and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Slow on the Uptake- Sometimes

       It took me several times to realize that you don't lick frozen metal; as if the first embarrassing stuck tongue was not enough!  Always check the toilet seat at night if there's company because the seat might be left up and you can get a wet bum- the shock makes it difficult to fall back asleep quickly as I learned time and again..  Check all newly cleaned pant legs for underwear before wearing in public as they can slip out as you walk letting everyone see your panties.  Well, that only happened once...
       For about 20 years as a driver I would often be confused by highway signs that would say 'West Windsor' or 'East Toronto'.  What if I wanted to go to East Windsor or West Toronto?  Is that not possible by this highway?  What ding dong was labeling the signs anyway?  So it was 10ish years ago that I realized the signs were indicating a direction: north, south, east or west as well as a city in the direction in which I was headed: Windsor, London, Toronto.
       It was just two weeks-ish ago that I realized something important about me as a human.  I always knew I was 'created' (through Adam) for God's glory, but up until then I couldn't really say what that meant.  Years ago, when my son commented that God was an egomaniac because He made us to praise Him, I couldn't really counter with Scriptures; now it would be different.  Yet still, I thought 'for God's glory' meant to glorify Him verbally, though God doesn't need our praise (Ac.17:24,25).
everyone who is called by My name; for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Is. 43:7 (glory- honour, splendor, reputation, reverence)
       Notice it doesn't say to glorify Him, but for His glory.  A couple weeks ago I heard (or read) something that transformed my life.  It explained this verse to me this way:
      -everything you do should bring glory to God
      -everything you say should bring glory to God
      -everything you think should bring glory to God
       Did my eye rolling impatience at the checkout while waiting for an older person to find change cause God to be glorified or disparaged?  Did my cursing of the man who cut me off on the road bring glory to my God?  Did my thinking that my friend needed "that Scripture" for reproof, but I didn't need it, bring glory to God?  I think not!  Just as my blow-up at my daughter the other day could cause her to avoid becoming a believer, so my deeds, words and thoughts ought not become a stumbling block for others.
       Just how do our actions, words and thoughts actually bring glory to God?  In our actions- working hard for our pay, how honest we live, showing kindness and compassion,  putting away that grocery cart in the parking lot that isn't ours, pick up that litter instead of ignoring it because we didn't put it there, displaying the fruit of the Spirit, or drive a stranger back home.  In our words- encouragement when a co-worker is struggling, not even hinting at a brother's flaws to others, giving comfort to a person who made a mistake by sharing one of our stories, sharing what Jesus is doing in our lives including our struggles- openly and honestly.  By our  thoughts- only allowing ourselves to think well of others, not calling people names in our heads, not thinking of how much better we are than them, praying silently when they are in trouble, not watching that tv shows that cause us to sin in our minds, and always thinking favorably towards others, even those irritating us.
for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. 1Cr. 6:20 
Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1Cr. 10:31
If anyone speaks, let it be as the words of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as of the ability which God gives, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory, and the might forever and ever. Amen. 1Pt. 4:11
Give to Jehovah the glory of His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship Jehovah in the beauty of holiness. 1Ch. 16:29
In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples. Jh. 15:8

       Yes, we are to praise the Lord (Is. 43:21) but the way we live is meant for His glory.  And as His children, whether by our life or death, we will bring glory to Him (Php. 1:20).  By our godly actions, words and thoughts, God is glorified, as only He deserves (Is. 48:11).
Lord help me- that all my actions, words and thoughts bring glory to You!

And he said, Men, brothers, and fathers, listen:
The God of glory
Ac. 7:2

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Two Mothers

       Ever since I was young my dream was to have children- lots of them.  I would, of course, be the perfect mother and we would all love each other and have lot's of fun while building memories.  (You can laugh now!!!)  Obviously that dream was shattered when we couldn't conceive... and being the perfect mother is not even possible.  But my motive for wanting children was to love them and share my life with them.

       It kind of surprised me the day a good friend of mine told me her reason for having children was that it naturally followed her marriage.  In other words, it was just another part of how married life continued on.  My reasons for having children never came to her thoughts even as her reason never came to mine.  Am I a better parent because I wanted children for my reasons than she is for having them for hers?  Not at all.  Both are valid and perfectly fine reasons for wanting children.

       So when it comes to why God made man, I think, well, we may never know the entire reason, but it could be because He wanted to share His love and life with others.  Or perhaps it was a natural extension of His 'Family', Father, Son, Spirit.  Or maybe it was what I read on another site:  "God is a creative Being, and it gives Him pleasure to create. God is a personal Being, and it gives Him pleasure to have other beings He can have a genuine relationship with."   (CEO, S. Michael Houdmann. on got

       Whatever the reason(s), there are some things the Bible is clear on.  The triune God was has always been and there will never be another true God.  It is He that created the universe, heavens and earth, and every creature- including man- on it: for His purpose, for His will, for fellowship, for good works, and for His glory.  As I am fond of saying, God didn't need man, He wanted man.  He was complete and satisfied in His triune self plus He is totally secure in who He is, so He didn't need us to worship Him to build up His ego.

You are My witnesses, says Jehovah, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, nor shall there be after Me. Is. 43:10
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, nor is served with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives life and breath and all things to all. Ac.17:24,25 (also Cl. 1:16)
Jehovah has made all for His purpose... Pr. 16:4
O Lord, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You created all things, and for Your will* they are and were created. Rv. 4:11 (*determination, choice, decree, desire, pleasure, will)
God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1Cr. 1:9
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Ep. 2:10
everyone who is called by My name; for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Is. 43:7

       And so, God had His reasons for creating us, and no matter what the reason(s), we can be assured that He does love us (Rm. 5:8) and wants to bestow His love upon us.  Funny thing is...  We don't have to accept it.  We could completely reject it and never know the greatest- genuine love of the One who created us.  How awful that would be!

