It Is Finished

The evidence was clear. There wasn’t a grey area; there wasn’t pause for an unveiling of a moment of truth. No shadow of doubt could cast any semblance of uncertainty. I was guilty. No bail could be posted; there was no chance of an appeal. I was simply guilty. I sat in front of a jury who watched a lifetime of sin laid before them. There was pity in a few eyes that looked back at me. Maybe they could recall the same feelings themselves… feelings of great intentions, or feelings of no intentions of all. Still trying to explain my motives I shouted, pleaded with them..

‘I never wanted this to happen; I never imagined it would turn out this way.’

‘Yes you did!’ they shouted back.

These voices held anger and sadness. I felt defeat begin to grip my soul. ‘No!’ I exclaimed again… ‘..I didn’t. You have to believe me!’

Then softly from a distant corner I heard a familiar voice.. ‘But you did know.’ I looked in the direction of the voice and saw soft eyes full of sorrow. My Sunday school teacher as a child stood there. I ran into her open arms and clung to her, tears pouring from my eyes..

‘You have to tell them I didn’t know this would happen! Please tell them!’ I begged.

Her eyes were regretful… ‘I can’t tell them that.’…

’Why?’ I shouted… ‘You know my heart! You know that I would never have done any of this had I known it would end this way!’

She took my hand and began to speak… ‘Sunday after Sunday I spoke about God. I taught you to search your heart when you pray. I taught you to earnestly seek Him. I taught you that you will indeed reap what you sow. I taught you that there was a way that seemed right to a man, but the end would lead to destruction.’ She touched my cheek and wiped at the tears…’You did know.’

As she spoke memory after memory came to mind, every word was highlighted. Moments I had to make a decision, opportunities to quit playing games with my salvation. Altar call after call where I had an opportunity to kneel and confess my sins. Night after night where I could have read my bible, or prayed for forgiveness, but instead chose to watch television. It all felt like hot coals piercing my soul… ‘But I didn’t believe it would really happen.’ I cried out.

My preacher stood from a corner… ‘How could you not when you yourself confessed Jesus as your Savior? You called yourself a Christian.’

I had done that. I had told people I knew who Jesus was. I confessed I was a Christian, but my actions showed much different. ‘I loved Him…’ I argued… ‘I loved Jesus. I did!’…I could recall getting saved and making the decision to live for Him. As an afterthought I shouted…’I did believe! I was a Christian, you remember!’ I pointed at a childhood friend… ‘You were there! You know I got saved!’

She pulled away from me… ‘But faith without actions is dead. You called yourself a Christian, but you didn’t live like one. I didn’t hear Jesus in your speech; I couldn’t see Jesus in your life.’…her voice grew faint.

This can’t be happening, this isn’t real. I looked throughout the room. Suddenly my eyes found those that look like mine. My baby, my child. All the nights I prayed with her came to mind, all the stories I read her of the bible. I pointed at my baby… ‘See, I raised her right.’ I knelt and took her in my arms.

A man with a deep voice spoke. ‘You read her stories, and taught her how to repeat words, but you never showed her what it meant to forgive and forget. You didn’t show her that it is better to give than to receive. You never taught her how to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

The reality was nauseating. I could see my child mimicking me. She played church, but didn’t live a Godly life, and she learned that for me. I would be accountable for my baby. ‘No!’ I cried, ‘I’ll teach her right now, I’ll do right by her. I’ll do better!’

The man’s voice continued… ‘You only had one lifetime to do right. You can’t repeat this life, what you’ve done is done.’ And with that, my baby began to slip from my reach.

‘No!’ I screamed and I ran after her…’She is mine!’

The voice spoke… ‘She was only given to you as a gift. You had your chance to love her.’

‘I do love her!’

‘Then your actions would have shown it.’

And then all the times I put her off or snapped at her when she wanted me came to mind. The times I chose to text on my phone instead of spending time with her. The times I put a movie on for her to watch instead of teaching her about Jesus came back to me.

‘But I’m sorry…’ I cried.

‘She is too.’ the voice spoke.

‘There has to be something I can do! I believe it now. This can’t be the end!’ I pleaded.

‘You had more than enough time.’

‘But I didn’t realize!’ I cried…begging for mercy.

‘Guilty!’ the crowd shouted…’Guilty!’

‘No!’ I shouted back at them.

‘Guilty!’ Their cries were overwhelming.. ‘She deserves this end’ … an end without hope, an end where sorrow fills every ounce of your emotion. Where the reality of who you really are is played before your very eyes. Guilty, hopeless, condemned.

I didn’t understand, I thought to myself I took Jesus for granted, I took my salvation for granted. I didn’t understand.

