Desiring God

Several months ago, I stumbled across an amazing website: desiringgod.org.

Daily articles are written by solid, mature and wise Christians. The articles range from practical everyday topics to deep devotionals that touch our hearts. Some examples of recent articles are:

Oct. 4 – Do You Pray Against Temptation?

Oct. 3 – The Most Repeated Verse in the Bible

Oct. 2 – What Will Make Our Children Happy?

Oct. 1 – What Does Prophecy Look Like Today?

Dec. 21, 2016 – What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas (Okay, so it’s not recent but you must agree, it is essential.)

Besides articles desiringgod.org has a myriad of resources for everyone, from the business person to the stay-at-home parent, from students to ministry leaders. In their own words, here is their mission:

Most people in the world have no experience of deep and abiding joy.

Even though it is something we all desperately long for, the assurance that true happiness can be known — fully and forever — is a hope that billions of people live every day without. This is a tragedy.

Desiring God is on a mission to change that.

We aim to help people everywhere embrace a profound truth that changes everything about life and eternity:

You were created for something greater than yourself. You were formed for something awesome and magnificent.

You were made to know glory — God’s glory. And the deepest longings of the human heart can be fully satisfied by pursuing that glory. In fact, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

Thank you to all the staff who put so much time and work into encouraging us in our daily walk!

What is your favorite Christian website?

 

close up of tree against sky

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going to Egypt

Jeremiah 39 – 43

Locked in chains, he was pulled along with the other prisoners. They were filthy and starving. The smell alone was enough to make him wretch. They stumbled down the broken streets. Jerusalem, his home, had just fallen to the Babylonians. It was 586 BC and the prophesied fall of Judah had finally come. Jeremiah’s heart was broken.

The captain of the guard rode his horse up and down the columns of captives being marched to Babylon. He shouted orders to his guards, first in one direction, then in another. His eyes fell on Jeremiah the prophet. “This is all God’s work.” He told Jeremiah. “The disobedience of your people has brought the justice of God. But today I will free you from the chains on your wrists. You may choose anywhere to live. Don’t worry, you will be taken care of wherever you decide to go.”

Jeremiah, along with the others who had been left behind, settled under the newly appointed governor, Gedaliah (GEH-dah-li-uh). He promised peace and security. The few remaining people moved into the empty towns. They worked the vineyards and the orchards. The wine and fruit they harvested overflowed.

A top officer for the deposed king, Ishmael had eluded the Babylonian army.  He returned to meet with the new governor, to talk of the country and the people, to share a meal. Between the second and third courses Ishmael and his men rose, drew their swords and struck down Gedaliah.

News of the murder spread like wildfire. The people could talk of nothing else. “Why did he do it? Surely the Babylonians will make us pay! They will come and burn the fields and vineyards. They will carry us off to exile along with the others! We should run away. Quick, we can get half way to Egypt before they get here.”

Someone in the crowd shouted, “Ask Jeremiah the Prophet what we should do!”

They went as one people – the army officers, the greatest nobles and the poorest field workers.

“Please, Jeremiah. Pray that God will tell us where we should go and what we should do. We will do everything God says. Whether we like it or not, we promise to obey.”

Jeremiah locked himself into his prayer closet, fasting and praying.

One day. Two days. Three days…Ten days. Then Jeremiah heard from God.

He spoke to them as one people – the army officers, the greatest nobles and the poorest field workers.

“This is what God says to you. ‘If you stay, I will bless you greatly, your enemy will have compassion on you. If you disobey and run off to Egypt, your enemy will overtake you and you will never see your land again. Do not go to Egypt.’”

The arrogant men stepped forward. “Jeremiah, you are lying! This is a trick. We are going to Egypt.”

 

How often do we pray for God’s will and direction in our lives? How often do we rationalize away our obedience? God’s judgement came on Judah because of their disobedience and when the people ran away to Egypt they took their disobedience with them. God promised them that if they went to Egypt, they would never see their homeland again. The Babylonians did indeed invade Egypt in 568-567 BC.

