and the One who walks with me on it.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Every day

       Every day I wake up from my sleep and wish I could sleep a little longer.  Every day I push to remember to talk to my Lord before I even open my eyes.  Every day I manage to crawl out of bed, workout six days, eat breakfast and start doing the tasks that need to be done.  Every day I manage to get done at least some of what I need to.  And every night I lay my head down- probably late as usual- and quickly fall asleep only to start it all over in the morning (God willing).

       There aren’t too many every day’s in the Bible, but out of the 21 I found, these four stuck out as interesting:

Then said Jehovah unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not. 
Ex. 16:4  ASV
And every day shalt thou offer the bullock of sin-offering for atonement:…  Ex. 29:36 ASV
So he left … Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day 's work required;  1Ch.   ASV
I will extol thee, my God, O King; And I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; And I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Ps. 145:1,2  ASV

       Every day, Moses and the people of Israel went out to gather the bread that ‘fell from heaven’ for them to eat (Ex. 16).  Each person had enough to eat for their meals that day.  The manna would not last for more than one day (Sabbath excepting), so they had to gather fresh every day.  Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.(Mt. 4:4)  So the manna is like our reading the Word.  It needs to be done every day to sustain us for that day; we can’t just carry it over to the next day, for we need it fresh daily.

       Every day they were to offer a sin offering for atonement/ reconciliation.  This is like our meeting with God every day to repent of our sins and to ask His forgiveness- for our sin is an offense to Him.  We all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. ) each day, and so the forgiveness of sins needs to be repeated often; we can’t get by on yesterday’s forgiveness.  We must confess our sins every day (1Jh. 1:9) for only He is able to cleanse us.

       Every day those who were called to minister (before the ark- God’s presence) would do what was required of them.  They didn’t shirk their duties, or call in sick when they weren’t because you can bet God knew!!!  We also have jobs that God wants us to do, and we do them in the presence of our God.  He knows when we work hard, when we slack off and when we avoid certain tasks.  We are to minister to Him daily.  He knows when we spend 3 hours watching a movie but didn’t have time to spend with Him...

       Every day, if we have a heart that loves God, we are to bless Him and praise His name.  Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.(Ps. 148:13)  In fact, the same chapter says all of creation is to praise Him just because He made us all!  Rev. 5:12,13 indicates that God is worthy of our praise.  He created us all, and made, then executed a plan for our salvation, and grants us eternal life with Him.  He surely is worthy of all praise- every day.

       Lord, every day when I wake up, I choose to remember You and all You’ve done, and see with my eyes each day is new, and You give me what I need to be with You.  Remind me of all the things I need to do each and every day!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

History Records...

       Go back far enough in history and you can find some very strong and powerful nations.  Nations that attempted to take over the known world: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome are just some of them.  They all became strong for a season, some of them longer than others, but ultimately, each one failed.  Trusting in a man- no matter how ‘powerful’, a man-made nation or power with all their strategies and plans only sets us up for failure.  This is the reason we are not supposed to put our trust in man, because ultimately, flawed men will always fail.

It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in men.  It is better to take refuge in him than in the mightiest king! Though all the nations of the world attack me, I will march out behind his banner and destroy them.  They swarm around me like bees; they blaze against me like a roaring flame  (Ps118:8-12a) TLB

       Sometimes in life we feel like we’re being beat up, crushed down, torn apart or burned up.  This life is difficult, full of sorrow and pain, and living is rarely easy.  With all the enemies surrounding him, David knew the pressures of life; he also knew that finding help with man was not the answer.  Man could not be trusted as they are always looking out for themselves first and foremost.  If you fit in to their plans, they may help you for a while, but ultimately, when you are no longer of help to them or are causing difficulties, they will drop you cold.  David found God to be fully reliable and One who would not fail him.
                                                                            (Dt. 31:6; Heb. 13:5)

He is my strength and song in the heat of battle, and now he has given me the victory. (v.14)
I shall not die, but live to tell of all his deeds. (Ps. 118:17)

In my distress I prayed to the Lord and he answered me and rescued me.  He is for me! How can I be afraid?  What can mere man do to me (Heb. 13:6)?  The Lord is on my side, he will help me.  Let those who hate me beware. (v.5-7)

       Not only did David put his trust in God, but he found in the midst of battle, the Lord would be his strength and better yet (imo) song.  To be able to sing in the midst of a battle is showing peace and joy in the ‘heat’ of the pressure.  What a glorious thing it is to have our Lord be our strength and song when the weights of life bear down hard on us.  The Lord is on our side, and will help us.  Do I need to be afraid?  I shall not die for my life is eternally His.  My big, strong Dad is standing right beside me! 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Is. 41:10 NIV

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A Question of Love

       We were having a fun time together playing, and I decided to ask my precious (3yrs ish) daughter a question to test out her response.  I looked into her wide, beautiful brown eyes and said, “Do you love me?” “Yes,” she said resolutely.  “No, you don’t…” I replied with an exaggerated sad face.  “I do too!” she says much more loudly with an annoyed look in her face.  My reply: “I know you love me.  Guess what?  I love you too!” and I scooped her up for a big bear hug.  Ah the treasured moments with a young child!

