OUR GOD GIVE ASSURANCE FOR THE FUTURE

December 26, 2016

The future can be scary. No one can be 100% sure, when leaving home in the morning, that they’ll return. Our lives can be changed forever with a phone call or an unexpected event. If we dwell on uncertainty, we’ll quickly spiral down in a vortex of worry and anxiety – to a place no one wants to be.

Thank God, He gives us assurance for the future in His word. No matter what happens, as Christ followers He assures us that…

  • Nothing will ever separate us from His love (Romans 8:36-39)
  • He goes before us and will never leave us. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  • He Himself holds our hand and encourages us. (Isaiah 41:13)
  • He renews His compassion and unfailing love every morning, because He is faithful. (Lamentations 3:22,23)

With countless other truths, God gives assurance for the future. If you are anxious or stressed, stand on His truth! And remember… “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11)

As we step into a new year, let’s remember that no matter what, our God gives assurance for the future! AMEN!

(Thank you for following me during 2016 in my quest to know God better. We’ve just scratched the surface, and I hope you keep digging deeper in His word to discover more of Him. God bless you in 2017!)

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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 PROVIDES THE WAY OUT

September 26, 2016

In the early 1900’s, Harry Houdini (1874-1926) gained worldwide fame as an escape artist. He got himself out of straitjackets, handcuffs and coffins. In his incredible water torture escapes, Houdini would be lowered upside down in a locked glass cabinet filled with water – and escape! He is still famous today for his skillful feats.

Fortunately, we don’t need the skill of Houdini when we are trapped by temptation or immobilized by struggles in our lives; we are promised a way of escape. Our survival in those challenging times never depends on our abilities, but always on God’s faithfulness. The Apostle Paul wrote these timeless truths to the church thousands of years ago in the 1st letter to the Corinthians, chapter 10, and verse 13:

  • God is faithful
  • God sets the limits. He “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.”
  • God provides the way of escape “that you may be able to bear it.”

No one can deny Houdini’s skill; it’s documented. Likewise, God’s ability to provide a way out is well documented throughout history. Reading of His past performances, we find every reason to trust Him, our faithful God, who never fails to set the limits and provide the way out. Let’s thank Him for that!

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


OUR GOD CAN DELIVER US FROM ALL FEAR

September 12, 2016

“Simple” is good. Although I love to make homemade pizza, when my schedule is complicated, there’s a simple way to enjoy our Friday night pizza. I speed dial our favorite local pizzeria. Simple!

The Psalmist David also understood that “simple” is good. Take the example of fear. By his own admission, there were times when David was afraid. His antidote for fear was simple: “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4) Simple!

All my fears” included fighting a lion and a bear as a young shepherd, facing the giant Goliath, being on King Saul’s hit list. (That’s when he was being pursued by 3,000 of the King’s choice men. ) As Israel’s king, David also faced innumerable enemies – including his own son Absalom, who’s evil plan was to dethrone David. Even in those hair-raising situations, David knew that when he sought God, God would deliver him from all his fears. Simple!

When complicated unknown situations fill you with paralyzing fear, follow David’s example: go simple. Seek God, trusting Him to deliver you. If He delivered David from all his fears, he can deliver you from all your fears, because that’s what God does. Simple!

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


OUR GOD GOES BEFORE US

September 5, 2016

Uncertainty enveloped us like the cold, thick fog. The school bus would stop; the driver would turn off the motor before crossing the train tracks. Silence. Then a brave volunteer – often one of my “big” brothers – would jump off the bus and walk across the tracks through the fog. Crossing before us, he assured our safe crossing. This scene repeated itself often on foggy mornings.

God’s people wandered in the wilderness for 40 long years, led by God’s appointed leader, Moses. Now, with the Promised Land in sight and Moses nearing death, uncertainty and fear reined. To dispel the fog of uncertainty, Moses assured his successor Joshua that “…the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) They would safely cross to the other side because the Lord was going before them.

Maybe you are trying to cut through the fog of uncertainty in some area of your life. As often as the scene repeats itself, stop. Turn off the motor. Listen! Be assured that God promised to never leave you. His presence will dispel the fog and lead you safely to the other side. Remember, our God goes before us!

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


OUR GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY

August 29, 2016

What would we do without caller ID? It allows us to avoid scam artists, political campaigns and telemarketers when we don’t recognize the name on the screen. On the other hand, recognizing the name, we usually take the call; the caller is trustworthy and the message may be important.

