Sharing from a Silver Platter

photo (8)Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the things the Lord has graciously done in my life that have been detrimental to my faith. I was born to Christian parents who did their best to raise me in the fear of the Lord. Since infancy I’ve been surrounded by the Body of Christ; people who love me and value the deepening of my faith as much as I do. And at a very young age, I began developing a thirst for Christ that sent me searching for a God who continues to let me find Him (Deut. 4:49, ESV).

All of these, I realize, are gifts from a divine Father. We do not have to look far into the world to see that not everyone is born into a Christian family. Not everyone is surrounded by the Body of Christ—by people who are able, or willing, to invest in them spiritually. Not everyone has the Holy Spirit, giving them an instinctive desire to know Jesus and obey, thus making elementary truths easy to understand.

In the slain and risen Lamb, we have been given EVERYTHING we will ever need for living a life pleasing to God, and ultimately, eternal life. What I’m saying is that there are many of us, like myself, who have “seemingly” been handed the things of the Kingdom on a silver platter. There are certainly people who come from ungodly lifestyles, non-Christian families and no church family who come to know Christ! This is the beautiful work of the Spirit.

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But when I read Peter’s reminder to be diligent (2 Peter 1:15, 1:10) with our faith and the gift of being called—I have an urgency not to squander what I’ve been given in Jesus, because it’s seemed so easy for me. Our world is full of people who don’t have the silver platter; we need to be a Church that is filling the world with people who are “neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:8b, NASB).

Sisters, let’s not squander or waste the riches made available to us in Jesus by being complacent and fruitless. Let’s grow in the knowledge of God, diligently working out our salvation (making our salvation evident) so that He “who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13, ESV) will make us fruitful by His Spirit in us. We have been given the silver platter of riches in Christ and it is a well that will never run dry. The world desperately needs us to share it.

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God’s Refining Fire

205a9fb5dd68ad97605c385db873ff87Proverbs

O Lord, we pray “Thy will be done” or “Master, here am I.”
We pray You’d do a mighty work that to the flesh we’d die.
And when the answer comes to us in form of trial and test,
We fail to see Your loving hand, refining fire is best.

That I may stand when You appear, abide till Your return.
O place the fire perfectly that all the dross be burned.
Whether furnace of affliction, Lord, or unfulfilled desire,.
Bring forth a vessel pure and tried by Your refining fire.

Chorus
God’s refining fire, God’s refining fire.
May it purge me now and make of me what You require.
O Lord, feed the fire, Your refining fire.
Now as gold and silver must be tried, Lord, may my heart be purified.
Lord, send Your great refining fire.
~ Mac Lynch ~

205a9fb5dd68ad97605c385db873ff87Peter

Trials meet needs. . . 

Trials can discipline us when we have disobeyed God’s will
and at other times , trials prepare us for spiritual growth.
We may not always know the need being met, but we can trust God to know what is best.

Trials are varied. . .

No matter what “color” our day may be - a “blue” Monday or a “gray” Tuesday -
God has grace sufficient to meet the need.
We must not think that because we have overcome one kind of trial
that we will automatically “win them all.”
Trials are varied, and God matches the trial to our strengths and needs.

Trials are not easy. . .

Peter did not suggest that we take a careless attitude toward trials,
because this would be deceitful.
Trials produce what he called “heaviness.”
The word means “to experience grief or pain.”
There will be difficult trials in life, something we must accept as a believer.

Trials are controlled by God. . .

They do not last forever; they are “for a season.”
When God permits His children to go through the furnace,
He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.
When we submit to Him, He does not allow us to suffer one minute too long.

Our trying experiences today are preparing us for glory tomorrow.

Just as the assayer tests the gold to see if it is pure gold or counterfeit,
so the trials of life test our faith to prove its sincerity.

