Listen

One of my goals this year is to learn to listen better—especially to God. The following reminded me of my need to work toward this goal.

At a family holiday gathering, one of the exhausted children whined for his father’s attention. All the adults, including his father, were busy with other pursuits. While I worked on a craft project, the Holy Spirit nudged me to help the child. I thought, “I’d comfort the boy, but I don’t know what to do. My attention or attempts to comfort would only get him more upset because I’m a rather distant relative.”

So I asked God what I could do, but I kept on working on my craft instead of stopping to listen. After a few minutes I got an idea of what to do. By that time, however, the child had sat down on the couch and fallen asleep.

By being too busy to listen to our Father, I missed an opportunity to obey Him and perhaps become less distant to my young relative. Maybe I can learn from this experience to stop and listen next time the Holy Spirit nudges.

“…Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” -Hebrews 3:15 New Living Translation

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Wise Choices

As a young person, I prayed to know God’s will, mainly wanting to know what career I should choose. I didn’t hear any answers to that prayer. I had grown up in church and committed my life to Christ at an early age; however, I didn’t learn to rely on Him and to submit my will to His until years later.

 

Most of the time, I tried to live by feelings, fear, “ought-to’s,” and my own understanding. This resulted in my making many poor choices in life. Those decisions never gave me the happiness, satisfaction, or sense of being loved which I craved. It’s no wonder they didn’t provide those things, though. What I longed for comes only from trusting and loving God with my whole being, letting go of my own ways, and living for Jesus. I wanted good things, but I didn’t trust the Giver of all good things.
Although my faith has grown since then, I still don’t always make wise choices. But I’m learning to trust God more and ask Him about things in life. I’m also trying to focus more on Jesus and less on me. How thankful I am for God’s patience and forgiveness! He never quit loving me, and He never gave up on me.
Thank You, Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 – NKJV
“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’” Galatians 3:11–NKJV

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Pages of Life

Today as I focused on Jesus—His beauty, wisdom, goodness, and grace—a thought of past failure came to distract me. So I had to remind myself that my past was taken care of at the cross.

Thank You, Jesus, for carrying my sins away there.

Yesterday’s gone. I can’t go back there. If I keep trying to go back, I’m going to miss Jesus in the now. He is living TODAY. Likewise, I won’t see Jesus in this day if I get off into the lands of “What if…” or “If only….”

My thoughts, words, and actions today are writing a page in the story of my life. When it is written, I want it to bring honor and praise to God my Father and His Son Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit gives me power to do that.
Jesus calls me to follow Him and abide in Him in this “Today.” So I tell myself, “Stop looking at guilt and regret, and quit trying to control tomorrow. Look at Jesus and trust Him.”

“Blessed is the [person] who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For [they] shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV)

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Thanksgiving and Praise

“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Yes, Lord, You are so good! You are good and do only good (Psalm 119:68 NLT). I praise You for Your total goodness. I also thank You for Your goodness to me.
Thank you for your unending mercy and loving-kindness! How I need Your mercy! If I continued to look at how often I’ve failed to show love or have gone my own way, surely I would faint from discouragement. But Your mercy is fresh every morning (Lamentations 3:23), and it endures forever! Thank You!

In the New Living Translation, “loving-kindness” is translated “faithful love.”Thank You, Lord, for Your faithful love! Your love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

“Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! Who can put into words and tell the mighty deeds of the Lord? Or who can show forth all the praise [that is due Him]?” (Psalm 106:1-2)

“All the praise that is due God”—indeed, Lord, You are worthy of unending praise. No matter how many praises I sing or say, You are worthy of more.

“Bless (Affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1)

O my soul, when you are tempted to feel sad or discouraged, remember God’s goodness and mercy and faithful love. Put into words some of His mighty deeds. Then affectionately and gratefully praise your Lord and bless His holy Name. And remember that His mercy and faithful love (even for you) ENDURE FOREVER!

(Scripture quotes are from the Amplified Bible.)

 

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Refuge in the Storm

I don’t like going through difficulties, but I suppose I couldn’t know God as my refuge if I never went through a storm. Jesus, You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust (Psalm 91:12). Today I will trust You, God, as my refuge.

Psalm 139:9-10 “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
Isaiah 41:10 “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.” (Both verses NIV)
No matter where we are, God will guide us and hold onto us. He will strengthen and help us and hold us up. So why do I whine, complain, or try to run from the troubles God allows for me? Do I imagine that God is going to train me and use me without getting me out of my comfort zone? Or do I cling to unbelief so that these sure promises become just words and wishful thinking in my life? Sadly, sometimes I do. These foolish thoughts, bad attitudes, and lack of faith don’t please God, nor do they bring Him glory. So I repent. I turn from these old ways and choose to believe the truth of God’s Word.
Gracious Father, Your ways really are better than mine. Mighty Holy Spirit, please help me change. Amen.

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Only a Tent

My body is only a tent, a temporary dwelling place. I can try to take good care of it. If I should need things like medicines or eye glasses, they are like tent patches. They help my physical body. When my body dies, the real me will live on.

From 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” (NKJV)
Romans 14:8 “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (NKJV)

Whether I live or die, I am the Lord’s. I trust in Him.

Psalm 29:9: “The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’” (NIV)
My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19). Let all within me cry, “Glory! Glory to the Lord God almighty!”

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Revelation #32. The Harvest of Grace & the Harvest of Wrath

Even if you never read a post written by me on this blog, I pray you will read this reblog from Pastor Tom’s “Clear Bible” blog. I wish everyone knew that “God isn’t mean or vindictive. But he is Absolute.”

Clear Bible

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The wilderness is beautiful and awe-inspiring. But if you cross it, it will kill you in a heartbeat. The wilderness doesn’t kill you because it is mean. It kills you if try to do something that is contrary to its nature, because its nature is unyielding. It is what it is. In the same way, God isn’t mean or vindictive. But he is Absolute. His nature is the foundation of everything that exists. It doesn’t change. And that means those who rebel against his Holiness & Righteousness, or even ignore it, will break themselves to pieces on God.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer:
Download Revelation Part 32

Revelation #32. Revelation 14:14-20.

This is the last of part four, the seven…

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