It’s So Easy…

to forget about turning to God.

I start doing my own thing –

making my own plans –

filling up my calendar –

acting like I’m in control.

But – when something bad happens – I immediately turn to God.

Does this sound familiar to you?

When bad things happen, I  am instantly reminded that I am not in control.   I know who is in control – God.

I turn to God because I am also instantly reminded that my plans are foolish when they are not directed by God.

I turn to God because he is my Rock,

my Shelter,

my Strength,

my Peace.

Turning to God – its my automatic response when something goes wrong.  I just need to get better at living out these truths every day – with every thing – good and bad.

This isn’t a new issue with any of us.

God tells us in Jeremiah that his people “have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble they say, ‘Come and save us!’.

God’s people – fickle, hard-hearted, unfaithful.

I don’t want to treat God like that.  Do you?

Please help us turn our faces towards you every hour of our day, Abba Father.

Get Ready!

Be prepared!

Know that it’s coming.

Stand up and do what needs to be done!

God gives these directions to Jeremiah as he begins his prophetic ministry.  God also gives these directions to us each day as we go about our lives – loving others and speaking truth into their lives whenever God gives us the opportunity.

God tells us that he will give us strength for the things he asks us to do.

I can’t do it on my own.  You can’t do it on your own.

Sometimes we feel powerless, don’t we?  I know I do.

Then I realize I feel that way because I am forgetting to plug into my power source –  God.  I forget to ask for and receive his help.  No wonder I feel powerless!

I need to remember each day to ask for his strength..

for his wisdom….

for his peace.

“For I am with you.” declares my LORD.

Please help me remember to ask, Abba Father.

Isaiah 58, 2017

Stop pointing fingers.  Stop the malicious talk that doesn’t build up or encourage others.

Spend your time and energy on actually trying to meet the needs of the hungry and oppressed.

Then your light will shine in everything you do.

The LORD will go with you to guide you.  When you think you have used all your resources and have nothing more to give, he will give you strength for the rest of the journey.

When you are connected to the source of Living Water, you become like a beautiful garden – always blooming, continually growing and constantly bearing fruit.

When you are connected, you and the people you bring with you can use God’s power to rebuild the broken.  You can use God’s truth to help others build a foundation for their lives that will last.

When you are connected, God will work through you to repair and restore the people whose lives you touch.

Amen, Abba Father.  Let it be so.

Lay It Down

Spread it out.

Leave it there –

at the feet of the Creator of the Universe.

That’s what I visualize myself doing when I pray.

I take my praises, my concerns, my dreams and my questions….

and I raise them up before my loving Father in Heaven.

I lay them at his feet.

And I really try to leave my concerns and my worries there.  I try not to pick them back up.

Because he is in control…

and he wants the best for me.

I trust him.

I love reading about King Hezekiah in 2 Kings.   He received a letter telling him that the huge enemy army of Assyria was coming his way.

To crush him.

To crush all of his people.

And Hezekiah didn’t have enough fighting men or resources to stop them on his own.  So he went to God and he spread the letter out before him.  He begged for God to deliver his people.

God answered with ‘yes’.  He saved the city – the King of Assyria left in disgrace.

How hard that must have been for Hezekiah!  Facing annihilation, he gave it all to God and left it there – even as the huge army advanced towards him.

He knew that God was his only answer so he stayed focus, he remained faithful.

How good am I at staying focused?  Remaining faithful?

I’m pretty good at spreading my concerns out before God but it’s really hard to leave them there.  Not to worry.  Not to fret.  Not to let a million concerns roll around in my head in the middle of the night.

How good are you at giving your worries to God and leaving them, trusting that he’s taking care of them?  Or do you take them back?

Please help us grow our trust, Abba Father.

 

2 Chronicles 30, 2017

People of the United States of America, return to the LORD, the God of our Founding Fathers,

and he will return to you.

Do not be like those all around who have been unfaithful to the LORD.

Don’t be stubborn, as many people are.  Submit to the LORD.

Seek him out.

Serve him.

Live in the light of his love.

If you return to the LORD, you will discover how gracious and compassionate he is.

He is always ready and willing – just turn back to him.

Thank you, Abba Father.

He’s Got This

I’m on a separate path.  Not the same as everyone else.

God is telling me in Isaiah 8 to look at what everyone else is afraid of and……

don’t be afraid.

If you’re a believer, he’s telling you that, too.

“Don’t fear what they fear.”

We have so much we could be afraid of –

disease,

accidents,

rejection,

betrayal,

failure,

loneliness,

and so much more.

