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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/22/2020 in Stories

  1. 4 points
    Today’s post is the final devotion in my series on the symbolism found in my children’s book, “Finished: A Fictional Story With Heavenly Truth”. I am so grateful for the work of artist Terri Melia Hamlin on this project. Terri’s illustrations compliment the story and visually depict deeper theological truths. In today’s devotion, I share the final scene in the book, which shows Jesus sleeping and dreaming. So much of “Finished” is a foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Jesus. In fact, the book’s title, “Finished” reminds us that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross completed the work of forgiveness and restored the sin-broken relationship between God and man. It’s no coincidence that Jesus is sleeping as the story comes to a close. Sleep, after all, is a metaphor for death in the Bible. Make no doubt about it. Jesus lost his life to save people from their sins. Still, the story is not ultimately over, and death never gets the final word. The illustration shows Jesus dreaming while he sleeps. Jesus’ dream is of a better day, the Resurrection Day, when Jesus would rise from the dead. The lesson here is that brighter days are always ahead for the Christian. The empty tomb of Jesus assures it. I’d like to close this devotion by thanking you, the reader, for your investment in this project. I believe “Finished” has the potential to ignite conversations between young and old. My prayer is that both the reader and listener would grow in wisdom and in their relationship with the Savior, Jesus. May you and yours always be blessed.
  2. 3 points
    Autumn Cry I cry when autumn lace comes in When things of life must cease and end; When air is colored with a hue Of turning yellows 'gainst the blue. And through my tears I seem to see The loveliness of every tree: How green has greened itself with rain And life respected color's pain. I scan the red, a nearer rhyme— Tho death it brings (Is this a crime?); And quest for love in stilling air, And find her in the light that's fair. Upon a hill I behold her face— This Love that's filled with nature's grace And solemnly I gather dear Her joy, her sigh, her quiet tear. Then following her wise design, I give my heart to bitter pine And cry a healthy rainbowed well As autumn comes on earth to dwell. —Dumas fils (Fall has touched me many times and many ways. There is no season that is so alone like itself. Yet so lovingly beautiful. I always pay attention to it. It is so much like people. It flushes, it dazzles, it rustles and then it winks just before the colder rains comes to spot its fallen palms with frost and snow.)
  3. 2 points
    Every year I trump In the down-quiet hollows In the paved parking ways And on thru rudy-ochre'd forests And yellowed quid roads To Gramma's house, To the great Book Barn In search of raw kind verdure: 'Leaves of grassy poems,' 'Bone fire for my sanity,' Hearth-Light for the cognitive dendrites Of my voluntary mind. I see their motionless fall-downs, I hear their squish-masp tearing Under my black winter shods; I feel their reaching up Through my two walking sticks —as I always do— Remote-Sensing their seasoned silent plaint That sub-roars into a too bright Indian Fall Where their flipped colors sting-chill our air, —they are here— They are here with their invominating whispers, Voices I hear from the higher world of wood Repeat and clear: ‘Come…come—and walk over all our dead bodies.’ —Dumas fils
  4. 2 points
    The pavement was dry for once But all the way there God kept weeping over my soul: His rivers of living waters Ran down, ran down My neck to the nape As, all in all, On this traveler’s way, I knew it was deemed Undeserved, and under-appreciated. Two thousand years ago, On a day the Word had prophesied, His blood spilled down, spilled down, Dripping off his soiled feet, Seeking and sanguining a darkened earth: Until the cursings and the spear Brought His manhood to end In a hellish hanging— They too, in their brotherly madness And beneath His lamb’s moan, Still did not know Him for who He was And wanted Him gone from their sight. Life walks on, walks on. I now stand for a new ‘pied beauty’, Esteeming the weight of His love As it throbs against the thin pulse Of my ‘hunger for righteousness;’ My meek trembling threatens to flee, But His silent ear leans Toward the breath of my life And as I bend to bear my bleeding-cross, He restores my regretment of life, And covers, once more, my humanity With His divine, friendly fire— I kneel down, kneel down. In a renewed garden of Eden, As if on new earth, I weep bliss As I travel on through changed life, Wandering debt-free In His First Estate won for me. His grace must still Shed down, shed down; The Daily, He is, must still leap To the rejoicing of His joy, And the shouts of His singing Over my one ransomed soul— For even after my earth-time and grievings, And even after the darkness of Troubled Wrath, When DayStar finally breaks On that Second Great Morning, The torrent from His endless death, Like a be-stilled river’s rest, Will forever run down, run down My repentant neck to my nape, Undeserved, but humbly appreciated. —Dumas fils My similar poem: Elana: Tree Of Life https://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=202895
