Do You Feel It?

What does it feel like when God ‘moves’ my heart?

When I understand something I never knew before as I read his Word, I can feel God moving my heart.  When I have an idea or motivation I have never felt before as I read his Word, I know God is moving my heart.  When I see a situation more clearly today as I read his Word, I realize God is moving my heart and giving me insights I never had before.

All of these and more describe experiences I have had as God moves my heart to more closely align with his.

While reading the story of the people of Israel  in the book of Ezra as they prepare to end their exile and go back to resettle Israel, the words, “everyone whose heart God had moved” jump out at me.

God had chosen those who he wanted to go back to rebuild his temple in Jerusalem.  And they knew it.

They felt it.

And they obeyed.

It wasn’t going to be an easy task but they had been picked by God to do something big for him.  So they went.

Because they were listening and watching, they knew when God moved their hearts.  That’s what it takes to hear God and be a part of what he’s doing in our world.

God has a purpose for me today.

He has a purpose for you today.

Please move our hearts, Abba Father.

Right Away

I’ve never seen this before.

I’m on my 9th time reading through the entire Chronological Bible and I don’t remember noticing this detail.  God is obviously stopping me here today to bring this to my (and your) attention.

God is telling me through the book of Daniel that he heard Daniel’s prayer and sent the angel Gabriel to earth to give a message to him while Daniel was still praying.

“As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have to tell you.” Gabriel told Daniel.

Wow!  As soon as Daniel began to pray, God was responding.  Right away.  Daniel hadn’t even finished praying before God was taking action on his request.

Love it!

God is telling you and me that this is still happening today when we pray.  Before I have finished praying, God is moving, responding, orchestrating things for my good – every day, all day.

When I turn to God and pray, recognizing my dependence on him, he takes action.  I might not see him moving, but I trust that he is.  I don’t need an angel to tell me that God is listening, I have his Word on it.

Thank you for always listening and responding, Abba Father.

 

What?!

A human hand appeared and wrote a message on the wall.

What?!

Daniel tells us this actually happened in the middle of King Belshazzar’s huge banquet!  If I saw it today, it would definitely get my attention.

This is where we get the saying, ‘I can read the writing on the wall’.  Many of us don’t know that this comes from the Bible.

King Belshazzar could not understand the handwriting on the wall so he consulted with Daniel who was well-known for being able to interpret things when no one else could.  Daniel read the writing and told the king that God was bringing his reign to an end because the king had not acknowledged God as sovereign over all the kingdoms on earth.

That very night, the message on the wall was fulfilled and Belshazzar was killed.

One part of the message on the wall was ‘Tekel’ which means you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

The bad news for all of us is – our scales don’t look any better.  Our rebellion.  Our need for control.  Our self-centeredness.  Our busyness which causes us to ignore God.

The writing on our wall would have the same message…..

except for the fact that God loved us so much that he gave us an ‘out’.

He sent his perfect son, Jesus, to save us from the eternal separation from God.  The entire Bible is a love story about how God created us in his image and desires to have a close, personal relationship with us.

Jesus offers a gift of grace to each one of us – that’s his part.  Our part is accepting his free gift which makes the scales move in our favor.

Through Christ’s sacrifice, we can become precious children of God who are never ‘found wanting’ because Jesus did it all for us….

for all time,

for all who will believe and receive.

It is finished.

Thank you, Jesus.

 

My Heart’s Response

As I read the beginning of Psalm 106, this is my heart’s response –

I’m giving thanks to the LORD today for how good he is!  It’s impossible to describe with words the magnitude of his greatness!

I feel his blessing and his smile of encouragement when I do what is right.

You constantly show me how much you love me, Father, by giving me your guidance and help.  I find joy in knowing I am your adopted child – a daughter of the King!

Please help me make the right choices and avoid straying into rebellion.  Touch my mind, Father, when I need to remember your goodness and kindness.  Help me to always remember how you have saved me and are walking beside me.

I believe all of your promises, Father.  Your Word resonates with the core of my soul and I know what you tell me is true.

I am staking my life on it.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

It’s a Plan

I know what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

As I read Psalm 89, my plan jumps right off the page- ” I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever.”  I will tell everyone I know about how I have experienced your faithfulness all my life, Abba Father.

I will talk about your perfect love for me and the abundant blessings you have showered down on my life.

I will walk with you each day, Father, until the day we walk into heaven together, hand in hand.

I will find my peace in your strength.  I will find my joy in your love and faithfulness.  I will find my strength in your righteousness and justice.

I will walk in the light of your presence each day, Father. 

And I will continue to sing of your great love forever.

Amen and Amen.

So Many Mysteries

I will never understand.

For me, one of the keys to having peace and contentment is realizing that there will be things in this crazy world that I will never understand.  There are “things too wonderful for me to know” which is how Job described it at the end of his story in the Bible.

Remembering truths which are very clear and have been etched into my soul by the Holy Spirit helps me be okay about the mysteries that are beyond the ability of my 3.5 pound brain to comprehend.

Here are some of the truths that I review in my mind when I start to worry or doubt or question –

God is good, all the time.

God is all-powerful – nothing is impossible for him.

God is a perfect Father who loves me with a perfect love.  He is always walking beside me.

God is working all things out for my good.  He wants the best for me.

God’s timing is perfect.

Being confident of these truths, I know the best response to whatever happens to me is to trust God.  I can ask ‘Why?’ and God is patient with me, but there is wisdom in making trust my first response, not questions.

I have discovered that my life stays more closely aligned with God when I automatically and genuinely trust him with everything – because there is so much that I will never understand.

I trust you, Abba Father.

