God Is Not Ashamed

 
Reading Hebrews 11 and discovering new truths about faith led me to these thoughts. First, because of my faith God is not ashamed to be my God. This thoughtful jewel is found within vs. 16. There are other verses in the Bible that talk about me not being ashamed of Him or the Word (Romans 1:16-17, Psalm 25:2-3)but this is the only one I could find that outright says God is not ashamed to call me His own. That’s an absolutely profound thought. All it takes is faith in Him. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
Secondly, earlier on in the chapter in vs. 6 it says ‘He rewards those who seek Him’. How do we seek Him? In the same way we experience Him, through prayer, the Word, worship, other Christians, and circumstances. What is the reward? The promise of eternal life because we have faith.
 
The whole chapter is many examples that reinforce vs. 1. My paraphrase – – “My faith gives me the conviction that what I hope for, heaven and eternal life with my Savior, even though I cannot see it, is really there.”
 
HE knows me.  HE cares about me.  HE has my name written on His hand.  HE loves me.
 
Ah, Lord, God, You are my One and Only, my Savior, the giver of Eternal Life.  What an honor to be among those You are not ashamed to call Your own.  Oh, Lord, help me never to be ashamed to call You my own.  Make it so!

Do This; Not That

Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments (Photo credit: glen edelson)

I have often wanted a concise list of what God wants of me and I want it to be straight from the mouth of Jesus.  You, too?  There are actually several in the Bible like the Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes, Phil. 4:8 (I call it the ‘whatevers’), The Fruit of the Spirit,…  But notice I said concise.  Guess what?  There is actually a ‘Do this, not that’ list, and all the others seem to fall into this categorically. Check out Luke 12.

ESTEEM GOD; NOT PEOPLE

Verses 1-7.  Jesus is talking to the disciples and tells them that they may be persecuted for their belief, they may be tempted to fake their faith, they may even be martyred for it.  They are to own God, to treat Him with great awe.  We, too, are to be always aware of Him, in every thing we think, do, and say.  We cannot afford to be posers, there is too much at stake. 

SPEAK UP; DO NOT BE SILENT 

Verses 8-12.  To deny Him can be forgiven. When we say “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and then speak against the Holy Spirit, by not proclaiming Him, there is no forgiveness.  Also, if we say, like Moses, I cannot speak well, we are to ask Him and the Spirit will provide the words.  Remember if we do not proclaim the rocks will.

SEEK GOD; NOT THE WORLD

In verses 13-21 He uses the parable of the rich fool to help us understand the dangers of making the world our god.  Already a greedy and wealthy man the ‘rich fool’ determines he needs more.   After he achieves his goal of getting more than enough, he dies.  And that’s the end of the story for him because at no point in his earthly life did he lay aside any heavenly treasures…always thinking of himself.

An interesting side-story is in verse 19.  The rich fool thinks if he has more he will be able to eat, drink and party for the rest of his life.  The way I see it the more one has, the more there is to take care of, which, in turn, requires more work.  As my mom always said…there is no rest for the wicked.

DON’T WORRY; SEEK GOD

Verses 22-34  Once again we are told to keep our thoughts on God and His Kingdom.  He provides all we need and in abundance.  We need only ask.  Let’s break out of Luke for a moment and turn over to 1 John 5:14-15.  We can ask for ‘anything’ and that which is in His will is provided.  These two passages fit very nicely together.  To know God we must know His Word.  To ask within His Will we must know His Word.  He has it all and wants to give it all to us.  What is really holding us back?

So, there’s the list.  Much shorter than the others but including all of them.  Let me say this again….Knowing the Word is to know God and then we can know what He wants.

Heavenly Father, help me know You through Your Word.  Keep me constantly desiring to know You more.  Forgive me when I get lazy about sharing, caring, and knowing You.  Put the words in my mouth and hands Father.  In Jesus’ name I lift this prayer.  Make it so!

40 Years

Ray and I will be married 40 years soon.  I’ve given some though to that number and realized there are a lot of biblical applications for it. 

Moses had 3 sets of the number 40 during his life.  First he spent 40 years learning all he needed to know to be a prince of Egypt (Exodus 2:1-15).  Then he spent 40 years outside of Egypt banished for killing another Egyptian(Exodus 2:16-4.  He spent his last 40 years wandering in the desert yet, heading toward the Promised Land because God had said no one that had grumbled against Him would see Canaan (Numbers 22-23).

Jesus spent 40 days fasting in seclusion, preparing himself for the ministry ahead.  During that time he was tempted by satan 3 times.  He was offered the very things He already had.  By simply quoting the scripture back to the evil one he thwarted the plan.  (John 4:1-11)

So how do these apply to our marriage?  Although neither of us is an official member of Egyptian royalty we are a definite part of the Royal Priesthood.  These 40 years for us have been a time of ‘heading toward the Promised Land’.  Jesus’ 40 days of fasting included temptation from satan.  The evil one has tempted us many times but by spending our married lives reading, studying, and yes, even memorizing parts of it we have been able to keep his legions at bay.  We are not perfect but we certainly know Who is in control.

Praise God for this incredible span of time together.

Abba thank You for these 40 years, for allowing us to walk this journey with You, for giving us such joy and for the miracles you have done in our lives.  Guide us through the next 40.  Give us enough laughter and sorrow to keep us always mindful that You are God and You are in control.    Make it so!

Walking With Him

This morning this was in my Facebook feed and gave me cause to think…Do I ask God to guide me then do nothing?  Way to often.  How shall I change that?

In Prayer – – Father You alone are the true Guide of my life.  Give me the supernatural ability to follow through with what You want of me. 

In Song – – “I have decided to follow Jesus: No turning back.”  “All to Jesus I Surrender, all to Him I Freely Give” “I’ll Tell the World That I’m a Christian”  “Set My Soul Afire, Lord”

In the Word – – The Great Commission – Matthew 28:16-20,  Being fishers of men – Luke 5:1-11,  Proclaiming the Word – Romans 1:15-17

Heavenly Father, King of All Creation, Master of my life,  I am willing to move my feet just help me know where to move to. Amen and make it so.

Why?

Have you ever experienced the pain of the Spirit within?  Have you ever been so totally unsettled with a spiritual decision that you can’t even find the words to pray about it?  Have you ever known with all your heart, mind, and soul that something being done by those who are your leaders is not only wrong, but totally not in the best interests of the body?

Can you explain to me why people want to change God to fit their earthly desires?  Can you tell me why the Bible isn’t big enough for some?  Can you tell me why there is such a feeling of defeat when this happens?

What is the solution?  Where are the words?  When will man stop trying to do it better than God?

My heart is breaking, my soul is aching, I have no words, I fear for the future.  Yet my Lord has clearly shown me in so many of these situations that my empty prayers are going to Him with groans and utterings that I can’t understand (Romans 8:26).  He has told me that He truly has my best interests and future in His plan (Jeremiah 29:11).  He sent the Paraclete, the Holy Counselor, to advise me when things don’t seem right (John 16:6-8).  And above all He loves me so much more than I can even fathom (John 3:16).

Abba, I know You are in control of all situations.  I know You have a plan.  Lord calm my heart and give me the peace that passes all understanding.  I believe You and Your word.  Give me peace, Lord.  As I lift this prayer before the throne let me and anyone else who doesn’t get it know that You are working in the background for the greater glory of the Kingdom.  Amen and Make it so.