OUR GOD SEES WHAT NO ONE ELSE CAN

December 5, 2016

James Cameron, an explorer and filmmaker for National Geographic, was the first human to make the 2 hour, 36 minute descent into the deepest part of the ocean in March of 2012. At the depth of 8.6 miles, he saw what you and I will never be able to see in the Mariana Trench…but God can see it. He created it.

Thousands of years ago, when choosing the successor to Israel’s King Saul, the prophet Samuel was sure it would be Jesse’s handsome oldest son Eliab. But the Lord chose the unlikely youngest son, and informed the prophet that he saw something in David that no one else could see; God saw David’s heart. He created it. 1st Samuel 16:7

Our God alone can see our heart, too. Think about your heart and meditate on what God says about it.

  • If you are brokenhearted, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
  • If your heart is restless, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret…” (Psalm 37:7)
  • If your heart needs cleansed, pray “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
  • If your heart is heavy, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22)
  • If your heart is anxious, give Him your anxiety and “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Only God can see inside our heart. He created it. That’s why we can be open and honest with Him, and praise Him with David, who wrote: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)


OUR GOD OFFERS REST

November 7, 2016

Rest. It’s what a weary mom longs for after sleepless nights with a newborn and busy days with non-stop toddlers.

Rest. It’s what an athlete needs when physical exhaustion pushes him to the limit.

Rest. It’s what an overworked worker looks forward to when planning that long-anticipated and well-deserved vacation.

Rest. It’s what we all need, when stressed and burdened, we cry out to God, “I just can’t do this anymore!”

More than physical rest, we need rest for our souls.

When we are under pressure. When we are being bombarded with worry. When we can’t live up to someone else’s expectation. When we stagger under an unbearable burden. When we are trying to be good enough. When we can’t do it – whatever “it” is – anymore!

Oswald Chambers wrote: “…when the circumstances of the day seem too much to bear, we do well to recall that there is always an invitation to share the yoke with the One Whose strength never fails and the result is rest for our souls.”

Yes, our Father God offers rest for our souls in Christ’s invitation: “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest….you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28,29)

Do you want rest for your soul? Then give in; accept the invitation. RSVP “Yes, I’m coming, Lord.” Then rest in Him.

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

 

 


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 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)


OUR GOD REMEMBERS TO KEEP HIS PROMISES

May 2, 2016

“But you promised!” Stinging words are hurled, and the accusation is valid.
“I’m so sorry, I totally forgot!” is our feeble reply.

We blame busy days, countless responsibilities, endless distractions and life’s hamster wheel; but the truth is, we often forget what we promise. We let others down. Unintentional forgetfulness plagues us, because we are human.

Thankfully, our God is not human; He remembers His promises. He never, ever forgets any promise that He’s made, and He never fails to keep them. The Psalmist confirmed that God’s memory is perfect: “He remembers His covenant forever, the Word which He commanded, for a thousand generations.” (Psalm 105:8)

Here are just a few of the promises that our God remembers:
God promises eternal life to those who believe in Jesus. John 3:16
God promises that all who seek Him will find Him. Jeremiah 29:13
God promises to bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:11
God promises to give His people strength. Psalm 29:11
God promises that He will never leave us. Hebrews 13:5
God promises to forgive us. Luke 6:37

I challenge you to add to this list. Dig into God’s Word and discover His “exceedingly great and precious promises”. (2 Peter 1:4). Our Promise-giver will never let us down; He always remembers to keep His promises, and we can praise Him for that!

(Join me each Monday in 2016 on 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)


OUR GOD KNOWS OUR NEEDS AND HAS THEM COVERED

April 11, 2016

Our needs don’t take God by surprise; He knows all about them. God even has his plan in motion to cover all of our future needs. Take Jacob’s family, for example. (Genesis chapters 37-50) God knew that a future, severe famine would ravage the land, and also knew that Jacob and his family would have no food, but He had them covered.
– Jacob didn’t know about his future needs when he held Joseph’s blood-stained tunic in his hands, and weeping, “…refused to be comforted”.
– Joseph’s brothers didn’t know about the future famine when they threw him into the pit.
– Joseph himself didn’t totally understand God’s plan when his brothers sold him to the passing traders, or when he was unjustly accused and imprisoned in Egypt.

But God knew; His plan was in motion. Before Jacob’s life-threatening need for food, God already had it covered. Following his imprisonment, Joseph was put over all of Egypt, and God used Pharaoh – the pagan ruler – to give Jacob and his family not only food during the famine, but also the best of the land.

In Matthew 6, Jesus specifically mentions material needs just prior to assuring His audience that “your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things”. (v. 32)

Maybe you have tremendous material needs right now; or you may have needs in the future that you are unaware of now. Jacob’s story and our own experiences confirm Christ’s words: our Father God knows what we need. Trust Him. He’s got them all covered!

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


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