In Psalm 9:10, David wrote: “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” God’s personal, relational name “Yahweh” is expressed in that Psalm.

In his book Every Name of God in the Bible (one of my favorite books, highly recommended), Larry Richards explains God’s name Yahweh, based on the dialogue between God and Moses at the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3. Mr. Richards wrote: “In essence, the name “Yahweh” revealed God as ‘the One who is always present’ with His people.” (p. 25); that’s exactly what David said: “For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” That’s the important message: God is always present with us.

Knowing God’s name makes all the difference. We trust Him with all of our needs because He is our ever-present God. We praise Him for His faithfulness, because He’s never forsaken us. Knowing His name, we get the important message: Our ever-present God is trustworthy!

(Join me every Monday of 2016 as I share more of my quest to know God better)


OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL

July 4, 2016

The four seasons were part of God’s plan, and they are proof of His faithfulness. After The Flood, God’s covenant with Noah included this promise:

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
and day and night
Shall not cease”
(Genesis 8:22)

The cold and “s word” that are part of winter are proof of God’s faithfulness. (“s word” = snow)

The renewal that Spring brings to a monochromatic world also proves that God is faithful.

Summer’s long days, warm evenings are part of God’s faithfulness.

The beauty of Fall colors with cloudless blue skies as a backdrop shows us that God is faithful.

The sun came up today, because God is faithful. The stars shine at night because God is faithful.

The list is endless. From Genesis to Revelation we read of God’s faithfulness; in all seasons, He faithfully pours out His kindness, strength, provision, comfort and compassion on His people.

As we look back over our lives, let’s praise our God for His faithfulness in every season. He was faithful in the past, and we can trust Him to be faithful to the end. Worship our faithful God as you listen to Selah sing “The Faithful One”. https://youtu.be/IczlW3QlHCs

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


OUR GOD IS OUR GUIDE

June 27, 2016

A guide always knows the terrain and the plan; he is always with the person or the group that is being guided, and won’t leave until the expedition or tour is ended.

Several years ago, vacationing with our son and his family in the Smokey Mountains, we went zip-lining. Our oldest grandson Jehiel was 5 at the time and was thrilled that he was old enough to go zip-lining with us. The guide was key in getting Jehiel from the send-off station to the landing base. After Daddy zipped across to the other side, it was Jehiel’s turn. Equipped with a harness and helmet, Jehiel bravely took off – with the guide’s strong arms around him, instilling a sense of safety. The guide knew the zip and had a plan. He accompanied little Jehiel all the way to the first landing where Daddy was waiting.

Jehiel, ready for his ziplining adventure.

Jehiel with Daddy, ready for their ziplining adventure.

Our God is our guide as we zip through life. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 48:14 “For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.” He knows the terrain and He has a plan. His strong arms and presence give us peace, and we are safe with Him. Praise God that He is faithful, starting off with us at the send-off station and staying with us until we land safely in heaven where we will spend eternity with Him, Our God, our Guide!

(Join me every Monday as I share more of 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)


OUR GOD IS WITH US

May 16, 2016

Pre-social media, when the only two options for long-distance communication were snail mail or costly international calls on a land line, I was a young bride in Argentina. There were days when I felt a million light-years from my family and familiar friends. That’s when I learned what it means to be alone, yet not lonely.

Elderly Juan José lived outside of our city in a community of precarious thatched-roof, cracked-mud-floor, one-room homes. His work vehicle was a custom made tricycle with a huge, cumbersome box on the back. Battered and worn, it bore the marks of countless trips into town. There, Juan José daily picked up freshly butchered meat at the central market, and literally “peddled” it to his neighbors. It was hard work. Juan José was robust, but like his tricycle, he was old and battered.

As church planters, several of us went to visit Juan José one day. Inquiring about his family, he replied that he had no one; no siblings, spouse, children…he might still have had a relative in Brazil, he wasn’t sure. All alone, Juan José was content, because He knew God was with him.

An hour before most church services, we would usually find Juan José in the meeting hall, alone. Kneeling in prayer, we could hear him audibly and passionately worshiping God, who was with him. Juan José knew the secret that I had yet to learn. He was walking hand-in-hand with the Lord.

Multiple times throughout the Bible, we read God’s reassuring promise: “I will be with you.” As His children, we can live with that assurance, just like Juan José did.

Alone? Maybe. Lonely? Never! Our God is with us!

(Join me each Monday of 2016 for new posts from my quest to know God better)


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