Unchanging God Holds us Steady

How do you do with change?  Making resolutions for change are very common this time of year.   It is a hope within us that with a new year we can have a new beginning,  a redo, or a fresh start.  Psalm 102:25-28 came to mind as a place to reflect on change.     “Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
psalm 102 2626 They will perish, but you will remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
27     but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
    their offspring shall be established before you.”   

We can rest assured that God’s plans for you and me have not changed since the foundation of the world.  Psalm 33:11 “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”   Our heart attitudes, desires, plans and schemes change from year to year but God is unchanging.  Knowing that God does not change His plans, love, mercy, compassion, guidance, help…in the ever changing world that surrounds us gives us hope.   

It is good to plan and try to incorporate change into our lives like spending more time in prayer, studying and reading God’s Word, exercising, eating healthy, spending more time with family, working on projects to help others, etc.   All of those can be good things to help us reach a world in great need of a Savior.  Ponder these words from Proverbs 19:20, 21 and 23 today as you pray about plans and change in the New Year.

Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;

    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

god-has-a-plan-and-purpose-for-your-story.-trust-him-many-are-the-plans-in-a-persons-heart-but-it-is-the-lords-purpose-that-prevails.-proverbs-19-27May God bless you today with a renewed spirit of love and devotion to our unchanging God.

Linda

Assurance of Eternal Joy in Jesus

Handel used this next portion in Psalms 16 to remind us that our long awaited Savior would conquer death.   David penned the words of this psalm as a prayerful plea to God for His protection, guidance and victory over death in the many battles and struggles he faced.  How much more these words applied to our Savior during His life!  Both Peter and Paul quote these verses in speaking of Jesus as he faced death and died, but that the grave could not keep Him and He rose from the dead.

Psalm 16 8Psalm 16:9-11  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

God did not abandon Jesus after death as He rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.  Peter preached these words about Christ in Acts 2:26-33 as he spoke to the crowds at Pentecost.  Paul  preached with these words in Acts 13:35-37  at the synagogue in Antioch.  These words exude confidence that Jesus would not see decay bring us hope.  He would not rot in the grave and return to dust but conquer death through the power of God.  Romans 8:11 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the Romans 8 11dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of  his Spirit who lives in you.”  Praise God we have that spirit living within us!  Belief in Jesus brings freedom from the curse of death.  2 Corinthians 4:14 “because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.”   Do you have that hope?   Praise Him if you do and seek Him if you do not.

The psalmist also wrote that this risen one would then be seated in heaven at God’s right hand.   Ephesians 1:19b-21 tells us of Jesus’ place in heavenThat power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,21 far above all rule and authority, power and ephesians 1 20dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”   Colossians 3:1 also gives this truth “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

The Psalmist’s words foretelling Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and placement in heaven are confirmed throughout the New Testament. What joy and hope they should bring to us!  Through the power of God, believers do not see death, eternal punishment and separation from God, but rise to live with Him in eternity.  We will see Him seated on His heavenly throne at God’s right hand.   What a glorious day that will be!

Praise God today for coming and making all this possible through our faith in Him.  Thank you Jesus.  You came to seek and to save those who are lost.  We can be assured today you will find us and save us for all eternity.

Linda

I AM the Eternal God

Everlasting GodGod revealed the attribute of His eternality to Abraham in Genesis 21:33 “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.”   Abraham had just had a disagreement with Abimelech over a well Abimelech’s servants had seized that Abraham had previously dug.  They settled the disagreement with a treaty and peace offering made by Abraham.  After the incident Abraham planted a tree of remembrance and called on the Lord.  Abraham knew that God had given him the land as He had promised, Genesis 15 and 17.   He trusted in the eternal God to keep his never changing, everlasting promises.  

Here are some verses to reassure you about our Eternal, Everlasting God:

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge,  and underneath are the everlasting arms.  He will drive out your enemies before you,  saying, ‘Destroy them!’

Psalm 90:2Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Psalm 102:27But you remain the same, and your years will never end.

Isaiah 40:28Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.”

Isaiah 46:4Even to your old age and gray hairs  I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you;  I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Hebrews 13:8 “ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

Revelation 4:8-9Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:  “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’  who was, and is, and is to come.”      Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,”

What an amazing eternal God we serve.  Be encouraged and filled with HOPE today because our sovereign, eternal God is watching over you and you can depend upon Him now and forever.

Linda 

 

Who is God? I AM

Moses fled out of Egypt for killing a Hebrew slave, Exodus 2, and ended up in Midian.  He married a Midianite woman and settled there as a shepherd.   He was out in the wilderness when God appeared to him in a ‘burning bush’ that was not consumed.  God told Moses he was to return to Egypt and bring the Israelite people out of Egypt to freedom in Promised Land of Canaan.  Moses was reluctant to say the least and posed many questions to God as excuses as to why he could not possibly go and do this for Him.   He objected with why me? Then what if they don’t believe me?  I’m not eloquent enough.  God patiently responded to each of his objections.   In Exodus 3:13-14 Moses I amquestioned who God is, His name.  Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”  14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 

Why is this answer of who God is important?  It reveals God’s name YHWH, Yahweh or His divine name.  It was written without vowels as they did not even speak the name of God because it was so holy.   It tells us that God is who He is –self-existent and not dependent upon anyone for His existence.  It tell us that God is the creator and sustainer of all that exists.  It tells us that God is- unchanging and immutable, has been and always will be.  It tell us that God is eternal, He always existed and will always exist.  It assured Moses that God in His sovereign power can do all things and will be with him on this journey back to Egypt and beyond.

2017-07-09-The-Great-I-AM-600x600We too can be assured by the great I AM.  He is immutable and we can depend upon Him.  Hebrews 13:8  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”   He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Knowing God is eternal and dependent upon nothing else gives us security and assurance of our future with Him. John 14:1-2 “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?” 

Have a blessed day as you cling to the promises of the great I AM.

Linda

David follows God with his Heart

Understanding, guiding and using our heart in a way that is pleasing to God is a life long process.  David was called a ‘man after God’s own heart’ in Acts 13:22 by Paul when speaking in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch.  He was relating history to the assembled Jews as to how David became king.   “But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’   When God chose him, 1 Samuel 13:14, He knew David was a man after his own heart.   But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

Psalm139 1David gives us a glimpse into his heart in Psalm 139.  He knew he was an open book before God and that God knew all about him.         Lord, you have examined my heart       God knew his motives.
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.     God knew his daily actions.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.                                 God knew where he went.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say               God knew what he was going  
even before I say it, Lord.                                                        to do or say.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.     God knew him inside and out.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

psalm 139 1-6Where are you with God?  He knows you too but do you readily acknowledge that fact and if so how does it change you?  David said that God knowing him was too wonderful and too great to even understand.  Are you awed by God’s love and knowledge of you- your wants, desires, needs, sorrows and joys?  Perhaps David’s acknowledgement of God’s true knowledge of himself was his beginning.  He knew he was not the guide and motivator of his life- God was.  He knew God knew him, all of him, and it gave him comfort and assurance.  God is indeed omniscient and David rested in that fact and encouraged himself with it.  How about you?  Will you trust in God’s all knowing power to give you what is best for your life?  I claim Jeremiah 29:11’s truth in my life.  May you also gain comfort and assurance as you cling to God’s Word.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   God had good plans for David and He has good plans for you and me!   Open your heart and follow Him in obedience as David did- you will be blessed.

Linda

I am assured that all things are working together for good.

romans-8-28Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am assured that all things work together for good.  This powerful promise is given in Romans 8:28.  “ And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  There are many powerful truths packed into this verse that we can claim for our life.   First, there is no circumstance beyond God’s control.  God is sovereign and He can bring good things out of bad situations.  In 2 Chronicles 20:6 King Jehoshaphat affirms God’s sovereignty, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!”  There is nothing in heaven or earth that is outside of God’s control.  Second, God is good and intends only good things for me.  Look at these powerful verses about God’s intent. The Lord is good to those who depend on him,  to those who search for him.” Lamentations 3:25  and “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11  These verses show God’s heart and intent is good towards us, as believers.  Third, God has a purpose to which he has called us.  2 Timothy 1:9 tells us that through Jesus, He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.”  Lastly, God’s ways are not our ways.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8  Many times I do not understand the events, the suffering, the senseless violence and evil that happens in our sin-filled world.  Sin taints and destroys indiscriminately.  We simply must trust in our good, sovereign God to work everything to good in His time and in His way just as He promised.  Trusting God in the face of adversity, trusting God that He is good, trusting God that He loves us and has good things planned for us and trusting God to avenge wrongs and vindicate believers calls for mighty faith.

So what about you?  Do you have this kind of faith in our loving, merciful, holy God?  Believing in God’s character and trusting that He will do as He has promised will cause you to rest in the assurance that faith in Jesus brings to a world in chaos.  Since Lent is a time of reflection and prayer, consider God’s mercy and care for you.  Remember how He has guided and comforted you in times of great need.  As you put your trust in Him, He will show himself faithful and work all things together for good in your life so that rom 8 28you can accomplish the purpose to which He has called you.

Trusting in Jesus is empowering,

Linda

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

1_John_5_18Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.   This powerful truth is given in 1 John 5:18.  I like the Amplified Bible for this verse as it makes the truths very clear 18 We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.”  Being born of God means we are believers, born of His Holy Spirit through our faith in Jesus.  Jesus spoke of this new birth in John 3:3-5 when He was talking one night with Nicodemus. Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  Once we believe in Jesus and are reborn in His Spirit,  we are protected from Satan.  Evidence of this protection would be our desire to not commit the same sins over and over that were our usual habits before our rebirth.  We will sin since we live in a sin-filled world but habitual sin should be left in our former life.  Another important aspect of this protection is the safety of our eternal soul.  Once we belong to Jesus no one or nothing can take that away.  In John 10:28 Jesus gives us this promise, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”     This rebirth should have a permanent effect on our lives.  Peter describes this new life in Christ in 1 Peter 1:23 “since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”    Satan is not able to touch our eternal life in Christ as it is protected by God.   He can lead us into sin and cause us all kinds of grief in life but he cannot touch our eternal soul.   Our life with Christ is protected by God.  Remember that you are sealed by the Holy Spirit and that keeps you secure. As we grow in Christ our desire to sin lessens and His power within us increases. Knowing Christ is an amazing insurance plan that will never expire or have a payment come due.  His plan is in Jesus capable hands that help us to weather all things through faith in Him.

What about you?  Are you born of God and sealed by His Holy Spirit?  If not, talk to Jesus about this today.  If you ask and earnestly seek Him, He will be found. (Matthew 7:7)  Are you feeling secure and protected by God?  Take a look at Psalm 91.  A brother in Christ  told me he considers this his 911 call to God and he used it when he was going on missions during WWII.  He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say  to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”  and it continues in verses 14-15                                   psalm 91 1414 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.   Seek the Lord today and call on Him for protection.

Feeling secure in God is a good place to be,

Linda