Do You Know God?

How well do you know God? Do you know Him to be in control, always just, wanting what is best for His children (us)? Do you know His Word, His ways, His desires? Do you know His promises?

Are you absolutely sure He is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can, and that He will?  He does not lie!  He can do more and be more than we can begin to imagine.

Do you believe in His incredible love? That He wants what is best for you? The question then becomes why or why not?

There is absolutely nothing like knowing He cares about our puny lives.  We are rooted and established in His love (Eph. 3:17). He is not preoccupied, neglectful, or in any way self-centered. We are more value to Him than we think (Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 10:29-31, Romans 5:8). He specifically chose us (1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 2:10). We are His children (1 John 3:1).

He gave His best, His most loved Son for us so that in the belief of that alone, we could become His most valued possession. (John 3:16)

What will it take? Are you convinced of His love? If so then tell Him. Like this:

Oh, How He Loves You and Me

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Life Interupted

Jonah and the Whale in the Jami' al-tawarikh (c. 1400), Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jonah and the Whale in the Jami’ al-tawarikh (c. 1400), Metropolitan Museum of Art

Have you noticed that when life is going smoothly something happens to interrupt?  It can be something small like the phone ringing when you’re trying to finish a project.  It can be something much larger like a life-threatening disease or accident, severe weather (blizzard, tornado, earthquake), birth, death, loss of a job…  When you start getting a case of the ‘why me’ syndrome give some thought to these lives that were interrupted by God Himself.

Moses             2 forty year visits to the desert

Noah               Stop, drop and build a boat on dry land

Abraham         Leave everything and travel to an unknown location

Sarah              Baby at 90

Joseph            Dropped into a pit and sold as a slave

Mary                Suddenly pregnant

Dramatic and sudden interruptions happen all the time.  Case in point…Jonah.  He was living a great life but God wanted more for him.  So God told him to go to Ninevah.  Jonah wasn’t having any of that.  That city was known as the ‘Sin City’ of that era.  So, Jonah decided to run to another place.  Really!?  Did he really think he could hide from God?  Yes, he did.  While on that journey, in the opposite direction, the ship he was on was hit with a threatening storm.  Those on board determined it was Jonah who was causing the problem, so they threw him overboard.  We know the rest of the story…

Let’s look at this from a different angle.   This is a story of many miracles.  The first two are in verse one.

Jonah 11

First – God spoke!

Second – God allowed a person to hear His voice!

When He allows one of His creation to hear His voice it’s a huge privilege.  We often hear His voice and don’t recognize it.  The difference with us and Jonah is he knew exactly Who was speaking and choose not to obey.

Then, how do we know we’re hearing God?  How do we know He’s interrupting us?  Have you ever been listening to a speaker and the words seem just for you?  Have you been reading the Word and it’s speaking to your heart?  Henry Blackaby says we hear God through His Word, prayer, other Christians, worship, and life circumstances.  God talks to us often through the Holy Spirit living in us and He expects us to listen.

When we hear God what are we to do?  Easy answer, yet hard to follow through.  We’re to drop everything and listen.  He is saying I have a plan and I want you to be part of it.

The interrupted life is not always the big events I mentioned earlier.  It can be a crying child, a husband or wife’s attention, a new friendship, an unexpected phone call, a knock on the door….  God wants us open to His voice!  Anytime!  Anywhere!

He is calling.  Are you listening?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Where Are You?

Oh, Jesus, where are you…

z1…when the violence in this world is creating fear and chaos all around?

 

z2…when my heart is aching from yet another stab in the back?

 

z3…when I recognize my sin is more than I can bear?

 

 

z4…when a child is so sick?

 

z5…when the love of my life is losing strength?

 

 

z6…when loneliness is pressing in like the darkness of night?

 

z7…when leadership is not showing faith in You?

 

 

z8…when resources are running low?

 

z9…when there’s no joy or delight in the day?

 

 

 

And He answered…

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:16

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.  John 14:14 

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.  People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works.  Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don’t worry.  Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes, without missing out.  You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  Matthew 6:31-34  MSG

Heavenly Father, let your Word be constantly on my mind.  Draw me closer and closer to You.  Give me strength, courage and wisdom for all that happens.  Make it so in Jesus name.

Follow Me

fisherman

Peter was with Jesus from the beginning to the end…yes, we know that.  Did you know that his beginning started with “Follow Me” and ended with the same words?

When I was a child we often sang a delightful song with the words,”I Will Make You Fishers of Men”.   Even today, so many years past childhood, I can still sing the words and hear the melody in my mind.

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he saw Simon Peter and his brother Andrew fishing in the lake.  He said to them, “Follow Me and we’ll fish for people.”  And so they did.  Further on down the road he came upon James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were in the boat with their father.  Jesus said the same thing to them,  “Follow Me” and they did.  That little story, in my own words, is found in Matthew 4:18-22.

Let’s travel three years into the future.  The four have followed Jesus faithfully, fully immersed in His journey.  They have watched Him closely, learned from Him, shared His words with others, been at the Cross with Him and He is about to return to the Father.  In this scene we find them once again by the side of a lake.  Jesus has cooked them breakfast and when they done eating He says to Peter, “Do you love me?”  Peter answers, “You know I love You!”  This went on two more times, each time Peter answered positively and Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep (or lambs)”.  It was very important for Peter to understand what his future was to be about, but something even more important is said at the end of this conversation.  Jesus tells him what his death will be like and then He says, “Follow Me!”  (John 12:15-19)

Why did Jesus say these words again?  He knew Peter so well and knew that he needed reminded that it’s not about him, that to follow Him, Peter would have to take himself out of the picture.  It’s the same message for us.  We are are to follow Him and forget ourselves.  From the beginning to the end of our relationship with Him it has to be all about HIM.

Heavenly Father, teach us to make this life all about You.  Teach us to put others first.  Teach us to serve those around us.  Oh, LORD, teach us!

No One Is More Important Than Jesus

These words of Oswald Chambers had a profound effect on me the first (and every) timehouse I read them.  I have many friends who mean much to me but not as much as my Jesus.  I have a loving family whom I adore but they don’t mean as much to me as my Jesus.  I have a church family that I think the world of but they don’t mean as much to me as Jesus.  God gave me the most awesome man on earth as a helpmate, but Jesus surpasses the love he has for me.  (Yes, he’s comfortable with that because he also knows that Jesus’ love for him is greater than mine.)  There is no one in this world greater than my  Jesus!

Our soul’s history with God is frequently the history of the “passing of the hero.”  Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged.  Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died–I gave up everything?  I became ill?  I got disheartened?  Or–I saw the LORD?

It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever.  “In all the world there is none but Thee, my God, there is none but Thee.”  Keep paying the price.  Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision. 

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest (Westwood, NJ; Barbour and Company, Incl, 1935), 195.

I thank my God every time I remember you.  Philippians 1:3

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie