Showing posts from June, 2006
The Surprise That Shouldn’t Have Been Exodus 4: 29-31, 5:1,4,17, 21 (New International Version) 4:29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. 5:1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.' "4 But the king of Egypt said, "Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!" 5 Then Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working." 17 Pharaoh said, "Lazy, that's what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.&#
Going it Alone or Going With God John 15:4-8 (New International Version) 4Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Yesterday I looked back at my journal entries of April 30th and May 1st. These were days I heard God speaking to me and were the turning point that led to me sharing my journal with friends via email. I knew at the time that to ignore his gentle but clear voice in the area in which he was
Talk to No One Before You Talk to Me Exodus 34:14 (New International Version) Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Sunday, April 30, 2006 This morning I resisted the temptation to plunge into writing and sending an email I had been mentally composing to a friend. It was the continuation of a dialogue about writing and other interesting topics, but I felt constrained from bursting into his morning, as I knew he was preparing for church, as I was, and I didn’t want to distract him. I also heard a still, small voice say, “Talk to no one before you talk to Me.” I don’t know if that voice was God, or my own thoughts – but I think I should listen for I have been so out of balance. Prayer: Dear Lord, anything that I might have to say is worth so much less if I haven’t been in your Holy Presence. Please forgive me for what is idolatry – the putting of my relationship with others before my relationship with you. You are my Centre, my Source, my Br
God Our Intimate Friend Job 26:14 (New International Version) 14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?" Deuteronomy 29:29 (New International Version) 29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. John 15:15 (New International Version) 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. This morning God reminds me through these verses that he longs to share his secrets with us, to delight us with insights like a friend who pulls out of their pocket some hidden treasure. All we have to do is slow down long enough to listen; he is always there. God’s word reveals a Creator who longs to enter into intimate relationship with his c
The Joy of Being His Child Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version) 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Isaiah 30:15 (New International Version)15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” These verses remind me of what it was like to be a child, free of the burden of adult responsibilities. I didn’t worry about the “big picture” of my life too much. I remember hours spent with playmates inside sun dappled, hollowed out hedgerows, in our sleepy English village. We loved to climb the branches of the trees along the banks of the stream meandering through the fields. Sometimes we would explore the ancient church that stood, surrounded by stately elm trees, on the
Whatever He Says Psalm 32:8-10 (New International Version) 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. John 2:5 (New King James Version) 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” A short while ago someone asked me to tell them the story of my journey with God. They wondered at the fact that although I didn’t grow up in a family that went to church, I heard and responded to the call of God from early childhood. My father lost whatever faith he had somewhere along the way but my mother told me about Jesus, passing on her simple faith. And the hymns I heard daily in our school assemblies contained enough theology for any receptive heart to grasp and grow by. Whenev
A Matter of Perspective Ephesians 4:29-32 (New International Version) 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Psalm 4:4 (New International Version) 4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah Yesterday, I wrote about saying something that was true “from my perspective.” God was speaking to my heart about the need to guard against anger and judgment. Today I find myself thinking about the short phrase, “from my perspective,” and I realize that God isn’t finished with me yet on this topic. Anger and judgment are the
Right Thing – Wrong Way Colossians 4:5-6 (New International Version) 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (New International Version) 22 Avoid every kind of evil. Instantly as I read these words, God brought to mind a very recent conversation, then another, and another, where what I said was truth, at least from my perspective, but not filtered through the soft sand of kindness. Instead the truth was propelled by the energy of underlying anger or judgment. I am afraid that these “additions” to the truth may have actually taken away from it, leaving the listeners more focused on Truth’s unwelcome traveling companions than the message itself. Truth, this morning’s scripture reminds me, is best accompanied by grace and sprinkled with salt, a symbol of incorruptibility and purity. The scripture from Thessalonians
His Signet Ring Haggai 2:23 (New International Version) “…and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,” declares the Lord Almighty.” These words – spoken to Zerubbabel, through the prophet Haggai, speak to me. The commentary in my Life Application Bible, says this: “A signet ring was used to guarantee the authenticity of a letter. It served as a signature when pressed soft wax on a written document.” “My prayer is that I too, will be like his signet ring; that what flows from me in written and spoken word will bear his unmistakable mark, his signature pressed on the soft wax of my heart.” I wrote these words in my journal a few months ago, and I continue to meditate on their meaning. Does my life bear the mark, the authenticity that speaks of Jesus? Only those closest to me are qualified to answer that question, and I am afraid that they would often, if truthful, answer that it has far to go. I’m not discouraged by that fact, only encouraged to press in more, to