A Blank Only God Can Fill

Void


Excerpt from

“The Word For You Today”

Maranatha Bible Church


“The heart is a God-shaped blank, and only God can fill it.” In “Through the Valley of the Kwai: From Death-Camp Despair to Spiritual Triumph,” Ernest Gordon writes about American soldiers who were captured, tortured, and starved by the Japanese in the Malay Peninsula in World War II. As a result they started acting like animals, clawing, fighting, and stealing food. In an effort to turn things around, the group decided to start reading the New Testament. And as Gordon read it to them, they were converted to Christ, and this community of animals was transformed into a community of love. That’s because God lives in Jesus, and Jesus is willing to live in the hearts of those who trust Him. He offers joy, peace, a transformed life, and assurance of eternal life to all those who place their trust in His atoning death. So what are you using to try to fill the void in your life? Material possessions? Mood-altering substances? Sex? Career success? The pursuit of intellectual growth? Excitement? You may as well give it up now–it won’t work! Paul explained it like this to the philosophers in Athens: “God…made the world and everything in it…He…gives life…to everything…He satisfies every need…His purpose was (that we should) seek after God…feel (our) way toward Him and find Him–though He is not far from…us. For in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:24-28). In the words of the time-honored hymn: “Now none but Christ can satisfy; none other Name for me. There’s love, and life, and lasting joy, Lord Jesus, found in Thee.”

Advertisements

FAITH

faith 1“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1

The two words that stand out for me are, “sure” and “certain.”  When true faith is alive in a person, you’ll find they are certain, confident, and positive of what God has shown them will come to pass.  It might look bleak, and hopeless, but they’re not moved.  They’re absolutely convinced God will do as He has said.  Abraham was persuaded He who promised was faithful to bring it to pass.  God was to be trusted.  It didn’t matter Isaac wasn’t born yet, and he was 99 years old.  He knew God promised a son to be birthed through his wife, Sarah, who was a 90-year old woman.  For him, it was undeniable, irrefutable, and indisputable;  for sure, God was going to do it!   After all, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord God to do?”  Do we possess this kind of faith?

Faith can’t be explained!   I can’t explain to anyone the promises God has made me because they wouldn’t make sense to someone else.  Perhaps it might even make me seem crazy, and to be honest, I wouldn’t blame them.  However, this is what faith is all about.

Faith, as we know, is like a muscle.  It must be exercised.  There are running days when I know I’m pushing my exercise to the point of dying,  but I also know those days are important to build muscle. Yes, exercise hurts and is painful.  It also requires the commitment and the time to do it. It is the same with faith.  We want faith.  We want that “faith without borders,” but the truth is faith without borders is very painful.

God will take you deep into the ocean where you’ll experience the storms you’ll never see. However, He’ll keep you from drowning and show you the majestic waves. Not everyone is privileged to see these kinds of waves, and not everyone is prepared for them either.  I promise you, just like a body builder works hard to build those muscles, so we must work the muscle of our faith.  All the trials are worth it because we come to a place where nothing can satisfy us like our God.  Nothing can separate us from His love, and nothing can stand in the way of the promises of God.  Stand strong.  Believe the testing of your faith will produce an intimate relationship between you and your God.  Will you say with me,  “Give me this kind of faith, God?  I will stand certain, positive, convinced, confident, assured that you will do as you have promised.”

You must be confident in what you know and think of God. You must have absolute no doubt and know that you’re right on in with what you believe because He who promised is faithful to accomplish it.


Teresa Allissa Citro

Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Holy Astonishment – Written By Pastor Michael Heil

Kneeling 1

“When these things had been done, the Jewish leaders came to me and said, ‘Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites  For the men of Israel have married women from these people and have taken them as wives for their sons. So the holy race has become polluted by these mixed marriages. Worse yet, the leaders and officials have led the way in this outrage.’  When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked.” -Ezra 9:1-3

Our church worships God often by singing a song called “Hosanna.”  It is such a beautiful song and brings me to tears of reverence every time we sing it.  One phrase in the song moves me deeply, a truth that needs to happen often in the saints of God; the phrase is “break my heart for what breaks yours.”

May the Lord fill my heart and the heart of all His saints with such an intimacy and reverence and may we, His church, fall on our faces and repent any time our heart senses the smallest affront to our Lord.

This holy humbling, this sacred shocking, far from being wrong, is innate within us. It is what instantly sprung up in Ezra.  It is what immediately grieved Paul (Acts 17:16), and it is what moved Jesus to drive the money changers from the temple (Matthew 21:12).  Let the world call us extremist because our heart is so completely interwoven with the heart of God.  Let others giggle and mock behind our backs because our eyes fill with tears when our Lord demeaned.  If the world didn’t understand our Lord, it won’t understand us. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, what a joy to be identified with He who loves us.

Like I said, far from being wrong, may the Spirit of God place this instant upsetting within us.  It is what will drive us to holiness in our walk before God, ripping and dragging all the cancers of the flesh out of our lives.  It is what will move us to spread into society the honor and reverence for Jehovah God.  After Ezra mourned, he and the leaders publically directed the nation to separate themselves unto God.  Revival broke out, and Israel returned to the Lord.  I firmly believe the times we live in are shocking to our spirit.  Every day it seems new depth of depravity happens often driven by our President and national leaders. May you and I, the saints of God, be like Ezra and confront these doors to destruction for the honor and glory of our God, for the hope of a peaceful, Godly life for all.

 Written by Michael Heil

Grace & Glory

Now the Lord is the Spirit,

and where the Spirit of the Lord is,

there is freedom.

And we,

who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord,

are being transformed into His image

with intensifying glory,

which comes from the Lord,

who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:17-19

Grace 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Name

Perfume

“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.  And the day you die is better than the day you are born.”  -King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 7:1

The richest and wisest man on this entire earth left us this wise statement, “A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume…”  That wise man was King Solomon, and the quote is recorded in the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 7, Verse 1.

It’s not man who gets this privilege of this statement, but God does.

A man or woman judges according to his/her own understanding, most importantly, his/her own walk with their Lord.  If the relationship is a solid one then they’ll see and understand what it means to have “A good name!”

Not everyone will say good about you because they’re not good themselves.

So, then, what does it mean?  God is the only one you should be concerned about having a good name with.  The next statement goes on to say, “And the day you die is better than the day you are born.” Why?  Because it’s at death, we see the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Victor, Overcomer, Savior, and Redeemer!

Only He needs to see your good name.  People can’t judge this no matter how wonderful they are.  They cannot read the heart of man; only God can do that.  Live for God.  Live to be holy and righteous before the only One that decides where you’ll spend eternity.  You can choose to have a good name before a holy and righteous God or with man who cannot save you from anything.  Choose to have a good name with Almighty God.

Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

God First

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,

and live righteously,

and he will give you everything you need.”

Matthew 6:33

God's Kingdom 1

Put God first in every single aspect of your life, in every little thing you do, and God’s blessings will rain down on you.  Start your day in praise and thanksgiving, thanking Him ahead of time for all He shall do for you and end your day in the same way.  God loves our obedience and faith in Him, and He wants us to trust Him in ALL things.  Step out boldly, Child of God, and put Him first in your life.

 

Ruth Strait
Vice President,  Thread of Hope, Inc