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Melissa Edwards
Colossians 3:1-4

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Seek The Things That Are Above
By Melissa Edwards

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:1-4)

I was raised in a Methodist church. I loved God and felt Him speak to me many times. My favorite Scripture was Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” However, I did not have good spiritual leadership in comprehending the Trinity and no understanding of the truth of Jesus Christ’s existence.

Somehow, in the tumult of the late 60’s and early 70’s, I came to think that the “Jesus” part of the Bible was just a story to teach us about love and gentleness, and to give us parables to guide our lives.

I married a Jewish man. Unequally yoked, we didn’t go to church for 35 years. We prayed to God together, but had no direction from a church or any spiritual counselors. The week after my husband passed away, the Lord led me back into a Methodist church with a pastor who believes in the absolute truth of the Bible and who has a healing ministry and healing services. I went to one of the healing services for prayers for two of my friends who were battling life-ending stages of cancer. At the service, I heard testimonies of how God heals physical ailments and diseases. I had had infections and serious wounds on my hands for 20 years.

Once I lost 16 weeks from work and almost lost a finger with one of the infectious outbreaks. I began to pray for God to heal my hands. The more I prayed, the worse the bleeding sores on my hands became.

My hands hurt so when I would pour water on them to wash that I tried some waterless hand cleaner. I didn’t realize it was 62% alcohol, which felt like I was opening the wounds and setting them on fire. But I had a new and stronger faith and I kept praying. One Sunday, as I was praying in church, a gash opened up between my small finger and my ring finger and blood was spilling out onto a yellow skirt I was wearing. I still believed God would heal my hands and continued to pray for that.

On the following Tuesday, as I was washing my hands, filled with cuts and sores, I suddenly came to the realization it was the devil who was keeping me from believing God could heal my hands. I said, very loudly, “Satan, in the name of Christ Jesus, quit messing with my hands.” I was furious at the devil and grabbed the alcohol-filled hand cleaner, pouring it on my hands, telling Christ I took Him over the evil one. Suddenly, I was aware that the alcohol felt like soothing oil and my hands were pain free. It was two days before Thanksgiving, 2005. By Thanksgiving Day my hands were completely healed and my old scars gone.

At once, I knew the power of Jesus’ name, and knowing that power, at once I knew Jesus was real and alive. The following Sunday I stood up in church with this story. I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, and I have lived for Him ever since. I want to know Him personally and I want to tell others about Him.

As in all relationships, you will get out of it only what you put into it. God has fully offered us a relationship; it is up to us to receive the relationship with God and live from it.
I used to read the Bible in sporadic pieces. Now, aside from concentrated Bible studies, I read it entirely, over and over, taking in every word.

In her book, "The Happy Intercessor," Beni Johnson relates that “the Greek word for worship is proskuneo; it means ‘to kiss.’ It is a feeling or attitude within us that keeps us close to God. It is not just about coming to church on Sunday and singing songs during the worship service. Even though that is an important thing that we do together, it is not the most important thing. Worship comes from within us and goes with us throughout our day. When we adore God, we are kissing Him.

My 91-year old mother is now a hospice patient. She’s home with me and the help of caregivers. A most precious friend who has come into my life is a Christian caregiver who constantly thanks and praises Jesus as she helps me with diapering, bathing, and bed wound dressings. I can’t imagine how I would have coped with the burdens of these tasks without the strength of the Lord she has plugged us into.

I don’t hear God speak in a loud voice. I haven’t seen a clear vision of Jesus’ face. However, since Christ finally got through to me, and I have sought a personal closeness to Him, doing all I can to maintain open communication with Him, I’ve received direction to take action, and in the action I’ve received clear confirmation that I’m doing His will.

All of these experiences have led me to joy in realizing God is speaking to me, not in loud words, but directing my life in ways I believe are fulfilling His will and bringing glory to Him.

That all-loving God I prayed to all my life has given me a dynamic relationship through His son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. He’s led me to groups of Christian brothers and sisters who pray and praise him continually and have shown me the power to come against the darkness of this world and find tremendous joy in watching Him work.

I pray for you the prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians: “…that, out of his glorious riches, the Lord may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” I pray this for you in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.

Melissa Edwards


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