Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where Does My Help Come From?

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
         From where shall my help come?
    My help comes from the LORD,
         Who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

After my first husband died, I printed off the words of Psalm 121 and pinned them to the tack board next to my desk. They were a source of comfort and strength to me as I journeyed through grief. A constant reminder that God was there to help me; the same God that made heaven and earth. Think of the wonder and significance of that statement. If God can make the sky and land out of nothing, is He not able to make a way for us out of the darkness of our trials into the joy of His  glorious light?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Jesus I Know

"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,
and said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.' 
Jesus wept."
John 11:33-35

Jesus' friend Lazarus has died. Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, have summoned Jesus to come. They know He can raise Lazarus from the dead, and of course He does. A miracle that brings glory to God. It's a moving story, beginning with the first moment when Mary approaches Him. She is wailing, as are the Jews around her. Scripture tells us that Jesus was "deeply moved in spirit and troubled". In the original language the implication is that Jesus was angry in spirit and very agitated. But angry and agitated by what? Some suggest that the wailing of the people showed their lack of faith and that this upset Jesus. But two verses later He is weeping. Not wailing as the others, but weeping softly as in shedding tears. This doesn't sound like the Lord was angry at the people. Another suggestion is that Jesus was angry at death and the grief that death causes. And that He wept, not because Lazarus was dead -- for He knew that Lazarus would soon be resurrected at His hand -- but out of His compassion for the mourners.  The second interpretation seems more plausible to me. The Jesus I know detests the idea of death and decay. That's why He came to earth to save us, His life not sparing. And the Jesus I know is filled with compassion for the hurting and seeks to comfort those who mourn. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

True Thanksgiving

"Let the peoples praise You, O God;
         Let all the peoples praise You. 
    The earth has yielded its produce;
         God, our God, blesses us. 
    God blesses us,
         That all the ends of the earth may fear Him."
Psalm 67:5-7

Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a day when we "count our blessings". A day when we are thankful. But thankful to whom? It is God who blesses the earth. It is God who is to receive the praise and reverence. Whether we have much, or little, we are indeed blessed. The holy God of the Universe loves us. So much so that He gave His own son Jesus Christ for our salvation (John 3:16). Those who have received Him have much for which to be thankful. If you have not yet received Christ as your Savior and put your trust in Him, today would be a good day to do so. It brings a whole new meaning to "Thanksgiving".

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No Sting in Death

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:56-58

A friend reminded me today that we are blessed "because we are saved". So true. There will come a time when each of us will breathe our last breath. For those who have received Christ as their Savior, there will be no sting in death, but only a victorious celebration in the presence of our Lord. For this reason, we will stand firm in our faith and never stop serving the Lord Jesus. A time is coming, dear ones, when we will receive the reward of faithful service. Our toil is not in vain. Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What is God's will for You?

"Rejoice always;
 pray without ceasing;
 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Much has been written and spoken about knowing God's will. There may be circumstances in our lives when we seek to know His will regarding a job, or home, or some other decision we're about to make. However, there are scriptures such as this one that make it clear what God's will is for us all the time. We are to rejoice in knowing Him in all situations. Stay in constant communication with Him throughout the day (we don't have to be on our knees with heads bowed to talk to God; I'm speaking to Him right now as I write this). And no matter what is going on in our lives, we are to have thankful hearts. Even in the trials of life we can find reasons to thank God; our salvation being one. All this we are empowered to do through our relationship with Christ.

Monday, November 22, 2010

God is For Us

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" 
Romans 8:31-32

Living next to Rocky Mountain National Park, I have the pleasure of viewing and photographing extraordinary wildlife. This opportunity is afforded to me and all who come here because the animals are protected by the National Parks Service. At all times the NPS has the best interests of the creatures in mind. This reminds me of the believer's position in Christ. God the Father loves us so much that He gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Having received this wonderful gift from God, we are now under His protection. He has our best interests in mind at all times. Even the trials that God may allow us to go through are for our good. They are not meant to harm us, but to conform us to the image of His Son. This is the very best we can be.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Silent and Still

"My soul, wait in silence for God only,
         For my hope is from Him."
Psalm 62:5

The implication of this verse is to be silent and still before the Lord. It is good to take a day, such as the Sabbath, and just rest. No agenda. Put everything aside and just relax in God's presence. Have you allowed yourself to do that this week?  How about doing so right now? 

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