Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who is He?

"…but the people that do know their God shall be strong,…"
Daniel 11:32

I love taking walks. I think it is so romantic just to take a walk. Imagine walking hand in hand with the one you love down a tree-lined path, his hand warm in yours.

Now imagine you don’t know the guy! Yikes! We have a relationship with someone based on a knowledge of that person. That seems simple and obvious doesn’t it?

I believe the primary reason we struggle in our relationship with God is that we don’t know Him. Far too often, we base our Christianity on how we “measure up” to the Christians around us, especially those Christians we feel are more spiritual.

Then we are left feeling empty and disillusioned when one day, we find out our measuring stick—that so-called spiritual person—isn’t who or what we thought she was.

Our emptiness and disappointment comes from the fact that we were trying to find fulfillment in the practice of the religion and not in the Person of the relationship.

So, who is God? Why does He care about me? And how do I get to know Him?

For thousands of years, philosophers and theologians have pondered and debated the concept of God. Go to the philosophy or religion section of any bookstore and there will be shelves full of man’s musings on the person of God.

When I first met my husband, I heard others talk about him­—some good, some terrible. But I didn’t get to know him based on the opinion of others. When we started dating and were engaged, he began writing to me and I read those letters over and over. We would sit and talk for hours about nothing. (Now we think that if we get 10 minutes alone to talk we have had a special treat!) I got to know him and his heart through his words.

It’s the same with God. We get to know Him through His Word. God has personality, attributes, and feelings and He conveys all that to us through His Word.

When I think of God, one of the first things I think of is His Holiness. The other thing I think of is how much He must love me.

I took a doctrine class in Bible College and it was b-o-r-i-n-g. It seemed so mechanical to memorize:
God is holy.
God is omnipotent (all powerful).
God is omniscient (all knowing).
God is omnipresent (everywhere at one and the same time).
God is immutable (never changing), etc.

However, that boring class gave me a starting point from which I could take my Bible and get to know God.

What does it mean that He is holy and how does that effect me? One of my girls was taking doctrine in her homeschooling and I gave her an assignment that she found difficult at first. She had just read about the attributes of God and I asked her to write me a one-page essay on the subject of “How one of God’s Attributes effects me.” She had never thought about how the person of God had anything to do with her. When I made the assignment, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. But, I’ve been saved for 42 years and I’ve been through some minor fires and I’ve had to get a glimpse of who God was and what that meant to me.

All of that was an introduction to what will be a series of articles on who God is.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lift up someone else today

"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Christians are like the flowers in a garden, that have each of them the dew of Heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other's roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.”

John Bunyan

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Be still

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10
"But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him."
Habbakuk 2:20
"Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation."
Zechariah 2:13
"That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth."
Psalm 83:18
"Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."
Psalm 100:3
"Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them."
Exodus 18:11
"This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."
1 Samuel 17:46
"And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word."
1 Kings 18:36
"Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power."
Psalm 21:13
"Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth."
Psalm 57:5
"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."
1 Chronicles 29:11
"The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day."
Isaiah 2:11
"And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day."
Isaiah 2:17
"But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness."
Isaiah 5:16
"Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD."
Ezekiel 38:23
"And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest."
Revalation 15:3-4

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Thousand Generations

"Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;"
1 Chronicles 16:15

In my last entry on the thought of "Be ye" I posted this verse. That phrase "a thousand generations" really caught my attention. That's a long time.

In the genealogy of Christ listed in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3, we can calculate that the time from Adam to Jesus was 63 generations. A time period of roughly 4,000 years covered only 63 generations.

I have often sat bewildered trying to understand a generation that assumes that God should adjust Himself for the times. But He said He commanded his word to a thousand generations.

I for one am immeasurably grateful that I have a God who never changes.

We Have an Anchor
by Pricilla Owens

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love."

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.

It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.

It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death—
When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the Veil.

When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Be ye mindful

"Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;"
1 Chronicles 16:15

We live in a world where mindless seems to be okay. One of the late-night talk shows has a segment where they randomly interview people on the street and ask them questions that seem to have obvious answers. I guess the answers aren't quite so obvious.

Question: "Who is the president of the United States?"