  5. 2 points
    Contentment, Faith and Love are some of the basis roots of our joy and peace and also our place in Christ Jesus. Let us cultivate a heart of love, for the extent of which we love God will determine how much we'll hunger for His word, inviting His presence into our heart. Love is the link between man's heart and the word, it is our love for God, by the spirit of God that draws us to His word, which then builds in us more of His nature. If we say we love God and yet, not drawn to His word, not for anything else, but to become filled with His life and knowing His mind and will, then we do not have or have failed in Love. Placing God's word first, as small as it may seems, “like a mustard seed” is the greatest desire the holy spirit puts in the heart of everyone born of God, because it branches to all, all that is in Christ Jesus. Nothing in Him is impossible by His word and spirit dwelling in us. It's sad many has failed to nurture this mustard seed. From walking naturally in the nature of God by being filled with the holy spirit to being baptized in the holy ghost, finding our blueprint and being empowered to walk in God's project for His master plan, It all starts with a mustard seed, “putting God first” by being immersed in His word, feeding on it. From a tiny little seed there comes everything that seems impossible. When we lack contentment, we're simply not satisfied with Jesus. Although, Jesus has promised He'll be with us always, yet because, of our selfishness and impatience to rely fully on God, not waiting for God's appointed time, we begin to doubt and question God. When doubts is harbored in our hearts, our Faith begins to decrease and decrease rapidly without us knowing. When our faith decreases, our trust in God decreases also, even when He speaks His word, when we hear His word, it doesn't get to our heart, our hearts no longer receives God's word, because our heart, out of lack of contentment, becomes filled with worry. When our heart becomes filled with worry, God begin to lose His place in our heart, we become less of Him more than we were before, and naturally we find ourselves spontaneously acting out of God's character when we begin to lose God's nature. When we begin to become less if God, every little thing irritates us as we begin to lose patience, having doubts and then lacking Faith in God's word. These destroys our relationship, because where there's no trust, there's no love. Such, have so little love for God, because it's no longer about God anymore, but rather self, it all centers around self, what we want and not what God wants. Meanwhile, what God wants is a free flowing fellowship, relationship like streams of water, not like tap water we can turn on and off. It is this relationship when built in maturity of Faith that brings about God's blessing naturally, because where God presence is overwhelmingly invited, there lies manifestation of life, and where life is, there lies everything, because life erases all that is death. Here, we come to a place of trust where Jesus can trust us with the will of God without it destroying us and others. And more importantly it'll usher us into finding our true identity in Christ Jesus, what God has written concerning us in His master plan. Be contented. To be contented is to have Faith in God both in good and bad times. It is a free heart, a heart of peace and joy, a heart that finds peace and joy in whatever life brings, knowing that in all, they're all allowed by God, working in us inwardly, a greater weight of eternal glory. It is this peace of heart, this free heart, that strengthens and increases our Faith even more to draw more closer to God in intimacy, not because we want out of the temporary light afflictions at hand, but rather, because we want to see the answer of God, what He'll bring of it all, and the answer is; “His glory” in us being revealed from glory to glory, a glorious future. We are this glorious future being recreated more in Christ Jesus to become an extension of His glory and power, manifesting the will of God naturally, we become God's hands of restoration to a dying world, to build His kingdom and to reign with Him eternally. Where there's absolute Faith, there's love, love to live no longer for self, believing that God has all things under control even when it seems not yet so in the material. We see through the eyes of Faith, what God sees, that all things are taken care of already awaiting to manifest at God's appointed time. His appointed time is when we're be lifted and built