Friday, November 28, 2014

Silently Wait (Psalm 62:1-2)

Today's scripture: Psalm 62:1-2

You've probably heard the saying that God answers prayers in three ways: yes, no, or wait. I'd rather have either yes or no than wait. Waiting is hard. It requires patience (with which I struggle) and trust (which I'm learning more and more each day).

The psalmist encourages us when God asks us to wait. We can "silently wait" because God is our salvation. Even more, we who have been blessed to live under the New Covenant can "silently wait" because we know God the Son, Jesus, Who is our Redeemer.

We can also "silently wait" because God is our rock. He is the solid ground upon which everything else stands. Remember the old hymn: "On Christ the solid rock I stand/All other ground is sinking sand"? We can trust the One who laid the foundation of this world, on Whom we stand firm. He has plans for each and every one of us, and He will bring those plans to fruition in His time.

Finally, we can "silently wait" because we know that He will defend us against the wiles and lies of the enemy of our souls. No matter what the enemy whispers in our ears, we can trust that God is in loving control, and one day, He will ultimately conquer the enemy.

For what are you waiting right now? For what do you pray over and over again? "Silently wait" for the Lord to answer according to His plan and in His timing.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I pray that you and yours will have a blessed day ... and may I encourage you to take some time today to reflect on all that you can be thankful for?

Love to all,


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Watch Your Tongue! (Psalm 19:14)

Today's scripture: Psalm 19:14

I mentioned a few days ago that I'm studying the book of James with my small group. We recently studied chapter 3 verses 2-12 where James discusses the power of the tongue. Today's verses reminded me so much of James 3:8-10:

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

This is so very, very true.

Warning: I'm climbing up on my soapbox ... We should always use words that glorify God. I see people who call themselves Christians using vulgarities and saying hateful things about others. How does this in any way glorify God? Or as James says, "these things ought not to be this way."

I've found Philippians 4:8 to be a wonderful "litmus test" regarding what I think, say, and do. I don't always succeed, but I find if my focus is on those things that are good, pure, true, and excellent, I'm much more likely to think, say, and do things that glorify the Lord.

We really should pray that our words are "acceptable" in the sight of God.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Living to Glorify God (Psalm 19:12-13)

Today's scripture: Psalm 19:12-13

We live in a world of gray. So many people say that if it doesn't hurt anyone, then it's okay. Cheating is okay unless you get caught. Sex with anyone at anytime is fine if it's "consensual." Lying is just par for the course. Anger held in the quiet recesses of one's heart doesn't matter.

Yet, the Bible is clear. Sin is sin. Sin that the world can see and also those "secret faults."

If we claim to follow Christ, we should pray today's verses every day:

Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.

We should stand firm on what the Bible says is wrong. We should, instead, focus on living fully surrendered to glorifying God—in all things and at all times.

I believe if we got up every day with the single desire to glorify God each moment of that day, we would live very, very differently.

I'm not sure where I read it, but an author wrote of (I believe) his grandmother. They wanted to take her to see a popular movie, and she declined. She didn't object to the content. She merely said, "Jesus is going to come back, and I'd rather be doing something for Him."

This may be extreme, but it's food for thought. What do I want to be doing when Jesus returns? Secret faults? Presumptuous sins?

No. I'd rather be doing something that pleases Him. Wouldn't you?

Monday, November 24, 2014

God's Word ... Amazing! (Psalm 19:7-11)

Today's scripture: Psalm 19:7-11

Have I mentioned how much I love, love, love God's word? I don't know why I'm continually amazed how it speaks to me in new ways even though I've read it all the way through each year for the last decade and even though I've studied books, chapters, and verses over and over again.

I have to confess, though, that I hadn't been focusing on in-depth study for a while. I did read daily devotionals, write this blog, do topical studies, and continue my "through the year" reading, but I wasn't truly meditating on God's word.

I just let "life" take over ... and I know me. If I want to be grounded in the Bible and continue to grow in my faith, I must have this focused time.

God knows my heart and my desire to know Him more, so He blessed me with a new small group at church a few weeks ago, and we began a study in the book of James ... and I remembered how amazing His word truly is.

Then, this morning, I meditated on today's scripture, and tears filled my eyes. May I encourage you to read through them again? And again? Maybe in a few different versions (I especially love the CEV's paraphrase)?

God's word is such an amazing gift. It encourages, affirms, educates, edifies, convicts, teaches ... sometimes all at the same time. I encourage you to spend time, real time, in it every day. Meditate on its truths. Revel in its encouragement. Learn from its conviction.

And delight in the knowledge that your God loves you so very much that He left a written document ... just for you!