My Path

Life can feel like a roller coaster ride of emotions – up and down and sometimes upside down.

Or

it can feel more like a smooth, level path.

What makes the difference?

A better question is – WHO makes the difference?

God stopped me today as I read Isaiah 26:7, “The path of the righteous is level; You, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.”

I’ll admit, I have had many emotional roller coaster rides these last 5 years since my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty. I have had more crazy extreme feelings of grief, loss, sadness, and heart break than I have every had before.

And I have learned that the quicker I turn to God for his comfort, love and direction, the faster the roller coaster ride slows down. My emotions settle and the fog of pain in my mind gradually disappears.

Just to be clear – I am ‘righteous’ because of what Jesus did for me, not because of anything I have done. God sees me as ‘righteous’ because I have accepted salvation through his son, Jesus.

I know my Father God is walking closely beside me, smoothing out my path and leveling the mountains of emotions. I still have all the feelings but I face them with peace in my soul as I am held, grounded and secure, within my Father’s strong arms.

I have learned to trust God at a whole new level and I am totally confident that he is working all things out for my good.

I may not understand it all, but I know it’s true.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Dedicated

Purifying the temple

Consecrating the articles of the temple.

Sacrifices of sin offerings.

When we read about these things in the Old Testament, we can easily think “What does any of this have to do with me? How can God speak to me through these parts of the Bible?”

The fact is that God speaks to us through all parts of the Bible. The Holy Spirit can make it all relevant to our lives today ….. if we open our minds and listen.

I am reading 2 Chronicles about all the religious reforms King Hezekiah made when he became king. He purified the temple. He consecrated the articles of the temple and he led the people in all types of sacrifices and offerings. When they were done, he told them, “You have now dedicated yourselves to the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 29:31.

As I read, God talks to me about consecrating my life since Jesus’ death and resurrection has made me a temple of God’s Spirit. This means cleansing my life – taking anything out that is not helping me grow my relationship with God. One of my favorite phrases – ‘what we feed, grows.” This might mean changing channels on the TV or changing sites that we check out on our computers. It could mean stopping magazine subscriptions or avoiding the types of the books we used to read. Maybe we need to change the kind of music we listen to? There might be people in our lives that we should give less time and less influence.

Consecrating and dedicating my life to God also means laying my desires and dreams down before my Eternal King and letting him take control.

I want to live my life your way from now on, Abba Father.

Unity

“The hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind….” 2 Chronicles 30:12.

Unity comes from God.

When we are all well-connected to God, we can hear his directions for us.  He gives us insight and understanding. He tells all of us the same thing so that we can move together, as his united people.

If I am not well-connected to God, following my own desires can cause disunity.  When I put what I want in front of what God wants, I can create dissension. 

Do you ever find yourself being stubborn? Determined to get your way? God calls this being “hard-hearted.   When we are focused on making ourselves happy rather than making God happy, we become part of the problem, not the solution.

Over 40 years of being married to a Christian man who is the polar opposite of me has taught me a lot about how God provides unity.  My husband and I have significantly different perspectives on the world and extremely different ideas about how to make decisions and determine next steps.  So I have learned to let God provide the unity.  When I am listening to God and my husband is listening to God, God directs us onto the same path.

If there are big decisions to be made, I’m usually the instigator of the conversation between my husband and I but, when we run into a wall because we process things so differently, we take some time to pray about it individually and eventually God tells us both the same thing.  Done.  It’s much easier to move forward together when God confirms the direction to each of us.

God does this in relationships and in businesses and in churches if people will turn to him and listen. I’ve seen it happen.

God desires that we have unity so he will make it happen –

if we let him.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Be Very Careful

Who are we imitating?

Who are we following?

‘Following’ has a different definition today because of social media.  But it still refers to our choice of people that we are letting have an influence on our lives.

These are the people we are giving permission to enter our minds and thoughts because we’re reading and listening to what they are sharing.  We are ‘following’ their lives.

Who are these people in my life?

Are they leading me to places I should go?

Are they helping me grow my integrity?  Are they helping me become more wise?  More caring?

The Israelites were not careful about who they followed. “They rejected his (God’s) decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statues he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. ” 2 Kings 17: 15 – 16.

Wow – worthless.

They picked the wrong things to follow. They imitated the wrong things and ended up on a very bad path.

This is not a path I want to be on.

Please give me wisdom in deciding who to follow, Abba Father

God’s Math

God has a supernatural math when it comes to our generosity with our money and time in supporting the work of his kingdom.

His math is not like our math where 1+1=2.

God’s math makes 1+1=100.  Or 1000.  Or 1,000,000 if he wants it to be.

God’s blessing + our giving = everybody wins.

When we give to God, we don’t have less.  We have more.  Don’t ask me to explain it – it’s just the truth.  I’ve experienced it many times.  We truly cannot out give God.

God’s math has been true for thousands of years.   In 2 Chronicles, after the Israelites started  to bring their contributions to the Temple of the Lord, they found that they had plenty to eat with plenty to spare.  God multiplied their generosity by giving them back more – a lot more.  “When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw the heaps (of contributions), they praised the LORD and blessed his people Israel.” 2 Chronicles 31:8.   The king built large storerooms for all of the leftover contributions and put the Levites in charge of distributing the gifts in other towns.

See how God’s math works?  Their generosity just kept multiplying and spreading.  Now their neighbors were being blessed.