in maturity of Faith inwardly from glory to glory. With the mouth, everyone can say; “God has all things under control,” but it takes maturity of Faith to confess the same with a free spirit, ( a heart at peace ) even when the situation seems bleak and impossible. Where there's Faith, there's love, to love even more. Love, no longer for self, but love that desires to meet the need of Jesus. We're not the only one who has need, Jesus does too, such great a need that can't be met without our lives being given in return. We are that “help,” by living only for Him to become His hands of restoration reaching out to a dying world and to build the kingdom of the Father. Jesus has needs and our lives given are the only requirement to meet that need. This need also is “us.” We are His need to be met and our lives fully given are the requirements to meet that need. His need is to restore us, fallen from thrones to become a part of God's government for all eternity. He only needs our love just as He has loved us by laying down His life. When we live to meet the need of Jesus, we In turn meet our needs, because not only does He supply according to our contentment and love, but more importantly, our eternal need is met, because by living as His hands to build the kingdom, we're being renewed and glorified inwardly, in the glory of God just as He said; “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” [ I John 3:2‭-‬3 ] To the measure we're glorified inwardly as we walk in love while on earth, to that measure we'll be more like Him, seated with Him upon thrones or as subjects, I.e. if we fail in our love walk. In all, it is man's to be lacking in things of the spirit. By man's natural ability, nothing in God can be achieved or attained, but only by God's spirit through His word. It is the infilling, indwelling of God's nature dominating us as we feed on God's word to become filled with life. To hear God's word to heart is to receive it as life with an open heart, not history or for mere knowledge. It is hearing God's word to heart that ushers us into a God kind of life to live naturally in the nature of God. This becomes the foundation, branching into all that we are called into in Christ Jesus. Contentment, Faith and Love. Love remains the greatest, for without an ever increasing love, there's no contentment. Contentment wants what the Father wants, and without love there's no Faith, because love also is absolute trust. It takes believing of heart in the name “Jesus” to become part of God's family. However, it takes walking in love to get us a place in God's kingdom.
  6. 1 point
    “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest” (Heb 10:19). It is the happiest place; it is the home of the heart in the brightness if the Father’s presence. There is no place that I have such a right to, that I am so fully entitled to, as that position. There I find the Lord Jesus, the blessed One who has measured my distance from the Father; the One who is the measure of my nearness to Him—and I therefore enter into that place by the One who sustains me there. Scripture never contemplates a believer as being in a lower class than that of knowing the Father: “I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father” (1Jn 2:13). This knowledge affects you every hour of the day; you show it in every little thing here and there. What did the Father send His Son for, but that you might find your enjoyment in His presence! “For Christ also has suffered for sins, the just for the unjust (the holy for the unholy—NC), that He might bring us to God” (1Pe 3:18); and, if you have never gone into the Father’s house, never taken the child’s place in His presence, how can you grow (Eph 4:15)? In Philippians we come to the Father making all our requests known, and what is the effect of it? That you get rid of the cares on your mind (4:6)? Not necessarily, but that you get Himself. The care is not the issue, but now I have got my Father. I had the weight of the cares; now I have the color of God. I come out with God upon me, and not the cares (because we cast them on Him by knowing His care for us - 1Pe 5:7—NC); I have got my Father’s way of looking at things, and not my own. So now, the Persons who entirely engage my mind and heart, are my Father, and my Lord Jesus Christ. If I talk to a painter who is studying a work of art, I find that he is imbibing the beauties he is studying; and just so I study the Lord Jesus, but with this great difference that, as I study Him I am formed like Him. As I study the beauty of the Lord Jesus I am growing like Him; nothing can be more captivation to the heart, than this growing like the Person whom I love. As I am more “conformed” to His “image” (not conform but “being conformed” - Rom 8:29; 2Co 3:18—NC), I get enlarged tastes to love and appreciate Him; and to this degree I drop the “old man.” “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phl 3:8). Are you, like a true bride, studying your