Saturday, February 12, 2011
From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened, no eye has seen any God except You, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4 HCSB
It’s amazing to me that God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, the Author of salvation, and the Designer of life and light, would care about what happens in our lives. It blows me away that a Supreme Being who lowered Himself to become human in order to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins would be merciful to us as we come before Him covered with the stains of iniquity. It’s surprising, in a certain way of thinking, that the Lord chooses not to destroy us right here, right now for our rebellion.
This God, who is all-powerful and is the great King of everything, chooses to act on our behalf. If He is willing to work for our good, we should be willing to wait for that good to happen and to worship Him wholeheartedly in the meantime.
God, I am honored that You would be willing to act on my behalf. You alone deserve my worship and my praise.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 HCSB
Do you feel like God has something more for you? Do you feel a stirring down deep in your bones that if you don’t get to experience “it” soon that you’ll simply burst? Do you wonder why others that you know seem to be moving on to bigger and better things while you seem to be descending into oblivion? Does it drive you absolutely nuts?
If that’s the case, then you should know something. You are not alone.
I feel that way all the time.
I used to think that feeling happened when God wanted me to either change locations or ministries. Now I know that I was right, but not in the way I was thinking. It turns out that God is always interested in our good. And I’ve learned that most of the time He is not telling me to move from one place to another. He does want me to move, but He wants me to move closer to Him.
Help us remember, Lord, that the best good we could ever have is close to You.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and late rains. You also must be patient. James 4:7b-8a HCSB
When I was in elementary school, I grew a bean plant. My teacher gave each student a Styrofoam cup, some potting soil, and a bean. I broke up the soil, planted the bean, watered it slightly, wrote my name on the side of the cup, and set it in the window. However, instead of returning to my seat, I stood there watching.
“What are you doing?” asked my teacher.
“I’m waiting for it to grow.”
“It’s going to take time for it to grow. In the meantime, we have work to do.”
I obeyed my teacher, did my schoolwork, and watered the plant, just a little, everyday. The day it sprouted, I almost wet my pants.
After a farmer plants his crops, he doesn’t just kick back. He still has plenty of farm work that needs to be done. As we wait on the Lord, we should continue to worship and serve Him with diligence and anticipation.
Lord, as we wait, help us to worship and serve You.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy. Psalm 94:19 HCSB
An hour before the worship service, I remembered that I had forgotten some important papers in my office, which was temporarily located five miles away. My wife had my care, so I borrowed one from a friend. Halfway there, I noticed that the car was running on empty and was also overheating. Somehow, I made it to the office, found the documents, put a gallon of water in the radiator, and headed back. On the way back, I stopped at a gas station and pumped in $5 in gas. I found a bottle of water, poured it into the radiator and continued driving. My heart raced as I gripped the steering wheel. “Please, Lord, let me make it back.”
Suddenly, I found myself singing hymns and praise songs. My pulse slowed, my shoulders relaxed, and I remembered that Jesus loved me so much. I made it back in time for the service, but more importantly, I learned a lot about the comfort and joy of the Lord.
God, next time I am filled with cares, help me to come to You for comfort and joy.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 HCSB
Many years ago, as I was preparing to move to Central Asia, I purchased a cd of various scripture songs, which were supposed to help people overcome their anxieties and fears. Not knowing what life was going to be like on the opposite side of the world, I thought this might turn out to be a wise investment. Turns out, it was the best $12.95 I’ve ever spent.
One of the songs was entitled Do Not Be Anxious and was based on Philippians 4:6-7. I quickly learned the song and found myself singing it whenever the stresses of living with culture shock began to overwhelm me. I took comfort in the fact that God doesn’t want us to be anxious, but instead He wants us to have peace. He wants us to talk to Him about every part of our lives, giving Him thanks as we share our inmost thoughts, hopes, and fears.
Lord, help us pray to You regarding everything in our lives.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
God is faithful; by Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9
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! Thomas Chisholm*
Pardon: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Peace: For He is our Peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14
Presence: I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
Strength: I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Blessings: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. Ephesians 1:3
Thank You, Lord, for Your Pardon You’ve granted me, Your Peace which passes all understanding, Your Presence in my life, Your Strength which helps me through, and Your Blessings You’ve given and will give to me. Your faithfulness, indeed, is great!
*Great Is Thy Faithfulness