Quarterly Journals
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Stop & Savor It!

“Thou Hast Known My Soul…” Psalm 31:7-8

I love many things. I love to shop. I love to eat. I love to sleep. Getting to bed early is a real priority, and I love my bed. I love to vacation in nice places. I love my family, especially my husband of 43 years, our children, Domino, our grandpup, and of course our grandchildren. I love my Pastor, and I love you Shiloh. I love long, cool summer nights, and baby-back ribs. And it goes without saying that I love the Lord. When I think about the things that I love, I think about the things that endear them to me. I love them all the same, but with different expressions, based on the relationship that I have with them. The things I love bring me great joy.

In my devotions and reading of the Psalms, I have had those moments when I have had to stop and savor how much Christ loves me. I look at all the things that I love, for whatever the reason, and sometimes find it difficult to fathom how much Christ loves me; that He gets joy in being with me; and I have to stop and savor it.

Truth is, I have done nothing to earn it – He loves me! With all that I have done to discredit myself with Him – He Loves Me! When I don’t make room for Him – He Loves Me! When I think more of my stuff than I do Him – He Loves Me!

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord love righteousness” (Psalm 146:8), and He Loves Me.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for ME.” (Mark 10:45) Although deity in flesh, not once did Jesus take unfair advantage of finite men or women who spent time with Him. Although Himself omniscient, he gave others room to learn to express themselves – even when they were dead wrong, and he could have silenced them. Stop and savor it.

“Though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand” (Psalm 37:24). And that includes me. “The Spirit helps us in our infirmities, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26-27). And that includes me.

When I think on these things, I have to stop and savor it – that the Eternal God who understands my heart knows what I need even when I cannot express it. That the God of Heaven gives me the faith to take the next step – when I don’t know what lies ahead. That He gives me the assurance that even when I stumble, He will break my fall. He’s done it again. How unfathomable is it that a Holy God loves me, and not just me – You Too! His Word is a constant reminder that there are many joys that still long to be mine. His Word speaks thousands of truths to us to set us free, like birds sitting on a wire, who sing and swing a while – and then fly away. If we don’t stop and savor it, we boast in nothing. If we don’t stop and savor it we won’t realize that with all our stuff, we are incomplete. With all the joys that I have in my life, the joy of the Lord is my strength; and it humbles me to know that He finds joy in me. It is in my real frailty, that I realize I truly have nothing without Him. I must stop and savor it, then I have to bow down.

 

Submitted By Deaconess Irene Gardon    



The Spilling of the Filling

We are Christians, and we may not look like much on the outside. In fact, some of the people who have known us all of our lives, find it hard to believe that we have changed at all. After all, we look the same, and sometimes act the same, “Even though we don’t do it as often”, quoting Pastor Washington. But nevertheless, we are the redeemed people of God. And we are His possession. I know. I sometimes find it hard to believe too. I once read somewhere that somebody said that Christian personality is hidden deep inside us. It is unseen like the soup carried in a tureen high over a waiter’s head. No one know what’s inside – unless the waiter is bumped and he trips. Like so, as Christians people don’t know what inside of us until we’ve been bumped. But if Christ is living inside, what spills out is the fruit of the Spirit.

What was inside the persecuted Christians? When they were bumped from the comforts of community, they scattered abroad to spread the Gospel; some to the Jews and other to the Gentiles. What spilled out of the persecuted Christians was a message of salvation and hope in which a great number believed. What was inside the Jerusalem church, when it was bumped? Barnabas, the encourager spilled out to the church at Antioch, full of the Holy ghost. Through his ministry of encouragement, many more believe. What was inside the Church at Antioch? When they were bumped with the news of impending famine and persecution of the church of Judea, they sent monetary and material relief. Each household gave as they were able, in order to meet the needs of the believers. What was inside the early church? When they were bumped, out spilled that of which they were full – The Holy Spirit, faith and good works. What happens when somebody bumps into you? That Spills out? Shiloh, what happens here, when we are bumped?

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them.” –  Acts 13:2 KJV

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon