I am going to take a break from our study of Galatians. Yes, I am having a great time with it. I love the research and the discoveries, but I am not sure how rewarding it has been for you. It might be more meaningful to read the whole study at one time, instead of having it broken up into daily does.
Anyway, several messages have been stewing in my spirit and it is time I begin to share them with you. According to my pastor, I have a “true gift of encouragement,” and I appreciate that, but I have never really thought about it. I love to share what is on my heart, and I hope it is encouraging. One of my Facebook “friends” said, “Wow, I bet people in your church love having you around! You are always so encouraging.”
Hmm, there seems to be a trend there. But to be honest, I don’t know how much of a special “blessing” I am to our church. Oh, I know that I am blessed when I am able to encourage someone. Solomon wrote, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold inscribed with silver” (Proverbs 25:11). I am not sure about the analogy. I hope “apples of gold inscribed with silver” is something good, but I can tell you from experience that providing a message that uplifts and encourages someone is a great buzz!
But I always wonder how encouraging I am to my family. You see, your family is the best judge of those kinds of things. They are better judges than your Pastor, the members in your church and certainly folks on Facebook. I guess I will have to ask them.
Alright, I will break from Galatians, at least for awhile (oh, not the studying and research, but sending the messages out to you). I say that because I have to “unburden” my spirit for a few days. So hang on . . .
Every day I spend time asking the Spirit of God what needs to be shared, that day. Some days, I hit gold, some days dry dirt. But I do know that each message is intended for someone out there. This morning is a perfect example. For privacy sake, I will not address anyone in particular, but you will know if it is for you:
A letter from God to (enter your name).
I know you have a thirst, and I invite you to come and drink from me. I am the one who wants to comfort you. I bought you and I will complete the work I began in you. I still delight in you and claim you as my own; I rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. I know you feel as though you have lost sight of me, but I will never fail you or forsake you.
I know all about your transgressions and pain; I know all of the mighty sins and frustrations you hold on to, but rest and know that my grace is sufficient for you. I have cast all your sins and hurts behind my back; I have trampled them under my feet, and thrown them into the depths of the ocean! I have washed away all your sins and pain; I have swept them away like the morning mist, scattered them like the clouds. Oh (enter your name), return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.
You are troubled and worried about many things; trust me with all your heart. I know how to rescue my people from their trials. My Spirit helps you in your distress. Let me strengthen you with my glorious power. I have never withheld anything from you — I did not spare my Son but gave him up for your sake. If I have done this for you, can you not believe that I will provide for you everything that you need? March on, my dear one, with courage! Never give up. I will help you. I will uphold you.
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
I will never tire or sleep. I will stand beside you. I wish to hide you in the shelter of my presence. When you are troubled, I will go ahead of you, directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life. When you stumble, you will not fall, for I promise to hold you by the hand. I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will make you fruitful in a the land of suffering, trading beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for despair. I live with the low spirited and crushed spirit. I will put a new spirit in you and get you on your feet again. Weeping may go on all night, but joy will come with the morning! If I am for you, who can ever be against you?
Look to (enter your name) and I will throw my arms around you, lavish attention on you, and guard you as the apple of my eye. I know you feel I have neglected you, but I rejoice over you with singing and great joy every time I hear your name. My thoughts of you cannot be counted; they outnumber the grains of sand! Nothing can ever separate you from my love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Your loneliness can’t, and your confused thoughts can’t. Your fears for today, your worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell that have sought to destroy you can not keep my love away.
(enter your name), you have sometimes said, “The Lord has deserted me; the Lord has forsaken me.” But can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would not forget you! I paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, my sinless, spotless Lamb. No one will snatch you away from me. See, I have written your name on my hand. I will call you my friend. Why, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are valuable to me.
Give me your burdens; I will take care of you. I know how weak you are, that you are made of dust. Give all your worries and cares to me, because I care about what happens to you.
Remember, I am at hand. Come to me when you are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I delight in you, and I can be trusted to keep my promises. Come and drink the water of life.
Your loving Father,
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your generous gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.