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)

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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!


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!


P.U.S.H.

December 11, 2011

I’ve had this essay for a long time, and it encourages me every time I read it. I don’t know who gave it to me, or who the author is, but it is full of God’s encouraging truth!

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.

So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been sent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into his weary mind: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved.” Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

Satan said, “Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.” That’s what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.

Lord”, he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?

The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it…your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are calloused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock.”

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still GOD who moves the mountains.

When everything seems to go wrong…just P.U.S.H.!

When the job gets you down…just P.U.S.H.!

When people don’t react the way you think they should…just P.U.S.H.!

When your money is “gone” and the bills are due…just P.U.S.H.!

When people just don’t understand you…just P.U.S.H.!

P = PRAY
U = UNTIL
S = SOMETHING
H = HAPPENS


WHAT MOSES FORGOT

October 1, 2011

The last few months, a friend and I have been studying Exodus. That’s why the past few blogs have been about some things we’re learning. Here’s another one, and we have more to share!!

Moses was chosen by God to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land, and on a number of occasions leading up to their freedom, God laid out His plan and strategy to Moses. One of the recurring themes was the fact that God would Pharaoh’s heart so that he would not let them go.  (Exodus 3:19; 4:21) After the first encounter that Moses and Aaron had with Pharaoh, he cracked down on the Israelite slaves even harder, confirming that his heart was, indeed, very inflexible. The people’s logical response to his intense severity was rebellion. The entire group that Moses was to lead to freedom was worse off than before; they were very angry with Moses and Aaron, and let them know it!

So Moses had some very big issues on his hands. His first and biggest problem was Pharaoh; the second was the people, and the third was that God didn’t deliver His people as He had promised. Moses complained to God: “For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.” (Exodus 5:23) Moses was so disgruntled with the situation, that he forgot a lot of the conversations he and God had leading up to that moment. He forgot:

  • God’s compassion: “I heard their cry…I know their sorrows…I have seen the oppression of My people…He looked on their affliction.” (3:7, 4:31)
  • God’s plan: “I have come down to deliver them.” (3:8)
  • God’s presence: “I will certainly be with you.” (3:12; 4:12; 4:15)
  • God’s person: “I AM…this is My name forever; the Lord God of your fathers.” (3:14-15)
  • God’s power: shown in the miracles He did with the rod. (4:2-17)
  • God’s provision: He provided Aaron as a spokesman for stuttering Moses. (4:11-16)
  • God’s promise: “I WILL bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…to a land flowing with milk and honey.” ((3:17)

Finally, after a very frustrated Moses vented, God assured him: “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh” (6:1). He patiently reminded him that He was in total control of the situation, and that His plan would be fulfilled “to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.” (6:6-13)

Aren’t we all a bit like Moses sometimes? Don’t we get overwhelmed by the situation at hand that seems to engulf us and fail to see who God is, what He is doing, and that He has a perfect plan He’s working on? Don’t we, too, whine and complain when we make our problems bigger than our God? God give us the grace to remember often that He does have a plan; He is compassionate; His presence is with us; His power can overcome any obstacle; His provision is our daily bread; His promises are true; and that he was – and forever will be – the great I AM! AMEN!


WHOSE BATTLE IS IT, ANYWAY?

August 6, 2011

“Whose battle is it, anyway?” Some of us have been in “battle” situations in the past and can testify of God’s faithfulness in fighting – and winning! – them for us. Praise God for those battles won! Others of us are facing fierce battles right now. The apostle Paul commands us in Ephesians chapter 6 to “be strong…put on the whole armor…stand…withstand…stand…stand…pray…be watchful…” When our minds and hearts are prepared and protected that way, God will fight the battle for us, and we can expect to be victorious! Searching through the Bible, I found that time and again when faced with a battle, it was God that fought it for His people. God never lost a battle. Look at this…

IT WASN’T DAVID’S BATTLE WITH GOLIATH! (1st Samuel 17). David declared to the giant he was facing: “…the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord’s.”

