Have you ever felt unnoticed? Alone in a crowd... Lost in the shuffle...Good intentions gone unseen. I believe we all have. When considering these thoughts, I couldn't help but think of my boy Mordecai, the "supporting role" in the book/story of Esther.
“What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the LORD. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins. For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection. You have tried to hide in his shade. But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated, and by depending on him, you will be disgraced. For though his power extends to Zoan and his officials have arrived in Hanes, all who trust in him will be ashamed. He will not help you. Instead, he will disgrace you.” (Isaiah 30:1-5 NLT)
Beware of making your own plans without consulting God; trusting in the help of a leader instead of the right hand of the Lord. Make God your strength. Consult Him for your plans. Seek His path.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NLT)
Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark
Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land. Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.
The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly.
Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. But the wicked will die.The LORD’s enemies are like flowers in a field— they will disappear like smoke. The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.
Those the LORD blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die. The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever. The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.
Put your hope in the LORD. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them! Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him. (Psalm 37:1-40 NLT)
Don't worry. Put a guard about your mouth. God is in control. Our job is to trust Him, pray and keep our hearts pure.
Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark
Bloom: a state or time of beauty, freshness and vigor; a state of high development or achievement; to mature into achievement of one's potential; to flourish in youthful beauty, freshness or excellence; to shine out; glow
A number of weeks ago, the word “bloom” sprang up in my heart. Given the fact that I absolutely love doing word studies, I immediately began to search high and low for the various definitions of bloom and the scriptures associated with it. I even preached a message on it at my church! Over the last few weeks, a new joy and hope for this Spring began to rise up in my heart. As you know from my previous post, I absolutely love Spring. But this study of the word "bloom" and what the Bible has to say about Spring has given me a new-found love for the season. There is so much goodness packed into this five-letter word that is rarely used outside of Springtime and often overlooked. I truly believe that our Heavenly Father is speaking in the midst of this season, and through this simple yet profound word. My sisters, my friends, it is officially time to bloom. It’s time to arise from our sleep, as a seed rests in the darkness of winter below the ground, and spring forth into the newness that God has for us.
“For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.” Is. 61:11 MSG
This past weekend, we celebrated the beautiful sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross and His glorious resurrection. As a result of His life, death and resurrection, righteousness and praise have sprung forth throughout the world as people of all nations have received Him by faith. In other words, because He rose, we can arise! Because He bloomed, we can bloom!
This Spring, I am full of expectation for God to move in a great way in our lives and resurrect some things that have lay dormant. As my mom says in her book, Pray-ers Bear Fruit, "without a death, there can be no resurrection". Maybe you have been in a dry season for a while and it seems like God's voice has been a faint whisper, or maybe even silent. Maybe you've experienced the death of a dream and feel like there is no hope for a new beginning. Maybe you're in a relationship that is struggling to survive and you feel like the love is long gone. Oh, my sister, Jesus is about to resurrect your situation. He is fully aware of and well able to raise up that dead situation in your life and breathe a new life into it this season. Encourage yourself in the Lord. Build your faith through the Word. Don't believe the enemy's report. Believe the report of the Lord! He has positioned you for a miracle this season! We are about to see things that we've never seen before, do things we've never done before and go places we've never gone before.
Get ready to shine. Get ready to spring forth. Get ready to glow. Get ready to bloom.
Leave Your Beauty Mark
For a number of years now, Spring has been a season of new beginnings in my life. As many of you know, I had a health trial in April 2007 where I had to undergo and recover from major lung surgery to remove a malignant mass. It was quite a storm, but looking back I know that it was the catalyst to many of the blessings that were to come in my life. Then, fast forward two years later, I married my husband in April of 2009, a special sign of redemption and love from the Lord that brought and still brings me great joy. Now, fast forward another two years to April 2011, the month that I gave birth to my gorgeous daughter Grace, once again showing the great victory that we have in Jesus and His ability to give us double for our trouble. So, as you can see, Spring has a great connotation to me personally and brings me great joy. The following scripture passage was in my wedding program and beautifully expresses the joy and abundance of this lovely season:
Song of Solomon 2:10-13
“My beloved spoke and said to me:
‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ ”
As the Spring blossoms appear all throughout the country, I believe that there is a whisper of change being proclaimed to those that have ears to hear and eyes to see. Not just in the physical, but in the spiritual as well. Seeds that were sown in times of darkness, quietness and uncertainty that once were dead are springing forth in our lives, giving evidence to the faithfulness of our God and His ability to make all things new. The season of cold, difficult, laboring, toiling winter is coming to an end and a new season of joy, peace and rest is arising. God is calling us to rise up, shaking off the guilt of the past and forgetting the things which are behind. Come out from the shadows and chains of sins and grab hold of our freedom in Christ. He is calling us to shine forth in our God-given beauty, referring to us as His “fair ones”, fair meaning beautiful, lovely, clean, pure, fine, pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming or flawless quality. It’s time to embrace who we are in Christ, not necessarily because we deserve to be called fair or even feel fair, but because that is how our Father sees us. Lastly, He is calling us to come away with Him. Come to Him and away from the world. Draw near to Him and allow Him to draw near to us. Get lost in His presence. Make time for Him and go deeper in intimacy with Him, silencing the noise of our busy schedules and tuning our ears to the voice of heaven. As we surrender our plans and our agendas to set aside this special time with Him, we will begin to bloom.
