March 18, 2018

Let's Not Neglect What We've Been Given

Lately, I have been asking myself about the messages in my writing. Will my words remind you of the importance of the relationship you can have with the Lord built on daily drawing near, walking with Him and making this a priority?

These are not words lightly written. This relationship I am writing about is with a Holy Almighty God. In all seriousness, let’s be reminded of some of what that includes.

As a believer, our life is lived unto an unseen God who works mysteriously in our lives through the work of His Holy Spirit, the Comforter given to us when Jesus ascended to heaven following His death, burial and resurrection.

His presence is known in our lives and His work is evident as we journey with Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit given to us at the point of salvation, when we receive Jesus as Savior and believe on Him for eternal life, having repented of our sins and asked for His forgiveness.

Do we appreciate the magnitude of a living God that dwells inside of us? 

Hebrews 2:1-4 tells us not to neglect so great a salvation.

That is my encouragement to you today:  Do not neglect what we’ve been given. 

Hebrews 2:1-4 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?  


 Photo used courtesy of Patricia Hunter at Pollywog Creek.

March 14, 2018

Heroes of My Faith

I didn’t grow up in church. I didn’t learn the stories of David and Goliath or Joseph and his coat of many colors, or his brothers who plotted to kill him. I didn’t know about Abraham and Isaac, or Daniel and the lion’s den. I didn’t know about Baby Jesus in a manger or Paul meeting Jesus on the Road to Damascus when he was still named Saul. I didn’t know about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea or about Noah and the ark or Jonah in the whale.

But I learned these stories after I was saved and reading my Bible. I also heard them in the context of messages in church and Sunday school classes and other Bible studies. They are not mere stories. They are true accounts of men and women that God has chosen to place in the Holy infallible scriptures for our benefit. We are to learn from them.

I have my favorites. I call them the Heroes of my faith. Their stories and struggles, their victories and faith have taught me the most. We all need heroes. Here are a few of mine: 

When I need courage to face a giant, I remember David. 
1 Samuel 17:37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 

When I need to forgive when others hurt me, I think of Joseph and the injustices he endured. 
Genesis 50:19-20 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 

When I can’t see the next step of my journey, I remember Abraham. 
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 

When I struggle with contentment and joy, I think of Paul. 
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

When I don’t understand anything in the face of hardship, I think of Job. 
Job 1:20-22 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. 

The greatest Hero of my faith is Jesus Christ, because He is my Savior.
 John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Joining Counting My Blessings Linkup.

March 11, 2018

Looking Through Faith's Eyes

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Our faith must be the eyes we use to see what we cannot see. The unseen, the unknown, the questions without answers…

(If God had put every answer in the Bible, we wouldn’t need faith, and our Bible would be so big we couldn’t carry it!)

God told us what He wanted us to know and called on us to believe by faith as we look at who He is, and what He did tell us, and what He has already done. We can do this by studying our Bible and also by recalling His work in our lives and those around us.

We just have to open our eyes to see Him and remind ourselves He is in control. He is working what we cannot see. We need to look through faith’s eyes.

It is hard though because our questions can be difficult.

Why didn’t you get that job?

Why did you get that diagnosis?

Why did that business deal go south?

Why did the door close to such a great opportunity?

Why didn’t that relationship work out?

Why did that relative turn away from God?

Why doesn’t God answer this? Why isn’t He moving to change things?

Maybe we can’t see the answer for which we so deeply long…

Instead, maybe what we can choose to see—is that the answers are in His hands. The timing is in His hands. The way, the when, the how, are all in His hands. God is still on His throne. We can stay strong in our faith and understand that answers don’t have to come in our time, but may slowly unfold in ways we never imagined. Maybe we need to open our eyes and see all the possibilities on the horizon and trust that God knows best.