How Great!

We are not consumed by our sadness…

or our problems… or the chaos in our world.  Because God is always loving and caring for us.  Great is God’s faithfulness!

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 precious memories.

God tells me as I read Lamentations 3 that he will always be faithful to me.  And, as the sun rises each morning, I am reminded of his promises.  His compassions never fail.  He gives me more love and more grace every morning.

He is never late (even though it can sometimes seem that way to me).  He is never tired.  He is never distracted.

Whenever doubts about God enter my mind, all I have to do is look back and it’s easy to see God’s faithfulness to me 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!

Incurable

Beyond healing.

No remedy.

None of us want to hear these words.  Yet this is what God says to us through Jeremiah who was talking to the Israelites who were in exile –

“Your wound is incurable.  Your injury is beyond healing.  There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you.”

There was no hope for them.

I am very glad to say the same is NOT true for us.  Between then and now, Jesus was born, lived a perfect life and then offered himself up as a sacrifice on the cross.  Jesus cured our incurable case of sin and rebellion.  He paid the price for all of our sins for all time.

After Jesus was buried, he rose from the grave through his own power.  And now he sits in heaven next to my Father God.

I have accepted Jesus’ free gift of salvation so God no longer sees my sin.  Jesus’ sacrifice covered it.  What does God see when he looks at me?  He sees the daughter he loves with a perfect love.

If you haven’t accepted the free gift of salvation which Jesus offers to everyone, you have an incurable wound of sin which is beyond healing.  There’s no remedy…..

except Jesus.

Accept the salvation offered through Jesus today, be healed and become a child of the King.  There is no better time that right now.

Thank you, Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer.

He’s Looking for Someone….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 too 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 that he 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?  Or are you and I figuring out how to do our part in standing in the gap for our country?

Let’s pray daily for our country.

Let’s put feet on the ground and work together to help turn our country back into the land which was founded with “In God We Trust”.

Please help each of us start a ripple that will become a bigger and bigger wave as we all join in the movement to turn our country back to you, Abba Father.  Nothing is impossible for you.

Bombarded

There appears to be no limit to the amount of lies people will tell.   You and I are bombarded by messages and information that are not accurate.  Big lies, small lies, constant lies – none of it is true.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new.  What we are surrounded by today was also happening thousands of years ago when Ezekiel was alive.  At God’s command, Ezekiel spoke up against those who prophesied “out of their own imaginations”.  These liars filled the minds of people around them with things they made up in their heads.  They wanted these lies to be true so they told people what they wanted to hear.

Wow!  Does all of this sound way too familiar?

God is reminding you and me through his Word that he is ‘against’ these liars.  There is only one way for me to accurately discern what is right or wrong, true or false.  I need to compare it to God’s Word.  What does God say about this?  I know what my husband or neighbor or friend on Facebook or even my pastor thinks about this but I need to understand what God thinks.  All of the other opinions don’t matter if they don’t line up with God’s.

I can’t let the bombardment of lies that is coming at me from all directions confuse me.  God has promised me that, if I ask him for wisdom, he will give it to me in abundance.  So I’m regularly asking for wisdom in order to discern God’s truth when I sit down to read the Bible.  I don’t just want know what God says in the Bible, I want to be able to apply it every day to decisions I need to make.

When I sit down with God’s Word in my lap, ready to hear him and understand his guidance, I feel like I am being bombarded by the truth.  The lies become clear.

Thank you, Abba Father.

My Heart Condition

Is it soft?

Is it big?

What’s the condition of your heart?

Writing about the size of our hearts reminds me of one of the 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 us?

Do we want a small heart?  A hard heart?

God talks to me often in his Word about the condition of my heart.   In Ezekiel 11, God  tells me I must –

  • turn away from focusing on what I want,
  • lose my need for control,
  • simplify my life so that I’m never too busy to spend time with God.
  • change my priorities so that I can love him with all my heart, soul and mind.

When I do these things, 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 getting to know God through his Word for many 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 meaning.  My heart has become undivided and centered on God.

What is the condition of your heart?

Please grow our hearts, Abba Father.

Branded by the Truth

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.  His old relationship with us was broken by our rebellion and sin.  That’s one of the reasons why the Old Testament is filled with 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 God had an awesome plan to fix this.  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 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,  ” I will put my instructions deep within them and I will write them on their hearts.  I will be their God and they will be my people.”

Thank you, Father God, for sending your Son, Jesus, who offers salvation and freedom to everyone.  Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit deep within my soul when I put my faith in Jesus.  I hear the instructions of your Spirit and I feel the love and strength you give me each day.  I love your Word which is written on my heart.  I  am so glad you challenged me to get serious about memorizing your Word.   Now I am branded by your Truth – thank you for making that happen.  It still amazes me how my bad memory can remember scripture.

