A Struggler’s Confession

I have struggled these first few weeks of January as it seems I can’t get things to run smoothly.  Yesterday I sought solace in God’s Word and Job 42:1-6 brought me comfort.  I was touched by the Message version.

42 1-6 Job answered God:

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.             I’m comforted by God’s 
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.                                              Sovereignty.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
    ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.            I’m talking and not 
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.                                listening.
    Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!          I do know you!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
    I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

As I read this passage, I identified with Job.  I too question God’s wisdom and His perfect plan.  I forget that He alone is Sovereign.  I tend to run on about things and not take time to listen to Him in prayer and in the Word.  Thankfully, I do know Him and have experienced God first hand in my life.  I know He is truth and He will fill me with His love and mercy if I turn to Him.

Prayer:  Father, I do know you and trust in your plans for me.  I know who you are and of your love and grace.  You do not do to me what I deserve but shower me with grace and mercy.  Thank you Jesus for loving me and keeping me in the palm of your hand. You shield and comfort me in hard times.  You bring me joy and hope everlasting day after day.  Create in me a clean heart that is focused upon you and not the swirling world around me.  Help me, like Job, to cling to you and your truth with a repentant heart.  Amen.

job 42 2Have a blessed day living in the light provided and protected by Sovereign, Almighty God.

Linda

Possessed by the Savior

The duties of the risen Messiah are foretold in Psalm 2:7-9.  I chose the Amplified version to give us some additional help in understanding these words included in the Messiah.

psalm 2 7 “I will declare the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son;
This day [I proclaim] I have begotten You.

‘Ask of Me, and I will assuredly give [You] the nations as Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth as Your possession.

‘You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall shatter them [in pieces] like earthenware.’”

Paul quotes verse 7 in his impassioned preaching to the Jews in Antioch recorded in Acts 13:32-33.  He was describing Jesus as the awaited and prophesied Messiah.  And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’”  God claims Jesus as Son and establishes His right to rule over all the earth.   The author of Hebrews also includes verse 7 when referring to Christ’s God given superiority over all angelic beings.   He rightly includes all beings in heaven and earth will worship the Son.  Hebrews 1:5-6  “For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”?  Or again,  “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.

What do these prophecies mean to us? Our Savior and Lord is God’s Son and will rule over all creation both in heaven and on earth.  This is not wishful thinking by God but presented as fact that His Son will rule as King.  God gives each of us to His Son as a precious possession.  Ephesians 1:14 refers to all believers as belonging to Christ and being sealed by His Holy Spirit.In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Peter also refers to believers as being a special possession of Christ’s  special possessionin 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”   Peter reminds us we are called to proclaim Jesus as we have seen His light and were called out of unbelief.

christmasLet us praise our risen King and all He accomplished on our behalf as we consider the babe in the manger.   I love the description of Jesus in Hebrews 1:3 “He is the radiance of 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,”  Thank you Jesus.

Linda 

The 4th Sunday of Advent-worship and be blessed!

Psalm 2 is highlighted in the Messiah as it pointed to Jesus.  It foretells how the nations would conspire against Jesus to condemn Him, but even their plotting and actions were used by God for our good and the redemption of all mankind.                                                       Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed,

job42-2All the raging of nations, the shouting of atheists and the persecution of believers are all vain threats against the Lord and His plans.  Job spoke with confidence in Job 42:2 ““I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”  Isaiah 8:10 reveals God’s plans against the warring Assyrians.  Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand,  for God is with us.   

Do you have the confidence Job and Isaiah showed about who God is and what power He possesses?  Think about Christmas and the miracle of Jesus’ birth, the sovereignty of God shown in all the prophecies being exactly fulfilled at the exact right time in history.  In the spirit of God’s sovereignty, claim Jeremiah 29:11 for your own life knowing and trusting God and His will.  “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.” 

psalm 2 11I love the way Psalm 2 ends with verses 11-12.                 Serve the Lord with fear,
    and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Serve, fear-revere, rejoice, kiss Jesus (adore Him) then be ready to receive His blessings as you cling to Him.  Have a blessed Sunday worshiping the Lord!

Linda

I AM the Lord of All the earth

Joshua crossin JordanMost people who have opened a Bible or been exposed as a young child have heard of the miraculous parting of the Red Sea.   Many more have seen the movie ‘Exodus’ about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt with Pharaoh hot on their trail.   Today’s blog is about our miraculous God who again parted waters for the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering.  Joshua 3 tells of the nation of Israel, led by Joshua, poised to enter Canaan but needing to cross the Jordan River.  It was flood season so the river was raging.  The Lord of All the earth told Joshua to have the priests carry the arc of the covenant in front. “Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan.” Joshua 3:11 (The arc was very sacred and contained the 10 Commandment tablets, a jar of manna and Aaron’s budding rod.  It was covered with gold and had 2 cherubim on top with wings spread creating the mercy seat.  It was carried on poles through rings by the priests and no one touched it.)  When the priests got to the edge of the raging Jordan and touched the water,  the waters parted.  And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” Joshua 3:13   Just as the Lord had said, when the priests got to the water and started in, the waters piled up on the flowing side so they could cross over. and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), 16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.”Joshua 3:15-17  

I love the image here of the priests carrying the arc going first then stopping in the middle to let the people pass.  When all the Israelites had passed by then the arc was brought to the other side.  It reminds us that the Lord of All the earth goes before us preparing the way, is with us during our day and then comes behind to protect us.  God promises us, just like He did Joshua,  that he will be with us always and we need to be strong and courageous day by day.  Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Lord of All the earth has all the elements of this world under His command.  He is sovereign and all-powerful.  Where do you need the Lord of All the earth to go with you today?  Remember He went before you to ready the day, will be with you all day and He will have your back.  There are 3 promises from Isaiah I want to leave you with today as you think about the power and majesty of the Lord of All the earth.  Isaiah 49: 16 “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;  your walls are continually before me.”   Isaiah 49:23b “Then you will know that I am the Lord;  those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:25b “for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.”   The Lord of All the earth knows me, has me engraved on the palm of His hands, will not disappoint and will fight for me.   Be encouraged to day. 

