Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quiet Moments With God -- Rest in Him

These are difficult days. The news is filled with stories of hardship and predictions of worse to come. In my own community many struggle just to put food on the table. This week, there were only a handful of job openings listed in our local newspaper. Many who are nearing retirement have seen their investments dwindle and now wonder what will become of them in their retiring years. Those who are still working question if they will have a job tomorrow.

As believers in Christ what should we do? Wring our hands and pace the floor, fearing what will become of us? I must admit that I’ve had some sleepless nights. But in truth these circumstances we find ourselves in are an opportunity to demonstrate our faith, to experience God’s goodness and mercy. He promises to care for his children. Do we trust him? Do we walk timidly or with courage?

Dear ones, He has not forgotten us. His eyes have not lost sight of us. Psalm 139:1 – 4 says, "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”

Clearly God is with us. There is no reason to fear. Even when He sets us down in the middle of a tempest we’re not alone. He will provide peace in the midst of the storms of life.

God will do as He wills. Our task is to hang on to the one who knows all things and trust in His perfect will.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Quiet Moments With God -- The World is Watching

This morning while reading from Ephesians 4:22-32 I was struck by a pattern. There are several commands (not suggestions).

Put off
Put on
Do not let
Do not give
Steal no longer
Do not grieve
Get rid of
Be Kind & Compassionate
Forgive Each Other

These passages shout, “Choose!” God stands by, he instructs, he encourages, he empowers, but he does not pull strings as if we are puppets. We decide what we’ll do. We choose who we will be, how we will treat others, whether we’ll allow bitterness or forgiveness to reside in our hearts, whether we’ll give in to slander or be kind. And we choose to obey or not.

We can blame others for our misbehavior. But when we do, we’ll be lying to ourselves. We decide who the Lord of our life is—God or someone else.

May we seek God’s strength and do the right thing. The world is watching.

Grace and Peace to you from God.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Tips For Triumphant Living -- Worship Him

On dark days, worshipping God may seem like an impossible task. However, it is those times that most require our worship. Hebrews 13:15 says, Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. It would seem praise is something we should do continually and whether all is well or it is not.

There are many times that praise and worship are just not in us, but this scripture says we are to worship through Jesus. And we know that all things are possible with Him.

So we might ask, what does worship look like. What is it that God is asking us to do? Is worship when we corporately sing praise songs in church? That certainly is one way to show reverence and to draw close to God, but we can’t do that continuously.

Worship is His name upon our lips and in our hearts. When we remember Him and who He is and all He’s done, we will worship. When our hearts are filled with gratitude and our minds are filled with awe and our perception is His rather than ours, we shall worship. When we have single-minded thoughts inspired by our Lord we are embraced by worship.

His love surrounds us, and His wonders astound our limited minds. Can we gaze upon a glimmering mountain range and not see Him? Is it possible to fix our eyes upon a windswept beach or something as magnificent as the Grand Canyon and not feel His presence? His handprint is on creation.

That handprint is a gift offered to us by our Lord. It is everywhere and in everything if we will only see. It's amazing that although we cannot fully comprehend his grandeur and His love that He still remembers us always and calls us His own. His love is deeper than any valley, taller than any mountain, and wider than any sea. How can we not worship Him?

May we look to Him with awe and with thankful hearts knowing that He is God, even on our darkest day.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Quiet Moments With God -- Like a Tree Along a Riverbank

How good it is to belong to the Lord! I can't fathom living without Him. Because of His love I'm never alone.

When we face adversity or sorrow God may not lift us out of our trouble, but He will see us through it. He is our constant and faithful source of sustenance and strength.

Jeremish 17:7 – 8 says, “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

What a beautiful picture and what a magnificent promise. Those of us who belong to the Lord need never worry that He’ll remove Himself from us. He’ll be there through the storms of life as well as times of drought. And when we feel dry and thirsty, our roots reach into waters that never run dry.

He is my strength, my comfort, my Lord. He supplies my every need. I will praise Him all the day long.

Praise Him! Praise Him!

Grace and peace to you from God,