Calling All Worshippers

Lord, You are the only Truth & Way. Teach us to fear You alone, bowed down & worshipping You in thought word & deed with reverential awe for our lives are in You.

MINI SCRIPTURE SOAKING BIBLE STUDY ~ Part One

Several years ago, the Lord laid on my heart to write Bible studies.  These are called Scripture-Soaking Bible Studies because participants “soak” in His Word.  We read the Scripture, then we read it again, then we write what we learn from it.   The more time we spend in His Word, the more He writes the Truth of His Way on our heart so we can stand strong against views contrary to Him which surround us and exalt themselves as truth.  This is a “mini” Scripture Soaking Bible Study in that we will complete it via just a few blog posts. ~ Elizabeth

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

We are called to be worshippers – a people who know who God is and in light of His supreme sovereignty, almighty power and victorious inscrutable Way – freely lay down our wills and our burdens in order to simply contemplate His majesty and seek to enter His most intimate presence while we are still on earth before we enter heaven.  We worship Him in thought, word, song and action, seeking to make every breathe a sacrifice of praise because He is.

Sometimes we are at risk for treating worship as just another activity, when it should be a lifestyle.  (And it is a lifestyle which is a gift and not a burden or obligation!)  Sometimes treating worship with complacency (which is not authentic worship) can happen because we don’t remember or have never learned how God promises to respond when we worship Him above all else.

God is unchanging.   Therefore how He responded to the worship of the people in the Old Testament is how we can expect Him to respond to us as well. A wonderful depiction of how God responds to worship beyond anything we can imagine when we believe in Him for who He is and trust Him with all our circumstances is a story of Jehoshaphat found in the book of 2 Chronicles.

Now let us begin our study.  We will read through the relevant Scripture (Bible verses).  Questions will follow each section.  At the end of each question will be the Scripture reference where the answer can be found.  These questions will cause us to contemplate portions of the Scripture which are most revelant for us in light of the topic of this “mini” study by highlighting their message.  In addition, pertinent notes will be placed below sections of verses in italics.  To gain the most from this mini-study, please print this out, write the answers to the questions and add notes of your own!   

Lord, open our eyes to see and our ears to hear what You would have us know about You and Your Way through this study! ~ Elizabeth

2 CHRONICLES 17 (Amplified) ~Jehosphaphat becomes King of Judah.

1JEHOSHAPHAT HIS son reigned in Asa’s stead and strengthened himself against Israel.

     2And he placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had taken.

     3The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father [David]. He did not seek the Baals

     4But sought and yearned with all his desire for the Lord, the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not after the ways of Israel.

     5Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor.

Why was the Lord with Jehoshaphat (for him and not against him)? (2 Chron 17:3-4)

What did the Lord do for Jehoshaphat because Jehosphat honored God above all and put no other god before Him?  (2 Chron 17:5)

NOTES: Jehoshaphat was blessed by God because Jehoshaphat treated God as Lord.  He knew that he was under God and wanted to be subservient to Him.  He understood God had all power and all knowledge and was worthy of worship, and that we cannot say we are for God and with God if our actions show otherwise.  In order to receive the blessings God promises to all those who align themselves with Him, the alignment must be authentic.  And so Jehoshaphat did not seek wisdom, knowledge, power, provision, protection or blessing from anything or anyone but God.  He set about to eliminate any potential source of wisdom and power which was not God.

Verse 3 tells how he did not seek the Baals, who were idols and not the real God. 

Verse 4 describes how though an earthly king, Jehoshaphat knew God was so much more and yearned for Him alone.  He also wanted to honor Him and so chose to try to live according to God’s commandments.  He did not do as others did, but put obedience to the invisible, one true God first.

In verse 5 once again God reveals one of His most basic traits: He is an “if-then” God.  In other words, if we are a specific way, then He promises to respond in a certain way.  Here it validates that if we put God first in all things, then He will make sure we have all that we need in every regard.  He will be our “covering”, protecting and providing for us perfectly.

     6His heart was cheered and his courage was high in the ways of the Lord; moreover, he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.

Verse 6 describes one more of Jehoshaphat’s key actions during his reign.  He had all other altars to all other so-called gods removed from his kingdom (Judah).  There would only be honor given to the one true God.  Jehoshaphat understood that God is not to be mocked.  Either we treat Him as God or we do not.  There is no middle ground. (Middle ground is compromise and thus subject to the same treatment as if we blatantly declared and acted as if God were not our God.)

