Look for Christ and you will find Him.
And with Him, everything else.
“C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity”
You will find hope, peace, joy, family, eternal life, forgiveness, freedom. You will find love and life for what it was meant to be.
Jesus came at Christmas to offer us partnership.
He came to call us in to his rich, blessed community.
He partnered with us by becoming a baby.
He offers us the opportunity to partner with him by becoming his child.
Amazing! Do you believe?
The story of Naomi and Ruth is an amazing one! Every time I read it, I am blown away by how big God is, how involved He is in details, and mostly, how loving and kind He is toward those who are after His heart. Here's the intro to a Bible study that I wrote that expresses my heart ... sorry guys, this study is not directed at you :)
What does it mean to be a godly woman?
We are women and we are unique. We are not like men, and they are not like us. I know this sounds kind of elementary, but we live in a world that seems to be getting it a little mixed up. To be ‘godly’ seems to have little to do with our past. If it does, I for one failed the test several years ago; in fact I probably failed it the moment I began my journey as a Christian! Godliness has nothing to do with successes and failures, but everything to do with my present posture & state of mind before God. I guess another way of putting it is; a godly past does not justify or acquit an ungodly present.
As I was pondering the question of being a godly woman, I was drawn to the book of Ruth. As I read and reread the book, I was impressed with the many things that we could learn from the lives involved. I was stunned by the significance of Ruth’s choices, especially as I reflected on the genealogy listed in chapter 4 (Ruth 4:13-22). It was then that I saw the women specifically that were used to fulfill the coming of Jesus; unlikely candidates for a King’s lineage! In Matthew 1:1-16; there’s another genealogy account listed for us that takes the one from Ruth all the way to Jesus’ birth. Christ’s lineage includes woman like Tamar (she slept with her father-in-law), Rahab (a harlot & Canaanite), Ruth (a Moabite), and Mary (unwed & young). God takes great delight in using unlikely people for His glory.
The very nature of ‘being’ a Christian is to be constantly growing and learning, ever changing as Christ increases in us and we recognize our intense need of Him. That is my life-long endeavour; to always be teachable, pursuing the heart of God and bringing Him glory with my life. The more I mature, the more I realize that I am like most of those that God used in scripture; unlikely candidates to be used effectively for a King. But, this is mere human reasoning as God takes great delight in taking foolish things, weak vessels, and broken lives to exhibit His salvation.
"Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.""
(1 Corinthians 1:26-31 MSG)
A friend put out a public prayer request asking for a non-believer's healing. It was given with her consent and with the assurance that God is a healer, has been doing some great things in people's lives lately, and that we will ask for a miracle to happen ... that she has a full recovery.
I found myself praying for the individual and then, I thought, "God, Your name is being put out on the line today." And just as quick as the thought was out, was this realization: God is His Name!
We serve a great God; One who actually personifies His name.
Healer Lover Provider Redeemer Faithful Friend Powerful Merciful Just Compassionate Forgiving
Let them know that You, whose name is the Lord —
that You alone are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 83:18 NIV
God stands by His Name.
I woke up this morning from a dream that was a flashback of three situations involving fast moving water and near death experiences.
As I recalled each one my heart went down to my stomach again, for the potential of disaster had been upon us. But, what I also remembered was standing on the bank, watching and praying. Let me rephrase that last line more accurately - I was literally yelling out, pleading for God to help, to send His angels, and shouting out encouragement to the swimmers so they would not give up! In each case, I watched as God intervened. The swimmers did not quit, a rescuer timed his entry perfectly to match the current and grab the victim. (I am not talking about a trained rescuer; it was my brother who jumped in to save the individual.) God caused another person to be drawn to the rocky shore, outside of the path of the crazy current, where they were able to grab hold and wait for help.
It is impossible for me to describe these scenarios so that you could envision them. But I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God intercepted and diverted disaster for all of us.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:7
So, back to today. As I opened my Bible my eyes fell on the above verses. On those days in my history, the voice of the Lord was over the waters. He looked past our ignorance and calculations of it for we did not see the danger, and He rescued us.
God is good. God does care. He saves His people ... even from their own folly. He rescues those who trust in Him. (Psalm 28:7-9)
With my song, I will praise Him!
By His Spirit, I will declare words of encouragement and words of life!
The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the Lord sits as King forever.
The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.
And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people. Acts 12:11 NKJV
There's an old song that says, "He touched me ... something happened and now I know, He touched me ..."
We've all been touched by God. We just might not realize it. We all got touched (so to speak) when we were created. God was hands on in the designing and creating of each of us. (Read Psalm 119:73) I just don't remember that one!
But, sometimes in life, God gives us a special moment, where we actually have a sense that He has come down and touched us.
Peter had that. He was in prison (again) and an angel jolted him out of his sleep. The image I have in my head as I read this is actually comical, for the angel was not passive. The Bible says that the angel 'struck' Peter on the side and pulled him up! Ha! So here's what my brain sees ... Peter sound asleep. An angel shows up with tons of light happening. Peter stays asleep. The angel gives him a boot in the side and yanks him up. He tells him to get dressed, put his shoes on and follow. Peter thinks he is dreaming. They go by the 1st and 2nd guard posts and when they come to the exit, which happens to be a large, iron gate, it opens all by itself! They walk out, go down the street a bit and the angel ... vanishes! Peter wakes up. (Read the whole story here)
Have you ever been touched by God? Has He delivered you from something that held you in a prison of sorts? I have. He has touched me. He has delivered me and led me past the 1st and 2nd guard posts. He opened the massive iron gates without me even lifting a finger. He touched me and healed me. And I wasn't dreaming.
So, I ask you again, has God touched you? If He has, tell someone about it. If He hasn't, ask Him to.
There's a verse in Isaiah 41 that has messed with my head for a long time! You see, in this portion of scripture, God is busy assuring Israel of His help, comfort and deliverance. He repeatedly encourages them, telling them not to be afraid of the future and that He is holding them. Then, in verse 14 He comes out with this, "Fear not, you worm Jacob...!" Why would God say that to them?!
So, I went searching and found the meaning of the word... The original word (Towla) according to Strong's is: worm, scarlet stuff, crimson. Now this gets really good, so keep reading... Listen to what is written as explanation to the above meaning:
"the worm "coccus ilicis" ++++ When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding His precious blood that He might "bring many sons unto glory" (Heb. 2:10) (from page 73, "Biblical Basis for Modern Science", 1985, Baker Book House, by Henry Morris)
Isn't this amazing! This word wasn't used by God to mock or shame Israel, but to purposely prophesy & affirm that He had chosen them to be the very lineage of Jesus.
Take time to ponder this passage. Jesus has laid His life down, shed His crimson blood for us to have life now & forever. He protects us (Psalm 36:7), died for us (John 12:24), shed His blood for us (Colossians 1:19-21) and now lives again through us (Colossians 1:26-28).
What a wonderful Saviour! What incredible love...
"Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob? Don't be afraid. Feel like a fragile insect, Israel? I'll help you. I, GOD, want to reassure you. The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel." Isaiah 41:14 MSG
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5