Friday, August 9, 2013

Just wanted to share some things that really stood out to me in my Bible reading today....

"How the gold has grown dim,
how the PURE gold is changed!
The holy stones lie scattered 
at the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion, 
worth their weight in fine gold,
how they are regarded as earthen pots,
the work of a potter's hands!...

Those who once feasted on delicacies
perish in the streets;
those who were brought up in purple 
embrace ash heaps...

Her princes WERE purer than snow,
whiter than milk...

Now their face is blacker than soot;
they are not recognized in the streets...

The punishment of your iniquity,
O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;
He will keep you in exile no longer,
but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom,
He will punish;
He will uncover your sin."

~Excerpts from throughout Lamentations Chapter 4

This chapter really fascinated me and caused a lot of thinking...  It reminded me SO much of what sin, un-confessed  and un-forsaken sin does in our lives. "A little leaven leavens a whole lump" (Gal. 5:9) and "The collapse of character begins with a compromise."  Lamentations 4 stated, "How the gold has grown dim, how the PURE gold is changed!" How often is that us as Christians?  How often is that me?  How often do I let little compromises in my life that changes the GOLD HE WANTS ME TO BE into something far less pure and lovely because of sin?  "The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street." How often does the holiness that must be in a Christians life get tainted by things of this world that are anything but holy?  WHY let the World influence who you are, your decisions, your entertainment your thought-life...WHY let the world influence you when the World CARES NOTHING for your soul.  Why?  Oh, Lord...save me from compromises that would leaven a whole lump! (1 Corinthians 5:6) May I be like Daniel and Joseph (two of my favorite characters in the Bible) who were "uncompromisingly righteous."  THEY CHOSE NOT TO COMPROMISE!!   It is a CHOICE, friends. YOU CHOOSE your choices, your actions, your responses...YES, you will be tempted many times in this world...every day...pictures...movies...music...relationships...friends...even family, sometimes if they haven't made God a part of their life...but God says that "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13  8 years ago I heard Keith Daniels speak about Daniel and the sermon was entitled, "Uncompromisingly Righteous." That term has always stuck with me and is the prayer for my life.  <3 Jesus, who shed EVERY last drop of blood for me deserves no less than us to choose righteousness that WILL NOT COMPROMISE and looks to God for "our way of escape."


"Those who once feasted on delicacies perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple embrace ash heaps." ~Lamentations 4   We have FEASTED on the "delicacies" of God's Word for our WHOLE lives (those of us who have grown up in Bible believing/Christian families)...we were brought up as CHILDREN OF GOD (aka: brought up in *purple*)...and yet, we perish in the streets...we embrace ash heaps!  The number of "Christian kids" who do not return to church after high school is STAGGERING!  Why have we lost our first love?  How have we let little compromises snowball downhill so quickly that a number of our generation leaves the church and leaves HIS WORD?  We perish in the streets of entertainment and sin...of fleshly lusts and pride thinking that we don't need God.  Oh, dear friends!  May we ever be watchful and PRAYERFUL that we don't let go of our commitment to be "uncompromisingly righteous" to the LORD and Savior of our Souls! <3  Charles Stanley once said, "Wood is to a fire place what the Word of God is to a Christian.  The first sign that your flame is beginning to flicker and be blown out is when your fire runs out of wood...the same is true in the life of a Christian.  The moment a Christian starts neglecting the Word of God your light will begin to dim."  He went on to explain that the warmth of a fire attracts others to it....but the coldness of an ash heap drives others away.  I felt that analogy went along so perfectly with the verse above. "those who were brought up in purple embrace ash heaps."  In other words, Christians are embracing *compromise*.  Just like the Israelites needed fresh manna (word of God) as their physical food every day, WE NEED THE WORD OF GOD as our spiritual AIR WE MUST BREATHE **DAILY**!!  The second I start neglecting His Word each day is the moment my faith, my strength, my self-control and my encouragement to NOT compromise starts to wane and grow weak.  I NEED JESUS every moment of every second of every day because it is ONLY IN HIM and HIS WORD that I find strength, faith, self-control, protection thru the armor of His Word...because in and of myself I am nothing...but Jesus is everything!



"Her princes **WERE** purer than snow, whiter than milk... Now their face is blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets..." (Lamentations 4)  *sigh*....  PURITY has left so many "Christian Churches"...the world is here...:'(  "her princes WERE pure."  When did the world creep in, friends?  When did the world creep in, Monica?  Oh, Christians...we MUST be different than the world.  I keep hearing stories from people about why they don't like Christians....lying...stealing...taking advantage of people...sleeping around...???????  Yeah...this is NOT Christ-like...and Christian means "little Christ".  No wonder the world has lost respect for Christians!  "they are not recognized in the streets." (Lamentations 4) Oh dear friends...how sad it is that there is no longer an ability to recognize between Christians and the world. :(  "now their face is blacker than soot." (Lamentations 4) True JOY and LIGHT and HAPPINESS and DELIGHT and FULFILLMENT and MEANING TO LIFE and HEALING FROM PAIN can ONLY be found IN JESUS.  NO WHERE ELSE...turn to the world and it's "delights" and "fancies" and it will END in complete agony and leaving your heart so empty and hurting.  <3 

