Who are you telling about God?

Psalm 107 1Psalm 107:1-2  “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble

Is this a scripture that describes you?  Do you give thanks for His goodness and love for you?   Do you tell others how good God is?   This psalm reminds us that because God is good and loves us unconditionally, we should be shouting His praise and thanksgiving.  Because of God’s goodness and love, that we do not deserve and did nothing to earn, we should be overcome with gratefulness and proclaiming the goodness and love of God to all who will hear.

say soMake today one of proclamation and tell others about your good and loving God.  He will hear you and be pleased by your faith and glorified in your testimony.

Linda 

Whole-Hearted Thankfulness, David did it and so can you!

Today’s Thanksgiving passages are from Psalm 9.  David challenges us to consider our 9 1 psalmown praises.  Do I give God thanks with my whole heart?  Do I remind myself and others of how God has worked in my life?

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Do I see God as Just and Righteous?  Do I let Him care for me, and seek shelter within His arms?   Where am I putting my trust each day?

psalm 9 10But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
    he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
    he judges the peoples with uprightness.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

As you meditate on these verses, consider your heart attitude.  Is it one of praise and thankfulness for being who you are, where you are, right now?  Are you open to God’s leading, appreciative of His care for you and desirous of pleasing Him with your life?  Consider this– God allows things to happen or come into our life- people, events, circumstances to grow us and develop our character (even or especially the hard things).  God uses all things in our lives for our good and jeremiah 29 11His glory.   Remember Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”   

Let thanks and praises be on your lips and in your heart today!  God is good and intends good for me and it will bring Him glory.

Linda

My Glory

jehovah kabodhiThis name of God is referred to in Psalm 3:3. “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,  my glory, and the lifter of my head.”   The name O Lord  is YHWH and my glory is Jehovah-Kabodhi in Hebrew.   David describes God as Lord, the one of glory and the lifter of his head.  Have you ever thought about what God’s glory is?  The Old Testament describes the glory cloud that led them in the wilderness and the ‘Sheikinah’ glory that filled the tabernacle and later the temple as the presence of God on earth.  Moses asked to see God’s glory while on Mt Sinai but God told him he could not see His face and live.  But, God said hide in the cleft of the rock and I will pass by.  Exodus 33:20-22  But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.”  God in His grace allowed Moses to ezekiel 1 28catch a glimpse of His glory.  Ezekiel, the prophet,  saw a vision of the throne room of God in heaven.  Ezekiel 1:28 “Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.   Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”  

God’s glory is the sum total of all His attributes. He displays His glory in the beauty and wisdom of His creation. God reveals His glory to us through His power, mercy, love, grace, judgement, holiness and all his other attributes.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the complete revelation of God’s glory.  Hebrews 11:3 describes Jesus, ” He is the radiance Hebrews 1 3of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”   Here is the first part of this verse in the Amplified, The Son is the radiance and only expression of the glory of [our awesome] God [reflecting God’s Shekinah glory, the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine], and the exact representation and perfect imprint of His [Father’s] essence, and upholding and maintaining and propelling all things [the entire physical and spiritual universe] by His powerful word [carrying the universe along to its predetermined goal].”

What does this mean for you and me?  My glory is a powerful name of God that reflects His holiness, goodness, light and power and is found fully in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We, as believers, have access to this power through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  We can see and experience God for ourselves through faith in Jesus.  Jesus brings all things to the light and we can bask in His glory and goodness each day.  We can soak in His light to revive and sustain us,  but shouldn’t we be reflectors of His light too?  God calls us to be lights in this world in the midst of the darkness of the sin all around us.  Seriously, ask God today how He can use you to be a reflector of His glory to those around you.  He will give you opportunities to shine for Him.

Linda

I AM…the true vine.

John 15 1Jesus made this I AM statement during His upper room discourse with the disciples. He was giving important teaching to guide and give them hope as He knew the cross was upon Him. He states this message twice in John 15:1 and 5 with a slightly different emphasis each time. “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. ” Knowing that Israel was often referred to in the Old Testament as the vine, Jesus is saying that He is the true vine, the Messiah, and God is the ‘gardener’ in life. As the gardener God has a responsibility to keep us healthy and growing strong and that only happens if you are carefully pruned. The goal of God has for us is to produce fruit in our lives and pruning will enable us to be more fruitful. Remaining with Jesus, walking with Him daily is the way to stay connected to Him. If we lose touch, we will not and cannot be fruitful.

john 15 5 stayIn verse 5, Jesus reconfirms that He is the vine. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”   Jesus identifies us as branches off Him.  We are connected and grow strong through that connection.  He adds that being with Him, walking with Him daily, remaining in Him will cause us to be fruitful. That fruit in our lives is not possible without Him.

After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us from within. The Holy Spirit works within us to transform us into the spiritual beings that God desires, filled with purpose for Him and bringing Him glory. Gal 5 22This transformation is know as sanctification and is a life long process as we walk with Jesus. Galatians 5:22-23 describes some of this ‘fruit’ that God desires in our life that is made possible only through knowing Jesus. ” But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! These are always good in our life and give glory to God.

Do you desire to be fruitful in your walk with Jesus? Jesus said the key is to remain in Him and be open to God’s pruning. God will use the Holy Spirit within you to mold and luke 1 37shape your character so that you grow more and more like Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus each day and walk with Him. “For nothing will be impossible for God.” Luke 1:3 Watch how He will transform you day by day.

Linda

King and Kingdom-are they yours?

King foreverOne of the images presented in scripture is of God as our eternal King.  This seems like an earthly title but when we consider His kingdom and what it is like, we realize that His reign is way beyond any earthly kingdom.  Jesus tell us in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  God’s kingdom is not territory driven but character driven.  Romans 14:17 adds more, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  His kingdom is a place of joy, peace and dwelling with God.  1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not based on talk but on power.”   His kingdom is based on His power and might.  Scripture tells us Jesus is  and will be our king.  Hebrews 1:8 “But of the Son he says,  “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” 

Jeremiah 10 10David knew God was and is king forever.  Psalm 145:1 “I will extol you, my God and King,  and bless your name forever and ever.”   Jeremiah proclaimed God the living eternal King in Jeremiah 10:10 “But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King.  At his wrath the earth quakes,    and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” Daniel knew who God was as stated in Daniel 2:37 “You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory,”

Today question is:  Who is God to you?  Is He your King and if so do you desire to be a member of His Kingdom?  Meditate on Psalm 145:1, Jeremiah 10:10 and Daniel 2:37 and analyze your own thoughts about who God is and your relationship to Him.  If you find Him to be your King, then think about your life and ask yourself if you are acting like a member of His kingdom.  Are you driven by earthly desires or by wanting to be more and more like Jesus so your character counts?  Jesus desires to abide in us and be the driving force and power within our lives.  We have to relinquish ourselves to Him and desire to be citizens of His kingdom.  philippians 3 20Through salvation in Jesus, we are citizens of heaven, praise the Lord!   Take heart in Philippians 3:20, “ But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”

Linda

Place or person, who is your refuge?

God refugeHow many times have you said, “God is my refuge”?   These are words that David repeatedly spoke about God.  By definition a refuge is a place of shelter or protection from danger or difficulty, or it can be a person who gives shelter, help or comfort.  David spent 14 years running from King Saul after being anointed the future king  by Samuel.  He was hunted, attacked and driven into the wilds away from friends, family and others.

David refers to God as his refuge, a place of safety,  in Psalm 91:1-2 and 91:9-10.                    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.”                                                                                                             91:9-10  “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge —
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.”                    Abiding with God in your heart, soul and mind each day gives you a refuge, a safe place where you can depend upon God to shelter and protect you.     

