Don’t Fool Yourself….

reading the Bible and not obeying what you read will not bring God’s blessings.

That’s what James tells us at the end of his first chapter.

If we read God’s word and obey it, it will set us free and we will receive God’s blessings.

Anything less is foolishness.

He writes this sort of strange analogy about looking at your face in the mirror and then walking away only to forget what you look like.

The other day this made more sense to me.  I was finishing up getting ready for work when I looked in the mirror and saw that I didn’t have any earrings on yet.  I intended to go pick some out but then I got distracted by something else as I walked away.

When I got to work, I happened to glance at the mirror and was kind of shocked to see that I didn’t have any earrings on.  I had intended to put some on but it never happened so now I went all day without earrings.

This experience helped me relate to the mirror analogy.   When I read God’s truth in the Bible, I need to obey it and act upon it.  I can’t let other things distract me.  The best intentions in the world are worthless without action and follow-through.

If I want God’s blessings in my life, obedience comes first. 

Dear Father, please help me grow in obedience.

I Need An Anchor

Life can really be stormy sometimes.  The waves of issues and problems seem to grow larger and hit harder…….and all in a row.  They keep pounding on us.

The author of  Hebrews shares some very encouraging insights about God in chapter 6.   God has given us his promise of his love and eternal life and he never lies.  He can’t lie.

So we can run to him for refuge with great confidence because he has given his oath.  We know the truth and his name is Jesus.

Our faith in God is the anchor for our souls- keeping us steady as the waves of life tumble around us. The waves can tumble right on top of us and we may feel like we’re drowning.  But we’re not.

Because we’re anchored.

A Rich Message

Paul tells us in Colossians that since God has loves us, we must clothe ourselves in with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

He asks us to make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive those who offend us.  When we remember how much the Lord has forgiven us, it’s easier to forgive others.

And we must clothe ourselves with love which gives us harmony.  Then the peace that comes from Christ will rule in our hearts.

Paul reminds us to always be thankful and to let the rich message of Christ fill our lives.

We need to use wisdom in talking with each  other.  With thankful hearts, we sing psalms and spiritual songs.

And all that we do reflects upon Jesus.  We are his representative.

Thank you, dear Father.  Will you please help make this passage true in our lives.

Has this ever happened to you?

A widow comes to Elisha in 2 Kings 4 and tells him that her husband who served as a prophet with him is dead.  Now a creditor was threatening to take her two sons as slaves.  (Good thing people can’t do that anymore if you’re not paying all of your bills!)

Elisha asks her what she has in her house.

What does she already have that she can use to help her get out of this situation?

I hear this message over and over in the Bible.  What do we already have that he can use to bless us?

All the widow has is a flask of olive oil.  So Elisha asks her to borrow as many empty jars as as she can.  Then she was supposed to pour her oil into the jars…. and just keep pouring.  When she did what she was told, the widow totally filled up all of the jars.  Now she had enough to sell to pay off her creditor with extra to live on!

God used what she had to take care of her situation and then he gave her extra.

I wonder how many times God wants to help us deal with our situation by using something we already have and then he is ready to kick in extra when we are obedient.

Has this ever happened to you?

Keep on Asking,Keep On Seeking, Keep on Knocking

 That’s what we’re doing this year as we read God’s Word.
We’re asking –
to know God
to hear God
to grow in wisdom.
We’re seeking –
to understand
to hear his voice as he guides us
to grow in loving the things he loves.

And we’re knocking.
Everytime we open the pages of his word, we are knocking – we’re making ourselves available for God to speak to us, to transform us, to bring us joy.

What does God promise us in return? We will receive, we will find and doors will be opened. Amen, Hallelujah!

Eating the Bitter Fruit

Oh, yes, I’ve been there. I have eaten the bitter fruit of living life my own way. I have made some bad decisions in my life and paying the consequences for those has been both painful and embarrassing at times. I am still paying consequences for foolish things I chose to do when I was making decisions on my own without caring about what God said was right or wrong.

The fruit of those bad decisions may be bitter but we don’t want to become bitter as a result. God lets us pay the consequences so that we learn, we remember, we don’t do those things again. He doesn’t do this to punish us, he does it to help grow us into the people he planned for us to be.

The sweet outweighs the bitter as we grow closer in our walk with him.

Walking Closely with God

Noah walked closely with God.
God could talk with Noah because he knew he was listening.
God could guide Noah in a plan to save his family because he knew Noah would obey.
God could give Noah something to do that would change the world because he knew Noah would trust him and take a step of faith even when it was something that Noah knew nothing about.
I have found it very interesting to read in the Bible how many of the great people of faith are described as walking closely with God.
In Genesis 5 we’ll be reading about Enoch who walked closely with God. And he disappeared…God took him up to heaven.
What would it feel like to walk so closely with God that he would just take you up?

January 1

In Genesis 1:6, God separates the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth. He called this space ‘sky’.
What was the shape of the earth if there was no sky? How could the waters of the earth be attached to the waters of the heavens?
Questions like these used to make me have doubts about God. When I couldn’t understand something, I would think it wasn’t true.
Now I realize that the fact that I don’t understand everything in the Bible actually adds to God’s credibility as the Master of Universe. I only have a 3 1/2 pound brain – why should I be able to understand everything about God when his intelligence is limitless?