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 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 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 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 TEACHES US

August 15, 2016

science-1121481__180Educators practice active engagement as a tool for effective teaching. Words on a page or spoken by the teacher come alive in a hands-on situation. One educator wrote, “While hands are engaged, minds should be questioning, sorting through sensory input, and making connections.” (www.teachhub.com)

As history’s most effective Teacher, God teaches us through His written word and through active engagement – our life circumstances and experiences. Let’s look at a few examples:

  • We read that “the Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.” (Psalm 18:2) We think we understand those words, but they become real when the storms hit.
  • We read “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and think those words are nice to repeat. Then we are thrust into a situation that leaves us helpless, and we grasp the fullness of God’s strength.
  • We read that we should forgive others as Christ forgave us. (Colossians 3:13) Those words become unforgettable as we experience the freedom of forgiving someone who’s hurt us.

God teaches us through His Word; then He orchestrates our life experience to get us actively engaged. As we question, sort through our sensory input and make connections, true learning takes place. Let’s make the Psalmist’s prayer our own: “Lead me in Your truth and teach me.” (Psalm 25:5)

Yes, our God teaches us. Let’s learn!

(Join me every Monday of 2016 as I share more discoveries 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 OUR HELP

June 20, 2016

Legend has it that a proud – but frustrated – owner of a very early model of Ford was detained on the roadside with car problems. A kind passerby, seeing his predicament, stopped to help him, quickly and efficiently resolving the mechanical issue. As he left, the helper introduced himself as Henry Ford, the designer and manufacturer of the early car. Could there have been a better helper? Absolutely not!

Several Psalms affirm the fact that our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Could there be a better source of help than the One who designed and created everything that’s visible and invisible? Absolutely not!

We don’t know whether the Henry Ford story is true or not. But we can be sure that what the Psalmist affirmed in Psalm 124:8 is true: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

Next time you, like the owner of that very early model of Ford, find yourself in a troubling predicament that you can’t resolve on your own, stop. Call on God. He is a “very present help in time of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

(Join me every Monday of 2016 as I share what I’m learning on my quest to know God better)


OUR GOD HEARS US

April 18, 2016

“I can’t understand you. Your voice is cutting out.”

“Talk louder, I can’t hear you.”

Frustrated, we end the call without finishing – or maybe even without starting – the conversation. Unfortunately, that happens even in our high-tech world.

As God’s children, we have the assurance that He always hears us. Our voice doesn’t cut out; we don’t have to talk louder. Going through one of the most difficult circumstances of his life, the Psalmist David reiterated that fact in Psalm 34, speaking from his own experience when he wrote:

“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (v. 4)

“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” (v.6)

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” (v. 15)

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them from all their troubles.” (v. 17)

God hears us when we cry out to Him in times of trouble and when we are paralyzed by fear. His ears are always open. No dropped calls, fading voice, unfinished conversations or frustration.

If you are distressed, anxious, troubled or carrying a heavy burden, cry out to God in faith, and be encouraged, because our God hears us!

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


OUR GOD SATISFIES

April 4, 2016

Patito1

Three-year-old Kayra struggled to make sense of the puzzle. Unable to arrange the blocks to get the duck scene right, she vented her frustration. Fortunately, older brother Jehiel came to her rescue and helped her. Puzzle resolved, Kayra was satisfied with the ducks.

King Solomon must have felt frustrated, too, as he struggled to arrange the pieces of life to find satisfaction. Solomon, wiser than any man and incomparably wealthy, wrote “whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from pleasure.” He had it all and did it all, yet wrote, “the eye is not satisfied with seeing and the soul is not satisfied with goodness.” Disillusioned with his quest for satisfaction, Solomon found that it was impossible for him to make the puzzle pieces fit. (1st Kings 2:11-13; Ecclesiastes chapters 1-6)

Maybe you, Like Kayra and Solomon, can’t seem to arrange the pieces in your quest for satisfaction. You struggle to get the perfect job, build relationships, accumulate “stuff”, pursue fun and entertainment … but the pieces don’t fit. Noting satisfies you.Patito

If that’s you, put down those puzzle pieces and read this: Our God “satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9) Vent your frustrations to God, confessing your inability to find satisfaction outside of Him. Ask Him – then trust Him – to satisfy your longing soul. He’ll arrange all your pieces, because our God satisfies!

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


OUR GOD, OUR CREATOR

March 28, 2016

God’s creativity is beyond our imagination. All of His designs are unique and perfect; we can’t comprehend the intricacies of His creation. There are some interesting facts about the human body on www.factslides.com/s-Your-Body and here are some of them.

  • Your nose can recall 50,000 different scents.
  • Your eye can distinguish about 10,000,000 different colors.
  • Your brain, in your lifetime, can hold up to 1 million, billion separate bits of information (one quadrillion!!)
  • Your heart will pump enough blood to fill 200 train tank cars in your lifetime.

Of all the amazing facts about our bodies, one shouts out, “You are OOAK!” (One Of A Kind): your tongue print, like your fingerprint, is unique.

Our Creator God made each of us unique and special; OOAK. We were not mass produced, and we’re not clones. God is responsible for our unique existence from the moment of our conception. In Psalm 139:13,14 the Psalmist declares: “…You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God – You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation!” (The Message)

So when you look at yourself in the mirror, stick out our tongue. It proves that you are OOAK. Then join the Psalmist in praise to our God, our Creator, who made you unique – and special!

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


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