincent - please do not copy or reprint without permission


Friday, June 10, 2022

Fear & Faith

 

Where two kingdom’s collide. The Kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God.

It seems to be the way the world runs. In light of the new rise in viruses, even the banana and mango we tested are sick. That’s the truth, but all kidding aside, fear is riding the waves.

Jesus walked on the water, and when he called out to Peter, in faith, he also walked out on the water. It was when the waves and the winds blew that fear took over and Peter sunk into the waves.

Many are panicking, especially those who do not have hope in Christ. The enemy is masquerading and fooling some of the body of Christ to believe the world’s narrative. Faith does not work like this. Faith knocks on your door and answers, but when fear knocks on the door, there’s no one there when you open the door. That’s because fear always runs. We cannot mix our faith with fear and doubt. When we do, our human nature will always grasp the negative. We must learn to walk in the Spirit, the way Jesus did.

“Behold, the kingdom of God is at hand!” What do we know about his Kingdom? Jesus said, “I AM the resurrection.” (John 11:25) In Christ, existed all the power of God’s Kingdom; truth, healing, hope, love, joy and eternal life. We know that fear and doubt do not exist there but they do in this world. What the world declares, the world will adhere to. Scripture even verifies this line of thinking.

They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 1 John 4:5

And even more so, let’s remember that Satan is the god of this world.

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 1 John 5:19

So how do we grasp the Kingdom of God here and now? Ephesians 2:6 gives us insight. It’s a faith principle! We are told that because we have been made alive in Christ now, that we are seated in heavenly places with him. Our citizenship, our inheritance and our authority is in Christ. We know that fear and doubt have no place in God’s Kingdom.

2 Timothy 1:7 says,

For God hath not GIVEN US the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Some translations use “self-control” instead of “sound mind” but the bottom line is that the Spirit of God has GIVEN US his power, his love and his sound (sane, calm) mind, (self-control).

So when fear takes over, remember this. Fear runs. No one is there when you knock on the door. The efforts of fear are fruitless. Fear places our hope in the wrong thing. Fear raises emotional heights and causes us to sink below its waves, but Faith does not operate on emotions. Faith stands on the Word of God, his power, his love and the mind of Christ in us. We can discern the times, seasons, and the tricks of the enemy when we quiet our hearts and listen for his voice. Seek truth and let truth reign. This is not a time to bow to fear. This a time to shine, like diamonds, reflecting the Light of Christ everywhere.


Friday, June 10, 2022

Consider the Wildflowers

 

 

We took a little road trip a few weeks ago. I noticed along the road there was massive clusters of pretty little flowers growing on each side of the road. Some were purple and some that were yellow.  I believe the flowers are called “flocks”… at least the purple ones are. They were such a pretty display framing the countryside road for miles and miles.

God’s design always amazes me.  When I paint or draw, I see so much detail. Can you imagine the Creator’s eye for detail?  It is far more than our human mind can comprehend. It is also far more than our natural eye can see. We see the surface, but an intricate system develops from the seed that finally becomes a blossoming flower. The roots then become a vast system, even entangling together from one flower with another.  We don’t see the roots working, yet we know, that the roots maintain nutrients for each flower.

When God Paints the World

In art class, we learned about the color wheel. Each color has a complimentary color. There are primary colors which are red, blue, and yellow. The complementary color is the color directly adjacent when you look at the color wheel. 

God's Color Wheel

 


The flowers I saw on the roadside were purple and yellow.  If you look at the primary color yellow on a color wheel, the complementary color is purple.

Even in nature, God has designed everything to be completely complimentary.  No one planted those flowers there. They grew organically, even in their color scheme, complementing one another in their natural habitat.

… and so, we consider the wildflowers. Just like us, God places us in a position where we can draw from the resources around us, to grow and blossom. It’s just as the saying says, “we bloom where we are planted”. We complement our surroundings just like the yellow and purple colored flowers complement each other in their natural surroundings. So beautifully the flowers naturally decorate the roadside, even though they are not the same color. The flower’s roots co-exist, side by side, drawing nutrients from the same soil as they are enriched by the rainfall.