The voice spoke again… ‘What do you have to say for yourself?’

I opened my mouth to speak, but a searing cry of desperation took the place of words. I had nothing to say, no excuse, and no right for pardon. My mouth tried to form the words of my failed attempt at living.

But then…I heard Him… ‘It is finished.’ My heart lifted. I dared to lift my eyes for the chance of some miracle.

‘What?’ I asked.

‘It is finished.’ He said. A nail pierced hand extended toward me… ‘This guilt, this hopelessness, this fear, I bore all of this on Calvary. I bore all of your sins. I shed My blood so that you may be forgiven.’

I was so undeserving. ‘But these were my sins, I did this. You didn’t deserve to pay for my sins.’

Eyes full of compassion looked at me. ‘My child, I paid the debt that you couldn’t pay. It truly is finished.’

 

On Calvary Jesus Christ took our sins and was crucified. He shed His blood and sacrificed His life so that you and I could be forgiven, so that you and I could live a victorious life. We didn’t deserve the sacrifice He made, but despite our sin, despite our faults and failures, Christ loved us enough to die for us.

We have the opportunity of forgiveness right now. If you are reading these words then you have an opportunity to kneel at an altar of repentance and give your life to Him. If you have wandered out in sin and back-slid, you can still find forgiveness at the feet of Jesus. But one day, there will be a judgment.

The Word says that it is appointed once unto a man to die… and one day you will die. Whether it is by the coming of Jesus Christ or by natural causes, one day you life will pass in front of your eyes. The Bible says that we will give an account of every idle word that we have said.

Today we can receive mercy from our Savior, but on that Day of Judgment, we will be held accountable for our actions. There will be no more mercy. We will be held accountable for our inaction as well. The old saying goes…don’t put off until tomorrow what could be done today. I am not promised tomorrow. You are not promised tomorrow, but I do have this moment. Find Him. Accept Him. Learn of His mercy while it is still freely given. Don’t wait until it is too late.

‘It is finished’ Christ said as he hung from the old rugged cross. It was finished so that our life could begin.

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2012 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

 

Published in: on September 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm  Comments (1)  

The Shaking

This blog won’t be like anything I’ve written before. These aren’t my words. God gave ‘The Shaking’ to Brother Jerry Moore, who is the pastor of Carmel Assembly of God in Bonifay Florida. His message can be listened to HERE. He preached this message on September 19th of 2010. I strongly urge you to listen to this message. I wholeheartedly believe this is a word from the Lord.

I only have a very small group of individuals that follow my blog, but I feel as if I would be disobedient to not share this word to the best of my ability. I ask you to please share this word. Not in support of Devotions of Grace, or Britney Wilkes, but because I sincerely believe in this word that was given to Brother Jerry.

My spirit is heavy and my heart is burdened for His church, for a lost world. If you’ve gotten to this point in reading, please finish. Please prayerfully consider this message. Most of what I will write will be directly taken from the sermon notes of Brother Jerry Moore. I will use his points to emphasize his message, ‘The Shaking’.

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. 9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:6-9

“21Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.” Haggai 2:21-22

“26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrews 12:26-28

There will indeed come a shaking upon this earth. This shaking will be greater than anything we have known before. The Word states that both heaven and earth will be shaken, there will be nothing that is unaffected because of it. The shaking will come because God said it would come, and He is not one that He can lie. There is a definite promise of the shaking. Though we serve a God who’s mercies are new every morning, and though we serve a God who is faithful to forgive us of all in unrighteousness, we also serve a God who is righteous, and who will judge us for our unrighteousness.

We live in such a time that our world has been deceived as having a form of Godliness. In fact, I would dare say that even many of today’s prominent religious leaders have been deceived by the idea of grace and mercy and neglected to acknowledge that God is a jealous God who will judge His people.

Joel Osteen is a hugely popular preacher who’s church reaches millions of individuals. I have enjoyed some of his teachings, and I believe he has done a great work for God, but in his words, he doesn’t mention the word sin in his messages because.. “..I don’t want to beat anyone down by doing so, or make them feel guilty when they are going through enough already.” (Please note Brother Jerry did not include or mention Joel Osteen’s name). I believe this statement was taken in 2009 and I pray he has changed his teaching since then, because this idea of not talking about sin takes away from the reality of God. The reality is His judgment that will come on an individual or a nation that persists in sin and disobedience.

I believe the shaking has already begun to some degree in our nation. We are facing an economic crisis like none since the Great Depression. Natural disasters have begun occurring more frequently, and more individuals have been touched by their effects. There is a purpose for this shaking, God’s judgment on this earth. We have been living in a time that many Bible scholars call the dispensation of grace. But this dispensation of grace is drawing to a close and God’s judgment will come.

