I AM. March 2014.
God replied, "I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS. Just tell them, "I AM has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14
In these secular days when it seems there are no absolutes, we can be assured that I AM never changes. "I AM" was the way God referred to Himself when Moses asked how he was to identify God to the Egyptians. The Egyptians had many gods but Jehovah God wanted them to know that He was the true God. "I AM" shows His unchanging nature. He told Moses that "I AM" had always been His name and would continue to be throughout all generations.
I AM the way, I AM the Lord of Lords, I AM the Bread of Life, I AM the Savior of the world, I AM the Truth.
We have the option of being pushed by the winds of change or standing on the great I AM. There is a vast difference between changing the way we do something and changing its intent. Communication is a great example of change. We have communicated all our lives, but because of technology, the way we communicate has changed. It is not better or worse than past communication, but it is different than the past. Evaluate what is happening around you in light of I AM who never changes.
Prayer: Father when I doubt how you want me to believe or act, send me to Your Word so I can see what I AM says about the subject.
Worship not Worry. February 2014.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
My friend had a sign in her kitchen which read, “Don’t tell me worry doesn’t do any good. Half the things I worry about never happen.” We laugh when we think of the sign because we know we’re guilty of worry. It’s such an easy thing to do—what if...it might...if only…how…when—our thoughts betray our best intentions of living worry free.
There is a way to keep from worrying according to the apostle Paul. He told us we are to pray and make our requests known to God with thanksgiving—with thanksgiving? How are we to be thankful when something bad has just happened? That is where the mystery of a life devoted to God occurs. He tells us that there is a peace from God that transcends our understanding when we pray with thanksgiving. I would explain this spiritual phenomenon to you, but I can’t. It’s one of God’s mysteries, but he does give us some hints on how this can happen in Philippians 4:8.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
It’s hard to worry when you think of the good things that are true rather than the bad things which might be.
Prayer: Father, help me to practice Paul’s instructions to think of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.
Wake-up call from God. January 2014.
So he said to Samuel, Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Yes, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. 1 Samuel 3:9
1 Samual 3:9 NKJV
It was the second close call within a month. The first time, right before I left for a trip in my conversion van my neighbor phoned and asked if I had a carbon monoxide detector. I didn’t so picked up the one from my living room. It warned me of the deadly gas coming directly into the van under my bed. She later told me she knew it was a “God thing” because of the way she had gotten the warning.
The second happened last evening. Right before I retire for the evening, I plug my cell phone into the charger and then check my doors to make sure they’re locked. Because I needed to give my dog some medicine, I varied my routine. I plugged in the phone and then went to give the medicine. When I walked back into the kitchen, it was filled with smoke. Quickly looking around, I saw no flames so I dialed 911 as the smoke increased. While I was speaking to the operator, I glanced toward my cabinet and saw that the inside of my toaster was bright orange. I yanked the cord from the wall. Evidently, when I plugged in the phone, I had moved my handbag on the counter. It had pressed down the lever of the toaster and would not allow it to release causing the toaster to get hotter and hotter. The cabinet above the toaster was almost too hot to touch so a fire was imminent.
The incident shook me up. “Lord,” I prayed, “this is the second time within a month You have protected me from an unusual catastrophe. What is it you want me to do?” As clearly as an audible voice, I heard just one word—“write”.
Lying in bed I was still thinking about what had just occurred. For several weeks each time I looked in the mirror I saw more wrinkles, more sags, more signs of old age creeping in. I made a covenant with God that no more would I look in the mirror and form my attitude by what I saw before me. I would look in the mirror and thank God He has a calling for me. Now I will see blessed wrinkles God plans to use until my work is done. And I will write.
Prayer: Lord, help me to listen to that still small voice that speaks louder than someone that is shouting. Help me be quick to obey.
Washed White as Snow. December 2013.
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18 NKJV
As I look out my window, snow is falling, and my yard is covered in a blanket of white. It is beautiful. Yet underneath the snow is dirt.
So it is with our lives when we seek His forgiveness and accept Christ as our Savior. He said, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." We are as clean and pure as the newly fallen snow. The old sins are buried far below the cleansing he has given us.
What a blessing to have a God who loves us so much! He has covered our dirty sins with His blood. Can you imagine His red blood shed for our sins making us white as snow? I can't, but then there are a lot of things God does that is beyond my human comprehension.
