Show ME the Way

Driving to work in the early morning last week I could barely see the road. I live in an area of town that’s quite rural. I have a dirt road, no street lights and one of the paved roads does not have painted lines. Dark mornings with dense fog make driving nearly impossible.

This particular morning the fog was thick and I couldn’t see five feet in front of my vehicle. Even with slow driving, trying to avoid the neighbor’s field was difficult. I was relieved to arrive in the part of town where street lights were lit and the roads were painted.

What a difference it makes to have guidelines on where to turn when the way is hard to see!

In Psalm 119:105 the psalmist wrote of God,

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Sometimes, situations in my life arise that are hard to navigate through. This verse reminds me that I have lines and light available to guide me. I do not have to struggle in a fog wondering if the way I am going is right when I just can’t see clearly.

God has provided a way for me to receive direction. That way is the Bible. It is like a bright lamp on a dark narrow path.

Knowing and obeying God’s Word gives guidance and direction when the way to go is just plain hard to see. What a difference it’s guidance makes!


Ready for Work?

In the book of Ezra, I have been studying how God had a plan for the exiled Israelites to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild His temple. Finally! After 70 years of captivity, God’s people were to return home and complete the work that God wanted done.

At this time His people were servants under the king of Persia. How would God get His plan accomplished? Amazingly, He put the desire for the work that needed to be done into the hearts of the people involved.

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:

“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

“Whoever there is among you of all His people, may His God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:1-3 )

So God stirred up the heart of a pagan king to release the captives and allow them to return and rebuild a house for the Lord in Jerusalem.

In Ezra 1:5b it says … everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem arose to go.

Not only had God stirred the heart of king, He also stirred up the hearts of many of the exiled people to return to Jerusalem and so accomplish the rebuilding He wanted done.

God will stir the hearts of people with a desire to accomplish the work that He has for us to do. Has your heart been stirred? Are you doing the work?

Lord help us to pray that Your desires are in our hearts. Please give us wisdom and direction along with the opportunity and the ability to accomplish the work You want to see done.

You Delight in Us

My children are all adults that have busy, full lives of their own. With that said our times together are not as often as I would like. I love each one of them so incredibly. They are unique, exciting and so full of love and life. I enjoy each of them tremendously. They are fun and bring so much pleasure to me.

I look forward to each time I hear from them. There’s such joy in a telephone call or a surprise visit from any one of them. A note in the mail or even a text message brings gladness to my heart because intimacy with my children brings me great joy.

I have been reminded that just like I enjoy hearing from and spending time with my children God Himself also delights in me!

Psalm 149:4 says, The Lord takes pleasure in His people.

God enjoys us! He wants to hear from us. He wants to spend time with us. He cares for us and about us. He desires an intimate relationship with each one of His children.

Be reminded of this and spend some time with Him. Be encouraged and read His word. Find a bible based church and attend regularly. Become part of a small group of people who also want to intimately know who Jesus Christ is. Pray and talk to God. He wants to hear from you, from us. He delights in us and we have joy in Him!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Deceived and Blinded

I see others hurt from people being self-righteous. My heart grieves for them. Yet, I too am guilty of being self-righteous and causing people pain. Lord, help me to see through my blindness. I know that I am not alone in this guilt. Every eye reading this is in some way guilty. Grant us the blessing of repentance.

I am saddened by the wrongful comparisons that come about from self-righteousness. Many hurtful comments come from a mouth who’s nose looks down at someone stuck in the muck of sin. It often is a sin that we ourselves do not struggle with. So somehow self-righteousness feels justified in speaking. How sad!

What makes it so sad is self-righteousness is deceiving and extremely blind. It is deceptive because often the doctrine behind the comment is right, which tends to make the comment seem acceptable to the one stating it. Yet, it is the nasty attitudes and sometimes even hurtful actions behind those comments that are sinful and downright evil.

Jesus had much to say to people who are self-righteous and it wasn’t, “Hey, keep it up your doing a great job.” Let’s take a good look, I dare you to ponder these verses in prayer.

