Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This is my Father’s world

Colossians 1:15-18
    He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
   And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the
   beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that
   in everything He might have the supremacy.
     ~ Colossians 1:17-18

This is Christ. He was from the beginning, and He is now. Everything that was and is, He created, and He holds it all together. Did you catch that? He holds the universe together. John 1 also shows God made nothing without Christ and that Christ was from the beginning. He was the Word; He was with God, and He was God.

The Word is important because God spoke the universe into being (words). And His Son was there with Him (Col 1:16). Jesus is the very Word and power that created everything. God tells us the same thing in the Old Testament (God created everything by his word – Psalm 33:6). A few verses later comes that part that is really exciting for us:

  “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever/ the purposes of His heart through all generations.”
     Psalm 33:11

Is that not wonderful? God’s plan will be. He is supreme (Col 1:18). One of the amazing things about His plan is that it stands firm forever, showing us that God has had the same plan since the very beginning of time. And his plan has always worked and will always work. From the beginning of time God has known everything about you and your life. Even more than that, His very words have power and will “achieve the purpose for which” He speaks them (Isaiah 55:10-11). What God says to be true is true. What He says is, is. From the beginning, up to now, and in the future.

So why is that important? What does it mean to us? God is supreme. He created everything and rules everything. His plan has been set from the beginning. It is unchanging and unmoving. Even so, God, in His infinite wisdom, knew everything in order to create a plan before time began that would, until the end of time, “work all things for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).


I know He is my God. Do you know that He is your God, too? Do you personally know our God? If not, now is the perfect time for you to go before the Lord:
   That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in
   your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For
   it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with
   your mouth that you confess and are saved.
    ~ Romans 10:9-10

Here is my prayer:
God, what You says is, is. What you say isn’t, isn’t. I will embrace the things You tell me to do, but reject the things You tell me to not do. Thank You, God.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Isaiah 1:10-17

     Wash and make yourselves clean.
     Take your evil deeds out of my sight!
       ~ Isaiah 10:16

Sin or simple religious acts are lifeless. Have nothing to do with them. All of your outward show means nothing if your heart doesn’t lead. If your heart is far from God, you are far from God. In life, you have two choices on how to act – evil or good. If you are far from God, you’re probably doing evil. When you set aside your sin and those evil actions, what you have left is to do what is right.
Doing what is right should then need no further justification beyond the knowledge that evil acts go hand in hand with separation from God, while closeness with God goes together with right acts. As Paul says in Romans 6:16, you are either “slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.” More simply, if you’re not doing good, you’re doing evil. If you’re not building God’s Kingdom, you’re trying to tear it down. That may seem harsh, but God doesn’t have a middle ground. I have areas and times in my life where I know I’m not building God’s Kingdom, but I never thought I was working against Him. But I am, and God makes very clear that I must stop and turn the other way.
Have you rationalized anything you do because it was “harmless” or neutral? I’m telling you now, it’s not.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


       Much dreaming and many words are meaningless.
     Therefore stand in awe of God.
       ~ Ecclesiastes 5:7

Do you talk too much? Not just to other people. Do you talk at God too much? Something that could indicate that you’re talking too much is that you never hear God speak. When you pray, do you say your piece and not wait for a response? What person would go to his good friend, talk for five minutes – share feelings, ask some questions, make some requests – then walk away?
Don’t do that with God.
When Elijah met with the prophets of Baal on top of Mount Carmel, the prophets of Baal thought more words and more volume would get their god’s attention (1 Kings 18:26-29). But God answered Elijah’s prayer, and Elijah humbly knelt in the presence of God (1 Kings 18:42). God doesn’t want many words; He wants a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). That’s the kind of heart Elijah had, and God listened to him.
In Matthew 6:5-7, Jesus described two kinds of talking a lot. Hypocrites do it loudly to earn the praise of men. Pagans do it because they think that’s how they will be heard by their god. Jesus said to instead go privately, humbly before God. You don’t need pomp and frills to talk to God, nor do you need to read Him a novel. Have an honest heart and pure intentions.
In this verse, Solomon was talking about more than just praying. Paul expanded on this when he told Timothy to “turn away from godless chatter” (1 Tim 6:20, 2 Tim 2:1). Paul says this ‘godless chatter’ separates you from God. He mentioned this in both letters to Timothy, so it’s probably pretty common and probably very important. Instead of always talking, God wants you to listen – stand in awe of God. He does amazing things with time spent in quiet with Him.
If you’re just going to babble or daydream, you’re doing nothing of value. You would do much better to simply stand in awe of God. Sometimes we need to just… stop. and listen to God (Ecc 5:2-3). Go humbly before Him with honest prayers and listen to what He has to say. The point of prayer is not to change God; it’s to change you.
When you pray, are you talking with God or at God?
Are you willing to spend time before God simply to hear Him speak?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

“Now see what I will do"

       “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this
     people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went
     to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought
     trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued
     your people at all.”
       Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see
     what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of My mighty
     hand he will let them go; because of My mighty
     hand he will drive them out of his country.”
       ~ Exodus 5:22-6:1

At this point in Exodus, Moses had told Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the desert to worship God. Instead of letting them go, Pharaoh made the Israelites’ work more difficult. Moses went before God and asked Him why he did this (Ex 5:22-23). This was the point where God said “Now see what I will do.” To show His power to Moses, the Israelites, Pharaoh and the Egyptians, God didn’t just go into Egypt and free His people. God went into Egypt and made an already bad situation worse to show what He could do. He revealed all His power to everyone involved. At a time when Moses thought things were not going to change, God revealed His power.
During Beast (cadet basic training) last summer, my company spent a night out in the field. And that night the rain fell very hard. Pretty much everyone was all wet. Where I laid down to sleep I was half protected from the rain, but my clothes were still soaked through. It was miserable. I think I prayed, but I don’t remember what I prayed. God showed me what He could do. He gave me peace and let me fall asleep even in my discomfort. And then He showed me what a blessing the rain was. The rain in my uniform had acted as a wet suit and kept me warm when I otherwise would have been quite cold. He had also kept my pack and the fresh set of clothes inside perfectly dry. Hallelujah, LORD!
Have you had a “now see what I can do” experience? God does not completely condemn doubts. He does, however, say that instead of being led by your doubts, you should follow your faith. Paul didn’t say “We live by faith without doubts”; he said “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). God says to live by faith even though you have doubts. God wants you to choose to live by faith in spite of what you see. Faith is so much more powerful if the world says one thing, but you choose to follow God anyway.
Give yourself and your problems to God. Then see what He will do.
Do you believe God will answer your prayer even though the world says He won’t? Have you stepped aside to see what God will do?
What does the story of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt (Exodus 1-14) teach us about having faith and following God in the face of doubt and opposition?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

No Fear in Death

       When calamity comes, the wicked are brought
     down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.
       ~ Proverbs 14:32

The wicked need to be afraid, but you do not need to be afraid.
The righteous are secure in God. You don’t need to be afraid in life or death because nothing can separate you from God’s love (Rom 8:38-9) and you can only gain from dying (Phil 1:21).
Be confident in God. Don’t fear doing His will, obeying Him, or living for Him because, no matter what happens, God will still be with you, and that’s all that matters. “You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength” (Phil 4:13). Nothing can change that.

Are you afraid? Do you know that you are secure?
If you don’t have a relationship with Christ, there is no better time than now to start.

Read further:
Proverbs 14:32; Romans 8:38-39; Philippians 1:21; 4:13

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Listening and Doing

       Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive
     yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens
     to the word but does not do what it says is like
     a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after
     looking at himself, goes away and immediately
     forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks
     intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,
     and continues to do this, not forgetting what he
     has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what
     he does.
       ~ James 1:22-25

Sometimes when I read the Bible, I get to the end of a chapter and realize I don’t know at all what I just read. I need to more than remember what I just read. After reading God’s perfect Word, He wants us to apply His teaching to our lives. God’s “perfect law… gives freedom”!(v25) Reading and applying the Scriptures brings blessings to you life.
What do you do when you spend time with God? How do you read your Bible? Do you have a regular time or area for your “quiet time”?
Leave a comment below.

Friday, June 10, 2011

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