Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Power of Christ in our Life

Tonight I get to teach the lesson in our mid-week youth Bible study because my husband is sick with bronchitis. I am really pumped as this month we are beginning our study in a subject my husband and I are so passionate about-coming "Face-to-Face with God". Our first lesson tonight is titled "Time Well Spent: Getting to Know God" and deals with quiet times, Bible Study, and developing a prayer life. I am praying for God's words to come from my mouth tonight as I want to shake each shoulder and scream about this importance until they get it and do it. But, it doesn't work that way does it? A relationship with God can't be given from one person to another like that but it must be sought out, and worked at by the individual seeking God. We all know God is there for each of us, waiting, anticipating, desiring to bond with us, teach us, train us, and guide us...



"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. " ~ Psalm 32:8

So then, why do we sometimes fall short on our end in this relationship? Time? Responsibilities? Priorities? Motivation? My Bible study this morning reminded me of some of my favorite verses this morning (it was the verses I had carried through 2008 as my life scripture for that year). May it be a reminder to of why we seek him and prioritize Him into our life, into every component and aspect, into every moment, minute and hour, and into every breath and beat of our heart. This is why we seek Him...


Isaiah 61
[1] The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
[2] to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
[3] and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
[4] They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Look at your life. Has He not turned your ashes into beauty? Has He not taken your pain and sadness and replaced it with His joy, a down to the bone kind of delight that changes your entire outlook and disposition in life? Has He not taken your despair, fears, and rejections and replaced them with songs of praise? Has His grace not caused a re-birth, a blooming of your life, will and testimony again?

When we seek God daily, He will keep us clean, He will keep us from failure. Our faithfulness to Him will be rewarded by His faithfulness to us. He will not only recharge us, but also preserve us and protect us. He will accomplish through us His work by His tender mercy and love. He is our lifeline.



"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah." ~ Psalm 32:7


So I ask you the same question I will ask the youth tonight...




"What really matters in your life?"


And I will tell you the same thing I am going to tell them...




Whats on your mind matters. Whats in your mind matters. The way you live your life matters. Fill it with God.



This is why we seek Him...because of what He has already done in our lives. Grace. Amazing grace.



Psalm 119:9-15
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.



His Maidservant~ Pamela

Update: well, I am not sure how well it went last night. Being a teacher I am too critical on myself. One girl walked up to me afterwards and stated she had a new journal and she planned to start journaling to God using scripture. If but one life is effected it is worth it, right? I have felt a bit discouraged though. Did I put too much of "me" into the lesson? As one of the youth leaders was praying before the lesson I kept praying "take me out of this" but...
Then last night I had the chance to blog hop. I marvel at the spirit of the women out here in blog land and the strength they have to stand up for what is right in God's eyes when all around them their life is falling apart or has walked out the door. Yet, it was another nick at my heart to add to my discouragement as I reflected on the time I did not stand like they did. So is that satan throwing his darts at my heart to drag me back into my past regrets and insecurities or is God saying, "Hey...your still carrying something you don't need"?
I am questioning my role in the youth ministry...to teach or just to quietly serve, my role as a mother (I have failed miserably in the past, can there be any real redemption here?), my ability to lead in the women's ministry...the list goes on and on.
I have spend time in His word and in prayer this morning and all I could hear was "I have you right where I want you". And so I say "Yes Lord". I have been blessed by two pieces of scripture from blog post that I am clinging to this day to lift me out of my funk back into God's truth. The first:
Habakkuk 3:18-19 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Yet I will triumph in the LORD; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights!


and the second:
Isaiah 33:2 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
LORD, be gracious to us! We wait for You. Be our strength every morning, and our salvation in time of trouble.


Again, I am but His maidservant, willing, full of His joy, awaiting His instruction.

11 comments:

Yolanda said...

Pamela,

My hearts prayer early this morning, before 5:00 a.m., Lord help me with my stinkin' thinkin'.

Love to you,
Yolanda

much2ponder said...

You have just been given a very special award. Come over to my place to see what it is:)

Amy said...

I need to write these words down in my S.O.A.P journal....."Whats on your mind matters. Whats in your mind matters. The way you live your life matters. Fill it with God."

Thank you for this encouragement today.

And I wanted to tell you that I LOVE the picture of you and your hubby on your sidebar. Very romantic!;)

God Bless,
Amy:)

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

This is so empowering to live more like Christ. Thank you Pamela.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Pamela:
Thanks for sharing your heart here. I've known the same frustration after teaching, thinking I'd blown it or that no one really got anything out of it. Rest assured, if you're bringing God's light (whether perfect or not), the enemy will jump all over you before, during, and after to remind you of your unworthiness. Through it all, even when there's a bit of "self" involved, God's grace covereth. He understands.

May you understand how valuable your life and your ashes are the stuff of significance in his eyes. When we bring our brokenness to him, he uses those exact stones to rebuild a monument of witness to his marvelous grace. When he puts ours together, alongside others, think of the beauty!

Much love and peace to you~elaine

Buffi said...

Excellent post Pamela....thank you for stopping by my blog too!! It is SO true that our daily strength and success comes from HIM! We all need to refocus and prioritize our lives with what is most important!!

Love your blog!!! I hope your youth lesson goes well!
Blessings,
Buffi

LisaShaw said...

Pamela, I'm sure they were blessed in the teaching. Keep the surrendered heart you have right now -- an always "Yes Lord" and He'll continue to shine through you.

Your heart is so precious Pamela. Your transparency and even the way you strongly examine yourself in the Word brings glory to GOD!

You in fact are just where He wants you. Bless you and I pray your husband is feeling better.

Joyful said...

Pamela, this series you are teaching sounds wonderful! Are you using a specific book or curriculum? I pray the Lord will continue to use you and make you a blessing. Don't get discouraged. God's Word tells us that we will reap in due time if we don't give up. Sounds like you've already received some reaping. Praise the Lord!

Thanks for visiting me today too! Always nice to hear from you.

Love & prayers,
Joy

Laura said...

It sounds like an awesome lesson to me! for sure, if one approached about journaling, there were others who were blessed too. you are planting some precious seeds, Pamela. Bless you for listening to Him and being obedient.

Sheryl said...

wow, there is so much i want to say...first of all, love those scriptures from Isaiah as is obvious by my blog header. also, the habakkuk passage is part of what i memorized for the LPM challenge.

However...satan is after you. don't let him win, not even an inch. he is after you because you are a threat. keep going! God does the work and as you say you are willing to be His servant. that's what He is looking for - a willing soul.

Kathy S. said...

Romans 4:17
As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

God wanted me to share that verse with you.

I have enjoyed browsing your blog. Your heart shines. A heart to please Jesus...Blessings!