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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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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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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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The God of Great and Small

The God of Great and Small

In a pottery and glass gift shop in the mountains of North Carolina, I came across a tiny piece of glass art and bought it. When I first saw it, I wondered how the artist managed to make something so tiny, about 1/4″ in size, yet with unique, distinctive parts. Its smallness is what made it special to me. I named her “Suzie the flea” because of the joy she gave me. I also saw she had a destiny to fulfill in God’s kingdom of love. Since then, she’s flown by airmail many thousands of miles across the country to bear witness to God’s creative love and favor. The recipients have sent her back to me after she’s lifted their hearts. Suzie represents to me persons who are “little” in God’s kingdom yet each one holds a dear place in His heart.  Their smallness is endearing to Him. These are the hidden ones who stay in the background; they are not in the spotlight of God’s kingdom. He’s jealous to keep them there for His own reasons. I take great comfort in that. No more striving to be someone I am not. I am confident in this alone: God favors me and has destined to use me with messages of His love. I am small, like Suzie. Yet I am dear and can be greatly used in His kingdom. As can you.

 

 

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Hope

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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