Why God?

I’m thinking of a song that goes like this…

Where do I go when there’s nobody else to turn to?
Who do I talk to when nobody wants to listen?
Who do I lean on when there’s no foundation stable?

Of course, the next line is – I go to the Rock. When Whitney Houston wrote this song she knew where to take every problem and frustration of our lives.

When we are having problems with the whys of life, with the endless irritations and annoyances God says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest..” (Matthew 11:28) He knows that this life is hard. He knows we don’t have the answers. But, He also knows our hearts. He can and will answer when we go to Him.

I have a comfy chair in my office where I read His Word and contemplate each morning. There is a window from which I can see His beautiful creation. I look out at the beauty of His creation, the blue sky, the trees and fields that are different each season, and I quiet my mind. I let His presence flow over me. Sometimes I read His Word. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I focus on all He’s given and done for me.

In these times of blessed stillness and knowing the uncertainties, irritations, and annoyances disappear. I am at peace!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is my response to Week 2 of 52-Week Devotional for Women by Deb Wolf.

In His Presence

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

When I think about being in His presence this is the verse that most often pops into my mind. It’s interesting to consider how we perceive His presence, especially while we are praying. For me, He is quietly, patiently, listening intentionally. There’s really not a picture as such, it’s more of a presence in and around me. It’s like Psalm 115 says three times in verses 9-11, God is wrapped around us as our shield.

In the beautiful song, sung by Sandi Patty, In His Presence, are these words:

I don’t think I can say it better there is comfort, peace, assurance, an ever open door, to know our Savior more, In The Presence of the Lord.

Abba, thank You for hearing my prayers, for even wanting to hear my prayers. Thank You for drawing me close to You, for wrapping around me like a shield, for totally forgiving every mess-up! Amen

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I will be doing a series of posts based on Deb Wolf”s 52-Week Devotional Journal. I’d love to have you join me. You can purchase this resource by clicking on the picture at the left.

 

 

 

Thank you to Bible Gateway for providing the scripture links for this post.

 

Number Our Days

How is it possible to number our days, to know how many days we have? Only God knows that answer but He does want us to use our days wisely. (See Psalm 139:13-16 MSG)

First, we must always keep in mind that God gave us our days and He wants us to use them wisely. Remember that verse we learned in VBS, Matthew 6:33? Seek first the Kingdom of God. We are to always put Him and His plan first. Like, reading His Word and praying first thing in the morning, putting the needs of others first, living the first and greatest commandment –

Then, comes the plan. God is a planner. Look at Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not harm you plans to give you hope and a future. God has planned out every moment of our day every step of the way. And so should we. Keep in mind this is not a way to add more busywork to our lives it’s more about mindfully organizing our days around what is most important.

There is an acronym that fits well here. J O Y 

Jesus first! Spend quality, scheduled time in His presence. Read His Word! Pray! Worship! Study!

Others next! Call the sister or brother that has a birthday, anniversary, or just because. Take time to talk to your neighbor. Have coffee with a friend.

You last! That does not mean we are to leave ourselves and our responsibilities out. Determine what you need to do to keep yourself healthy spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. Include diet, exercise, sleep, learning, chores, and recreation. Unless we keep ourselves in good shape we can’t meet the needs we see around us.

Wisdom is learning, knowing, and applying God’s Word at the right time, in the right place, and with the right purpose. It makes sense that once we have ‘our days numbered’ wisdom will follow.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

All links to scripture are connected to Bible Gateway.

 

Prophesy Fulfilled

I have always simply accepted the profecies of Jesus as true and that was that. For some reason I decided to do some research and what I found was astounding. Take a look at these figures:

The chances of 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies – 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies – 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power. 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies – Only Jesus! (from Biblical Prophesies Fulfilled by Jesus)

Is that amazing or what?  BTW that long number with all the zeros is a quintillion.  10 to the 157th power… is one and one-half+ googols or 157 zero’s after the 10.  It’s fun to think about but it definitely becomes mind-boggling, doesn’t it?

There are 8 specific prophecies that are connected to the birth of Jesus.

In the beautiful Christmas Hymn by Charles Wesley, Hark, The Herald Angels Sing (click on the picture to hear the song, are these words:
Throughout this song, and many of the other Christmas hymns, the prophecies are repeated, reminding us that Jesus is who He says He is.

None of this should be mind-boggling.  It is what it is.  God’s Word is the truth.  Yet, there are millions who are still in the darkness.  Who believe only what they want to believe.  Who limit the beauty of this season to what’s going to be under the tree.

Let’s be different.  Let’s quit thinking and focusing on what we’re going to get and move on to what are we going to give.  Will you be the one to share the Story for the first time?  Will you be the one that shines light into the darkness?  Will you be the one, like Mary, who was called blessed because she believed? (Luke 1:45)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

All scripture links are from BibleGateway.com.

The Last of the Old Testament Prophets


One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Story is that of two people who waited patiently for the Messiah.  Simeon and Anna were both New Testament witnesses to the Christ Child. Their stories are as follows (from the NIV, Luke 2):

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…

Luke 2:36–38 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Simeon and Anna were the first to see Him in a public place.  They were the first witnesses to who He really was.  More importantly, they were not afraid to say, to other worshippers in the Temple, who He was.

Simeon and Anna were the last of the Old Testament prophets.  Their entire life purpose was to listen for and to God.  Also, they shared with the other worshippers what they had heard God say in the temple.  They did not sugar-coat the words but spoke clearly and with conviction.

Both of their names point to a strong, long-lasting faith. Simeon means obedient and listening. Anna means gracious, one who gives.

Dr. William Smith in Smith’s Bible Dictionary suggests that she was probably more than a hundred years old when she spoke over Jesus.  (If she was married at approximately 14, lived with her husband for 7 years, and had spent 84 years after that in the temple, then she was at least  105 years old.)  It is possible that Simeon was also quite old.

So, what is in this story for us?  First, Isaiah 40:31 pops into my mind when I think of the words ‘they that wait upon the Lord…’.  In all the years they waited for the Birth neither one gave up on God’s promise and they were rewarded with seeing Him personally. We often wonder when God will finally act on one of His promises or our requests.  Simeon and Anna are a great example of waiting and watching. Second, a life of prayer is important in seeing God’s work. Although the scripture says Anna had lived, prayed, and fasted in the temple since her husband’s death, it does not mean that we have to live in our churches to experience God. He is everywhere! And finally, we can trust that God will follow through on His promises. God will and can do what He says He will.  Our trust and obedience in matters of faith always lead to God’s blessings.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie