Thursday, June 26, 2014

God And God Alone!

“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18

One evening, I walked into my youngest daughter’s room to say goodnight - she had just finished reading her Bible and she said this to me, “Mom, I did not know who I was dealing with!” My daughter was reading in Revelation and her respect for God grew into an awe that left her speechless!

Sometimes I believe we forget who God is. We know that He is love but we forget that He also is Sovereign, Powerful and Just! Revelations 1:17:18 says that Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades! In other words, He holds our lives in His hands!

Sometimes we forget the fact that He is in control. Sometimes our ability to gets things done, the sense of competency that comes with doing all we need to do, can give us the illusion that we have control over our life and the lives of others. Every morning God allows us to make decisions about what we do during the day, how we spend our money, and where we move about, but this freedom God allows us doesn’t mean we are in control of our life and that truth should give us an unbelievable peace!

Why should that truth give us peace? Because the God who holds our lives in His hands wants the best for us! Never forget that truth – He wants the best for you always! 

Do you need to be reminded today that God holds your life in His hands?

He holds our loved ones in His hands.

He holds our job in His hands.

He holds our health in His hands.

He holds our marriage in His hands.

He holds our future in His hands.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the ALMIGHTY.” Revelations 1:8

Let's give honor to the One who is the beginning and the end of all existence, wisdom and power! Let's honor the Only One fit to take the universe's throne!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Shine Out For God!

“Do EVERYTHING without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:15

Having three daughters, two who are young adults and one who is a teenager, allows for our home to be filled with energy, excitement, drama and laughter! Truly our daughters keep my husband and I young and energized and we love and embrace their zest for life! However, there are times, even with all the “fun”, when we can all slip into what I call a “complaining” frenzy. 

The Bible says that when we refrain from complaining, grumbling or arguing, we shine like stars in our world! I am not referring to the “stars” many admire in Hollywood - those "stars" require millions of dollars and lots of makeup in order to show an image that is more for entertainment than for real life. Instead, I am referring to the stars that God has placed in the sky to shine brightly like brilliant diamonds in the night.

Many jewelers will advertise their diamonds in front of a black backdrop and shine a light on them in order for the diamond to reflect the brilliance of the light. That is what God wants to do in our life! He wants us to reflect His brilliance for His glory as we shine brightly amongst the billions in this world who complain, grumble and argue.

It is very rare to find a person who never complains or grumbles  – that is why - when we refrain from complaining, we will be like that diamond against the black backdrop of this world.

“A transformed life is an effective witness to the power of God’s Word. Are you shining brightly, or are you clouded by complaining and arguing? Don’t let dissensions snuff out your light. Shine out for God. Your role is to shine until Jesus returns and bathes the world in his radiant glory!” Commentary

In this world we may never "star" in the leading role on the big screen, but we can have even a greater role in the BIGGER screen called life. The Bible says to do EVERYTHING without complaining, grumbling and arguing. By doing so, by His grace, we can be like the stars in the sky reflecting God's beautiful light and changing the world around us one person at a time.

"...Let Your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

And Then There Was One...

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8

There was a time in human history when the Bible says that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). How heartbreaking for God to see His beloved creation not appreciating or living the life that God purposed for them. In Genesis 6:6b it says, “God was grieved in His heart.” However, the Bible also says that there was one man named Noah who found grace in the eyes of the LORD!

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” Genesis 6:9

“Saying that Noah was righteous and blameless does not mean that he never sinned (the Bible records one of his sins in 9:20ff). Rather it means that Noah wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God. For a lifetime he walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation.” Commentary

Noah was the only one out of the entire human race in his generation that loved and walked with God!  

For the past several days I have been smitten by Noah’s example of wholehearted obedience to God. (The phrase walked with God indicates a continual pattern of life – a marked contrast with the pattern of life of the rest of the peoples of the world at the time!) Commentary

Not only did Noah find grace in the eyes of the LORD, but God rewarded his life of obedience and his obedience brought a blessing to his family! The Bible says that God commanded Noah to build an ark, as a great flood was going to come upon the face of the earth (Genesis 6:14). Noah got right to work and it took him 120 years to build it!

“Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.” Genesis 7:6 (NOTE: The lifespans recorded in the Bible, beginning with the pre-Flood patriarchs, changes dramatically after the Global flood).