The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished; He will keep you in exile no longer, but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom,  He will punish; He will uncover your sin." I love the line "He will keep you in exile no longer."  WHEN WE CONFESS OUR SIN HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SIN AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS! ( 1 John 1:9)   Oh Precious One...Jesus WILL forgive YOU.  He WILL restore YOU. He will forgive me for all the mistakes I make on a daily basis!  The "exile" of giving ground to the enemy can TOTALLY be turned around...but there are consequences to choices...there are consequences to letting go of Jesus...and "He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." (Provers 28:13)  If we don't confess our sins..."He will uncover our sin." (Lamentations 4)...still with forgiveness...but possibly more consequences.  Believe me, I know from experience.   But oh the blessing and freedom and forgiveness and restoration and LIGHT HE BRINGS when sin is confessed and forsaken. <3  He WANTS to give you freedom, Precious One. <3  Don't let Satan keep you hostage...<3 

Sorry...I know this is getting long!!  YOU DO NOT NEED TO READ ALL OF THIS! ;)  But it's one of my ways of recording what God lays on my heart...so I wanted to share some more Scripture that God really convicted me with today.

"And at the end of seven days, the Word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, I HAVE MADE YOU A WATCHMAN for the house of Israel.  WHENEVER you  hear a word from my mouth, YOU SHALL GIVE THEM WARNING FROM ME.  If I say to the wicked, "You shall surely die." and YOU give him NO WARNING, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at YOUR hand. BUT IF YOU WARN the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, BUT YOU will have delivered your soul." ~Ezekiel 3:16-19   WOW!  Basically, if you or I had the cure for cancer...and our friend was dying...and we COULD tell them and save their life...but we didn't...it would in part be our fault. :-/  How is it different if we know someone who doesn't know Jesus?  "Friends don't let friends go to Hell. Friends tell friends about Jesus." ~Mark Cahill.  How many times have I not said things about God for fear of what someone might think of me or for lack of boldness?  Oh for more of HIS Words on my tongue, his boldness in my being and also, HIS discretion for when to speak and when not too.  It all reminded me of a life changing poem that I read in one of Mark Cahill's books:

My friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow
While on this earth I walked with you day by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story
My knowledge then was very dim
You could have led me safe to him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you friend and trusted you
But now I learned, now it’s too late
You could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And yet you showed me not the light
You let me live, love and die
And all the while you knew I’d never live on high
Yes, I called you friend in life
And trusted you in joy and strife
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren’t my friend
- See more at: http://www.crmooney.com/2008/03/05/my-friend-i-stand-in-judgment-now-and-feel-that-youre-to-blame-somehow/#sthash.PZo2FeId.dpuf
My friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow
While on this earth I walked with you day by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story
My knowledge then was very dim
You could have led me safe to him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you friend and trusted you
But now I learned, now it’s too late
You could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And yet you showed me not the light
You let me live, love and die
And all the while you knew I’d never live on high
Yes, I called you friend in life
And trusted you in joy and strife
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren’t my friend
- See more at: http://www.crmooney.com/2008/03/05/my-friend-i-stand-in-judgment-now-and-feel-that-youre-to-blame-somehow/#sthash.PZo2FeId.dpuf

My friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow
While on this earth I walked with you day by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story
My knowledge then was very dim
You could have led me safe to him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you friend and trusted you
But now I learned, now it’s too late
You could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And yet you showed me not the light
You let me live, love and die
And all the while you knew I’d never live on high
Yes, I called you friend in life
And trusted you in joy and strife
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren’t my friend

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38).   The Bible says that Jesus will wipe away our tears when we get to Heaven....sometimes I wonder if that will be tears for realizing how many more people we could've touched with HIS love and how much more we could've done for Him in this life.  Because honestly, life is short...and only what's done for eternity will last.  The verse above honestly scares me a little bit...I'd rather have people around me hate me for talking about God...than to have God be ashamed of me at His return.  Someday, EVERY KNEE WILL BOW and EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS....if people don't believe you now...they will someday. <3  Oh, how I pray for the people I know that don't know Him yet...that they might have the JOY of salvation in Jesus SOON...before the day of His arrival. <3  Their tears may not be able to be wiped away by Him if they don't accept Him soon. <3  Looking forward SO much to the day of his appearing...I was watching for Him in the clouds today...but may knowing that He is COMING SOON drive us to want to save those dying from "cancer" (sin)...drive us to live with a fervor and energy to save those we can.  YES!  Look forward to His appearing!  But don't just watch...let's do what we can while we can. <3  "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:14-17)

Oh Jesus,

Bless this world with MORE laborers who will be faithful in sowing seeds. <3  The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. <3  Jesus, make me YOUR laborer, make me YOUR fisher of men.  So many times I think that I need to KNOW perfectly EVERYTHING before I can witness...but you want to take that pressure off of me.  You say, "FOLLOW ME and I will make you a fisher of men."  FOLLOW YOU!  That's all I need to do...FOLLOW YOU and then YOU will make me a fisher of men...not me...but YOU will do it. <3  And I trust You.  Just may I be a willing vessel for however and wherever You wish to use me. 

Love,
Monica


"Brothers, my heart's desire and PRAYER TO GOD for them is that they may be SAVED." ~ Romans 10:1

2 comments:

  1. Wow, this really convicted me Monica! Thanks for writing all this! Keep being a "bold" witness for Jesus Monica! And I can't wait to go hand out tracts with you soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lauren! I can't wait to pass out tracts with you either! It's gonna be good. God bless us with more boldness for HIM! :) <3

      Delete

Well "hey" there!!

Always good to hear from you. :)

God bless you with a *beautiful* day.

~Monica