Friday, January 22, 2016

God Works Within Us

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

   Let the words from today's reading slowly sink into your understanding: "able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think" (v.20). What an amazing description of the Lord's ability to work within us. Yet so often our focus is mainly on what we want Him to do around us: If He would change this situation or fix that problem then my life would be better. But He invites us to think and ask bigger - He wants to change us!
   The Holy Spirit has more than enough power to transform lives from the inside out, but working change within is usually a slow process. Spiritual fruit takes time to grow and mature. That's why we need patience and faith to believe He is working even when we don't see the results right away. God is never in a hurry and will never give up on us.
   The Lord has a purpose for your life, and He is constantly working to achieve it. Although He has an individualized plan for each one of His children, He also has an overarching goal - to conform every believer to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish this, He may have to bring us through some struggles and heartaches. It might not make sense to us, but God knows exactly what He's doing.
   What would you like to see the Lord do within you? As you read the Scriptures, look for qualities that God considers precious, and ask Him to work them out in your life. Then rely on His wonderful promise to do even more than you have asked or imagined.

Stanley, Charles F. "God Works Within Us." In Touch: Daily Readings for Devoted Living. October 2015.Atlanta: In Touch Ministries Inc. 2015. page 36.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Jesus said, "I am with you."

14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—, 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand."  John 10:14, 27-28

I AM WITH YOU, I am with you, I am with you. Heaven's bells continually peal with that promise of My Presence. Some people never hear those bells because their minds are earthbound and their hearts are closed to Me. Others hear the bells only once or twice in their lifetimes, in rare moments of seeking Me above all else. My desire is that My "sheep" hear My voice continually, for I am the ever-present Shepherd.
   Quietness is the classroom where you learn to hear My voice. Beginners need a quiet place in order to still their minds. As you advance in this discipline, you gradually learn to carry the stillness with you wherever you go. When you step back into the mainstream of life, strain to hear those glorious bells: I am with you. I am with You. I am with you.
Jeremiah 29:12-13; John 10:14, 27-28

Young, Sarah. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 2004. page 317.