God is Worthy of All Worship, Adoration and Praise

God is Worthy

There is only one God Who is worthy of all worship, adoration and praise, though there are many little “g” gods among us. In Guatemala, I visited places where sacrifices were made to Mayan gods. On a single plot of land In Cambodia, I saw various sized temples, now crumbling in ruins, built for the worship of over a hundred different gods.

With so much affluence in Canada, the god of materialism can be seen everywhere. We erroneously ignore The Giverof every good and perfect gift” while idolizing the gifts instead. Even as Christians, we can easily become self-sufficient, self-appointed gods of our own making — knowing God but marching to our own drum beat. Even areas of ministry can take precedent over relationship with God. Doing things for God can unintentionally become more important than the worship of Him.

I have to frequently stop — purposefully re-evaluate my priorities. It is beneficial to allow the Holy Spirit to do a serious internal investigation of the motivations of my heart. Am I alone or do others struggle to keep God in first place?

Is God worthy of all worship, adoration and praise? Absolutely! No one and nothing else comes close to who He is!

Indescribable God!

Have you ever tried to describe the indescribable?
Or compare the incomparable!
God’s love is immeasurable and His ways incomprehensible!

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Creator God is worthy of worship!

He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that was made.
There is only One inhabiting heaven’s throne,
far above all rule, authority, power and dominion
He is the King exalted over every other king.
But contrary to all others,

“His kingdom will never end!”

Rulers can’t stop Him,
armies can’t defeat Him,
kings, queens, dictators and prime ministers
can’t legislate Him away!

 “to the only God our Savior be glory,
majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages, now and forevermore!”

He is God — the only God —
worthy of all worship, adoration and praise.

God Above All Gods!

“His incomparable great power” 

makes every impossibility possible when He steps into the scene.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    his understanding has no limit.”

Great is our God and worthy of worship!

The earth shakes and mountains tremble at the sound of His voice.
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah roars
defending and protecting His own.
Righteousness and justice form the foundation of His throne
love and faithfulness go before Him.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are (His) ways higher than (our) ways
    and (His) thoughts than (our) thoughts.

He is Savior, and Shepherd of our souls,
Redeemer, Provider and Deliverer,
our Refuge, Fortress, and Shield.
He is Light and Salvation,
Peace in the midst of any and every storm,
the Anchor that holds us steadfast,
our Righteousness and our Strength,
our Healer and Hope
— leading us
into all hope and
giving us a glorious inheritance.

“For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever!”

He neither sleeps nor slumbers,
never growing tired or weary!
His understanding no one can fathom!

Ever present God, worthy of worship!

    “…Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”

He formed each one in the womb,
setting us apart and appointing us for His purpose!
His plans are always for good
— never for evil!

Holy God!

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“who is, and who was, and who is to come,
the Almighty.”

The holy, magnificent, glorious One
who inhabits his holy temple where

He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.”

Not to punish or execute judgement,
but rather to reward
those who seek Him with all their hearts,
with the tender eye of a good Father,
loving generously,
forgiving readily,
and sheltering continuously
with passionate care.

 “Who can hide in secret places
so that I shall not see them? declares the Lord.
Do not I fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.”

The God who fills heaven and earth is worthy of worship!

“For this is what the high and exalted One says —
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Do you love and know the ways of
this One who is worthy of all worship, adoration and praise?

All Knowing God

Awesome beyond measure!
The intelligence of man is but foolishness to God.
The foolishness of God is wiser
than the collective wisdom of all generations.
He is absolutely brilliant!
He makes known all things and
is the Source of all knowledge and
understanding.

The Lord on His heavenly throne is worthy of worship!

Where could I go from your Spirit?
Where could I run and hide from your face? 
If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
Or if I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!

He is God. There is none beside Him.
No one comes close to the magnificence of who He is.
To God, the end is as clear as the beginning,
for He alone is outside the constraints of time.

“I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’ ”

He knows us like none other.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from His sight,
including our hearts.

“The Everlasting God, the LORD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.”

Though finite minds cannot understand Him,
He makes Himself known
and approachable,
revealing Himself in the expanse of the skies
and the tiniest micro-organism
in the depth of the ocean.

The God I Worship

But let’s get personal! I know Him as

always available and accessible,
with arms of incomparable strength opened wide.
He never grows impatient by my endless questions,
or pushes me away in disdain.
He is compassionate and gracious
beyond anything I deserve.
He knows my pain and holds my tears.

God is closer than you know

His eyes are an ocean of peace
and a flame of fierce unending love.
Not one prayer falls to the ground — unheard or unnoticed.

His compassion is big enough to embrace the broken,
restore the outcast,
and seek the lost.
He is joy in the midst of sorrow and
comfort in the darkest hour of night.

When I awake each morning, I ask, “Is God worthy of all worship, adoration and praise?” The answer never changes, “Yes Lord! You, and You alone, are worthy!”

God will not give His glory to another.
No other is worthy!

He is bigger than any could imagine.
His mercy and grace surpasses
all comprehension.
He loves more, best and always,
no matter who we are or
how we’ve failed Him.
Though at times, we might disappoint or frustrate Him,
He will never leave or forsake us.
Everything He does is perfectly good,
because good and perfect is who He is.

But He is so much more!
There is always more of God, this One,
who is, and always will be,
worthy of all worship,
adoration and praise.

The Bible, Hardcopy or Digital – Sweeter than Honey on the Comb

Is your bible hardcopy or digital? Either way, it is sweeter than honey on the comb! The richness of the bible will never be exhausted. Its relevance stands the test of time, across cultural boundaries, remaining true for all generations in all circumstances.

Tonight I sat around the table with eight new friends. One woman, in her eighties, mentioned that she has never owned or read the bible. Others also said they have never read the bible, even in part. Only one woman was experiencing the wonder and pleasure of reading a bible regularly.

Books come and books go. But the Bible has remained the top selling publication of all time. Many similes describe the Word of God, each revealing a powerful attribute within its pages.

The Bible Reveals

The Word of God shines a soft but distinct light before us, guiding our feet along solid ground.

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”
Psalm 119:105

In an ever-shifting, unstable world, various “paths” flash with neon insistence and luring enticement, “Come here! Go there! Buy this! Choose me!” Only the bible grants steadfast principles to not only walk unhindered, but run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

The Bible is a light

I enjoy night walks in the country with only the stars and moon as my light. Withdrawing from the “visual noise” of city life, I find I “see” more clearly as I walk and meditate on God’s Word. Here God often gives wisdom for the days ahead, correction for today, and healing from the past.

The bible is also a mirror.

 “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law
that gives freedom, and continues in it—
not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—
they will be blessed in what they do.”
James 1:25

The Power of God’s Word

The bible reveals the hidden motivations of our hearts. His “perfect law … gives freedom!” For those prepared to “look” and “continue” in His Word, a blessing of obedience follows. The light and mirror of His Word brings visibility, but it is in the “doing” that His freedom is released into our lives.

Crafted into His Image - Hammer and Fire

When stubbornness and rebellion persist, The Word of God gently and firmly offers healthy discipline. Like a fire that refines or hammer that convicts, God’s Word removes what doesn’t belong and break strongholds of the enemy over us.

 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord,
“and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”
Jeremiah 23:29

The Word of God forms a plumb line between right and wrong, good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). His love powerfully sets us free, while tenderly protecting us in the process. Faithfully God uses His Word to craft us into perfection.

The Bible Feeds

All of us have a spiritual hunger deeper and stronger than any natural hunger. A hunger only God supplies! The bible contains a banquet feast necessary for health and growth.

“Jesus answered, “It is written:
Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes
from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

The bible is food!

The Word of God is bread for the hungry, solid food for the mature, and milk the youngest in the faith can absorb. The format you choose is insignificant. Your bible, hardcopy or digital, will become

“… sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.”
Psalms 19:10

To be spiritual healthy, a continuous portion of the spiritual food is necessary. Corporate worship once a week won’t sustain us.

Most people have difficulty fasting from food for more than a few hours, yet many purposely ignore the hunger of the soul. Without a constant supply of spiritual nourishment, we will inevitably become gaunt, weak, and fail to reach maturity.

“Like newborn babies,
crave pure spiritual milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
now that you have tasted
that the Lord is good.”
1 Peter 2:2-3

Cleanses and Purifies

The bible is also an instrument in God’s hands.

 “For the word of God is alive and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

The bible’s pin-point accuracy penetrates right to the heart. The living Word activated within us produces results. It exposes thoughts and attitudes that may or may not align with godly principles.

The bible cleanses

The cleansing power of the living Word continuously works in our lives!

“…Christ loved the church and
gave himself up for her
to make her holy,
cleansing her by the
washing with water through the word,
and to present her to himself as a radiant church,
without stain or wrinkle or
any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
Ephesians 5: 25-27

The “water through the word” removes every stain, wrinkle and blemish. It is more precious … than much pure gold.(Psalms 19:10) The bible actively working in our lives is of immeasurable worth.

Refreshing

But there’s more! The water of the Word refreshes and nurtures.

“As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower
and bread for the eater.”
Isaiah 55:10

The bible produces

God’s Word brings life to those who hear and receive it. God has a purpose for each word He speaks. The seed of His Word encases future reproduction and growth. At the same time, it sustains the hungry. Like rain coming to earth, His Word nurtures and produces what He desires. Seed and bread!

“For you have been born again,
not of perishable seed,
but of imperishable,
through the living and enduring word of God.”
I Peter 1:23

The bible activates faith bringing forth eternal life in those who believe and receive it!

“…faith comes from hearing the message,
and the message is heard
through the word about Christ.”
Romans 10:17

More than a Book

The bible, hardcopy or digital, is incomparable to any other book — more than words, thoughts, philosophies, history or prophecy.

“The Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory,
the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14

I cannot fathom this concept, “The Word became flesh!” The Old Testament presents Christ in a concealed manner. The New Testament reveals Christ so we can behold Him.

The Bible - Hardcopy or Digital

In scratching the bare surface of the power of God’s word, awe fills me, and so it should. God wants to not only know us, but make Himself fully known to us.  The psalmist said,

“I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name
for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word
according to all Your name.”
Psalm 138: 2

Yes! More precious than “thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:72), it gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to the understanding. Maybe it’s time to take a new look at the bible, hardcopy or digital and begin to read. Meditate on its truths, letting them become ingrained into your life.

If you are not plugged into the bible yet, don’t put it off! You have so much to gain!

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The Paradox of Jesus Christ – His Death and Resurrection

The paradox of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection stands immovable against the flood of human reasoning. The magnitude undeniable! To presume understanding would diminish the unexplainable.

A paradox is something “self-contradictory that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded and true.” I suggest that every apparent contradiction, or paradox, is unequivocally true in relation to Jesus Christ.

For many people, Jesus Himself was and is a contradiction to their preconceived expectations! Scholars memorized the scriptures, studied the prophetic indications of His coming and work, and yet failed to recognize Him. And still today many disqualify Him on the basis of their own limited understanding.

No where do we see this dilemma more than in the contradictions surrounding the cross and resurrection. The cross was earth’s darkest hour! The resurrection heaven’s greatest dawn!

“The true light that gives light to everyone
was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and though the world was made through him,
the world did not recognize him.
He came to that which was his own,
but his own did not receive him.”
John 1:9-11

Dawn of a new day

The Light of the world invading darkness! Creator touching creation unaware!

Love In Action

Here is John’s capsulated explanation,

“To him who loves us
and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a kingdom and priests
to serve his God and Father —
to him be glory and power
for ever and ever!
Amen.”
Revelation 1:5-7

Stripped naked, Jesus hung upon the cross  to clothe the unlovable, the unworthy, the undeserving in garments of love and robes or righteousness. Leaving heaven’s throne, He established an earthly but royal priesthood and kings unto God.

Light of the world

“You have made them to be
a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:10

The paradox of Jesus Christ is undeniable.

Crucifixion

The bread and the wine at the Last Supper rich with symbolism: bread in the hand of The Bread of Life broken to feed the spiritually starving; a cup held by The Lamb of God, soon to be crushed, pouring out new wine to the desperately thirsty. All for the sake of “re-membering” a church dis-membered through jealousy, selfish ambition, strife, and personal agendas.

“…The Lord Jesus, on the night
he was betrayed, took bread,
and when he had given thanks,
he broke it and said,
“This is my body, which is for you;
do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after supper
he took the cup, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood;
do this, whenever you drink it,
in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-25

Sunrise and mist

Jesus was bound so that multitudes would be set free! He remained silent before His accusers to give bold voice to people of every nation, tribe and tongue! His body brutally whipped, beaten, clubbed, and pierced so our bodies may receive healing! Paradox upon paradox!

“”He himself bore our sins
in his body on the cross,
so that we might die to sins
and live for righteousness;
By his wounds you have been healed.””
1 Peter 2:24

The Son, rejected by Father, purchasing adoption rights for many sons and daughters to be born anew into His family! The sacrificial Lamb bearing the undeserved stain of our sins upon Himself, to cleanse and redeem the truly guilty! Such is the paradox of Jesus Christ!

Dead to Life

The Eternal God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End, submitting to the way of the cross, surrendering to the cruel Destroyer, to break the curse of the fall and defeat death, once for all.

“The thief comes only to steal
and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.”
John 10:10

Light over darkness

Not just life, but life “in all its fullness! Superabundant, superior, excessive life! The paradox of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection continues — unstoppable, undefiable, unquenchable!

“If a man can predict his own
death and resurrection, and pull it off,
I just go with whatever that man says.”
Andy Stanley

There is More

The King of all kings becoming servant of all! The One crowned with all glory humbling himself — becoming nothing, to make something of us. Like it or not, it required nothing less than such a radical move to make anything of the hunk of raw clay I am!

He emptied Himself so that we would be filled! He was denied any comfort to make room for the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with us.

“But very truly I tell you,
it is for your good that I am going away.
Unless I go away,
the Advocate will not come to you;
but if I go, I will send him to you.”
John 16:7

His death triggered the sending of Someone better, the Holy Spirit — the Advocate, Intercessor, Counsellor,  Comforter, Helper. Leaving before sending! Departing preceding receiving!

From Today

The only fitting personal response I find, is the passionate determination and fervent pursuit of all that Christ has died for, all that His resurrection has acquired. Only then will God truly receive the glory He is worthy of.

” … he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death
— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him
to the highest place and
gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:8-11

Resurrection morning

Anything less would be heresy. He became weak humanity to give us strength. May we boldly live our lives in reflection of the paradox of Jesus Christ:

contending for freedom of those
chained in sin and addictions;
decreeing release for captives internally bound,
and healing for bodies, families, churches and nations;
new wineskins continually being filled
with the wine of His Spirit
and satisfied only in the bread of His Presence;
sharing the gospel with liberty and power,
affirmed through miracles, signs and wonders;
never settling in complacent indifference
or apathetic denial,
but preaching, teaching, admonishing, encouraging
and exhorting believers everywhere
in their identity as sons and daughters,
priests and kings of the Most High.

The paradox of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection shouts to us all, “Live! Live full! That superabundant, superior, excessive life that He paid for, live it today! Live it always!

Why? Because “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”

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Free from all Fear! Psalm 34 – Is Fearless Living Possible?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in North America. For many people, living free from fear is an unrealistic expectation. Is fearless living possible? What would it look like? In Psalm 34, David hands us the key to overcoming all fear.

Believe it or not, there are more than one hundred phobias people experience. Many we can easily relate to: acrophobia (the fear of heights), ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes), mysophobia (the fear of germs, and arachnophobia (the fear of spiders).

Several years ago my daughter-in-law took possession of an inlaid willow frame I had made. She wanted to use it for a mirror. Since we had an unused large mirror, we both proceeded to the basement to cut it to the appropriate size. The first edge cut perfectly! As I was gently under-tapping the second cut, she frantically swung her arms in a wide flailing motion sending the mirror and tools flying through the air. A spider had appeared! She panicked!  The mirror shattered against the far wall. I laughed! (Sorry to the rest of you arachnophobics, I couldn’t help it!)

Fear can sometimes cause us do unusual things.

Positive Fear

Fear can be positive. In fact, it is essential to our survival! Fear warns us of impending danger. A certain amount of fear increases adrenaline flow helping us perform demanding tasks better.

I read once that Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the local newspaper: “Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before and he died a very rich man.” The obituary should have been for his brother, but in error Alfred’s name appeared instead. Alfred was afraid this would indeed be the assessment of his life so he initiated the Nobel Peace Prize, the award for those who foster peace! Fear led Alfred Nobel to rewrite his life’s work!

God Uses Cowards

There are 365 bible references encouraging us, to be courageous. One for every day of the year! The bible is full of accounts of God’s ability to use even the fearful, however.

  • Gideon is found hiding in a winepress, afraid of the Midianites (Judges 6,7)
  • Moses afraid of his own people and Pharoah was unwilling to obey God without help. (Exodus 3 & 4)
  • Ninety year old Sarah, fearful of promises long delayed lied to God about laughing at the news that she would conceive a child. (Genesis 18)
  • Jonah was afraid God would be merciful, so he ran from his assignment. (Jonah 1 & 2)

There were just as many who missed their opportunity because of their phobias:

  • Ten out of twelve scouts sent to explore Canaan infected the camp with fear of giants and strong cities. (Numbers 13 & 14)
  • The rich young ruler, afraid of losing his wealth and comfortable lifestyle, refused to follow Jesus (Luke 18:18-23)

Do Not Worry

Jesus encouraged the people,

” … do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink
or about your body, what you will wear …
Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes?
See how the flowers of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin.
… not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
… will he not much more clothe you
— you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’
or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …
your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”
Matthew 6:25-33

For the majority of the world’s population concern for the basic essentials of life is constantly present! The wealthy minority worry about protecting their possessions, a secure retirement, the next vacation, and pursuing dreams.  Many in Jesus’ audience were struggling daily for survival.

Jesus frames this passage with wisdom,

” … store up for yourselves treasures in heaven
seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow …”
Matthew 6:20 & 34

All sufficiency is in God alone. He can and does give us the ability to create wealth and wisdom to know how to use it, but ultimately everything is His and comes from Him.

Free from all fear!

David’s words echo the thought,

Lord! I’m bursting with joy over what you’ve done for me!
My lips are full of perpetual praise.
I’m boasting of you and all your works,
so let all who are discouraged take heart.
Join me, everyone! Let’s praise the Lord together.
… make him famous!
Let’s make his name glorious to all.
Listen to my testimony: I cried to God in my distress
and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears!
Psalm 34:1-4

When did David write such joy filled praise? When he was afraid!

To escape from Saul’s death threats David ran toward Achish king of Gath. Because David was famous for his military exploits, hiding wasn’t easy!

“David …  was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath.
So he pretended to be insane in their presence;
and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman …”
1 Samuel 21:12,13

The Right Fear

In the midst of justifiable fear, David “sought the LORD.” Relief came! Courage was restored! He was courageous not because he chose to be brave, but rather because he sought God in the midst of his fear.

As a matter of fact, David recognized how deficient his courage was,

“This poor man called, and the LORD heard him:
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those
who fear him, and he delivers them.”
Psalm 34:6,7

The LORD, Jehovah, the self-existent, all powerful, eternal God is big enough to wipe away all fear and circle his trembling ones with protection. In Him is unrattled security!

The Human Factor

Let’s be honest, being afraid is something we all face. In agreeing with David’s assessment of our “poor” condition, we rightly position ourselves before God who fiercely defends, protects and supplies us with needed courage.

Fear the LORD, you his holy people
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”
Psalm 34:9-10

Jesus said it this way: “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.”

When fear is centred in God alone, there indeed is freedom. Fearless living is possible after all!

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Further Reading:

The Righteous are as Bold as a Lion – Survive and Thrive

Never! 8 Things God Will Never Do

 

 

A Good Appetite is a Sign of Health – Blessed is the One Psalms 1

Most people prefer either sweet or salty food. Combine sweet with a good dash of chocolate and you will discover the pinnacle of my personal food preference. A good appetite is a sure sign of physical health; an unceasing appetite for the word of God and His presence are attributes of good spiritual health as well.

While reading Psalms 1, I began to evaluate how “healthy” my appetite presently is.

“Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.”
Psalm 1:1-3

The Progression

The progression, or rather digression, within these verses is quite obvious:

  • walk in step
  • stand in the way
  • sit in the company

Allow me to form this progression more fully. If I’m not careful, I can find myself walking “in step” with others down the “chocolate-covered-delicacy” aisle in the grocery store (which of course I could find in a power outage blindfolded)! Although temptation is building, there is no serious problem yet.

It is when I actually stop and “stand” in front of those mouth-watering goodies, that I begin to feel compelled by some indefinable inner force to reach for my chosen “yummies”. Temptation has reached a whole new level!

I convince myself to plunk those goodies into the shopping cart, pay the price and stash them into the pantry for “company”. But what happens next is predictable!  You and I both know that inevitably I will end up sitting “in the company” of those sweet treats, devouring their scrumptious, though unhealthy, goodness.

The cycle is complete! I have stepped, stood and sat. The process is repetitively familiar especially at moments of fatigue and stress!

Danger Zone

Unfortunately, a far more serious cycle is the rhythm I notice in these verses!

“…does not walk in step with the wicked…”

Generally, I’m not overly tempted to “walk in step with the wicked.” In my work place, I meet face to face people being charged with serious crimes. I am reminded of the historic events of World War II where inconceivable wickedness was unleashed in unprecedented measures. Walking the soil of Cambodia, where unspeakable atrocities were openly committed, was a life-changing experience for me.

My main temptation is neither to “walk in” or even skirt around such serious issues. Blatant wickedness should and must cause everything in me to rise up and say, “Enough!”

“…or stand in the way that sinners take…”

Now “sinner” is far more inclusive!

 “for all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God”
Romans 3:23

Like it or not, I am one of “all”. Paul puts it so well,

“I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do,
but what I hate I do.”
Romans 7:15

Tolerance toward our own or other’s sinful bahaviour, is actually a form of “standing”. In fact, this word “stand” literally means to “delay or hold back from doing something.” Christ has made the way; we can immediately turn to Him, repent and begin moving forward. There is no place for sin in our spiritual shopping cart!

