Monthly Archives: April 2016

April 30 – He Just Did

Psalms 102-104

Creation or evolution? Purpose or chance? People have been trying to figure out the “how” of our existence for thousands of years. Even the psalmist considered the subject. But when considering life, the psalmist often throws in a verse or two that points to our Creator.

Like 102:25. He’s talking about his short life compared to God’s eternal one, and says: “Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”

The entire 104th psalm celebrates creation, and the fact that God didn’t stop at creation, but that He continues to care for this world yet today.

There need by no mystery as to how we got here. It’s all here for us in detail in the Words God inspired men to write. Everything we need to know! How did God make something from nothing? I don’t know. He just did. He’s God.

Knowing the God of Creation loves me and longs for fellowship with me makes how He breathed life into mankind insignificant. In fact, I might go as far as to say spending more time searching for answers can be Satan’s way of getting our eyes off God Himself, of keeping us from that fellowship with the Lord. In eternity, those answers will no longer seem important.

Just because I don’t have a scientific mind, doesn’t mean I think that being curious is a sin. It isn’t. I’m glad God has used scientific, questioning minds to improve our life on this planet. But I would ask you who do have that scientific curiosity, why you ask those questions? Is it to prove there is no God? Or to make yourself equal to God? Or to better appreciate the creation?

My longing isn’t for knowledge, or answers derived from someone’s opinion. I can let God be God. And I can enjoy His Presence through the blood of Jesus. I can enjoy the warm sun on my skin, the sounds of birds in the green trees, be refreshed by a spring rain, and have complete faith in the Creator.

I hope you can do the same, even if you are sitting there enjoying the sun God created, and trying to figure out how that bumblebee is able to fly.

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April 29 – Excuses! Excuses!

I Chronicles 7-10

I wonder what it would have been like to be Sheerah. In a male-dominant society, she is credited with building lower and upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah. She is given one verse in I Chronicles (7:24), but her life must have been extraordinary.

I wonder what it was about her that she was able to have men listen to her, to follower her direction, to respect her. Because she certainly didn’t build those cities by herself.

I wonder what would have happened if Sheerah had sat back and not taken command of the situation. She could hardly be faulted if she had thought, “What can I do? I’m only a woman.” Or if the first time a man tried to overrule her if she had given up.

The thing is, God uses both men and women to accomplish great things. It just takes a willingness to step out in faith.

If God is calling you into some kind of ministry, stop making excuses. God used uneducated men who were willing to follow Jesus to lead the first century Church. If God can use them, He can use you, too.

God uses men and women, healthy and dying, introverts and extroverts, children and elderly people to do great things in Jesus’ name. When a heart is yielded to God, He can accomplish the extraordinary.

April 28 – All Glory To God

Psalms 81, 88, 92-93

I was watching an NBA game the other night, and one of the players was being interviewed after helping his team with the win. He answered the question asked him, but before he did he said, “First I want to say thank you, Jesus. All glory to God.”

Now I don’t remember the player’s name, and know nothing about him personally. I pray his relationship with God is as real as it sounds. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Then, reading these psalms today and remembering what this young basketball player had said, got me to thinking about how important it is to praise God, to recognize His hand in the events of life, and to purposefully acknowledge Him with a grateful heart.

God, through the psalmist, says that if we listened to Him, and walked in His ways, He would “feed us with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock (He) would satisfy (us).” (81:16)

And if we obey Him and are blessed by Him, people will want to be associated with us. In other words, we would be the cool people, the ones everyone else wants to be like.

God wants us to make Him an integral part of every day, a Presence in all we do or say. He really wants to hang out with us.

I want to praise God because He deserves to be praised. And especially when good things happen to me, I want to always give the glory back to God.

It’s what He deserves.

April 27 – My Territory

I Chronicles 6

This chapter continues to list genealogies. And it tells about the territories that were given to the Levites, cities of refuge, and the pasturelands. It’s kind of repetitive. Not exactly an exciting read.

I’m sitting here watching my nephew play with his two pre-school children. They are snuggled together on my couch, each with a stuffed animal, and using silly voices to talk to each other. There are lots of giggles.

This is my territory. It’s not the condo we’re in here on this lovely island. It’s the people God has given me to love and care for. These are the precious ones I want to have in my life my whole life.

It occurs to me that when God gave cities and land in the Promised Land to the Israelites, he gave it to families. It was never about the land. It was all about the people. It was about the families.

I don’t ever want to get so caught up in “things,” a career, fame and fortune, that I neglect the dear ones God has blessed me with. It’s the people here in this condo complex where I live. It’s people in the workplace, in school, or wherever God has opened doors for me.

It’s never about my address.

It’s about the souls God allows me to share life with. May I protect my territory by praying for them, for introducing them to the Savior.

When I get to heaven I certainly won’t be wearing those designer jeans, or carrying the key to an ocean front property. No one will care if I’m CEO of a major company.

But I want to take my territory with me into eternity. I want the souls of those people I love to be with me forever.

Lord, help me to care for the territory You have given me. I pray for my sisters, their families, and the families of the next generation. I pray for my neighbors, my friends, co-workers. Give me the opportunity to introduce them to You. And may You find their hearts eager to accept Your grace. I want to be a good steward of the territory You’ve given me. May You find me faithful.

April 26- Pity-Party Free Zone

Psalms 73, 77-78

Sometimes we might be tempted to throw a pity party for ourselves when we see the successful, easy lifestyle of wicked, ungodly people. Most days we know how blessed we are. We can even admit we know that what we see on the surface of anyone’s life often masks heartache and pain.

But seriously, it would be nice to experience wealth on the scale of some who seem to have everything going for them. At least for a day or so. Right?

The psalmists asks if he has kept his heart pure in vain. Have I? The psalmists also reminds us that thinking those thoughts are “senseless and ignorant.” (73:22)

Read verses 25-28 of the 73rd psalm for an attitude check. Instead of throwing that pity party, let these verses be your encouragement.

“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good…”

The nearness of God is really all I need, and it blesses me more than any dollar amount.

My heart is a pity-party free zone.

 

April 25 – Making Memories

I Chronicles 3&4

I am having so much fun this week. My nephew and his family are vacationing here with me on this island where I live. As I read about the families listed in these chapters of I Chronicles I can’t help but think about my own.

I remember the day my nephew was born. I was blessed to be a part of his growing-up years, watching him develop into the thoughtful, fun, Christian man he is today. I stood by and watch him fall in love with a precious girl, marry her, and start their family. Their children call me “Aunt Connie”, and I love that.

I sit here today and watch the little ones play, and my heart nearly bursts with love.

When I read about the families in I Chronicles, I realize I’m reading about moms and dads. People who loved their children, who cared for them, who had hopes and dreams like I have for the dear ones in my life.

The future is uncertain. Trouble may come. But I trust my Savior with the lives of my loved-ones. As I think about my family, I pray for them.

I pray for your families, too. May you all know the same confidence in the Lord that I have. May you hug your families. Don’t waste a minute. We’re going to go and watch some sea turtles released back into the ocean today.

Making memories.

April 24 – The Church: A Laughingstock

Psalms 43-45, 49, 84-84, 87

43:1 caught my attention right away this morning: Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

Genderless public bathrooms? That’s just the latest insanity running rampant in our ungodly nation.

I want every Christian in America to read this psalm and let it be our anthem. So much is happening these days to undermine decency and truth. (I just realized my spell-check doesn’t recognize the word “Christian.”  What’s up with that?) It’s tempting to throw up our hands in defeat.

Let this be our prayer: O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead (us). (verse 3, emphasis mine) It goes on to say our hope is in God.

44:13-16 describes where the Church is today. We’ve become a reproach to our neighbors, labeled as judgmental haters. The psalm continues to say we are a “scoffing and a derision to those around us,” a laughingstock.

Christians are not taken seriously. We are a joke to those who declare themselves to be “enlightened” or “progressive.”

Dear one, let’s allow God’s light and His truth lead us. Let’s hope in God alone. Let’s not cower because some have said what we know to be true according to Scripture is old fashioned or irrelevant or laughable.

Oh God, may You find us faithful in the face of an ungodly nation, in the hands of deceitful and unjust men. Lead us by Your Truth. And may Your will be done in the hearts of Your children, and through us in this great nation.