Answer: —blank stare—

This happens more times than we want to think.

Mindless eating … mindless entertainment … mindless violence … mindless work … mindless behavior … (you get the picture.)

But God wants us to be mindful — mindful of His covenant: His covenant which He commanded to a thousand generations.

How much of His covenant are you mindful of? Did you read your Bible today? Have you studied it this week? this month? this year?

Are you passing His covenant on to the next generation?

Be mindful.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Be ye thankful

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Colossians 3:15

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
Ephesians 5:20

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
Philippians 4:6

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;"
1 Timothy 2:1

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
Hebrews 13:15

"Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen."
Revelation 7:12

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Be ye kind

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you."
Ephesians 4:32

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
Proverbs 31:26

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."
1 Peter 3:8-12

Whatever happened to kindness? We live in a culture that prides itself on being in your face! Rude is the rule rather than the exception. But God said "be ye kind."

Kind just means pleasant and gracious. This really is one of the easy be ye's. Do you know if you cultivate kindness in yourself, you will be much more likely to behave yourself as a Christian showing God's love to those around you? A kind woman will speak pleasantly to the checker at the grocery store who may be speaking rudely to you. You never know, maybe she is having a terrible day and your kindness can make all the difference. I have experienced that many, many times.

If you are a kind person, you will act with kindness towards those around you.

Be ye kind.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Be Ye & Be Not

Many years ago (more than I would like to admit) I was reading through Romans and came to Romans 12:1-2: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

As I read the words "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed" I remembered something I had heard a pastor say:

If you will be what you are supposed to be, you will do what you are supposed to do.

And it got me to thinking … how many times did God say, "be ye." This all happened so long ago, that the Bible program I had on my little Mac SE was limited and would not search common words like "be" and "ye." So, I got out my trusty Strong's Concordance and that was a no go, too. Do you know how long it took me to look up just 5 or 10 occurrences of the phrase "be ye"?

So the thought was placed on the back burner for a while. Then we got a more powerful computer and Bible program and viola!! I could look up the phrase!

There are so many times God says "be ye" that it will take a while to cover it. I may cover a few, take a break and revisit the study but over the coming weeks and months, I hope you find the study as interesting as I do.

For today, think on this one:

"Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
Luke 12:40

In my observation over the past 40+ years of salvation and church attendance, it is, I think, when Christians forget that the Lord is returning; earth is temporary; there is a life in heaven ever after that Christians struggle more with serving the Lord.

If we "be ready" then we will be compelled to serve Him.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

“His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness"

Lamentations 3:22-23

Words by Thomas O. Chisholm

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Take a walk with God

  • Walk in the ways of the Lord
"They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways."
Psalm 119:3
  • Walk in the light of the Lord's countenance
"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance."
Psalm 89:15
  • Walk in the ways the Lord commands
"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."
Jeremiah 7:23
  • Walk in a perfect way
"Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me."
Psalm 101:6
  • Walk at liberty
"And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."
Psalm 119:45

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Take a Walk With God

  • Walk worthy of the Lord
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
Colossians 1:10
  • Walk by faith not by sight
"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"
2 Corinthians 5:7
  • Walk in the light of the Lord
"O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD."
Isaiah 2:5
  • Walk after His commandments
"And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it."
2 John 6
  • Walk in the way of good men
"That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous."
Proverbs 2:20

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Take a Walk With God

  • Walk in integrity
"But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me."
Psalm 26:11
  • Walk circumspectly
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,"
Ephesians 5:15
  • Walk after the Lord
"Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him."
Deuteronomy 13:4
  • Walk after the Spirit
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans 8:1
  • Walk in newness of life
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Romans 6:4

I'm humbled

(Rough translation: Wow! What Art!)

Deborah, from Songs From My Journey gave me this wonderful award! Deborah is another adoptive mother and our paths have crossed several times on the web. I love reading and hearing the songs she has written

Here are the rules for those who receive this award:

Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award, whether for creativity, design, interesting material, contribution to the blogging community.

Name each nominee and link to his/her blog.

Show the award and the name of the person who presented you with this award, and link to their blog.

Link to Arte Y Pico, the originator of the award.

