OUR GOD NEVER GETS TIRED

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.” Isaiah 40:28

Being tired can give us an “I don’t feel like it” attitude. We don’t “feel like” doing anything that requires effort. If we have to make any effort, we might get grumpy, because grumpiness co-exists with tiredness.

When we’re tired, we get a glazed-over look and don’t pay attention to what’s being said. Lack of concentration and reduced mental capacity are also signs of being tired.

Aren’t you thankful that God never gets tired?

God never has an “I don’t feel like it” attitude. God never gets grumpy. God’s eyes never glaze over, and He’s never in La-La-Land when we talk to Him.

Knowing that God never gets tired makes me appreciate Him even more. It motivates me to call on Him and to trust in Him with the full assurance that He’ll be very much alert as He handles every issue I have. And we can all be thankful for that!!

(Every Monday of 2016 I’ll be posting more discoveries on my quest to know God better. Join me!)

OUR GOD NEVER CHANGES

Lake in summer

The seasons change. We change. (Look in the mirror and compare the image to one of 20 years ago!) Our ideas, plans and short-term goals change; styles change. (Look at the picture again!) Neighborhoods, cities and governments change. Is there anything that doesn’t change?…that isn’t in a constant state of flux?

Yes, there is. Our God never changes. The Psalmist, in a prayer to God, expressed that truth this way:

“Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the Same, And Your years will have no end.” (Psalm 102:25-27)

Even in the throes of change and uncertainty, our Father God will always be the same. That solid truth motivates us to trust in Him – and to praise Him!

(Join me every Monday of 2016 on my quest to know God more)Lake in winter 2

 

OUR GOD, OUR FATHER WHO CARRIES US

After 40 years of wandering in the desert, and with the Promised Land in sight, Moses spoke to all Israel. Summing up their arduous journey, Moses gave this beautiful imagery: “God carried you, as a man carries his son…all the way…” (Deuteronomy 1:31)

footprints_clip_art_6107In 1936, young Mary Stevenson popularized this concept in the poem “Footprints.” The encouraging words of the Lord in the final paragraph of Ms. Stevenson’s poem are a response to the traveler’s question as to why, at times, there were only one set of footprints. These words have also encouraged many weary readers, even up to the present. “My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of suffering…it was then that I carried you.”

Looking back at our own lives, we can pinpoint difficult situations when we felt God’s special care. That’s when He was carrying us. Let’s trust Him to carry us today – and trust Him to carry us all the way!

(Join me every Monday of 2016 on my quest to know God more)

OUR GOD, OUR FATHER

But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe on His name.” (John 1:12)

Those of us who have trusted in Jesus, have been made part of God’s family. We are His children; He is our Father. That is a very special relationship.

Please take a few minutes to browse this website: www.fathersloveletter.com. There you will find the Father’s love letter, which is written as an amazing monologue explaining what it really means to call Him our Father, along with the corresponding Bible passages. This love letter can be downloaded as a PDF file, as an audio file or video and it’s been translated into more than 100 languages. If you watch the video, you will have a deeper appreciation for our God, our Father and praise Him for that special privilege He offers us!

(Join me every Monday in my quest to know God more)

OUR GOD WHO SAVES US

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward men appeared, not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” (Titus 3:3-6)

We can praise our God who saves us because He is kind, full of love and mercy. We can be thankful that He doesn’t save us by our works of righteousness or good deeds; because we’ve all messed up so many times that the balance would be severely tilted – and not in our favor!

Our God who saves us knew that we could never measure up to His perfect standard. That’s why “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Let’s praise our God who saves us today because of His mercy that we receive through Jesus!

(Join me every Monday in a quest to know God better in 2016)

AN ATTAINABLE GOAL

An Attainable Goal 1-1-16As I was leaving the Community Recreation Center the afternoon of December 31, I overheard an elderly gentleman make this comment: “My goal this year is to do some laps in the pool here. I know the instructor who teaches the adult classes.”

The first thought that popped into my mind was, “And…?” On the way home I mused.

My goal this year is to end up with a nice, fat savings account. I know the banker. “And…?”

My goal this year is to lose 15 pounds. I know the lady who runs our local weight-loss meetings. “And…?”

My goal this year is to become a heavyweight champ. I know a good trainer. “And…?”

Obviously, we’ll never attain any goal just by knowing someone; several other factors come in to play. We need planning, time, perseverance, determination and a very strong desire to reach our goal.

This year my goal – which I know is totally attainable – is to know God better to be able to honor Him more. To do that, I’ve already made a list of a lot of God’s characteristics and who He proves Himself to be. Throughout the year, I’ll be expanding my knowledge of Him and I’ll share them with you every Monday morning.

Who wants to join me press towards this attainable goal?

 

FREE TO CHOOSE

A new year, a clean slate and endless choices. We have 366 days ahead of us, (2016 is a Leap Year!) and how we choose to live each day depends on us. We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we are free to choose our reactions, attitudes, and our conduct. Since we are free to choose, here are some excellent choices I want to make, and I hope you join me!

CHOOSE TIME ALONE WITH GOD. We can start each day spending time with God to get His perspective, wisdom, direction, strength and peace, or we can “wing it” on our own. Psalm 63:1 tells us: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You…”  It usually doesn’t go as good when we “wing it.”

CHOOSE GRACE. Let’s opt to treat others with the lavish grace that God pours out in our life. In Matthew 10:8 we find these words of Jesus: “Freely you have received, freely give.” We can show grace to others only because we’ve received it from Him.

