Great is His Faithfulness

I am not consumed by my sadness.

or my problems..

or the chaos in our world.

Because God is always loving and caring for me..

One of my special joys in reading through the Bible every year is when I read words that were used in the old famous hymns.  I was raised in a musical, conservative Christian home so these hymns bring back a lot of precious memories.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22 – 23.

As the sun rises each morning, I am reminded of God’s promises.

God’s compassions never fail – I receive more love and grace every morning.

He is never late (even though it can sometimes appear that way to us).

He is never tired.

He is never distracted.

Whenever doubts about God enter my mind, all I have to do is look back. I see God’s faithfulness to me all of my life – day after day, year after year. Even when I wandered, God never left me. He never stopped loving me and caring for me.

Just like he cares for me today.

And I know I can count on him to love me and care for me all of the rest of the days I walk on this earth…and on into heaven.

Great is your faithfulness, oh God, my Father!

Under Attack

I feel it. Do you?

I feel that the values Jesus role-modeled for us as believers are under serious attack in our culture. Loving others, forgiving people, and giving other people grace when they aren’t perfect are all getting lost under mountains of political division and widespread judgement of anybody who doesn’t think like we do.

Jeremiah’s prayer to God echoes some of my concerns. He is praying this while he was confined within Jerusalem which was itself being confined by the Babylonians as they began to attack the city. “See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city,” Jeremiah prayed. ” Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it.” Jeremiah 32:24.

I see the siege ramps being built up to take away many of the values that have made our country a great “One Nation Under God’. I see the sword of division, the famine of truth and a plague of fear.

As I pray about this, I hear only one response from God, “I am in control”. God highlights Jeremiah 32:27 for me as I read his Word. “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything to hard for me?’

No, Father. Nothing is impossible for you.

Your will be done, Abba Father.

He is Looking for Anyone

Our country is going crazy, right?

It’s frustrating.  It makes us angry,

bitter,

and disillusioned.

So – what am I doing about it?  What are you doing about it?

Are we busy just talking about it and shaking our heads?  Are we spouting off negativity to everyone around us and filling Facebook with our rants?

Or are we doing something positive to help turn the trend one small step at a time?

When Israel was going down the tubes thousands of years ago, God told Ezekiel, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30.

God was looking for someone – anyone – who would build a wall against the injustice that was happening.  A wall that would keep out the lies and violence. God was looking for someone to stand in the gap before him on behalf of the Israelite people.  “But I found no one.”

Is this same thing happening today?  Is it all just talk and emotion?  Or are you and I figuring out how to do our part in standing in the gap for our country before God?

We can stand in the gap by daily praying to God for our country.

We can stand in the gap by putting our feet and hearts into action while working together with God to help turn our country back into the land which was founded with “In God We Trust”. One step at a time. Each of us creating a small ripple that can grow into a wave when we all get involved.

You have found someone who wants to stand in the gap, Abba Father.

Fill it Up!

“The cloud filled the temple and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD.” Ezekiel 10:4.

This was one part of a vision that God have to Ezekiel and I love visualizing this when I’m in a worship service where something special is happening.  The pastor of the new church family my husband and I have joined in Denver always transitions into a simple explanation of the gospel at the end of each of his teachings and then invites anyone who had not yet accepted God’s gift of grace to do it that day.  I love this because I think too many churches assume everyone who is sitting in the pew is a Christ-follower.

During the prayer that always follows my pastor’s invitation, I have gotten into the habit of watching in my mind as the Spirit of God fills the room.  While I visualize this in my head, a huge cloud of grace and love and goodness billows in and covers the heads of everyone in the congregation. The glory of the LORD fills the space over God’s people and hangs there – crowding out fears and disbelief and regrets. I can feel the blessings of God pouring out of this cloud.

I know God is always with us all the time but I get goosebumps when I visualized the cloud of God’s spirit billowing in and changing people’s lives – redeeming them from their past mistakes and lighting the way to a better future.

Thank you for filling our lives with your grace and love, Abba.   You are a good, good Father.

My Heart Condition

What’s the condition of my heart? Big? Soft?

What’s the condition of your heart?

Writing about the size of our hearts reminds me of one of our Glasser Family’s Christmas traditions.  We watch ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” every year.  The Grinch was very concerned about the size of his heart so he often measured it.  He wanted a small heart so he wouldn’t feel anything or care about anybody else.

What about me and you?

