OUR GOD CAN CARRY OUR BURDENS

October 3, 2016

Walking down a country road, a traveler was struggling under the heavy load he was carrying on his back. When a kind farmer saw the man, he stopped and offered him a ride on his wagon. Both the farmer and his horse waited patiently while the traveler got settled. A few minutes later, the farmer looked back and noticed that the colossal bundle was still on the traveler’s back, and asked him, “Why are you still carrying that heavy load?” the burdened man answered, “I thought it would be too much for the wagon. I’ll carry it.” Unfortunately, the man didn’t get relief from his back-breaking load because he didn’t trust the wagon.

Sometimes we’re like that foolish man. Our cumbersome load may be impossible to carry; we stagger through our days under its weight. Maybe we even pray about it, but keep trying to shoulder it on our own. We find no relief. The Psalmist encourages us in Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.”

Let’s not be like the traveler on the wagon. Let’s lay our heavy burden down on the only One who is kind enough and strong enough to carry it. Our God CAN carry our burdens. Ahhh…what a relief!

(Join me every Monday of 2016 in my quest to know God better!)


OUR GOD IS THE MASTER OF MULTI-TASKING

September 19, 2016

Guinness World Records 2013 reported that Alex Barron holds the world record for most objects juggled: 11 objects. Intense daily practice, sharp focus and concentration helped get Alex the title. That’s quite impressive, considering that in our daily juggling – also known as multitasking – we can hardly stir the soup and answer a question simultaneously! Thankfully, that isn’t the case with God; He’s the Master Multi-tasker.

Anthropomorphology, applied throughout Scriptures, attributes human characteristics to God. Consider some of the activities He has been performing simultaneously for millennia.

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.” (Psalm 34:15) He is concerned about every detail of our lives and thinking of each of us personally, while also spinning the universe in perfect, precise synchronization. In Psalmist 139:7 we read: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand.”

Alex Barron’s record, while impressive, doesn’t come close to God’s record. I stand in awe of our God who is the Master of multi-tasking; but what really brings me to my knees in worship is knowing that along with everything else He’s doing, He’s thinking about me!

(Please join me each Monday of 2016 in my quest to know God better)


OUR GOD IS SUPERLATIVELY GREAT!

August 22, 2016

Volumes have been written about God’s greatness, and many songs have been sung throughout the ages to worship our great God; yet the extent of how great He is transcends our finite minds. To keep this article simple, we’ll focus on just one proof of His superlative greatness: the stars He created.

How many stars are there? www.space.com offers an answer – give or take a few billion. By determining that our galaxy, the Milky Way contains 100 billion stars, and there are 10 trillion similar galaxies in space, scientists came up with a “1” followed by 29 zeros. Their count looks like this: 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars!!

star-clusters-11643_1280We can’t be sure of the accuracy of those calculations, but we know this for sure: our God “counts the number of stars; He calls them all by name.” (Psalm 147:4) The Psalmist followed that truth with a spontaneous declaration: “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” (Psalm 147:5)

Our human minds can’t fathom the number of stars, yet God created each of them, counts them, and calls them all by name! That one small – but immeasurable – example opens my eyes to see His greatness all around me, and prompts me to praise our superlatively great God!

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


OUR GOD OPENS OUR EYES

July 25, 2016

 

It’s one thing to see a picture of the Grand Canyon; but it’s a breathtaking experience to stand at the rim of this tremendous abyss – one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Visiting this incredible wonder, we were impressed by the almost-sacred silence of the observers drinking in the wonder and vastness of the Canyon. Descending into it, we marveled, discovering more of its beauty; our eyes were opened to details that can’t be captured at the rim. We praised our God for His creation – and for allowing us to enjoy it!

Grand Canyon Nov. 2015

That reminds me of how God opens the eyes of our heart; our spiritual eyes. Attending church or occasionally reading a Bible verse, we look at a picture of God, but our eyes are not opened to His true magnificence. We add daily prayer, and see more of His beauty in that sacred place – like standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon. Digging deeper into God’s Word, we are amazed that He allows us to enjoy Him. That’s where God opens “the eyes of our understanding” as the Apostle Paul so aptly expressed.

Never be content with glimpsing into God’s Word or even standing at the rim; make the Psalmist’s prayer your own “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from your law.” (Psalm 119:18) Go deeper with Him and God will open your eyes; you will wonder at His beauty.

