Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your Father’s house to the land that I will show you”
‘Set your minds on things that are above and not on things that are on earth’.
Gods creation is something else to focus on during Lent. He shows us some spectacular things!
I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my path
One of the things I’ve become more aware of is what it means to have a relationship with God. I think it is quite easy to get involved in the relationship and to trust God but at the same time not enjoy it. Most journeys should be fun and exciting. Think about the movies. Dorothy was ‘off to see the wizard’ but she had many mini-adventures on her way. So what is it that sometimes makes it a struggle for us on our journey? For me, it’s occasionally not accepting the fact that it’s the way God wants it to be instead of what I want it to be. Even though I am following God’s way, I’m not happy with the way it’s going. I reluctantly follow it. But that’s a waste of my energy and time. Many passages in the Bible talk about being joyful in everything even in the tough times. I sometimes find that hard to grasp but I try to go with it anyway. I have decided to make it simple. Regardless of what happens I will try and be happy that it’s part of God’s plan. And when I do that it by far outweighs the fact that I may not personally be happy with any outcome or situation I find myself in. To put it simply, if I don’t get a promotion I want, I am happier that it’s part of God’s plan then I am unhappy not getting it.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, teach us to be joyful always and to have gratitude for all that You give to us – Amen!
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
I was on a business trip this week to Wisconsin. I drove though Wisconsin several years ago. I found very little of interest. Long straight roads with boredom stretching out for miles either side.
But this time I was taken into the heart of what was either side of that road. I had a glimpse behind the curtain and God revealed to me true beauty. Some soft and gentle. Other beauty, dramatic and exciting. It taught me a lesson. How could I dare think that God had created something boring? But still He invited me in. God’s beauty is everywhere. Beyond roads. Inside people or just round the corner of the road we are sometimes fearful of going down. And an 8 hour journey from Boston. It was a trek, but God wasn’t going to make it easy. But to answer my question above. Yes, it was a true pleasure.
Heavenly Father, as we gaze out of the windows of cars, buses, trains and offices, we give thanks for all that you have created. We ask that you speak to us through the beauty you have made – Amen!
Here’s just a glimpse of what I saw.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding
It’s good to know that God loves us all equally. And that, in His eyes, we are all loved for what we are regardless of our shortfalls. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us more. No amount of success in the work place is going to make God proud of us either. Or make Him say to himself “Now that’s what I call a successful creation”!
So, when something happens at work that is a disappointment to us like someone else getting a promotion or a position we thought we should have, God probably has us just where He wants us. What we think is a failure is a most likely a success in the eyes of God, as much as we may find that difficult to understand. The Proverbs verse implies we will never understand it. It’s actually a good feeling to know that we’re not meant to. It makes it easier because we can just let it go. Not even someone who is a million times smarter than us can understand it! All we need to do is use out heart and have faith. (notice the Proverbs verse doesn’t say ‘Trust in the Lord with all your brain’!) No, God has better plans for us. As it says in Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not evil, to give you a future and a hope’.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for planning our own lives and then thinking that any disappointments are failures. Help us to know that you love us and will always want what’s best for us. Allow us to accept that success maybe just be where we are now, not where we think we should be – Amen!
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you
…but if you pray sometimes, you’ll get what you need. That’s a little twist on the Jagger/Richards song (see the video below). ‘You can’t always get what you want’. The word ‘try’ replaced by ‘pray’. It’s a song that’s been in my head a lot and I’m realizing those words ring true with me. I have tried not praying for specifics but instead praying for guidance, wisdom and to glorify God. It seems to work better than wanting things. I think we are all guilty of that occasionally, especially when we get drawn into the career wants. And when we don’t get what we want then we feel let down and our confidence or self-esteem is dented. When we pray for what’s right in His name then I think we get what we need. It’s like we give ourselves up to Him. So, as the lyrics go…You ought to try some time. You just might find. You’ll get what you need!
Heavenly Father, we pray that you will guide us along the path to what we need and not what we want – Amen!
“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”
I read those words from Mark yesterday and I smiled. They sound like an impatient parent who’s just about had enough of their child’s antics. Did Jesus almost lose it? I don’t think He did but it showed that He was human.