Personal Pitfall

There have been individuals and groups throughout history who have been so entirely consumed with evil that only a thunderclap of the hand of God is sufficient to turn them from it. Disdain for such wickedness has a way of mellowing to tolerance, and finally to blind consent.

Stand “in the way that sinners take” long enough and one becomes acclimatized to sin. How deeply does abortion, euthanasia, human trafficking burn upon my heart? Do I feel its sting as strongly now as ten or twenty years ago?

Sitting is my real problem! A personal pitfall! This term holds the context of “a dwelling place or abiding in a given location.”

“…or sit in the company of mockers…”

Mockers are those “who make what is good and holy the object of their ridicule“: “defiant, cynical, free-thinkers”; “their character is proud, self-sufficiency”. That description covers most of the culture we live in! A literal translation for the word is “pests”.

Have you ever sat down for a wonderfully prepared and planned picnic only to have pesty flies, mosquitoes and wasps show up and spoil the whole affair?

I am uncomfortable with “mockers”. Usually I make attempts to steer conversation toward a healthy path, try to insert the positive, or silently wait for opportunity to escape the situation. Unfortunately, far too often for far too long I “sit”!  Why?

I never sat in the company of revelers,
never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand was on me
and you had filled me with indignation.”
Jeremiah 15:17

Jeremiah had it right! He chose to sit alone rather than with negative talkers and mockers. How? His priorities and focus what set in the right place — toward God.

The Appetite Solution

The psalmist gives the solution:

Blessed is the one …
whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who mediates on his law
day and night…”
Psalm 1:2

My delight and desire, like my appetite, is where I find pleasure and will chose to sit.

Whatever I am hungry for, I will crave; cravings seek to be satisfied. If my “delight” is toward God, I will set His word, His desires, His perspective above my own and those of others. It will matter far more to me what He thinks than the judgments of those around me. Alone with Him will actually become the best place to be!

“Who stands fast?” Dietrich Bonhoeffer asked.
“Only the man … the responsible man,
who tries to make his whole life
an answer to the question
and call of God.”

There are many heroic men and women who have influenced generations with courage, stepping in time to a heavenly calling, standing perilously for righteousness at the cost of their lives and with steadfast voice spoke living truth. Such courage and bravery doesn’t come from walking, sitting and standing contrary to God!

The ways of the world may taste good for the moment, but the repercussions go far beyond.

The Promise

Listen to the promise within these few verses:

“That person is like a tree
planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither
— whatever they do prospers.”
Psalm 1:3

Now that is something worth chewing on! I may crave the sweet, but it is fruit that satisfies my need!

The image is of perpetual beauty and productivity. “Prosper” describes the Holy Spirit’s affect on persons making them powerful and mighty; pushing forward and breaking out; or rushing forward in battle.

A consistent appetite for the word of God by sitting with the truths of scripture, standing in His Presence, and walking along His path, reaps undeniable generational and eternal spiritual benefits.

Bravo to a healthy appetite!

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Further Reading:

The Word of God – Cutting a Straight Line!

The Bible – The Most Powerful Book in the World

 

 

 

 

Never! 8 Things God Will Never Do

8 Things God Will Never Do

I have often said and written, “Nothing is impossible for God!” Actually, there are a number of things that are impossible for Him. If you are curious or think I’ve fallen off the rails, read on! Discover what God will never do.

I am so enthralled by the wonder and majesty of all God is and the glory of His splendor, I have never seriously thought about the things He will never do. Until now!

1. God Never Makes Mistakes

God will never say, “Oops! Made a mistake there! Let Me try that again!”

God never makes mistakes

I think of Joseph’s fifteen year journey through rejection, slavery, and imprisonment.  Surely this was a horrific mistake! God had given him prophetic dreams of becoming a powerful leader.

As second only to Pharaoh, he embraced his brothers,

“As for you, you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result,
to preserve many people alive.”
Genesis 50:20

It took fifteen years for the steep learning curve Joseph was on. In the prison Joseph:

  • learned Egyptian language and culture
  • developed leadership skills
  • allowed God’s Lordship over every area of his life
  • embraced humility over pride
  • chose a lifestyle of continuous forgiveness
  • obtained wisdom for every circumstance
  • allowed perseverance to work godly character in him

the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.”
Psalms 33:11

It may be difficult to clearly see, but God’s plans for you are always good. Always!

2. God Never Changes

We change clothes, houses, cars, workplaces, hairstyles and shoes. Quickly and often, we change our minds. Because we live in constant transition, it is difficult to believe God never changes.

“Whatever is good and perfect comes to us
from God above, who created all heaven’s lights.
Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows” ”
James 1:17

God never changes like shifting shadows

We can count on the fact that God never changes, or even shifts

“I the Lord do not change.
Malachi 3: 6

3. God Never Has a Negative Thought

It may be scary but let’s consider the thoughts we think. My list would include, pride, judgment, rebellion, and discouragement. Add to that self-righteousness, self-pity, self-promotion, self-sufficiency… Maybe we should stop there!

No wonder the bible advises us to take our thoughts captive!

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!”
Psalm 139:17

Every thought of God originates in His loving, gracious and excellent nature. His thoughts towards us are beyond number and profoundly wonderful.

What is more, God never has a better idea than His first one. His thoughts are completely flawless. God never thinks a negative thought!

God never has a better idea than His first one. His thoughts are completely flawless. Click To Tweet

4. God Never Stops Loving

Since we are so close, let’s back up a page in the bible to Psalm 136. Twenty-six times in twenty-six verses we read,

“His love endures forever.”

God's love never fails

I think He is trying to tell us something. Nothing can separate us from His great love.

 “I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
 neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39

Be thoroughly convinced, nothing can separate us from God’s unfailing love.

5. God Will Never Let You Go

One of my favourite verses is Hebrews 13:5 AMP:

I will not in any way fail you nor give you up,
nor leave you without support.
I will not!
No, I will not!
I will not in any degree leave you helpless
nor forsake nor let you down, nor relax my hold on you.
Assuredly not!”

God will never let us go!

I am not desperately holding unto His hand; He has a relentless grip on mine. He has no intentions of letting go. Assuredly not!

6. God Never Fails to Keep His Promise

There are over 5400 promises in the bible. Most are conditional; none have failed! What God has spoken, He will do.

“… I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
Jeremiah 1:12

I have begun to circle texts where God says, “I will”. He repeats these words more often than I previously thought,

“I will gather…”
“I will save….”
“The Lord will deliver…”
“I will freely pardon…”

The bible overflows with the promises of God. They are guaranteed promises, we can stand on.

Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed;
every one was fulfilled.”
Joshua 21:45

7. God Never Sleeps

“He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
Psalm 121:4

The word “watches”, means “to watch and to keep.” Day and night, in good times and bad, God is constantly watching over and protecting us. Six times in eight verses, He confirms it.

No matter what is going on in our lives, we can rest. God is awake and alert. We can rest our full weight on Him!

“In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8

God never sleeps! He holds us firm!

 

God is alert and awake! We can rest our full weight on Him! Click To Tweet

Even on restless night, we need not fear, for God’s ear is open.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you
great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3

God has us covered! He is watchful eye is on us. I rest upon His strength.

8. God is Never Defeated

Kings may oppose Him, rulers may defy Him, but no army will defeat Him or border stop Him.

“God is never defeated.
Though He may be opposed, attacked, and resisted,
the ultimate outcome can never be in doubt.”
—Brother Andrew”

The reason?

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Matthew 28:18

God holds the “all”: all authority, all power, all might, all wisdom, all strength, all glory, all dominion. Whenever the devil tries to get the upper hand, God reveals Himself and triumphs over all. Nothing can or will ever outdo the cross of Christ.

And More!

God is never surprised, thrown off-guard, or bewildered. He sees and knows the future as clearly as the past. He never says, “I didn’t see that coming!”

God is never surprised!

never worries! He is never late! Although I wish His timing was more in tune with mine; a little early would be nice.

Given some thought, you will easily add to this list of God’s “nevers”. He functions in complete alignment with his holy and perfect nature. Never contradicting who He is.

I’m growing to love the never aspects of God’s character. As a matter of fact, I find deep assurance and confidence in pondering His “nevers”. He remains consistently and fully trustworthy.

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More reading:

The Lord is my Helper! “I Will Help You!”

Creating a Culture of Honour – Honour God! Honour All!

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Stay connected!

 

Something Better! God is Faithful to All He has Promised!

Something Better - God is Faithful!

Every Christian faces a tension between believing in faith and in walking present reality. Hebrews 11, often referred to as the faith chapter, encourages us. In fact, God affirms, “There is something better! There is something better than we can even imagine!”

Something better? Yes! Something even more than we have faith for?  It is so much better only God has thought of it!

“Now to Him who is able to do
exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us…

Ephesians 3:20

It takes great faith stand firm. To know in the midst of unanswered prayer, something better is on the way!

Doesn’t Get Better!

Friends on vacation sent a picture of ocean and beach. The caption read, “It doesn’t get better than this!”

Men returning from sledding in the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains declared, “It doesn’t get better than this!”

A wonderful family welcomed the birth of a healthy baby into their home. Guess what they said? “It doesn’t get better than this!”

It doesn't get better than this!

My father’s favorite place was sitting in his little fishing boat with a line dangling overboard. Drinking in the peacefulness of a quiet lake with autumn colours surrounding him, he would often say, “It doesn’t get better than this!”

My husband and I enjoy the special pleasure of family gathering in our little home. We lean back amidst the laughter and noise and say, “It doesn’t get better than this!”

We grasp brief and precious moments thanking God, “It doesn’t get better than this!”

Or does it?

Best

The best this world has to offer is no comparison to what is yet to come! This world is where

bodies grow weak
roses fade
marriages crumble and families struggle
tears flow and hearts ache
eyes see dimly and ears hear faintly

Faint reflection of what is to come!

Here is but a faint reflection of what is to come! Faith will dwindle unless we have our eyes fixed on “something better,” the best awaiting in eternity.

These were all commended for their faith,
yet none of them received what had been promised,
 since God had planned something better for us
so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
Hebrews 11:39-40

Faith

Who are the ones Hebrews is talking about? These are the ones who were persecuted and died in their faith without receiving what they had fervently prayed and believed for.

Unanswered prayer was no reflection on them! God had something more, something beyond their highest prayer!

Here is the daunting description of what they faced – through faith:

 “There were others who were tortured,
refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.

Some faced jeers and flogging,
and even chains and imprisonment.

They were put to death by stoning… sawed in two;
… killed by the sword.
They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,
destitute, persecuted and mistreated
the world was not worthy of them.
They wandered in deserts and mountains,
living in caves and in holes in the ground.”
Hebrews 11:35-38

For me one line speaks volumes, “the world was not worthy of them.”

Heaven is better than all earth's treasures!

The Tension

The tension arises as we walk faithfully in bodies of flesh inhabited by Holy Spirit! We yearn and hunger for the better that is waiting, longing for it to come now.

We witness the miraculous when heaven invades earth and God moves in divine intervention to the groaning we utter. Rightly we yearn and hunger for more! The more the spirit is fed, the stronger the spirit becomes. We move from faith to faith, strength to strength and glory to glory. All by God’s design.

