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POcIO

 

I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places,that you may know that it is I, the Lord,the God of Israel, who call you by your name.  Isaiah 45:3

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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of intense darkness and the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined. Isaiah 9:2 AMP

this is a verse that appears in a passage so readily quoted at christmas time: isaiah 9:6-7

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

but today the power and reality and promise of v 2 struck my heart.

to those walking in the darkness, in the darkness and oppression of life, in the sorrow and pain of grief, in the loneliness and despair of living in this generation… with poverty and depression, with economic recession and earthquakes and disaster… with divorce and death, sickness and fear… to those walking in the darkness, living in the land of intense darkness and struggle… a light has dawned.

a light has dawned.

a child given.

hope born.

life.

salvation has come.

to those far away and in rebellion, to those who have no hope and dont know the way or the answer

a light has dawned.

 

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:4-9

 

to those walking in darkness

a light has dawned

hope arises

life and love are here

born in manger

executed on the cross

light IS shinning upon you.

God’s grace is rich towards you.

mercy is here.

light has dawned.

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The third person, and my favourite call is Isaiah:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:    “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;    the whole earth is full of his glory.”   At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.   “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”  Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”   Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah sees God. Isaiah responds to God. Here am I, SEND ME.

No questions. No self doubt. No self examination – apart from recognizing that he is sinful and broken and human – and recognizing that God is great and glorious and powerful. His humanity doesn’t hold him back from responding to God with HERE I AM SEND ME. He doesn’t question his gifts or his skills or his natural attributes. He doesn’t compare himself to anyone else. Isaiah had confidence in God. He had a clear and correct view of God, believing that God is actually who He says He is.  and that He can do what He says He can do.  His encounter with God and connection to Him gave Isaiah perspective and faith.

 

I want to be more like Isaiah. Unreserved in my response to God.

 

Don’t be put off by the challenges of ministry or your perception of limitation.  God uses the broken and the flawed to shine His glory, power and love through us to the world.  We are witnesses of what God can do – forgive, restore, love, use.  Our life is a demonstration of His nature.

 

 

God doesn’t called the equipped… He equips the called.

 

 

see I AM CHALLENGED #3 HERE

see I AM CHALLENGED #2 HERE

see I AM CHALLENGED #1 HERE

Read the rest of this entry »

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Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the lord will prosper in his hand.

After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53

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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of intense darkness and the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined. Isaiah 9:2 AMP

 

 

this is a verse that appears in a passage so readily quoted at christmas time: isaiah 9:6-7

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

 

 

but today the power and reality and promise of v 2 struck my heart.

to those walking in the darkness, in the darkness and oppression of life, in the sorrow and pain of grief, in the loneliness and despair of living in this generation… with poverty and depression, with economic recession and earthquakes and disaster… with divorce and death, sickness and fear… to those walking in the darkness, living in the land of intense darkness and struggle… a light has dawned.

a light has dawned.

a child given.

hope born.

life.

salvation has come.

 

to those far away and in rebellion, to those who have no hope and dont know the way or the answer

a light has dawned.

 

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:4-9

 

to those walking in darkness

a light has dawned

hope arises

life and love are here

 

born in manger

executed on the cross

 

light IS shinning upon you.

God’s grace is rich towards you.

mercy is here.

light has dawned.

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The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendour of our God.Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.  Isaiah 35

 

God can do the impossible.  Even if you feel like you are in the deepest darkest driest desert – God can cause change and transformation and breakthrough.  He can make the desert bloom.  He can cause streams of living waters to flow where it is not naturally possible for water to be.   no circumstance is an obstacle to Him.  He overcomes all things.  No sickness is greater.  no depression is greater.  no poverty is greater.  no oppression is greater.  Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and He overcomes all things.  He causes life to spring up where there is no hope of life naturally forming.   Water will gush from the wilderness.  God can bring complete change where it seems impossible.   This is a passage that has brought great hope and life to my own life and is one i frequently pass on to those experiencing difficult circumstances or seasons spiritually or emotionally.    Yesterday was one of those such days and along with the following verses i believe for my friend that Jesus is her Saviour and her Deliverer and the One that brings hope and change.   Today hold onto hope.  Hold onto the reality of who Jesus is.  hold onto the promises of God.  what you face may be more difficult than words can express but God is your refuge and strength.  He is the Overcomer. 

 

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.  Psalm 107:19-20

 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30

 

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.  Psalm 103:1-6

 

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.  Philippians 4:5-8

forgiven

1.       I am fully forgiven and free from all shame and condemnation (Romans 8:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-8, 1 John 1:9).

