Preparing for the end

Today’s Readings: 1 Thessalonians 3 and 4

Its difficult to think about death and when our end is to come. I would honestly say, I take my life for granite most days. Selfishly, I have three children under the age of eight and would love to see them grow up to be both wonderful men and women of God. I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and would love to have at least 50 more. But, I realize that I’m not the one who will decide that.  God will!  I recently attended a funeral for my late Uncle Rob Voltz, which was a reminder of the brevity of our lives. I haven’t attended very many funerals, they are hard to attend. Since putting my faith in God, I tend to reflect and wonder about any opportunities I could of had to share how much I cared for them and the promises God had made for those who believe.  I remind myself of Psalm 90:12 which says Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Even now as the rest of my family is in bed, I think about the lost opportunities today to share Christ in actions, words, and love.  

Uncle Robs card showed him hitting a golf ball into a beautiful sunset.  It said,

“Lord, when my last putt has dropped into the cup and the light of my last day has faded, may I be able to turn in to You, a scorecard to show I did my Best. 

This quote reminds me of one of my favorite verses written by Paul in 2 Timothy 7 where he knew his life was coming to an end as he sat in prison.  He said, ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”

How will you finish the race? How will you turn in the scorecard showing your best?

1 Thessalonians 3 and 4 share wisdom from Paul earlier in his ministry that tells the Thessalonians and us as believers how we should prepare for His coming.  And, even though we don’t know the precise moment when Jesus will return we know that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Romans 13:11. 

A few reminders from Paul in preparation for this day are;

  • Keep the faith – that we will face trials in this life still our endurance comes from our hope in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 That we pray for any area that is lacking faith. verse  3:10 Read more in 1 Peter 4:12-19
  • Live in order to please God –  God’s will sanctified – verse 4:1-3.
  • Live in a way that controls your own body and is Holy and Honorable.  verse 4:4-7. Read more in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.
  • Lead a quiet life – not stirring up conflict, living peacefully in the midst of trials.
  • Be sanctified by God. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 Let the Holy Spirit lead your life.  Allow him to change you from the inside out.

 

Dear Awesome Father,  We love you.  May our lives reflect the truth even in the face of difficulties. That in our day to day interactions with our family, friends, and strangers we model a fearless faith-filled attitude that pours out love to theirs. That in our moments where we are lacking in faith you lift us up.  Lord, as we wait and prepare for your coming gives us courage to share with others your promises and how you have changed our lives; and as you call us one by one God, we can be sanctified awaiting to be in your presence.  Amen 

The last temptation

Happy Tuesday June 4, 2019

Today’s Reading Mark 15

Mark 15: 29-32

29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!

The last temptation. I know that at any point Jesus could of taken himself off the cross that day.  But He didn’t.  He was obeying His father, and following through with the plan had set since His humble birth. As a human, Jesus was tempted many times by Satan. Look back at Matthew 4: 1-11 after He was just baptized. Jesus never gives into the temptation. He understands how we are all tempted by the world daily. Temptation from Satan was coming in in the moments when Jesus hung on the cross, still, in this last attempt from Satan, Jesus kept himself on the cross for the sins of those present then and for everyone since then. Amen!

How is Satan tempting you today? For me, is it by the way I’ve been responding to my children 1 week into summer break? Is it the times I take my wife for granite daily instead of loving her like the church? Is it in my thoughts as I judge others in their various circumstances? Is it in my workload and my selfish ambitions to attain and do more? Is it the entertainment factor from a TV or phone that keeps me mindlessly engaged in time that has no eternal impact… for anyone? The list can go on and on.  We see, feel and are tempted.  We have been tempted since Adam and Eve and have failed just like them in Genesis 3. We are broken.  Still, Jesus knows this, says in these temptations, turn to Me.  Am I doing that? Are you doing that? Through all the temptations Jesus went through, He turned to His Father. Does someone you know right now going through some circumstance where temptation is staring them in the face? Maybe its you today?

Turn to God’s words.  Turn to Him in prayer.  The world is full of worldly things that tempt us daily.  On this day in Mark 15 the temptation to take Himself off the cross was there.  Soldiers, onlookers, priests saying hurtful mocking words and acting out in violence towards Him. Telling Jesus,  Take yourself down from the cross if you are the Son of God.  The human side of me would of pulled myself down and shown them, maybe even in my moments of displaced anger I would of did something to these mockers just to set an example.  Yet,this final mockery of Jesus on the cross to abandon His sacrificial death didn’t succeed. Jesus stayed on the cross to pay for our sins. Revelation 2:10 reminds me how Satan is always putting us to the test and Jesus wants us to remain faithful.

We are wrestling with various sins and temptations? Go to battle against them, let others know.  Know that we have a Father who has already declared victory when we turn our life over to Him.

Dear Jesus this fleeting pleasure pales in comparison to the joy and satisfaction we have in you.  Today, I choose an obedience to you then this temptation put before me.  Better is one day in your courts, then thousands elsewhere. We long for this day, please remind us in our struggles of this hope, strength, grace, and love you have for us always.  Thank you for your Son Jesus to be our perfect example of how in the flesh He resisted the temptations. I pray to draw closer and closer to His presence daily.  We love you! Amen

I love this song by Matt Maher because it reminds me of how much I need Jesus every day!

 

Mission Improbable

  1. After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

The heading for for today’s bible journal is called Mission Improbable, at first when I thought about this heading I needed to remind myself of these two words.  The definition of mission is: the calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith.  The definition for improbable is: not likely to be true or to happen. 

What makes this mission improbable?

As we read the Lord sending out the 70 or 72 (depending on the version you read) why would it be so improbable? Then I read verse 2-3, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 

Looking back at Luke 9, Jesus had just sent out His 12 disciples.  Now, those who had seen, heard, and believed in Jesus were willing to go into the harvest field.  The 72 were appointed by Jesus, given instructions, and sent out in pairs.

Consider these questions.

  • Where and who has God purposely placed in your  life today to be on mission?
  • What faithful role does God wants me to have in His work? (not my work)
  • Am I doing all I can for the harvest, or am I just watching?

As you reflect on those questions today be encouraged by these points.

  1. The harvest is great: We do the work knowing how important and big it is.  God’s Kingdom!

29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. Colossians 1:29 

2. The laborers are few: We do the work knowing that we have a key job. This job involves the opportunity today to possibly leading someone to a glorious Kingdom in contrast to destiny in hell separated from our God. Don’t try to do it all alone.  Be in community. Talk with a brother or sister in Christ about the opportunity you have to speak life into someone else.

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor, for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” (Eccl 4:9-10)

3. Pray the Lord of the harvest: We do the work with a lot of prayer.  Our job is to pray, pray for these opportunities. Pray for in your conversations and interactions with others.  Pray to help equip others.  Honestly, I can sit and be a spectators at times.  Except,  Jesus has called us to be laborers. I have to be willing at all times to have conversations as well.

 

4. Go your way:I am sending you, like lambs among wolves: We do the work making ourselves vulnerable. We will be met by opposition. This dangerous mission requires sincere commitment. Let God be our strength today and every day. .

Charles Wesley wrote Lord of the Harvest, Hear. in 1742

LORD of the harvest, hear
Thy needy servants’ cry;”
Answer our faith’s effectual prayer,
And all our wants supply.

On Thee we humbly wait;”
Our wants are in Thy view;
The harvest truly, Lord is great,
The laborers are few.

Convert, and send forth more
Into Thy Church abroad,
And let them speak Thy Word of power,
As workers with their God.

Give the pure Gospel word,
The word of general grace;
Thee let them preach, the common Lord,
Savior of human race.

O let them spread Thy Name,
Their mission fully prove,
Thy universal grace proclaim,
Thine all redeeming love!

On all mankind, forgiven,
Empower them still to call,
And tell each creature under Heaven
That Thou hast died for all.

 

The picture I shared is a sign I drive by daily.  Jesus prepared the 12, He prepared the 72, He is preparing you.  Today, as you go to work, go to school, stay at home, go to practice,… you are one mission, and God has equipped you.

Kingdom Tales – Matthew 13

From childhood to adulthood we all loved to hear fairy tales growing up. These stories have a beginning, followed by a challenge, there’s someone who provides hope, and at some point shows us an amazing future. These stories can include knights, princes, princesses, “bad guys”,  kings and kingdoms. These stories usually have a battle between good and evil.

In Matthew 13 there are 8 parables told in the 52 verses.  Jesus takes common things that we can relate to and constructs short stories within which He communicates  something better than any Fairy Tale.  He tells us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, They are also known as, Kingdom Tales! And, for those with open ears and open hearts, He reveals the Kingdom of Heaven. Where instead of a Fairy-Tale ending, we get an opportunity to see, hear, and be part of a Kingdom Tale ending.  Amen!   We can believe that while in this interim of time we have on this earth we are promised with open ears and hearts that we should repent and believe.

Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Psalm 103: 19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Matthew 13: 11, Matthew 13:24, Matthew 13:31, Matthew 13:33, Matthew 13:44, Matthew 13:45, Matthew 13:47, Matthew 13:52 all tell us what the Kingdom of heaven will be like. I can’t wait to see you there. 