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The patriarch Job went through many painful trials, all of them with God’s approval;
and yet he understood somewhat of this truth about the refiner’s fire.
~ Wiersbe Commentary ~

But he knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
Job 23:10

We are born for glory, kept for glory, and being prepared for glory.

May we come forth as gold, dear friends!

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Precious Promises

His divine power has granted to us…His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

Life can be…disappointing. During those times of trial, looking to Jesus and His promises to us is one of the most comforting things we can do. I thought I’d just name a few of the precious promises of our Lord with the references. I pray it’s an encouragement to y’all!

Christ is with us always. (Matthew 28:20)
 
He will reveal to us His Truth. (John 8:31-32)
 
He hears our prayers of faith. (John 14:12-14) (John 15:7)
 
His truth will bring us joy. (John 15:11)
 
He fulfills our longings. (Matthew 5:6, John 6:35)
 
The Truth will set us free. (John 8:32)
 
Our death to self & service to Him will be honored. (John 12:25-26)
 
You will abide in His love. (John 15:10)
 
He comforts those who mourn. (Matthew 5:4)
 
The Kingdom of God is revealed to those who seek Him. (Matthew 6:33)
 
He will give the weary rest. (Matthew 11:28-30)
 
He shows us mercy. (Matthew 5:8)
 
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There are many more promises of God found in the Bible. Here is a great list of some of the promises of Jesus. It would be good to print off a list of some of the promises of our Savior and review them in times of sorrow. Many times, we’re simply having a old-fashioned “pity-party” and simply need to cling to the Truth of Jesus Christ instead of looking at our problems!

What are some promises of Jesus that have gotten you through some difficult times? What are some of your favorite verses that bring hope and healing to your heart?

Dear sisters, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

 

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Hallelujah, He is Risen!

He is risen! He is risen indeed.

A blessed Resurrection day to you & yours!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. When Jesus gave up His last breath on Calvary, the veil of separation was torn in two & we are now gifted with the priceless gift of unadulterated communion with the Lord. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to give His disciples & followers power to carry out the great commission. I’m here to share with you, sisters, that that same Pentecostal power they were given in tongues of fire is ours.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2nd Peter 1:1-15

What does this look like in the day to day? Certainly appears to be a tall order. *smile* It’s so much more than an inspirational encouragement but the calling on all of our lives, in every season. In every moment. Through every trial, triumph, joy & even times of despair. We are new creations. We weren’t once new creations, nor are we trying to attain a brand new identity. We have been cleansed from our sins forever & the Lord casts them as far as the east is from the west. It’s a perpetual, & ongoing renewing, adding all these things to the next in the Scripture above.

These verses are God-inspired, & are a call to rise as He is risen this day. We are vessels made to declare His rule & reign over history, the present & our individual stories. On this blessed Easter morning, I encourage you to breathe deep & let it out. Bask in the Lord’s resurrection power & then, after you pray for these fruits to be cultivated in your day to day, you prepare. Prepare your heart to be tested with gifts disguised as trying people, situations or trials. When I pray for patience, the Lord sends me another short-tempered person or difficult personality or another waiting game to test that prayer.

The Lord does not call the already-equipped; He doesn’t bestow upon us the gifts of His grace & the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts like pixie dust. The Lord equips the called; day by day even in the mundane, we-His daughters & part of His beloved Bride-are refined as gold.

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Little Ways

This month, our topical theme here at Meditations of His Love is Experience Produces Character. Melinda asked that we share some of the different experiences that we have had through the years as we have walked with Christ.

This past year, my grandmother was diagnosed with and died from cancer. I wrote the following blog post shortly after she passed away, sharing about one of the unique and special ways the Lord encouraged my family and I through His word, as we walked through what was *undoubtedly* one of the hardest times in our lives. Perhaps you, dear friend, are walking through a struggle of your own. I pray that this testimony of the Lord providing encouragement to me during that time will be a blessing and encouragement to you. May we always trust in the Lord and seek to stay faithful to Him, even when it is hard. <3

~Miss C

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From June 10th, 2013:

 

It has been interesting to look back at many of the ways the LORD has sent encouragement to us over the past several weeks.

