“The Way of Valor and Love”, Scripture and Prayer from L.Willows (honor God, fasten to His will)

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Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. (1 Samuel 10:26)

It is said that a God-touched heart is one that is sympathetic to Him, one that is steadfast, leans towards Him and enjoys His comforting. A God-touched heart is sustained by God, is molded by His will, sincere and able to endure!

The Greek word for touch is Haptomai. It means to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, cling to. When God touches our heart with His Love, it causes us to fasten ourselves to Him with greater love and purpose.

God touches our heart for a purpose. He is calling us toward Himself. When we are called in this holy way, the Light of His Spirit touches our heart and illumines what He wishes us to see in new ways. Some call this ‘conviction’. We need to look more truthfully at something that is in front of us in our lives.

God is holding his mirror up before us and showing a new picture with a perspective that was formerly unknown to us. Sometimes this feels shocking, almost electric! And it is because we are seeing with ‘new eyes’.

Our hearts, touched by God have been renewed by His touch. It is taught in scripture that we have eyes in our heart to “see” from. In such times of deep connection, we not only see with greater acuity but are also encouraged (given courage and strengthened by God) to move forward and fulfill His purpose.  Each of us has callings and purpose that move us into deeper and deeper degrees of our sanctification. This is our walk with God, the way of valor and love.

This is the beginning of true valor, it a heart touched by God that is able to fulfill His will. It is one that is compelled to action that has a purpose imbued by God. It is a life that praises God with heart, mind and being.

Prayer for Valor and Love

Father,
Today I look to you with a heart asking to know you more fully.
I praise the majesty of your approach.
All of me is silent as I wait for you. 

I let myself be washed ashore like a youth, my mortal will in surrender.
Let everything that was, be the past and may all become new again!
Make my heart in You. Touch me with your Love, your will, your purpose.

Only you, Lord can fasten me to your will and to your love,
Towards the All of YOU. Take me In and love my all. 
Fill me with your Peace. Fill me with Love’s Call.

Before You, I commit my heart towards your love and purpose.
Praising You. I thank you for filling my heart with your Comfort.
Raising all before You Lord, I thank you for filling me with Your Peace
and lifting the eyes of my heart to the steadiness of your Love.

In Jesus Name,
Amen

© 2019 L.Willows

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“Grace, Active – a Puritan Prayer”, from “In the Valley of Vision”, classic collection.

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Grace Active

Lord Jesus, Great High Priest,

You have opened a new and living way by which a fallen creature can approach you with acceptance. Help me to contemplate the dignity of your Person, the perfectness of your sacrifice, the effectiveness of your intercession.

O what blessedness accompanies devotion, when under all the trials that weary me, the cares that corrode me, the fears that disturb me, the infirmities that oppress me, I can come to you in my need and feel peace beyond understanding!

The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, help me. And here your saints encourage my hope; they were once poor and are now rich, bound and are now free, tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in you, the divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells. To you I repair for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all your fullness. May my desires be enlarged and my hopes be emboldened, that I may honor you by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.

Be with me, and prepare me for all the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity, the losses of substance, the death of friends, the days of darkness, the changes of life, and the last great change of all.

May I find your grace sufficient for all my needs.

“Grace Active, in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, ed. Arthur Bennett (Edingburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust), 214-215.

“What Shall We Hope For”, Timeless Quotes to Encourage and Inspire

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“Biblical hope is life changing certainty about the future … being certain about the future in a way that affects how you live now.”
–  Tim Keller; A Brick in the Valley

“We might be wise to follow the insight of the enraptured heart rather than the more cautious reasoning of the theological mind.”
― A. W. Tozer,  The Knowledge of the Holy

“Cruelty and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world. There is nothing eternal in them. Only love is eternal.
― Elisabeth Elliot, A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

“While God, for the most part, allows this cosmos [creation] to work according to the laws of nature, there is never a time when He is not actively involved in every detail of life.”
― Swindoll Charles R.

“For daily I expect to be murdered or betrayed or reduced to slavery if the occasion arises. But I fear nothing, because of the promises of Heaven; for I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, who reigns everywhere. As the prophet says: ‘Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.”
― St. Patrick, The Confessions of St. Patrick

“Now there was only one hope, the sovereign grace of God. God would have to transform my heart to do what a heart cannot make itself do, namely, want what it ought to want. Only God can make the depraved heart desire God. Once when Jesus’ disciples wondered about the salvation of a man who desired money more than God, he said to them, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). Pursuing what we want is possible. It is easy. It is a pleasant kind of freedom. But the only freedom that lasts is pursuing what we want when we want what we ought. And it is devastating to discover we don’t, and we can’t.”
― John Piper,  When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy

Because of Jesus, there is always hope in your life”
– Tim Keller

“Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God–the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  Letters and Papers from Prison

“We may speak about a place where there are no tears, no death, no fear, no night; but those are just the benefits of heaven. The beauty of heaven is seeing God.”
― Max Lucado, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus: Knowing His Heart, Feeling His Love

“When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“We are bidden to ‘put on Christ‘, to become like God. That is, whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. Once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“We need a living hope to get through life and endure suffering. A living hope enables us to have both sorrow and joy. Our living hope is an inheritance achieved for us by Christ.”
– Tim Keller

(What a great reading list!)

How great our incomprehensible God is! We are surely ‘loved much’, more than our hearts can fathom by a God that forgives, draws us near and binds us to himself with unceasing Mercy. We can bring every concern and every hope to His Throne with confidence because of his enduring promises to us that will never pass or change. This is our true hope and the gift of His Spirit; the agency by with we have the ability and privilege of faith. Pray that it deepens and strengthen, let us receive encouragement from those that speak hope!

From L.Willows © 2019

“Encouraged by Grace” Scripture and prayer from L.Willows

A Spiritual Calling
Encouraged by Grace

When we have been given Grace, we have received a gift that wondrously alters our hearts and lives forever. We realize, often in deepening degrees over time that this undeserved gift from God is meant not only to transform us from the inside out but to be shared as the greatest Treasure that we have to offer to one another. When we offer grace, we encourage. When we offer grace, we extend hope and love.

Consider Scripture:

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Proverbs 25:11
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Colossians 2:2
that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ.

Romans 14:19
So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Prayer

Let us face forward with grace for one another, being Encouragers that are grateful for grace received displaying humility and renewed hearts of faith. When we seek God, His Goodness and His Favor; which is His Grace deepening in our walk with His Spirit – we acknowledge that we need the fullness of His Love in our hearts to overwhelm us.

Then, in the fullness of His Mercy, we are able to know and feel the hope and encouragement of His Presence. From that great Treasure, we can pour love forward to others and be “builders of His word and His peace”.

© 2019 L.Willows