Let the wildflowers be an example. We co-exist, although we don’t look the same. Our skin color, our culture, our ideas, and our goals all vary. The variation can be a drastic or subtle difference on the outside and each soul still draws from the same surroundings.  However, the location of our surroundings can affect our ability to survive. Flowers who thrive best in the sun, will not survive very long in the shade. Flowers who survive in the tropical atmosphere will not survive in the harsh winter snow.

The lesson of the wildflowers is simple. Yet, it is one of the most beautiful and wisest lessons that Heavenly Father wants us to understand. We thrive best when we bloom wherever the Creator, our Heavenly Father has planted us.  Liken the soil, rain, and sunshine to the grace of God in our lives. We grow as we draw from our surroundings and the grace of God in our lives.  In all our glory, we exist together because the different colors, shapes, and sizes of our physical nature, complement each other. Just like the wildflowers, we are designed to be rooted deeply side by side. We are designed to be entangled, with a supportive root system that causes us to thrive together, yet we are different, still blooming where we are planted.


Friday, June 10, 2022

All Around Us

 

 

 

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?  Psalm 139:7 ESV

A glitter of light bounces off the snow laying on the ground. It’s almost as though it’s on display for everyone to see that it has arrived.  Looking out the window, it seems so solemn and peaceful on the ground in all its glory.  Oh, that we could encounter the closeness of God’s presence all around us like the snow.  How wonderful it would be to encounter the glory of his presence, like the light that reflects in the snow. 

As we go through each day, there are circumstances that can distract us.  Some circumstances that trouble us, and perhaps even emotions like fear and worry that consume us.  An encounter in God’s presence is the only way to bring freedom from those things that weigh us down.  The snow will melt and it will leave for a season, yet its very molecular structure exists in the water we use every day. Just like water is always available, God’s presence is with us, he is all around us, he goes before us, and he walks behind us.  His Spirit also dwells in us, when we surrender and let him be involved in our lives.  We will never be without the presence of God, even when he seems silent, there is no place where you and I cannot find him. 

Jesus made it very clear, “if you seek me with all your heart, you will find me” [Jeremiah 29:13] Don’t let your mind be flooded with your circumstances today and the events of the world. Give him your trust. You will see him work out a miracle and reveal his glory through you.  He is with you and you will always find him when you look for him. Ask him to reveal himself to you today.

A Prayer for You
Heavenly Father,

I will lift you high my God, O King; and I will bless Your name for ever and ever. [Psalm 145:1]  You O God have granted me life and favor, and your care has preserved my spirit. [Job 10:12]  You bless me with your righteousness and favor and you surround me like a shield [Psalm 5:12]  You redeem my life from destruction and crown me with loving-kindness and tender mercies. You satisfy my mouth with good things, and renew me with strength, like the eagle in his youth [Psalm 103:4] Your thoughts toward me are for my good, my peace, and never for evil. You have given me a future and you are my hope. [Jeremiah 29:11]  You call me out as your own, to arise and shine, for your light and glory have rested on me. I call to you and you answer me. You will show me great and mighty things I have never known before and I will speak of the glorious honor of your majesty.  I will speak about all your wondrous works and then, every one shall see and speak of your awesome and fearsome power and acts, and I will make known how you have blessed me and how great you are in my life.  [Psalm 145:5,6]

In your matchless name, Jesus,

Amen


Friday, June 10, 2022

Journey to the Kingdom

 

 

“But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” ~ Matthew 6: 33 (AMP)

This scripture holds so much basic truth!  Along life’s road, situations and circumstances no doubt become difficult and overwhelming. When we try to take care of them before really looking to the Lord first, we can really mess things up. It can cause more strife and fill us with anxiety. We need to stay on the road to peace.  Everyone worries, but it’s what we do with that worry that makes the difference in the final outcome.  We try and work it out, and wonder how we’ll pay that bill, but the Lord God has already given us the answer; “seek first his kingdom and righteousness”.