All mankind was destroyed by the great flood, but Noah and his family was saved, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.” Genesis 7:1

We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but through Jesus Christ, we can live a life that brings pleasure to our LORD. 

What legacy will you be leaving for your family in your generation? 

What is your life marked by? 

Your obedience and love for God can contribute to your family’s blessings!

I hope you enjoy reading this great challenge taken from a commentary from the Life Application Bible:

“The story of Noah’s life involves not one, but two great and tragic floods. The world in Noah’s day was flooded with evil. The number of those who remembered the God of creation, perfection, and love had dwindled to one. Of God’s people, only Noah was left. God’s response to the severe situation was a 120-year long last chance, during which he had Noah build a graphic illustration of the message of his life. Nothing like a huge boat on dry land to make a point! For Noah, obedience meant a long-term commitment to a project.

Many of us have trouble sticking to any project, whether or not it is directed by God. It is interesting that the length of Noah’s obedience was greater than the lifespan of people today. The only comparable long-term project is our very lives. But perhaps this is one great challenge Noah’s life gives us – to live, in acceptance of God’s grace, an entire lifetime of obedience and gratitude.” AMEN!

“For we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Call Button

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2

Yesterday as my husband and I were having lunch together, we heard an interview on the news about a passenger on a United Boeing 737 who heard the airline crew make this announcement, “Is anyone on board a pilot?” 

The pilot of a Boeing 737 had suffered a heart attack and when the airline crew made the announcement to the passengers, this is what Air Force Captain Mark Gongol’s wife said to him, “I think you should ring the call button.”

It had been several years since Mark Gongol had flown a plane of this size but nevertheless with confidence, he went forward and entered the cockpit.

“Never taking the controls Gongol acted as a backup for the first officer. He worked the radio, communicating with air traffic controllers – updating them on the condition of the captain, passengers and the aircraft.” CNN

Thankfully the plane safely landed and the pilot who had the heart attack survived and recovered.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:2,  “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” The definition of being prepared means to be expectant, organized, equipped and ready!

“To be ready/prepared means to take a stand. We need to be at all times alert to our responsibilities, even when it is inconvenient.Commentary

In addition, may I add that not only do we need to be ready to take a stand; we also need to be willing to accept God’s call when He calls.

Be in the Word now so that when God’s call comes, you are ready to push the “call button”.  Just as Gongol was used to communicate with air traffic controllers, you will be able to communicate with great patience and careful instructions the gospel of Jesus Christ and assist the “CAPTAIN” in safely taking others home!

Are you ready?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Great Designer!

I enjoy reading and studying the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This morning I began once again with Genesis. The story of creation is absolutely beautiful: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)  The more I read, the more I desire to worship the God of all Creation!

As I began reading through the story of creation, I did not get too far before I desired to share my morning reading of God’s Word with you. 

In Genesis 2: 18-22 it says, “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. Out of the ground the LORD God formed every bird of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”

“God did not want Adam to be lonely, so He fashioned a helper comparable to him.  This phrase indicates that this helper (or partner) would be truly fitting and fully adequatejust right. Some have thought that the term is demeaning, but it simply means “one who helps,” and in fact is used to describe God when He comes to our aid as written in Psalm 33:20, 115:9, 10, 11. The word helper does not refer to someone who is inferior.” Commentary

The month of June is when many weddings take place. If you are married, it is good to remember that it is because of God’s goodness that He has brought you a helper and partner to journey through life with!

If you are unmarried, remember that the LORD God intimately knows you. In His perfect time, according to the Lord’s good and perfect will for you, He will bring you a partner that is truly fitting, fully adequate, and just right! Most importantly however, remember that there are no greater joys than knowing Jesus’ perfect love – a perfect love that only Jesus can offer!

As we read through the creation story, we will see that not one detail was left out in His loving care for us. In Genesis 1:31 it says, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

“God saw that all He had created was very good. You are part of God’s creation, and He is pleased with how He made you. If at times you feel worthless, or of little value, remember that God made you for a good reason. You are valuable to Him!” 

FATHER, thank you for Your Word. Thank you for reminding us of your intimate care and love you have for Your children. Thank you that through Jesus Christ, we can experience and enjoy an intimate relationship with You. Thank you that we can cast all of our cares upon You because You care for us. Thank you that You plan for our days and for our future and it is good!  Thank you for the reminder that we have a heavenly Father who always knows what we need even before we ask  -  in Jesus' Name Amen.