A Good Friday Reflection

A Good Friday Reflection

Note from Suellen: This faith-inspiring reflection is perfect for today. Insert your name instead of Mary Ann’s. Let the faithfulness of Jesus be real to you. He did this for you!

 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 3:25-29

God’s promises never fail!!!  Oh Lord, it is so true. Your promises never fail!

The blessings of Abraham, all God’s promises to Him, are mine!

I am a child of God.  He is my forever Father.  I am the daughter of God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

I am clothed with beautiful white raiments of Christ Jesus’ Righteousness, all by faith.  Simply believing and receiving His word as perfect Truth. I am one with Jesus and the Father! I am a part of the royal priesthood.

And  my Great High Priest, Jesus, ever lives to intercede for me, Mary Ann Wolfe. For me, the joy set before Him, Jesus walked the Via Della Rosa all the way to Calvary.

When everyone else ran away, He stayed.  He stayed on course, stumbling beneath the weight of the cross. His breath was labored. Blood dripped into His eyes. It tickled His nose, but His hands firmly on the cross couldn’t wipe it away.

The thorns on His crown itched His head. A face so marred it did not appear human anymore. His mouth was dry, His lips cracked. But He stayed the course, one step at a time in total agony.

His destination: not His healing or even help for the pain.  No, His destiny was to be hung on a cross for me.  With help from Simon of Cyrene,  He finally made it to the hill of skulls with the cross.

Crowds  jeering and mocking Him all the way.

Guards threw the cross down and He stayed. They laid Him on the cross and pounded nails into His hands and feet. And still He stayed. He stayed for me! They pulled up the cross and dropped it with a thud into the ground. Pain ricocheted through the body of Jesus Christ the Son of God Almighty. And yet, He stayed.

He could have called one thousand angels and it would all be over. Instead He said, “Father, forgive them they know not what they do.” He stayed with His arms outstretched for me!

He saw me, His joy, and said, I’m staying, I’m staying. I will never leave her or forsake her. I will save her so she can be a daughter of  the One True King. I will save her, so I can present her to My Father at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

I will stay, I will stay, I will stay, until I die and rise again defeating sin and death forever. Why? So all of Abraham’s blessings and promises can belong to all of God’s faithful children.

I will stay to make Mary Ann a joint-heir with Me to all of heavens glories. I will stay because I love Mary Ann Wolfe with a love that passes all knowledge or understanding.

And I say, all I know is this. I love You, Jesus, because You first loved me.

To God be the glory for the great things He has done!

A Good Friday Reflection

God’s Will: Just Ask Him

As I talk to people who are going through tough times, one of the primary problems they face is confusion. Why is this happening? And what can I do about it?

When we are under pressure, it’s hard to think clearly. Our thoughts become cloudy as we deal with the emotions of the moment.

But there are a couple of verses nearly hidden in the 5th chapter of I John which start to push back those clouds. As we ponder those verses, we remember that God is on our side – and He answers our prayers.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.I John 5:14

When I see that verse, I want to meditate on it – let its meaning saturate me.

If what we are praying is God’s will, and if we know that it is His will, then we will have that for which we pray. We’ll have faith in what we are praying and we’ll have whatever we ask.

So then next question, how do we know God’s will?

Simply put, God’s will is His Word. His will is wrapped up in the fact that Jesus came to earth and died for our sins. Then He rose again and sent His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts and restore us to the blessings He had ordained for us. Peace in our families, provision, health – all the blessings we see enumerated in scripture.

So we approach our Handbook – the Words ordained by our Creator to tell us who He is and who we are – the Book otherwise known as the Bible. Then we ask for guidance in finding just that part of His Word which applies to our present moment.

Then we pray. And we know that He hears us and answers our prayer.

To illustrate, I want to tell you about a young man who did just what we are talking about.

This young man’s country had been invaded by a brutal army. He had been captured – along with all of his relatives – and taken into a far country. The times were tough, but he knew his God and remained faithful to Him.

He prayed everyday – and he lived a holy life – even though mean spirited, unholy people were all around him.

Have you guessed by now who I’m talking about? I’m talking about Daniel who had been taken to Babylon.

We can read his story in the Book of Daniel.

After he was taken captive, many years passed, and then…

As Daniel was reading the “Books,” the Holy scrolls which eventually became part of the Bible, he saw where God had spoken to Jeremiah. God had said that the Jews would be in Babylon 70 years, and then He would bring them back to their country.

Daniel sat up straight. 70 years were almost passed. God had revealed the timing, and it was almost time for the Jews to be sent back home.

Daniel began to fast and pray. He knew God’s will because he had seen it in the scriptures. (Jeremiah 29:10) So he prayed for God to send them home just as He had promised. Daniel had great faith for this to happen because He had seen clearly that this was God’s plan. God’s will.