When we put his plan first, then all these things we worry about will be taken care of.  This doesn’t mean that we can just sit back on the side of the road and close our eyes to the situation.  In order to seek God’s way, which is perfect, then we must understand that it is important to surrender. Wave the white flag and layout our concern humbly at his feet. We must place them in his care and ask him to lead us. As we surrender then he can begin to put his perfect plan in place to meet your need. So how will God work it out?  That’s where trust and walking by faith must be your focus now. Perhaps he will start to motivate you and put an idea in your mind. You’ll begin to take some steps in the right direction. As you do your part, he will lead you. In any case, there is always room for miraculous provision at the final hour.  Never put God in a box. He is never too late and he can do anything to get you out of a “jam”.  It doesn’t matter that we have messed up. It doesn’t matter how big the situation is.  God always has a way to help us through. Even if we find ourselves suffering the consequences, there is always reconciliation, recovery, and healing, for the little and big things in life.  God even knows before you ask. While you think you may have delayed God’s plan, he has already calculated the lost time into his perfect plan. It will come together in a divine way if you give it to him and put him first in the situation. 

“Give them all, give them all to Jesus”… you may have heard that song?   If you make the choice to put God first in everything, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness”, his promises are true and he will always take care of you. This can be a short or long journey and so don’t forget to praise him along the way.


Friday, June 10, 2022

 

 

Rivers of Living Water

 

What does it mean to have rivers of living water flowing within you? In John 14:6 it says that Jesus is the truth, the life, and the way and no man can go to the Heavenly Father unless it’s through Jesus. The redemption Jesus brought us when he died on the cross and then rose to life from the grave, is also life for us. When we have the living water that Jesus offers, it means that our thirst for the things of this world is satisfied by the abundant life Jesus gives us. We no longer need the things of this world to bring us happiness. They are only temporary. His living water brings us peace, confidence, and strength when we are weak and joy in the midst of difficult times. We have kingdom benefits because we are Children of the Most High God (Romans 8:17). As a result, this living water flowing within us is also eternal. One day, we will finish our earthly journey and go to live with him forever. If you need this living water, the first thing you must do is ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins. No matter how dark they are, he will take them away. Then, invite him to live in you and through you and to walk with you daily. A relationship with him that grows to know him more is what keeps the living water flowing through you every day. He is the living water.


Friday, June 3, 2022

 

 

Heaven's TimelineWaiting for God ...

Waiting on God and his timing can make us feel restless. There will be a season of work yet to come, however, while we are waiting, we can draw closer to the Lord. We can use the time to seek God for vision and prepare our hearts, for what’s to come. As the Holy Spirit inspires you with ideas and scripture that speak to your heart, write them down. This can help you sense God’s peace working in your life, bringing hope, rather than a sense of urgency or anxiety during this time. One day when you look back on these notes, you will see God’s hand, thoughts, and ideas to inspire you after this pandemic season is over. Seek his will because this is a time of preparation. God’s Church is getting primed and ready for deployment. There will be a season that is right and he will tell you, ‘now, run with the vision I have given you.”

"Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it." Habakkuk 2:2


Friday, June 3, 2022

A Prayer for You

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

I humbly come before you. I praise you for your goodness. Thank you for keeping me and covering me with your grace and mercy. You are worthy to be praised. Thank you for your Son Jesus and the finished work of the cross. I am overwhelmed by the power of your love working in my life.

In this season of trouble, Heavenly Father, I ask you to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Holy Spirit, search my heart and shed your light on the corners of my heart.

(Please take a moment to search your heart, if there is anything that you need to ask forgiveness of.)

I cry out to you on behalf of my loved ones and dear friends. I plead the blood of Jesus over all them. I ask your healing power to flow over each one who is sick. I ask for your peace to reign over each one and anxiety to leave in the name of Jesus. Keep each one in the palm of your hand. I will walk in faith and not in fear, because the Lord is on my side I will not fear.

Father, I place my trust in you. Thank You that I can come boldly to your throne of grace through the righteousness of Jesus. I can confidently trust in Your peace and safety for my life and home because I know that Your angels are always on guard. I receive and believe.

In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.