GOD READS TEXT PRAYERS… AND ANSWERS

Published on 04 October 2011 by in Encouragement

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GOD READS TEXT PRAYERS… AND ANSWERS

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. TELL GOD WHAT YOU NEED, and THANK HIM FOR ALL HE HAS DONE. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7, NLT).

My son and I were text praying back and forth in agreement yesterday regarding each others needs to focus our thoughts and perspective. God clearly READ and ANSWERED our TEXT PRAYERS! Within one hour, for Caleb, and by evening for me – we both had clear and direct answers!

I text some of my favorite Scripture to focus our thoughts and give perspective.

Part of my text prayer was also, Please surprise Caleb today with a blessing and a hug from you. Thank you that I can trust you to meet his every need as he trusts and believes in you. In Jesus name I ask. To which Caleb texted, Amen!

Then I text, For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need” (Phil 4:13 NLT). I loved Caleb’s response (used by permission): I just saw a woman walking thru the mall yesterday with that verse freshly tattooed on her shoulder.” And then he added, “Another truth the Bible well puts. Haha, it seems to be full of truth – it’s like this GOD of ours seems to know something! 😉

Both of us sensed this was a great personal reminder of truth from God’s heart to ours, which was highlighted by repetition! So together we acknowledged and believed it, via text! TOGETHER we believed God read and answered OUR text prayers!

The old King James Version of Isaiah 26:3 reads, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The NLT reads, You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

  • What are your text thoughts fixed on?
  • Have you ever considered text prayers of agreement?
  • With whom, could you text message your needs to the One who gives perfect peace?
  • What favorite Scripture TRUTH could you include to anchor your text prayer?

You may be surprised how soon God may answer!

God, YOU are our PEACE for every circumstance! Lord Jesus I ask, for my brothers and sisters, that you would reveal yourself to them today, in ways you know they need to know you best. I pray you will grant willingness to exchange frustrations, cares and concerns for your provision. By your Holy Spirit’s power, we thank you that your Word is able to teach us truth in all things; that you are able to guide and direct; and, that you have our BEST in mind. You don’t make mistakes God, you are PERFECT. Please bless us with more answered prayer as we step out in faith and ask – even by text :). Thank you that we can trust you to meet our every need as we believe and agree with your Word.

In Jesus name I ask, Amen!

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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NEED A BIG HUG?!

Published on 27 September 2011 by in Encouragement

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NEED A BIG HUG?!

I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens [just picture those hands stretching to his arms fullest extension, next time you view the night sky]. All the millions of stars are at my command (Isaiah 45:12, NLT)!

For whom do you earnestly stretch wide your arms?

Have you ever thought about how BIG Gods arms are open for you or, how all- encompassing His embrace is for all people?

Are you imagining BIG? Think BIGGER!!!

Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. Tell everyone about Gods power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people” (Psalm 68:33-35, NLT).

Let’s face it, God is way bigger then we often consider. Perhaps it’s because we don’t accept enough hugs from Him?!

  • How have you experienced Him imparting His power and strength to you, especially through prayer (individually and corporately)?
  • When have you known of His intimate reassurance in your great need?
  • How do you pass on the comfort He has comforted you with?
  • What makes you run to Him for strength?

CONSIDER IT A HUG!

Anyone who thinks they are sufficient on their own; or big enough, in and of themselves, have some startling realities to encounter. God is able, whether we believe it or not to use his might to direct our free-will choices to accomplish HIS ultimate plans and purpose. His love is the most powerful influence.

Our choice to receive his embrace may mean a matter of life and health for us and others.

The same one who came down is the one who ascended higher than all the heavensso that his rule might fill the entire universe. Under his direction, the whole body, is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:10, 16, NLT).

“I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick” (Isaiah 43:15-17, NLT)

IT IS A CHOICE

God’s way is by invitation with a command to take a Sabbath Day of Rest – EACH WEEK. This action is God’s reminder to us that HE, not me, is bigger and most definitely, capable to manage our affairs. When we stop our busyness to rest IN HIM, IT’S LIKE A BIG HUG. He declares His love, and we declare our receiving trust!

Bear hugs with God are contagious. Once you have them, you can’t help but want more, and to also pass them on.

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith HaShem (Isaiah 66:23, English translation of the Great Isaiah Scroll [Masoretic Version]).

Praise the LORD: praise God our Savior! For each day he carries us in his arms (Psalm 68:19, NLT).

STILL need a BIG Hug?

