The Invitation

 

We are invited daily to dwell in the Lord’s presence. According to Cynthia Heald, “To dwell means ‘to remain, to abide, to stay.’ It conveys a constancy and a continuity – a daily, moment-by-moment communion with our Lord as if we are sitting down in His presence.”

How often do we find other things to distract ourselves? How often have we refused this invitation? How heartbreaking it must be for the Lord to look down on His children ignoring His invitation, after He gave everything, including His perfect and holy Son so he could extend that invitation to us?

I am just as guity if not more guilty of this than anyone. My time with Him sometimes turns into an item on my checklist, not a desire to truly seek His heart amd grow closer to Him. He doesn’t need me to feel obligated to spend time with Him … But rather, I should show that because of my love for Him, my primary desire is to grow closer to Him each day by answering His invitation to come.

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)

 

The opportunity to dwell in His presence should humble us and stir our hearts to answer this invitation at any cost.

- Cynthia Heald -

The Father and The Child

From Cynthia Heald’s Devotional, Dwelling in His Presence:

The Child spoke:

Father, I thirst for Your power and presence.

Then come and dwell in My secret place.

Where is Your secret place, and how can I dwell there?

My secret place is close to My heart – you will find it by living in constant communion with Me.

How can I live in constant communion with You?

By listening to My words and obeying Me.

Sometimes it is hard for me to listen and harder still to obey.

When you abide in My secret place, I have your undivided attention. Then you can hear My words with a pure heart, and I can impart My Spirit to strengthen your obedience.

Then I want to dwell in Your secret place. What shall I bring?

You need only bring My Book and an undivided heart commited to love and follow Me.

I am ready, Father.

Good, I am pleased to have you close to Me, My child, so that I can fill your heart and life with My presence and power.

Praise It Up

aka … Background information on the Psalms.

The overarching element in each and every Psalm is the element of praise!

There are various categories of Psalms, although many of the Psalms have elements from more than one category. In Paul Benware’s, Survey of The Old Testament, the following nine categories are identified:

1. Messianic Psalms: These prophetically speak of the Person and the work of the Messiah. Some refer only to the Lord Jesus Christ. Others refer to the King on the throne at the time the Psalm was composed, but await the final fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Lament Psalms: In these there is a cry to God for help because of some trouble that the psalmist finds himself (or his nation) in. God is petitioned to act on behalf of the psalmist (or Israel). Within this type of Psalm there will be found a confession of trust in God.

3. Testimonial Psalms: In these the writers will tell others what God has done for him (“I will praise…”) The Psalm looks back to some moment of need in his life and records how God met that need.

4. Pilgrim Psalms: Also known as “songs of asent,” these Psalms have to do with pilgrimages to the holy city of Jerusalem. These songs were evidently sung as the Israelites ascended to Jerusalem for the great annual feasts.

5. Imprecatory Psalms: These ask for judgement on wicked men who are enemies of the writer. These wicked men have not just offended the author but also God who is holy.

6. Penitential Psalms: These were mostly written by David and reveal the heart of thepenitent individual, sorrowing over his sin.

7. Wisdom Psalms: These give guidelines to godly people living in this ungodly world. A philosophy of life is offered to the righteous man to help him view life more from God’s perspective.

8. Historical Psalms: In these, the writer looks back on God’s dealings with the nation of Israel. The power and faithfulness of God are spoken of. The Psalms often provide a “divine commentary” on some past event in Israel’s history, giving added insight to the event.

9. Nature Psalms: The handiwork of God in His creative work is the emphasis of these Psalms. The greatness, goodness, and power of God inspired the psalmist to write these Psalms.

The Psalms depict a longing and a desire to speak directly to the Lord, to cry out to him in times of sorrow and frustration and to sing praises to him in times of triumph and joy. As I begin this process, the Psalms seem to be the perfect place to start as I seek a more intimate relationship with the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

In Cynthia Heald’s devotional, Dwelling in His Presence, she says, “As we live in close fellowship with the Lord , as we seek intimate communion with the Most High, we will experience His power and Spirit. As we draw near to Him, children thirsting for His love, He will admit us to His secret place – a special residence of refuge and protection, of revelations concerning His ways and His character.”

Tell Me More …

What is ‘BeautifulMessDevotions’?

Have you ever hit that point when you realize your priorities aren’t where they should be? That’s what has happened to me recently as I have been burdened by the fact that I have been making excuse after excuse for why my quiet time has become pretty non-existant, aside from gleaning a few verses here and there, and praying when I think about it and need or want something. I have become stagnant in my pursuit of Christ, and that is not acceptable!