When I look back over the past few months, I can see where the LORD really spoke to my heart through very specific Bible verses. During the weeks following after we learned about my grandmother’s cancer, and then continuing on as we cared for her until her homecoming, the LORD revealed scriptural truths  to me as I sought comfort in His word. As they were laid on my heart, I felt led to write down those verses and hang them beside the sink, so that I could work on memorizing them while doing dishes or cooking during the day.

“The day we found out she had cancer, February 14th, the verse that came to mind after much prayer was James 1:2-4 :

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

While it was hard to see at the time of my grandmother’s cancer diagnosis, and admittedly, is still very hard to see at times now, we are to completely and totally rely on God and trust in Him. Even when situations seem to be at their absolute worst, we are to TRUST Him. Really, really trust Him- with our whole heart. God never sends us trials or situations greater than what His grace will allow us to bear. Never will He leave us or desert us in our time of need. We are to REJOICE when He sends trials to us. We should always seek to rejoice in the sanctification that comes from bearing burdens here on earth and know that working through those difficult situations in a godly manner is ultimately a manner or refining for us. A way of making us more like our beloved Saviour. It is so hard to rejoice in the midst of troubles….of worries…. of burdens that feel too large to bear, but through God’s grace, I pray that we all weary not of doing right and seeking to consider even the largest of burdens a JOY.

The second verse that God placed on my heart was Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

I believe God was continuing to reveal to me that this season of my grandmother struggling with cancer wouldn’t last forever. Like many other things in life, this was a season and it too would pass. There were days when it was all I could do not to weep as the enormity of situation began to sink in. There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep thinking over all of the what-ifs and possible scenarios…

And that is when God laid Psalm 27:13-14 on my heart:

“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”

At this time, as we were approaching the second chemo treatment, we were watching my grandmother begin to slip away as the cancer began to take its toll. I can’t even begin to explain what it is like to watch someone suffer the way she was beginning to suffer. The pain that began to show itself on her face… watching the difficulty she was beginning to have just walking around our home. I found myself constantly praying the second part of that verse: “Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.. Lord, please help me to wait for you- please help me to be strong and take heart and wait for you.

The next verse that was laid on my heart was 1st Thessalonians 5:18:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The day I felt led to write out this verse and add it to the others beside the sink was the day before my grandmother passed away.

God’s timing in things is always perfect. Oftentimes, we can’t see why He directs things a certain way or puts specific situations in our paths, but we can rest in the fact that HE does know and that His ways are always perfect! What an amazing peace it is to know God directs all and that He has already numbered our every step here on this earth! I believe His timing in revealing that verse to me was perfect. I certainly didn’t know that God would take my grandmother home the next day, but God was telling me to rejoice in my circumstances whatever they might be. While my family and I are still suffering the loss of my precious grandmother, we can rejoice in the fact that she is no longer suffering- no longer in pain. She is in the joyous presence of our heavenly Father, and what a blessed thought that is!

Which leads me to the last verse I wrote out and hung beside the sink- Jeremiah 17:14:

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

God revealed this verse to me through a Bible study I was doing a few weeks ago. I felt very strongly God was showing me that verse specifically as a balm for our wounds. An encouragement that healing would indeed come. We serve such a faithful and merciful God- it is so true that His mercies are anew each morning! As we continue through both of these seasons of mourning and healing, I know that through His mercies, our hearts will be restored. I am so thankful He continues to whisper His truths to us each day, in the most amazing of ways. What a mighty God we serve!”

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It Is Well With My Soul

This heart-stirring hymn has been my ultimate favorite song throughout the years.
The story behind these words is incredibly saddening,
but also very empowering to read of the strength of the Spafford family.

