Sunday, 27 June 2010

Your Voice Is Familiar To Me

“’Lord if it’s you,’ Peter replied ‘tell me to come on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said.” (Matthew 14: 28 NIV)

I was thinking that day that a voice truly becomes familiar to us by deeply knowing and experiencing the heart of a person. But let me share with you here exactly what I mean.

A few days ago I tried to call a good friend of mine. He was not available at that very moment, so I listened to his voice mail. As I was listening to his voice, my thoughts traveled back in time and I realized that I had known him for 15 years, and that was indeed a long time. How comforting it was for me to know that his gentle and loving voice still sounded the same. I thought about how his voice was so familiar to me, and although I hadn’t seen him for a while, his voice was still the same. His voice hadn’t changed in all these years. I was so thankful that day because just by hearing his voice, it felt like a resting place for me. Before calling my friend that day I had spoken to another person who I had worked for some years ago and who I had known for about 10 years. When I listened to his voice I thought it was not at all familiar to me, and I concluded that we hadn’t had this deep heart-to-heart relationship in all this years.

I think this was the same that Peter had experienced. Although in that story in Matthew the disciples were terrified because Jesus was all of a sudden walking on water and they thought it was a ghost, Peter knew the voice of the Lord. It was a familiar one to him and as he heard Jesus saying to him, “Come,” he trusted that voice immediately and so he did something unthinkable to him and to the rest of us. He walked on water just because he trusted that familiar voice of love and truth that came from the King of Kings.

This is the core of the Christian Life: being familiar deep down inside of the unique voice of the LORD. As you hear His voice and know without a shadow of doubt it is Him that is speaking to you, you will indeed step out of your own boat, your comfort zone, and begin to walk on the water. This is when all your limitations and fears will be put aside at once. I tell you, it’s a great adventure and only a few get to experience it. Will you dare to be one of them?

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Monday, 21 June 2010

“Once you were dead, now you are alive!”

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV).

It was clear, the winter had passed away and the snow had gone. But what came from underneath the snow I didn’t expect. The grass was brown and dry and it looked dead. I had no hope for our lawn. “Would it ever become green again?” I asked myself. How could it be that new life could arise from this dead grass? God is the author of creation and of life, and so day by day I saw green grass springing forth and eventually replacing the dead grass.

I made a similar observation which was also quite amazing. The rosebushes had also died in the fall. They went into a deep sleep during the wintertime, and now as spring was approaching, these bushes were also brown and lifeless. But one day something changed. I noticed that from the trunk of one of the rosebushes new life was springing forth. The brown branches suddenly changed their color. From the bottom of the bush new life was infiltrating the branch and slowly they began to change their color to green. Leaves began to grow and to my surprise, even more had sprung forth than in the last year. A miracle had taken place and the rosebush was standing there proudly as it became alive.

As Christians we have this hope and its name is Jesus Christ. Once you were dead, but now you have been made alive in Him. At an appointed time He came into your life and everything changed, didn’t it? This new life is indeed Christ in you, the hope of glory. But just as this rosebush resurrected and was filled with new life, the story doesn’t end there at all. The rosebush will eventually carry beautiful roses with an even more beautiful fragrance. Christ made you alive, that you would disperse the fragrance of His life and of the knowledge of Him. You are a miracle of God made alive to glorify His name on earth. Now rest in this knowledge and let God pour out His everlasting life through you.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 13 June 2010

“Dare To Express Your Excitement”

“As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us! The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (Matthew 20: 29-31 NIV).

My goodness, there was such a noise coming our way that day. A noise that was not at all familiar to me. As I looked toward heaven I recognized a whole bunch of geese that were passing about 150 feet above our house. It was such a great moment for me to experience, because these geese where shouting so loud as they were heading out to another exciting destination. No doubt, they were on a journey together and they seemed to be so happy about it that they didn’t care what we, the inhabitants of the earth thought. At that moment I wished we human beings would have had the same kind of boldness and wouldn’t be so concerned what others thought of us. I thought that this is how God created us; He gave us a voice that we would express our excitement and not hold back. These geese definitely had something that we should be imitating.

So also these two blind men had the same kind of attitude as the geese! They were not concerned what the people might think. They were highly excited about Jesus and bold enough to not hold back anything. This is the kind of affection the LORD so much longs to receive from His children.

So how about you? Think about it for a moment: You are a Child of God, you know the one and only Savior of this world personally, and you are on a totally awesome journey. You are not traveling alone and your destination is glorious. Isn’t that just a fantastic reality? I encourage you today to dare to express your excitement and then wait and see the contagion taking place because you dared to express yourself.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Monday, 7 June 2010

It's Going To Be Worth It!

“Blessed it s the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 NIV).

I had always lived in apartments and so now that I live in America and I am married, I am blessed to have a home of my own. Along with a home comes also the privilege of enjoying the beauty of a garden. It brings a lot of joy to my heart to observe all the plants and flowers we have in the garden. I like to walk around the house and take a closer look at all the plants. I am amazed to see how much growth takes place day by day. And so one day the time arrived for the tulips to show up! First the leaves started to grow. For a time they were doing well, but all of a sudden there came an enemy that started to chew on the leaves and destroy them. We figured that it was a rabbit. The tulips were in danger as the leaves already looked very bad. Some tulips didn’t make it at all and were completely destroyed, but to my surprise I discovered that some in fact did make it through all that adversity, and stood the test so to speak! These tulips were standing there like proud soldiers and it was as if they were saying, “Hello. Do you see me? I’ve made it through! I persevered despite all adversity. I wasn’t discouraged and I pressed through.”

Doesn’t this story remind you a little bit of your own life? There is a constant battle going on and there is an enemy that wants to destroy the calling on your life. But like with these tulips that made it through all adversity, so the LORD would speak these words unto you: “Hold on to me, press through, endure, persevere, stand firm and don’t let the enemy put you down or lie to you. It is going to be alright and it is going to be worth it!” I encourage you today to stand the test and to fight the good fight. In due course the LORD will place upon your head something of worth. It is going to be a crown which will remain on you forever!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner