Yesterday was a huge election deciding who will serve this country and the will of the people. We chose those who we felt represented our beliefs and would best lead our local communities, states and nation as our constitutions outlined.
But, think about this. We are God’s elect, chosen to do his will and support the development of his kingdom here on earth. Do we expect the same from ourselves as we expect from those we elected? Is our goal to unite us in him? What does God expect from his elect?
“even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:4-10
Are you timid? Afraid to ask for what your really want? Do you have this attitude with God? Remember the woman with the bleedng problem? She knew what she wanted and how to get it. She may have been timid, but she took the risk anyway. She touched the hem of Jesus robe and was healed. She didn’t demand an audience with him. She didn’t shout his name and push others out of the way. She merely touched his robe. Imagine stooping over and reaching where he was walking. She could have been knocked over and trampled by the crowd. But she didn’t think about that. Her focus was on touching the hem because she had that kind of faith and belief. When we can go to him in the safety of our own home, in our comfortable chair, why do we hesitate to believe he is our healer? It doesn’t take a lot of dramatics to get his attention. Just reaching out in faith and belief.
” And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:31-34
Have you ever called the fire department to unlock a door at midnight? Well, I have added this activity to my list of dumb things I have done. We have push button door locks on bedroom and bath room doors and it’s very easy to accidentally hit the button when opening of closing a door. They are what came with the house and we never changed them. We also do not have keys to unlock these doors. Last night I was trying to get to bed and had rounded up both dogs, closing them in the bedroom so I could finish what I was doing without them running back through the house and getting into things.
When I finished and was ready for bed, I discovered I was locked out and the dogs were locked in, I called my handyman husband who had unlocked the doors in past accidental locks. He was in Las Vegas enjoying a steak dinner with his nephew and his fiance. He tried to explain how to unlock a door with a nail. I searched for the right sized nail in his vast supply of nails and screws. After several tries with everything I could find that could fit in the tiny hole, I finally gave up and called him back. He suggested I call 911 and they transferred me to the fire department which is only a few blocks away. The whole crew showed up about 10 minutes later and in 5 minutes had opened the door with a credit card. The dogs were delighted to be free again and I was thankful I could finish preparation and try to get a good night’s sleep. The guys will get a large tray of my husband’s chocolate chip cookies when he gets back and a letter of thanks and praise.
However, as believers, we know where our true freedom lies. Many people are locked in their own worlds of disappointment and shame or big mistakes and focus their lives on themselves. But as believers we know who has the key to our lives and opens doors for us.
“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Rev. 3:8
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Summer heat in Texas means I must water the deck plants daily. Now that fall has arrived, I can slow that down. Or at least I can when we have rain. This year it came in spring and early summer, but ha been lacking the past month and that seems to be continuing. But I’m not complaining. It gets me out into nature early in the morning to enjoy the awakening of the world around me and to spend time with God in this beautiful setting.
I am reminded that I am a wilted plant, dying from the heat or other seasonal difficulties. It’s God who comes out to water me and give me nourishment and growth. Without God’s word in my life, I would just wilt away. Reading scripture is turning over the soil and giving me a fresh foundation. Prayer is the water that keeps me looking upward so I can receive my “watering”. The Spirit keeps me upright and growing in the right direction. Fellowship with other Christians help to provide my increase. I’m so glad I was planted in God’s garden and just hope to continue to let him be the Master Gardener for my life.
” Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working.” ! Cor 3:6-8 (Msg)
Did you happen to see “12 Years a Slave?” We were shown how an innocent “freed man” was put into the shackles of slavery by sinful men. It was a great example of how sin works and the devastation it causes in the lives of it’s victims. It held our hero down until a man of honor came to rescue him.
This is us when sin takes hold. We struggle, but remain shackled under it’s yoke until we are rescued. And who is it that rescues us from sin? Jesus Christ is always the right answer. But we must remember to be vigilant as Sin is always hanging around just waiting for us to slip back into it’s clutches. Keep our focus on Jesus and stand firm in obedience to him.
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery” Galatians 5:1
Have you ever been disappointed by a friend? Have you had a promise made to you broken? Have you wanted something so bad and prayed and prayed about it, only for it not to happen as you wanted it? Yes, we are disappointed by the people in our lives. Is it because we expect too much from them? Is it because we aren’t on the same page so to speak?
But God! That’s a different story. He has promised to answer our prayers. How can we ever trust him? Well, get over it. God is trustworthy and faithful. He sees the beginning from the end. We don’t see the danger and future disappointment in what we want. But he does. We just have to trust his ways and believe that “our Father knows best.” When we lay our lives in his hands we are taking the higher road that will lead us to places we never thought of. His plans are much bigger than ours.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9
He can change disappointment into opportunity.
Our dog, Krisi, has periods of blindness where she stumbles into walls and gropes her way around. She had cataract surgery about two years ago, but we know she will eventually go blind. By slightly increasing her prednisone (steroid) her vision will improve temporarily. Watching her get around reminds me of myself on those days when I am struggling with which direction I am going. I keep running into walls and seem very confused about where I am headed. Do you ever have those days?
We can experience blindness in many forms, not just physically being unable to see. Spiritual blindness seems to be very prevalent today. People seek satisfaction from many resources, but as Christians, we know to seek satisfaction through God’s Spirit that lives within us. Our Peace comes through what we do not see. Too often what we see is disturbing or takes our focus to a wrong direction and away from the Father and Son
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”Matthew 22:37-40
We all know this commandment and it is probably the most difficult to follow. We must love ourselves. So many have been listening to the opinion of others who are not loving and have sent us messages that we are less than what God has made us to be. Focusing on our appearance is one of our biggest negative messages and often keeps us from getting beyond ourselves so we can relate to others. I especially like the Message because is includes loving God with our intelligence. Our intelligence includes our thoughts and these are dependent on our beliefs and attitudes which in turn effect our behavior and responses to others. Learning is part of our intelligence.
The message from God’s word tells us we are made in his image and that God is good. So as we learn more about God, the father and God the son,
we begin to see our image through them. As we begin to follow their word, our thoughts and behaviors change so we become more like them. Instead of focusing on our negative qualities, we focus on them. Then we will see ourselves and others through their eyes….the Eyes of Love.
Today we celebrate the memory of one of the greatest tragedies experienced on American shores. Last night our “commander in chief” announced that we are still in danger of attack and outlined his plans for protecting us. This morning I focused on scriptures about faith and security, not from government, but from the God in whom we trust. Although we are warned of danger, we who believe have a higher calling for our security.
” For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
This is our assurance and what gives us security that all things do indeed work together for our good. So my song for today is “God Bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home, sweet home.”
How secure is your home? More secure than my phone! The home security folks have found another way to annoy me. Instead of knocking on the door offering a free security check up, then dismantling my system only to have replaced it with theirs, they now call me 3 or 4 times a day. Am I paying for home security advertising without the benefit of security?
The best security I’ve found is free. Our barking dogs do help some, but listen to this message from the Lord, via King David. His security is dependable and does not infringe on my privacy. So, let’s share the blessing of assurance he sends us. He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. He is that rock of security for all eternity. And it comes with accepting him into my life and following his ways. Nothing annoying about that. How about you?
“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” PS 27:4-5