This hymn was written after many traumatic events in Spafford’s life.
The first was the death of his son at the age of four by scarlet fever.
Shortly after that the Great Chicago Fire took place and ruined him financially-
he had been a very successful lawyer.

Then in 1873 Horatio Spafford planned on traveling to Europe
with his family aboard the SS’Ville du Havre’,
but sent his family ahead since he was delayed by business.

While crossing the Atlantic, the ship that his family was on sank rapidly
after a collision with a sea vessel called the ‘Loch Earn’.
All four of Spafford’s daughters perished while his wife, Anna,
was saved by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious  body and propped her up.
She sent Horatio the now famous telegram, “Saved alone. . .”

Shortly afterwards, Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to meet his grieving wife.
During his voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge.
A careful reckoning has been made,” he said,
“and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked.
The water is three miles deep.”
Horatio Spafford then returned to his cabin and was inspired to write the lyrics of his great hymn.

It would be extremely difficult to predict how we would react under circumstances
similar to those experienced by Horatio and his wife,
but we do know that the God who sustained them would be with us
and keep us in the palm of His hand.
The trials Horatio and Anna endured only made them stronger in their faith
and their character steady.

No matter what difficulties overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford. . .

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IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll -
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Tho Satan should buffet. tho trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin - O the bliss of this glorious tho’t -
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll:
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
“Even so” - it is well with my soul.

Chorus
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul),
IT IS WELL, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.

Horatio G. Spafford
1828 - 1888

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A special thanks for the kind birthday wishes - you ladies blessed my heart
and made my birthday even more special :)

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Embrace Growth (even when it hurts)

Imagine if I woke up one morning and decided to learn to repair cars. I went to the library and borrowed a bunch of books on car repair. I studied those books until I knew them by heart. I visited mechanic shops and asked questions while observing different aspects of car repair. Finally, one day, after I had read as much as I could read and watched as much as I could watch, I decided that I was an expert at car repair.

What’s missing from that example? Well…despite all my knowledge of what to do and how to do it, I had no experience in actual car repair. Everything I knew was head knowledge. Part of learning  and growing is experience. Experience requires effort, effort included trial and error, and in the end, knowledge becomes a lifestyle of belief.

It’s somewhat the same in our walk with Christ. We can read about what Christ said, study the Word of God, listen to as much teaching as possible, and observe other Christians…but until we get our hands dirty and experience the “school of hard knocks” known as Christianity, we won’t build on the knowledge we have in our heads.

Growing up in a Christian home, I learned a lot about God and the Bible. I learned to study His Word daily. It became a habit to read, study, memorize, and meditate on the things of the Lord.

However, when I became an adult, I found that many of the truths I studied in my childhood became real to me when I experienced what I would call “the school of hard knocks”. Life gets hard when adulthood with all its responsibilities hits. Relationships with other Christians and non-Christians that we develop will provide opportunities for us to grow in character and experience.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)

As an adult, I’m bombarded with expectations, life experiences, choices, relationships, and trials. It’s up to me to apply the truth of God’s Word to my life so I can learn and grow with each experience and relationship, good or bad, difficult or delightful. Each experience that God brings my way He uses for my good (Romans 8:28), and I can either balk at His leadership and allow mediocrity and apathy to grow in my heart, or I can rest in His will and allow His character and Likeness to radiate from my life.

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1-3 ESV)
 
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I’m praying the Lord will instill a willing and ready heart for the experiences He has coming for me. I want to be willing to “trust the manual,” “grab the tools,” and “start working on the cars” in life. The Word of God is true and I believe it, so may I show that belief by acting on it, and by acting on it, may the experience grow me closer to my Jesus.

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Wanted: Guest Posts!

Do you have a desire to share some a devotional, an encouraging word, a message of hope, or a song of praise to your sisters in Christ? We’d love to hear from you!

We need your guest posts!