     7Also in the third year of his reign he sent his princes Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah to teach in the cities of Judah;

     8And with them were the Levites–Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah; and with these Levites were the priests Elishama and Jehoram.

     9And they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went about throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

What were the princes, Levites and princes sent into all the cities of Judah to do?

In verses 7-9 we learn about how Jehoshaphat sent out princes, Levites and priests to teach the entire population (in all the cities and villages) about God.  We cannot worship what we do not know.  In order to know God is worthy of worship, we must know Him. Jehoshaphat knew that in order for the entire kingdom to come under the covering of God’s Lordship with perfect protection and provision, the populace would have to know enough about God to bow to Him.  Yet the generation before had not followed God and therefore not taught the current generation the Truth about the Lord God.  Therefore Jehoshaphat dispatched the princes, Levites and priests to teach them.  The equipping the people of the kingdom of Judah received as a result became the critical pre-requisite for what they would do when crisis came and what God would do in response.

     10And a terror from the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

Why didn’t the other kingdoms who surrounded Judah make war against Judah and Judah’s King Jehosphaphat?

Jehoshaphat had a fear of the Lord.  He knew who God was so he would do anything in an effort to live a life pleasing to God – which honored Him.  (The Bible says the for us the reverential worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of true Wisdom from God.[Job. 28:28]. ) As a direct consequence of Jehoshaphat putting God on the throne of his life with the proper reverential, worshipful fear of the Lord, God protected Jehoshaphat by causing all the kingdoms surrounding Judah to be afraid of Judah and therefore to leave them in peace for a particular time period.

To be continued in the next post…. Meanwhile we hold all these revelations in our minds and hearts until then, when the foundation of faith laid by Jehoshaphat, which caused the people to know God well enough to trust Him and worship Him with reverential fear and awe, becomes the critical component to their survival.

Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.  Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.  It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Prayer at End of Day

Lord, help me to be at rest in You at all times, no matter what because I trust You. Help me to love as You would. Thank You for hearing my prayers.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Lord, another day is done.  It is time to prepare for the next.  Each day is a blessing – a gift from You to be carefully opened and cherished, for no one knows when his or her last day will be.  To be done with this life would not be tragic, but it would be hard, for there are those You have put in my life whom I love and I would have to leave them for now.  Therefore I cherish each day which You provide, where You enable me to be in You and You in me (because I seek You and to be attached to You in all things) and You enable me to serve where You call me.

Lord, sometimes it seems as though here as it is now is not what I thought would be and yet You are Sovereign.  You are also trustworthy and so in You I have placed my trust.

Sometimes I recall things You have spoken to my heart which were to be and are not.  It does not dash my faith.  I know Your ways are above my understanding.  But it does cause me to pause sometimes and be tempted to be melancholy.  Lord, forgive me.  For then I consider all You have provided, the many ways You have taken care of me through all circumstances and must remind myself again that this is earth not heaven. You never promised perfection or that it would be easy here.  You promised never to leave me or forsake me and You never do.

As I gaze into Your eyes, purposefully turning my attention from any and all hopes, dreams and things which might tempt me to pay more attention to them, than I do to You, I am face to face with Your love for me.  I melt in humble amazement and fall yet deeper in love with You, for You know my every imperfection and shortcoming, yet Your love for me remains.  Forgive me that I have been distracted from what is truly important – drawing closer to You.  Forgive me that I have worried I would not have what I want when You are all that I need and all that I want.  Forgive me for forgetting all You have done for me and having the attitude of a spoiled child instead of being thankful.  Forgive me for concerning myself with earthly things which lack substance and will not last.  These are but a vapor – a mist – here one moment and gone the next.

But You are.  You are always by my side.  You hear me, speak to Me and lead me in the way I should go.  You use all things for good in light of eternity.  All things.

Right now in this moment once again I bow.  I choose You for I know I need You as Savior and I desire You as my Lord.

Because You are God, You know.  You know where I am and why I am here.  Because You are God, You have the power to move me (and those I love), when it is time for the next step of what I thought was to be or yet something new from You.  Until then I can rest in You, be content with such things as I have, thankful in all things and rejoice in the work of my hands, which You have provided perfectly.

I am so human and weak!  I need You!  Still my heart.  Fill me with Your peace.  Teach me to love and guide me until loving You and loving others because I love You is the singular object of my attention.  Help me to rest in You at all times, entering Your Dwelling Place with constant ongoing worship, thanksgiving and praise.

You are; You are; You are.  There is none like You.  I have no worries.  I fear You alone.  You will put me under the shadow of Your wings and care for me perfectly until You bring me home.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

END

Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.    It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.

Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  So I asked Him what songs He wanted released.  The result is CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.   (Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby link.  It is also available on itunes.) 

May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season!

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Ascending in Worship ~ Sunday, October 30, 2011

LORD,You are our strength and our song! In You we have life and have it to the full! We join creation to sing, worship & declare Your glory!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

Sunday is a divine pause to worship our King and reflect upon His majesty.  Our worship is our gift to Him for we turn focus from us and onto God.  And yet we are the ones blessed in the process for as we worship He writes His Truth upon our hearts, which fills us with His peace, hope and joy and causes us to be able to stand strong in all circumstances because we have learned who He is.  The Israelites used to sing Psalms as they ascended the mountain to go and worship God as He instructed.  We still ascend when we worship, but now spiritually by the power of His Spirit entering His throne room every time we choose to worship and praise Him.  As a result, He fills us with His presence and power, thereby strengthening us for the battles which invariably come.  It is God who is our strength;  He is our shield.  We only need to worship, seek to hear His voice and obey, then watch how He will use all things for eventual good.  What a mighty God we serve!  ~ Elizabeth

EXODUS 15:2,6-7,9-11,13,18  (NIV)

2The Lord is my Strength and my Song, and He has become my Salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

    3The Lord is a Man of War; the Lord is His name.

… 6Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

     7In the greatness of Your majesty You overthrow those rising against You. You send forth Your fury; it consumes them like stubble.

 …  9The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my desire shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.

     10You [Lord] blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; [clad in mail] they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

     11Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?

…  13You in Your mercy and loving-kindness have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation.

18The Lord will reign forever and ever.
WORSHIP SONG

ASCEND IN WORSHIP ~song & lyrics by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2006

1) I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies

I will not be afraid

You are greater than he who comes against me

Mighty Warrior King.

2) I enter Your gates with thanksgiving,

Your courtyards with my praise

You are mercy, love and forgiveness.

I adore You all my days.

Chorus

I ascend in worship, ascend in worship, ascend in worship, descend in battle

Ascend in worship, ascend in worship, ascend

For Your glory, Victor and King

3) I boldly enter Your throne room; rejoice with the angels in You

My Refuge, Fortress, High Tower

I put my trust in You.

(Chorus)

“Ascend in Worship” is available on the ASCEND IN WORSHIP CD on itunes, at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and at www.holyspiritpress.org/store 

WORSHIP PRAYER ~ when we address God, focusing on Him and adoring Him, our prayers and proclamations become declarations of worship which honor our King.  According to His promises, He responds to our authentic worship with release of His sovereign power into our circumstances in the way He deems best.  

Lord, You are the answer.  In You we find the Truth of our existence, our purpose, and our eternal Dwelling Place in Your Love.  Lord, God as we come and bow before You usher us deeper into Your heart.  Show us Your Way, teach us to walk in Your paths.  There is no other life we want than life in You and for You.  The enemy has no power when we bow and worship You for You are eternal Victor and there is no other.  Life no longer ends in death, but bridges into an eternity beyond anything we can imagine.

We delight that even in our battles here, You are with us.  Heaven and earth collide in the spiritual realm, woven together in inextricable ways and this is our blessing for at every moment on every day, no matter what our circumstances, there are You with us.  Where evil and ugliness confront us, You help us through, never leaving our side and redeem the suffering by using it all for good in light of eternity.

To You belong all things, in You all things live, move and have their being.  You give us the work of our hands for it is You who has the perfect plan for each of us and the power to bring it to fruition.  And so, we have no need of worry because You are.  We can listen, follow and at all times rest in You.

We rely on Your Spirit.  We are so thankful for the gift of Your Spirit – guiding, comforting, speaking, healing, flowing through us (who are sinners and so imperfect) to bring Your love perfectly to the world.

