Thursday, October 19, 2017

Facing the Facts

As part of our Believing God homework, we're to read Romans 4 twenty times before the end of the study. I read it for the 10th time this morning. The words "he faced the fact" stood out to me, as if I'd never seen them the other 9 times. "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he "faced the fact" that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

I was reminded that when we are believing God for something He told us He would do, we aren't denying reality. We aren't living in a fool's paradise. Believing God means looking our struggles right in the eye and saying "Yes, but God said to me...."--several times a day if necessary. The thing is not to arbitrarily pick a promise and believe God for it without involving God in the process. Our struggles and weaknesses are opportunities to seek God's face and heart. Once we hear from Him, we can be like Abraham and be fully persuaded that God has power to do what He has said to us; we can be strengthened in our faith and give God the glory even while facing the facts.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Changing Seasons

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,summer and winter,day and night will never cease.” Gen. 8:22. NIV Life Application Study Bible note says this means there will always be changing seasons. My backyard is beginning to show proof of autumn. God's covenant endures.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Lord Is With You Wherever You Go

Joshua 1:5, 7, 9

"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous.... Be strong and very courageous.... Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I need to know that the Lord my God will be with me wherever I go. Because God tells me Himself through His Word that I am not alone, I have peace. I can cope. I can be confident that I don't have to face my problems, trials, sufferings, alone. When I read these verses, I hear the tenderness and compassion in His voice. What an awesome Father we have. So merciful. So loving. Ready to help us as we step out in faith to do His will. I always read and reread verses until they make it passed the anxious thoughts and settle deep into my heart. God's Word goes right to the fearful places and is like a soothing balm to my soul. It refreshes, restores, renews (resets) my mind. God's Word is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword it penetrates, dividing soul and spirit. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Heb. 4:12) Thank you, Lord, for the truth in your Word!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Delayed Obedience


Jesus made a wonderful point (among many) in this passage that I overlooked until today; We get grace along with our second chances.

Matthew 21:28-32-- “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him."

The tax collectors and the prostitutes (aka sinners) lived in disobedience to God but when they changed their minds and believed, they were accepted and forgiven. They weren't given a lecture about taking so long to get it right--they were accepted and forgiven. I think we often lose patience with believers and unbelievers alike because we want them to get their act together NOW. Jesus illustrated in this passage that the main thing is not the delay in obeying, but the change of mind and heart. That's the grace of God. He acknowledges and welcomes that change of mind and heart without condemnation. Neither should we condemn.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Lord Bears Us Up

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Ps. 68:19, ESV

May you begin this day believing God will bear you up. You are not alone. You don't have to stand in your own strength. Lean on Him. He will sustain you. Sometimes I forget this. This morning I was reminded to thank and praise God, my heavenly Father, for always bearing me up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hovering

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Gen. 1:2, ESV

Like birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it.” Isa. 31:5, ESV


Monday, September 18, 2017

Believing God Bible Study

Next Tuesday it will be my pleasure and honor to facilitate Beth Moore's Believing God Bible study for the 4th time in twelve years. This was my first Beth Moore Bible study. I was still experiencing panic attacks when I started this study in 2004. I had not been back to church since my first attack in 2002 which happened during choir practice, of all places. In the space of those two years I had 66 panic attacks. I rarely left my home for fear of having one in public. Three weeks into this study I began experiencing God's peace like never before. I went back to Sunday School and rejoined the choir. I learned how to fight my panic attacks by praying God's Word and to prevent anxiety from becoming full-blown attacks by meditating on God's promises and His love for me. Believing God brought me nearer to my Lord than I had ever been before. I want that for everyone, too. I encourage you to find this study being done in your area and attend it. If there is not one being done locally, you can buy the workbook and do it on your own. You can also download the video sessions here for $7.99 each or buy the bundle for a little less.