David also saw God as his refuge, a person who brings protection, help or comfort.  In Psalm 62:5-7 David describes his refuge relationship with God.                                          psalm 62For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.       David sees God as the one who keeps him secure, steadfast and is his provider of salvation.

Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of your strength;
    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
    and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress,
    the God who shows me steadfast love.     David is so thankful that God is his refuge providing him with protection, steadfast love and comfort.       

Is this the lens through which you see God?  Is He your place and person of protection, safely, love and comfort?  He can be that and more.  Look to Him today and ask Him to draw near to you and He will just as he promised in James 4:7-8. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, psalm 91 2 NLTand he will draw near to you.”   David repeatedly resisted the desire and opportunity to kill Saul which would have ended his running,  but he did not yield to that temptation and kept drawing nearer to God depending upon Him for refuge.      God can do the same for you.     

Linda                                              

God is mighty in battle!

These last few weeks have been a trial of strength and endurance as I have moved from one place to another.  Gathering, boxing, hauling, pondering where to put things, deciding what I need and what should go are all actions filled with stressful joy.  I have found strength in the Lord and in His people.  The Bible often speaks of the mighty hand of God, His mighty deeds or works, His mighty arm, power and strength but the psalm 24 8description I held onto is God is mighty in battle.  He was right there with me seeing to the details of this move that brought people to help at just the right time with just the resources that were needed!  Psalm 24:8 Who is this King of glory?   The Lord, strong and mighty,     the Lord, mighty in battle!”  David saw God as mighty, strong and one who would go with him into battle.  He goes on in verses 9-10 to tell us that God is strong and mighty and He will help us in our battles if we will let Him in.  Lift up your heads, O gates!     And lift them up, O ancient doors,  that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory?     The Lord of hosts,  he is the King of glory!”

How are you doing in the battles life is bringing your way?  Are you trying to go it alone or are you willing to open yourself to the mighty helping hand of God?  We need to let Him come into our lives to receive His help and blessing.  He is all around us and standing in wait, won’t you ask Him to come into you today?  Revelation 3:20 promises Jesus’ availability at all times, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”   Ask Him into battle is Lord'syour battles, He is strong and mighty and will give you strength, guidance, help and courage to prevail in whatever circumstances you find yourself.  Cling to Him, He is mighty in the battle of life!  Have Him by your side and on your side and you will be victorious. Be of good courage the battle is His!

Linda

Our Righteous Judge, you can count on on Him!

God-is-our-JudgeBoth the Old and New Testaments, present God as Judge.  He is the ultimate authority of all the universe He created both now and in the future.  In Psalm 7:10-11 David tells us that God is a righteous judge who defends those who love Him and grieves over the sin of those who reject Him. My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. 11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.”   All creation speaks of God’s righteousness and place as judge, Psalm 50:6 “The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Selah   Solomon in his wisdom knew God’s place as judge, Ecclesiastes:3:17. “I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”    Paul reminds Timothy that Jesus will be our eternal judge in 2 Timothy 4:1 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:”  Peter also wrote to Christians who were struggling with holiness in their lives.  He reminds them of who God is and who they can rely upon in Christ. “1 Peter 1:17-20 “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”   

2 peter 2 9We can trust God as the righteous judge as we know He is just, impartial and loves all those He created.  God knows what He is doing and has proved himself to mankind in the past, 2 Peter 2:9 “ then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”  Peter was referring to God rescuing righteous Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  If he could do that for Lot, He is capable of handling anything.  He is righteous and sees who we really are in our deepest being.  We can rely upon His mercy, compassion and justice.

Many people like to only think of God as loving, holy and righteous, but God is so much more,  and as creator He has the right and authority to judge all sin.  He made a way for us to escape the judgement of sin in our lives through Jesus and His work on the cross.  1 John 9:11 tell us how we can find freedom from the judgement that is upon all the world because of sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   Confess your sins today, keep short accounts with God and do not let sin stay in your heart and reject it from your life through power of Jesus.  He is the perfect judge, just in all things and He desires for us to stand righteous before Him.

Linda

Freedom isn’t free, there is always a cost

Freedom-DaysI want to wish each of you a Happy 4th.  The 4th of July is a favorite holiday filled with BBQ’s, games, swimming, picnicking, corn on the cob, apple pie and fireworks.  But as you know, the 4th is more than that to each of us.  The freedom we enjoy in America was bought with a price.  The cost to those that came before us was filled with sacrifice, hope and struggle.  It continues to cost those who labor daily in the military to ensure our freedom.  Our struggle over the centuries has been to secure, defend and maintain freedom of religion, peace, prosperity and hope for us and our children.  We desire to live in an unbiased, loving and accepting society.  Is this possible? Actually,  I believe it is NOT possible without Christ.  He is the one who can make all things right and gives us the power to love and live in harmony with others.

Today’s thoughts of freedom bring me to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Galatians 5:1.  Paul was teaching the Corinthians how to live together in harmony and purity.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own: you have been bought at  price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”   Paul was reminding the Galatians what they had in Christ and that it should be their desire and ours to honor God in all we say and do.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves by burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Christ  died for us so that we might be free from sin and its bondage and have the ability to live lives that honor Him.  The cross was the ultimate sacrifice for us.  Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  He bought us with a price, his life.  He redeemed us from sin’s ultimate consequence-death.  My freedom in Christ was bought with the price of His life on the cross.

I have FREEDOM in Christ- freedom from my sins, freedom to live for Him, freedom from eternal death and freedom to live with Him for eternity.   Just as we are thankful for those who died to secure the freedom we have in America, we need to be thankful for the freedom we have in Christ alone.  He is the one who secures it all and brings us to the place where we can enjoy freedom.

freedomToday as you are thankful for America, think also of the greater freedom you have though Christ and say a prayer of Thanks to Jesus.

Thankful today,

Linda

Where does your strength come from?

god is my strength 1We know that God is mighty in strength as scripture is filled with references to God’s strength.  David praised God’s strength in his song of thanksgiving in 1 Chronicles 16:10-11 when he had the ark brought to Jerusalem. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.11 Look to the Lord and his strength;  seek his face always.”   David knew seeking God was the correct action to receive strength at all times. Later in Psalms he writes how God strengthen his heart in Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail,  but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” , equips and brings righteousness with His strength Psalm 18:32 “the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.”, and His strength brings blessing Psalm 84:5 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you,  in whose heart are the highways to Zion.” 

There are so many others who wrote about God’s strength.   Isaiah proclaimed God’s strength for those in need in Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength“. Habakkuk proclaimed God’s strength and ability to lift him above his circumstances in Habakkuk 3:19 “God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer’s;  he makes me tread on my high places.” 

god is my strengthIn the New Testament we are encouraged to seek God’s strength through prayer. Luke 21:36 Jesus exhorts the disciples to pray for the strength to combat the temptations of the world that would lead us astray,  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  Paul reminds us in Ephesians to pray for strength that comes through faith and trust in Christ, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,”  Ephesians 3:14-18  In Philippians Paul pens one of my favorite verses about God’s strength, I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13

GodismystrengthWhat do you know and feel about God’s strength?  Is His strength accessible to you in prayer? Do you ask for His strength daily in your life or only when you are in times of great need?  Scripture shows us that God’s strength is available to us so that we may be strong of heart, filled with love and conviction for Christ, equipped to do His work and to be able to stand in adversity.  Philippians 4:13 would even go so far as to say God can make the impossible possible through His strength.  Do not be lacking in strength because you neglected to pray and ask for strength.  Jesus said in John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  James 4:2 “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.”   We know God desires us to Philippians-413be strong and living in His strength daily, so ask Him for  strength whenever you need it.

Be comforted and encouraged by His strength in your life today!

Linda