This season of holidays, family, gifts and other things comes at a price for some. My wife of 10 years went home to be with the Lord four days before Christmas. Among the feelings of shock, utter grief, the frantic pace of funeral planning and loneliness comes the peace of God. You see, my wife was saved, her hope wasn’t in doctors, medications, or other worldly solutions. She knew beyond any doubt that she was going home to Jesus when she finally was free of this fallen world. I can be comforted greatly because I know that she is happy, her pain is gone, never to return, her self-hatred has turned to love, she sees what Jesus and I saw, a beautiful woman worthy of all love and devotion. My sadness is still here, it still hurts deeply. Half of me is completely gone. But, while pain is near, so is God’s comfort. His all-encompassing peace. To know God is to know peace.
|Phl 4:7||and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.|
I’ve been reading through both books of Samuel, 1st Kings and 2nd Kings. There is a common theme here, patience. God was infinitely patient with both Judah and Israel. First, why did Israel need a king, they’ve got the most powerful being ever to exist as their king. But they were a stiff-necked people (like yours truly) and wanted a king. God, knowing that kings would arise that wouldn’t walk in His ways would attain power, the Lord God relented and gave them a king, Saul. Saul, then David, then Solomon (who then began the worship of other gods), then a line of kings that were evil, hated God and His ways and with the exception of notable kings, like Josiah, forgot God. Seems kinda familiar, doesn’t it. Those in power above us that are increasingly immoral and forgetting the Lord, culminating with our current leaders, in both parties. If you’re struck with election-year fears about the future, just remember, God is in control and is loving, longsuffering (patient), kind and has a future and a hope for us (Psalm 86:15 and Jeremiah 29:11).
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace” – Helen Lemmel
David, in Psalms 63, cried out to the Lord, “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You (verse 3)”, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. (verse 5)” Keep in mind, David was in the wilderness at this time, running from Saul and his enemies. David was a wanted man, the king of Israel was after David, wanting to KILL him, and he’s praising God?? David understood that God’s faithfulness IS better than life itself because he knew that God would ALWAYS take care of David, not sometimes, not often but always. “Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.(Psalms 25:20)” David knew that no matter what happened God was always there. Even after the affair and murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, David knew he had God’s forgiveness and God was still there. He’s there for you, too. The Lord isn’t surprised by your sin, remember He’s seen it all. All you’ve got to do is ask Him for His forgiveness, just like David did. If the most powerful, wealthy man in all of Israel can go to God and beg forgiveness once he knew he sinned, we ALL can. Remember, Jesus loves you and wants to spend eternity with you.
God Bless you.
Psalm 34:8 says (NKJV) “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” You know, that is a great prayer before some barbeque or a great steak or even a nice, cool, fresh salad on a hot summer day. Have you ever stopped to think about what the writer is actually saying? The word “taste” is an invitation to bring the object that you’re tasting close to you, to draw it in to yourself, to savor. Have you ever savored the Lord? Savored your reading time or maybe even the time you spend practicing an instrument to better worship Him? I need to better savor Jesus, to invite Him closer, to investigate every nuance, every aroma, every blessing that gushes forth from Jesus’ kindness and warmth. He is God, He is good….
May God bless you and keep you, may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24)
Power, plain and simple. His power created the universe, His thought created time and space, His will created you and me. His mind created thought and intelligence and beauty beyond all compare. It’s kind of sad sometimes, a scientist or athiest will rush forward with an “amazing discovery that the Bible is WRONG!!”. Then after a few days, or even weeks, we hear nothing more about this “discovery”. Why? Because, science CANNOT prove God wrong, no matter how hard people or organizations try. God is POWER… the unfathomable power to love you, cradle you, dote on you…oh and make the universe, stars, galaxies while He’s at it ;) You know, no matter how vast our space gets, He loves you more …
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39
As we go through the study of God’s characteristics together, love has to be at the top of the list. John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:28 and 8:35. I could go on and on and on. The question is not that He loves us, but rather, how much do we love Him? How much of our lives to we devote to Him and His things? Paul devoted His post-epiphany life to the study of God’s word, the spreading of the Gospels and the discipleship of church elders. Peter loved Jesus more than life (at times, anyway), even the two brothers walking down the road shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion, His Word BURNED in their hearts when Jesus spoke. I for one, need WAY more time in the Word, in prayer and fasting and in the things of God. Pray for me, that I devote ALL to Him and that He has His way with me.
Love. Plain and simple. Love. We often think of love as a fleeting emotion, like an amorous feeling towards a spouse, or the love of a chocolate bar or a TV show but in reality, true love is none of those. True love, in it’s godly form, is a choice to honor the Lord with our obedience and devotion. It’s a choice we need to make every second of every day. Of course I’ve screwed up and didn’t devote that minute to the Lord, yes, I’ve tried to play God in my own life, and, yes, it ended in predictable failure. God picked me up, dusted me off and said “Let’s try it again, with ME in charge this time.” He’ll do the same for you.
By definition, walking is to put one foot in front of the other. That’s how I want my walk to be, paced, simple and determined. As I start this road to the kingdom, I need to start. To start walking is just that, to start. I was recently given advice to start down the path, so here goes.
My first study with pastoring in mind is on “Who is God?”. It’s best to know whom we serve and know Him intimately. Thus this blog. I hope you find something here to inspire you to know Him better.