God tells me often through his Word that he is concerned about the condition of my heart. He offers a remodel of my heart if I listen and do what he asks. This is what I hear when I read Ezekiel 11: 19 “I will give you an undivided heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

When I obey and keep my relationship with God as the first priority in my life, God promises he will me give me an undivided heart – a heart centered on him and his love and his grace.  He promises he will bring a new wind of his spirit into my life – giving my life purpose and meaning.  He promises to replace my rebellious and self-centered heart with a heart devoted to obeying God.

I’ve been on this Journey Toward the Truth growing in my knowledge and love for God through his Word for over 10 years and, as the years accumulate, I see God transforming my heart.  He is softening it and opening it up to the things he loves and cares about.  He has brought a new, powerful wind of his spirit into my world, giving my life purpose and filling any emptiness.  My heart has become undivided and focused on God.

What is the condition of your heart?

Please soften and grow our hearts, Abba Father

There is Danger

On my trip to Israel 7 years ago, we visited a village in Nazareth which is set up to show us what it looked like when Jesus lived there.

nn watching over Nazareth

A watchman was placed on the hill overlooking the village and the land surrounding it.  Their responsibility was to call out warnings or sound a trumpet to warn the people of the village when they saw possible danger approaching.

God explains a spiritual watchman’s duties in Ezekiel 33: 17-20.  “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.  When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin and I will hold you accountable for their blood.  But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will be saved yourself.”

What does this mean for us today?

We don’t have watchmen……or, do we?

As I read this, God reminds me that I am a watchman for the people he has placed in my sphere of influence.  I know the truth.  And I know the danger of eternal separation from God if a person doesn’t accept salvation through Jesus Christ.  So I must say something. I cannot be silent.

I wish it was as easy as sounding trumpet.  It’s much harder today to warn others of danger coming their way.  Our culture is  more independent than that of the Israelites and many people don’t understand that God still holds us accountable for each other.  Those of us who know the truth need to share it with others.  Those of us that know the danger of not accepting God’s free gift of salvation need to talk to the people around us about the Gospel that sets us free – eternally free.

So how do I make sure I’m fulfilling my responsibility as a watchman?  I have a great role model in Jesus who used equal measures of grace and truth.  He didn’t judge people (except for the religious leaders who should have known better).  He didn’t condemn people who didn’t believe he was the Son of God.  He communicated truth with love every chance he got.  He communicated in ways that the people around him could hear.  And understand.  And avoid the danger.

Thank you, dear Jesus.  Please help me do the same.

Do Not Listen

Do you ever feel surrounded by lies?

Do you automatically question news you read on Facebook or hear on TV?

When you see graphs and numbers and statistics, do you wonder if any of it is accurate?

I do. I question any news I hear – all of it. I don’t believe a lot of things that people tell me. If it’s important, I research it myself looking for corroborating information from several credible sources. I no longer automatically trust leaders – any kind of leader.

Being lied to by people we should be able to trust is not a new thing. God spoke very clearly about some of the liars in Jeremiah’s day. “Do not listen to the prophets who say, ‘Very soon now the articles from the LORD’s house will be brought back from Babylon.’ They are prophesying lies to you. Do not listen. ” Jeremiah 27: 16 – 17. God goes on to say that the articles of the temple would stay in Babylon until he brought them back. Ultimately he was saying that it wasn’t happening until he made it happen and it wasn’t happening now.

I also question things that I hear come out of pastor’s mouths during sermons. I’m in my 10th consecutive year of reading the entire Bible and, if I don’t remember reading something that is said in a sermon, I go home and research it. Most of the time it’s a phrase or a situation that I’ve never fully understood before and it’s great – I learned something. I’ve had a few times when I didn’t agree with how the pastor used a scripture especially when a single verse is not used in context with the verses around it.

The one source I never question is the Bible. It is the Living Word of God. I question people’s interpretations of scripture but not what God has actually said. God is perfect and he doesn’t make mistakes. The Bible is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

And God is saying, “Do not listen.” There has never been a time in my life where this direction is more important than right now. There has never been a time where asking God to help me discern the truth has been as high of a priority for me.

Because I feel like I’m surrounded by lies. Surrounded by information that is being manipulated by leaders who are putting personal goals of power and wealth ahead of the greater good.

And God is saying, ‘Do not listen.”

Thank you, Abba Father.

Branded

The truth is etched onto my brain,

it’s written on my heart.

God’s truth has forever changed me.