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  Romans 8:1-2

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

 

a few months ago at housegroup i read out a list of FACTOIDS that i had found in a book (which i can no longer remember which book!) which really got into our hearts.  our pastor then pinched them and read them out at church and since then i’ve had numerous (aka LOTS and LOTS) of people ask for them. which means they’re really good!

 

so i’m starting a series, breaking down the FACTOIDS and looking at them more, what they mean to me and how they’re real in our life.

 

FACTOID 1.       I am fully forgiven and free from all shame and condemnation

i so love that.  i am free from shame.  forgiven.  set free.  released.  cleansed.  made whole and innocent and not guilty and new.

 

  • You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:21-22

  • How far has the LORD taken our sins from us?  Farther than the distance from east to west! Psalm 103:12

  • Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

Jesus totally sets me free from sin and the guilt that goes with it.

He removes my sin from me.  a saying i’ve heard often says He throws it into the sea and posts a sign saying no fishing.

 

  • Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! Micah 7:19

i am free.  free from guilt and shame and condemnation.

my sin is GONE.  removed.  taken away.  not mine anymore.  its been exchanged on the cross and i now have the righteousness of Christ.

i can live clean and whole and pure. 

though the consequences of my sin may be outworked, because of the way life is, our sin has impact, that sin does not belong to me if i confess it and receive forgiveness.   it is no longer on my record.  isnt that GOOD NEWS.

so we no longer need to live burdened by our sin. 

we need to live holy and responding lives to God (because of His great love poured out on the cross to us when we were enemies of God and not even aware of our need or thinking about Him)

we can with total confidence draw near to God because of this righteousness and freedom from sin.  we are his beloved children.  holy and acceptable.

Arise__Shine_

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  Isaiah 60:1-3

 

the other night this verse jumped out at me. 

we live in a time of darkness.

darkness covers the whole earth.

people are deceived and lost.

in the dark.

but the Lord rises upon us – when He comes upon us – as we draw near to Him – as His glory appears over us, His children, His people, His church, then people will see the light and come, attracted and drawn to Jesus.

its time for us to seek God, to pursue Him, to know Him, to humble ourselves and find Him, to pray and call out for revival.

so that the people lost in the dark will find the light…

its time for us to arise and shine for Jesus is The Light of the World and He calls us to be lights to the world.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

You.  Me.  Us. 

We are called to be the light of the world and glow in the dark that people will see the light and come to the light and find hope and salvation in Jesus.

arms wide open 2

i’ve been reading the last part of Job and in Isaiah for my regular readings.

to me these two passages show clearly that God is BIG.  BIGGER than we can wrap words or thoughts around.

but the greatness of that is that God is great and God is good and that nothing is impossible for Him and that we can be confident and secure in His love and His power.

i read in Psalm 97:

The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.  His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.  The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory. Psalm 97:1-6

the mountains – as vast and unmovable as we see them to be – melt like nothing before God.

He’s BIG.

The Lord reigns.

Nothing is impossible for Him.

He is our Father.

In Him we find hope, strength, rest, transformation, love.

Grace.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,  or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?  Isaiah 40:12

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.  Isaiah 40:15

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.  Isaiah 40:25-26

What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?  Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm…  Job 38:24-25

 

the thing i love about God is that He is so majestic and powerful, the Holy Almighty God, yet He cares so much for us.  so much so that He sent Jesus to die upon the cross to make the way for us to come and dwell with Him forever.

my life is in His hands.  good hands to be in!  i can trust Him because He is BIG and also GOOD.  He loves me.  I am His child.  i am beloved.

i kneel my will and my thoughts and my doubts and my ways at His feet.

what HE says is truth.  what HE says is real.  Reality is founded and grounded in Him.

He makes a way where there is no way.

“Don’t tell God how big your problem is. Tell your problem how big God is.”

He is our comfort and our rock. 

He’s BIG. 

He’s outside our comprehension level… yet at the same time He reveals Himself to us…

He is BIG but not impersonal and uncaring.

He split the Red Sea, parted the Jordan river several times, raised the dead, cleansed lepers, stopped the sun in its tracks, made the lame to walk and the blind to see… He raised up kings and threw down kingdoms… He worked great and mighty deeds then and continues to do them in our day.  He is the same today and will be tomorrow as He was yesterday. 

He is completely trustworthy and gloriously wonderful.  Great is our God.  Great great great.  Great and so good to us.

 

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:28-29

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;  he gently leads those that have young.  Isaiah 40:11

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