And so today we choose to remain at rest in You.  We choose to rejoice and receive the gift of Your peace deeper.  We lift our arms to You for we need not work today.  We lift our eyes to You, for You are the only focus we need.  We bow to You, for You alone are Lord, Savior and God.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

END
Note to ASCENDING IN WORSHIP on Sundays: I have always loved music and worship music, but have not always understood worship.  For many years it was just a word used to describe church service or a type of music.  But that changed radically in Feb. 2004 when friends prayed over me to start hearing (thus composing) new songs from heaven.  (Since their prayers I have composed over 350 worship songs and recorded more than 60.)  Then in Feb. 2005 the Lord gave me a vision which implied worship changes things.  I needed to understand what the vision meant.  I needed to understand His way.  After months spent in Scripture studying everything I could find about worship, it became clear that indeed God promises to respond to our worship with a release of His power, which changes things.  Thus worship is not a song, service, drum beat or lifting of hands (though all of these things with a worshipful mindset can be worship).  Worship is an attitude of heart which adores God in the majesty and sovereignty of who He is in our lives at all times.  Worship is the ultimate expression of our trust in Him, because we choose to spend precious time contemplating the awesome wonder of all He is, without the need to ask Him for anything.  It expresses to God we can abandon ourselves to worship Him because we trust He already has everything else handled – that which we can see and which we can’t. 

Worship is not a Sunday activity, but a lifestyle.  However, Sunday is the traditional day within most Christian circles to take a pause from our work which helps refresh us and honors God as our ultimate provider and protector from whom all good things come.  Worship honors Him and strengthens us in Him.

On Sundays, to facilitate this “pause” before God, NUGGETS OF GOD’S WISDOM features Scripture and song lyrics to assist in laying down everything that burdens us and constrains the mind, to enter into blissful, restorative worship of the only One who can which writes His promises on our hearts. 

To God be the glory forever and ever!

~ Elizabeth

PLEASE watch the new music video to “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=related  SHARE the link!  Let’s worship together as we pray, seek His will, stand and re-take ground for Christ in our communities and beyond (for His glory)!

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Standing Firm On the ROCK

You are my Rock & my salvation. There is nothing to fear for You have conquered death & given me eternity. You use all things for good. You are my Source, my peace & my joy!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

JOB 28:23,27-28 (Amplified)

23God understands the way [to Wisdom] and He knows the place of it [Wisdom is with God alone]….  27Then He saw [Wisdom] and declared it; He established it, yes, and searched it out [for His own use, and He alone possesses it].   28But to man He said, Behold, the reverential and worshipful fear of the Lord–that is Wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

JER. 33:2-3  (Amplified)

2Thus says the Lord Who made [the earth], the Lord Who formed it to establish it–the Lord is His name:   3Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

We are assailed on every side by mindsets spouting so-called wisdom which is contrary to God’s way.  The atmosphere is permeated with it!  How can we hope to stay strong for our Lord, standing firm reflecting His love, values and Way without wavering?

The Bible describes that Christ as our firm foundation.  He is the Rock.  How do we gain and maintain our footing on the Rock, Jesus Christ?  How do we keep in good spiritual health when there is so much “junk food” around?

The answer is by choice.  To be strong we need more of God.  He is waiting and always available.  We must decide to choose more of Him.

This means a commitment to time with Him, focused on Him and not us.  He is the Bread of Life.  We commit to spend the time to take in His good spiritual food, which He already has prepared for us and to stay spiritually fit through opportunities to exercise our faith (which will present themselves).

Time with God is where we get ourselves alone with Him feed on His Word, worship and pray.  We take in His Truth, chewing on its many, layered revelations as if savoring the different flavors.  We repeat what we have learned about Him to ourselves as we take the time to worship and adore Him, thereby writing His Truth on our own hearts.  We start to know what we know about Him and can no longer be “rocked” from this certainty.  We have taken our place upon the Rock, Jesus Christ.

In the knowledge of who He is, the initiation into His Wisdom begins – an understanding of His Way.  For us the beginning of this Wisdom is to come to know enough about Him that we find ourselves in a state of spontaneous, bowed-down reverential awe as He begins to unfold for us how He is, what He does and why.  We are amazed by what we learn about Him!  Eyes suddenly opened wide, with Thomas, we declare, “My Lord and My God!”

Layer by layer He reveals the actual way of the universe which is His Truth, replacing the clever deception, with which the adversary has permeated secular viewpoints.  This is the fruit of time spent alone with our Lord – privately with eyes only for Him – as we seek to get know Him because He has become important to us – not just as our Savior, but as God Most High.

We recognize this three-in-one God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) is our Source, our Provider, our Refuge (safe-place & protector) and that all things are in His hands.  We realize that He will fulfill every promise because He cannot lie and lean on the promise that as we trust in Him, out of the endless font of His love He will take what the adversary meant for evil and use it for ultimate, eternal good.  We pray in a new, more confident way for we know Who we serve.  We unite our purposes to His.