It’s a Struggle

Have you been there?

I have.  I am still struggling with the most extreme adversity I have ever experienced.  On May 18, 2016 my world exploded.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on that day.

I have experienced quite a lot of death in my life but this is – by far – the hardest.

Davey was a unique young man who was dedicated to serving his community and dedicated to living life to its fullest with fun, going everywhere and anywhere, while collecting a vast number of friendships. He did all of this with an obvious devotion and love for his family.  My husband and I lived 1 1/2 miles from Davey and his wife and 2 children the last 5 years of his life.  We talked with him daily and saw him almost every day for one reason or another.

I don’t have the words for how painful this last 4 1/2 years have been.  It defines adversity.  Living with the reality is a struggle.

As I read the book of Job in the Bible, I can relate.  Job experiences the shock of getting terrible news.  I can relate.   When people around him started saying strange and wrong things to him, I can relate.   Then, after the first horrible news,  painful things just kept happening.  I can relate.  Job questioned God and wondered why this was all happening to him.  I can relate.  He was overwhelmed with sorrow.  I can relate.

It’s a struggle.

Job was confident that his redeemer lived and – in the end – his redeemer wins.  I can relate.  He knew that God was in total control and all-powerful.  I can relate.

Job committed his life to being faithful to God in spite of his circumstances.  He praised God in the middle of all of the pain he was experiencing.  I can relate.  He knew that is was wise to turn from evil and love God.  I can relate.

Job had a long conversation with God.  I can relate – I have had many long conversations with God about my son’s death.  Job confessed that he did not understand.  I can relate – I will never completely understand this.  Job’s eyes were opened in a new way to the reality that God has a plan and purpose for each of us and that God’s ways are not our ways.  I can relate.

God gave Job peace in the middle of his pain and blessed him.

I can relate.

Thank you for helping me in my struggle, Abba Father.

This Explains It All

Why is there so much evil in the world?

Why are our families being torn apart?

Why is there so much anger and hatred in our country?

Why are addictions the plague of our century?

Why are innocent children being abused and killed?

Why a worldwide pandemic?  Why now?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Satan takes the credit for all of this in the first chapter of Job.  He tells God that he just got back from “roaming the earth, going back and forth on it.” (vs 7 )

And Satan leaves a wide path of destruction wherever he goes.  That’s what we’re seeing – the work of Satan.  He has convinced a whole lot of people to ignore the truth, forget about being kind and forgiving, and just focus on yourself – that’s all that matters.

Satan smiles whenever we believe the lies swirling all around us in our culture.  He loves it when we consult Google instead of God when deciding what’s right and wrong, good or bad.

He enjoys watching us wreck our relationships and our marriages with our selfishness.  He encourages us to be impatient, impulsive and immature.

Wow!  He is really getting a kick out of the lack of respect for authority that is growing in our country.  It’s a win-win for him because everyone else loses.

Satan smiles when he can do anything to distract us from our relationship with God.  He’ll even bring good things into our lives if they will lure us away from God.

Satan is roaming……

today…..

everyday…..

going back and forth……

back and forth.

Please use us to overcome evil with good,  Abba Father.

 

Not Alone

I don’t know how I missed it.  Maybe it was never included in the children’s version of this story.

It’s a well-known Biblical account. Three men refused to worship the evil king’s golden idol so the king threw them into a blazing furnace.  The furnace was so hot that it killed the soldiers who got close enough to throw the men in.

Here’s a detail of the story that I missed until I started reading the entire Chronological Bible each year. The king looked into the furnace and saw 4 men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed.

4 men – not 3.

The king called the 4th person an angel.  I believe it was Jesus, sent by God to protect Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  They walked through the fire together.

The fire didn’t stop when the three men were thrown in.

The king didn’t change his mind at the last minute.

An army of angels didn’t swoop down from heaven to save the day.

God had an unimaginable number of ways he could have saved these 3 men.  He chose to send a personal rescuer into the fire with them.  Jesus walked with them – just like he walks with us when we are in the middle of a fire in our lives.

Our fires can look like failure….

grief……

disease……

disappointment….

betrayal…..

the list goes on.

My biggest personal fire was when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  All of my expectations of what the rest of my life looked like were destroyed on that day.  The flames of that fire are still burning up pieces of my life, leaving mountains of painful ash behind.

But Jesus was there.   And he is here as I continue to walk on this very tough road piled high with grief and loss.

I have discovered that, as I remain faithful in the fire, God is using this time to grow my trust, grow my perseverance and grow my faith.

My loss and pain will not go away this side of heaven but God has given me peace and a purpose.  I’m thankful for the opportunities he gives me to share what I am learning about God’s faithfulness as he walks with me daily,

in the middle of the fire.

Thank you, Abba Father. 

I See the Danger

On my trip to Israel 6 years ago, we visited a village in Nazareth which is set up to show us what it looked like when Jesus lived there.

A watchman was placed high on the hill overlooking the village and the land surrounding it.nn watching over Nazareth

Ezekiel explains the watchman’s duties in his 33rd chapter.  He says the watchman needs to blow the trumpet to warn the people when he sees danger coming.  If he blows the trumpet and the people don’t heed the warning, they are responsible for their own deaths.

BUT, if the watchman sees the danger coming and doesn’t blow the trumpet, the watchman is responsible for their deaths.

What does this mean for us today?

We don’t have watchmen……or, do we?

When I read this, God reminds me that I am a watchman for the people he has placed in my world.  I know the truth.  And I know the danger of not accepting salvation through Jesus Christ.  So I must say something. I cannot be silent.

I wish it was as easy as sounding the 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 listen.  And understand.  And avoid the danger.

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