God does the same thing today.  If you haven’t personally experienced this, test him and see.

Thank you, Abba Father.

He Knows

How often are we on ‘auto-pilot’ when it comes to our relationship with God?

Just going through the motions?

In Isaiah 29, God tells his people that their worship was meaningless because it was based on human rules but their hearts aren’t engaged.  They are saying the right words but they didn’t mean them. “The LORD says: ‘These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Isaiah 29:13.

God can tell the difference.  He knows when I are focused on him with all of my heart.  He knows my thoughts and intentions. He knows when my thinking wanders away from him – even if my Bible is laying open on my lap. He knows when I am just saying things I have been taught to say but there is no passion and love behind them.

My love for God shines bright when its authentic. When its real. When its based on a personal relationship, not just traditions that I have been taught by others.

God sees right into my heart and he knows. He knows if I’m serious about my faith.

There is no ‘faking it’ with God.

Please help me worship you and love you like you want me to, Abba Father

He Loves Us This Much

Seven hundred years before he was born, Isaiah spoke a stunningly accurate prophesy about Jesus.

Here’s my 2021 response to parts of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 53: 2-6 –

Jesus was not a good-looking man.  The pictures we have of him where he looks like a movie star are totally inaccurate.

People despised him but he was used to pain and sorrow – that was his life.  A lot of people ignored him and avoided him when possible.

Yet he took on more pain – the pain that was meant for us.  He paid the price for our rebellion and selfishness and anger – all the sins of all the world.

Some people were confused when they saw all the problems Jesus had – they thought God was punishing him.  Their eyes just weren’t open to the truth.

The truth is that Jesus loves us so much that he took all of the punishment that we deserved…

so he could be our Savior…

so we could have peace…..

so we could be healed.

You and I have sinned.  And we keep sinning.

Have I said anything out of frustration or lack of patience today?  Not yet – but it’s early.

Have you thought of anything unkind or unforgiving today?  God also knows our thoughts – that’s a tough one.

Jesus paid the price for all of our sins for all time….

so he could offer us salvation.  For free.  For eternity.

Thank you, Jesus!

He is the Light

I love how accurate Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah were even though he spoke them 700 years before Jesus was born.  This shouldn’t surprise me – God knows everything and is in control of everything – including my future.

Isaiah’s prophecy in the 9th chapter of his book was fulfilled when Jesus came to earth, died on the cross for our sins and rose again in victory over death.

Isaiah’s prophecy came true –

People who were walking in darkness saw a Great Light.  Lost in deep darkness, they saw the Light as it dawned.  This Light gave them success and joy.  They celebrated the Light just like they celebrated a great harvest.  They celebrated just like warriors who are dividing the plunder after a victorious battle.

This Light’s name is Jesus.

He forever shattered the yoke of sin and shame in our lives.  There is no need for war in his kingdom.

For he came to us as a child, the Son of God.  And we call him –

Wonderful,

Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

He is reigning forever victorious and there is no end to the peace he gives to those who put their faith in him.

He reigns in justice and righteousness –

now and forever.

The LORD Almighty has done it all for us.

Thank you, Abba Father

My Peace

He will be our peace.

Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Micah prophesied about the birth of Jesus saying that a ruler would come from Bethlehem, “And he will be our peace.” Micah 5:5.

Notice – it doesn’t say ‘a source of peace’.

Jesus is our peace. Period.

Do you feel that in your life?

I do.

I don’t find peace in the things that so many people here on earth think are so important.

I have not found peace with money and success.

I have not found it in relationships other than my relationship with God.

Buying things has definitely not given me peace since things break and grow old – no longer shiny, no longer ‘the latest’.

I have not found peace in education and achievements.

I love to travel and experience new things but that is not where I find peace.

Jesus is my only source of real Peace. I feel the peace he gives me down in the center of my soul.

I can trust him with everything and he has a perfect love for me.  He has proven his love for me over and over in my life.  He who never sinned became sin for me on the cross so that the price for my sins was paid and I can live with him forever.

My eternal life with Jesus has already started on this earth –

as he fills my life with the peace only he can give.

Thank you, Jesus

What Does He Want?

Have you heard anyone say something like, ” I just can’t figure  out what God wants from me?” or ” I really don’t know what God wants me to do?”

Statements like these confuse me because I think God is amazingly clear and to the point about the ‘main things’ that need to be the focus in my life.

The only two commandments Jesus gave us are to love God with our whole hearts and love others.  Jesus tells me that obeying these 2 commandments fulfills ‘all the law and the prophets’ which includes the original 10 commandments from the Old Testament.

There used to be 10 commandments – now it’s 2.  God knows we need simple and clear directions.

As I read the 6th chapter of Micah, I am again amazed at how direct God is as he tells me what he expects from me. ” And what does the LORD require from you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8.

Which part of that is unclear?

Act justly – do the right things. God tells us what is right in his Word.

Love Mercy – forgive others.  Give people a break especially when they don’t deserve it.  Help others.

Walk Humbly with God – develop a close relationship with God understanding that he is a supernatural combination of Creator of the Universe, the Holy and Perfect One and my Abba Father.

Micah told us this thousands of years ago.  I have discovered that, if I am serious about doing the things God has already told me to do, he fills in the other details at the right time.

It’s time to stop asking God what he wants us to do and focus on the directions he has already given us.

Thank you for how clearly you guide me through your Word, Abba Father.