In predicting His own death, Jesus said

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

This tension between living in perfect peace while tossed by earth’s storm is supernaturally natural for faith-filled Christians. Our faith and hope rests beyond the dust of this earth in the One who overcame, Jesus Christ.

 

Whether our eyes witness the answers here and now, or we wait for the “something better” God has prepared, we stay the course. We pray and believe for the impossible. We stand undeterred.

Something Better!

Let us not miss the wording of Hebrews:

“…none of them received what had been promised,
since God had planned something better for us
so that only together with us
would they be made perfect.”
Hebrews 11:39-40

God just didn’t have something better for them! He has something greater for us because of what they suffered! There is a joint perfecting of faith and purpose for ALL who suffer without seeing the answer here and now.

Eternity will fully disclose the beauty of that perfection.

It is in continued faith that we hold to and believe the promise of God, while feeling the discord and tension of the present. In the joining of faith, we experience in a greater way the greatness of who God is.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all –
how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.”
Romans 8: 31, 32, 37

God has a perfect design for achieving all that Christ died for. His grace has not failed us! He has not abandoned us! Indeed, “in all these things we are more than conquerors!”

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From the archives:

From Curse to Blessing – God’s Redeeming Character

 

The Word of God – Cutting a Straight Line!

The Word of God

Where I live in Saskatchewan, highways run straighter than an arrow shot on a calm day. They are a good illustration of how the Word of God is able to “cut” a straight line, preparing us for better things.

In contrast, Guatemalan roads are scariest I have ever been on. They twist their way upward in snakelike fashion. When our van going down met a truck coming up we barely stayed our course, scraping adjacent mirrors with the oncoming vehicle. The rocky outer edge of the road gave way under the weight of the tires. I was thankful for the darkness of night that hid the true depth of the precipice beside us.

Mountains of Guatemala

Cut a Straight Line

Straight is what Paul was describing to Timothy

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed
and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

This term “correctly handles” literally means “to cut straight, to cut a straight road, or to keep a straight course.” We need the Word of God to accomplish that!

It reminds me of another verse referring to the bible,

“For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Hebrews 4:12

Sword of the Spirit - The Word of God

The word of God is alive and powerful! It is sharp, cutting deep and cutting straight.

Separating “soul and spirit, joint and marrow, as well as thoughts and desires” is precision work. God has been using His word as a cutting tool in my life continually.

My life will appear to be flowing smoothly, until I hear his voice, “MaryAnn come closer.”

He is calling me to separation. God’s Word does the cutting and revealing; it is up to me to do the separating.

Separation

At the sound of his voice, He creates the dividing line, the straight path, for each of us to walk unashamed, acceptable and pleasing to Him.

It may be separation from

  • entertainment choices
  • from time wasters
  • an occupation or specific workplace
  • a relationship
  • a dream or preconceived notion of what I think my life should look like

 

Bible - Separation and Preparation

God’s word does the cutting! I have opportunity to choose the way of separation! Separation unto Him! He never forces such separation upon us. It is a beautiful invitation for something better!

Preparation

In reality, separation is the path, the straight road, of preparation.

Abraham was called to leave his home and family and go to some unknown place, before God allowed him to be the father of many nations. Moses spent 40 years in the desert to prepare him for his leadership over the people of Israel. Elijah spent time in isolation by a brook being fed by ravens to prepare him for Mount Carmel and the prophets of Baal. David lived in caves for 15 years on the run from King Saul before sitting on the throne.

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,
left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.”
Luke 4:1

Separation is never easy! It comes at a price!

The bible makes it clear! Preparation for the work of God requires some degree of separation. The greater the ministry call, the greater the invitation of separation to prepare for what is ahead.

Many people want the honour of ministry! Few welcome the process of preparation!

Many people want the honour of ministry! Few welcome the process of preparation! Click To Tweet

“Those who cleanse themselves…
will be instruments for special purposes,
made holy, useful to the Master and
prepared to do any good work.”
2 Timothy 2:21

Special Purposes

God is calling every one of us to His special purposes! He is purposefully preparing us for His good work! Separation always has a wonderful purpose and design! When the preparation is finally over and we step into His special purposes, we will all nod our heads in agreement, “It was worth it!”

Cut for special purposes!

God is faithful to cut the straight path. We follow, trusting the course He has marked for us.

We rest in the process knowing the beginning is His! The outcome is also His!

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More Good Reading!

Answer the Call – Responding Immediately, “Yes, Lord!”

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The Lord is my Helper! “I Will Help You!”

The Lord is my Helper!

One of the first bible passages I learned was “The Lord is my Helper!” These words continue to hold promise with ever deepening meaning.

So we can say with confidence,
“The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear…”
Hebrews 13:6

In some aspects, I can have an over confidence in my own strength, knowledge or ability. However, when I ask God for His help, the difference He makes is remarkable.

Every year possesses milestones of accomplishment that are tangible evidence of God’s every present help in my life. Sometimes He uses those closest to me; often He comes beside me in a way only He is capable of.

Help from Others

As a grandmother, I never grow weary of hearing our grandchildren or even grown children ask for help, especially in the area of prayer. Such requests affirm worth and significance. They unite us in a stronger family community. Both natural and spiritual families help each other!

Family

When I was young, my older brother and I enjoyed climbing trees. On one such occasion, I was dressed in my Sunday best complete with black patent shoes. Of course my footing slipped on the rough branch and down I fell. The silver buckle of one shoe caught a twig and held me suspended midair, upside down.

By brother, anxious to help, undid the buckle. Head first I plunged to the ground below. With one broken arm and a few minor scrapes, I proceeded to the house to confess my errors and accept the consequences.

Some kinds of help are a little more valuable than others!

