God Sees Differently

My reading this week has been a gentle and kind admonishing for me. I have been reminded that God is God and I am not.

1 Samuel 16:7b … God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Sometimes, I can be quick to pass judgment on another, yet I cannot possibly know what their reasons are for why they do what they do. I am not able to see the motives of another’s heart, but God is able.

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this— not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Romans 14:12-13

What is important is that I am fully convinced in my own mind about how I live my life for the Lord Jesus and that I don’t make it difficult for others to do the same.

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By It We Grow

A new baby has recently been added to our family. He is an adorable eight pound bundle of snuggles and cuddles. Oh the preciousness!

His life has brought us a new love. With this love also brings all the responsibilities of a baby. That’s right! Day and night, every three to four hours he is hungry. His feedings satisfy him and also cause him to grow. Without frequent feedings, he would not be the healthy little guy he is created to be.

God’s Word tells us we must be just like little babies.

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation. (1 Peter2:2).

If you have ever wondered why Believers read the Bible and talk about Jesus all the time this verse explains it well. Just like a newborn longs for more milk, a Believer longs for more of Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God that became flesh and blood. (John 1:14) He fulfilled every requirement of God through His sinless life, sacrificial death and bodily resurrection.

Knowing Jesus more intimately through reading and studying The Word of God encourages, strengthens and sustains every believer. Just like milk is sustenance for a newborn, knowing more of Jesus sustains hunger to know God. How? Because Jesus is God!

We Change He Doesn’t

Thinking back to the way life use to be with family and friends is entertaining. We laugh and joke about the past and how different things were. A while ago one of my young grandsons asked me what it was like to live back in the “Olden days”. I quickly told him I have no idea that Papa (my husband who is older than me) might know and to ask him.

Though we like to joke around, if we think back with any seriousness we quickly realize that much has changed. Life did seem simpler. The lines between fact and fantasy were clearer. We know that life on imperfect earth is hard. It seems nothing stays the same and that can be overwhelming.

The One that created us has wonderfully reminded us in His word that He never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

Though we change and everything around us changes, Jesus is a constant. He never changes. The promises found in Him are forever.

We, who trust in Jesus, need not fear the changes we experience. These changes are reasons for us to run quickly to Jesus and receive His secure steadfast unchanging love. God’s grace and mercy towards us IS Jesus and Jesus is forever!

Get a Glimpse! Be Encouraged! Pray!

All across my community this summer I see the local church body at work. The ministry that these faithful people are doing is not very glamorous. It is extremely tiring. Often it shows no immediate results. It’s unnoticed by too many of us yet never unnoticed by God. Knowing that God is a God who sees strengthens these workers with encouragement. If we just get a glimpse of what our God is doing through them, oh how encouraging it is!

Vacation Bible School aka Summer Bible Camp is alive and well. Local churches everywhere are participating in the greatest work ever to be done. They are spreading the gospel of Jesus to our children. Today, hope is often thought of as crossing your fingers and wishing for the best. These faithful workers are bringing real HOPE to the next generation. They are teaching our kids that JESUS is our HOPE.

Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Mark 10:14

At a time when there is nothing but garbage in the news media itself, seeing the greatest news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone being taught to our precious kiddos is incredible! God IS all powerful! He IS doing a work! Nothing done in His name is done in vain. Please pray! Get a glimpse! Be encouraged! Everything God intends to do through VBS is being done! Jesus is alive!

Sing Each Morning

Do you every stop and think of all the kindnesses that God has towards you? I am so thankful for the goodness He lavishes on me. I want to be someone who is quick to notice all of the incredible ways He shows me His love.

I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning. Psalm 59:16a

One of my favorite times and places are early mornings on my front steps. The sun rises I witness across the field are absolutely beautiful. It is easy to see God’s goodness in creation and to be reminded of His mighty hand.

Having a heart that is thankful for the greatness of God is the best way to begin the day.

Hellos Are Great, GoodByes Not So Much

Traveling to see our son and family in Texas is always such fun. They are wonderful hosts. His hysterical sense of humor and their overall hospitality is extremely welcoming. My husband, Ray and I always have a splendid time with them and we look forward to our Texas trips. We step off the plane to hugs, laughter and an overall feeling of love. Our hellos are always great!

But, after a few weeks it’s time for us to head back to New England. Heading back to the airport is tough. We try to let each other know how much we love and will miss each other. When we part, our hugs are a little tighter and linger just a bit. As our son’s car pulls away we wave and try to get that one last look until the next time.

Hellos are always great, goodbyes not so much.

What helps each of us through the goodbyes is knowing we will see each other again. We have already begun the planning for the next time we meet. There is great comfort in planning and looking forward to the next hello.

Jesus spoke about the ultimate goodbye and hello. Because of His great love for us, He wanted to comfort us in our grief.

He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:1-3

Jesus knew if we were to be comforted through the ultimate goodbyes, we needed the hope of the ultimate hello. He promised that He is preparing a place for us and that He will come again. Our Hope is that we will see Jesus and every other Christ follower again.

Jesus spoke to those people that were following Him. Jesus said, And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:4

I want to ask you do you know the way? Have you planned for that ultimate good bye and hello? One man Jesus spoke to asked Jesus, “What is the way?”

Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

I pray you will ask Jesus to be your HOPE and that you are ready for the ultimate goodbye and hello! I plan to see you there.

God of Heaven HELP!

What a crazy world we live in! If you have spent any amount of time listening to the evening news or reading articles online, it sure does not take long to realize we are in big trouble. Politically, socially, culturally, financially in every part of our world there seems to be chaos. It appears that what is right is now wrong and vice verse. People are hurting and confused.

Back during the Old Testament, the things of life were just as messy. People, God’s people, were living in bondage as slaves to their enemy. I can imagine they too were extremely overwhelmed, fearful and discouraged.

During this time in history, there were two men Nehemiah and Daniel, separated by decades, living with these difficulties. These men recognized the despair of the people of God and knew what to do. They prayed for the God of heaven to help.

This is part of one of Nehemiah’s prayers.

And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. Nehemiah 1:5-6

This is part of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9.

Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.” Daniel 9:17-19

What if we prayed like Nehemiah and Daniel did? What if we repented of our sins and confessed the sins of all God’s people, past and present? What if we beseeched God because of His great mercy and for His great name? What might God do because of who He is?

Take a look at these prayers of Nehemiah and Daniel. Their prayers were effective. God heard them and moved mightily. We are wise to learn how to pray as those two men did and watch as the awesome God of heaven helps us.