April 26, 2017

Not Invisible

I woke up today and I felt small.

It happened when I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. 

I doubt that I am the only one that does that. You might also be feeling small, insignificant, and maybe even invisible sometimes. I have felt all of those at one time or another.

But I reminded myself that the Bible tells me otherwise. I have read how God worked in the lives of insignificant and invisible people in a mighty way. I could easily think of five that God moved from a place of insignificance to a position of great ranking.

David was invisible and God handpicked him while a young shepherd and anointed him to be the king of Israel.

Joseph was invisible while falsely imprisoned – until his appointed time when God promoted him to second in command to Pharoah in Egypt and was used by God to save the people from famine.

Moses was invisible, feeling defeated and finished on the back side of the desert until God burned a holy bush and called him to let His people go.

Nehemiah was invisible during his captivity as a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes and God enabled him to lead the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

Gideon was invisible as he hid threshing wheat in a winepress when the Angel of the Lord appeared and called him a mighty warrior and God gave him an unconventional victory in battle with only three hundred men.

Recalling the accounts of each of these men assured me that God sees me. He sees you. We are not invisible to Him. But if you feel that way today I would suggest you read about David, Joseph, Moses, Nehemiah and Gideon. Let their stories tell you what they told me today. We are not invisible.

David: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Joseph: Psalm 105:16-22, also see Genesis 41:39-41, Moses: Exodus 3:1-10, Nehemiah: 2:4-6, Gideon: Judges 6:11-12

April 24, 2017

Yielded Heart

Why is it so hard to surrender and yield to a high and Holy God, who is our Abba Father?

To relinquish control to someone or something;
To give something up to someone else;
The opposite of being in control or in charge.
Yes, it’s a hard thing to do; but when it’s done, surrender yields a sweet reward of intimacy with the Lord. The relationship between Father and child becomes knit together in strength, trust, and love. That’s when we learn to trust God’s ways, not ours. That’s how we tune our hearts to an obedient walk and choose to press in close for all He has for us as He leads and guides our lives. We gain much more than we lose when we give our lives in total surrender to our Heavenly Father and Lord.
There lies a constant risk of danger when we live unto ourselves and our own ways, and not unto God and His ways. A life lived unto ourselves becomes a painted target for Satan. Any part of our hearts not surrendered to the Lord is the enemy’s for the taking, and he will most certainly attack those vulnerable places.
That’s why it’s so vitally important to give ourselves completely to our God, submitted and yielded, fully surrendering every part of our hearts into His hands. The attacks still come, but He is our strength and shield when we’re yielded to Him. He is the power that can overcome anything the enemy brings against us—if our hearts are wholly surrendered to Him.
As believers, we are privileged to follow the Lord in our journey. By faith and obedience, and because we love Him and know we are loved by Him, we seek His ways, we draw close, and we keep our eyes on Him. We listen for His voice and we follow where He leads. Our yielded hearts understand that a surrendered life is a life walked hand in hand with the Lord.

Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day. ~Psalm 25:4-5

April 21, 2017

God Moves for Us

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. ~Hebrews 11:6 

As I’ve been learning to walk by faith and obedience in my relationship with God, my examples have been many of the people in the Bible who exemplify what happens when we make a move of faithGod then moves for us. What do I mean by that? When we answer a call to faith and step out and make a move to demonstrate our faith, then God shows up. And when He moves, He does the supernatural. 

In Joshua 6, Joshua and the Israelites faithfully and obediently marched around the Jericho wall shouting and blowing their trumpets, and the wall fell flat. The wall that was wide enough for two chariots to pass on its top fell flat. No one blew it up—they blew trumpets.

In 1 Samuel 17, David took a slingshot and five stones, and God sent that first stone in a deadly hurl straight into Goliath’s head. David didn’t have a super bionic arm. He had faith in an all-powerful God. 

In Judges 7, God told Gideon to downsize his army and gave him instructions on how to do so. Gideon had obeyed God’s directive and started with an army of thirty two thousand, but God said, tell the ones who are afraid that they may leave, and the numbers quickly dropped to ten thousand. Then God said, that’s still too many, and He dropped the numbers again to three hundred with a water-lapping test. With these three hundred remaining men, the battle was won—with trumpets, pitchers, and torches, not traditional weapons of war!

These are only a few instances of many we read in the Bible, but the lesson is clear in all of them. Faith and obedience please God, and then God moves for us! A demonstration of faith will produce a God-sized result, and a God-sized result is greater than anything we could do on our own.

When we are facing monumental situations in our lives, these examples from scripture remind us to stand firm in our faith, walk diligently in obedience, and fully trust that God is going to move on our behalf. 

April 19, 2017

If Every Sunday Were Easter

Imagine if all the Sundays after Easter were like Easter Sunday.

When everyone makes the effort to come to church because it is a special day.

When the effort is made to invite our family, a friend, neighbor, co-worker, and even the clerk at the store.

When extra chairs need to be put out to accommodate all who come.

When hugs and handshakes fill the room and joy spills over as we rejoice together in the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

When the truth of the gospel is clearly and boldly proclaimed.

When tears fall as we are moved once again at the depth of the love Jesus has for us.

When singing sounds like a heavenly choir and worship fills the room.

When we bow our heads and pray and know His presence near.

When God whispers and says,

“I am with you, I am pleased!
Your praise has reached the windows of heaven!”

Psalm 122:1  
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

April 14, 2017

The Easter Story

The Glory and Majesty of heaven came to earth in the flesh and lived among us, and we joyfully celebrated the birth of Christ our Lord at Christmas. The shepherds were heralded with Mighty Angels announcing the good news of a Savior born to us.

As a young twelve year old boy Jesus talked with the priests in the temple and impressed all around Him with His wisdom and knowledge and then was quiet on the scene in our Bibles until He began His ministry at the age of thirty.

His own family questioned Him as He began to perform miracles and teach in parables—upsetting the Pharisees and priests as He challenged them to recognize and believe who He was.

He chose twelve disciples and although they did not understand all He told them, He did warn them of what was to come, that He would be killed and that He would rise again.

When His time came, in the garden His sweat was drops of blood as He anguished and said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:42)

Jesus willingly, lovingly gave His life. He could have called ten thousand angels to His rescue. He died shedding His blood on the cross to atone for the sins of all mankind.

Upon His crucifixion on that cross, the temple veil was torn top to bottom and the earth quaked and a vast darkness fell.

Jesus was then buried in the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. A stone was placed at its entrance, and guarded so no one could steal His body and lie.

But when they came to the tomb that glorious morning, His body was not there and the Angel asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:5-6)

He is not dead! Jesus arose! He lives! 

Our Redeemer Lives!