Wednesday, January 30, 2008

All Scripture.....

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
correcting and training in righteousness -- 2 Timothy 3:16

Recently my son was sharing some verses that had really spoken to his heart and he had decided to memorize them. He quoted several pieces of scripture that I am very familiar with... verses that most believers know... and then he quote Judges 5:8 "When they chose new gods, war came to the city gates, and not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel."

I thought to myself, "That's an odd verse to learn" and then I asked him, "How does that apply to you today." I really thought he wouldn't have an answer to my question and then I could follow up with "Then why are you learning that verse. Surely there are more useful verses you could learn?" But no.. he had an answer. When we make something else our god or let something take the place of God in our lives, our life will be like a war. And as he explained that, God gently whispered 2 Timothy 3:16 to me... ALL SCRIPTURE is USEFUL!

How could I have forgotten that? Yes, there are verses that seem obscure and irrelevant to our lives today, but the Word tells us that isn't so. Every single bit of scripture.. every promise, precept, list, command, historical fact, prophecy, praise, woe, etc. is useful to us.. and it is all for us. We are to read it all... study it all... believe it all!

And I also realized that what might not speak to me at this time can speak to someone else. We are all at different points on our journey and all have different needs. God is a personal god... He speaks to us as we need it.... He reveals what we need to see in Scripture as we need it.

2 Timothy 3:16 is a great verse to memorize so that you won't be like me and forget that God wrote every bit of the Bible and every bit of it is useful!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gentle Reminders....

For several weeks now, I have been bombarded with the need to walk in the Spirit not in the flesh. It pops up in books I read, sermons, Bible studies, devotions and more. So this morning I wasn't surprised when I opened the devotional I am reading and saw this verse pops up... Gal. 5:25 we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit

I was thinking the other day, well I must be doing awful since God keeps reminding me.. but then I decided, no He is just encouraging me.. exhorting me... helping me to keep on walking in the Spirit. Sort of like when I say to my kids "I know you already know this, but I have to say it anyway....." It isn't that they are doing anything wrong, I just need to remind them because I know they might get distracted or in a situation where they forget.

For example, last week was D-Now for our church. D-Now is basically a youth retreat weekend and the kids stay in other people's homes for 2 nights. I was talking to my son before D-Now about picking up after himself and being respectful of the home he was staying in... even reminding him that this was a young couple with young children... not use to teenage boys staying up and being noisy all night long. Now I know he would not purposely leave a mess or be loud and noisy, he is a very respectful kid... and really so are most of the kids that were staying there... but there were 13 boys in that house and I knew it would be so easy for them all to forget their manners. So I had to remind him. I

think that is what God is doing with me. He knows what is coming in my life.. things I don't know... and He knows there is the potential for me to not walk in the Spirit and so He is keeping this before me as a reminder... to help me follow through.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Recently a friend asked me to pray for her and a situation at work. Now this wasn't a life and death situation... in fact, some would think it a silly thing to pray about. Of course I know there is absolutely NOTHING that can be considered a silly thing to pray about.... God cares about every single aspect of our lives from our health to the car keys we have misplaced and everything in between. So my friend asked me to pray because she knew I wouldn't deem her request silly.

The next morning as I am praying... not really sure what to ask God for in this situation... a word pops into my mind.. BREAKTHROUGH... and then I remembered there is a very in the Bible that talks about this very thing. After a bit of digging, I found it... 2 Samuel 5:20 "....The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters."

David had just defeated the Philistines against great odds and he knew why... Yaweh had gone before him and broken through like a mighty rush of water.

The neat thing is God is still able to do this and He wants to do it in your life and in mine.... and not just in the big things. He wants to breakthrough every stronghold in our life that in any way causes us distress or comes between us and him.

My friend's trouble at work wasn't a huge thing, but she found herself thinking about it at home... trying to work it out in her head. It was taking up her mind and her energy and surely taking her focus off God.

It was definitely time for a BREAKTHROUGH... much better that than a breakdown!

So the next time you have anything... no matter how big or how small... that is standing between you and God... taking up all your mind and energies... keeping your focus off the Lord... pray 2 Sam. 5:20 with confidence.

Our God is the Lord of the Breakthrough! There is nothing He cannot handle!

He will rejoice over you....