All throughout the Word of God, national adversity is due to national disobedience to God. Natural disasters have been noted to typically mark the closing of one dispensation and the beginning of another. The 12 Minor Prophets give examples of this throughout the Old Testament. Sin is always dealt with in two ways; one, by the blood of Jesus Christ and repentance, or two, judgment.

We are living in one of the most disobedient times known on this earth. Our country is anti-God. It has been said many times but the truth remains, God has been taken out of the classrooms and the schools, He has been taken out of our courtrooms. These acts of disobedience will not continue forever, and there will be a judgment. The church will be shaken, but we will not be the object of the shaking. We will feel its effects. Noah wasn’t the object of the flood, but he was affected by it and his lifestyle was changed. Abraham and Lot weren’t the object of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, but they felt its effect.

God loves His church. When He sees His church He sees the sacrifice that He gave in His son Jesus Christ. He loves her too much to allow her to stay in her current condition. There must be a shaking to awaken her back to a sincere and a right relationship with God. The problem with the shaking is the fear that many people, even within the church, aren’t rooted and grounded in the Word of God. They are deceived into thinking that a casual relationship with God will be all that’s needed. They are deceived by the ideas that grace and mercy wouldn’t allow the people to go to hell and be judged for sin. But the Word promises that if you can be shaken you will be shaken. The Word promises that God will judge sin and unrighteousness.

There must be a preparation. How do we prepare ourselves? We must anchor ourselves in the Word of God. We must develop a sincere prayer life.

This time that’s coming will be an anxious time. People will fear for themselves, their children, and their family. They will search high and they will search low for answers. But this is the truth; Those who know who they believe, those who have a committed and sincere relationship with Jesus Christ, they can trust that they will be taken care of. The whole world may crumble around you, but if you know who Jesus is, and know Him as your personal Savior, and have a sincere and burning relationship with Him, you will not be destroyed. His Word promises this.

Now isn’t the time to play games with your salvation. Now isn’t the time to grow lukewarm in your faith. Now is the time to seek God, while He can still be found. Now is the time to commit your life to Jesus Christ. If you haven’t done that yet, I pray that you find an altar of repentance, do so even right now, and allow God into your heart. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and seek after Him. There will be a shaking. If you can be shaken, you will be.

Please..please…find God and hold to His unchanging hand. He’s the answer that we need. He’s the answer that you’re looking for. There can be peace found in this shaking, but that peace is only found in the presence of an Almighty, and an All-consuming God.

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2012 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on September 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm  Comments (1)  

Empty Vessels

2 Kings 4:1-7

This woman was in a desperate situation, in fact the situation seemed hopeless. She was mourning the loss of her husband. As the man of her home his death caused more than just the loss of her love and her best friend, but her security and her financial stability. Her husband had been a good man, a man of God, and he had provided for her and their family. And now he was dead. All she had of family in this world were her two sons, and their future wasn’t any better than that of their father, because now the creditor was on his way to take the boys to be slaves to pay off the debt.

Elisha asked her ‘What do you have in the house?’….she answered and told him all she had was a jar of oil. Elisha told her to go and borrow empty vessels from everywhere. He was specific in telling her not to only borrow a few. When she had received all of the vessels she was to shut the door behind her and her sons and pour from her jar into the empty vessels. And this is exactly what she did. She filled every vessel that she had gathered.

The Word doesn’t specify how many vessels she filled, but there were enough vessels of oil that she was able to sell enough to cover her debt, keep her sons from slavery, and live off the rest.

My pastor preached on this this morning and it stirred my soul. He asked the question..What do you have in your house that God can use to bring about your miracle? If this woman had been so caught up in her grief and the hopelessness of her situation, she might not have ever thought to mention that jar of oil. After all, it was only a jar of oil. But God isn’t asking for more than what we have to offer. We may feel that what we have is insignificant or small, but who knows that little is much when God is in it.

The depth of her miracle and blessing was dependant on her obedience to God. God’s desire to bless us is only limited by what we offer to Him. God took what the woman had, a simple jar of oil, and from that filled numerous empty vessels. Elisha was specific in telling her to gather not a few, and she obeyed. She gathered so many that the jar of oil miraculously filled the vessels so much that it covered her debt and provided for her family’s future. If she had been disobedient, and only gathered a few vessels, the miracle couldn’t have been carried out because there wouldn’t have been enough oil to provide for the need. But she was obedient, thus God provided.

Many people miss out on the miracles and blessings of God because they don’t wait on the direction of God. In order for the miracle to be brought to fruition the woman had to wait on Elisha to give the direction on what to do. She could have just moved on after she told him her problems a gone to the next waiting ear that would listen, but she waited for direction. This story is a beautiful testimony of God’s ability to bless and meet His people’s needs despite the hopelessness of our situations.

