Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"So Long...."

Ex 32:1 "when the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain...."

Moses took longer than the people wanted... they grew impatient.. began to "suppose"... to let their minds wander here and there right into a golden calf and idolatry.

Don't I do the same? God takes "so long"... too long for me... I want Him to act, but nothing (actually He very likely is acting, but not in the manner I expect or want.. so I see it as inactivity).  My mind then starts to have a hey day of what ifs and I decide to help move things along.. I usually am able to even convince myself that this is what God wanted all along.. my help.

I may not create a golden calf as the Israelites did, but I create my own idol... the idol of self.. I set myself, my thoughts, my ideas, my abilities etc. up as "god".. I idolize me!

And in doing this I find that I am like Peter... my eyes were on Jesus, but then I got distracted by the water and waves (life) and now I am sinking in the water even if I don't realize it.  I must FIX my eyes on Jesus.. FIX, not glance His way.

I looked Fix up in the dictionary and found these definitions... to make firm, stable or stationary... affix... attach.. to hold or direct steadily... to capture the attention of.. establish.. to make an accurate determination of... to get ready.. focus.. decide.. settle.. fasten

I want to do all of that!  To make my focus Jesus... to have a firm grasp on Him.. to be stable and stationary in where I place my trust... to affix myself, attach me to Him.. to hold steadily to His Word.. to capture His attention.. to make an accurate determination by seeing HIM (Imperishable Truth) and not my circumstances (which are fleeting).. to get ready for whatever comes my way by fastening my eyes on Jesus!

Lord, may You be my vision today... the focus on my eyes and my life!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I have always loved Genesis 22 -- God's call to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  What obedience! What Faith!

I am using The Daily Walk Bible to read through the Scripture this year and each day has a short devotional thought with it. The one for this particular passage caused me to ponder this passage in light of my own life.

Verse 1 of Chapter 22 says "Sometime later God tested Abraham"... the comments are made in the devo that Abraham had already been through a lot of faith-stretching circumstances which were evidently preparing him for this, his biggest test.

And then these questions are asked... "Are you learning lessons today that will help you handle the tests God has for you tomorrow? Think of one faith-stretching situation you are facing today. How might God use it to prepare you for tomorrow? Ask Him to make you teachable in today's tests so you'll be prepared for the bigger ones tomorrow."

Great questions to ponder... great way to apply this to our own lives.

Friday, January 13, 2012


In reading through Genesis, I recently looked at the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  When the angel tells Lot what is about to happen, he tells him to Flee for your lives!  Don't look back and don't stop anywhere in the plain!  Flee for the mountains or you will be swept away. (Gen. 19:17)

In the New Testament we are also told to Flee... what do we flee from? Evil. (see 1 Tim. 1:11 & 2 Tim 2:22) and in Phil. 3:13 Paul says "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead..." Similar to the angel telling Lot not to look back but move forward.

Paul is pressing on toward the goal.  The angel urges Lot to do the same. "Do not stop --- flee to the mountains."

But Lot does stop -- he settles for less than what God wants to give him -- less than a full relationship with God -- less than the abundant life He offers. Instead, Lot decides it is too much work .. it requires too much of himself.. so he asks to settle in the town of Zoar not going all the way to the mountains.

I wonder.. do I do this? Do I settle for a small town when God wants me to press on towards the mountain?  Do I not want to work at my spiritual journey -- not give of myself?  and if so, what will be the result?

The angel told Lot "Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away" .. certainly Lot survived that day, but in the end he had grandchildren from incest who became 2 of the most corrupt nations ever -- enemies of God's chosen people who were ultimately destroyed by God (Amos 2:1-3, Eze. 25:1-11).

Consequences -- Legacy -- what we do or don't do today effects others now and in the future. We must Flee the temptations of the world and head for the mountains .. for God.. we want to develop that intimate relationship with Him that He wants with us.. to stand firm on the Promises in His Word.. to be salt and light in this dark world.. and yes, it will require something of us.. more and more as time goes on, I believe. And we may grow tired and weary... or just be lazy... or just be willing to settle for a little God (like being a Sunday morning Christian warming the pew).  We might do ok just getting by, but we will miss out on the blessings God has in store for us and our actions will effect others. So forget what lies behind... flee the trappings of the world... and press on towards the prize!

