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 NEVER DISAPPOINTS

April 25, 2016

Recently we dined at our favorite restaurant: Bob Evans. While Jorge chose his usual Broasted Chicken, I tried something new instead of the Firehouse Salad I always enjoy, and got a Southwestern Omelet. Between bites, I kept telling Jorge how good it was. After the meal I told him, “You know, Bob Evans never disappoints.” Then I thought…actually, the One who never disappoints is God!

If you feel empty, our God never disappoints!
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isaiah 55:2)

If you need forgiveness, our God never disappoints!
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins…” (1st John 1:9)

If you seek His wisdom, our God never disappoints!
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God… and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

If you long to be comforted, our God never disappoints!
He is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation…” (2nd Corinthians 1:3)

If you need direction, our God never disappoints!
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)

These are just a few examples; we can broaden the scope to include joy, peace, strength, provision, protection, etc.  We can enjoy our favorite restaurant. We can try new items on the menu. But when it comes to never disappointing us, remember…our God NEVER disappoints!

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


RUNNING TO THE NAME OF THE LORD

January 28, 2014

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

Reading this truth not long ago, I meditated on the following:
Running for safety means we are under threat of harm or approaching danger, or being attacked. We run to a “strong tower” because we know where to go; we know where it’s safe. We know that, even though the enemy approaches, threatens or attacks, we are no longer vulnerable. We are safe!

When are we vulnerable?

  • When (in our thoughts) we allow our problems to be bigger than God.
  • When we wonder if He really cares about what’s going on in our life.
  • When we doubt His goodness, His power, His plan for our life.
  • When we try to figure out the “what if” scenarios.
  • When we are worried, anxious or stressed.
  • When we try to do (on our own strength) what we can never do, and what we should let HIM handle.
  • When we’re focused on earthly “stuff” and not on eternal realities.
  • When we lament something about our past that we can’t change.

Those times of vulnerability are when we must “run to” the name of the Lord. Not just say it, but cry out to Him! Reading of His character in Bible stories and Psalms; singing worship songs to Him; filling our mind and life with Him; studying what his name YAHWEH means and why that’s relevant to us today; praising Him for who He is. That’s how we “run to” the name of our Lord.

When we know the name of the Lord, He is our strong tower. We run to Him, trust in Him and find safety in Him. We praise Him, along with the psalmist who declared: “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You. For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10)


“GOOD” ISN’T A BIG ENOUGH WORD!

August 2, 2013

“…the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting…” Psalm 100:5

I open my eyes this morning and praise God because His compassions are new again today. Just in the first hour of this brand-new day, He pours His compassions on me. God is good, but “good” isn’t a big enough word.

I can think. I open my eyes after a restful sleep. Nothing hurts. I am healthy.  I can see the person He gave me to share life with, who lives out His love to me, and who I’m deeper in love with than I was when I met him. He’s right beside me. I hear “Amazing Grace” being sung on the radio and praise Him for that grace. I get out of our comfy bed. The temperature is perfect. I’m in our own home. I go through my morning routine, enhanced by hot, running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity. I smell the coffee and enjoy breakfast. I taste and savor each bite. I can walk, talk, breath and digest. I have enough food in my refrigerator to prepare my lunch to take to work. I am employed.

I take my steaming mug of dark-roast to my office and sit in my cushioned chair. As I open my Bible and notebook to worship my good God and Savior who makes all this possible, my all-time favorite guitar player is playing a worship melody from his office, right beside mine. “Cuando pienso en tu amor tan bello, y te veo a ti en santidad…te adoro a ti…la razón por la cual yo vivo es para adorarte…” (I worship You…the reason I live is to worship You.)

I pray, “Lord, let me start off each new day with a sense of awe of You; with thanksgiving and praise, blessing Your name. You are our unchanging God. You are good”

At that point my heart nearly bursts with gratitude as I “taste and see” God’s goodness (Psalm 34:8) God is good, but “good” isn’t a big enough Word!


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!


WHY READ THE BIBLE?

September 20, 2012

1ST Peter 1:23 to 2:2: “…having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,because
“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…”

Why read the Bible? Sometimes  we forget what it really is – God’s Word. It is God speaking to us. Meditating on this passage in 1st Peter, we can pick out some truths about God’s Word that help us understand why a Christ-follower should read it. Here’s how Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, described the Bible:

It is like an incorruptible seed.  It doesn’t deteriorate, change in nature, grow old or lose its power!
It lives forever.  Praise God! It is a LIVING Word, and will ALWAYS live! Nothing can kill it or stamp it out!
It produces new spiritual life.  Through God’s Word, we’ve become new, and it renews life in us daily!
It endures forever. In contrast to man’s philosophies or writings, it will ALWAYS proclaim Truth and salvation!
It is to be desired. Preparing our hearts by laying aside all sin in our lives, God gives us a desire for it.
It produces growth. THAT is why we read it. Not simply to accumulate knowledge and facts, or learn a bit more about history. NO! NEVER! We read God’s Word to grow more and more like Jesus! If we aren’t growing in Christ, we’re probably not spending enough time in God’s Word.