Post these rules.

Here are my nominees for this award:
The Preacher's Wife I met Starr on a fellowship board and was so excited when she began blogging. Her thoughts always bless my heart.
My Life and Ponderings Michelle is an amazing sweet Christian who's insight has always challenged me to think.
Time with Tami This is one of the very first blogs I started reading. Since then Tami and I have become very close friends and my family even took a vacation to visit hers. Tami is also a pastor's wife and posts some amazing devotions.
A Home Away From Home I've known Tori since before there was an Internet that people blogged on. Tori is a devoted missionary wife and she shares her life on the mission field. I have always had a burden for missions (I wish God would send me!) and I look forward to Tori's posts.
ByGrace Someone else I've known since before we connected in cyber-space. When my husband first started our church in Kansas City, Susan's husband came with a group of young men to knock doors and hold a revival service. They were such a blessing to us. Susan shares her daily life on the mission field in Canada.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Take a Walk with God

  • Walk before God
"…I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."
Genesis 17:1
  • Walk in the light
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 1:7
  • Walk in the truth
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
3 John 4
  • Walk in the Spirit
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
Galatians 5:16
  • Walk in His paths
"…and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths…"
Micah 4:2

Monday, July 14, 2008

Take a Walk With God

  • Walk in Love
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"
Ephesians 4:1-2
  • Walk Honestly
"That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
1 Thessalonians 4:12
  • Walk Uprightly
"He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly."
Proverbs 2:7
  • Walk in Wisdom
"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time."
Colossians 4:5
  • Walk in the Law of the Lord
"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD."
Psalm 119:1

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Hal­dor Lil­le­nas, 1918

“The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
Romans 16:20

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus.
Praise His Name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost,
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Are You Wise or Otherwise?

Do you know what it really means to be wise?

  • Wise people listen to instruction, especially the Word of God.
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 1:5

Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
Proverbs 22:17

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Proverbs 23:23
  • Wise people fear the Lord.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Proverbs 3:7

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 8:13
  • Wise people associate with wise people.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Proverbs 13:20

That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
Proverbs 2:20

Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Proverbs 9:6
  • Wise people preserve what they’ve gained and they use it.
Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
Proverbs 10:14

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Proverbs 13:4

A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.
Proverbs 9:13

  • Wise people flee from sin.
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
Proverbs 14:16

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Proverbs 16:17

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Proverbs 22:3
  • Wise people discipline their speech.
The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Proverbs 16:23

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
Proverbs 15:28
  • Wise people are diligent in their work.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
Proverbs 27:23

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8

  • Wise people seek to influence others to trust the Lord.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Proverbs 11:30

There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Proverbs 12:18

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4

Has the Word of God shown you to be wise, or otherwise?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Be Prepared: The Body

There are a lot of quotes that people attribute to the Bible that aren't there. One of them is "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." That is not in the Bible.

However, having a clean, healthy body is part of the preparation for serving the Lord. Not only is our strength increased if we are clean and free from germs, but our testimony is also increased. Don't you hate it when the dirty, scary guy is holding up a Scripture sign? It's not a great testimony.

This is a pretty simple concept, but in order to prepare yourself to serve the Lord, take a shower!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Be Prepared: The Body

I don't know if you, my friends, are just comment shy or if this topic of caring for the body has us all stumped. Just in case it's the latter, I thought I'd share a few verses on the importance of care for our body, the temple.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
1 Corinthians 3:16

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
1 Corinthians 6:19

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

This body is the only vessel we have with which to serve God. Are you caring for it in light of that?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Come on People!

Give me some suggestions for eating right in order to maintain your strength to serve the Lord!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Be Prepared: The Body, part 2

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
Mark 12:30

In part one, we talked about getting enough rest. This time, I want to talk about getting proper nutrition. I want to talk about it, but I struggle with it. I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and I take a good supplement, but I still don't feel like my diet is optimum for serving the Lord. I've even begun preparing two meatless meals a week for the family, but this is one area of real struggle for me.

So I'm going to do something different. I'm going to ask you. If you have any ideas, Scriptural and or practical for supporting your strength for serving the Lord with the things that you eat, post a comment and let me know.