Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: Everything by Mary DeMuth

The book Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus by Mary DeMuth will challenge Christians. She addresses the head--thoughts we think, the heart--who we are, and the hands--how we live in her three part book.

For me a key chapter was "Forsake the Seven-Letter Word That Demolishes Everything." That word was "control." Mary admits, "Control satiates me. It calms me...I'd rather live a controlled life than let Jesus take me on unfamiliar roads."

So true. We all love control, whether we admit it or not. We become angry when our perceived "rights" are violated. God whispers continually to us, "Am I everything?"

Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..."

The seven-letter remedy to "control" is "abandon."

"He asks us to abandon our control so that He can reign in our lives and grow us."

The chapter "Embrace Holy Inebriation" was interesting. I agreed with the concepts of what she was saying. Though I have a difficult time with comparing holiness to becoming drunk, the Apostle Paul did compare it in Ephesians 5:18, saying, "Be not drunk with wine... but be filled with the Spirit." It's something to think about.

I disagree to an extent with the advocacy of being "true to ourselves" (page 88). I would rather say "true to who God made us to be." Without Him we are nothing, and this world likes to focus on "finding ourselves." God is the only One Who can show us who we were (sinners), who we are (saints in light), and what we can become (more and more victorious and joyful in Him)! I agree that at times we need to look at the reason why we have acted or act a certain negative way in order to correct it. But only through Christ is there ever any answers. It's not about us. And I truly believe that is what Mary is trying to say in her book.

"Choose to Heal" was a very good chapter as well. Mary cites the story in John 5 where Jesus basically asks the man at the Pool of Bethesda, "Do you want to be well?"

"Jesus wastes none of our stories, even our tales of woe. He transforms them into epic adventures where we dare to face our past for the sake of our present." I would add, "...for the sake of Him Who has healed us." Again, it's all about Him!

There were many other great chapters I could touch upon, but I would recommend this book in general for a Christian who desires to walk more closely with Jesus.

*The reader should be advised that the author uses various versions of the Bible. I would recommend the reader look up the verses in the KJV. (There are verses that just do not read the same. This is what really concerns me about using various versions...but that's another topic altogether!)
I review for BookSneeze®

Thursday, July 18, 2013


" every thing ye are enriched by him..." ~ I Corinthians 1:5
Have you really thought about the fact that you are "enriched"? I've been thinking about this verse lately. It's posted on my fridge right now. If you stop and think about it, I think you'll be as thrilled as I am with all that it means! ...And I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface in knowing all that it means!

"Enriched" is a great word that conjures up images of delight, contentment, joy, excitement... But the other words that keep standing out to me are "every thing." Every. Thing. 

This means that even the things that seem nasty, those things that bring me the opposite of joyful feelings--the very trials and testings, the very irritations and annoyances--are enriching my life in Christ!

His purpose is to conform me to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). Paul conveys over and over in his epistles that it is a privilege--not a curse--to suffer. He lifts up Christ as our example: "When he was reviled, {he} reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not..." (I Peter 2:21-23). How? By committing Himself to Him Who is the only perfectly Righteous Judge--God, His Father! Jesus set the example of trusting in God Who keeps all the records and justly balances everything.

In that moment of aggravation, in that moment of tension, in that very moment of stress, if I will stop, look full into the wonderful face of Jesus, and--for real!--commit myself to His Father (my Father), the Righteous and Just Judge of the whole earth, peace will flood my soul. In that moment of surrender and yielding to whatever He is doing in my life through that irritation or negative experience, I can actually experience joy!

It helps me to remember that my Father God has a helicopter view of my entire life from conception to death. He knows the reason that I need this thorn in my flesh, for His glory and also for my ultimate good. Not only that, but He has a helicopter view of the entire history of the world--past, present, and future--and knowing that, He works ALL things together for good to them that love Him, those He has called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)!

What a place of refuge! What a place to rest! Leaning on His everlasting arms that will never fail (Deuteronomy 33:27), that will never withhold from me anything that is good for me (Psalm 84:11), the arms that have never lost a victory (Joshua 1:3, Psalm 98:1)! I can trust Jesus! He loves me, and He takes care of me. 

Won't you choose to believe for today that you are enriched by Him in every thing?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Is Holiness a Goal?

Wow. I just saw Psalm 17:15 in a whole new light the other day as I was meditating on it (while weeding my garden... LOL!)

Psalm 17:15, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

This verse became special to me in my freshman year of Bible college, when my friend April shared it with me... It was her life verse, and I claimed it for my own life verse for that period of time.  Thanks, April!

At that time I viewed it as a "declaration" verse stating that I was seeking to be holy, to become righteous. Now, there is a truth that as I yield to Christ, my behaviour and actions become more righteous as I grow in Him. However, there are many passages that tell me that positionally I already am righteous, because I am "in Christ." Please hear (read) me out and consider this carefully! This concept has really changed my life and my thinking!

