Thursday, August 23, 2012

God's Timing: Perfect!!

Chapter 1
Joan Santomenna posted this insightlul entry on her blog, "Journaling with Jesus"
Chapter 2 is my comment on her entry.
Chapter 3 is how the Lord used it in my life!

Beggars and Blessings

     The beggar who waited on the stone piazza by the temple gate called “beautiful” could hardly be be considered “beautiful” himself. His body was twisted and weak. He had been carried there to beg alms. (Acts 4)

     He had probably seen Peter before. The fisherman visited the temple daily with his friends. They were a happy group, praising God and greeting others in the crowd.  

     The lame man put out his hand,  hoping to receive a few coins; but he was soon to receive a great deal more.  As he reached out for the hoped-for coins, Peter spoke.  ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, WALK”
     Suddenly the beggar’s legs strengthened. He felt the change. He didn’t’ need to struggle. He sprang to his feet. He stood. He took a step. He leaped. He shouted, “Oh, my God! Thank you, Lord”  
    The crowd stared. Some cheered.  Some whispered their hopes to others. Some turned aside unable to bear the  conflict with their unbelief. Many joined themselves to the beggar's celebration. Tears of joy flowed from the eyes of the beggars friends.
  Peter smiled and then grinned. He had seen this happen before. 
     He remembered when Jesus had called the twelve together and instructed them to go. “ Go to the lost sheep of Israel. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts.”  “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10).   The power was not Peter’s. But it was his to deliver.     
     The same power is not mine, or yours…it is the Lord's. But it is ours to deliver.  
     Go, Fear not, Prepare not, 
     Make disciples. 
Will there be conflict!  Yes!  
      But, “Whoever acknowledges Me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. ."  (Matthew 10:32)
Outside our walls  the world waits, crippled by false values, begging for pennies, unable to enter the place of worship.   
Will I remember what I have experienced?  Will I doubt Him? Will I doubt myself? or will I put out my hand and deliver what I know and what I have seen? 

Chapter 2
People are afraid of conflict. Not just the conflict of dealing with those outside the walls, but also with the conflict inside their own skin. The great, what if nothing happens? Will "I" be viewed as a failure? Did I think I heard the Lord say, "Do this!" but not hear correctly? Will I bring ridicule down the Lord? Will I feel foolish? Will I look like a fool?

But I think we often forget that we have been given permission to do this. We have been given the authority to do this. The outcome is in the Lord's hands. It is our faithfulness that counts. We carry the Holy Spirit with us where ever we go. We can't leave Him home. So when we use the authority that has been given to us to lay on others to ask for healing, He is already present. I like to think of how, when I lay hands on someone the Holy Spirit flows out of my fingers into the person I'm praying for. In that way, there is NO WAY nothing is going to happen! It may not be for me to understand how the Lord will work in each instance, but I have to understand that when the Holy Spirit leaves me to enter another, SOMETHING always happens! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Right Hand of God; The Gift of Intimacy

Acts 2:25-28
Peter is quoting Psalm 16:8-11
“‘25 I saw the Lord always before me.
    Because he is at my right hand,
    I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest in hope ...’”

He used this passage to point to Christ, to the prophecy of his resurrection from the dead.

But when I read Acts chapter 2, and the Lord stopped me at verse 25, it seemed to be another message he was giving me.

“I saw the Lord always before me.”  When he reaches out with his right hand to take us by our right hand then he must be standing before us.  When he stands beside us, then his right hand grasps our left hand.

David had an understanding of intimacy with God;
Psalm 63:8
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 73:23
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
I brought this “standing before me” up with the assistant pastor at our church last night.  He pointed out that the person of Jesus is God the Father’s way of showing us how intimate he wants to be with us.  Before the coming of Jesus people had no concept of intimacy with God the Father.
Isaiah 65:2
All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations ...
They relied on their faith, when things were going badly, that God would stand by them and help them by the power of his right hand.
I was directed to Isaiah 49.  It seems as if the whole chapter is a prophecy of Christ’s coming, his rejection, his being cursed for us, his being a light to the gentiles. (that’s me)
But verse 16 is what really stuck out;
“See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands.”
Jesus, God incarnate, is a face to face kind of person. 
As an artist, I depend on my ability to close my eyes and “see” what I envision.  And I see Jesus.  He stands close to me.  He is as close as my breathing in and my breathing out.  He is as close as a bridegroom is to his bride.
One of my all time favorite scriptures comes from Isaiah 41:13;
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

God, the creator of the universe, the creator of everything, the only perfect being, stands before me and holds my right hand.  He never leaves me.  And he promises he never will.
And isn’t that what the second chapter of Acts is really all about?  Living a life of intimacy with the Lord?
Now that I think about it, isn’t that really what the entire Bible is all about?


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Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States
My nane is Judy and I've been a christian for more than 3/4 of my life. I believe in redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that God, the Spirit lives in me and gives me the power to do His will and to live a joyful life. I have a Godly husband, a grown son and daughter. I live on a farm with 3 goats, 2 chickens, 2 horses, a cat, a dog and a python. I am an artist and a singer. I was a full time stay at home mom, the hardest job you'll ever love! I have two handmade shops on Etsy. Leaning on the Promises (Hand Painted Walking Canes) and Beaver Creek Pottery and an Etsy shop for selling Vintage and Antiques. Jersey Pine Pickers I post about my relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, about the things He teaches me, delights me with and how He uses me.