I am so very grateful that you are my God and I am your daughter – forever.  In the redeeming name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

If…

you will call on me and come and pray to me, I will listen, ” God tells  us in Jeremiah 29. “When you seek me with all of your heart, you will find me.”

The big IF.  The big WHEN.  This is the part where you and I have to commit.   This is our part of the deal.  God guarantees that he will listen.  God promises that we will find him.  IF I call on him. IF you call on him.  WHEN we seek him.

The verse right before this is very well-known.  It is a promise of God that we desperately hold on to when our lives are crumbling around us.  We often recite it in our prayers for our children and families.

God tells us that his plans for us are to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future.

Amen!  Bring it on, God!

But we miss it if we don’t read on to the next verses.  This is where he tells us HOW he is going to do this.  He promises to respond and prosper us  IF we call on him.  WHEN we seek him, he will be found and he will be able to do what he has promised.  He wants to give us a hope.  He has a beautiful future planned for us.

IF.  WHEN.

Am I calling on him?  Am I seeking him?  What about you?  I can’t claim this promise unless I’m doing these things.

I am calling and seeking right now, Abba Father.

 

Finding the Book

The Book of the Law.

Moses’ book.

God’s words.

God tells us an encouraging story about King Josiah.  King Josiah knew it was time to repair the temple of the Lord.  So he made it happen.

While they were cleaning and fixing the temple, they discovered “the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses.( 2 Chronicles 34:14)  The book was read to the king who immediately tore his robes and asked the prophetess Huldah to tell him what God wanted to say to him.  Her message from God could be boiled down to three words, ‘disaster is coming’.

The king reacted immediately by having the Book read to all of the people and then leading them in renewing their covenant with God.   The king cleared out all of the idols from the temple along with the idolatrous priests.  He destroyed all of the places for idol worship and altars.  He got rid of the mediums and spiritists along with all other ‘detestable’ things.

When everything was done, they celebrated the Passover which had not been celebrated properly for hundreds of years.  Great job, King Josiah!

So what about me?  What about you?  Is it true that some of us need to ‘find’ the book of the Lord?

Are there ‘things’ in our lives that we put a higher priority on than our relationship with God?  These are our idols.

Do we look at sources other than God for our guidance and direction?   How often to we check with Google on important things rather than checking with God?   These other sources are our mediums and spiritists.

Is our Bible sitting on the shelf more than its been sitting open on our lap?  We need to read it.

And let God transform our lives through it.

King Josiah’s cleansing of the land of Judah was a high point in their history.  He heard God’s word, he listened and he obeyed.

King Josiah found the Book.  The book led him to God.  God led him to renewal and celebration.

Is it time for some renewal and celebration in your life?

Maybe its time to REALLY find the Book.

Thank you for revealing your truth to us in your Word, Abba Father.

I am Becoming

I am ‘becoming’ something.

We are all on the path to ‘somewhere’.

I know I decide what I am becoming and where I’m going by my choices each day.

I know I am going one way or another – I’m not standing still.  If I’m not doing anything new, not growing then I am moving backward as the world moves forward around me.

God tells me through Isaiah that I can decide to be clay in my Potter’s hands. Potter-at-Work1

When I put our life in my Father God’s hands, he is able to mold me into the person he created me to be.

When I let God change me and transform me, I become a beautiful work of his hands.

I have seen his work in my life – gradually changing my thinking and perspective so it more closely lines up with his.  Reading the entire Bible for the ninth time this year, I continue to reap the rewards of committing this time and effort to my relationship with him.  The better I know his Word, the easier it is for my Potter to mold me.  I look forward to many more years of God continuing to refine me – I am confident that his goal is to create a unique masterpiece of my life.

Our lives – created by God.

Will we be molded  and shaped by the Master’s hands?

Our choice.

I choose you, Abba Father.

Don’t Want to Be…..

Stiff-necked.

God describes the Israelites as “stiff-necked” people in Jeremiah 17.  He adds –

  • they do not listen.
  • they do not pay attention.
  • they don’t respond to discipline.

God is obviously not happy with them

I know God is saying that the Israelites are stubborn when he says “stiff-necked”.

As I’m reading this, I started to think about my own neck.  I have compressed disks in my neck so it’s always a little painful and will quickly become very painful and stiff if I do something to aggravate it.

When my neck is stiff, I find that I don’t turn my head very far to the left or right.  My sight becomes limited to what’s right in front of me.  I don’t see a lot of things around me and have a very small view of the world.  As a result, I probably don’t make as good of choices as I would if I was looking around, taking in more information and seeing a more complete picture.

When my neck is stiff, I am also in pain so my patience is short and I’m on edge.  It’s hard to focus and my frustration can quickly show.

All of these are negative things.  So I think God is not just calling the Israelites stubborn, he is also including all of these other issues that are part of having a ‘stiff-neck’.

No wonder God isn’t happy with them!

Please help me avoid all of the bad behaviors of having a ‘stiff neck’, Abba Father.