The result of time spent alone with God, seeking Him with abandon and child-like inquisitiveness is His firm foundation and peace under our feet where He has become our Rock – an immoveable foundation of  Truth upon which we stand resolute, grounded and rooted in Him.  What He has taught us can no longer be swept out from under us as life’s storms come and tides shift for His love, truth and sovereingty always remain. We stand firm for God worshipping Him in trust through all difficulties and seeming obstacles.  As we choose to stand and not move away from Him during these challenges we are exercising our faith.  Our spiritual muscles grow stronger as we stand firm against the resistance we encounter in a world, which is mostly contrary to Him.

In the process, those around us see God.  They are confounded by the peace and joy resulting from our choice to rely on God and His promises regardless of circumstances.  They want what He has given us for themselves and hunger to seek Him in order to personally receive the endless supply of satisfying spiritual food He has prepared.  The outcome is the growth of His Kingdom, which He desires.  The harvest is brought in one by one and His purposes are fulfilled.

DEUT 32:3-4 (Amplified)

3For I will proclaim the name [and presence] of the Lord. Concede and ascribe greatness to our God.   4He is the Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are law and justice. A God of faithfulness without breach or deviation, just and right is He.

Selah! [Pause and calmly think of that!]

END

Note from Elizabeth: Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  So I asked Him what songs He wanted released.  The result is CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.  It is available for purchase at www.holyspiritpress.org,  www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro (Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby link), itunes and amazon.com    May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season!

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Prophetic Word: The Money Is Mine; Steward It as I Lead

You are above all & in all. You give us the work of our hands. Through You comes all provision. We bow - listening & ready to do Your will. We lay worry down & trust

8The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine, says the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:8 Amplified)

It is My money, says the Lord.  All of it.  You act as if it is yours to control, monitor and make decisions about.  But this is not so.  Leave it to Me.  I decide how it will be put to use.  I make sure you will have enough.

I enable the crops to grow and I enable the harvest.   There is none who can have unless I ordain it.  Everything on earth and even in the entire universe is mine.  You have not made the money; I have enabled you to earn it.  I enable you to have a job for the time periods I ordain because I know you need income.  I enable retirement plans to grow – or not.

So much time, yes, so much time is spent attempting to figure out the perfect formula in order to guarantee you will have enough money to take care of your needs until your physical death.  But I AM the only One who really knows.  I AM the only One who knows the date and the hour and the manner of your passing from now into eternity.  I AM the only One who knows how the investments will perform.  I know what disasters are to come, their negative impact and their positive.  I know your needs and how much you will need.

It is all certainty to Me.  I do not deal in probabilities or projections; there is simply certainty because I alone know the beginning, the end and everything in between.  Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you deep and unsearchable things you do not know.

It is a promise!  But do not come to Me seeking prognostication of what the real estate or stock markets will do. Do NOT ask if you can gamble and win! Surely I know.  But you disregard and disrespect Me when you do not come seeking the greater Wisdom, the true gold that I AM and that My Way represents.  I AM the true wealth.  When you place your trust in Me alone and walk out My will, I AM all that you need.  I will not fail you.

In Me all things were created, live, move and have their being.  It is not so for you.  You are not God and yet I love you with an everlasting love and draw you to Myself with never-ending loving kindness.  My Way is infinite and eternal and goes far beyond the use for the money you seek.

Therefore seek no more after money.  Seek after Me and I will make sure you have enough.  It is My role as your Lord.

Surely My way of providing for you frequently will be through work.  Work is not bad.  I created you for good work.  It is the adversary who lies to you and tells you that leisure and fleshly pleasure are what you should seek above all else.  Most men and women will have to work in order to earn enough to pay for the costs of living which they face.  If I didn’t want it to be so, then it wouldn’t be so.

But just as surely, money is merely a tool to facilitate your existence in this foreign land you currently consider home.  It is of no use to you the moment I call you from here back to the greater reality of heaven – Your true eternal home with Me.  Here you are on assignment.  Here is temporary.  With Me is forever.

Therefore do not waste Your time chasing money.  Do the work I have set before you and let Me enable it to bring what you need.  Do the work because it is the work I have provided, not because you think it will earn you the most.  Making the most is not the goal.  It leads to nothing.  Searching for ever more money is like the ongoing scaling of a mountain because it is said the greatest treasure is on the top only once you reach the summit to find a sheer cliff on the other side and no footing upon which to stand (and so defeated you fall).

I AM your Rock.  I AM your security. I AM your purpose.  I AM your Provider.

It is NOT wrong to have money; it is the attitude with which you handle it.  Money is not your answer.  I AM.  You are to be prudent; you are to be diligent; you are to seek My will with every bit of what you have and do it.