If you’d like to send us a post, please prayerfully consider these questions before sending us your article:

1. Is your post glorifying to the Lord and Scriptural?
2. Is your post full of grace and an encouragement to other women?
3. Is the message of your post relevant to the theme at Meditations of His Love?
4. Is your post proofread and free from grammatical and spelling mistakes?
5. Is your post free from controversial doctrine and theology subjects?
6. Is your post free from political or government debate?
 

If your post meets these qualifications, and is 200-600 words long, then email it to us using the contact form on the Contact Us page or emailing it to us at meditationsofhislove @ gmail . com (please remove the spaces in the email before sending it).

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Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)
 
 
 
 
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Happy Birthday, Stephanie!

Birthdays are a delight and today we at Meditations of His Love have the wonderful opportunity of wishing one of our authors a very happy birthday!

Stephanie

Stephanie’s birthday is today! I’ve been blessed by Stephanie’s kind, caring spirit and her love for the Lord. Her wisdom in the things of the Lord are reflected in her writing and it’s been so good to have her on the team.

Happy Birthday, dear Stephanie, from us at Meditations of His Love!

We pray you have a delightful and blessed day.
 
 
 
 
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Guest Post: You are LOVED!

by: Savoury

“Come on Skinny Love what happened here?”

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It’s what I whisper to myself when the party’s over, when my smiles feel tired. And I know lots of the girls will feel the same when they close their doors late that night. It’s hardly a new theme…

You see… I want to make people happy. I want people to like me…and when they don’t… it’s hard. Partly because: I don’t compete with others, I don’t like putting others down, I like being nice… so when others reject you as if you were something evil …it’s hard.

There was a guy in my life. I tried to make him happy too. He walked away. So have many people I’ve known. Some leave nicely, others make sure I have something to remember them by. And I spend the night wondering if I “did it right” when they were all here. I replay in my head what I could have said different…agonizing everything.

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I’ve tried to figure out why I’m this way…why girls are this way.

Why we’re always trying to be good at “things”…trying to be popular, trying to please or satisfy. If They are unhappy…if They leave us… who are we to care?

But I do care… a lot…

Is this wrong?

Is this natural?

I have come to believe the answer is: yes. Because I was created to please. Women were created to please. This is a God-desire placed within us. However, just because it came from God doesn’t mean it can’t be warped. And it is

“Acceptance. It is the true thing everyone longs for. It is the one thing everyone craves”

Everywhere the pressures of this life drive us to one madness or another. To please. Always to please.  And so we put on make-up, we work out, we try for good grades, we socialize, we create ourselves to bring smiles to others.  Perform, deliver, entertain.

And we keep trying to gratify people who apparently can’t stand us anyway. Making people happy is a full time job. But we rarely get paid. What in the world are we doing?

I want to feel confident. I want to feel loved. How can I get to this place: an unshakable strength that is still intact when people dislike you?

Then it struck me:  I’m looking for love and affirmation in all the wrong places.  I place a lot of self worth on whether people like me. And that’s when love gets thin.

If I know God is smiling on what I’m doing and where my heart is, why should I care what others think? It’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time…I need to be getting my security from the assurance that God loves and approves of me…and that I KNOW He does.

So girls. Stand tall. This world wants to suck us in and drag us out. Stay strong in the path you know is right. We of all others, have the power to harness steady strength in who we are.

“We want unconditional love, because we were made for unconditional love.”

If you don’t feel  it…look up in the Bible who God says we are. He calls us His “beloved”, His “Chosen”…We are His “redeemed”. Those are some pretty reassuring names.

So, it doesn’t matter what other people call you.

You are LOVED.

And the more loved you feel, the more prepared you are to love others…despite what they do and in some cases because of what they do.

You are loved, now go Love your people.

You don’t have to feel Skinny anymore.

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Savoury is a young adult who has a passion for writing, travel, friendship, and sincerity. She lives with her family in beautiful Central Oregon. You can find her writing her heart out on Savory Thoughts.

 

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