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Deep, Sweet Thoughts of Jesus

Deep, Sweet Thoughts of Jesus

Not often enough do we turn our hearts to heaven for the sheer joy of seeing Jesus. We fill our days with trivial pursuits, do we not?

Drink from the fountain, the Life-giving fountain, and fill your thirsty soul with the wine of heaven.

That just bubbled up.

And here’s a practical approach.

Imagine the gospel scene of the wedding in Cana and how Jesus turned gallons and gallons of water into wine. Think deeply about what happened by imagining being there. This is a dynamic, creative way to pray, to turn and see Jesus. Notice everything about Him. Be there.

Our imaginations were made for God above all else. We should invite Him in more often.

Another way to experience being with Jesus is to be more aware of His company. We can converse with Him inwardly all day long.

Or, look closely at a flower and consider the miracle and beauty of it and that God made it. The wonder of creation is just a taste, a hint of the stunning, unimaginable wonders to come. This earth and life is a stage on which the Divine Drama is unfolding. Keeping this perspective helps us live through the horrors of evil as well as the boredom, stress, disappointments, and daily grind we all must endure.

A. W. Tozer wrote: “If you will narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. ‘Jesus only’ seems to the unconverted man to be a motto of death, but a great company of happy men and women can testify that it became to them a way into a world infinitely wider and richer than anything they had ever known before. To know Him in growing intimacy is to increase in appreciation of all things good and beautiful. The mansions of the heart will become larger when their doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it.” -A.W. Tozer, The Size of the Soul.

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THE FIRE OF ATTRACTION

THE FIRE OF ATTRACTION

The saints have seen the burning heart of God.

Their own love has leaped out in flaming response,

and they have loved the Lord their God with all their heart and soul and strength and mind—and their neighbor as themselves.

 W. E. Sangster

 

Not until Jesus unveiled the burning heart of the Creator at Calvary could anyone imagine God’s kind of love. Solomon’s inspired love song penned the essence of it and spoke from God’s heart: “. . . for love is as strong as death, passion as cruel as Sh’ol; its flashes are flashes of fire, [as fierce as the] flame of Yah. No amount of water can quench love, torrents cannot drown it” (Song of Songs 8:6 & 7 CJB).

We hunger for a love we see reenacted over and over in love stories. The lover we’re drawn to in these stories is selfless and kind. He’s unwilling to be apart from his beloved. He’s attractive, so attractive, and expressive of his love, but never smothering. He knows no sacrifice too great in pursuit of the one he loves, to the point of heroism. Unlike all others, he wants only the highest good for the one he loves.

God created us to experience His love and know Him—that is our highest good. “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 NRSV).

What is the psalmist specifically talking about? David was a man after God’s heart. Do you think he meant that his pleasures were found in, and from, knowing God’s heart? Were the favors of God’s right hand spiritual favors? They are far better than earthly ones. David loved being with God!

When God is drawing us close, all it takes is a single spark to set our hearts on fire.

 

 

Here is a link to the third issue of FIRE – a journal for those who long for more of God. Please feel free to pass this on and be sure to subscribe to http://burningheartsforgod.com for future quarterly issues.

 

PLAN A SPIRITUAL RETREAT DAY FOR YOUR SMALL GROUP OR CHURCH!

Rekindle your heart and plan a special day with God. Check HERE and on the Burning Hearts for God website for ideas and themes.

Contact me directly for personal spiritual retreat day material: mmontreuil@ymail.com

 

 

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The Joy of the Lord

The Joy of the Lord

Has life been hard enough to sap your energy, ambition, and sense of well-being? Worse, sometimes the sense of the Lord’s presence seems to dwindle. It’s times like this we need to REMEMBER God’s favor and goodness and speak truth to our own hearts.

Overwhelmed by trying circumstances, like King David,  I recently cried out: Awake, O, my soul! Look into the eyes of your Savior. He is the joy of my heart and life. God is my joy and truth.  He gives me hinds’ feet on high places.

Jehovah Jireh is my Provider.  El Shaddai sustains, nourishes and protects me. El Roi is the God who sees me and all that involves me. In Him I put my trust, faith, hope, and affection. I worship Him! I adore Jesus, my Beloved. He rescues and redeems me, lifts me up. He is HESED (all merciful, abundantly kind, and good).

Three scriptures pre-printed at the bottom of my prayer journal pages today were wonderfully apt:

1. “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91:1).

2. “I will NEVER FAIL YOU. I will never abandon you” (Heb. 13:5).

3. “The joy of the Lord is your strength!” Neh. 8:10.

Amen!

The next FIRE journal is in the  making.  https://burningheartforgod.com – a free online publication for keeping the fire going in your heart.

You can be sure I will include an article about this in the upcoming theme “Present to God’s Presence” because, really, habitual, unceasing prayer is to stay focused and in communion with the Lover of our soul, no matter what happens in life.

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Kairos – An appointed “Time”

Kairos – An appointed “Time”

You know how it is when God says something to you three times in a row? Kairos popped up first in my writing, the next day at a conference I attended, and then the day after that in a sermon at church. It isn’t even an English word. It’s an ancient Greek word that isn’t really used all that much.

Kairos is a special time an artist might experience when creating art. At the conference I attended, we celebrated the 70th birthday of Israel. The topic of kairos came up there. Specifically, Jerusalem is part of the major end-times prophecies and  we are in a kairos time.   Are we truly aware of the exciting days we live in? As if that wasn’t enough . . . The following day after the conference, kairos was mentioned in the sermon.

What are you doing in your daily walk with God? Are you living as Jesus did, aware of His kairos times? Jesus spoke of it once in a conversation with his brothers. In John 7:6, He said:  “My time (kairos) is not yet here; for you any time (chronos) will do.” His words were spoken in Nazareth concerning His brother’s sacarstic remark that He should go to Jerusalem for the feast and show Himself to the world instead of staying in Nazareth. His brothers later believed in Him but not at that time.  The point is, Jesus knew His “kairos time” (appointed time) was not yet. He ended up going to Jerusalem, but He went alone and in secret.

I decided to look up the word to be sure I understood what God wanted me to see.

 According to Wikipedia:

Kairos (καιρός) is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος) and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature.

The moment Jesus was baptised was a kairos moment in history and in His life as a man. The moment I heard the call to write for God was a kairos time in my life. The days we are living in, prophetically speaking, are kairos days — especially this year — at least that is what many prophetic people are saying. Kairos speaks of the spiritual dimension that exists at the same time as our natural dimension. We must be keenly aware of God-in-us to discern “Kairos times” and respond accordingly.

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Trust in God’s Goodness is true Faith

Trust in God’s Goodness is true Faith

What causes God’s heart deep joy? I think it is when we trust completely in His goodness towards us. He delights so much in each one of His beloveds. And, just as we can delight in people we love, there are certain qualities about us, or instances in our lives, that quicken God’s heart to fill with deep love and affection. I believe this happens to God when He sees us living in faith and hope, knowing He is good. And, because God’s Spirit is within us, we can even “feel” His love and affection–His joy. This was my experience today in my quiet time with Him.

Today, I will be packing up my belongings and loading my car after an eight-month-stay in Minnesota. I am returning to my home in Charlotte and, coincidentally, my mother is moving into a beautiful  independent-living apartment in a senior care center. The timing of the center’s opening for her move is nothing short of miraculous. Just when I realized I needed to return home, God works things out for her there. She was my original reason for moving to Minnesota for an indefinite time. God’s timing is perfect. His favors are too.

God will meet all my mother’s needs, and He’ll lovingly provide me with all I need after I return, including a new job and the ability to continue growing the Burning Hearts for God ministry and finish writing my new book. I trust Him.

Today I wrote in my prayer journal the following words: “All is good, Lord. I trust You for all my needs and desires. You are good to me. Always. I love you.”

Then I opened to this devotional; the one for today’s reading fit my circumstances so perfectly. This happens often. How God orchestrates these perfectly timed things is proof of His loving presence. No wonder we can have so much faith in Him–He proves Himself over and over to us.

Here’s a few excerpts from my devotional today and the link to the book in case you are interested in reading more.

 

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“The One Year Experiencing God’s Presence Devotional: 365 Daily Encounters to Bring You Closer to Him” by Chris Tiegreen and wanted to share this quote with you.

“. . . Hope believes the best about God—-that He doesn’t just put us through trials but that He plans pleasures and joys for us too. He uses the difficulties in our lives, to be sure, but He doesn’t sadistically arrange them. He desires to bless. That’s His nature. When we hope in Him, we are acknowledging who He is. Rejoice in God and mistrust any expectations that His promises will be broken, His plans will be thwarted, or His goodness will be veiled in our lives. Hope hears His heartbeat accurately and ignores any lies about His character. It’s a concrete expectation of good-—not wishful thinking, not optimism, but a firm knowledge of God’s favor. And hope in Him, according to the Word, will not disappoint us. A life rooted in expectation of His goodness will always eventually be satisfied.

Prayer: “Lord, I place my hope in You. I trust that You are working on my behalf, no matter how difficult my circumstances become. Please fill me with hope—the kind that comes from Your Spirit and cannot disappoint. And help me live in that hope today.”

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/gWdIbVu

 

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What Makes a Saint?

What Makes a Saint?

Saints have seen the burning heart of the universe at Calvary. That’s where love first fills their hearts.

Do you agree that God transforms His own beloveds into saints? Theologians call this sanctification. I think most people would agree that saints have hearts on fire for God. Being in love with God is being a saint. Sanctification without being in love with our beautiful Savior looks like duty, drudgery, deadness, diligent dedication; it’s a desperately burdensome existence. Jesus invites us into the duty of delight, pure and simple.

Our everyday vernacular uses the word “saint” in a lighthearted way to point out a person who has exceptional patience or some other virtue. We’d do well to know what God says about saints. In the Bible, the term “saint” is used thirty-six times in the Old Testament and sixty-two times in the New Testament—and thirteen of those sixty-two times appear in the book of Revelation. Apostle Paul wrote this about saints:

“. . . I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27 NKJV).

 

What was hidden from those in past ages, Jesus revealed to us in ours.  To saints, heaven isn’t so much a destination or even the hope of a better life somewhere else. Heaven is seeing Jesus. To saints, God’s words “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3) echoes in their hearts and in their everyday lives.

Saints see God with singleness of heart.  They have “dove’s eyes” for Him. Just as doves mate for life and see with singleness of vision, so a saint desires God and loves Him entirely. Christ feels this way about His beloved, too. Jesus gave His beautiful “Beatitude blessing” to those who long to see Him. They are the “pure in heart” because they yearn to see Him. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Seeing God is their great reward. It’s not only their hope of seeing Him in the afterlife—a saint sees God in the now.

(This is an excerpt from The Art of Loving God, a new book in the making which I’m thoroughly enjoying with God.  I invite you to visit www.burningheartsforGod.com  and you’ll see much more on this topic of loving God. Be sure to subscribe there too. May you experience God’s love deeply during this holy season.)

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