When Daniel prayed this prayer, Darius was king of Babylon. Yet shortly after, Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon and became its king. Then God began to speak to this unbeliever named Cyrus. And Cyrus started the process of sending Jews back to rebuild the ruins of their beloved country. To restore the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. (See Ezra 1:1)

Daniel prayed for God’s Word to come to pass and it did!

What would you have done? Would you have prayed for the fulfillment of God’s Word, or would you have just sat around moping and wishing God would do what he said?

Many today are doing the latter.

But there are those who are rising up. They are not settling for status quo, but they are digging into God’s Word and they are praying it back to God. And these people are seeing many miracles.

Isaiah gave us an illustration of this.

Isaiah 55:10,11    For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, ­­And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

So shall My Word be which goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

His Word shall not return to Him empty – without accomplishing what He sent it for. And how does it return to Him? When you pray God’s Word back to Him – asking for its fulfillment – you are returning it to Him.

Your prayers help to accomplish God’s will in your life.

That’s what Daniel did.

Now what do you do? What do I do?

Let’s find those words our Father has spoken to us, and ask for their fulfillment. When we do that, we are agreeing with God’s will and we will see the results.

When we know that we are praying God’s will, we have faith for it, and we receive what we pray.

Enough for today, we’ll talk more about this next time.

In the meantime,

Keep on Soaring,

Soar Like an Eagle

Soar Like an Eagle

My husband loves to photograph Eagles.

We have spent many days packing gear into our car and driving off to unfamiliar territory in order to catch glimpses of these magnificent birds. We join the quiet, respectful group of photographers who have congregated close to the nests. Then patiently we wait to spot the tiny eaglets as their heads pop up.

My favorite part of this excursion is to watch the adult birds. They launch from the nest in pursuit of food. And they soar.

High, higher, higher…

These beautiful, majestic birds spread their wings to their full extent and they soar. The wind currents carry them and they disappear from sight as they head toward the nearest water or higher hills.

Then you watch them dip and swirl as they allow the wind streams to create the lift they desire.

It’s beautiful to watch.

This scenario reminds me of our lives as Christians.

God has plans for us. Our special purpose to further His Kingdom. Our unique part in His big plan.

You may think of yourself as too small or too insignificant to matter very much to God.

If so, you are wrong. You are precious and extremely important to your Father.

Do you consider yourself  a “simple person?” Well I have tremendous news for you! That’s who God is looking for.

God isn’t looking for self-sufficient ones.  He is looking for those who rely on Him and His Spirit to live their lives and accomplish His will.

To put it another way, the old adage is true: the way up is down. Down on our knees and down in our own eyes.

Then He will lift you up.

When we insist on doing things in our own strength, we mix our own efforts – even our best efforts – with pride, fear, worry, confusion, and every negative emotion.

Our Father wants our lives to be above all of that negativity. He has many things for us to accomplish, but He wants us to accomplish them with joy. And he desires to work with us to fulfill our part.

So when we start with prayer, reading the Word, and listening for our Father’s direction, something beautiful occurs. We get direction as to what to do. We gain confidence that only comes from time with Him.

And He empowers us to accomplish His task.

Even youths shall faint and grow weary.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

They shall mount up with wings as eagles.

They shall run and not be weary. 

They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)

 

Do You Suffer From Frozen Words?

Do You Suffer From Frozen Words?

I can hear you now. Frozen Words. What a strange concept! What on earth is she talking about?

I have to admit it’s an unusual way of saying what I have to say today, but its origin is very sound. Its origin is none other than the Bible.

So I’ll produce a little background. A few years ago as I was studying the Bible and reading along with no particular direction in mind, some verses leapt off the page at me. You know what I mean. Verses which had never meant that much to me suddenly took on a WOW status.

Psalm 147:15-20

He sends forth His command to the earth; His Word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold?

He sends forth His Word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow and His waters to flow. He declares His Word to Jacob. His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation. And as for His ordinances, they have not known them…Praise the Lord!

I stopped right there, and had to read and reread them. The more I did, the more the meaning became clear, and the more their meaning became significant for learning about God’s Kingdom.

These verses talk about two different “speakings” from God. The first is the speaking which sends His Word to the earth, but it’s frozen. It’s locked up, so that it’s hard to understand. “Who can stand before this cold?”

Then comes that wonderful second speaking. The Word is sent in such a way that the snow is melted and waters flow. This time there is a revealing to the children of God. This time the Words are understood and like refreshing waters they bring life and understanding to God’s people.

In the New Testament, we are introduced to two kinds of Word. The Logos, which is all of the Word of God and the Rhema, which is the Word which is spoken to us – personally. It’s revelation, or the truth within the truth.