Father, I thank you so much for your Word, that beautifully restores my soul and uplifts me in my time of need. I thank you for the season of Spring, as buds form and bloom throughout the earth as a sign to your children of the new things ahead. As we take time to come away in your presence and meditate on your Word, I ask that you reveal Yourself to us in a new way. Open our spiritual eyes to see and our spiritual ears to hear your voice through this season. Enlighten us by your Word. Captivate us in your presence. Illuminate us with your glory. I pray right now, Father, in Jesus’ Name, that you will help us to keep our focus on you. That we will begin a new season of devotion and commitment to you as we prepare to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Just like a seed, He died, was planted in the earth and rose again on the third day, springing forth as a majestic, eternal bloom, bearing the seeds of generational salvation for many to come. We thank you and praise you for your mighty works, God. To you be all the glory and honor and praise, both now and forever. Amen.
Leave Your Beauty Mark
P.S. I encourage you to study and meditate on Song of Solomon 2:10-13 this week. Allow this passage to get into your spirit and spring forth new revelation. I personally have found profound revelation on these scriptures from the commentaries of Matthew Henry, Scofield’s reference notes (1917 edition), Wesley’s explanatory notes and Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, all of which can be found within the free Bible Study Tools app. In these references, Song of Solomon 2:10-13 is explained as a metaphor of turning away from sin and the law and the beauty and newness of Christ’s coming, bringing a wonderful season of joy to those that receive Him. I highly recommend reviewing those commentaries, as they are rich with truth. As you study, please feel free to come back to this post and share your thoughts on what the Lord is revealing to you through this passage.
Today, as I took some time to quiet myself before God, I asked Him to search my heart and show me what I need to do and where to improve. As I read though the scriptures and sat in reflection, I heard my Father speak two simple words to my heart: Be still. I then saw a vision of a situation that I have faced numerous times over the last few weeks: me trying to clean my daughter's nose. I know this may sound strange, but if you're a mom you've experienced the struggle of trying to clean out your child's nose with a nasal aspirator. Not fun at all. My daughter screams, kicks, whips her hair back and forth and basically freaks out. Over and over again, I look her in the eyes and calmly tell her, "Grace, be still." Frantically, she disregards my instruction for a few more minutes and finally stays still long enough for me to help her by cleaning out her nose. You see, she'd been sick for about two weeks or so and as her mother, I knew that she couldn't blow her nose on her own & needed a clear nasal passage to help her breathe better and get well. I didn't want to take much of her time, but the more that she resisted me, the longer it took for me to help her.
Friends, God wants to help us. He wants to heal our hearts. He wants to bless us. He wants us to breathe easy. But the more that we resist Him, and the temporary discomfort of the process, the longer it will take for us to get well. Be still. Relax. Allow Him to do what He needs to do. Trust that He has your best interest at heart and doesn't mean you any harm. I know the situation that you're facing is very uncomfortable, but it's being used for your benefit. Let go. Be still. Take a chill pill, if you will. ;)
I believe that God showed me this scenario to reveal to me my own situation but I feel that this is for you too. I was watching the First Conference live from Gateway Church on Daystar tonight and the associate pastor gave the same word: Be Still. It was a confirmation to my heart and I know that God is speaking to you and me in this moment with this word.
"Be still, and know that I am God..."(Psalm 46:10 NKJV)
Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark
Hello beautiful ladies!! Today has been a fairly relaxing day. I've been at home with the baby and my mom stopped by to visit for a bit. This morning I took some time to study in preparation for my trip to Oklahoma this weekend for The Pink Lid purity conference. It will be my first time preaching as a momma! My perspective on life has changed so much and my passion for young women knowing the truth about beauty and purity has intensified as a result. I'm delivering a message of freedom based on Isaiah 61 and various other scriptures. As women of God that have accepted the free gift of salvation, we are entitled to the freedom that Jesus died to give us!
Isaiah 61:1-3 tells us that God equipped Jesus with anointing and the Holy Spirit in order to preach good news to the poor, set the captives free, proclaim the year of Jubilee (see Leviticus 25:8-17), heal the brokenhearted, comfort those who mourn, and to give us BEAUTY for ashes! He has also given us the oil of joy in place of mourning and a garment of praise in place of heaviness that we may be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified!
I have shared this message numerous times over the past 2 years and every time it is such a joy to deliver. Thank you, Jesus for the freedom that you died to give us! May we stand fast in this freedom and never go back to our former life of bondage (see Galatians 5:1)
This week I encourage you to take time to study Isaiah 61 and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal this message to your spirit like never before. May every weight, every burden and every chain that has held you down from your past be broken THIS WEEK in Jesus' Name! May you receive the freedom and beauty that Christ came to give you & may He be glorified in your walk of freedom!
Be sure to come back and share what God has spoken to you as you read and meditate on this message of freedom!
Emonne Markland: Leave YOUR Beauty Mark