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us,
that we should be called children of God!...
1Jh. 3:1

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Toothless Lion

       Yesterday my post was about the devil who is like a lion, Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;(1Pt. 5:8)  Today I was thinking perhaps I didn’t clarify well enough why we don’t need to fear this fierce foe.  In a sense, it’s like he is toothless and declawed.

       See, he’s kind of all bluff and no bite for Christians who trust in the Lord.  When I am afraid I will trust in You. In God I will praise His Word; in God I have put my trust...” (Ps. 56:3,4)  It doesn’t mean you’ll never get hurt, but it does mean that the battle is the Lord’s (2Ch. 20:15) so we’re on the winning team.  God fights for us. (Ex. 14:14; Dt. 1:30; 3:22; 20:4; Js. 23:3,10)

       See, the devil’s biggest tool is fear: people will know what we’re really like, our loved one will die, God won’t give us our desires, we’re not good enough, we’re too bad for God to bless, we’re not strong enough, we can’t do this alone and we feel all alone, we might die, we might lose everything…  The list is endless.

       Think about how the enemy uses the news to promote fear: crime is up so you might be the next victim, one in four is raped so it could be your daughter, cancer is on the rise and you could get it if you eat wrong, no one can survive in this economy- bankruptcies abound, natural disasters are heading your way, post secondary education is too high a cost most can’t afford, housing prices crash, your pension might not be there when you retire, we are killing our world, resources are dwindling…

       In other words, the devil will use fear to get you to stop standing in trust and faith in God so that you fall.  We AREN’T strong enough, but God is.  When our desires don’t come true, God gives us better ones. God is our Father and doesn’t withhold blessings because we’re sinners- since we’re all sinners (Rm. 3:23) and He blesses us (Ps. 3:8) in different ways anyway.  We AREN’T alone no matter how much we feel that way.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Php 4:13)
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father! Rm. 8:15
Be strong and of a good courage. Do not fear nor be afraid of them. For Jehovah your God is He who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you. Dt. 31:6 (also Js. 1:9)
The heart is deceitful above all things… Jr. 17:9

Here are some other helpful verses…

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. 1Jh. 4:18
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2Tm. 1:7
For everything that has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1Jh. 5:4,5

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us; in every way having been troubled, but not having been hemmed in; having been perplexed, but not utterly at a loss; having been persecuted, but not having been forsaken; having been thrown down, but not having been destroyed; always bearing about the dying of the Lord Jesus in the body, so that the life of Jesus also might be revealed in our body. 2Cor 4:7-10

When faced with the lion, we have only to remember the Lion of Judah (Rv. 5:5) is the all powerful God (Ps. 62:11) who dwells in us (Jh. 14:23; 1Jh. 4:15).  It is not by our might or our limited power we win against the enemy, but by God’s:

Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says Jehovah of Hosts.
Zc. 4:6

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the LORD.
Pr. 21:31 ESV

You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them,
because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1Jh. 4:4

Monday, September 30, 2013

Facing the Lion

       Was it a dream?  There I was in the forest against the rock face of the mountain I was about to climb, facing a terrifying foe- a lion of immense proportions whose ravenous mouth looked like it could swallow me whole as he roared angrily.  In what seemed like forever, but was probably only a nano-second, I thought about what I’d read concerning wild lion attacks:

Stand your ground. Lions, like most cats, don't want to attack prey that will fight back.
Whatever you do, don't turn and run or crouch down - behaviors that will trigger the lion's instinct to attack.

       Looking into his face, every instinct inside of me wanted to run, to escape from this frightening opponent, and hopefully, never see him again.  Instead, I took in a sharp breath, pulled out the sides of my coat to make myself look bigger, put on my fiercest face and stood my ground.  Though I was not very confident, I realized I should rely on the information of the experts who know better.

       The lion poised to strike, it jumped but landed in front of me and roared again.  It paced around me for what seemed like an eternity roaring and swiping, grazing me here and there, but I continued to stand.  Suddenly he turned and ran away from me.

       While this has never literally happened to me, in the spiritual realm it certainly has.  The Bible likens our enemy, the devil to a lion who seeks to devour us, “Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;(1Pt. 5:8)  When he gets ready to attack, Scripture says much the same as the experts in wild animals… stand!

whom firmly resist* in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions in the world are being completed in your brotherhood. (v.9 also v.13,14)
(*anthistemi- to set oneself against, resist, oppose, withstand)
Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand* against the wiles of the devil. Ep. 6:11
(*histemi- to cause or make to stand, to make firm, establish, to keep it’s place, to stop- stand still, stand ready or prepared, be of steadfast mind, one who does not hesitate or waiver)

       Read those definitions again and see what God means for us to do when He says “stand” against the enemy… and He is the expert at knowing the enemy.  We need to firmly resist and oppose this roaring lion, not by our own strength, but in God’s strength: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.(Php 4:13) which is abundant (Ps. 147:5), and also by faith in (trusting) God and His ability to help us stand. 

Ah, Lord Jehovah! You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and stretched out arm. Nothing is too great for You. Jr. 32:17
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Ps. 46:1

       So when that nasty lion gets roaring in our face and swiping at us, we need to keep our eyes on the hope before us- that one day we will be forever with the Lord (1Th. 4:17) and that roaring lion, the devil will be no more! (Rv. 19:20; 20:10)  Best of all- remember, we never have to face the lion alone!

Through Him we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice on the hope of the glory of God.
Rm. 5:2
for God is able to make him stand.
Rm. 14:4