The words sound like they were written today. An ‘unbelieving generation’ could quite easily apply to many parts of the USA and the world. Just like the disciples we sometimes just lack faith. How long will He put up with us? It’s written that Jesus will one day return. Why doesn’t he just give in and get on down here and sort us out? It’s because there’s still a lot of His work that needs to be done. For those that are believers it’s to bring as many people to faith as possible. In our community and the world. To put in more hours and find that extra ounce of energy to do His work. But do we have time for that? Funny to think that it’s really the only job we need. If we have faith and we’re fully committed to Him than He will provide all that we need. Maybe not in the way that we want, but He will supply the energy and the time. Meanwhile, He is putting up with us. Continually forgiving and showing grace and mercy. In return, we should perhaps go that extra mile. For Him!
Heavenly Father, forgive us for always falling short. Help us go that extra yard in our faith, so we can fully live our lives through you – Amen!
‘The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels’
God has a book on us. It’s ‘The book of Life’. And all of our names are in it. It has everyone’s name from the beginning of time (Adam and Eve) until the end of history, whenever that may be. The reason all the names are in there is because Jesus died on the cross and paid for all the sins of all the members of the human race. It’s written that we will be judged by our ‘good works’ not by our sins as Jesus has already paid the price for those. “Great news”, I hear us all say. “We’re doing good things all the time”. Steady on. Our ‘good works’ have to be through faith in Jesus Christ by following his path and leading our lives by what it says in scripture. So, if we don’t accept the work of Jesus Christ on the cross by faith then we are depending on our own works. And when those works are evaluated and judged at The Great White Throne then people will realize that it simply wasn’t enough and our names will be blotted out of The Book of Life. They were merely pencilled in all that time. Why am I sounding so drastic? My mother died a good person. I believe she did a lot of good things for many people but she didn’t die a believer in Jesus Christ. Everyday I think about that and everyday I wonder where she is. Lake of fire or heaven? I have no choice but to live the rest of my life thinking about it. All I had to do was ask her to say “I believe In Jesus Christ as my savior”. But I wasn’t around to do it. Neither was I that concerned. That was my fault. But I can do something for those that are living. That’s why I write this blog. Most weeks, I write about things that are light-hearted like seeing God in rainbows or hearing God through a child’s voice but today I don’t feel in the mood for that. Today, for some reason, my heart is aching for those that don’t believe in Jesus Christ and are too wrapped in their lives to consider Him as their savior, no matter how good their works are. He created us and put us on this earth solely to do good works for Him through faith in Him. We should take some time to think about what’s influencing our decisions day-to-day and why we do the work we do. Is it work that depends on our own instincts? Or is it through conversation with God, through prayer? What is that’s getting in the way of our relationship with God? What is time and time again letting us down? We can only search our ourselves. We cannot judge others. But the writing is clear in Revelation. The Book of Life is not fiction. It is fact.
Heavenly Father, help us to get closer to you in faith and do our work in your name and to glorify you. Help us also to bring to you those that don’t believe in you. Give us the softness of heart to approach them and tell them all about you – Amen!
‘Faith is the victory that overcomes the world and without faith it is impossible to please God’
It is easy to feel sorry for ourselves when the deal we were meant to seal doesn’t go our way. Or the job we were certain we were going to get doesn’t come off. Or even the plan we set for ourselves doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. Feeling as though we’ve been ‘robbed’ of something is actually a selfish approach to life. If everybody got everything then business wouldn’t work. But how does ‘not winning’ affect our lives? Do we take it home to our families through anger or, perhaps worse, silence? Do we take it into a bar or bar car where we carelessly rant about whoever else won? Do we blame our work colleagues? God has plans for us. He knows what’s around the corner. He knows our future. If that is true, and we believe it is, then we just need to have faith and trust in God that it just wasn’t meant to be and then have peace. It’s not the right path this time. But don’t give up. The idea of boldly and confidently trying to win is fine if it’s achieved in God’s name with Him at the center and not us. If done with the boldness, strength, skill, and wisdom that God provides through our prayers. Win it with God. Lose it with God. Both equally as important because both ways allows us to say “I won it the right way” or “I lost it the right way”. God will eventually reward those that work in His name. It’s really a win, win situation!
Heavenly Father, be with us always through good and bad. May we put our faith in you so we can remain at peace in all work situations – Amen!
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