And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

Luke 7:41-43

Taking a good honest look at one’s self is often humbling. We all must do it on occasion. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your self-righteous strongholds. You never know what Jesus might want to say to you.

And Jesus answered, “___(fill in your name)__, I have something to say to you.” And “she” replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

Keep Looking Ahead

The other day I saw a photo of my family taken 20 something years ago. The picture captured a time when all of us were living under the same roof. What a hoot! Seeing my husband without gray hair, me with no wrinkles, and our adult children as young kids, made me smile. That old picture brought back a flood of pleasant memories.

Looking back is not always a pleasant experience. I can become discouraged when I remember all of my “what ifs”. What if I had used my time more wisely? What if I had prayed more with my children? What if I had shared Christ more often, or gave more of myself and my time to relationships? What if!

Paul, one of the writers of the New Testament, knew about looking back and he encouraged us to look forward.

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 3:13-14)

He also reminded us to be wise with the time we have been given.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16)

The past is history. We can learn from it but it is better not to dwell there. Instead let’s keep looking ahead with our focus on Jesus, wisely utilizing each day given to us.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps. 118:24)

Why Are We Blessed?

The other day I received a little gift that had these words written on it.

I have been pondering this verse ever since.

In context, God has told Abram that he is in store for an incredible, amazing, awesome amount of God’s blessing. God has promised that through Abram, who’s name will be changed to Abraham, every family on earth will be blessed.

Wow! I can only imagine what Abram must have thought. What? Me Lord? Why?

Tucked within this Genesis 12:1-3 promise are the words that give reason for Abram’s unmerited favor with God. I will bless you… so you shall be a blessing.

Oh, the generosity of God! He doesn’t hold back. He gives and gives, abundantly, incredibly and not so we would proudly hoard our gifts. God blesses us so that we would generously, humbly, thankfully, pass on the treasure we receive to others. He desires that we become a blessing.

I’m sure Abram had no clue to the entirety of just what those words God spoke that day would encompass. So many years later, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abram, would give The Blessing of blessings. He, God Himself, would lay down His life on an old rugged cross to pay the sin debt of all who would believe in Him.

It is Jesus who is God’s promise to Abraham. It is His Spirit that sweeps over the hearts of all who by faith are called Children of God. My heart included.

Through the people God as placed in my life, I am a recipient of this beautiful interaction between God’s giving, others receiving and passing it on. I am a blessed woman, a recipient of God’s lavish provision.

Every need humanity has is met by this act of love. Each need satisfied in the poured out blessing from the heart of our gracious God to others who then become a blessing. Let’s pray that the Lord bless each of us, so that we may become a blessing to others.

No Need To Doubt

Earlier this week I was thinking about a study of the book of 1 John that I participated in a few years ago. It was one of the best studies ever. We took our time and spent several months gleaning all the different truths God wanted to impart to us. That study was eye opening. It left me in awe and humbled by God’s incredible desire to have His children know that we are His.

I have trusted in, leaned on and relied upon what Jesus did 2000 years ago to cancel out my sin debt. I still rely on His forgiveness daily. I do realize that on my own it is impossible for me to be at peace with perfect Holy God. My trust must be in Jesus alone because He alone is perfect. Eternity is a long time and I want to know that God will receive my spirit to Himself when I pass from this life into the next. Don’t you?

The book of 1 John is full of that assurance. Reading it reminds me that yes I truly am a child of God. The Apostle John wrote that the assurance I need is the specific reason why he penned 1 John.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, SO THAT YOU MAY KNOW that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 (Emphasis mine)

You see God doesn’t want us to wonder, guess or cross our fingers in hopes that by chance we might live forever with Him. His desire is that we know, without a doubt, we are eternally His. If we are His then reading the book of 1 John will give us that assurance.

Have you trusted Jesus for your salvation? Or are you trusting in your own imperfect goodness to please God? Are you sure you have eternal life? If you don’t know then take an honest look at yourself, confess your sins and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and by believing you may have life in His name.