I Got It!

Life is short.

This is a message I have been receiving regularly from God for the last 3 years.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty 3 years ago.  I have learned several life-changing lessons from this tragedy and one of the main lessons I have learned is just how short life is.  And God keeps reminding me so I think it’s a message I’m supposed to regularly share with you, too.

In the big picture, I am only on this earth for the length of a single breath and then I will be gone.

God has determined my final day on earth – and it could be today.  He reminded me again of this truth this morning as I read David’s Psalm 39 –

“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.”

I got the message, God!  I am ready if today is that day.  I’m also ready to stay here to complete my purpose on earth if that’s what you want.

My life on earth is but a shadow – here and then quickly gone.  I have no time for bitterness or holding grudges.  There is no time for hatred or worry.

My brief time here on earth needs to be about loving God and loving others.  God makes that very clear in his Word.

And never forget – life is short!

Please help me make good use of the time I have left here, Abba Father.

Psalm 27, 2019

LORD, you are the light of my life.  You have saved me – so I am not afraid.

You protect me from danger.  There is no reason for me to tremble.  When the Evil One and his team attack me, trying to tempt me and distract me, they will not win.  Your mighty army of angels surround me and I am not afraid.  Even when my path gets tough, I will remain confident in you.

The one thing I desire most of all, LORD, is to spend my life with you, delighting in you and listening to your voice.

You hold me close when trouble comes.  I hold my head high even when trials come my way.

I praise you, LORD, with songs and shouts of joy!

I know you hear me, LORD.  You answer me, showing great mercy.  You say, “Come and talk with me”, and my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

I know that you never turn your back on me in anger – you are always ready to help me.  You never leave me or abandon me, O God of my Salvation!  When everyone else leaves me behind you are here, holding me close.

Teach me the right way to live my life, LORD.  Lead me down the path you have prepared for me and do not let me wander.  Help me avoid the pain and consequences of rebellion.  Do let me give into the temptation to act as the evil ones act.

I am confident that you are walking beside me – loving and guiding me – here on earth.

Dear Father, I am waiting patiently for you to lead me.  I’m not going to take one more step without you.

Psalm 19, 2019

Day after day your heavens speak to us, God, telling us how glorious you are.

Night after night, they teach us about our awesome Creator.  They speak without words or sounds – yet their message is seen throughout the entire world.

Your sun bursts from the skies with joy and radiance.  Each day the sun rises according to your plan and travels across the sky, providing warmth for us all.

The instructions you give us in your Word are perfect, Father.  They revive our spirits.  We can trust your commands – they are simple but wise.  They bring joy to our hearts while they show us the right way to live.

The respect we have for you, God, will last forever.  Your directions are true and fair.  They are more valuable to us than money.  They make our lives sweeter – we see you blessing our lives when we obey you.

Close my heart and mind to rebellion and sin, Father.  You are in control – help me submit to your will so I will be innocent and free of guilt.

May everything I say and do please you, O LORD, my Rock and Redeemer!

Psalm 16, 2019

You keep me safe, God.  You are my refuge.  You are my master!

Every good thing I have comes from you.

The faithful people around me encourage me and they are my true heroes.  I see so many others who spend their time and treasures chasing after things that aren’t you.  Their problems grow.  I will not join them in their worthless pursuits.

LORD, I only want you.  You guard my life and bless me.  Everything I have you have given to me.  You are a wonderful Father!

Thank you for guiding me through the darkest times of my life.  I know you are always beside me and, because that is true, I will not be shaken.

My heart is glad!  I praise you!  You have shown me the way to eternal life with you where I will have the joy of living with you forever.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Our Prayer of Praise, 2019

If King David was leading us today in the prayer of praise we read in 1 Chronicles, it would probably sound something like this –

Oh, LORD, our God, we will praise you forever and ever.  You are so great, God!  You have all power, glory, victory and majesty!

Everything in the heavens and earth is your’s Father.  This is your kingdom and we adore you.

All wealth and honor come from you – you are the King over everything.  You control all power and might.  You decide which of your people are made great and are given strength.

Thank you, God!  We praise your glorious name.

But who are we, God?  We can’t really give you anything because everything already belongs to you. 

We are here on this earth for merely a moment – this is not our home.  We are but a passing shadow on this earth – quickly gone without a trace.

Everything belongs to you, God.  We know that you see our hearts and rejoice when you find faithfulness and integrity in them.  You know if our motives are good and if we give willingly back to you with joy.

Oh, LORD, please help us obey you.  Help us love you.  Give us a hole-hearted desire to live as you want us to live.

When David was finished, the entire assembly praised God.

We join with King David today to praise you, Father.

I don’t Want to Miss It

There used to be days when I sat down to just ‘read’ the Bible.  Check it off the list.  Feeling good about myself.

Not any longer.

Now I hear God’s voice in my head as I try to discern what he’s telling me in every sentence.  Well, not in every sentence – some of the lists of names and assignments get a quick read – but I’ve learned there is gold in a few of those things as well.