blessed Bridegroom”? “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Co 4:6). People think they can acquire all this without any difficulty, but I tell you plainly that it is not so. The Lord Jesus knows His own worth too, whenever to disclose Himself to any who do not value Him (Jhn 14:21, 22). No, He does not make little of His own love. Did you ever give up a single thing for Him? If there are people who have never given up anything for Him, how then can I suppose that He is their object; and how can they expect Him to make Himself known to them? If a person say to me, “I have the Holy Spirit in me;” I say, “Well, where does He lead you to? Is it earth? Never! My heart is carried by the Spirit into a new region, and I rest there. The Spirit does not turn the eye to earth. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2). People say, “How am I now to be where Christ is? Set your mind on things above (as often as possible—NC), and you will soon enough know yourself to be there (because it’s certain you will be there – “has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus - Eph 2:6: Col 3:1—NC). “Your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3: 1Pe 3:4). —J B Stoney
  7. 1 point
    Exodus Chapter Three Reflections from Study Moses lived the easy life growing up. He was the son of the Princess. I'm sure he was used to everyone waiting on him hand and foot. This is a really big transition here - going from a young prince to a lonely shepherd. This is an occupation that he would have been taught to despise growing up with the Egyptians. How has the Lord made Himself known to you in your life? Picture this happening. I burnt some trash earlier and the fire was blazing hot and consumed everything in its reach. Moses was definitely amazed and probably a little confused to why the bush was not burning. He had to go and see what was happening. It was the same way in my life. God out of His gracious love and mercy sent His Son Jesus Christ to pull me out of my misery. Jesus Christ was indeed engulfed in the flames of this sinful world, just like the trash I burned earlier that was consumed by the fire, so was that my sin when Jesus Christ touched my life. The sinful, fallen, burning world consumed Jesus Christ and he was engulfed with all the sins of the world, but He was not consumed by that fire. Isn't that enough for you to look further - are you saying to yourself, "I must go see Jesus Christ. I must know who this man is." I definitely can understand why Moses would cover his face. There have been many times that I have tried to hide from God, and I as well was afraid to look at Him. Have you ever done something wrong to someone you love and they find out. They are devastated and all the guilt in the world is bearing down on your shoulders. It is hard to look at them knowing what you have done to them. I have felt this way toward God. It has been hard for me to look at Him at times because of the sacrifice He made for me. I feel as if everytime I mess up with habitual sins, it is like I put Him back on that cross over and over. What I'm saying is, Jesus Christ set me free from certain things in my life, but like an animal driven by instinct rather than by reason, I have gone back to the cross and picked up some of those sinful behaviors more than once. Now, understanding that, you could see why I would try to hide my face from God. But besides all that, I mean He is the most powerful, The Great I Am - so yeah there is that shock value of hiding your face as well. Everything that has happened up until this point has been preparing Moses for this very moment. He had a superb education under the Egyptians. He was very well trained in everything. Ain't it cool how God worked all that out. Moses had everything the world had to offer for half his life. Now this next chapter he was living out in nowhere as a shepherd. Have you noticed that is how God humbles us and readies us for His service. We learn the best lessons and receive the greatest rewards enduring hardship. It is definitely hard for us to understand this when we are faced with it, but if it is happening to us right now, we need to not hide our face from God, but we need to go toward Him. "Here I am God, use me." Moses did the same thing that I have done over and over again. He looked for any and every excuse he could think of to get out of this. I always look at the things I can and cannot do. A lot of times I easily talk myself out of doing things I know God is asking me to do. This is because I forget that God is leading me, and God is going to be with me if He has called me. I always look to the resources that I have for the task - but when God has called you and is with you - you have His resources. Moses would soon realize this - and we need to realize this as well. I know I need too. Be Encouraged, Chris
  8. 1 point
    Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
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