IT WASN’T THE ISRAELITE’S BATTLE! (Exodus 14:13,14) Trapped between the Red Sea and the angry Egyptian army, Moses instructed the people: “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

IT WASN’T JOSHUA’S BATTLE! When Jericho was conquered in Joshua chapter 6, it was God’s battle plan that they followed, and He brought down the city walls. Later, after a lifetime of seeing God win the battles, Joshua gave his farewell address to the people and reminded them that “…the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.” (Joshua 23:10)

IT WASN’T NEHEMIAH’S BATTLE! (Nehemiah 4:20) “Our God will fight for us” was his declaration as the enemy schemed to stop the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

We can read also of King Asa and the Syrian army (2nd Chronicles 14:1-15); of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1st Kings 18); of King Jehoshaphat and the Moabites and Ammonites (2nd Chronicles 20) and countless other cases where God fought the battles for His people. God always won!

So if you are caught in a raging battle today, remember: THE BATTLE IS GOD’S; His part is to fight it. Our part is to be appropriately prepared, stand firm and let Him do what He does best and that only He can do…win it!


The Jack – Discovery and Amazement

June 2, 2011

Ever since he was very little, our four-year old grandson Jehiel has had a fascination with tools. By far, his favorite place on our property is grandpa’s workshop. He would rather be there with “Lolo” (his version of Abuelo – Spanish for Grandpa) spending time together on a discovery adventure, than anywhere else. Power tools, hand tools, gadgets; wood scraps and absolutely everything arouses his curiosity. As Lolo patiently shows Jehiel what each tool is for and demonstrates how to use it, his already big brown eyes widen with wonder, and you can almost see the gears of imagination and creativity turning in his little head.

A few days ago, Jehiel discovered the jack. Lolo set it up under the cargo van, and together they raised up the back of the van. Jehiel nearly burst with excitement! He discovered that a jack can lift a very heavy vehicle, and no doubt he’ll always remember the day he helped Lolo do just that.

Jehiel’s discovery reminded me of Psalm 145:14, where the Psalmist declared that “The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down.” When we are “bowed down”, weary, discouraged, burdened with a heavy load, let’s let Him raise us up! When we turn to His life-giving Word, He raises us up!…When we cry out to Him in prayer, He lifts us up…when we share our burden with a godly friend, He lifts us up…when we choose to believe His truth (that we already know in our heads) and trust His promises, He raises us up! Just as Jehiel discovered the power of the jack to raise up the van, I am constantly amazed at the power of God that raises me up, and I praise Him for it.

Take a few minutes to be blessed by this beautiful song by Selah that so appropriately expresses God’s power to lift us up. http://youtu.be/H2sZuJbxi8Y  Remember the times He raised you up in the past, and trust Him to do it again…today. You’ll be amazed!


DIALOGUE BETWEEN DOUBT AND TRUST

March 18, 2011

When Mr. Trust focuses on GOD, who He is and what HE promised, Mr. Doubt is totally squelched. He’s a loser. Listen to the following dialogue:

DOUBT: “I don’t know why this is happening to me…”
TRUST: “But God knows! He has a plan for me, and He will perfect it!” (Philippians 1:6)

DOUBT: “I sure can’t see any good that will come of this.”
TRUST: “But God is working everything for my good – to make me more like Christ.” (Romans 8:28)

DOUBT: “I’m afraid…”
TRUST: “But God is my strength!” (Psalm 18:1,32)

DOUBT: “I’ll never be able to do that; it’s way too hard!”
TRUST: “But God can do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask or think!” (Ephesians 3:20)

DOUBT: “My resources are so few…I don’t have enough…”
TRUST: “But God is the Maker and Owner of everything. His resources are limitless!” (Psalm 95:1-5)

DOUBT: “I just can’t go on anymore.”
TRUST: “But God gives me strength and grace!” (2nd Corinthians 12:9)

DOUBT: “The future looks bad. Really bad.”
TRUST: “But God is with me, and promised never to leave me. EVER!” (Matthew 28:20)


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