Monday, January 18, 2021

New and Old Treasure

I marked this verse some 20 years ago in my Bible and just read my prayer and right now I am overwhelmed by the old and new treasures God is pulling out of me. The Quest study Bible says that people who have been instructed about the kingdom of God are like home owners that have the gift of hospitality. They share all of their belongings both old and new to refresh others. May the wisdom of the past and presence bring forth refreshment that heals souls!  Amen

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Where is your inheritance?

"Spare your people, LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'" (Joel 2:17). 

I realize that this verse is a cry of the prophet Joel for God to move in behalf of the nation Israel during a terrible time when locusts destroyed the land. It is a desperate plea for a remember me, remember my people, and remember, we are Your inheritance. I was praying this thought when I began to praise God because He has chosen to call His children, His inheritance! What a beautiful reminder when our contemporary situation of COVID and political unrest seem distraught with destruction and implosion. Joel used the temporay pain to call the people to remembrance and repentance. 

"Rend your hearts, not your garments. Return to the LORD your God for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love" (Joel 2:13).

But, He also used it as a reminder to the LORD, we are Your inheritance! The nations are watching! Let them see You are at work among Your people! Now that is not just an Old Testament thought. It is also a New Testament promise. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ...(1 Peter 1:3-12).

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:11-14).

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32).

Do you see that as a believer of Jesus we also have an inheritance that is imperishable! Yes, we will face trials of many kinds, but we must remember where our hope resides. It is not in people, programs, health, politics, or even possessions. Our inheritance is eternal, imperishable and guaranteed. So this morning as I pray, I am praising God for the remembrance that I am His inheritance and He is mine. So, when I am asked "Where is your God?" I can say very securely, "He is with me. He has not left me. He walks with me on this journey through COVID and political unrest. I look to Him for my hope and deliverance." 

What about you?  Do you know where your hope rests?  Do you know you have an eternal inheritance? Do you know the blessing of being called God's inheritance? If not, read the verses again and pray they become true in you. Do you need to rend your heart, repent, and return to God? Do you know God is a compassionate and loving God? Do you know the hope found in Jesus? Can you say with confidence you have the Holy Spirit at work in you? 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints... (Ephesians 1:18).




Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Why is it so important to listen to or read the Bible?

Why is it so important to listen or or read the Bible? I get asked this question enough that it is worthy of answering. Sometimes. It is asked in sarcasm, but other times in a plea for understanding.

This is a great question considering we all have so many things vying for our time and energy and the fact that we are living in a time of Biblic illiteracy. When I did my research for my doctorate Dr. George Hunter of Asbury Seminary said that America was nearly 80% Biblically illiterate. This is sad considering that the Bible helps us to grow in our relationship with God so we know how to be in relationship with man.

The Bible is a sacred text. It is holy and set apart because it tells the history of how God interacts with people. The Bible is God breathed and it teaches us and equips us (2 Timothy 3:6-7). The Bible judges our thoughts and the motives of our heart (Hebrews 4:2). The Bible endures forever (Isaiah 40:8). The Bible blesses us when we listen to it and obey it (Luke 11:28). The Bible is for all people because God loves the whole world (John 3:16). 

Have you ever listened to or read the Bible? Why or why not? Would you just listen and see what He might reveal to you? I know for myself that the Bible is what radically changed my life because through reading it and obeying it I got to know God and how much He loves me.

Remember, to be in God's Word, to be with Jesus, to be transformed! 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Resilience

I woke up this morning pondering the word resilience. It was the last thing I talked about before I went to sleep last night. I was sharing with Grant my outline for a speaking engagement coming up in February. The topic is resilience. When I woke up I had the this visual of a tree that was deeply rooted with strong character traits that helped it dig in deep into the earth so that when the winds blew it was steady. I was reminded of verses and character traits that have helped me in moments of resilience. The tree's leaves moved from green, to yellow, to red, to brown, to nothing on the branches. This showed that resilience that is built on faith and the character of God can withstand the seasons of fruit bearing and even barrenness because its roots are deep. What character trait or verse helped you stand resilient through the seasons you have walked through?  I would love to know!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Fight the fear of being alone


In this podcast, I share a moment when I felt very alone and how God became my comfort. Jennifer and I discuss how Hagar struggled with feeling alone, too.  

Click on this to hear the story: Fight the fear of being alone

Check out Wholly Loved Podcast: Faith over Fear. Thanking God for Jennifer Slattery, Jodie Bailey,  and Shellie Arnold. I am learning so much from this podcast team. All three are prolific writers. Go Google them! It is so much fun to sit and talk over life and Scripture together.

The spiritual discipline of storytelling

God showed me how He took a struggle and fear into a spiritual disciple that became an act of worship. 

Click on this to hear what God taught me: The spiritual disciple of telling a Bible story

Friday, January 8, 2021

Spirituality does not have an age requirement

Spirituality does not have an age requirement. Faith does not have a quantity requirement. Both fly in the face of our attempts to reason with faith. Obedience determines our spiritual age and our dependence and utter recognition that without Christ nothing is possible, with Christ all things are possible is what builds our faith. Both spirituality and faith are strengthened by complete surrender. Easier said than done! O Father, increase our faith and grow us spiritually! In Jesus' Name, AMEN! Today, we will record about the demon possessed boy in Matthew 17:14-21.