Sunday, 27 December 2009

“Free Yourself”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12, 1 NIV).

In one of my previous devotionals I shared about the clematis that had been growing so nicely in our garden. Well, here is another story about this wondrous plant. We had gone on a trip for about 2 weeks and when we returned I was so anxious to see the growth in the garden. You know, when you are gone for a while you see much more growth than if you are around the garden every single day. To my surprise this clematis had practically overtaken the whole flowerbed. What looked quite nice in the beginning looked now awful. Taking a closer look at this growth I was amazed to see how it had entangled all the plants and the rose bush in such a short time. As I started to cut the clematis I looked at how it had grown around the plants. It indeed had become a nuisance; it was annoying and a burden. After cutting through the many branches I finally saw our flowerbed freed from this ugly growth. It was quite amazing, because step by step, day by day this clematis moved forward like a snake until it had overcome our beautiful flowerbed. At this moment the LORD reminded me of this verse in Hebrews 12:1 and opened my eyes to the characteristic of sin in our lives.

You know, if you do not watch it, sin will entangle you and choke your life. What looks quite insignificant at first will soon become ugly and burdensome to you. You need to daily be aware of this danger and throw off everything that will hinder you. Do not wait for any sin to grow root in you but use every opportunity to resist that very enemy that wants to destroy the freedom in your life. And this is the key to free yourself and to enjoy your walk in divine victory.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Ask And You Shall Receive!

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24 NIV).

I carried a concern with me for quite some time. I kept it to myself and didn’t talk to anyone about it, not even to my husband. Then when this need became a real big one I just couldn’t keep it to myself anymore. I had to talk to him about it and ask if he could meet that need. And do you know what? He made a way! He didn’t turn me down, he didn’t say that I needed to come to him another day. No, he instantly said yes although at that time we didn’t have the means. I received what I had asked for! The nice thing was that later on that day we had a check in the mailbox that covered more than I needed.

This story reflects so much the heart of God and how it “works” in His Kingdom. If you read the above verse carefully, you will discover that when you ask the LORD for something, you need to believe. The LORD says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Faith is also being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. Although whatever you have asked for might not be visible yet, you need to hear and know in your heart that the LORD said Yes and Amen to your request. Only then you are really walking by faith and receive what is yours. So next time you have a need, dare to ask the LORD. Know that He will not turn you down. He loves you too much. He wants your joy to be complete and your faith in Him to be unshaken. So go now and receive your blessings from God!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 13 December 2009

“Become Like Me”

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus”
(Acts 4, 13 NIV).

I recently had a dream that I would like to share with you. In this dream was a young boy that I know who is about 6 years old who was preaching to a group of children his age. As I observed him in this dream, I thought that this is not like he usually behaves. His talk was bold and it seemed to me that he felt totally confident and consumed by this new and more mature character that had become his. He so much reminded me of his 25 year old big brother. And in my dream, as I was thinking about why he had become like his big brother, I realized two important things; Firstly, I knew that he loved and admired his brother very much. Secondly, the more time that he spent with this brother that he loved, the more he became like him. He spoke like him and he acted like him.

This is the great joy we also have as brothers and sisters in Christ. The more time we spend with Jesus Christ, the lover of our souls, the more we become like Him. So the more time that you spend in His Word and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the more you will reflect Him in your walk and talk. This is what the world needs! They need to see and experience the reality of Jesus Christ in you, the hope of Glory. I tell you, chose to invest time in your relationship with Him each and every day of your life and you will start to experience a transformation of your own personality. You will talk like Him, you will act like Him and you will greatly impact the lives of others and point them to Jesus.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 6 December 2009

I Am With You

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV).

Although the wintertime is a pretty season, the fact of the matter is that it is often dark and nature seems to be asleep. In our hometown when it gets dark we turn on the lights! During the night time all the bare trees in our park are covered with thousands of pretty lights. The lights also reflect a wonderful picture of the Christmas season: they are used to paint scenes, stars, pine trees, the nativity story and many other well known characters. You can even drive through the park if you like and enjoy the pictures and the warmth of the lights. I tell you, it’s a whole new world and for a moment or two you forget that this is just an ordinary park. You see, although you know without a shadow of doubt that the lights are there, during daylight the evidence and effect of them are invisible to the human eye.

This scene in the park reminded me very much of the invisible God. Although He is always with us, he is unseen to the human eye. But when we turn to him and fellowship with Him, a whole new world opens up to us. A life that was lost, ordinary and empty becomes a life of abundance, happiness and meaningfulness. Perhaps your life is like that. But this doesn’t have to remain like this forever! Turn to your Savior and He will open your spiritual eyes and you will experience and enjoy the wonderful rich life that is found in the presence of the one true God. His name is Jesus Christ and He is the Light of the World.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner