Trick or Treat

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Trick or Treat

The Bible teaches us that Satan is a master schemer.  II Cor. 2:11  His goal is to trick us into bondage.  That bondage can come in many forms. Unforgiveness can leave us chained to the one we refuse to forgive. Food addictions lead us to being overweight, not to mention the guilt and low self-esteem that is caused by our lack of control in that area.  Sexual bondages seem to be rampant in our society.  We can be compulsive shoppers, always looking for a fix, only to find that the thrill of it passes so quickly.  Being overly concerned about how we look may cause us to look good on the outside, but leave us with unseen chains wrapped around us.  Greed has led many people astray and into shackles which seem impossible to loosen.  As we fall prey to Satan, I can almost hear him, deviously laughing, shouting, “Trick or treat!  I got you!”

The Bible is clear that we are slaves to whatever masters us.  II Pet. 2:19.   Paul said in I Cor. 6:12 that he would not be mastered by anything.  The way that he kept from being mastered was by knowing the truth.  It’s in that “knowing” that we can be set free.  John 8:32

I find it comforting to know that even in bondage, God hasn’t deserted us.  Ez. 9:9  While we were still sinners (and in bondage), God still loved us enough to send His Son to die for us.   Rom. 5:8   That is the best treat we could ever have!

Jesus said in Luke 4:18 that He came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to release the oppressed.  When He arose from the dead, can’t you just hear Him declaring to Satan, “Trick or Treat! I won!  I have the final victory!”

My dear sister, Jesus won that victory for YOU!  Whatever bondages you may be struggling with, He is still with you in the midst of it, and He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you.  Don’t be ashamed to bring your shackles to Him.  He would love nothing more than to set you free.  After all, He’s already paid the ultimate price for your freedom.  Let Him unshackle you today!

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

The Real Jesus of the Last Days

This is an absolutely FABULOUS and encouraging message.  In light of times in which we are living, I highly recommend it.  You won’t be disappointed!

Birthing of Gifts

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Birthing of Gifts

Now, let’s move on to the birthing process in a marriage.  Just as husband and wife have a union where they give birth to a child, God will birth things within us.  He conceives the gift within you.  Sometimes He may show you the birthing process by giving you dreams about this gifting.  Sometimes He may just put a passion in your heart for a particular area.  Eventually, you “bear” the gift, yet you are totally aware that it is only because Father planted the seed of that gift within you.  The gift is the “baby” which you’ve made, with the help of the Lord.
I can remember a good example of God using dreams to show me what He was going to do in my life.  I kept having dreams of singing before people.  I just laughed it off, thinking it was a high and lofty idea.  Several months later, I went Christmas caroling at the nursing homes.  I loved being around those elderly people.  Within a short period of time, I joined the nursing home ministry.  The first Sunday there, I couldn’t believe what happened.  They handed me a microphone, and said, “SING!”  I think I actually heard God laughing that day!  As I was faithful in helping in that ministry, God developed a confidence in me, and eventually, I found myself singing in front of the whole church.  I still remember the very first time – I was positive that I was going to vomit! Thankfully, it didn’t happen!

In Deut. 22:13-21 it talks about the blood covenant that comes with getting married.  When the marriage was consummated, blood would be shed by the woman, if she was still a virgin.  There is a blood covenant in being the Bride of Christ also, only this time, it was the Groom who shed His blood, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  May we never take for granted the awesome sacrifice that our Groom paid for our redemption.

I hope that through these illustrations I’ve been able to give a different, though fresh look at what being the Bride of Christ is.  I hope that it’s whetted your appetite to find those intimate times of refreshing with our wonderful Savior.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Whispers of Love

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Whispers of Love

Do you ever do nice things for your husband, expecting absolutely nothing in return?  Our church had a carnival, raising money for a missions project.  While I didn’t have items to donate for the garage sale, I did bake some banana bread to be used in the bake sale, and we bought many tickets to spend at the carnival.  There was a booth of ladies, making fresh flowers in some pretty little cups, pots, etc.  It only took two tickets, which amounted to fifty cents, to purchase some of these fresh flowers.  Rachel and I came home with three little assortments of fresh flowers.  That is something which I never purchase because money is tight, and could better be spent on other things.  You see, I gave only a small amount to the bake sale, but came home with lots of fresh flowers that were absolutely beautiful!  In my opinion, I got the better end of the deal.  The point is that we can do things for God, expecting nothing in return, but we will quickly see that He will outdo us because you just can’t outgive God.

Do you remember those times when you were dating, and you would try to steal away, just long enough to call your love and tell him that you love him?  God wants us to do just that.  One day I was praising Him, and someone walked into the room.  I got up long enough to go to the bedroom and lavish some love on my Lord.  I could have continued to do it with others around, but I wanted that intimacy with my Lord, and I didn’t want to share it with anyone.  It’s similar to those times of intimacy with your spouse.  Things happen that the two of you may find quite funny or intimate, but they are things which remain just between the two of you and no one else.  We can have that kind of intimacy with our Lord – where we steal away to whisper loving, intimate things to Him which no one else is privileged to share.

Recently while at church, there was such an awesome presence of the Holy Spirit.  The only way I can describe it to you is to say that it was like I was enveloped by His presence, feeling His kisses caress every inch of my soul.  It was an awesomely intimate, spiritual experience.  Words can’t even begin to tell you how truly beautiful it was.  Since that time, when I think about the Lord, I actually get those fluttering feelings in my stomach, just like we all did when we first fell in love.  I never knew that I could have this kind of relationship with the Lord, and I wish that mere words could explain the awesomeness of this intimacy, but it just can’t.  Just like you can’t explain the depth of your love for your spouse to someone else, it’s something that is so intimate between the two of you.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Romanced by God

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Romanced by God
Did you husband ever sing love songs to you while you were dating?  God desires for us to sing love songs to Him, out of heart filled with love and adoration for Him.  Too many times, we may sing words, but they aren’t truly praises sung to Him.  We fall into the trap of doing it out of habit.  It’s similar to a real marriage where one spouse takes the other for granted.  God has given us so much.  Let’s be very careful not to take Him for granted.

Do you remember how the unexpected cards, flowers, or candy would just make you feel so special?  Even now, if your husband would walk in with a small gift for you, wouldn’t it just thrill your heart?  God does the same thing for us, but I think many times we take it for granted.  For example, I went shopping and found over $117 worth of items and I only paid $8 for them.  That was God showing up, giving me a gift.  A friend recently gave me a huge trash bag of clothing for Rachel.  That’s God showing up again, only He used a person to give me this gift from Him.  What about the times a friend may take you out to eat?  That is God again, wanting to bless you and show you His love.

Do you ever have times where your husband gives you a gift that literally causes your jaw to drop, leaving you speechless?  God is really good at doing the same thing.  When I figured up the value of what I bought on my shopping trip, compared to what I actually spent, my jaw dropped.  I knew it was God’s blessing.

There was another time where my heart was filled to overflowing for the blessing of the Lord.  We had just gotten possession of our house, knowing that we would have to repaint everything, not to mention buy new blinds, curtains, drapes, etc.  It seemed that the money was unending for what we needed.  Now, we aren’t wealthy by any means, if you only count wealth by financial status.  Yet, the funds continued to stretch to the point of even buying a new stove and refrigerator.  One day I was praying and thanking the Lord for His blessing.  My heart felt like it was going to burst.  I told the Lord that I wanted to do something for Him to show Him how grateful I was for His blessing.  Within minutes, my husband pulled up in a used car, asking me what I thought about purchasing the car and giving it to his mother, who was in desperate need of one.  I knew God was answering my prayer.

Do you remember going out to eat when you were dating?  You weren’t so focused on the food, but on the communication that took place while eating the food.  There are times that God’s Word becomes the “Rhema” word to us, meaning it is the “now” word for us – just what we needed to hear.  These are times when the Lover of our soul is taking us out to eat, only what we are eating is spiritual food.

Why don’t you let God take you “out to eat?”  Don’t forget to let Him make the “menu selection” for you.  You won’t be disappointed!
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Spiritual Depression

This is the best message I’ve heard in many years.  So timely for the times in which we are living.  I know it will encourage you!

Listening for my Lover’s Voice

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Listening for my Lover’s Voice
Many times we don’t think of our relationship with the Lord as being romantic.  We save that term for our relationship with our spouse.  Yet, the Bible makes it clear that we are the Bride of Christ.  What bride is going to unite herself with a groom if she has no romantic feelings for him?

God makes it clear that He has some very strong feelings for us.  In Zeph. 3:17-18, it mentions how God takes great delight in us and He rejoices over us with singing.  In the original translation, it meant that He literally spins about with joy.  We have probably all heard a love struck girl exclaim, “Oh he makes my head spin!”  That is what I think of when I read this portion of scripture.  My Father is so love struck over me that His head spins!

Do you remember when you first fell in love with your husband?  Do you remember how he could walk into the room, and it was like the world just stopped revolving?  He could make your heart skip a beat.  You were so love struck that there was a sense of loving awe when your eyes beheld him.  There was a romantic reverence as he approached you.  Our God wants it to be this way with Him.  He desires for us to have a romantic reverence toward Him – to be so in love with Him that when our thoughts turn toward Him, our heart literally skips a beat because of the passion that is stirred up in us.

He has written a love letter us called the Bible.  He would dearly love it if we would take the time to write a love letter to Him.  Some people keep journals of their thoughts and of their conversations with the Lord.  It helps to stir up the passion for Him in their lives.

Think back to when you were dating.  You might be in the middle of a really bad day, and suddenly, your love calls you on the phone.  What happened?  Everything else fails in comparison to focusing on him, and knowing that he was thinking of you – in knowing that he took the time to call you because he cares for you and loves you deeply.  God desires to bless us with these kinds of moments.  In the mundane, He tries to “call” you.  Are you listening for your Lover’s still small voice?
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

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