"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. And He will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:17

This is one of my favorite Mot verses. Mot is a lovely woman God placed into my life many years ago to encourage and challenge me. She loves the Word and has hidden a great deal of it in her heart. Mot verses come in 2 forms... those she tells you to learn (Ok, now write this one down and learn it!)... and those she just seems to use over and over. Zeph. 3:17 fits both categories.

There is a wonderful song based on this verse on the Glory Revealed CD. I sing it often!

So the other night while watching the video during Ladies Bible Study at church, I grinned with delight as Beth Moore quoted this wonderful verse.. in fact, I said it right along with her. But then she helped us visualize the last part... He will rejoice over you with singing... she helped us picture God the Father leaning over us tenderly and singing to us.... love filling every note.

I have no doubt there are some who struggle to imagine what this would be like, but in that moment I was moved to my core. You see, my earthly father did that many times. My dad had a wonderful voice and he loved to whistle and to sing. I remember him coming in to kiss me good night and sometimes he would lie down besides me and sing to me. Daddy didn't know kiddie songs, so he sang hymns and country music. It didn't matter one bit to me what he sang, just as long as I could curl up next to him and listen to the love pouring forth from every note.

After Bible study last Tuesday night I thanked the Lord for a dad who did that... what a wonderful illustration I had of Zeph. 3:17... it wasn't difficult for me to imagine God singing over me at all.

Even if you never had a parent sing over you, you have probably seen someone do that. A mom or dad will cuddle a child and sing softly to them... that is what God does. He draws close to you and sings over you... loving you with every note... rejoicing over you with singing... all you need to do is be still and quiet and listen....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"Don't be afraid... BELIEVE!"

"Don't be afraid; just believe..." Luke 8:50

Jesus spoke those words to Jairus upon the news of his daughter's death. They had been on their way to Jairus' home so that Jesus might heal the girl, but not it appeared that they were too late.

But appearances aren't everything ... remember, we walk by faith not by sight... Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do NOT see.

As I read this familiar passage today, I realized Jesus was speaking to me... my precious one, don't be afraid -- BELIEVE!

Believe in what Lord? BELIEVE GOD!

Don't be afraid of your daughter's upcoming medical tests and their results -- BELIEVE that I, Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals, know the plans I have for her and they are not to harm her, but to give her a hope and a future.

Don't be afraid of the call to ministry I have placed on your son's life and his desire to go to other countries and seemingly dangerous places, BELIEVE that I hold him in the palm of my hands and no one can snatch him from me... I have begun a good work in him and will see it through to completion.

Don't be afraid of financial burdens and constraints, BELIEVE that I, Jehovan-Jireh the God who provides, will take care of all your needs according to My glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Don't be afraid to go forward with Me... to grow and be changed... for that is My will for you.. that in all you do I be glorified as I conform you not to the pattern of this world, but into the glorious image of my son, Jesus.

What are you afraid of today?

"Don't be afraid... BELIEVE!"

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Never Underestimate

I never cease to be surprised at my gullibility when it comes to the enemy and his attacks... and I really don't know why. The Word tells us clearly that he is prowling around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8)... that he comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)... and we know that he is the craftiest of all creatures (Gen. 3:1)... so why should I ever be surprised at his tactics.

I awoke this morning with a headache... not a huge surprise as our weather has had a drastic change and is now very warm and humid. Such changes often bring about headaches. The timing was horrible. Today was a big day at church... our new pastor was beginning... there were several baptisms taking place including a teen who is a close friend to my son... our youth were performing a wonderful drama.. I knew the praise and worship would be great (as it always is) and I so looked forward to the message... and yet, I debated staying home because my head ached a bit.

I decided to take some Advil and push on... and then it happened... the whispers... the lies. I was enslaved to fear and anxiety for a portion of my life and though I am free from those chains, the enemy tries time and again to capture me again. I felt the fear rising... the anxiousness... I prayed and pushed on... the enemy pressed on harder... it was truly a battle being fought within me and even after arriving at church I felt I might loose... but then I went from my simple asking prayers to proclaiming. I proclaimed the freedom I had in Christ.. proclaimed the peace of Christ that ruled in me.. proclaimed that I was covered by His blood... and that no power of darkness could prevail over me! And it didn't... and I received a blessing as a result of my taking God at His Word.. believing Him.. standing on His promises...

The service was wonderful.. the message amazing.. but more than that God was there.. no doubt about it.. and I was able to worship and commune with Him along with my church family. And even more, I walked in faith... in victory... as more than a conqueror.