Thank you Great Creator, for your hands that stretched the stars in place. What a GREAT reminder and perspective of how wide your arms extend to us. You greet us with joy to ‘enfold and hold’ us near your chest. We lay our heads into your embrace to listen to your heart beat for us and the world. Your Word makes it clear that your Spirit empowers us to demonstrate that tender grace and mercy to other fragile and broken human beings like us! We celebrate you. Forgive us for neglecting your regular hugs each day/week – it has been our great loss and our detriment. Perhaps even hurts you?! We are sorry. We return, thankful for your wide open arms. We come expectant of a new day and powerful demonstrations of your love! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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PLAIN & SIMPLE OPTIONS

Published on 22 September 2011 by in Encouragement

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PLAIN & SIMPLE OPTIONS

What are you trusting in that makes you so confident” (Isaiah 36:4b, NLT)?

Arggghhh! I both hate and love it when a blind spot about my life is exposed for what it is! Odd how we can go for years convinced, even modestly boast with confidence, about a perspective we were so certain UNTIL God the Father decides it’s time. His Holy Spirit reveals true colors, ours in comparison to His. The humble encounter leaves a choice that can prove the opportunity, work and power of the cross of Jesus!!!

Our DAILY CHOICES demonstrate if we are:

  • Living in the power of new life in the Holy Spirit or,
  • Living in the powerful cravings of our sinful nature.

The reality is – “these two forces are constantly fighting each other, and our choices are never free from this conflict.” (See Galatians 5:16-26)

So, IS THERE a plain and simple solution to help make the right choice? YES!

To be aware of our need to know and trust God more, and to be accountable so others help us act on that knowledge! Frequent reminders from the WORD about WHO God is HOW He has already provided an endless supply of discovery and perspective. His power and provision help make the right choice more plain, simply and clear.

In just a few short chapters from Isaiah (36-42) we can encounter certain names, attributes, works, deeds, purposes, and plans of God that shed light on circumstances and choices (if we believe):

LORD Almighty, Wonderful Teacher, Enthroned, Rock, Salvation, Fortress, Refuge, Redeemer, Rest, Majestic Voice, Gives great Wisdom, Destroys pride, Shows contempt for all human greatness, Can deplete strength of the mighty, Will wipe away all tears, Is on my side, Turns mighty cities into heaps of ruins, Removes forever all insults and mockery against His land and people, Heals His people and cures their wounds, Shelter from storm, Refreshes as a river in the desert, Calls us to freedom, Judge, Lawgiver, King, Cares for and saves us, Forgives our sins, Gently leads, Enraged against nations, Fury against armies, Destroys & slaughters, Will punish the world for evil, Will punish the wicked for sin, Bring terror to people, Keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him.

YES OR NO?

  • God deserves our trust and should be feared
  • Accountability with others regarding prayerful choices, help cultivate humility and dependence on God
  • I tend to ignore God when uncomfortable
  • I avoid accountability with others when…
  • I demonstrate willing teach-ability when I ask someone to pray with me

PLAIN & SIMPLE OPTIONS:

  • With whom are you sharing the reality of your heart?
  • How does the holiness of The LORD God Almighty instill a healthy fear in you? Enough to make right choices?

Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world died long ago, and the worlds interest in me is also long dead. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people. May Gods mercy and peace be upon all those who live by this principle (Galatians 6:7, 8, 14, 15b, 16a).

Holy LORD God Almighty – you deserve that every choice we make be in honor and respect of your name, majesty, and holiness. Truth is, you have given us the option – we all give account to YOU, whether voluntary now or forced later. So we humbly confess now, that our choices don’t always demonstrate your provision. We screw up every time we give in to the power of our carnal, sinful nature and then we hide or justify our choice, often in isolation. As your Bride, we need a fresh perspective of you and each other. Your kindness leads us to repentance. Your grace and mercy are abundant and equal for all of us. Your power can help us make right choices. Please help us, as your family, to encourage one another and build each other up; to be a safe place of authenticity; and, to help each other CHOOSE to live new life in and through YOU, the power of your Word and Holy Spirit. Thank you, in Jesus name. Amen.

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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IN THE WHIRLWIND – LISTEN

Published on 11 September 2011 by in Encouragement

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IN THE WHIRLWIND – LISTEN

“Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind” (Job 37:38, NLT).

I love what this verse declares! When the loss and devastation of our experience is epicor when family and friends misjudge us; even when it feels like God doesn’t care about the hurricane force struggle of our inner world due to unexpected circumstances – we can be authentic about the storms of life, and God will answer.

God willingly listens; knowing it all, and in perfect timing He answers, with perspective!

We can learn from Job’s raw expressions and authenticity, and from God’s response – which clearly ticked off his wife and friends:

  • God can handle whatever we have to say; He does it best
  • He understands how much we need to say it; even if it comes out messy
  • God did not lose patience with Job. He listened as long and as deep as Job needed to release the torture of his soul; “Then the LORD answered from the whirlwind.”

Job was, in fact, crying out for someone to genuinely listen. Sure his friends gave him seven days of a compassionate listening ear. However, that changed. I wonder if they couldn’t listen longer for fear of facing off with their own personal, unanswered, and perhaps denied stormy wonders and questions.

When Job hit the center, God was there to listen and answer.

  • God’s answer changed Job’s thinking and belief system
  • Job was ready to listen
  • Perspective and a new response to his circumstances were gained
  • Prayer on behalf of his family and friends became his response after hearing God

Been there?

  • How authentic are your conversations with God?
  • How do you handle the disappointment of those who can’t or won’t handle your genuine and truthful struggle?
  • Have you experienced your Heavenly Father’s listening ear?
  • Are you willing to encounter the cleansing work of honesty and be humbled to agreement with God?
  • How have you mismanaged your pain? Have you felt God’s hug anyway?!
  • How have His answers given you new perspective? Are you still waiting to hear from Him?
  • Are you prepared to pray for those who misjudged you?

God can handle you. The question is: Can you handle what He will say to you?

Listen to Job’s response after the LORD answered him from the whirlwind:

“Job answered: ‘I’m speechless, in awe, words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen’” (Job 40:3-5, The Message).

What is your whirlwind? Do you believe that God will listen? He knows what it takes to get you to listen. That changes everything! Perhaps it’s time to release the valve.

God we are humbled and grateful that you are so patient to hear us out. You know us best. Thank you for encouraging us to be honest and that you answer, even when we screw up in our assessment and management of life. You are able to save us from ourselves. Your love is perfect and your ways above ours! Praise your name!!! Help us to be a listening ear to others, the way you are to us – with grace, mercy, love, truth and accountability!

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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CRUNCHED CHOICES!

Published on 30 August 2011 by in Encouragement

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CRUNCHED CHOICES!

“We are not our own bosses to live or die as we ourselves might choose  (Romans 14:7a, TLB).

A friend recently shared the costly choice her young adult son made after he had a couple of beer, to responsibly let a new friend drive his car home. Thankfully no one was hurt in the accident, but the young man was left to pay a costly bill, without any help from this new “friend.”

Which decision was the most costly, to drink and not drive? To trust someone he barely knew to drive his car? To place himself in the circumstances he did in the first place? Other? Whose choices were careless? The son, new friend, or both? What other questions reflect the cost of choice?

  • Do you prefer easier decisions?
  • Can you make tough choices when you need to?
  • Have you had to choose between right and right?
  • What guides your decision making process?
  • Do you inquire of the Lord regarding your choices?

“Living or dying we follow the Lord. Either way we are his. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it” (Romans 14:8, TLB).

“It was through reading the Scripture that I came to realize that I could never find God’s favor by trying-and failing-to obey the laws. I came to realize that acceptance with God comes by believing in Christ. I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:19-21, TLB).

What perspective will you operate from today for the decisions you face?

Are you prepared for any cost?

His Choice … Our Choice

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa 53:5, NIV).

All we say about ourselves is that we are your servants because of what Jesus has done for us” (2 Cor 4:5b, NLT).

Jesus, you chose willingly to be crunched at a great cost! Thank you for your forgiveness, mercy, and grace that washes over our stubborn pride as we admit and agree with you about our selfish and convenient ways! Your ways are higher, costly, and worthy. Protect us from making convenient choices that are only for selfish gain. In Jesus name, Amen.

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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AWARENESS IS JUST CAUSE FOR ACTION!

Published on 15 August 2011 by in Encouragement

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AWARENESS IS JUST CAUSE FOR ACTION!

I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel. There Ephraim is given to prostitution and Israel is defiled (Hosea 6:10, NIV).

I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD (Hosea 5:3-4, NIV).

The one tribe of Ephraim affected the entire nation of Israel. It’s our turn, as a tribe of Gods own people, to get serious about acknowledging the LORD, for the sake of our nation(s). Clans have great influence for either good or for evil.

Pros-ti-tu-tion (noun) 1. work of prostitute: the act of engaging in sexual intercourse or performing other sex acts in exchange for money, or of offering another person for such purposes; 2. misuse of talent for gain: the use of a skill or ability in a way that is considered unworthy, usually for financial gain (Encarta Dictionary).

You can add your prayer action to bold and courageous initiatives, in order for individuals to recognize defilement for what it is, and return to and acknowledge the LORD. In fact, allow the subject to test the purity of your own heart.

