June 28, 2015

Choose Faith


Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

Faith is woven throughout the everyday fabric of my life, in the large and small circumstances, in the hard and perplexing uncertainties, and in the quiet moments when God is calling my name, drawing me near and asking me to follow wherever He leads. I will choose faith because this is what God desires.

God wants us to have Faith
He wants us to Trust
He requires that we Wait
He wants us to Believe
He requires us to Wait patiently on Him 

All of this works with our obedience in following God, and our obedience in following Him in what He has called us to do - which is His purpose in us. 

We will accomplish more through our faith than through anything else, such as works, abilities, talents, and degrees. Our faith is the outward demonstration of a heart that completely trusts God and believes He will do for us what we cannot do in our own strength.

David could not kill Goliath in his own strength. That was God’s power in the slingshot and in the stone that hit Goliath. It was David’s faith and God’s power.

Joshua and his army could not make the Jericho wall fall down with shouting and trumpets, but they demonstrated faith and obedience - and God in His power brought down the city wall.

It takes faith to navigate our lives as each day comes with challenges that force us to choose to live by faith and trust in God, or the alternative, trust ourselves and the world around us.

Some days rise up like giants before us. Do we believe that God will defeat the giants for us? It takes faith to believe He will and I want to make every effort to live out that kind of faith. I want to live a faith that pleases God.

June 24, 2015

Heroes




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. Here are a few of my heroes:

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.
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 am overcome 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.

June 23, 2015

The Best Quiet



Isaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” 

For me, quiet thoughts are a sweet savor, yet to have quiet thoughts there must first be quiet moments. For me, quiet thoughts and quiet moments are a sacred invaluable treasure. 

One of my favorite places for quiet thoughts and quiet moments is where I walk. Out there on a beautiful walking trail along woods and creek, I breathe different, I think different, and I pray different. I talk to my heavenly Father as He comes beside me with every step I take. This is special to me.

I would have missed the beauty of quiet moments if I just let myself be swept along in life’s swift current and didn’t make the time. Quiet moments require a diligent choice that often goes against the flow of everyday life. 

But I have heard His voice calling me to this… 

Sometimes, it is sitting by a window gazing at a sky that promises His return someday. Other times, it is lingering in my small backyard garden that is sanctuary to birds, rabbits, and squirrels, and my quiet breathing heart.

Sometimes, it is gazing out the car window on a long and open road. Sometimes, it is in footsteps that carry me down a winding path. 

Yes, I have heard His voice calling me to this. He is teaching this heart of mine to be still.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

June 16, 2015

Finding Peace




Almost everyone I know wants more peace in their lives. Many people that I know are desperately hoping and grasping for what seems altogether impossible in their present situations. They don’t see solutions but just maybe they can find some peace.
 
If there is a remedy for finding peace in our turmoil-filled lives, it will happen when we see our Holy God as He is, Almighty, all powerful, all-knowing, wholly Sovereign.

We will not learn how to free ourselves of anxiety - until we learn to give Him our worries and believe He will never forsake us no matter what is going on, according to the promise of Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Most worry develops because we cannot fix our problems. We can’t make things happen and we can’t make things stop. When we choose to trust, worry loses its fierce grip from our nervously wringing hands.

We will have peace when we believe the same God who parted seas, loosed prison chains, and used marching men shouting and blowing trumpets to topple a city wall, is the same God who never leaves us in our hour of need. This same God will walk with us in the fiery trials of our lives.

We will have peace when we believe with assured confidence that He will carry our burdens and He will also carry us. He is all the help we will ever need. This is why we can find peace when we make the significant choice to trust the Lord.

Isaiah 26:3 
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
 


For those of you who live in the Dallas area, you will probably recognize the Margaret Hunt Bridge over the Trinity River south of downtown. These photos were taken Saturday, June 6th, one week after the torrential rains that caused the flooding. We took the photos from the Continental Avenue Bridge that is next to the Margaret Hunt Bridge. If you haven't been down there, it is a bridge that is open to pedestrians and no vehicles. The last photo is looking over the other side of the Continental Avenue Bridge at the flood waters and you cannot even tell where the Trinity River is supposed to be between the rows of trees. It is usually a very narrow ribbon of water. 
You can click on photos to enlarge.