Those are pretty good reasons to dig into God’s Word often. Let’s remember them, and expect God to use His powerful, living Word to transform us more and more into His image.


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!


THE GREATNESS OF THE PROMISER

July 28, 2011

Charles Spurgeon was a very prolific preacher and author of the nineteenth century, and one of my favorite writers. Referring to our faithful God, he encourages us to “fix our eyes on the GREATNESS OF THE PROMISER” in one of his writings that I read a short time ago.

Reading that, I immediately recalled King Solomon’s blessing in 1st Kings 8:56: “Blessed be the Lord…there has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.” Solomon looked back in history and highlighted God’s faithfulness. God allowed those reassuring words to be preserved for many, many centuries, and today you and I can rejoice in them.

Promises are only as good as the promise-giver. Praise God, He is the faithful, compassionate and unchanging promise giver. Every promise He made, even thousands of years ago, are just as valid today as they were then. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the GREATNESS OF THE PROMISER, and praise Him today!


10 REASONS WHY NOT TO FEAR

February 14, 2011

In God’s Word we are repeatedly encouraged not to fear.  It’s interesting to note that when we are given those instructions, or when one of the authors expresses a choice to not fear, there is a “why not”. There may be more, but here are 10 reasons I found WHY NOT TO FEAR. I will NOT fear because…

  1. GOD HIMSELF IS FIGHTING FOR ME!
    Deuteronomy 3:22. “You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.”
  2. GOD GOES WITH ME!
    Deuteronomy 31:8. “…do not fear nor be afraid…for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. “
  3. GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE ME!
    1st Chronicles 28:20. “Be strong and of good courage…do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God – my God – will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  4. GOD IS MY VERY PRESENT HELP, MY REFUGE AND STRENGTH!
    Psalm 46:1-3. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.”
  5. THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE!
    Psalm 118:6. “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
  6. GOD WILL HELP ME!
    Isaiah 41:13. “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ “
  7. THE LORD IS MY LIGHT, MY SALVATION AND MY STRENGTH!
    Psalm 27:1. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
  8. THE LORD REDEEMED ME AND I AM HIS!
    Isaiah 43:1. “…fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.”
  9. I HAVE PUT MY TRUST IN GOD!
    Psalm 56:3,4. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You…in God I have put my trust, I will not fear.”
  10. JESUS GIVES ME HIS PEACE!
    John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

These truths are a powerful antidote for fear. Write them down. Put them in visible places. Underline them in your Bible. Read them. Re-read them. Re-read them again. Then keep reading them. Keep re-reading them. Believe them. Praise God for them and rejoice in His peace. Freedom from fear….aaaahhhhhhhhh……


I LOVE THE LORD BECAUSE…

October 25, 2010

“I love the Lord because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1,2

How would you finish the phrase “I love the Lord because….” ?

That’s the question I asked myself as I was meditating on Psalm 116 the past few days. After mulling it around in my mind a while, I asked my husband Jorge how he would finish the sentence. We both agreed that at the top of the list would be “He loved me first.” (1st John 4:19). He didn’t wait till we were “good enough” to love… (none of us could ever be “good enough”!) He loved us right where we were, no matter how “good” or “bad” we’d been. That’s one of the amazing characteristics of God’s love. The apostle Paul expressed this truth very simply: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Even though I was raised in a Christian home and attended church regularly, I was a self-centered, proud, obnoxious teen. That’s when I understood that God loved me and sent Jesus to die for me. I wasn’t loveable, but He loved me anyway! Even more amazing is that He kept on loving me as I grew up, and keeps on loving me as I grow older (we won’t say HOW old here…). When I doubt Him, He loves me. When I choose my own way, He loves me. When I am indifferent towards Him, He loves me. When I think I can handle things on my own, He loves me. When I stumble, He loves me. Is there ever a time when He doesn’t love me? NO! He promised that His love would NEVER depart from me. Here’s our assurance in the words of the apostle Paul:

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture… None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:35-39, taken from “The Message”)

I love the Lord because He loved me first. And because He still loves me. And because He’ll always love me.

How would you finish the phrase “I love the Lord because….” ?


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