Tag Archives: daily walk

January 13; Spiritual Inventory

As Job was taking inventory of his life, I am encouraged to do the same. Can I, like Job, lay it all out there and know in my heart I have done what is right and good? Join me as I look at my heart’s condition before my God.

31:1-4; Job determined not to lust after another woman. This takes an intentional act of will.  So I’m checking my own lust-level. I can hardly watch TV without something popping up to try to get me to think about sex. Sex sells. God is asking me if I intentionally guard my heart even in front of the tube.

31:5-8; Job tells me he didn’t “walk in falsehood,” or hurry “after deceit.” Again, speaking the truth, living the truth is a choice. God is asking me how important it is to me to always speak the truth, even in these days when the truth is something to be laughed at and denied, and when people think there’s such a thing as a “white lie”.

31:9-12; Jealousy. Can I really be genuinely happy for my neighbor over their good fortune without longing for what they have? Job says jealousy is a sin to be judged.

31:13-15; Job reminds me that everyone is born in the exact same way. So, how do I treat people? If I consider myself more important, or better than someone else, I will be called to account.

31:16-23; Job tells me he had compassion, that he gave to needy people. God is prompting me to check my heart’s ability to feel, and my resources to do. I don’t want to be so desensitized that I can ignore someone who is hurting, or in need of something I have the ability to provide.

31:24-28; Job didn’t put his trust in wealth, or the universe. How faithful am I to God? If my bank account becomes more important than my relationship with God, that is a sin to be judged. If I entertain the idea that God plus anything is worth worship, I am unfaithful to God, and that is a sin to be judged.

31:29-34; What is my attitude toward an enemy? If I find myself even a little glad someone who wronged me is facing a trial or a hardship, I cannot please God. And Job reminds me that I don’t even need to express my feelings out loud. Trying to hide any sin is a futile effort. God always knows what’s in my heart and mind.

31:35-40; Job challenges me to look at my stewardship. God has blessed me. Am I using what He has given me to be a blessing to others? I am reminded I am blessed for that purpose. How am I doing?

Aren’t these things that Job spoke about the things that should identify us as God’s? I know that nothing I do – no matter how sacrificial – can make up for even one sin I’ve committed. I don’t believe the lesson here is: do good so God likes you better.

But as a woman who is saved by grace, a child of God through the precious blood of Jesus, I want my life to be above reproach. After all, I wear His Name. I want my testimony to be true, my heart in tune with God’s.

Thank you, Job, for helping me take inventory. Help me, God, to address the things You have laid on my heart. I want to represent you well today. For Jesus’ sake.

 

January 12; Something More

Job 27-19

Job tells his friends: “Let me tell you what I know about God. I’m going to give it to you straight, even though He’s revealed Himself to you exactly the same way He revealed Himself to me. Maybe it will put an end to this meaningless talk.” (from 27:11-12)

God is still revealing Himself to all of mankind in the same way He showed Himself to Job and his friends. A beautiful sunset is seen by millions. Winter always turns into spring, which always precedes summer, summer leads into fall, and back to winter. Year after year after year. The tiniest insects or the largest animals are all unique by species, yet uniquely similar to others within their species.

Just look around. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies proclaim the work of His hand… (Psalm 19:1-6)

There are a multitude of other truths God reveals about Himself every minute of every day. Job uses mining as an example. Beneath the surface, there is treasure. It doesn’t come easy, But for those who dig for it, it is life-altering.

Yes, God reveals Himself in nature to all of us, so no one has an excuse if they refuse to acknowledge HIm. But there is so much more. And knowing God in an intimate way requires some digging.

Job calls it wisdom, understanding. “…The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (28:28)

No one, not even Job knows everything there is to know about God. William Cowper, who wrote the hymn “There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood” said, “Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; wisdom is humble that he knows no more.” Job’s friends may have had a knowledge of God, but Job realized there was something more, something worth digging for.

Friend, are you digging? Are you reading and re-reading God’s Word? Are you praying? Do you take God with you throughout your day? Do you know Him better today than you did yesterday?

