Could God Love Me
Have you ever considered that the Heavenly Father delights in Jesus? Yes, Jesus is God’s DELIGHT as Isaiah 42:1 points out. “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul DELIGHTS.” In a world full of evil, what a blessing it must be for the Heavenly Father to look at Jesus and say, “My soul delights in You.” Reading His words stirs in me a longing for our Heavenly Father to delight in me, but I’m so mindful of my sin, I can’t imagine that being the case. Then again, could our Heavenly Father delight in us, while not delighting in our sin? Yes. Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” Our Heavenly Father has set His affection on us. He loved us even before we were saved. (John 3:16) Now that we are saved, He loves and corrects us; like we love and correct our children. So while celebrating God’s pure delight in Jesus, we learn what is pleasing to our Heavenly Father and how to walk by His Spirit so we can increasingly delight Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, in whom Your soul finds pure delight. Thank You for delighting in us while we learn to walk in Your ways.
Feast Your Eyes On This Crown
Throughout time, people have sat on thrones and worn diadems (crowns). Some leaders have worn their crowns well and brought honor to their people. Others have brought shame to their people. The later was the case with the chief tribe of the Northern Kingdom of Israel at the time of Isaiah. In contrast to the drunken leaders who wore crowns of shame; Isaiah 28:5 says of the LORD, “In that day the LORD of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people.” The LORD GOD is the CROWN of BEAUTY. If we’re looking for someone on whom to rest our eyes, we need look no further than the Lord Jesus.
Lord Jesus, DIADEM OF BEAUTY, glorious One, we honor and praise You, our Lord!
A Resort to Go To
Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Nice verse, right? No. Not “nice verse.” It’s an incredible verse. Fear is coursing through the veins of people. “What will happen to our nation? What will happen to my children and grandchildren? What will happen to me?” This is not God’s intention for us. Let’s go to the meaning behind some of these words and rethink why the words the psalmist said should be our testimony among our peers. SOUGHT: resort to. Think vacation. You yearn to leave the daily grind. You want to go to another place that is peaceful, not draining. Then resort to the LORD. Take your spirit there. Trip off to heaven. “I resorted to the LORD and He answered me.” I went to the front desk of heaven and Jesus was there. “And He answered and delivered me from all my fears.” DELIVER: snatch. Jesus snatched me away from my fears. Friends, when we resort to the Lord, He snatches us from our fears and shows us His heavenly perspective from heaven’s eternal heights. That’s the best vacation we could ever take. Isn’t it time we go there?
Heavenly Father, help us not read Bible verses and think, “that’s nice.” Help us live the words of the Bible.
Who is Your Huckleberry
Are you familiar with the saying, “I’m your huckleberry”? Last summer, my husband and I visited Glacier National Park. Right outside the park, we stopped at a restaurant that had everything huckleberry. Huckleberry pie, huckleberry pancakes. Huckleberry coffee. And, for those of you who know Keith, you won’t be surprised that he couldn’t keep from buying me a purple huckleberry teeshirt that says, “I’m your huckleberry.” I wasn’t sure what I was wearing so I did a little research. To be one’s huckleberry is “to be just the right person for a given job, or a willing executor of some commission.” What does any of this have to do with Jesus? Colossians 2:9 says about Christ, “…in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” Many today are struggling. People are overwhelmed. Some who have gone to church their whole lives are striving to do and be what they think God wants. But, friends, we can never live the Christian life in our strength. In Christ all the fullness of God lives. HE is “just the right person for the job,” for fulfilling all righteousness in us. To the degree that we understand this, we’ll live a life surrendered to Christ.
Lord Jesus, You and You alone are the One in whom ALL the fullness of DEITY dwells. May we be continually more mindful of living surrendered to You.
If You’re Struggling with the Darkness
As the sun rises in the east and brings light to the world, so, in Luke 1:78, Zacharias, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied this about Jesus, “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us.” Jesus, the Dayspring of heaven visited earth and brought heaven’s glorious light to our dark world. What light? The light of salvation. The light of His glory. The light of the Holy Spirit shining in our hearts. The light of His Words showing us the path of right living. The light of His radiance purifying us of our sin. The light of His presence energizing our souls. If you’re struggling with the darkness, ask the Dayspring from on high to rise and shine in your heart.
DAYSPRING from ON HIGH, we confess that in our world, the darkness can feel heavy. We confess we need Your light to purify us of sin and shine on the path we’re to go. Thank You.
When You’re Teetering
Sometimes I feel super weak; like if Satan huffs and puffs, I’ll fall. I’ll take the bait. I’ve done it before so what’s to keep me from doing it again? Then, God reminds me of His heart to defend those who call on Him. In Isaiah 37:35, God says, “’I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’” The word, “defend” means “cover and surround.”* In other words, He’s “got us.” In Psalm 27:1, David said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” The word “defense” means a fortified place, rock, strength, a place of safety. These verses assure us that nothing can defeat us when we look to God as our defense and defender. Rather than fear falling for the enemies’ schemes, we can praise our DEFENDER.
Heavenly Father, thank You that we can look to You knowing that You are our defense and strength. *http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1598&t=NASB
Are you ever blind to something about yourself that others see? The other day after speaking at a luncheon, I got in my car and glanced in the mirror to check my hair. When I did, I noticed I had spinach in my teeth. I immediately winced and wondered why someone hadn’t told me. Of course, we’re ultimately responsible for ourselves. That’s why 2 Corinthians 13:5 is a good word regarding something much more important than our external appearance. It says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” We’re told to see if Christ’s Spirit is in us. In other words, just as we check our external appearance, we’re to check our internal. If you’re not sure Christ’s Spirit is in you or would like to know how to receive Christ’s Spirit, visit Meet Jesus.
Here’s a Good Reason to Follow the Owner’s Manual
Have you ever wondered about the “why” behind God’s commands? If so, it helps to realize that since He created us, as Isaiah 40:28 and other passages explain, He knows what is beneficial to us and what hurts us. For instance, when the Scriptures were written, they didn’t have the research on the harmful effects of worry and stress. So, Jesus simply stated as recorded in Matthew 6:34, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” They didn’t have the research on the destructive nature of bitterness so God simply commanded as stated in Ephesians 4:31-32 to forgive and put bitterness away from us. If we’re wise, we’ll read and follow the Owner’s manual for us.
Heavenly Father, Lord and CREATOR, forgive us for too often ignoring Your commands. Draw us to Your Holy Presence and to surrender to Your will.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.” Isaiah 40:28
Is Your Life a Mess of Puzzle Pieces
Do you feel like your life is a mess of puzzle pieces and you don’t see how everything is going to come together? Do you wish there was someone you could talk to; who could advise you? If you’re in that place, Isaiah 9:6 says Jesus is your “go to” Counselor, and He’s wonderful! How does He counsel us? He counsels us in prayer. He counsels us through the promptings of our heart. He counsels us in the Bible through His teachings and by His example. For instance, in Matthew 15:32-38, there appeared to be a problem – 4,000+ people who were hungry and no food. Did Jesus wring His holy hands? No. Instead, He asked the disciples how many loaves of bread they had. They replied seven and a few small fish. Jesus “took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and ….” You know the rest of the story. Jesus THANKED His Heavenly Father for what He had in His hands. He acted in faith with what was in His hands. Thanking God for what we have is powerful. If you’re struggling with discouragement and don’t know what is going to happen with your life, start recording your heart-felt prayers and questions in Prayers of My Heart journal. Instead of turning over the same puzzle pieces in your mind, pause in your Counselor’s presence and see what He impresses on your yearning heart. Do what He tells you. He is, after all, the Wonderful Counselor.
Jesus, thank You, wonderful COUNSELOR, for Your presence and Your wisdom.
If You’re Disappointed
Are you disappointed? If so, in what? Or, are you disappointed in a person? Or, are you disappointed in yourself? God understands disappointment. Lot’s of things can cause us to feel let down. Sometimes our disappointment is because we have unrealistic expectations about others. I write about that in The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World. Other times, our disappointments are valid. No one is perfect, including us and when valid expectations aren’t met, we can’t help but feel it. First Peter 2:6 is encouraging because God wants us to know that there’s something He’s provided that will never disappoint us: our faith in Jesus. “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a PRECIOUS CORNERSTONE, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Look around and consider what you’re building your life on. If it’s expectations of a certain financial level, a certain house, a perfect spouse, perfect children, a perfect friendship, job, or even you being perfect, then you will experience disappointment at times. But if you build your life on Jesus and His teachings, you will not be disappointed. It’s our choice. Live disappointed or build our life on Christ.
Lord Jesus, You are the PRECIOUS CORNERSTONE on whom we can build our lives and not be disappointed. Thank YOU!
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