CHOOSE TRUTH. Instead of allowing damaging thoughts pull us down, let’s believe what is true. We find truth in God’s word. Christ said that if we abide in His word, we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. (John 8:32) Believing the truth of His Word, we’ll be free!

CHOOSE TRUST. We have a choice: to worry and be afraid, or to trust God. We can’t do both. Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Why would we not choose to trust our Faithful God?

CHOOSE TO LIVE FOR JESUS. It’s either our selfish agenda, or His; our lives revolve around ourselves, or they revolve around Him. The Apostle Paul wrote that “…those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

CHOOSE SURRENDER. Our burdens can get really heavy; we weren’t made to carry them. That’s why we have the privilege of giving them to God. Peter’s encouragement to believers is to cast “all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Our Heavenly Father wants us to trust Him with our burdens.

CHOOSE CONTENTMENT. It’s easy to gripe and complain; to be grumpy instead of thankful. Let’s learn what the Apostle Paul learned: to be content. He said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) When we are content, we are thankful!

CHOOSE TO END THE DAY PROCLAIMING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. We can end each day lamenting how bad it went, or thankfully proclaim God’s faithfulness. Here’s a recommendation from the Psalmist: “It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord…to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night.” (Psalm 92:1,2)

Don’t forget: we’re free to choose!

THE GIFT? OR THE ACCESSORIES?

A few days before Christmas, my 4 cup coffee maker broke. At my husband Jorge’s prompting, I bought a single-serve coffee maker as his Christmas gift to me.

If he would have given me a box of 18 k-cups and not the single-serve coffee maker, I would have thought him to be…well…out of touch with reality. Or what if he would have brought me a k-cup storage drawer or tower, saying, “Here, I know you love coffee and your coffee maker broke, so I brought you this. It’s my gift to you. I hope you like it.”

Ridiculous, right? Why would I want the accessories without having the single-serve coffee-maker?

Then I thought about our gift to God. We know that there is no gift we can give God to “earn” or “buy” our salvation. That is His gift to us. But when we’ve accepted His gift of salvation in Jesus, we want to give Him something out of the overflow of thanksgiving and appreciation we have.

So what can I give God? My money? No. The Bible teaches that God, the Creator of the world and universe, owns everything. He won’t lack anything if I don’t give Him money.

Should I give God some good works? No. We read in His Word that even the best we can give Him isn’t good enough; all of our good works are like filthy rags.

How about worship? No. In the Bible we read that He has ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands around His throne worshiping Him day and night. What can I contribute to that?

All of those are accessories that God doesn’t want or appreciate unless we first give Him the gift. What gift? In Proverbs 23.26 we read that what God really wants is our heart. He says, “My son, give me your heart.”

After we give God our heart (which includes our will, our plans, our desires, our attitudes, our emotions, everything we are and that we have) THEN our financial offerings, our service, good works and worship will be acceptable to Him.

If we haven’t given God our heart yet, let’s do that. It’s the gift He would be most delighted with!

“HE COULD COME AT ANY TIME NOW”

It was by far the most beautiful Saturday morning in NE Ohio since last summer, which seemed light-years away due to our exceptionally harsh winter. We were enjoying a cloudless sky and temperatures in the los 70s when our son Adriel dropped the kids off to spend a few hours with us. Eight-year-old Jehiel and Milos, 6, were busy with Lolo George: fishing, painting dart boards and helping straighten up the garage. They were having so much fun that they almost forgot about playing games on the tablet, their favorite inside activity. Two-year old Kayra was “helping” me make hamburger buns in the kitchen. A little clump of dough – and way too much flour – kept her occupied at the counter while I got my work done. Then we headed out for a bike ride around the lake. She giggled and squealed with delight while watching the geese.

As we were finishing lunch, Jehiel presented his plan: “Now I can go fishing, help Lolo George some more, then play with the tablet…” We reminded him that time was short and Daddy would be coming to pick them up real soon. Convinced that he still had plenty of time, I again reminded him, “But you don’t know when Daddy’s coming. He could be here any time now.”

That reminded me of what I read just hours earlier. Jesus told his followers: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42). He will come in the context of normal, everyday, heavily scheduled, busy days.

Aren’t we all a bit like Jehiel? Don’t we get so involved in our plans and wrapped up in our activities that we forget the reality that Jesus might come at any time?  Jesus summed up the teaching about His return like this: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)

As we go about our busy days, let’s be ready and remember this: He could come at any time now!

WORSHIP ACROSTIC

The story of the “wise men from the East” is intriguing. Matthew tells us in his gospel that these men made an effort to see the King who was born. They spent time and money to make the trip and take gifts to honor Him. It was a big deal for them! When they saw the young child, they fell down and worshiped Him. I wonder why.

The wise men didn’t have half the reason to worship Jesus that we do. They were pre-Christ’s death and resurrection, and didn’t know Him as their Savior and Lord. They didn’t experience His forgiveness, His grace and salvation. They didn’t have His promises to cling to. He didn’t promise them that He would be with them every day till the end of the world, or that He would come back to take them to live forever with Him.

But they worshiped Him. They fell down and worshiped Him.

As we approach Christmas Day, let’s worship Jesus as King, just as the wise men did. Then let’s worship Him for a myriad of other reasons that we have, especially because He is our Savior!

W            “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12)

O             “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”  (Psalm 95:6,7)

R             “Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth…” (1st Chronicles 16:12)

S              “Sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things…” (Isaiah 12:5)

H             “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8)

I               “ I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.” (Rev. 1:18)

P             “Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1)