I pray so. Because whatever your relationship is with Him now – there is always something more He has in store for you

 

 

January 5; What Is Your Answer?

Job 1-3

Job was the George Bailey of the ancient world. He was “the richest man in town.” Sure, he had wealth. But he was also rich in family, friends, prestige, reputation. He had it all.

And he lost it all.

The book of Job has many lessons for us concerning suffering. Who hasn’t wished at some time or another, that they’d never been born? Life is hard. Loss is painful. And sometimes things happen that we’re convinced we just don’t deserve. Job will have a lot to say about that in the next few days.

But I don’t think suffering is the main theme in this book. If you look at chapter 1, Satan is suggesting that people only worship God when they are blessed by Him; only when the bills are paid, and they get a good report from the doctor. Satan is still suggesting that.

And sadly, we often equate health and wealth with God’s blessings yet today.

Not that God doesn’t sometimes bless us with those things, but I think the main theme in the book of Job is worship. The issue at hand is, “Is God worthy of worshiping even when times are hard and we feel abandoned by Him? Or, is God only worth worshiping on good days?”

You probably know Job’s reaction to the news that his livestock and slaves were gone, and all his children were dead. He heard of one disaster after another, then another, and another. It was too much. He fell to the ground and said these words:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. (1:21, emphasis mine)

In the first throws of unimaginable grief, Job praised the Lord. And we will find that…

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (1:22)

I think the main theme of Job is the question, “Is God worth it?” And that’s the question I’d encourage you to answer for yourself today. Does God deserve your worship regardless of your situation or your feelings? Does He deserve your worship when you aren’t getting the answers you think you need? Do you use worship as a bargaining tool to get what you want?

Friend, the truth of the matter is, God deserves our worship for the simple fact that HE IS.

Job won’t be happy about his situation. Job will ask some hard question of God. Job probably didn’t “feel” like worshiping God in the midst of his pain. But in all this Job will not sin, he will not turn His back on God or deny God. Job will worship God despite his circumstances.

And so should we. Because God is worth it. Do you believe that?

What is your answer?

January 3; Testing the Water

Genesis 7-9

I’ve never gotten a text from God. And He has not once left me a voicemail. So when I’m faced with a big decision, how do I know what His will is, and what is coming from my own desires?

In my reading yesterday, I was impressed with Noah’s immediate obedience. Today his careful patience impresses me.

I believe God is telling me both have their places in my obedience. When God told Noah to build the ark, Noah obeyed without question. God’s voice was audible and clear. I believe His voice is that clear still today.

Jesus said, “Go into all the world…” so I don’t need to question whether or not He wants me to introduce my neighbor to the Savior. He’s already told me to do that. The Bible tells us to love each other, as well as love our enemies, do good to those who mistreat us, resist the devil… Some things are black and white. God says, “Do,” and we must obey.

But God doesn’t specifically address whether or not I should move from Ohio to Georgia. Or whether you should change jobs, or marry that person you are seeing. Wouldn’t it be nice if He’d just call once in awhile?

So what do you do, when you want to be obedient to God’s will in every circumstance of life? I think Noah gives us a great example.

The rain had stopped, and the ark came to rest on a mountaintop. Now what? Do we stay here? Or do we step out of this ark in faith? At this point, God isn’t saying anything. So Noah tests the water.

First he opened a window. Then he sent out a raven, followed by a dove. He took the cover off the ark, and saw the earth had dried up. And He waited. Finally, God spoke, and Noah moved.

I know I shared about my move to this island a couple years ago. My prayer was that God would lead, and I would follow. I promised not to force open any door He closed, and to go through the ones He opened. But in order to do that, I had to test the water, look at dozens of homes, make offers on several, until the house I now own became available, and God opened the door He wanted me to go through.

Let’s face it. Not every thought or desire we have comes from God. I think Scripture tells us to be wise. Test the water. And if God closes that door, you can bet He did that to save you from a world of hurt. If God opens that door, you are in for a shower of blessings. 

Are you facing a decision here at the beginning of 2019, and you aren’t sure where God is leading you? Test the water. Trust God to shut you down if He doesn’t want you to move. And trust Him to open doors He wants you to go through. But if you think He is nudging you to go in a certain direction, take a step. Open a window. Send out a dove. He’ll be faithful to give you the answers you need.

You just need to obey.

January 2; No Questions Asked

Genesis 4-6

“Noah, build an ark.”

“Ok.”

But had Noah ever even seen an ark? Did he even know what a flood looked like? He might not even have known what rain looked like. But God said it. And Noah obeyed.

If you are like me, sometimes I ask too many questions. God might be prompting me to do something as easy as walking across the street to talk to a neighbor about Him, or to befriend that irritating coworker, or up my financial giving at church. And instead of obeying, I start asking questions:

“Why?”

“What’s in it for me?”

“What can I say to them?”

“What will people think?”

“Am I hearing you right?”

And I think it to death, my time is wasted, and my opportunity is past. What if Noah had done that? What if he started asking questions and put off building the ark?

The Bible would be a much shorter book. There’d be no one to read it anyway.

But Noah obeyed and built that ark that saved him and his family, and us. God is not asking me to do anything as unimaginable or difficult as building an ark. Why do I make such a big production out of obeying what He does ask of me?

This year, in 2019, I want to be obedient. Period. I want to trust Him without having to know the details first. As I continue to read His Word and pray, I want His voice to be clear and my obedience immediate.

Like Noah building an ark, I want to take that step of faith and obey God just because He asks me to. No questions asked.

1,2,3 John, Jude; Love Came Down… And Out

Merry Christmas! Jesus is born. God, who is love, came down from glory and began life in human form. We celebrate that incredible birth today. Happy birthday, Jesus.

This portion of Scripture that I read today reminds me that I can claim to be a Christian, I can go through the motions of worshiping Him, but unless I am changed by my encounter with Jesus – I don’t know Him.

Period.

I can’t claim to be a Christian if I have hate in my heart. I can’t claim to be His child if I mistreat people He came to save. If God is love, then when He comes to live in me, love lives in me. And I can’t help but express that love to others. His love comes down, then reaches out to others through me.

Enjoy the day with family and friends. Take time to worship the new born King. And may His love be evident in all of us who truly know Him.

Ephesians; Royal Rules

Being an American, I’m not that familiar with British Royalty. I’m not what you’d call a Royal Enthusiast, although I do like watching the weddings. So, after reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I Googled Royal Rules. Here are a few that stood out to me:

  1. No one eats after the Queen is through with her meal.
  2. A Royal wedding bouquet must contain myrtle.
  3. You can’t have political views
  4. You can’t play the board game “Monopoly.”
  5. Married women don’t wear hats after 6 PM – bring on the tiaras.
  6. You can’t eat shellfish
  7. You can’t take selfies
  8. Garlic isn’t allowed in Buckingham Palace
  9. Neither are potatoes, rice, and pasta
  10. You never turn your back toward the Queen

(from “50 Strict Rules the Royal Family Has to Follow, marieclaire.com)

After reading Galatians the other day, I was reminded that I am an heir, a member of the most royal family of all – God’s Church. Today I am convicted about that very thing. Paul, in Ephesians, tells us what a Royal should look like. I’m asking myself if I’m living my life worthy of the calling:

  1. Be completely humble
  2. Be gentle, patient, loving
  3. Be a peace-maker
  4. Speak truth in love
  5. Put off falsehood
  6. Don’t sin in anger
  7. Don’t be obscene
  8. Don’t be impure
  9. Don’t be greedy
  10. Don’t be partners with those who are disobedient

There’s more. Paul goes on to describe in further detail what we who are heirs of the Promise, children of the King of Kings should look like. I encourage you to read Ephesians for yourself.

I’m thinking if those British Royals can take that much care to represent the Queen in such a manner, shouldn’t I take more care to represent my King?