Seek My kingdom first and all the that you need in every other regard will be provided.  Trust in Me over your bank account.  You will have enough.  It is a promise.  Only I know what “enough” is.  Only I know where and how you are to allocate each dollar to ensure you have enough.  Listen for My voice.  Walk out My will. Steward every dollar I provide only as I lead and You will be freed from worry to walk in My joy and My peace now and forever.

Never forget.  Everything is mine; only I know its true purpose. I desire to use the world’s assets, which I have created, for My good purposes.  I know what the “good” is.  Seek Me, obey and rejoice.

humbly written out as “heard”  on October 24th and 25th, 2011 by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011

PLEASE view the music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL     (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.) 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

We Each Have A Choice

We seek You like the Magi. We lay down other priorities because You are the answer & King. And You will be found. What delight!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011  www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Belonging to a church or group where those who gather together to worship each individually have chosen to seek relationship with God already, does not mean we have established such a one-on-one relationship with God for ourselves.  God loves us each of us equally and seeks relationship with us, but we make the choice whether or not the relationship will come to pass individually, not corporately.  Certainly God is glorified and honored when we function as His faithful in unity.  In fact, Jesus calls us to it. However, the foundation of life in God and for God is an individual choice walked out without perfection day by day.

God encounters us as individuals first.  This is most often as a direct result of us seeking Him.  He waits to be sought.  He is always there, always watching, always waiting in love for an individual to turn and look for Him – the Person of God.

As individuals we also determinte to what extent this relationship with God will grow because God is waiting at all times to pour more into us and deepen the relationship if we will let Him.  He burns with love for us and has through all eternity, demonstrating this love (and His faithfulness to the promises which spring from this love) in a multiplicity of ways through the generations.  His love is most profoundly manifested in the sacrificial life, death and resurrection of the Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus poured Himself out for us without recognition from the generation in which He lived and before we ever knew Him.  He loves us whether we choose to reciprocate.  His love is.

Ongoing He calls out into the atmosphere.  It is promised:

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’  (Jer 33:3 NIV)

 …acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. (1 Chron 28:9 NIV)

…“I have loved you with an everlasting love;  I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  (Jer. 31:3 NIV)

His mercy extends to those who fear him,  from generation to generation.  (Luke 1:50 NIV)

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,  neither are your ways my ways,”  declares the LORD.  9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.     10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,  so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills 
will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isa. 55:4-12 NIV)

Initially when we look, we find ourselves in a fallen life separated from the intimacy for which God created us, where the antithesis of God – the ruler of the air, accuser of the brethren and father of lies – has dominion because Adam and Eve believed his words and followed his lead over God’s.  God set Adam and Eve in exile honoring their choice not to be under His leadership.  We are their descendants.

However, we are not condemned to remain under the adversary’s leadership.  God provivided the way back to intimacy with Him through Jesus Christ and so once again the choice is ours.  In large part it is the same choice set before our ancestors in paradise.  Individually will we choose  Him to be God and Lord, electing to follow His lead (His instructions) by submitting willingly to His guidance?  Or will we choose to be our own masters?  (He has left us His Spirit to lead us in His way.)

Once again God loves us too much to control us.  If we decide we want our independence, He will leave us on our own to go our own way – whatever that is.  And there will be no intimacy with Him now or in the future for He has removed Himself, respecting our decision.  Yet, He remains at just enough distance so that we can have our own way, but close enough that if we change our mind He is immediately there.  The moment we turn, confess the wrongness of thinking we were God (acting as if we could manage without Him and deciding what was right and wrong for ourselves) and ask Him to forgive us, the barrier of sin between us is washed away.  In the blink of an eye we find ourselves in His presence, like a child learning to hold His hand and being led by Him on a journey to union with God for as long as we continue to choose Him.

God is calling each of us individually and at all times to the close relationship with Him for which He created us.  It is the only place we will find true inner joy, peace, purpose and fulfillment. If He is God – the most supernatural, all-powerful, all-good Being who created the universe and whose most basic, all-encompassing characteristic is unconditional, infinite love manifesting in mercy -will we choose to hear and respond to His call?

Selah! [Pause and calmly think of that!]

END

Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.    It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.

Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  So I asked Him what songs He wanted released.  The result is CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.   (Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby link.  It is also available on itunes.) 

May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season!

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

His Transformation is Gradual & Good

Redeemer, Savior Lord, You purify our hearts when we turn to You and through the seasons of life You transform and bring harvest. We rejoice!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011    www.holyspiritpress.org    www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Beginning to comprehend the majesty and wonder of Christ and being able to live in a way which honors Him are two different things.  We can begin to understand what He wants from us and yet struggle to make the mental shifts necessary to execute.

