Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thoughts of God: Who He is and What that Means for His Children!

Here is a guest entry written by a friend of mine and used with permisson. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
Psalm 97:1-6

What an awesome and humbling picture of God! I love this passage because it gives such a clear glimpse to our finite minds of just who God is! It speaks of His sovereignty and power in such a way that cannot be questioned or ignored. What I love most about it is that, while to the world this description of God would bring fear, as a Christian, I find this passage incredibly comforting! To be able to say that He has so extended His grace to me that I can claim the covering of His awesomeness, His power, His fierceness brings such a feeling of peace and safety! For His children, this passage is one of joy! The last few verses of the chapter make fact this clear:

Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is shed upon the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
Psalm 97: 10-12

Thank You, Lord, for covering us with Your power and love! And thank You for this humbling yet comforting reminder that You are indeed God, and that You carry us in Your hand. What a reminder that You are in control! Thank You for Your great and precious promises, and the joy they bring!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fearful Expectations vs. Peace

Reading: Luke 21

Focus: Luke 21:25,26

There will be…on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world;”

In this passage Jesus is telling his disciples about future events. He didn’t want them to be deceived by any who would give misleading explanations of the events, and he did not want them to be terrified because of the events. Jesus spoke to them of things that would happen in their lifetime, but he also spoke of things in the distant future--our lifetime.

Jesus even told them of the coming destruction of Jerusalem in verse 20, then mentioned times beyond that event.

One part of what he shared that closely describes our time is verses 25 and 26. Haven’t we been perplexed at the “roaring of the sea and the waves?” We have experienced some of the most devastating hurricanes in history--the “roaring of the sea”. We have also been stunned by the power of tsunamis, giant waves of unimaginable force. And now we have “men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world.” We try to explain these devastating events, coming up with theories such as El Nino and Global Warming. Regardless of the accuracy of our theories, the great attention we give to them reveals our fear of what is to come.

But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place." (verse 36)

So what is our escape? The same as it was for the disciples (verses 16-19). “By your perseverance you will win your souls,” Luke 21:19. By believing and trusting God we won’t be misled by the hysteria surrounding these events. We will have wisdom when we should leave or avoid places of danger, and when we die (which we all do by the way) even then we will have gained eternal life. So what is there to fear? “When you see these things happening recognize that the kingdom of God is near,”Luke 21:31.

The kingdom of God is near. Have we entered it or are we still on the outside? Do we have a way of escape, or are we “fainting from fear”? Many are tired of being afraid of global warming, tsunamis and other disasters of nature and man. It is time to grasp a security that even death can’t destroy. In the words of Jesus, we find hope for this life and the next. “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies….”

In Genesis 8:22 God promised that "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

In spite of disasters, the earth will continue to sustain life until God brings the end. Nothing man does will cause these things to stop. But we will each face the end of our own time here. That is what we must be prepared for. If we are prepared for that, we don't need to live in fear of the future.
© 2008

Just as he Said

Reading from Luke, chapter 19,especially verses 28-44

Those who were sent ahead went and found it was just as he had told them. Luke 19:32 NIV

Jesus had just given two of his disciples specific instructions to get the colt of a donkey for him to ride into Jerusalem. For them to succeed, the right colt had to be where he said it would be and the people there had to allow them to take it. What if the colt was somewhere else? What if the people there wouldn’t allow them to take it? They may have wondered these things as they went, but they “found it was just as he had told them.

That is both reassuring and terrifying. Jesus wept over Jerusalem because he knew about its future destruction. In A.D. 70 things were again ”just as he had told them. Regardless of what we choose to believe or disbelieve, what we understand or misunderstand of God’s word, we will find that things will always be just as he has told us.

When we experience the truth of his words will it be a time of praise and celebration as it was for the disciples that day, or will it be a time of terror, without him, as it was for those who “did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you? Luke 19:44

Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He cared about their choice and wanted better for them. He also cares about how you or I choose. Those who rejoice choose to believe him.
© 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Follow Me

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 (KJV)

Deny yourself. Don’t do what you want when what you want is contrary to God’s will. Deny yourself, don’t indulge yourself. (Denying yourself to show how stoic you can be doesn’t count. That’s not denial, that’s indulgence.)

Take up your cross and follow me. Jesus carried the cross on which he died. He did the opposite of what we do. While most prisoners of Rome had no choice in their fate; Jesus could have bowed out at any time from his suffering. We are often powerless against circumstances in our lives; he had the power to oppose Pilate, the Sanhedrin, and the Roman soldiers. He chose not to. He could have done anything he desired; he chose to do his father’s desires.

Do we each take up our cross? Do we deny ourselves and do what God wants instead of what we want?

Jesus endured the cross for the sake of the prize that was set before him. Do we endure going without what we want in order to receive what he has promised us?
© 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


The angel Gabriel, in speaking to Mary commending her belief said, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) The literal translation of the word for nothing is “not any word”.

We frivolously say that “God can do what ever he wants.” Maybe so, but he doesn’t want to do just any thing, and will only do what is good. God’s power is not the fairytale idea of using power to do anything.

God’s word is true, and not any word of his is impossible for him to do--though it may be impossible for us to do or for us to imagine him doing it.

He can and will always fulfill his word. If he says he will do something, he is more than able to bring it about; our part is to believe what he has told us. He doesn't ask us to have a fairytale belief. He asks us to believe him.

In Luke 1:45 Elizabeth said to Mary, “…blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”

© 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008


“As He said these things, He would call out, 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear.' And his disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable might be. And He said,' To you it is granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables; in order that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.'" (Luke 8:8-10 NASB)

The disciples asked Jesus for understanding and he gave it to them. Jesus called out, telling the people, you have ears…hear; you have equipment, use it. If he knew they would listen he would not have blatantly called attention to their need to listen. The multitudes weren’t all seeking him, but many sought what he could give them. It was to those who asked, those who followed him, that he said, “To you it is granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.” (Luke 8:10 NASB)

When I come to the scripture do I ask the author for understanding? Or do I simply take in the facts of what is said: who, what, when, where, why and how? Do I ask the author what he wants to say to me today in the words I am reading? What He points out today will be different in some way from what he told me the last time I read the same passage. How new it is will depend partly on how well I learned from him the last time. Does he have to repeat the same teaching, or have I put that into practice so he can show me the next thing? When I come with my eyes to read, do I let my ears hear? Do I listen or just put in my time? Am I seeking Jesus or just something from him?

“And the seed in the good ground, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” (Luke 8:15 NASB)
© 2008