Never underestimate the enemy.... he will strike at any time and in any way he can... but also never underestimate the power of our Lord that lives inside each believer... "....the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Thursday, January 3, 2008


"We know God created us that He might be known. But known how? In a perfect world He could have demonstrated His power, His purity, His wisdom, His creativity -- all of His attributes except one. Mercy. How can a merciful God be known in a perfect world? He can't. The imperfect had to come." from The One Year at His Feet Devotional by Chris Tiegreen

Mercy.... God pours it out on us by the bucketfuls every day.... undeserved... unmerited... unearned... and often unacknowledged mercy. Do we even stop and notice it? I know I often don't especially if it is a "little" thing.

The Bible tells us He is merciful...

"For the LORD (Yahweh) your God (Elohim) is a merciful God." Deut. 4:31 a

"... for You are a gracious and merciful God." Neh. 9:31b

"Remember, O LORD (Yaweh), Your great mercy and love, for they are from of old." Ps. 25:6

"... in His love and mercy He redeemed them..." Isa. 63:9

"... God, who is rich in mercy" Eph. 2:4

"... in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." 1 Peter 1:3

And He calls us to be merciful...

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:36

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

So how can we show mercy? By being aware of the mercy shown to us each and every day.... and allowing it to pour through us onto others.

Thank You, Father, for You are a merciful God... we would not know true mercy if it weren't for You. May we accept it and acknowledge it daily... and allow it to flow through us onto others as we strive to be merciful too. In Jesus powerful name... Amen.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I love the passage in John 10 about the Good Shepherd... I especially love verse 28... "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand." What an awesome promise! No one can snatch you out of His hand... your salvation is secure... you are secure... but as I was reading this familiar passage this morning, something else popped out at me.

As I often do, I was reading several versions of the Bible.... comparing the language of each. (I highly recommend doing this... you often see something in a new light when doing so.) The Amplified version of verse 27 grabbed my attention... "The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice".... other versions say the sheep hear my voice, the sheep listen to my voice, that may not seem much different but there is something about the Amplified that struck a chord with me. "hear and are listening".. are listening... that sounds like a continual act to me... and a choice.

There is a lot of noise in the world... a lot of sounds going on... we have music playing from all directions, different people talking to us in person and on phones, the television, and so much more.. all clamoring for our attention. And we listen... maybe not to all of it, but we listen to what we think is important or what we want to hear.

So where does God fit in? Do you recognize His voice? How long has it been since you heard it? He is speaking.... throughout John 10 Jesus says the sheep hear His voice.. they know it... we couldn't know His voice if He wasn't speaking.

But what about those times He seems silent? I wonder if it isn't that He isn't speaking.... it's that we aren't listening or we have forgotten what He sounds like.

So what is the lesson I learned in all this? I need to actively make a choice to listen for and to His voice. Not just for a set time each morning or when I pray and want an answer right now! I need to choose to be an "are listening" believer... that means I will actively listen for the Good Shepherd's voice all the time and I will listen when I hear Him speak.

I often ask the Lord to open the eyes of my heart (hence the name of this blog), but now I will add open the ears of my heart too.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Am With You... Always

January 1 -- the beginning of a new year.. don't we all love beginnings? They are new... fresh... a chance to do it right.

Many folks start a read-the-Bible through plan on January 1 and it often begins at the beginning... Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning was God"... but somewhere along the way we skip a day here and there and eventually we just give up trying and our journey through the Word is over and we don't make it to the end.

So what is at the end.... the same that is at the beginning.. God! Rev. 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."

God is there at all our beginnings and He is there at all our ends and He is there for everything in between!

Matt.28:20 "I am with you always."

Deut. 31:6 "....the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you not forsake you."

Haggai 1:13 "...'I am with you, ' declares the Lord."

We do not walk along this journey alone. He was with us at the beginning, He has continued with us every step we have taken and He will be with us until the end.

So today, January 1, 2008, as a new year begins... fresh and new.... full of promise... uncertainty.... hope... apprehension... grace.... remember that God is with you....always.

Father, I praise You for new beginnings and even for ends and for everything in between. Thank You, Lord, that You are our Emmanuel... God with us. Your Word assures us that You are with us always. So when the enemy whispers his lies and tried to convince us that we are all alone.... when You choose to be quiet and we feel You have quit speaking... when You place us in a time where we must be patient, where we are to be still and know... Lord, remind us that You are there. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.