You and I are the ‘created ones’.  God is the ‘Uncreated One’. He was here before the beginning and he will be here forever.  He created us to live in a relationship with him but that was broken by our rebellion and sin. That’s one of the reasons why the Old Testament is filled with so much violence and gore.  That’s why there was continual conflict and strife between God and humans in the Old Testament.

Sin was in the middle of everything – messing it up.

But before the beginning of time, God already had a plan to deal with our relationship problem.  He was sending Jesus, his Son, to pay the price of all our sins for all time.  Because of what Jesus did through his death and resurrection, those of us who accept salvation through him can now have a personal relationship with God which begins here on earth and extends into eternity.

In Jeremiah, God describes the New Testament relationship that is coming – the New Testament relationship with him that we now have the privilege to choose.  “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God and they will be my people.” Jeremiah 31: 33.

When I put my faith in Jesus, his Spirit came to live inside of me. I hear the Holy Spirit talking to me, guiding me, correcting me. When the Holy Spirit challenged me to get serious about memorizing scripture, I told him I would try but he was going to have to do the main work because I have a terrible memory.

I saw the Spirit move in my life every day as I got out my index cards with the whole first chapter of James written on them. Yes, I have a terrible memory – except when it comes to God’s Word. It took a couple of years but I eventually memorized James 1 and 2 and now have begun to work on James 3.

I never understood why memorizing scripture was so important to God – until I got serious about it. Now I understand. He talks to me all the time using his words that I have etched upon my heart. This has been especially important when a crisis happens and I need guidance ‘right now’! There are other times when I’m having an important conversation with someone who is seeking God and I don’t have a Bible handy or time to look something up. God speaks in my brain – reminding me of scriptures I have memorized.

I’ve had Christians tell me they don’t tell other people about their relationship with Jesus because they are worried that they won’t have the words. I can tell you for a fact, if you memorized scripture you would have the words. The Holy Spirit highlights the words I need in my head so I can share them.

My life is branded by God’s truth.

I am God’s.

Thank you, Abba Father.

After, Not Before

How often do I decide to make a positive change in my life- and then I don’t follow-through?  I change my mind.  It gets too hard.

How often does this happen?

More often than I like.  What about you?

How often are we convicted by the Holy Spirit to make an adjustment in order to better line our lives up with God’s will?  And, after we try, we give up.  When it gets tough, we go back to our old habits.

We are very fickle.  When it gets hard, we opt out of the difficult changes that are needed and decide to go back to being comfortable.

In Jeremiah 34, we read about the Israelites doing this same thing.  The Law of Moses had restricted how long Hebrews could be slaves.  When Jeremiah pointed out that fact that the Israelites had not been following this law,  they saw that they were doing this wrong thing.  And they let their slaves go free.

“But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.” (vs 11)

God doesn’t tell us the details of why the Israelites changed their minds – but we can read between the lines.

Life got hard.  The Israelites had to get their own water and cook their own food.  They had to clean and do all of the dirty work the slaves had been doing.

Obeying the law was just too difficult so they decided to disobey and go back to the comfortable life they had before they were convicted of their sin.

And they missed the blessings that come after we obey.

God blesses obedience.  He has blessings lined up, waiting for us……if we’ll go through the tough part of obeying.

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When I do the things that the Holy Spirit is prompting me to do, I feel the satisfaction that comes with partnering with God in his plan.  I feel the contentment and satisfaction of living my life in line with God.  I also experience with wonder of God’s supernatural love and strength and peace.  These are blessings from God.

The blessings that only come after I obey.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Don’t Miss It

Confidence that everything will work out.

Trust that this journey ends in my heavenly home.

A future that is successful in God’s eyes.

We love to quote Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the LORD, ” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future .”  We hang this verse on our walls and we write it on our coffee cups.

I want these things in my life, especially because I know God’s prosperity is not about money, although money can be a part of it.  God’s prosperity includes things like peace and purpose and love – the things money can’t buy.

Too often, we stop at verse 11 and we miss the rest.  The next sentence tells us ‘how’ God is going to fulfill his plans.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12.

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If I miss the ‘how’ of his promise,  I’m going to miss the whole thing.

God is clearly telling me that I have a part in making this promise come true.  When I’m diligent in going to him, praying and seeking him with all my heart, I know that he will make his plans for me happen.  A confident hope and a great future are mine when I follow his directions.

That’s my part.  It’s your part, too, if you want this promise to be true in your life.

Let’s not stop at the first sentence and miss what God has planned for us.

Don’t miss the ‘how’.

I’m praying and seeking you with all my heart, Abba Father.