In August 2011, in Vancouver, BC a bonfire was lit to launch the Ignite The Road to Justice Mission Tour to cities across Canada. The purpose to educate Canadians about the horrors of human trafficking (for more details: Prostitution is an affliction, not a profession)

Ignorance is no excuse. Let’s not be fooled, there are severe consequences! Nations are enslaved by prostitution. We have a responsibility and duty, as His family, to appeal to the grace and mercy, salvation and power of our LORD on behalf of our nation. God is just! Condemnation awaits corruption. What are we doing about it?! This is an issue of heart that can result in judgment!

“After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants’” (Rev 19:1-2, NIV).

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, The two will become one flesh.’ But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Cor 6:15-17, NIV).

  • How do your prayers touch/broach this topic?
  • What demonstrates that you care for those enslaved?
  • For what gain have you exchanged intimacy with God?

Father we cry out in shame for the sin of NOT acknowledging you, and for adulterating the intimate place-designed-to hold you in our hearts. We confess and repent of our actions, corporately as a human family that encourage and support horrible deeds of selfish gain, especially at the expense of the innocent. We recognize this defilement is an example of what you cruelly bled, suffered and died for. We call upon your mercy, salvation, glory, and power to extend undeserved grace; to right the wrong of human trafficking in our land. Bless those that Ignite the Road to Justice” to create movement and awareness, which would result in action that acknowledges YOU, while restoring dignity to individuals and families! We unite our voice as members of your clan! In the name of Jesus we declare YOU are just and holy!

He satisfies every need there is” (Acts 17:25, NIV).

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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DO YOU KNOW A TROUBLE MAKER?

Published on 05 August 2011 by in Encouragement

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DO YOU KNOW A TROUBLE MAKER?

“The one thing I ask of the LORD – the thing I seek most – is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORDs perfections and meditating in his Temple. ‘For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing, and praising the LORD with music’ (Psalm 27:4-6, NLT).

Who or what is YOUR trouble maker?

Threat, intimidation, lies or frustration… have you experienced the injustice of these? Have you been disrespected, mocked, bullied, or insulted because of someone else’s pride and baggage? If you are breathing, you likely know how this can undermine or chip away at your strength, patience or resolve; perhaps, at times, terrify you.

How do you handle the threat of this trouble?

What a beautiful clue and reminder of the role and intimacy of prayer! There is great encouragement and necessary understanding in words like these:

“This is HOW the LORD rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace at last throughout the land (2 Chron 32:22, NLT).

What circumstances in your life need peace?

 “What are you trusting in that makes you think you can survive my siege of Jerusalem? What makes you think your God can do any better? How much less will your God rescue you from my power! Said King Sennacherib of Assyria to Hezekiah” (2 Chron 32:14-15, NLT)?

“Be strong and courageous! Dont be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are just men. We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us” (2 Chron 32:7-8, NLT)!

Thank you dear Lord that you desire to rescue and defend us from every threat of evil and every trouble maker! In fact, you have already fought and WON our battles!!! Grant us fresh perspective, with eternal eyes, to know Who You are; who others are; and, who we are. You alone are our hiding place and we sincerely say a huge THANK YOU!!!

How well do you know YOUR rescuer?

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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Stay or Not?

Published on 30 July 2011 by in Encouragement

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Stay or Not?

“The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you” (2 Chron 15:2, NLT).

Where DO the years go?!

Our first born moves from home, next month. Do I wish he would stay? A resounding YES – most of the time that is ;). Will he stay? Most definitely NOT! He can not stay forever. He is ready, prepared, and excited to move on, as it should be.

As God’s child, I have a choice of staying with God, or not. Herein lies the difference – I want and need to stay with HIM forever, as it should be!

Life’s experiences require an eternal perspective!

This verse takes on new, special and thoughtful meaning, providing great comfort to know that my all-seeing, all-knowing, ever-present, faithful, kind and loving Lord WILL STAY, and never leave my family, that is, as long as we remain in Him. This keeps us together, even though we must be miles/kms apart.

This also challenges my commitment to continue to press into prayer, to remain in His love so that the fruit I bear will result in an eternal reunion that includes my children.

What do you find most difficult to release regarding those you love most? What is your understanding of eternity? How you believe God purposed you and your kids to trust Him during days of transition? What helps you stay connected to your heavenly Father and your loved ones?

There is so much more life ahead yet to be discovered and experienced which includes eternity. According to what I’ve heard and read in God’s already declared Word, the plans are good; have a hope and a future, and, include everything needed for life and godliness. That does my soul good, helping me to release both of our sons into God’s perfect ways for them, and us.

