Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sealed in Him... Advent of Joy #18

I was praying with the worship team last night. We were praying for people who have some serious health concerns. As we did, I was reminded of some important truths that bring me joy.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession - to the praise of his glory.”
Ephesians 1:13-14

No matter what we are going through, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. We have an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. We are secure.

When Jesus came as a baby, grew up, took our sin on His shoulders and died on the cross, He gave us eternal security.

No matter how I felt this past year, alone and scared and depressed, I never was out of God’s protecting hand. He had me close to His heart. He kept me sheltered under His wings, even when I was not feeling it.

I am covered with His love. So are you. We are secure because we are made alive with Christ.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, though faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8

God’s grace has saved us. His grace came down to earth at Christmas. It was His gift to us. It is His gift to us. Over and over we are given His grace. His grace constantly covers us, our mistakes and wrong choices and attitudes. We are His, and that will never change.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’
Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Psalm 91:1-4

Through all, because of Christ coming, we can say that we will trust in Him. The Holy Spirit assures us in our spirit that we are sealed in Him, and that He truly is our refuge and fortress, our shelter in the storm.

Praise God that we can rest so fully in Him. Praise Him that in the midst of our trouble we can have peace. A peace that passes all understanding. I can’t describe the joy that I felt at times this past year. Looking back at a lot of my posts, it doesn’t seem like I really wrote about them. There were sparks of light that showed me God was still with me. The pain was very intense at times, but bits of scripture would come to me at the right time. Bits and pieces out of the Psalms and Isaiah, that spoke of the pain, but God’s coming healing. The promises of redemption, the promises of His staying near to the brokenhearted and binding up wounds. Those all brought joy.

That promise of being His, and never being able to be snatched from His hand… that brought me joy.

It still brings me joy.

I know that I will face some tough times ahead. It is just the nature of living in this world. But my God is more than enough. He is more than enough for me, and for you. We are sealed in Him. We are secure in Him. He is our shelter and rest. He has saved us from the snare of the fowler.

Oh Lord, thank you so much for all you have done for us. Thank you for being my shelter and hope. Thank you for filling me with your Spirit, so that I can experience the joy you have. Thank you for bringing me into relationship with you. I can hardly believe all you went through, all you chose to do, all you endured for the joy set before you. That joy was unity with me, with all of us. Thank you for doing that to open up a way for us to come to you. Thank you for your protection and the love you pour out on me. Thank you for constantly guiding me and keeping me safe under your wings. It gives me such joy and peace to know that no matter what I walk through, what happens to me, where I go, you are always with me, holding me securely in your hand. I have joy in knowing that you hem me in, behind and before and that you have laid your hand upon me. You are my source, my all in all and I believe all your promises to me… your child that you chose before the beginning of time. Oh, to be adopted as your daughter, to have a new birth into a living hope and a glorious inheritance! Thank you for the joy that is mine in you!!! I love you Father God. Your daughter, Heather.

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