SWC Life

Want a gift to give that has already been paid for?

The ultimate gift is the gift of eternal life offered to us through the life and obedience of Jesus Christ. Then there are other gifts that we are offered to enjoy and then give away.   I am especially thankful to have something of such value to be able to offer to those I love and care about.    However, the  great  thing about these gifts they won’t wear out, you don’t have to dust them, and they will go with anything and  will fit everyone.  The only thing it will cost to receive is the willingness to accept it, treasure it and share it.  It is especially needed for everyone at this time of year.

Photo of a young girl opening a present

Grace, Peace and Mercy

Twenty two times in the New Testament we are reminded that our God and Father of Jesus Christ our Lord offer us  His Grace, His Mercy, and His Peace.   I love a description of Grace that I heard recently.

“ The way Father God feels about you as if sin never happened.”  The reality is Jesus really did pay the ultimate price, so the sin issue really is resolved in the Cross of Jesus.

The introduction of real Peace came when the Angelic Host declared “Peace on Earth good will to men”

Announcing the arrival of the “Prince of Peace”  Mercy   His love for us when we were still in our sinful nature, and made a way to redeem us through the blood of His beloved Son.

Grace, Mercy and Peace, all so profound and yet available for us in Jesus to enjoy and impart to those we love.  A Gift of Love, Jesus, wrapped in Fathers’ Grace, Mercy and Peace.  A wonderous free Gift that costs everything.

RS

Looking at Him…

Psalm 63:1-3 (ESV)

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.

Arizona is my birthplace, but the best years of my childhood were spent in the Pacific Northwest, specifically, in the state of Oregon. It is overwhelmingly beautiful with its craggy coastline, mountains, forests and flowers that grow in riotous color. The dark rich soil and the constant drizzle of rain seemed to make everything grow without effort. Years later when I returned to Arizona, I found the local plant life difficult to accept, scrubby trees in varying shades of brown, and bushes replete with thorns. As unlikely as it might seem, I have since come to regard their unexpected beauty. The plants of the Southwest must be tenacious of life, and given enough water, they may thrive in otherwise barren places. The Agaves, Saguaros and “Seuss-like” Joshua Trees are becoming familiar and beautiful to me because they are strong. Their ability to survive is reassuring and reminds me that our Heavenly Father is the Giver and Sustainer of life, for plants and people. His love is greater than hardened soil, a hardened heart, or the difficult circumstances that we may face. King David gave us the model for such times: As we gaze upon the beauty of the Lord in the midst of our dry times, we can be restored. His presence brings fresh life even, or especially, in the wilderness.

JH

Lord Jesus,

I pray for all of us who have committed to pray for our SWC family.  Father, I ask that You reveal Yourself to us as we take time to talk to You about each request–only You know and understand the true need in each situation.  Help us to listen to You and minister Your love and encouragement.  Open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit that we may be able to be a spiritual connection to Your throne of grace in their behalf.  May we believe that You truly hear and care and will move in Your wisdom and power to meet each need and concern. May the reality of Your presence be manifest in each prayer, help each person involved to know you more intimately, as they spend time in Your presence, reaching out to those who need Your touch.

Lord, for those asking for prayer, encourage them to be expecting an answer while continuing to trust Your grace and mercy as well as Your correction and justice.

Father, I ask that You would encourage us all to be more involved in prayer for each other, whether there be a request, or that You just bring someone in the fellowship to our hearts.

Lord Jesus, Your prayer was and still is that we be made one with You as You are with Your Father, and that we will be made one with each other.

Prayer is a powerful force to bring that prayer to reality. Thank You that You continue to intercede for us. Amen

Be encouraged for He loves you.

In the depth of our need we find the depth of his love.

Annie J. Flint was born on Christmas Eve in 1866. Her mother died three years later. She was raised by foster parents who died when she was young. She obtained work as a teacher but developed arthritis that became so severe it rendered her an invalid.

Unable to work, Annie supported herself as a poet. She suffered for more than forty years; her fingers were so bent and her joints so swollen that she could write only with great pain.

This week, a very dear friend sent me one of Annie’s poems. Her words greatly encouraged my friend at a very dark time. When I read them, I knew I was to share them with you:

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied grace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

RS

In His time

Recently I read that to God all time is NOW.  Well, we know that He is omnipresent, omniscient, knows all things …..  but …..  I have wondered why sometimes we see prayers answered and then there are the other ones.  Do we have to ask more than once?  Do we have to get a lot of people to pray to make sure God hears us?  Do we have to convince Him?   I know that sounds rather rude but let’s face it we do wonder sometimes.

In Daniel 10 we see a time that enemy forces hindered the answer from getting through to Daniel.   God saw Daniel’s heart was set to understand and he had humbled himself, so God sent Angelic forces to battle thru to bring the answer.

Jesus has defeated the enemy so the prince of the power of the air no longer has the power and authority that he did before Jesus’ precious blood was shed.

As we pray and develop  our fellowship with the Lord in prayer we learn to dialogue with the Lord and we grow in understanding and humility.  We come to some understanding of the “time” involved in discovering “answers”.  It can be  training in our journey  into maturing and developing our authority in the spirit.  Do we really want to understand or just want God to “fix it”?

It seems that Father God’s perspective includes His love, provision and protection of ALL his children.  Our lives and journeys are often intertwined.  Our request could have an effect in others’ situation.

Interference to receiving the answer to our prayers can come from more than the enemy.  Disobedience, unbelief, sin all can hinder prayer.

The Lord showed me one time that for Him to do what I was asking was like pulling out the black stick from the bottom of a pile of colored “pick up sticks”, it would send them flying.  Answering my request NOW   could upset a whole bunch of other situations and lives.  He sees all the involvement of all of His children.   His grace and mercy plus His wisdom and justice are all part of His great love for His family.

As we grow in our fellowship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we begin to understand about the authority that Jesus has given us through the cross and His shed blood.  He finished His work and has given us authority over all that He overcame with His obedience and love.  We can place our confidence and trust in the sovereignty of our God , the victory of His Son Jesus  as well as  the miracle working power of the Holy Spirit.   Prayer is a privilege and opportunity to participate with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in His purpose and plan for the Kingdom.  All in His time.

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