Don’t just tell your problems to God and move on to the next waiting ear. Allow Him to speak truth into your life and then obey what He tells you to do. Despite what the situation looks like, obey. I wonder if the woman felt silly going from home to home asking for empty vessels. What good is an empty vessel? But that vessel wasn’t measured by its emptiness. The vessel was used after God provided the oil. The jar she had didn’t contain enough to fill those vessels, but the oil that God provided filled all that she had. It was her obedience that led to the blessing.

What we have isn’t enough, but if we allow God to use what we have, it’s more than enough. We serve a supernatural God who can meet our needs by any means necessary, but our blessing hinders on our ability to wait, and obey the Word of God.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2012 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on September 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Loneliness is a Season

“To every thing there is a season..” Ecclesiastes 3:1 A

 

I walked onto my porch this morning and couldn’t help but smile. For a small moment I stopped and savored the feeling of hope…change…and expectancy. I live in Florida. Basically we have two seasons here, hot and cold. Rarely, very rarely, there will be a small few weeks of ‘cool’ weather, but as I mentioned these times are rare. But,ever so often, a few times a year, it seems that God allows a simple and beautiful moment to speak volumes to my soul. This morning was such a time. When the light that shines takes on a different tone…When the air turns more crisp, and the breeze, though only slight, is somewhat refreshing. I can’t help but smile. It’s the changing of the seasons. We all have seasons in our life. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 is beautiful. It depicts life in a way that’s true. There is a time for everything. And though the happy times are pleasurable and we would love to live our lives completely in this season, it can’t be. There is also a time to cry, a time to mourn.

‘I’m very lonely.’..I told my best friend, and I am. I’m happy, I recognize God’s blessings. I am aware of His provision in my life. I feel ok. But at night when I settle the girls into bed, after the day’s mess has been straitened up. After the clothes have been sorted for the next day, I feel loneliness creep into the deep crevices of my heart. It isn’t pain, but it hurts nonetheless.

Seasons have changed for me. There was a time when brokenness marked my life. During this season I needed healing, and my Savior seemed to wrap me in His arms day after day and shelter me from the hurt that threatened to overtake me. And then there was time of rejoicing, because for all the heartache and pain I had gone through, I had made it. Satan hadn’t won, and I had grown to a place where I believed in life again. I had finally found a song in my heart. There was also a time of anger, a time when I fought the bitterness that settled in my soul. I learned a lot during this season. I learned of God’s ability to take what I offered and use it for His glory and my betterment. And now I seem to be in a season of waiting. For me this is the hardest. I’ve committed all of my fears and insecurities to my Savior. I truly do trust that God will bring all His promises to pass, but it has to be in His time. So I’m waiting.

John Waller sings an amazing song called ‘While I’m Waiting’ and it speaks of these times in individual’s lives, the times when we are waiting for God to place the pieces in order. They can be lonely times. They can make you question yourself. Whether you’ve made the right decisions, whether you’ve done everything you could have done. His song sings.. “While I’m waiting I will serve you, while I’m waiting I will worship. While I’m waiting I will not faint, I’ll be running the race, even while I wait..’ And that’s my prayer for my life. But I recognize that it’s at this point, while we are waiting on the delivery of God’s Word that many Christians act out of their own belief and perceptions of their situation. And in doing so we can miss what God has in store for our life.

I don’t know what you are waiting on God for. I don’t know what impossibility you have entrusted into His hands, but I know that this time of waiting is just that. A time. A season. And the seasons will change, and time does pass. If I were to act out of what I felt, I may miss the blessing of God. My feeling says ‘I’m lonely.’…and loneliness seeks company to fill missing pieces. But a couple of years ago I asked God for a man who would take me to church. It’s more than church, I know. It’s more than just being a good man, I know.

I wrote then…

‘Many men could offer to take me to many different places. They could offer me security in their devotion and unfailing love. They could buy me pricey gifts and write me beautiful letters full of emotions, rhymes, and heartfelt lyrics. But when the hard times come and a decision has to be made…when it appears that the “worse” outweighs the “better”…I want a man who will lead his family to an altar and seek the face of the one who truly made the provision for this need many years ago. I want a man who will stand in complete surrender to the will of God. I want a man who will take me to church.’

I wrote it then, but I still mean it now. So I walked outside and felt the breeze. Even as I sit and look outside my window, the light looks different, and I am reminded that this season that I’m in, the loneliness, it will change. Hope will spring anew, and God will give me the blessing that He has promised. Just as He will for you in your life.

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2012 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Published in: on September 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment