Monthly Archives: September 2013

Standing Firmly in Faith ~ Jeremiah 26:1-24

“But as for me, behold, I am in your hands; do with me as is good and right in your sight. ~ Jeremiah 26:14

I wonder sometimes how I would react if my life were in danger because of my faith. Would I stand firm, trusting God that His will is as good and perfect as I believe it is, or would I turn against Him to spare my life?

This passage presents an interesting turn of events. As Jeremiah continues to faithfully prophesy in the Lord’s name about the disasters to come if Judah does not repent of her sin, the priests and prophets seize him and, with all the people, declare he must die. Jeremiah warns them that they are about to spill innocent blood; if they do, disaster will befall them. Then, exhibiting complete trust in God, he tells them to do with him as they will. People begin to listen, beginning with some officials and then some of the elders of the land, who remember that Micah, a prophet before Jeremiah, prophesied the same things from the Lord that Jeremiah was prophesying. As they consider Micah and other past prophets who proclaimed similar messages they begin to realize that Jeremiah truly is a prophet from God and they wisely spare his life.

As I read about God’s heroes of faith, including people like Jeremiah, Noah, Stephen, Paul and many others, I am humbled when I realize how much growing I have yet to do. Looking back over my life I see a long road of maturation leading me to where I stand today and for that I am truly thankful. However, I also realize that I still have much growing to do. As I look ahead, I am eager to walk with my Lord wherever He may lead me.

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:19-20

Ponder this: When I consider the faith with which God has gifted me I am truly thankful. I wonder, sometimes, if I am doing enough to share it with the world.

My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, Thank You for those who have come before me and trusted completely in You even when their very lives were threatened for doing so. Teach me through their example, and equip me to be Your witness, even in situations in which the easy way out is to remain silent. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN.

Light Piercing the Darkness ~ Jeremiah 25:1-14

“And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the LORD has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; ~ Jeremiah 25:4-5

English: Okienko Zbójnickie Cave in Kraków, Po...

English: Okienko Zbójnickie Cave in Kraków, Poland Polski: Okienko Zbójnickie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember as a Boy Scout we went spelunking on one of our weekend camping trips. We entered this narrow, wet cave in groups of eight. Each of us had a flashlight, and I had the map. As we entered the cave and rounded the first bend the outside light from the entrance quickly gave way to complete darkness. At one point along the way we all turned off our flashlights and experienced a scary, overcoming darkness. Within a few seconds we felt completely disoriented and scared. We quickly turned our lights back on and held tightly to them as we completed our journey.

In this passage, God’s words through the prophet Jeremiah are words of anger and warning of consequence for sin. For 23 years, Jeremiah has proclaimed God’s wrath to Israel and for 23 years Israel has chosen not to listen. In this passage, God’s sovereignty is on full display as He lays out the consequences for Israel’s sin. (Read on, though; there is a Light to come!)

Note that God refers to King Nebuchadnezzar as “servant” in describing how this foreign king will come against Israel and bring them into exile in Babylon. They will be in exile for 70 years. At the end of the exile period, God says He will punish Babylon for its deeds. After all, even in His anger, Israel is still God’s chosen people.

Human wisdom says this is unfair. However, we must always remember that God is completely sovereign over His creation. He can use whomever he wants, even those who do not acknowledge Him, to carry out His good and perfect will. This is a tough pill to swallow. We all sin and the message here is that God is angered by that, and sin bears its consequence. For Israel, the consequence was to be a successful invasion by a foreign power.

There is no good news in today’s Jeremiah passage. But in order to understand where we humans stand in relationship to our sovereign God, we must understand His wrath over sin. Is God as angered by our sin as He was over the sins of Israel in Jeremiah’s day? The Bible tells us He is. In fact, the Bible tells us that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and the punishment for sin is death. What hope do we have? Where do we turn?

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:21-23

Cross & Clouds

Cross & Clouds (Photo credit: John H Wright Photo)

In ourselves there is no hope. If we rely on our efforts, our knowledge, our works, to appease God’s righteous anger with our sin we become like a group of boy scouts trying to find our way through a dark, wet cave with no flashlight; we will get nowhere. Recognizing that fact, God paid the price in full for our sins. Justification for sin comes through the shedding of blood, and Jesus shed His blood on the cross in our behalf. The Light of the World has overcome the wet darkness of that cave of sin. Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords humbled Himself to die, that we who believe in Him would be forgiven and spared the punishment we deserve. That is Good News, indeed!

Ponder this: At we read about God’s wrath we must never forget that God shows His love and mercy through Jesus. Isn’t it comforting to know that through Jesus we are forgiven? Who in your world needs to hear this Good News?

 My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, I know I sin every day. I ask Your forgiveness as I seek to turn away from my sins and live a life that glorifies You. Thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice in my behalf for I know it is through Him and Him alone that I am reconciled to You. In His name I pray, AMEN.

Thank You, Senator Cruz!

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership...

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Politicians are politicians, and I’m hearing many voices questioning Senator Ted Cruz’ motives behind his marathon speech on the Senate floor. What Senator Cruz has said needed to be said; the fight needs to be fought. If he doesn’t say it, nobody in DC will. They will simply roll over and do whatever the status quo bureaucrats tell them to do. That’s how Obamacare passed in the first place. “You have to pass it to find out what’s in it,” said Nancy Pelosi and our gutless Congress did just that. That action alone is worthy of a one-way ticket out of office. That action alone demonstrates the disdain that many in government apparently have for We the People.

I’m not going to question the Senator’s motives. I’m glad he did what he did. He spoke for me and millions of Americans who believe deep down in our heart of hearts that what our federal government is doing to our country is destroying us as a nation. And once their work is done, they will look down at us from their seats of power and rule unabashedly. Heck, they already are.

Thank you, Senator Cruz, for representing me and the millions of Americans who still believe in Liberty.

Be Thou My Vision – Alison Krauss

Be Thou My Vision – Alison Krauss

I was working from home this afternoon, quite frustrated at having to redo work I’d already done through no fault of my own. While I brooded over my computer, grumbling with each entry in my spreadsheet, this hymn came to mind. As I sung the lyrics to myself, I completed my work wearing a smile. I sometimes need to be reminded that, even when working my job in corporate America, I must work as for the Lord. He lovingly delivered this much-needed reminder in the words of this beautiful hymn. May it be as much a blessing to you as it was to me this afternoon!

There Is A Gift (9/23/13)

I had to share this piece. In this age of hundred million dollar lottery jackpots, this puts it all into proper perspective. Read and be blessed!

THE RIVER WALK


But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Read: Isaiah 41:17-43:13, Ephesians 2:1-22, Psalm 67:1-7, Proverbs 23:29-35

Relate: Sometimes I imagine the day it will happen. I’ll be sitting at my desk typing away, or perhaps I’ll be reading some book while all sprawled out on the couch. Maybe I’ll be in the kitchen slaving away over a hot microwave getting ready for dinner. Wherever I am, the doorbell will ring. My mind will run through the possibilities. Did I leave something somewhere and it is being returned? Am I expecting company? Is the ups guy here with more books?

I’ll walk to that front door a little hesitant, turn the lock, and open up. There they are. It is the publishers clearing house prize…

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