A daily study in the Word of God. Simple, life-transforming tools to help you grow in Christ.
Coming and going....
I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,the maker of heaven and earth.
God won’t let your foot slip.Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.
No! Israel’s protectornever sleeps or rests!
The Lord is your protector;the Lord is your shade right beside you.
The sun won’t strike you during the day;neither will the moon at night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;God will protect your very life.
The Lord will protect you on your journeys—whether going or coming—
from now until forever from now.
(Psalm 121 CEB)
I once read something by a poet about closing one's eyes at night and all seems to become "dead" with the enclosure of darkness, but also of the tremendous miracle of opening one's eyes the next day to the newness of life where all seems to once again be reborn. It was kind of an amazing thought to consider our times of slumber as that which bring rebirth or newness in such a way - death to the old and life to the new, so to speak. We need this "slumber" at times in not just a physical sense. If we equate the closing of one's eyes as a chance to "reset" what it is we see, then every opportunity for a "closure" within one season of a relationship can be the "opening" of another one! I read a post this morning from a friend who has moved away, so my only way of remaining connected with her over the miles is often in her posts. She was celebrating the beauty of roses - not so much because they were open and fragrant - but because of the gentleman who has won her heart! One door closed in order for another to open. One job ended in order for another to begin. One relationship brought pain, but another has opened up to the newness of joy once again for my friend. I was truly celebrating with her, as well! Whether coming or going, God's eyes never shut on our lives. His tender mercies are new with each new day and even with each new breath! While this may sometimes go overlooked by us until we take time out of our busy lives, once we just "shut down" for a little while, we realize just how much God's restorative and keeping power have been at work in our lives. It may be in the realm of energies for the tasks at hand all the way to the restorative power of helping us be ready and rightly placed for new relationships. Regardless of "how" his mercies come into our lives - they are sufficient to meet all our needs and are evidence of his great care for his kids! Our comings and our goings - both are in his care. Our beginnings and our endings - both are within his design when our lives are positioned to follow in his steps. Just sayin!
Steel in your convictions - what does this mean? Winston Churchill once said, "Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning." C.S. Lewis echoed his words when he penned, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions. (I Thessalonians 1:3-5 The Message) God's hand is on us for something special. We serve a God who is not only supernatural, he actually influences us to move beyond the natural into the abundance of all he is! It is this very encouragement which gives us transforming power to live with courage in times of uncertainty. When God begins to pour into our lives, he is "pouring" the right stuff. This is what Paul was r
9-11 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 MSG) Sentimental gush - that is what I kind of feel when I watch some of those sappy "and they lived happily after" love stories. Yes, I believe people can "be in love" and that "love will find a way" and all those other cliches about love. Don't think I am down on a solidly committed and growing relationship - it is just that our world often portrays love in ways that are totally gushy and then doesn't show the very 'hard' side of that loving being vital and vibrant
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (Romans 6:23) Have you discovered that you no longer need to listen to sin tell you what to do anymore? If you are like the millions upon millions of others who have said 'yes' to Jesus, you likely still have a bit of a struggle in this area. Sin just doesn't 'go away' when you say 'yes' to Jesus - the ability for it to control you does, but the enticement to sin is still presenting itself. The issue is not whether sin still entices, it is really an issue of which voice we will listen to the most frequently! We can listen to our own inward lusts (desires), or we can listen to the sti