There are several reasons for this disparity.  First, we were created so that we cannot manage the transformation on our own.  This transformation from the inside out is possible and promised.  But it requires us to reach out to God for His supernatural help by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Thus the transformation requires the pre-requisite of an ongoing right relationship with God.  It requires God-dependence  and a choice to begin exercising our interior selves to develop new habits to worship Him, pray, seek to hear His voice, take courage to follow where He leads and take every thought captive (realizing what we are thinking before our thoughts run away with us, and choosing to evaluate their Christlikeness under the magnifying glass of His Word.)

Transformation tends to be gradual and lifelong, but we must not get discouraged or give up.  We will never be Christ, yet we strive for Christlikeness.  We will never be as holy as God who is perfection for we are not.  But we are called to increasing holiness as represented by our complete dedication of self to Him.

Salvation is a free gift from God and yet it comes with a price.  The price demanded is to give up our lives and dedicate them to God.  We give up slavery to fallable self, death, sin and all its ugly motivators (anger, hate, jealousy, etc) in order to become devoted, willing servants of God, who are ushered upon His most excellent Way of ultimate, complete freedom.  He guides us, directs us and is patient with us as we journey ever closer into His heart.

Yes.  Transformation is promised.  It must be sought.  It is gradual.  We must forgive ourselves as He forgives us and give ourselves patiently over to the process in His perfect timing, knowing we are infinitely loved every step of the Way.

ROMANS 7:18-19, 22-25 (Amplified)

18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]

     19For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing.

   …

     21So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands.

       23But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].

     24O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?

     25O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

ROMANS 8:1-3 (Amplified)

1THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.

     2For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

     3For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

Selah!  [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

PLEASE view the music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL     (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.) 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

No Greater Love

You have redeemed us from death to eternal life. Use us Your way. We are Yours.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro    www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

How many of us would be willing to give up our life so that someone else could live?  Perhaps for our child, but what about a stranger (or even an enemy)?

This is the way of Jesus.  Meant here is not necessarily physical death, but death to self.

Would we die so others could live?  Would we die to our own desires and dreams?

We live in a culture which to some extent teaches the opposite.  The sacrifice of military servicemembers in battle or other persons who give their lives for another in a disaster is honored and even considered with a degree of awe.  However, the focus of our culture has shifted away from self-sacrifice and an attitude of giving to others the past fifty years.  It has turned to an emphasis on self.  We can easily get caught up in thinking about how to protect self, elevate self and make sure self’s needs are met no matter what the cost instead of looking to the needs of others.  “You are not giving me what I need and deserve” is often more the heart’s cry in the face of those around us rather than, “What do you need?”

This attitude is not Christ and has nothing to do with His Way.  He poured Himself out 100 percent for us.

Now that said, it does need to be recognized that though we are the beneficiaries of His full offering of self for us, He did not do it specifically to please us, but to please His Father.  He would never have gained inner satisfaction or fulfillment by working to please us.  We are all so utterly human and fickle.  If He had looked to do only what pleased us, He never would have gone to the cross and probably wouldn’t have spoken the life-transforming Truth, which was His message.  Jesus succeeded in His mission for the Father because He did only exactly what the Father asked of Him and because it is the essence of true love (and He is love.)

Jesus is our model.  Our goal is to be more like Him.  This being the case, we need to look to please the Father as well, understanding His focus will be serving and loving on others, whether they respond in kind or not.  (He is love and operates in love regardless of whether it is reciprocated.)  Pre-requisite to being part of His kingdom is embracing His way.  It is the way of death to self for life in Him and that life will be about serving others, specifically where and as His Spirit leads.

If we do not believe in God, then our self focus can remain.  For if He is not real, then this life may well be all there is.  If God does not exist, this would mean there is no omnipotent, all-good, supernatural, Supreme Being looking out for us and beckoning us home.  Without God we would need to look after ourselves and get all we can no matter the cost.

What an empty, purposeless life it would be where all meaning beyond ourselves has been vacuumed away and we live in a void consumed by self… But we are blessed.  We know God IS.

As we finally understand God is real, promises to protect and provide for us perfectly and invites us to partner with Him to show others His Kingdom so they can find their way to their eternal home, and we begin to sense the incomprehensible, infinite love of God which is not bound by human weakness and fallability, our lives should experience extreme change.  We will never be the same.  Our focus becomes an aching to become His drink poured out for others as He was for us regardless of the personal cost.