That’s what these two speakings are referring to. The logos and the rhema. One is the general word for all to see, and the other is when that general word is melted into your heart and revealed to you.

What a beautiful image. The frozen word becoming life giving water as it becomes clear to you that God Himself is speaking that Word to you personally.

That concept of the frozen versus the melted – the ice versus the water, permeates every aspect of our walk with the Lord.

There are many people in our world today who know that the Bible speaks of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Yet that Word means nothing to them because it’s frozen. They don’t believe it or receive it.

But many of those same people will one day have that word speak to them again, and their lives will be changed. No longer will they see them as rigid words of someone else’s doctrine. They will see them as the Truth, and they will find those words speaking to themselves personally. From that moment, those people will never be the same.

Now let’s take a look at ourselves. God’s plan is so vast and His purpose so deep that none of us – not one – has received all of the revelation, the melted word, that He wants to pour upon our lives. So as we continue to read and study God’s Word, more and more of the Truth will be revealed to us.

Is there a certain area of your life which needs God’s special Word to you? Are you hurting because of problems in your family? Are you suffering from financial lack? Are you or a loved one sick? Are you crying out for a revival in our world?

Every area of our lives has a Word from God which applies to that. He wants us healed, whole, provided for, and spending our time helping to advance His Kingdom. Yet until we are able to hear Him speaking to those needs, we won’t have the faith we need to receive our answers from Him.

So what do we do? We find those words which apply to us at the moment. We then read them and reread them. We mutter them to ourselves, and allow the Truth to penetrate our spirits. As we continue, something amazing happens. God speaks those words to us in a way that we know they are true. No longer are they words on a page, they are now Words spoken to us personally.

Oh, that beautiful moment. We see it’s for us! We see it’s real and it’s personal! We are drenched in the reality that not only does God love us, but He wants the best for us.

Our wonderful Creator has turned the ice and snow into the melted Word of God – penetrating our innermost parts.

A beautiful moment indeed.

Forever Upward!

Suellen Estes150

 

 

P.S. If you would like a compilation of some Covenant Scriptures, addressing many areas of your life, you may download them Here.

 

 

 

Faith Pursues

Faith Pursues

If you’ve heard me teach for very long, you have heard me talk about “the woman with the issue of blood.” She’s one of my favorite people in the Bible, and an incredible inspiration to many.

In Mark 5:25-34 we catch her story. Here she is – a very sick lady. So sick, in fact that she has been going to every specialist she can find, and she has spent all of her money. For her to go to that much trouble, she must have been in great pain.

But she heard…

What did she hear? She heard about Jesus and how He had been healing people who were sick. And the amazing thought came into her mind that maybe – just maybe – He could heal her also.

So she went to where the crowds were gathered and observed His power over sickness and disease. She probably heard others talking about their healings, and she increased in assurance that this time would be different.

The day finally came, and this special lady was going to act.

Can you imagine how nervous she might have been? She was not even supposed to be out in public with her ailment, so her boldness put herself at great risk of punishment. And then think about the embarrassment involved. All of those people would see her erratic behavior… And what if it didn’t work?

All of those thoughts must have roared through her head as she pushed forward to make her claim. Yet she would not be denied the blessing she had come to believe was hers. This woman was determined.

So she pursued, and we know the outcome. Her healing came – not because Jesus had chosen to give it (He didn’t even see her there), but because she reached out with faith and courage.

“Who touched me?” He said – a question which confused His disciples. How could He ask that when the crowd was heavy and many were touching Him?

This was different. Someone had touched Him in a way so that he felt power leaving His body. Though He didn’t see her, Jesus could feel the anointing being transmitted to her. Her faith had pursued the healing available through Jesus, and this faith had appropriated that healing for her.

Okay, so here we are in the present day, and I think that this message should resonate with us now. There are many problems we encounter. Sickness, financial lack, and problems with families.

Perhaps we have gone to every professional and we have tried everything they have recommended.  Perhaps we have even spent all that we had in order to find the answer. Yet the problem is still raging – with no solution in sight.

Yet as we think  about Jesus, read God’s Word and pray, we begin to focus on a different kind of solution – a heavenly one. God is still working miracles – in the 21st century. He is healing supernaturally, restoring broken lives, and restoring broken families. He is also making a way for provision when there seems to be no way for it to come.

When I find myself facing difficult situations, this woman and her tenacity stir me to take action. I pray and read passages of Scripture or other books to elevate my faith. I have seen many miracles in my own life, and I expect to see many more.

And I know that there are times when you have to be bold as you go for your answers. You must pursue. You have to be determined to press through the crowd of casual believers and receive answers which seem impossible to many.

Then you’ll hear those words, “Who touched Me?” You’ll receive that power that only Jesus and His Holy Spirit can give.