As I learn to know Him and yield to Him more readily, more often, and on more of regular basis, rather than yielding to my default/fleshly desires and behaviour, my life will exhibit more and more of His righteousness that is already in me by His Spirit.

So from that change of thought--that I should look at holiness as a position in Christ that I yield to, rather than a goal to attain--this is the personal application the Lord gave me from my "old" life verse:

As for me, I will (desire and choose to) behold (gaze upon, focus upon, look to) His face in (through His) righteousness (in me). He plants the right desire in me as I yield to His Spirit living in me. The only way I will be satisfied (have true, lasting satisfaction, truly and deeply at rest and content) is when my focus is HIM, awaking with His likeness, from the early morning: starting my day beholding Him by claiming His righteousness afresh, first thing in the morning. Choosing to walk that way with Him through the day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jesus, My Champion!

Lord Jesus, thank You for always championing my cause! I can trust that You will always bring forth my righteousness as the light (Ps. 37:1-11) when I am right and correct my wrongs, as I yield to Your Spirit in my life. I do not have to fear those who are mad at me because You are keeping the records. I do not have to be defensive. When I trust that You are my Champion and Defender, the irritation or anger or sadness caused by others becomes as nothing (Isa. 41:10-14). The things of this world grow strangely dim when I turn my eyes to You, Jesus! Cause me (motivate me) to hear (listen to) Your lovingkindness in the morning (early in a situation), because I'm choosing to trust in You, and to know the way I should BE/live today, because I'm lifting up my soul (mind, will, and emotions) in cupped hands to You for Your control (Ps. 143:8).

Psalm 37: 
1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Isaiah 41:

10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

11Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
12Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.
13For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
14Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 143:8Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Does Anyone See or Care?

Hagar, Genesis chapters 16 and 21

There have been times I felt that no one, not even God, really saw or noticed all the work I was doing day after day with a toddler at home. I felt isolated... Hubby at work all day and then studying for sermons on the weekend.

But God really encouraged me with Hagar in Genesis 16... Remember Hagar? She felt like no one knew or appreciated her, but she had an encounter with God so real that she exclaimed that now she knew that "Thou God seest me"!

The neatest part? GOD pursued HER. When she gave up, at the lowest of her lows, HE reached out to HER! But it was her choice to respond to Him.

God gave me this passage of Scripture in direct answer to my cries to Him, "Do YOU even SEE me? Do YOU even SEE all I am doing here?" Of course, I knew in my HEAD that He did, but I FELT alone.

I don't know if you're discouraged, or what your life situation is, but the next time you feel down, I hope you'll be encouraged and lifted up with the thought that God SEES you...with LOVE and CARE! His Word is there to sustain and comfort you. He's reaching out. He's waiting for you to respond to Him.

Is your burden heavy as you bear it all alone?
Does the road you travel harbour danger yet unknown?
Are you growing weary through the struggle of it all?
Jesus will help you, when on His name you call!

Is the life you're living filled with sorrow and despair?
Does the future press you with its worry and its care?
Are you tired and friendless? Have you almost lost your way?
Jesus will help you; just come to Him today!

He is always there, hearing ev'ry prayer, faithful and true!
Walking by our side, in His love we hide all the day through!
When you get discouraged, just remember what to do--
Reach out to Jesus; He's reaching out to you!

~ Ralph Carmichael

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Light of Men

This morning I am meditating on John 1:4... "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
There is no light outside Christ. Could this mean that He gives some light (intellect, discernment, positive character traits) to unbelievers as well, to draw them unto Himself? When I see Christ's drawing out {his} soul to the hungry (Isaiah 58:10), how can I shut up my bowels of compassion (I John 3:17)--or be indifferent to those suffering around me? Hungry in spirit and soul, not just physically hungry. People all around me are hungry for the Truth, only found in God. If I simply lift HIM up, HE will draw all men to Himself (John 12:32)--living the Light! 

But I dare not focus on results. God works in mysterious ways, behind the scenes, when no one can see He is actually working. He is always working, and my job is to yield to HIS work through me, following His lead. Only then will I truly live in the light He so freely gives--the light of the glorious Gospel (II Corinthians 4:4)--the Light of the World (John 8:12; Matthew 5:14)--the Lamp that is a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105)--THE WORD--Jesus (John 1:1)! He was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)! So amazing that a King would reach down to slaves! And we WERE slaves, but NO MORE (Galatians 4:7)! Yet too often we believers live in the mentality of that slavery, because we forget that He is the ONLY LIGHT there is. 

Lord, remind me to take the candle You have lit and go light YOUR world!

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Isaiah 58:10 And [if] thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness [be] as the noonday:
I John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.
II Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Galatians 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Related Posts with Thumbnails