Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 66 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families) with a third girl on the way. I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good Feelings or God's Glory? - Part 2

As I said last time, it is a good thing, but also a sobering thing to see God's glory through His people. It brings with it a real responsibility. This time, I want to discuss what happens when a group of people seek God for the purpose of knowing Him and showing His glory.

I've been reading a book about the subject by John Bevere entitled The Fear of the Lord:Discover the Key to Intimately Knowing God. He says, and I agree, that when we seek to know Him as a group and as individuals, He will come and show His glory to and through us. But He also says when that happens things get more serious.

Before we can talk about the results of God showing His glory, we need to talk about order. When God first made man in the garden of Eden, He made them male and female. They were the crown of His creation. All other creatures were given coverings, but man and woman were covered with God's glory so they didn't need any covering at first. God made order in creation, then brought His glory. When Adam and Eve sinned, however what was the first thing that happened? God's glory departed and they knew they were naked and tried to make their own coverings. God would have none of that though, and He made them coverings that foreshadowed the cross.

In Jesus, God made people right with Himself again and if we receive Him we are given power to become sons and daughters of God. We become the temple of the Holy Spirit. That is what brings His glory to us, because He came to remind us of all Jesus wants us to know. As we seek Him and grow, God's glory begins to shine in our lives.

Now we're ready to discuss what happens when a group of people, the Body of Christ, show God's glory. Let's go to the book of Acts. The church began to grow by leaps and bounds, but when God's glory came, those who showed disrespect, this time by lying were immediately judged (see Acts 5:1-11). Scripture says they lied not to men, but to the Holy Spirit. A group of people cannot live close to God's glory and just do what they want. It is one thing to know of God, but when He is among us in His glory, what will keep us safe is the love of God with the fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is not the same thing as being afraid of God. Fear of the Lord means respect for God and His ways, and wanting to please Him in everything. We will still be human and sin at times, but we will not want to or like it that we do. The Bible says fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10) and knowledge (Proverbs). It says His secret is with those who fear Him (Ps 25:14), and that He has laid up great goodness for those who fear Him (Ps 31:19).

There is much more to be said about this subject, but this is a start. I believe God is working to get us ready as the Body of Christ not just as individuals to show forth His glory, and in doing so He wants us walking in both love and fear of the Lord so we will not be destroyed by seeing that glory. I pray God plant the truths about the fear of the Lord deep within our hearts so we can show His glory to a world that desperately needs it.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Feelings or God's Glory? - Part 1

I am so glad I have been able to soak in Father's love as of late. That is what makes it possible for me to come boldly before Him again. But I have to do more than soak in His love. If I don't want more from Him than to feel better about life and myself I am not seeing Him clearly. As I continue to know Him better, I will feel better, but if that is my main goal I am missing it.

I have to do what Hos 6:3 (NKJV) says: Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth. He redeemed me as part of a people He has made to show forth who He is. It is my job to let Him make me more like Himself every day, and for that to happen, I need to seek to know Him. I cannot change myself into who He wants me to be, but I need to allow Him to do that in me.

On Sunday morning right now we are having a before-service class on John 17. One of the things we are trying to understand is God's glory. It is very important to understand what that means, in part because of Rom 8:29-30. The NLT says, 29 For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.

I am meant, once I come into right-standing with God through Jesus to be the same kind of person He was so others will know Him. If I just tell others about Him that does not show His glory, but if I live in His ways from my heart, that does show who He is, or show His glory. I can only do that by knowing Him, and that only comes as I seek Him.

The good thing is that He says if I do seek to know Him, He will come. When the body of Christ seeks Him as the Body and not just as individuals, He says He will fill us with His glory. That is a very good and a very sobering thing. I want to be like Him as much as possible personally, but I also want to see us like Him as the Body. The next time I will talk more about that. In the meantime, God bless you as you seek to know Him even more.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Let Us Pray

Since January, our pastor has taught at least five messages on prayer. This is a very important subject. Corporate prayer is a vital part of our lives. If we don't do it we will pay the cost, and there is a cost. We will end up at best with lackluster programs that have form but no life. At worst, we will see works that could have grown strong dissolve. I have seen both happen.

Today prayer in churches often consists of an email prayer chain and maybe a small women's prayer group. That is important, but it isn't enough if we want God to move in power in our midst. Corporate prayer can grow both in content and numbers, but only if it is started. God doesn't expect it to be full-grown at the beginning, but it will never get there if churches don't start somewhere.

To be honest, I am having a hard time writing this, because it is very hard since the stroke for me to speak, much less pray out loud. But I still need to write the truth, and I believe God will help me grow back into it in His time. I also believe He will help any work, whether it be church or outreach get there if it wants to. I would like to trust Him with that possibilty this year. He is faithful--are we?

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Church Alive!

As I've looked over my past work I have realized something. The church I started going to this winter really does what I write about in my articles about the body of Christ. They have the right attitudes, are listening to God, learning how to study the Bible, working on getting healed and being more and more a community of faith. They have outreaches to the poor and are serious about God.

I thought that would make us ready for what is ahead. It is making us ready, but it doesn't look like I envisioned it would. That's okay--we still have a little more work to go. But I don't think it will ever look like I think it will. God always has something different and deeper in mind than I do, and if it goes according to His plan as opposed to mine, it will be great.

Now not everyone in this church is in the same place spiritually. That's true in all churches. If we were all at the same maturity level, it wouldn't be good. We will be at different places of growth. But we all need to be growing. Right now we are being challenged not to come to church if we don't enjoy it--we shouldn't come out of duty. We are also being challenged to come early enough to get in on the beginning of worship because God deserves our all. It has also been suggested that our worship start before we come so we are ready to present ourselves corporately before our God. God is raising the bar, and what He is saying can be done by people at different levels of maturity.

My entrance into things at this church is from a different angle. I can only participate so much since I can't sing well since the stroke and I haven't been able to talk much. But even in my condition I've found the worship really helps me draw nearer to God and I am beginning to be able to open slowly back up to Him. I am finding my hands raise a little higher each meeting, especially since a friend told me God really had missed my worship. I also just started going to a before church Bible study yesterday. It really surprised me because of its depth--and the desire for it to remain very practical. Also I've started getting some healing for things God has shown me during this stroke--things that were there before, but that I was busy enough to ignore.

Their desire at this church is for people to participate in worship, service, community or any aspect of things because they want to. They do not believe in abusing the people who come. I believe God will honor this kind of church and that the rest of what is needed will be added unto us as we keep looking at Him.

I pray Father, that this church keep growing according to your plan, and that we become all that You want us to be. I also pray for those who aren't in a church with these characteristics and want to be that You help them find one. I love you, Lord. In Jesus' name and for His sake I pray. Amen

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