Monday, July 19, 2010

Trusting, Leaning and Acknowledging Him

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).

Perhaps, like me, you have memorized this scripture and it is one of your favorites. Yet, as we struggle in our Christian walk to apply the scriptures we know so well it becomes a different story.

Do we really trust in Him? Are we leaning on our own understanding? In all our ways are we acknowledging Him? We are faced every single day with decisions. Some carry more weight and consequences than others, but yet there are decisions every day that we need to make: e.g., how can I discipline my child and show the love of Christ, how can I talk to my husband or wife about this delicate matter, how should I relate to this person who has offended me, which house should we buy, which job should I take, should I run errands today or do some things at home that need my attention?

Many times we lean on our own understanding or what someone else has to say. We do not acknowledge Him in all our ways. We acknowledge Him in some of our ways some of the times.
If we trusted in Him, leaned on Him and acknowledged Him in all our ways we would be thanking Him more often, praising Him more often and asking wisdom of Him more often. I would say that we go through our days much of the time without acknowledging the Lord and showing a complete trust in Him.

As you look to your day and the decisions that need to be made, "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."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Difficult Circumstances

I recently read the book of Habakkuk. It was one of those bittersweet experiences. Bitter because the book is about the stubbornness and hard-heartedness of God's people and His using the Babylonians as a chastening rod against them. Sweet because of the faith the prophet had in the salvation of the Lord. Life was tough for God's people because of their own rebellion. Life for us at times is very hard. Sometimes it may be our rebellion, or maybe not, but certainly because the Lord is sanctifying us and making us more like Him.

I exchanged an email with a dear friend this morning. Esther is very faithful to the Lord, yet she has some difficult circumstances that are surrounding her life. She has had many difficult circumstances over the years. Our family has had many difficult circumstances over the years and many of you know what it is like to go through difficult circumstances. Esther concluded her email talking about God's word bringing her comfort. She said, "He is the stability of our times."

The prophet Habakkuk knew that truth. He was very sorrowful over God's chastisement of His people. He had no idea when this difficult time would end. Many times we do not know how long we will be in difficult circumstances, but we can declare as Habakkuk did, "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls - yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (3: 17, 18).

P.S. I will be traveling for a few weeks and will not post again until Monday, July 12, 2010.
Abide in Him and remember "He is the stability of our times."

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Not About Us

I was having a conversation with someone recently about the struggle of building a child's character and helping them not be so self absorbed. We were honest with each other and concluded that we are pretty self absorbed as well. It is very easy to see selfishness in our children. Left to themselves without discipline or instruction, most children would spend all their time playing computer games and watching television or movies. Left to ourselves without discipline, we would be absorbed with our favorite pleasures. The point is, it doesn't matter whether you are male or female, 6 or 60, we are all self absorbed. We want to do what pleases us.

People have been self absorbed since the beginning the time. It was Eve's selfish thinking that caused her to eat the fruit off the tree she was specifically told not to. She wanted to do what she wanted to do, regardless of the instructions she had been given. When we really grasp that life isn't about us, we begin to make a shift in our behavior.

God sent His Son to die for us. We are not our own. We were bought at a price and therefore, we are to glorify God in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20). Paul tells the Galatians, "I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now life in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Because of sin, selfishness is a struggle for all of us. Let us remember the forgiveness we have been given in Christ for our sin (1 John 1:9). As we try to help others with the struggle of being self absorbed, we need to show them Christ's love and forgiveness. Help them understand life is not about us. We are not our own. We belong to Him who bought us and paid the price with His blood.

Monday, June 7, 2010

God Is a Forgiver

When you are around those who do not know the Lord, how do they see you? Do they see someone who keeps the Lord's precepts? I'm asking myself the same question. Would these people know we belong to Him? If our behavior does not show obedience to the Lord, we defame His name.

Daniel knew this. In Daniel 9, he is praying for God's people. He first starts his prayer by praising God who Keeps His covenant with those who love Him. "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments" (v.4). Then Daniel confesses his sin and theirs. "We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments" ( v.5). Daniel knew the rebellion of God's people made them a reproach to all those around them (v. 16). Daniel was ashamed for himself and God's people because of their sin against God and what it looked like to the people around them. He put it this way, "Oh Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness though we have rebelled against Him" (vs. 8, 9).

The same message is ours today. We should feel ashamed before others when we are disobedient to the Lord, because it defames His name. Yet from Daniel's day in the old testament through the writers of the new testament, we see the promise of the Lord's mercy and forgiveness. This wonderful message of mercy and forgiveness is not new - it began with Adam and Eve and God's promise when He told the serpent, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:15). The fact that God did not kill Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit that would surely bring them death, we see His mercy and forgiveness. Man is a sinner - God is a forgiver. Let us walk in the joy of His mercy and forgiveness to us in Christ.

P.S. I will not post until Monday, June 14, 2010.

His Ways

There is a Christian elderly couple that lives on my street, who recently sold their house after only being on the market for two weeks. The thing that makes this unique is that the housing market in this area is definitely not good. There are many houses in our neighborhood that have been for sale for two to four years.

I know a sweet Christian family out of state who have been trying to sell their house for about two months. The housing market in that area is much better. Because of particular circumstances, they need to sell their home as soon as possible. Many have come through and looked at their home, but have not put an offer on the house.

The longer I know the Lord, the more I realize His ways are so different than ours. What we think makes sense and the direction we think things should go just doesn't always go the way we planned. Many times it leads to discouragement. This morning I was reading the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 and in verse 5 Moses says, "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all of His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He." Then in Isaiah 55 the Lord is calling His people to call upon Him and that He will abundantly pardon( vs. 6, 7). Then He says in verse 8 and 9, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

We know the Lord loves us because He gave His only Son to die for our sin. We know He has a plan and purpose for our lives, but it is often not abundantly clear to us. What we do know, is that He has called us to glorify Him. As we struggle with God's plan and purpose for us, we must remember that our ways are not His ways and that His ways are always perfect and just. It is understanding this, that will keep discouragement away when we find ourselves wondering why the Lord has not worked as quick as we would like or in the way we would like.

Friday, June 4, 2010


We went through a time when people were using the word "awesome" to describe something. It could range anywhere from clothing attire to food or events. To me, it was well overused. I agree with Joe Stowell, writer for "Our Daily Bread",

"If we call earth-side stuff awesome and then call God awesome, we diminish how truly awesome He is."

Psalm 66 gives praise to God for His awesome works. "How awesome are your works through the greatness of your power" (v.3). "He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the river on foot" (v.5, 6). Awesome is a form of the word "awe" and one of it's definitions is "profound and humbly fearful reverence inspired by deity or by something sacred or mysterious." When you think of it that way, describing food, clothing or every day events using the word awesome is like looking at the Grand Canyon and saying it's cute.

God is our heavenly Father who cares for His children, but we must remember His awesome works and ways toward "the sons of men" (v.5). He is truly worthy of all our praise.

Rich Mullins wrote a song called "Awesome God." Take the time to listen to it and be reminded of our awesome God. You can find it on the computer at The Lord and His works are awesome!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Contentment on a regular basis is pretty hard for most of us to have. We do well at times, but not so well at others. Some people have chronic illnesses that keep them from having the energy and strength they need for their daily tasks and they long to be healthy like others. Some people live in small modest homes and if they would admit it, they would love to have a larger, more beautiful place.

When our daughter and her family lived in the Florida Keys and we would drive by a large, beautiful home that probably cost over a million dollars, we would slow down and gawk or more honestly, covet. I remember one time as we were looking at a place like this, our daughter said "But we have the Lord." It is true, the people living in that place may have known the Lord and had the joy of owning a home like that. However, my daughters point was well taken.

In Hebrews 13:5, Paul says "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have, For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you." Paul is wanting us to understand that knowing the Lord and Christ whom He sent is where true contentment is. Jesus said,"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul" (Matthew 16:26)?

If you belong to the Lord, you already have the best thing you will ever have - in this life and the next. What is perfect health or a million dollar home if He is not with us. These things can never bring the lasting peace and joy that having Christ will. When we allow the hope of worldly things to influence us, it causes us to behave contrary to the commitment we have to the one who says "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

If you have a chronic illness, find some peace knowing He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will sustain you. If you find yourself, as I did yesterday morning, coveting a beautiful home, remember He will never leave your nor forsake you. Let us learn to be content with exactly where the Lord has us today.