Some kinds of help are a little more valuable than others! Click To Tweet

Although my brother had good intentions, he wasn’t the wisest helper. He did manage to get me out of the tree, but not safely to the ground. The doctor who reset the break and provided a cast was more beneficial!

Independence

One of the greatest hindrance to asking for and receiving help is our independence.

I can manage!
Sure! I can do this on my own!
Got it!
No thanks!
Here, let me do it for you!

Parenting includes training and developing our children to be able to function independently from us, leading productive and purposeful lives. Of course, this is necessary.

Yet independence can seriously hinder our relationship with the Heavenly Father.

Independence

One of the keys to living spiritually productive and purposeful lives is leaning into God and laying aside our independent ways. Beyond a doubt, relying on His strength, wisdom and power gives us the confidence to walk boldly.

A Process

I never allowed my brother to “help” me out of another tree; I learned I could not completely trust his judgment!

God, however, can be trusted completely as our Helper.

“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my  friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,

    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”
Isaiah 41: 8-9

Jacob’s name means “one who trips up or overthrows another”. It was a fitting name since he robbed his brother Esau of his birthright twice. Jacob’s life was a journey of trusting and allowing God to change his heart and motivation before he could rightly receive the name change to Israel, one who wrestles with God.

God never abandoned him in his process. He won’t forsake us either! He is committed to help see us through our  personal journey!

Metamorphosis

We are not yet what we are going to be. As we continue to rely on Him, He will bring us through to maturity.

The Lord my Helper

Just in case I don’t understand the first time, God continually makes Himself known and available:

“I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand … I w
ill help you.
Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
Isaiah 41:10-14

 

Bear Needing Help

I recognize daily my continuing need the Lord’s help. Sometimes, I need far more help than I even realize!

With patience He affirms,

“Here I am! I can help you with that!
Looks like you could use a little help!
I could be so much help to you right now!
MaryAnn, I am your Helper!
If I help you, you will be so helped you will be able to help those around you.
Really? Nothing is too small or big for Me to help you with!
Let me help
! I, Myself, will help you!
You have no idea how helpful my helping can be!”

Sounds so ridiculously easy, but it is true!

God, Our Present Help

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1

The Lord is my Helper

I aim to capture the childlike quality of willingly asking and accepting my Heavenly Father’s help. Only when I draw close and lean into His powerful and sufficient strength will I fully realize what we can accomplish together.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Click To Tweet

If the past is any indication, His help will be unbelievably amazing in the future!

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Further Reading: Psalm 91 – God Has You Covered

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The Bible – The Most Powerful Book in the World

The Bible is by far the best-selling book of all time with around 6 billion copies printed. Add to that the online versions now available. What sets the bible apart from every other book? What does the bible mean to you?

Bible Facts

Here are a few Bible facts that may surprise you:

  • has been translated into more than 2,000 languages
  • over 1,000,000 copies are sold or given away every year making it the top selling book every single year
  • written by about 40 different authors over a period of about 1,500 years
  • written in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic)
  • three major divisions in the Old Testament and four in the New Testament
  • the Bible’s authors wrote under divine inspiration from God

Quill Pen

Just a couple days ago a new acquaintance commented, “I have a bible. It is too hard to understand and isn’t relevant for today.”

He’s not alone in thinking this way. Many people question how a book written so long ago could possible be applicable to our fast pasted changing world.

Relevance

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states:

“God’s Word generates life, creates faith, produces change,
frightens the Devil,
causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character,
transforms circumstances,
imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation,
infuses hope, releasespower,
cleanses our minds, brings things into being,
and guarantees our future
forever.”

Notice all the verbs?

Sword

“For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Hebrews 4:12

The bible gives a plumb line of moral character. It sets boundaries of healthy personal and corporate relationships.

Love Letter

The bible is the most incredible love letter ever written. The Old Testament contains writings about Jesus Christ concealed; the New Testament writings reveal Him fully. Jesus is the greatest Lover ever!

Love Letter

Every word in the bible, though written by the hand of man, is inspired by the breath of God.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true
and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
It corrects us when we are wrong and
teaches us to do what is right.”
2 Timothy 3:16

The Things We Don’t Understand

Whoever reads the bible will come upon portions that are beyond our understanding or explanation. Some portions at first glance seem to contradict at each; other portions are hard to accept.

Nicky Gumbel in his Alpha Series suggests we view the bible like a crossword puzzle. Some questions we can answer quickly and easily. Some questions we will draw a blank on! Are some queries tough? We go on to the easy ones, filling in the blanks as we go. Then we come back to the tough ones, that have a few more clues added. Now perhaps, we have solutions for the really difficult areas. Little by little the answers come.

Crossword

Starting Point

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,
and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Romans 10:17

There are a surprising number of Christians who do not make daily bible reading a practise. In our busy lives, the best way to begin is to schedule it into your calendar. I would suggest picking the time of day that you are the most alert. Set aside just fifteen minutes!

Bible Reading

Jesus said that the word of God is even more important than eating food

But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4

Pick out a private spot and begin!

If you need some help try the Bible in One Year App or something similar.

Valuable and Precious

I hold tightly to this, one of my most valued and precious possessions, my bible.

“They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.”
Psalm 19:10

Several years ago I held in my hands a hand-written bible. Outlawed and banned, hidden at risk of life and liberty! Each page painstakingly copied and lovingly worn. I still feel the emotion of holding and touching those pages.

May the bible become that precious to each of us – reading, meditating on, loving and obeying the words within its covers.

The Bible

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More thought provoking reading here:

The Farmer Sows The Word – People Are Like Seed

Psalm 91 – God Has You Covered

Thankfulness – Painting On a Canvas of Gratitude