Upon this realization, the idea for ‘BeautifulMessDevotions’ was born. This is a blog site separate of my World Race blog site (http://jessicawalton.theworldrace.org), that will be updated daily. Once I hit the mission field in August the way I do this site may look different, but for this last month in the states I will focus on one verse or a small passage of scripture each day. I will read it, memorize it, analyze it, reflect on it, and apply it to my life. After talking with friends about this endeavor, it was suggested that I choose one book to pull scripture from, and the first book I felt drawn to was the Psalms – so for the month of July, I will be getting deep into the Psalms.

Why is it called ‘BeautifulMessDevotions’?

To be honest, the name came to me before the meaning of it did; however, upon further reflection, the name fits perfect. Let me explain, I am a super OCD perfectionist at times, and many times I get bogged down in the details of how my words sound or what the format is, and I forget that at the heart of true worship, none of that matters. Digging into scripture and deepening my relationship with the Lord is going to be a messy process, it won’t look the same each day, and yet it will be all the more beautiful for it.

“Certain things no one can do for you. And one of those is spending time with God. Listening to God is a firsthand experience.” (Max Lucado, Just Like Jesus)

 

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

-James 4:8-

Logos (The Word)

 

 

I love words. But words truly pale in comparison to The Word. However, words in The Word, together, are a beautiful thing.

When I first thought about doing this project, before I had even decided to study Psalms, this verse came to mind – a theme verse of sorts.

This verse is packed with words; Words that separately hold alot of meaning and together mean a whole lot more.

Word. Lamp. Feet. Light. Path.

John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

Words are used in many ways – they can weave stories, they can encourage, they can hurt, they can enlighten, they can deceive … but at the end of the day, they are just words. But what about ‘ The Word ‘ ? The Word is living, breathing, and full of life. The Word is not man-made … The Word was God. What the Word was then, the Word is today, and the Word will be tommorow and forever.

2 Samuel 22:29 says, “For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”

At Training Camp for The World Race we were given Tiki Torch Lamps the first night, these lamps were the only things we had to provide light in the darkness. As the path became more narrow and more challenging, the lamp burned the same. These lamps didn’t light everything around, there was still plenty we could not see, but as we continued, the path before us remained lit. The Lord is my lamp and He knows what I need to see, when I need to see it, and He will remain with me, lighting the path I should take.

Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'”

Maybe it’s just me but I wouldn’t identify feet as beautiful, but God does. Especially here in Isaiah, where these are the feet of someone running from battle, running to declare the battle has been won. Back then literal battles were being won and shared about; however, for us, we are fighting in a Spiritual Battle, and how beautiful are our feet when we can run, proclaiming the enemy has been defeated.

Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG)

Naturally, our lives are not characterized by light… rather by darkness, but we are called to be light. We can not be light in our own power, nor can we have “inherent light, rather we have reflective light. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we reflect it. Therefore, we need to make sure that nothing comes between us and the Lord’s light.” This light is seen in us by others as we live our lives as Jesus, the light of the world.

Psalms 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

The path of life is a sticky subject, because our American way of life and success is not defined in the sae way as life in Christ is, the paths to these two lives look very different. In Matthew we are told, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention.” (Matthew 7:13-14, MSG) This isn’t the easy path that we are called to follow, but in the end, this is the only path that leads to eternal life at the right hand of the Father.

So what do all these words mean when they are put together?

The flow of this verse begins with the Word because His Word is where it all began and where our relationship begins with Him – because in His Word we learn of our sin and our need for Him and the grace He extends to us as our Savior. This begins our relationship because in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with Him, then upon receving the Word, His Word has become a lamp, lighting the way that was formerly clouded in darkness. As the lamp guides our steps, we see our feet moving forward in our relationship with Him. Feet that proclaim that the Word in us, the Word that we are saved by grace , is a message that we can boldly proclaim. A message of Good News brought by beautiful feet. At this time the verse shifts from the Word to the impact of the Word on our life. We proclaim the Good News that the Word in us is the enemy defeated. In this defeat, the darkness is driven out, and the light floods in. The light is the Word in us, the Word lived out in our actions. The light that reflects Christ in our life so that others may too experience this light. The light that begins in the Word, the Word that then infiltrates every pore of our being, so that we have no choice but to be the light found in the Word to others. This light then directs the path that we follow, the path laid out in the Word; The Word that is in us… The Word that was, is, and will be God forevermore. Amen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.