Holy Spirit, guide us.  Holy Spirit, teach us.  Holy Spirit, help us to be Your love and forgive us each time we fail and drop back into old habits.  You are our hope.  You are our purpose.  In You we have life.  In Jesus’ name,  Amen

(Note: for those living in abusive relationships, it is not okay to simply “grin and bear it”.  This is not dying to self, it is not valuing self and you have value because you are a child of God.  To remain in an abusive situation is not being in the will of God, for God would never want this for one of His children.  If this is the case, He will show you the way out step by step, just as He will strengthen you to do it without bitterness and with forgiveness – if you will let Him. ~ Elizabeth)

JOHN 15:9-13  (Amplified)

9I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [[a]continue in His love with Me].

     10If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love.

     11I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.

     12This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you.

     13No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.

Selah! [Pause and calmly think of that!]

END

PLEASE view the music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL     (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.) 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Compassion of Christ

You walk with us; flow through us to walk with others in Your love for Your glory

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro  (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

We cannot serve Christ without compassion.  We can have no compassion unless we have looked our own inner insufficiencies in the face and confronted the insufficiency of the world in which we live to always meet our needs.  To be compassionate for others, we must have recognized that we are the same as they and that the only answer is Christ.

In order to love and not judge we must turn the critical eye to ourselves first and then in our complete acknowledgement that we are sinners, go to God to receive with overwhelming humility and thankfulness the gift of forgiveness from God Himself (which is only available to us because Christ willingly went to the cross and gave up His life for us.)

Therefore it is through our weaknesses that God makes us strong.  This is one of the ways God takes what the enemy meant for evil – the reasons we should be condemned – and uses them for good.

When we realize our inability and need for His ongoing redeeming power, we begin to fulfill His mandate that we consider ourselves better than no one.  We recognize their weakness and know the agony our weaknesses have caused us.  We stretch out a hand in love as His Spirit directs and come alongside – not with judgment but with compassion which seeks to understand and support emotionally and spiritually, encouraging the one who is discouraged to find their strength and ability in Christ as well.

His love pours out through us His way; we can better walk in unity, accepting and loving others through their weaknesses.  This had the inevitable result that those around us begin to see and know the nature of the God we serve (LOVE!) and seek after Him themselves.

2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-9  (Amplified)

7And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. [Job. 2:6.]

     8Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;

     9But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

PHILIPPIANS 2:2-5  (Amplified)

2Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention.

     3Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].

     4Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.

     5Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]

Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

PLEASE view the music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL     (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.) 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Fragrance of Christ

Your Spirit draws us in; Your fragrance is our delight. Mold us, use us, flow through us for Your glory

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011  www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Recently, our Lord has been calling me out on walks.  These walks are precious times alone with Him, where I can listen and He can teach and show me more about His Way.  I worship Him and He fills me up.

Especially in the winter months, these times of solitude with God and in God are often before dawn.  It is then when I cannot see clearly that I am most aware of the scents around me. Suddenly there will be a whiff of skunk, who released a stench to protect himself.  Other times there will be the overwhelming fragrance of jasmine, honeysuckle or roses.

Wherever we go, there is a spiritual fragrance accompanies us as well.   It is up to us whether the scent we bring with us is fragrance or stench.

Unlike perfume counters where there are prolific choices, spiritually there are only two.  Which will we choose to wear: the fragrance of Christ which results from trust in God and joyful submission to His will or the opposite?

The fragrance of Christ cannot be bought.  It is not one we put on ourselves, but one which wafts from the interior of our hearts outward when His Spirit takes up residence in us.  With each step we take towards Christlikeness, the fragrance increases.   Peace and patience, replace agitation, worry and impatience.  Trust that God has every aspect of our future handled replaces fear and doubt.  We find ourselves subconsiously thanking God, praising Him and worshipping Him in our thoughts more throughout the day. Anger, hate and envy are replaced by acceptance, compassion and love.

This is the work of God’s Spirit in us.  We cannot do the work ourselves, but He will not do it without our permission.  So we open ourselves to our Lord, inviting Him to come in and have His way.  As He does His transforming work in us, His fragrance begins to go forth from us.  We are becoming more and more His.

Do you want to spread the fragrance of Christ?  Pursue Him.

2 COR. 2:14-16a (Amplified)

     14But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,

     15For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing:

     16To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it is an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]…

Selah!  [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

PLEASE view the music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL     (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.) 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.