When we are trusting in Jesus as our Savior, we don’t need to be afraid of those things.  Jesus is walking right next to us, guiding us through everything that happens to us – working it out for our good.

Dying can be a constant fear hanging over our heads like a big, black thundercloud.  This ominous cloud sends down lighting which strikes us – often by surprise and  without reason.

But those of us who trust in God don’t need to fear our own deaths.  In God’s eyes, death on earth is life is heaven.  His son or daughter comes home – leaving behind all of the pain and sin in this world.

No more tears.

No more trials.

God tells us we have nothing to fear – not even death.  He’s got this.

Thank you, Abba Father.

I Have Seen It

He has modeled for me what my life should be like – what is required of me.

Micah tells me this in the Old Testament and its one of the main reasons I study the New Testament so intently.

Jesus showed me how I should live –

To act justly,

To love mercy,

and to walk humbly with my God.

How can I act justly?

Today that looks like living a life of integrity – doing the right thing even when no one is watching and no will ever know.  I need to use God as my compass as I navigate the treacherous and ever-changing waves of life which often try to sweep over me and draw me away from him.

How do I love mercy?

Mercy is undeserved compassion. My world is full of confused and broken people who don’t need my judgement, they need my compassion and help.  It’s not my job to help everyone.  But God has given me passions – things I really care about – in order to find the places where I need to help and serve and make a difference.   If everyone would give $20 and a couple of hours of their time in the area of their passion, we would all be surprised how much things could change.

And I am called to walk humbly with my God.

Each day.

Submitting to his direction for my life.

Staying strong in my belief that God is good.

Sharing my journey with others who haven’t accepted the Great News yet.

Covered by his grace.

Held steady through the storms by his loving hands.

My eyes fixed on him.

He has shown me what is good.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Looking For It……

but peace is hard to find.

The world rushes around us.  We’re always in a hurry.

I retired 6 months ago and I’m still trying to re-train myself to stop rushing from thing to thing. It’s not easy – everyone is doing it.  And it’s especially hard to find peace and calm with ‘screens’ screaming and blinking everywhere I go.

I’ve discovered that real peace can’t be found in my environment.

It’s just not there.

True peace only comes from God.

Thousands of years ago, Micah prophesied that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem and he would shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD.  Micah said the Messiah would give us security because his greatness would reach to the ends of the earth.

“And he will be our peace”.

Jesus is our peace.  The Holy Spirit who lives inside every believer brings us peace.

I will not find true peace anywhere else.  Everything else is fleeting – here today, gone tomorrow.  Unpredictable.

Peace can’t be found with money – although its easy to get lost in that direction.

And it won’t be found in any other relationship other than my relationship with God.

Jesus has come to world.

And he offers us the only true place to find peace – in a close relationship with him.

Thank you, dear Jesus.

Where do we go?

Where do we go when we’re in trouble?

Who do we turn to when something bad happens to us?

Most of us will turn to God at these times.  Even if we’ve never prayed before, we will often give it a try when the situation is bad enough.

When we’re in big trouble, we find it’s worth a couple of minutes to float up a prayer or 2, asking God to save us.

God tells us in Jeremiah 2 that the Israelites were doing the same thing.  The people had turned their backs on God – until they got into trouble.  Then they would ask God to save them from their terrible situation.July 25 2016 who do we go to

Why do people do this?

Because underneath all the lies that have been fed into our brains, we recognize our Creator.

We sense his power and activity in our world.

Even when we know nothing else about him, we hear his voice in our heads.  We call it our ‘conscience’.  But our conscience has a name – God.

And, it’s true that his voice gets more and more faint the farther we get from God.

Even so, when we’re in trouble, when we’re in a situation where we have no control, we know who does.

And we naturally turn to him.

If that’s the only time we go to God, we are really missing it!

We are missing the strength he can give us to live our lives with purpose everyday.

We miss the love God can shower on us each day as he walks closely beside us.

We miss the grace God has for us as we make mistakes, learn from them and grow.

We miss the joy God can give us as he fills our lives with his truth and light.

We miss the wisdom God can give us so can make good decisions – choosing the best path for our lives.

If you are missing any of these things in your life, today is a good day to turn your face towards God and grow your daily personal relationship with him.

He will still be there when you’re in trouble.  He will actually be closer and you’ll be able to hear him better.

And you won’t be missing all of the blessings he has for you each day.

Today is a great day to make that decision.

You have nothing to lose.

We love you, Abba Father.