Lord, May I obey fully and seek Your face -- pursue an intimate relationship with you and the abundant life you have for me.  Help me not to grow weary or lazy -- not to stop short or settle for less -- put to press on toward the prize for which "You have called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I have several devotional books I am reading in this year... I am not legalistic, in that I don't read every book every day.  One is Daily Light on the Daily Path.  There are morning and evening readings taken straight from Scripture... wonderful book!  I have this on my Kindle and it uses a different Bible version than ones I normally read.  It uses God's Word Version. I have never read this version and confess I am watching carefully for any red flags.  I love reading different translations / transliterations, but seek to discern those that take the truth and twist it. So far, this one has been sound.

I was recently intrigued by the wording used for a specific passage of Scripture... Phil 2:12-13.  

The NIV says:  "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose."

In the Devotional, God's Word Version, it says : "My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I’m absent. In the same way continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please Him."

The part that stopped me was the last line.. "It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please Him."

There is something about the thought of God producing the desires and actions in me that makes me stop and think. Certainly that is only when I am fully yielded to Him, because I know there are desires and actions in me at times which in no way please Him and are not from Him.  They are my sinful flesh's produce -- rotten fruit as it were -- where as the Lord wants to produce good fruit in me through His Holy Spirit.

Lord, help me to be fully and completely yielded to You today.  I choose that -- less of me, more of You!  May I produce good fruit that pleases You -- benefits me -- blesses others -- brings You and You alone glory.  Amen!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

He's Coming!

For the Lord Himself 
will come down from heaven 
with a loud command, 
with the voice of the archangel 
and with the trumpet call of God, 
and the dead in Christ will rise first.

1 Thess. 4:16

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scripture Memory

Most folks run at the mention of memorizing Scripture... that is, after all, something for kids in Sunday School, right? No.. not at all!  We are never too young or too old to learn Scripture. Yes, as we age it might take us longer to learn a verse or passage, but we are still able to learn.  One of the things I have come to realize through memorizing Scriptures is that the process of learning the verse is as beneficial as the learning of it.  By reading the verse over and over... taking it apart... I find myself meditating on it.. thinking about the words and what they mean to my life.  I often don't just memorize the verse,  God writes it on my heart.

I recently started reading a wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan (one of my favorite authors).  100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart.  I am posting the verses on the side bar here as I learn them.  (The other Scripture memory there are the verses our church learns together each week.) Some are old favorites / standards, so it is more review than learn.  I admit that I purchased the book mainly out of curiosity. I wondered what verses he thought were important to know.  And while I did find his list, I found much more. The first half of the book talks about Scripture Memorization.. the benefits, how-to etc.  And for each of the verses, he provides a bit of study, something to help glue the verse to your brain and heart.  Again, going for something other than rote memorization.  I highly recommend this book. I feel certain I will share things from it in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, dive in and start learning Scripture... Ps. 119:11 says "Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might now sin against Thee."  Want to sin less and live the holy life has called you to live? Learn Scripture!  It is also how we are ready in and out of season... how we consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds.. where we find the words to say to a hurting friend... and so much more.  Think of it this way.. Jesus is THE WORD.. so when you spend time learning the Word, you are learning about (and with) Jesus.  And when you hide the Word in your heart, you are in a way putting Jesus there. Yes, as a believer the Holy Spirit already indwells you being, but this is progressive sanctification... becoming more like Jesus every day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Be Ready!

You also must be ready, 
because the Son of Man 
will come at an hour 
when you do not expect Him. 
Luke 12:40

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In the Beginning...

Our church has been encouraged to read the Bible through in a year together. I have done this some in the past, but it has been a while. So I decided to participate this year. One downfall for me personally when doing this is I often end up reading just to check off on my to-do list that I have read and not really getting anything from it.. reading to read, not to learn.. to grow closer to God.. to grow etc.  So I am praying this year to NOT read just to read.  We read Genesis chapters 1 & 2 today and I was once again reminded of the awesomeness of our God... His power... His Sovereignty... in chapter 2 man is not a living creature until God breaths life into Him.  Oh that I would ask God to breath into my future, my hopes and dreams, my ministry, my work, my family, my marriage, my ______... then and only then will their be life there! He is the life-giver.. the only one who holds the key to life... it is in His actual breath!

And I love that chapter 2 verse 24 is a picture of marriage.. given before the Fall of man.. Marriage.. which we know is a picture of Christ and the Church... and God has it planned from the beginning. Salvation was always part of the plan because He knew we would fall.  Earlier in chapter 2 He says to Adam and Eve, WHEN you eat of it you will surely die.. not IF but WHEN. Our Omnipotent God knew sin was crouching at the door and about to slip right in and change everything.. and He already had the solution ready.

Grace did not just show up in a manger.. it was there all along!