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you… “

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:4, 6-7, 9-10, NIV).

Dear Lord, thank you that you are the Author of life! You know the pages of our story, even before they are written. What a gift to discover and explore the adventurous plot and role you unfold for each one of us, day in and day out. I pray for all of us, including our sons and daughters who leave home, that we will embrace our experiences as opportunity to remain in you, confidently trusting and believing that ALL your ways are PERFECT and do have a PLAN!!! Help us remember it’s all about You! Thank you that you will never leave us or forsake us. Amen.

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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22.	WHO/WHAT IS ON YOUR HEART, LORD?

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:14, 16, NIV).

“Our great Helper in prayer is the Lord Jesus Christ, our Advocate with the Father, our Great High Priest, whose chief ministry for us these centuries has been intercession and prayer. He it is who takes our imperfect petitions from our hands, cleanses them from their defects, corrects their faults, and then claims their answer from His Father on His own account and through His all-atoning merits and righteousness.

“Brother/sister, are you fainting in prayer? Look up. Your blessed Advocate has already claimed your answer and you would grieve and disappoint Him if you were to give up the conflict in the very moment when victory is on its way to meet you. He has gone in for you into the inner chamber, and already holds up your name upon the palms of His hands; and the messenger, which is to bring you your blessing, is now on his way, and the Spirit is only waiting your trust to whisper in your heart the echo of the answer form the throne, ‘It is done’” (A.B. Simpson, taken from Streams In the Desert, 1966).

Thank you Jesus that even today, on behalf of human kind, you stand before our heavenly Father with greatest awareness and presentation of our needs according to your eternal plans and provision. We take comfort and courage to press on, believing that our prayers are heard and answered, perfected by yours. Expand our desire, discipline and delight to pray more and more from your eternal perspective. What and who is on your heart today, Lord that we can agree with you? Reshape our understanding and practice of prayer that your enemies are made your footstool and we are made holy. In Jesus name we pray.

For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence (Heb 9:24, NIV).

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Heb 7:25, NIV).

But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Heb 10:12-14. NIV).

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Heb 12:2-3, NIV).

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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THINK WITH YOUR HEART

Published on 14 July 2011 by in Encouragement

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THINK WITH YOUR HEART

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20, ESV).

God’s Word says the truth about God is known instinctively because He put this knowledge into our hearts. In other words, our hearts MUST be engaged to know God!

So why would we ignore or downplay our hearts? Why are we tempted to go to the Tree of Knowledge of Good or Evil, like in Genesis? What is the belief and lure there is greater value on brain power, thereby keeping our heart’s instinct separate and distant from the knowledge of God? Our culture certainly celebrates and encourages self knowledge. How, then, do we learn to think with our hearts?

I suggest that diligent observation, with sincere and honest thanksgiving, is one key way that serves to cultivate knowledge of the heart.

  • Today would you consider one invisible quality of God you are aware of and choose to express appreciation for that with your lips? What understanding stirs and grows by this revelation? Would you tell Him how and why that makes you feel the way you do.
  • Consider your current surroundings and what serves to make you familiar with His eternal power and divine nature?
  • Would there be any truth you you’re be avoiding or pushing away that might hold your heart back from knowing God and making Him known? Confess and renounce it. We have no excuse whatsoever, according to Romans 1:20b, for not knowing God. We need only LOOK and SEE what He has made to acknowledge and express appreciation.

Let us pay attention by acknowledging and giving God thanks today, and every day, or we may be in danger of thinking up foolish ideas of what God is like. Going down that track leads to minds that become ‘dark and confused.’

“When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done; they refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too”  (Romans 1:28, 31-32, NLT).

Dear Lord today we proclaim that you ALONE save! All around us the beauty of your creation shouts of your power and majesty. You are worthy of our saying so! We recognize and acknowledge, with our hearts, that you and your ways are glorious and strong and that our ways, in and of themselves, are foolish, inclined to evil! We sin against you when we elevate and justify our made-up belief systems, thinking in some way our ways are above yours; FORGIVE US for such foolishness, pride, and heartlessness! We declare that your grace and mercy is MARVELOUS and that you are worthy of our belief and trust. Please help us think and live from your life within our hearts! You deserve glory! You are God, we are not! Thank you for making yourself known to us. Amen.

Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be revered above all gods. The gods of other nations are merely idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty are in his dwelling. O nations of the world, recognize the LORD, recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong. Give to the LORD the glory he deserves” (1 Chronicles 16:23-29a, NLT)!

©2011 Dr Karen Braun

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