(Join me each Monday of 2016 on my quest to know God better)


OUR GOD IS ALMIGHTY GOD

May 23, 2016

A credential provides the basis for trust: a diploma, degree, certification or experience are all valid. Any cardiac patient would trust his cardiologist rather than his neighbor with health issues. Right?

In Genesis 17, God gave Abram (later renamed Abraham) His credentials before establishing His covenant with him. God also gave Abram promises that would make an impossible situation possible. On that occasion, God’s first words to Abram were “I am Almighty God”. We know that God kept that covenant and every promise He made to Abraham; after all, He IS Almighty God, who makes the impossible…possible! He does whatever needs to be done to do that.

What if we would believe that God has the power to do whatever needs to be done to fulfill His promises in our situation? What if we would preface all of God’s promises with His credential of “Almighty God”?

I am Almighty God. I will forgive you.

I am Almighty God. I will guide you.

I am Almighty God. I will always love you.

I am Almighty God. I will supply all your needs.

I am Almighty God. I will….. (You can finish the phrase with a promise)

Next time you face an impossible situation, meditate on God’s promises. You can trust that the Promise-giver will do whatever needs to be done to make the impossible possible, because He has the credentials. Our God is ALMIGHTY GOD!

(Join me each Monday of 2016 in my quest to know God better)


Miracles? or MIRACLES?

February 2, 2014

God doesn’t do miracles. He does MIRACLES! Ask anyone who has experienced God’s intervention in their life, and they will testify to that. Ask Joshua.

In Joshua chapter 3, after Moses had died and Joshua took leadership of the children of Israel, they were about to cross over the Jordan River. God instructed Joshua exactly what they had to do to cross the river, mentioning also that He wanted the people to know that, just as He was with Moses, He also was with Joshua; that He, “the living God is among you…” (Joshua3:10)

Joshua passed along God’s instructions to the people, ending with these words of encouragement: “…tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5)  God also mentioned to Joshua The priests who were bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord were to step into the water, and the waters coming down from upstream were to pile up in a heap. That is exactly what happened, and “all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.” (Joshua 3:17)

There are two things that made this a MIRACLE.  First, it was flood season; a time of year when the Jordan’s banks were overflowing. It was not just a trickle that the multitude had to jump over. Second, they passed on dry ground; it wasn’t shallow water and it wasn’t muck or mud. It was DRY ground. Those details point to one truth we can hang on to. Always. God does MIRACLES.

What MIRACLE are you praying for…waiting for…expecting? Will God do it half-way, and leave you with muddy feet on the other side? Absolutely not! Will He do it in a way that goes unnoticed? Never! God’s MIRACLES have a “wow factor”. That’s always the way God works, and He is the God I’m praying to; HE WILL pull off the MIRACLE I’m waiting for! AMEN!


CHRISTMAS ACRONYM

December 1, 2013

If we were to ask a number of people “What comes to your mind when you think of Christmas?”, we would hear a variety of replies: family time, gift giving and receiving, parties, tons of food, excessive spending, overeating, baking, cold, snow (at least in some parts of the Northern hemisphere), travel, rest, traditions, Santa, Rudolph, decorations, Christmas trees, etc. While none of that is bad, it might distract us from the fact that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

The word “Christmas” comes from the Old English words “Christes Maesse”, meaning the mass or festival of Christ. The first Christmas celebration took place in Rome about the middle of the fourth century. (Information taken from www.dictionary.com)

To help us celebrate Christ in all the Christmas busyness, I’ve made a Christmas acronym with the names of Jesus. (I have all the references for each name, if anyone is interested let me know.) Today we’ll take a general overview of it. Here’s what I discovered:

C – Christ, Chief Cornerstone, Counselor, Chief Shepherd

H – Heir of all things, Holy One of God, Head, High Priest

R – Redeemer, Resurrection and the Life, the Righteous

I – Immanuel, I AM

S – Servant, Stone, Shepherd

T – Truth, Teacher, True

M – Morning Star, Master, Messiah, Most Holy, Mediator

A – Almighty, Alpha and Omega, the Amen, Advocate, Author

S – Son of God, Son of David, Son of Man, Savior

From now till December 25, we’ll look at some of His names a little closer so we can focus on WHO we are celebrating this Christmas. Stay with me….


FORGETTING GOD

October 19, 2013

It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily activities and forget God. O sure, we might say a quick prayer, read a verse or a short devotional in the morning. We might even have our radio tuned to a Christian station at home or in the car. But maybe – just maybe – all that has become so normal that it’s simply a routine and we don’t really incorporate God into our lives 24/7. We forget God.