       Jesus had risen from the dead, and came back to be seen by His followers.  One day He returned to meet some of the disciples at the sea of Tiberias, and there He had a similar conversation with His disciple Peter.  John 21 (ISV):

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love (G25*) me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love (G5368**) you." Jesus told him, "Feed my lambs." (v.15)
Then he said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love (G25) me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love (G5368) you." Jesus told him, "Take care of my sheep." (v.16)
He said to him a third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love (G5368) me?" Peter was deeply hurt that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" So he said to him, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I love (G5368) you!" Jesus told him, "Feed my sheep. (v.17)

       Jesus is asking Peter if he sees Him as worth his love, more than (either) other people or his job.  Whichever way it’s being asked, Peter answers emotionally in the way his brashness has always been shown.  Of course I love and cherish you!!!  Yes, I’ll always have these lovey, dovey feelings for you but will I choose to express it when confronted and in fear for my life? (Mr. 14:66-72)  Maybe not!

       Jesus does indeed know Peter, and He knows that Peter feels intensely about many things in life.  I think in this passage, He’s wondering if Peter will willingly choose to love Him no matter what happens, or what trials and persecutions arise.  Notice, Jesus didn’t say after- fine, if that’s the best you can give me- but rather, accepted where Peter was at.

       We all love our children, but we certainly don’t always feel the lovey, dovey feelings associated with that love.  Sometimes we are so angry with them for their actions or attitudes that we want to yell, yet even in those times, deep down, we love them.  They can scream in our face “I hate you” and we can still willingly choose to love.  Agapao love... an act of will.

       So I question myself- will I choose to love the Lord when I’m mad He’s not doing what I want how I want (healing, answered prayer, needs met) or will I always be caught up in only loving Him when I feel intensely delighted with Him?  Will I love Him because He’s fundamentally worth it, or only when I feel it?  I resolve to give Him all my love, the love which I feel, and the love which I choose.  Oh Lord, You can have it all!

*G25 verb agapao: to value, or esteem, because of a perceived intrinsic worth. It is a respect or honoring because of this perceived inherent worth. Activities arising from agapao are primarily acts of the will - not emotions.  It is internal and controllable choice on our part because we perceive intrinsic worth in the target object.
(fyi-The noun agape refers to who God is.)

**G5368 verb phileo: to cherish. It is packed with emotion. It means to like, to be fond of, or to delight in.  In some contexts it is translated, to kiss! It is the word for intense endearment.  Phileo is a different form of love, being more emotional in nature.

Therefore, phileo and agapao do not compete.

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Memories of Man… and God

       “Hi Vicky, do you remember me?”  I look into her eyes and see she knows me and instantly I recognize her but I can’t place the where and when.  It’s embarrassing when my memory fails to recall the names of people I knew and spoke to often, especially when in the back of my mind I remember them being so kind and caring.  As always, I admit I remember her but not her name, and she is kind enough to tell me.  Name recall is a particularly bad memory area of mine.

       I was 16/17 when I attended my first evangelical church.  My sister introduced me to the pastor, and every week after that, he said, “Hi Vicky, how are you?”  After I moved and went to a different church, he remembered my name (and my sister’s) whenever I visited.  He still remembers my name today though I stopped going there in the late 80’s and his church has over 1000 people- incredible...


       Estimated number of stars in the universe*.  Astronomer Pieter van Dokkum tripled this number in 2010 due to a recalculation of red dwarfs.  (The truth is all numbers given are an estimate anyway, as no technology or human can see them all.)  For every star there is potential for one or more planets in its system!

He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Ps. 147:4 NKJV
Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars?  He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name.  Because of his great power and incomparable strength, no a single one is missing.  Is. 40:26 NLT

       Our mighty God can count that high- without forgetting where He was!  In Oct. of 2011 Earth’s population reached over 7 billion (according to United Nations).  God knows each of our names.  Actually, He knew our names, and those of all the millions of people before us, before any of us were conceived (Jer. 1:5).  “your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
(Ps. 139:16 NIV)

       God created every animal, brought each of the beasts and fowl to Adam to name, and that was their name (Gen. 2:19).  Both Adam and God remembered them all!  God knows all our thoughts (Ps. 94:11) and the motives of our hearts (1Th. 2:4).  He knows our words before we say them (Ps. 139:4), every tear we cry (Ps. 56:8), and every hair on our head (Mt. ).  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. NKJV)  Truly we can say:

Our God is a mighty God!

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. Ps. 147:5 ASV
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Acts

*It has been said that counting the stars in the Universe is like trying to count the number of sand grains on the beaches of Earth.