Lesson From Jeremiah

  1. Commit time to prayer. Jeremiah did not hear instantly from God. He spent days praying and listening. Sometimes it takes weeks or months. Never stop praying. Luke 18:1-8
  2. Listen for God’s voice. Prayer is conversation. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we listen. Still your busy thoughts and turn your attention to God, wait expectantly for His answer. Be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:1
  3. Obey. Instead of looking at your own circumstances, worried and fretting, take God’s hand and walk in obedience. Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. John 14:23

 

Bullets of Satan

Why is it that accusatory thoughts repeatedly float through my mind?

Laying in bed in the early morning, just waking up, the room gradually growing light. The thoughts begin their work.

Remember when the kids were small, how you over punished them that one day? That was terrible. You were a terrible mother.

            Remember when you were in college, there was that one study group with that girl you didn’t like? You sure told her off, that was so unchristian like. She will always remember you as the mean one.

Remember how you were so demanding of your ex-husband? No wonder he couldn’t put up with you. You ruined that marriage.

If I let myself begin my day after this barrage, I find that I take out my hurt feelings on my family and friends. Yes, I have made mistakes in my life, I do have regrets. But no, I was not a terrible mother, I did not ruin my marriage. Those are lies that Satan builds out of our humanness. Those bullets of Satan change me into a demanding and unforgiving person.

When I refuse to accept those lies, turn to Scripture and ask for God’s help—everything changes. Christ fills me with a love for others, and myself. I turn my thoughts to the new creation that God has made in me.

Remember last week when you gave groceries to that single mother and her kids? You were a godly friend.

Remember the forgiveness you have received through Christ and in turn forgave that harsh word that flew out of your friend’s mouth.

Remember when you taught Sunday School and the kids were amazed at the story of Gideon? You passed on the Word and the Love.

Laying in bed at night, just before I fall asleep, the bullets of Satan also begin their work. No! I refuse to listen. And you can too.

I pull out my Bible and read. Satan’s bullets disappear.

Take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Ephesians 6:16

Grateful Praise

 

Psalm 116: 1-2

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;

He heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me,

I will call on him as long as I live.

 

It has been a number of years since I have contributed to my blog. In 2013 I went through a very difficult time. 2014 was even harder. Through it all, I clung closely to God. He heard my cry and in 2015 He brought me a wonderful, godly man. We were married in December of 2015 and have grown closer in joy for the past 2 ½ years.

God heard my voice, He provided all I needed – and even more. My love for God has grown immensely as I have witnessed His work in my and my husband’s lives.

 

Psalm 100

(A psalm. For giving grateful praise.)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

 

Is Jesus God?

I have, over a period of several years, run across a number of individuals who are astounded when I make the statement, “Jesus is God.” Their astonishment always takes me by surprise and puzzles me as well.

They all comment, “Jesus is the Son of God, not God.” Where does this belief come from? Is the church purposefully teaching this idea or does it come from incomplete lessons and a failure to check with the students as to the thoroughness of the learning of the lesson?

This is undoubtedly the most important lesson the church, or any Christian, can possibly teach. If Jesus was not God, then his sacrifice on the cross is worthless. If I died on the cross for the sins of humanity, it would undoubtedly mean nothing. The fact that God became a man, then took the sins of the world onto Himself, is the only way that we become clean in God’s sight. It is the only way we become Holy and therefore can enter His presence.

Okay, so is Jesus God or not? Here are a few thoughts on the matter:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Exodus 3:14     I AM WHO I AM  God giving His name as Yahweh.

John 8:58  Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”  Jesus called himself Yahweh (God) and the men he was speaking to knew it. That is the very reason they immediately tried to kill him.

John 17:5   Jesus prayed, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

John 3:13  Jesus said to Nicodemus, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.”

6:33-35   Jesus said “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”   “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.  ” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.”

6:38  Jesus said “ For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”

So you see that Christ himself says that he is God. He says that he has always existed.

Now, we go to a verse that everyone is familiar with at Christmas time, even those who never step into a church or open a Bible. I have said this verse myself so many times that I quit listening to it. Let’s read it slowly and carefully.

Is 9:6-7   For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Did you hear it? The son’s name will be Everlasting Father!

There are many more verses we did not look at today that point to Christ having been in heaven before the incarnation. Let’s resolve to do a better job of teaching about Christ. The number one lesson should be – Jesus Christ is God!