I’m not reading the Bible, God is reading it to me.

And I don’t want to miss a thing.  So I study it.  I ask God to open my eyes and my heart so I can understand.  I ponder it ( that’s a great old word, isn’t it?)

This morning I was reading in 1 Chronicles (one of the books I used to skim through) the historical account of David purchasing the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.  Sounded pretty insignificant at first.  David chose this spot to build an altar to God asking him to stop the plague that had started because of David’s sin.

Wait a minute!

A little research shows that this was the same spot where Abraham obeyed God by building an altar to sacrifice Isaac.  David may not have known that but the Spirit of God who was living within David knew that.

This was the place where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son.  This was the spot where David built his altar to stop the plague brought on by sin.

And – later – David picked this spot to build the Temple of the Lord.  The Temple was built on ground that was made holy by David’s sacrifices on the altar.  The Temple was a place where people came to worship and meet with God.

All of this points to the coming Messiah, God’s son, who would be sacrificed to stop the plague of death brought on by the sins of the world so that all people – including you and I – can meet with God on a personal level.

This was no ordinary threshing floor.

I’m glad I didn’t miss that!

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 63, 2019

O God, you are my God.  I am searching for you with all my heart.

My soul needs you.  My whole being longs to be close to you in this empty, weary and very confused world.  I treasure the precious time I get to spend with you.

I have personally witnessed your power and glory.  I praise you for your love which makes this life worth living.

I will lift my hands and heart up to you in praise for as long as I live.  Only you can fill the emptiness inside of me and make me sing for joy.

In the darkest part of the night, I remember how much you have loved me in the past and how much you have promised to love me in the future.  My heart sings for joy as I cling to your promises and feel your arms around me, holding me safe and securely to your side.

The Evil One and his team are all around me, Father, trying to ruin me.  But I know you are fighting my battles, God, and you have already won the war.

I rejoice in you, God.  All who know the Truth know you.  Liars will be silenced.

Thank you, Abba Father.

What is the Meaning of Life?

A quick trip through Ecclesiastes

“Everything is meaningless”

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.”

“For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow.”

“Everything is meaningless.  All go to the same place; all come from dust and to dust all return.”

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.  This too is meaningless.”

“There is something else meaningless that occurs on the earth; the righteous who get what the wicked deserve and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve.”

What is the meaning of life?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whatever it is, good or evil.”

Please help us love you and love others, Abba Father.  For this is the purpose and meaning of life.

 

 

 

Be Alert

I received a high school graduation card many years ago that said “Be Alert” on the outside and inside it said, “This country needs more lerts.”

Maybe not ‘lerts’ but this country definitely needs more people who are alert.

I need to be more alert to:

  • how I am influenced by all of the cultural pressures around me to make bad choices.
  • how quickly my mind can wander away from what is right and true.
  • the presence and power of Evil in my world and in my life.
  • my tendency to become self-absorbed and miss opportunities to love and help others.

If I’m not alert, I’m going to ‘go with the flow’ and that is not God’s path.  Staying on the right road takes vigilance and commitment.  It is not the easy road.

So, if I think I’m cruising along, I can be sure I’m going to a place I don’t want to be.  I’m cruising for a fall.

That’s what happened to King Solomon.  The wisest man who ever lived didn’t stay centered on the right path as he grew old.  He lost his way.  He married women who used their influence to turn his heart away from being fully devoted to the One True God.  He did ‘evil in the eyes of the LORD’ and took a big fall right out of God’s favor.

It was such a sad, pitiful end to a life that had been so dedicated to God and blessed by him.

As I move into the fall season of my life, this message is particularly important to me.  I have loved God my whole life and have dedicated these last  30+  years to building my relationship with him, committed to this journey towards him.  I want my life to end well.  I want to avoid the tragedy that happened to King Solomon.

So I need to stay alert.

Please keep me solidly on the path towards to you, Abba Father.

Taking the Crooked Path

What does a life lived with integrity look like?

Having integrity means doing what we say we’ll do and doing the right thing even when it costs us something and no one would ever know if we didn’t do it.  It means being honest and not just talking a good line but living that out every day.

God tells us in Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

I’ve got to admit – there are times I really hate telling anyone that I realize I made a mistake.  It would be so much simpler to lie about it and cover it up.

It seems easier to take a crooked path.

There are other situations where I don’t feel like taking care of a responsibility or doing ‘the right thing’.

It seems easier to take the crooked path.

Every once in a while a ‘shady’ short-cut looks very enticing instead of struggling with all the work that is going to be involved to do something the right way.

It seems easier to take a crooked path.

The crooked path is dark with holes and cracks that make us stumble and fall.  We’re kidding ourselves if we think people around us don’t realize when we’ve taken crooked paths.

It’s obvious.

God tells us the blessing of walking with integrity is that we will walk securely.  The path of integrity is straight and solidly built on the truth.  God’s light shines on this path and it is filled with his love, grace and security.

Each day, each choice, we are deciding which path to take.

Please help us stay in the path of integrity, Abba Father.