Linda

I AM the Most High God

el elyonThe name Most High God is used frequently in  both the Old and New Testaments.  The Hebrew word is El Elyon.  Beginning in Genesis the mysterious priest Melchizedek recognizes that Abraham is blessed by the God Most High. and blessed be God Most High,  who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” Genesis 14:20   David frequently spoke of God as the Most High God in his Psalms.  He proclaims where God lives, His ability to hear him, that God was his redeemer and that there is no god greater than God.  Psalm 46:4 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,  the holy habitation of the Most High.  Psalm 57:2 “I cry out to God Most High,  to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”  Psalm 78:35 ” They remembered that God was their rock,  the Most High God their redeemer.”  Psalm 97:9 “For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;  you are exalted far above all gods.”    Daniel tells us that King Nebuchadnezzar was brought low and then restored when he acknowledged the power of the Most High God.  Daniel 5:21 “He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.”  

Son of most highIn the New Testament, the angel that appeared to Mary proclaimed the arrival of the Son of the Most High God, Luke 1:32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.”   The demons recognized Jesus’ deity and power calling him the Son of the Most High God in Luke 8:28 “When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.”  In Acts the demon possessed girl that followed Paul and Silas recognized that the Most High God indwelt and spoke through them about salvation.  Acts 16:17 “She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”

What about me?  Do I proclaim that God is above all gods?  Do I believe He is indeed the God Most High?  Do you consider yourself a child of the Most High God?      Meditate on Psalm 84: 10-12Thank Him for being the God Most High in your life and for saving you to dwell with Him forever.                                                           

For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.
12 Lord of hosts,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Most High GodHave a blessed day as you walk with the Most High God!

Linda

God’s way through troubled times

In today’s portion of Psalm 119 verses 81-88, we get a snapshot of a believer clinging to God’s Word and his faith in Almighty God to help him weather the storms of life.  At times he seems overwhelmed and defeated by his oppressors.                                                  I am worn out waiting for your rescue,
    but I have put my hope in your word.
82 My eyes are straining to see your promises come true.
    When will you comfort me?
83 I am shriveled like a wine skin in the smoke,
    but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees.          

catHe seems discouraged yet has hope in God and His promises!  I get the picture in my mind of the cat hanging on by his tiny paws- ‘hanging in there’.    He is being persecuted by unbelievers and pleads with God for stamina to resist and knows God alone can protect him.   The unbelievers in his life are scoffing at God’s Word and lay traps to ensnare him.  Do you feel that way sometimes? Do unbelievers think you foolish to study God’s Word and believe the Bible?                                                                                              How long must I wait?
    When will you punish those who persecute me?
85 These arrogant people who hate your instructions
    have dug deep pits to trap me.
86 All your commands are trustworthy.  
    Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause.

He ends this section with praise and hope in Almighty God who he knows in his heart will sustain and keep him.  He knows God loves him.  God will keep His promises so he clings to them in obedience.                                                                                                             They almost finished me off,
    but I refused to abandon your commandments.
88 In your unfailing love, spare my life;
    then I can continue to obey your laws.

No matter how things look in this world the psalmist knows that God loves him and is in control.  He is Sovereign, Loving and the only one who can save him.  How about you?  Do you know the Sovereign God of the universe who loves you beyond measure?  Call upon Him today and He will answer.  God tells us in Micah 6:8 what He requires of us.   “He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God? ”   

micah-6-8May you walk in obedience today with Jesus by your side and His Holy Spirit in your heart knowing He alone is Sovereign and will guide you through this troubled world. Walking with God is a matter of faith and obedience, He promises to never leaves us nor forsakes us!

Clinging to Jesus all day long,

Linda

5th Sunday of Lent

Today I want to direct our thoughts to Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 2: 19-23.  Daniel had asked the Lord to reveal the meaning of the mysterious dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. all knowing GodThis prayer record Daniel’s praise to God for His revelation and for His great mercy towards Daniel.  May the words wash over you today and fill you with praise.

 19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 He said,

“Praise the name of God forever and ever,
    for he has all wisdom and power.
21 He controls the course of world events;
    he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the scholars.
22 He reveals deep and mysterious things
    and knows what lies hidden in darkness,
    though he is surrounded by light.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors,
    for you have given me wisdom and strength.
You have told me what we asked of you
    and revealed to us what the king demanded.”

This week we have seen marvelous things from God’s Word.  As a believer in Jesus, I can claim that I am:  a friend of God (3/12), chosen by God (3/13), chosen by God to bear fruit (3/14, a joint heir with Christ (3/15), holy and I share in God’s heavenly calling (3/16), and I am sustained by Christ (3/17).

daniel 2 22Blessings as you worship the magnificent all knowing God like Daniel.

Linda