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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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Beauty Cheers the Heart

Beauty Cheers the Heart

Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

White scenes of winter soothe me because I grew up in Minnesota and enjoyed a wonderful childhood full of love, play, and no worries. These days, I grieve for children who do not have the benefit of a fearless childhood.

I wept watching the news of the school shooting in Florida. So, so tragic! More loss of innocent lives, so full of promise.  And when ordinary people become heroes and pay the ultimate price . . . we feel sympathy for their families and friends.  We see the funerals on the news. I pray for those who mourn everyone lost and injured. And what about the survivors? They’ll never be the same . . but for God’s grace and help.

Below is a photograph of a scene in Kuhmo, Finland. It lifted me into God’s arms because its beauty cheered my heart. I hope it does the same for you. Scroll down . . . This is a real place.

Even though the horrors of evil abound, the beauty, majesty, and reality of God is greater. One day all will be restored and there will be no more evil. Jesus promised. We will live in a restored, new world where Beauty and Goodness is all we will know.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” Proverbs 21:4.

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Hope

It’s Sunday today. One week after the senseless, violent murders that took place in a small Christian church family in Texas. What a horrible, tragic thing!—and to happen in a place of worship. Our country is still mourning the deaths of too many innocents taken in Las Vegas. What is happening to our society? Why is there so much hatred everywhere? We are worried about the evil in the hearts of the leader of North Korea and in ISIS terrorists, but evil is lurking in countless, lost souls worldwide.

And it is everywhere. Nowhere is safe. The cliché “What is this world coming to?” is a resounding cry that echoes from our hearts in our everyday thoughts. Lord, God of heaven and earth, save us!

A generation shows how fast things are becoming evil. When I was growing up, I could freely play outdoors all day long. At age twelve, I took a city bus on my own to a large metropolitan downtown. When I left the house on summer days, I’d take off on my bicycle early in the day and return in time for dinner. My parents never worried about me. I had no cell phone or tracking device on me. We didn’t need it.  Now my children are parents. They are afraid to let their children play in the backyard.  As grandma, I’m sometimes brought in to help keep their kids safe. If we lose sight of a child for a few moments at the store, we panic. One of us must escort the kids to the school bus stop and meet them there when they are dropped off. A school bus is still considered potentially dangerous for my twelve-year-old grandson.

I am reading John Eldredge’s new book, ALL THINGS NEW. Talk about the need we have for hope, this book couldn’t be better timed. I have been praying with this book, turning every truth and insight into communication with God. I haven’t gotten far into the book’s pages to know the author is reminding me of what I’ve known, as a follower of Jesus, for a long time. I just needed to hear about my “hope” in depth from a man of God, a person who understands human hearts and God’s heart and has a way with words that hits the mark in our souls. Thank you, John Eldredge, for being sensitive to God’s heart at this time and for giving us the reminder we so desperately need.

People of the Kingdom of Jesus, we have what we need for these days. We are in the know, even though we still ask “Why? Why? Why?” as we hear the “bad news” on the News every night. Beloved brothers and sisters, we know where we are headed. It’s just that at this time, we need the Lord’s comfort and His reminder. Hang on to your hope.

Lord, let us “see” that we are in the Last Days with eyes of HOPE, focused on You and Your promises. What we most hope for is around the corner.

I told the Lord this morning that my hope lies in Him, in His promises for the GOOD, love, and beauty He wants for all people. His Kingdom is about to fully come and will invade the darkness and cast it away. God wants us to be comforted and uplifted. Faith, hope, and love are the strongest powers we have—and they come from God. What is happening in our world is that we are spinning faster and faster towards the “restoration of all things” that Jesus promised us. It will get darker before the DAWN. Let your hope rise. We were made for the kind of life that began at the dawn of Creation—our paradise lost. But Jesus promised to make all things new here on this earth. Do yourself a favor, pick up John Eldredge’s book. It will do your heart good.

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The “Last Days” are These Days

When our daily news sounds like The Tribulation spoken about in Revelation, as well as what Jesus foretold in Matthew 24, we have to realize these are the biblical Last Days we are living in. We might be tempted to focus on all the terrible and horrifying events happening but I don’t think the Lord would want His own to be dwelling on that.  We need to be about His kingdom work as never before.  And, most important, we need to give the Lord our  hearts and ears these days to draw close to Him. He loves us so much and is longing for us. Think of all He has done to have us.

In our world, the dark grows darker; the Light becomes brighter. Jesus is returning soon for His Beloved (we are His Bride).  That’s where our focus should be. We need to be lovingly close to Him. Be encouraged in that we are nearing the climax in God’s Story and our Lord Jesus is soon to be fully revealed.

The Art of Loving God is my current writing project and I believe dear to the Lord’s heart. I covet your prayers especially now as a wonderful Christian literature agent has taken on the book and will be submitting it to Christian publishers at this time. The writing is going well. I would be blessed to share chapters by email to get your feedback and discernment while the project is ongoing. I am working on Chapters 4 and 5 now. I have 10 chapters outlined. Send me an email at mmontreuil@ymail.com and I will send you chapters.

 

I came across a booklet I wrote to convince Jewish people that their own descendant of King David is Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah; and to convince anyone else as well.  It is amazing how extraordinarily and perfectly Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in Scripture.

You can easily download the PDF of the booklet (see link below) and share it in emails, in person, or you can copy it and spread it around by any means possible. I put this together in 2014 because I had looked all over for a list of prohecies Jesus fulfilled, anything of that nature, but I found nothing.  I wanted handouts for a “Jewish and Christian Librarians” conference–yes, it was different to see the two camps together, in which I was invited to share my books.  I created this document/booklet to give away at that conference. The Word of God is proven throughout history as well as well as in the world today. Please click on the link to the PDF.  I revised it in case you have an older copy from 2014.

The Jewish Messiah Prophecies Fulfulled 3 10. 12.2017

Shalom and blessings,

 

Margaret

 

 

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Why I Love Poppies

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Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength.

My new writing project is stretching me out of my comfort zone but that’s good.  I think because the topic of my book is about deep devotion to Christ and the creative pursuit of God, which is the highest form of art that arises from our soul. My main problem is that an overwhelming amount of content wants a place in my book. It is like a tsunami of living water that I’m trying to tame into a peaceful brook.

Yeah! Anyway, here’s a single quote that rose to the surface today:

 “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A. W. Tozer.

While doing some research, I came across this artist, Paul Smith. He brings to life the meaning of this Scripture: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10 NKJV).

This is such a moving testimony. Watch to the very end; God is being glorified through this artist.  You’ll want to share it.

 

 

 

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