I am so glad God is bigger than my understanding of His ways. It is by faith we accept what we don't understand.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the reminder of the cleansing of sins and making me white as the newly fallen snow.
Being Thankful for who God is. November 2013.
It’s almost time for Thanksgiving. Every year we in the religious community name the things we’re thankful for—family, health, church, finances, etc. But do we stop to thank God for who He is?
He is holy. There is none like him. No idol, Hollywood star, sports figure, wealthy person, genius, religious leader, or family member can be called holy. The seraphs not only said He is holy, but they sang He is Holy, Holy, Holy! He is to be worshipped and adored because He alone is holy.
He is pure. He does not have a spot nor blemish. Nothing contaminates Him. He is genuine—the real thing.
He is creator. When was the last time you tried to create a tree, a sunset, or an ocean wave? He made everything that exists. Every tiny molecule made to form something was made by Him. Without God there would be only a void.
He is merciful. Want something that will blow your mind? Think of what your life would be like if you got everything for your sin that you deserve. What if you got what you deserved for every time you stretched the truth, broke the speed limit, lost patience with a child, elderly, or handicapped person, had an unclean thought, looked at something filthy on the internet or TV—the list is endless.
Only four of God’s attributes are named, but there are many more. Search the Scriptures and make a list of our holy God’s descriptive character.
Prayer: Lord, this Thanksgiving I just want to thank you for who you are.
Spiritual Nutrition. October 2013.
Like new born babies, grave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Peter 2:2 The Message
Many of us are spiritually bottle fed. We don't have to do anything. We can sit in a worship service and hear the message. We can watch a Christian movie and be inspired. We can listen to Christian music and have our hearts stirred. And we will grow as Christians only minutely.
Growing as a Christian takes work--daily time spent in the Bible and with God. It is through His Word that He speaks to our hearts. I don't know many people who truly enjoy exercise, but they do it because they know it's good for them. The same is true with Bible study. At first it may be something that you have to discipline yourself to do but with that dicsipline comes growth--baby steps at first. Eventually we learn to look forward to the time spent with God. We look forward to seeing what he has to say to us.
There is no substitute for the Holy Spirit's still small voice. When you are in God's Word, He often speaks loud and clear.
Prayer: Lord give me reminders each day to make time to spend in Your Word and see what you are You are wanting to speak to me to help me grow in my relationship with you.
When the Going Gets Rough. September 2013.
When the going gets rough, take it on the chin like the rest of us, The way Jesus did.
2 Timothy 2:3 The Message
It is so easy to get discouraged about the state of the world today - wars, lack of morals, high cost of living, children out of control. You know how it is.
You might wonder how we are to live and thrive in this environment. We are to keep on keeping on. That's a lot easier said than done when you are standing alone. But, we never stand alone because God is with us. When we accept Christ, His Spirit (The Helper) comes to reside in us. We simple Christians have the help of God Almighty. There is divine wisdom to know how to live in our society, but we have to ask for it. God never forces himself on anyone.
What a privilage it is to have the assistance of the One who is all wise, the One who created us, the One who knows what to do in every circumstance.
Prayer: Lord I need to help to live in a world where everything seems to be going contrary to your ways. Help me be a light shining in the darkness.
Should I Ever Give Up? August 2013.
Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured with sufferings...For you need endurance, so that after you have done God's will, you may receive what was promised.
Hebrews 10:32, 36 CSB
It is easy to quit. It makes no difference if it is a job, a relationship, a church, an assignment, or life. When things get tough, why not move on to something that's easier?
Life isn't easy or fair. It is filled with frustration and anxiety. There are people who treat us badly. We are involved in accidents. We do something stupid and pay the consequence. We are born ugly, lame, or sick. We do right and don't prosper. Others do wrong and flourish. Natural disasters strike when we least expect them.
So how do we not quit? The writer of Hebrews told us we need endurance. But where do we get it? Ah-h-h. That is the tough question. The ability to endure does not come from within but from your Creator. We do not trust in ourselves and our ability. We trust in God and His abilites. When we totally rely on Him to guide and strengthen us, then we can endure.
Prayer: Lord, I am weak. Sometimes I just get tired of trying. Please give me the strength to endure and to trust your ability instead of my own.