Forgetting God was a problem as far back as the time of Moses. Several times in Deuteronomy, Moses warned God’s people to “beware that you do not forget the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 6:12; 8:11 NKJV) Unfortunately, they too often forgot God, who freed them from slavery, led them, protected them, delivered them and provided for every one of their needs. God repeatedly proved Himself to be powerful, sovereign, forgiving and faithful; yet “they soon forgot His works.” (Psalm 106:13 NKJV)

In Psalm 106 we can read that they forgot God’s mercies, they forgot His miraculous works, and they forgot God Himself. From examples in the Bible, we see that forgetting God has very serious consequences.

Forgetting God leads to sin. (Psalm 106:24-39)
Forgetting God leads to fear (Isaiah 51:13)
Forgetting God leads to fruitlessness (2nd Peter 2:1-9)
Forgetting God leads to doubt (Mark 8:18)

If you struggle in any of these areas, it just might be that you’ve forgotten God!

Let’s incorporate God into our lives in a greater measure, delighting ourselves in His Word. Let’s read it, meditate on it, study it, obey it and share it. When we remember often what He’s done in our lives and who He really is, He changes us. Do you want your faith to be strengthened? Would you like to have your hope to be renewed, to trust Him more and to be fruitful for Him? Don’t forget God!


WHO SAID IT?

February 24, 2013

If we believe something or not depends on who said it. When a known “exaggerator” tells us there were about 200 people at the party, we nod and think, “That means there were 50…” On the other hand, someone who is very precise with facts and careful about what they say makes the same statement, and we believe them. Whenever we hear a declaration, it’s good to know who said it!

If we really believe God to be Who the Bible reveals Him to be, the words “for He has said” should be life-changing. Digging into His Word, we understand the following:

God is unchanging. He’ll NEVER modify the script of anything that “He has said”.
God is sovereign. He has a PLAN, backing up everything that “He has said”.
God is all powerful. He CAN do everything that “He has said”.
God is faithful. He WILL do exactly what “He has said”.
God is just. He MUST do everything that “He has said”.
God is loving. His compassion MOVES Him to do all that “He has said”.

Applying the truth of WHO God is to what “He has said” might look like this:

Let your conduct be without coveteousness; be content with such things as you have. For HE HIMSELF (the unchanging, sovereign, powerful, faithful, just, loving and compassionate God) has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear…”
(Hebrews 13:5,6)

We can’t just glide over the “He has said” statements in the Bible! Let’s meditate on Who said it. If we believe WHO God is, we’ll see our fears diminish, our faith grow and our lives will be transformed!


LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS

August 15, 2012

Some of the most comforting truths about God are found in Deuteronomy 33:27. There we read “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” As I read that verse not long ago, I picked it apart; because it was so encouraging to me, I want to share my word-by-word “picking” with you.

THE – not “AN” eternal God, but “THE” eternal God…implying uniqueness; the ONLY God.
ETERNAL – forever and ever; “…the Beginning and the End, Who IS and who WAS and who IS TO COME, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8)
GOD – Sovereign, compassionate, wise, caring, concerned!
IS – Present tense. That always means right NOW. His arms are ALWAYS holding me up, no matter the circumstance!
YOUR – Quite personal; yours; mine; ours. Not just the God of the Old Testament or the New Testament, but your God, my God, our God!
REFUGE – a place of safety and security in times of distress, danger, storms, fear, attack. He is my protection!
AND – as though all of the above were not enough, it could have ended right before the “and”. Wouldn’t that have been reason enough to praise Him? But there is an “and”…
UNDERNEATH – to hold me up, giving stability and security.
ARE – in the present tense, this is my present assurance right NOW; it’s always my present assurance!
THE – Unique; one-of-a-kind. The ONLY arms I can lean on!
EVERLASTING – Because they belong to my eternal God, they will ALWAYS be there!
ARMS  – The Psalmist declared, “You  have a mighty arm…” (Psalm 89:13); an arm of strength and assurance, redemption and power!

I praise God for the rich truths in this verse. Although I may be unaware of them, and even though I don’t always feel them, His arms are holding me up – ALWAYS! No matter where I am or what I’m facing, He is my refuge and His arms are there for me! I just have to believe it, and lean on those everlasting arms that will never, ever, ever let me down!


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