Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 306 Obey and Belief Hebrews 4

Hebrews 4:2 "For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed".

There is a correlation between obedience, and belief, therefore entering into the sabbath day rest of God.

"God finished his work of creation and rested on the 7th day.
Then he creates another day calling it "today"."

10 "for those who enter God's rest also rest from their own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience".

The rest mentioned here is an active one not a passive half asleep type of rest.

what work do we refrain from?
Gods work was creating, maybe that was what we are to do also, Stop creating and appreciate the progress you've made thus far. When God finished each step he was satisfied with his work and took the time to say so. "And it was good" is a preferable way to end each day.

Day 305 World v's Word

Psalm 119:143
Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.

How often have we not separated out the troubles of the world from the word of God?
The two are often confused and we forget that God is the one who wants to give us rest in our time of distress.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 301 Lamantations "she did not consider her future"

"she did not consider her future" What an insightful sentence. Jeremiah sees the destruction about to happen to Israel, he was the only voice of reason amongst others who were stuck in their own idea of how life was to play out.

The Babylonians were going to overrun them as a nation but the leaders and prophets of the day would not hear of it.

All it takes to get an appraisal of our lives is to "consider our future"
The obstacles and half truths that we believe today can keep us locked down and stagnant for tomorrow.

There was a time in my life when I didn't make a decision to act for my best interest until others made their decisions first. I remember my aunt asking me "what gave me the right to let others take the responsibility for my life decisions" I was responsible for living my life no one else. It was a nugget of wisdom that still shines through all these years later. Its still a struggle to put my self interest on a equal footing with the interests of others. We can only obey the scripture to put the interests of others above ourselves when we first love them as we love ourselves. We can only truly give away or surrender what we truly know to be ours in the first place.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 286 According to your Word

Psalm 119: 25 I am laid low in the dust;preserve my life according to your word.

We lived in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, CA and we had just received our Green cards and returned to West Point. Because of delays in getting our INS appointment and the impending exit date on our Visa we made decisions to let others live in our home. Now we were back in the US and homeless.We began to establish our business in the one stop crossroad town of WestPoint, CA.

As they say it was the best of times and the worst of times. But my desperation and frustrations of those months brought me to a nailing my feet to the floor on what was truth and what wasn't. I needed to separate the wheat from the chaff of life and didn't know where to begin. Now I can smile at how in my anger and stubbornness at what was happening to us. "Spitting feathers" was a phrase I used to a few people! But the desperation I felt, led me on a journey that has preserved my life according to HIS word.

My discipleship journey began in earnest. I remembered conversations and sermons from John our pastor, he talked about the 'all or nothing approach' to being a believer. If following Jesus is true then He deserves our whole lives and attention. He preached on the Good Shepherd and I began to trust in that truth.

Also at that time that I was working out what the Kingdom of God was all about, reading only the Gospels. It wasn't long before I read about First things First!I needed to know what it meant to me in the here and now, as we camped out on Gene's (another pastor) floor and as we began fueling our IT consultancy and the many ad hoc businesses we had in the pipeline.

Duh : Seek first the kingdom and his righteouness".. I have sung these words from when I went to folk mass in the 70's but 30 years later - the reality and power of those words struck home.
Matthew 6:32-34 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Here was a wheat and chaff distinction I could easily make.

From there the second principle of Mammon or Manna became a reality in short order that I continue to be reminded of nearly 9 years later!

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money".

As I read about how God provided for his people in the wilderness and how He calls us to open our mouths so that He can fill it. Psalm 81:10 sums it up with "I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it".

That's a level of dependency that I was embarking on and it rankled. Surely being independent and responsible was the grown up way of living? Now I understand that as I was provided for in infancy and grew to maturity that I needed to learn to depend and trust spiritually. I would need to know my heavenly Father's provision in ways not encountered before. Sure enough, lessons were learnt from that time that has increased my sense of God's Fatherhood and provision. He never fails.

That time of dogged desperation to know God better and how He wants me to operate in His kingdom has given me the sanity of being able to walk according to His word. The knowledge that Jesus is the Good Shepherd has deepened over the years through His presence and peace. The challenges have been many and varied and will continue as they may. But I know that the Good Shepherd will lead me and guide me, I will fear no evil because He is with me. That is enough. That is all I need to know.

Those two principles, have guided me and given me strength over the years, for which I am eternally grateful.

What begins in humility and desperation will end in grace and peace.
25 I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
32 I run in the path of your commands,for you have set my heart free.

If life brings you low today, you are in a good place. In due time the Father will extend his hand to you and help you to your feet.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 285 Psalm 119 "You are my witnesses,that I am God".

5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

Psalm 119 is my most treasured piece of scripture. I reckon if I breathe the principles outlined here, the word will change my heart from the inside out and I would understand more of YHWH's character.

God's Word promises a straight path, and a strong spine to walk that path!
He shows us that his commands sets our hearts free. All other allegiances are brought to naught as we learn that our only audience can only be an audience of "one".
I really like verse 7 We can praise Him as we learn more about Him. Our learning is ongoing as our "new self is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" Col 3:9-10 Very powerful words, I have no idea how deep is the chasm of knowledge or the heights to that knowledge ascends. Like YHWH says "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God". (Isaiah 43;12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you.You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.)

The incredible awareness that we can actually know YHWH is out of this world.
I stand as one who can praise YHWH for who He is and what He does without understanding how or why he does what he does. I enjoy the benefits of His Character; his faithfulness, grace and mercy and kneel before his sovereignty.

Praise to the God of the Incredible, who has compassion on all He has made, Amen

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 284 worthy, not worthless, words

Jer 15:19 Therefore this is what the LORD says: "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.

Col 3:9-10 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

These verses have intrigued me for the past few day.

If we have be known by God before the creation, God has predestined us to good works before we are even born. Like Jeremiah have purpose and a chosen destiny outside of time. Do we connect with that pre-planning when we become Christians?

"The new self being renewed in knowledge" speaks of consistent understanding of our Creator.

In this season of Fall and getting rid of all the debris in the garden its easy to relate to getting rid of the things that can hinder preparation for new life in the spring. One thought I had when cleaning around plants and shrubs was the debris that I know was thrown there in the name of mulch! How much more our lives when we stifle the Spirit of God to feed our souls.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 274 What a great prayer

It always brings a tear to my eyes when I read that "God remembers us". Why He does is still beyond me, but I am grateful that He does.
May we walk in the path of His blessings today. Amen

Psalm 115:12-18
The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,

he will bless those who fear the LORD—small and great alike.
May the LORD cause you to increase,both you and your children.

May you be blessed by the LORD,the Maker of heaven and earth.

The highest heavens belong to the LORD,
but the earth he has given to humankind.

It is not the dead who praise the LORD,those who go down to the place of silence;
it is we who extol the LORD, both now and forevermore.
Praise the LORD.