Dear God, thank you for sending us a King, who offered us His Kingdom.  That when we repent and say we believe can enter into this kingdom one day.  God we know He is coming again, and His kingdom is in our midst for those who have welcomed the King to reign in our hearts.  There are battles we will face every day in sin and brokenness. God, I know I don’t deserve a place in this Kingdom, and there is nothing I can do to prove myself worthy.  But through your love, grace, and sacrifice, you’ve provided a way for us all.  We have a King that is victorious over all.  God, thank you for your Living word that we use daily to draw closer to you and your Kingdom.  We love you, Amen.

 

Suffering Servant

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

In the last few weeks in our home, we have had many conversations about Easter and its meaning. It took a little while to get past the newness of peeps and candy filled eggs with our boys, but eventually we landed on the story of Jesus. Simultaneously, our small group has gone through a six-week study called The Easter Experience by City on a Hill productions. This has led us up to celebrating Easter this past weekend.  In the midst of all of these conversations and scripture reading around Easter it has allowed us more time to reflect around what Jesus physically went through in addition to His willingness to die upon that old rugged cross.
In our group we have read various scriptures leading up to this event and asked each other, ” Who would you most identify with at this moment?” One of the two thieves, Peter, Judas, Mary, one of the guards or on-lookers? We  had the opportunity to watch some difficult video that visually shows his pain and suffering. As we landed on Isaiah 53 its amazing to see how over 700 years earlier Isaiah was prophesizing this day to come.  It’s fitting that Isaiah means “God is salvation” in Hebrew.

Another interesting fact that I learned this week while learning more about Isaiah 53  is how the total chapters in Isaiah is equal to the old testament and the new testament. (66) our Sovereign Lord always shows his authority in so many ways.

Now Isaiah 53 has so many truths we can take away.  I would encourage you to read slowly Isaiah 53:1-12.  If we had only had Isaiah 53 we would understand the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. We have fallen short, and like sheep needing a shepherd,  there is only one person who can save us,  Jesus.  The suffering that Jesus went though He did not deserve.  All of it. Its unimaginable that the sins He died for on the cross include my sins today.  And even though Jesus didn’t deserve any of it, He took them all.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

It’s hard to even imagine, I take it for granite daily.  No,  there’s nothing I can do to pay Him back.  I simply give thanks, pray to be obedient, lovingly trust Him with all aspects of my life to the best of my human possibility.  We deserved the death, but Jesus took it for all of us.  We thank you, praise you, and love you.

 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21.

From Suffering Servant to Glorious King.

Ezra 3 – Returning Home

Ezra was a priest, a scribe, and a great leader. His name literally means “help” and this is exactly what Ezra did.  Ezra helped fulfill the promise of the Jewish people returning to Jerusalem. In this short chapter,  Ezra 3 has some powerful insights and reminders that can speak to your heart today.

The first insight is noticing one of the most important things the Jews did upon returning to the city.  Their first focus was on creation and use of the alter.  It was the symbol of God’s presence back in Jerusalem .  What does God’s presence look like to you? Is there a presence in your home? For me I think of some of the little things that represent and remind me of our trust in Him.  The verses that hang on our walls, the calendar that shows family pictures with verses written, the kids Sunday school handouts hanging on our fridge, the Resolution certificate framed from our marriage small group study sitting in our dining room.  In a kitchen you can find a mason jar full of prayers and praises from this year.  I also reflect on what do we model when others come stay? What are we modeling when we are alone? Are we intentional in having a place where we can rest in His presence and show our trust in His protection and presence like the Jews did upon returning home?

3 Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.

The second focus was on building of the temple, the people didn’t look ahead at the finished product, or the walls to protect the city, they focused on the foundation.  This could be a sermon on its own but I’ll keep it short.  Our foundation is everything.  It doesn’t matter if you are building  temple, house, or a fort.  The foundation is essential.  It’s Just like in our lives.  Our marriages, decisions about jobs, raising a family, making a decision to move…  really anything we do has to be given to God first. Our foundation has to be in God. If you short change, alter the appropriate materials, or modify the accurate dimensions of a foundation it can lead to disaster.  For some of the Jews, this had already happened to them once.  They didn’t want it to happen again. If our foundation is not strong, and when pain kicks in, hardships, fear, anxiety or lowliness sets in, without a solid foundation you will waiver and eventually fall.  Take time daily to build your foundation! Now, think about how the people reacted once the foundation was done. It says they sang, praised, and gave thanks. For He is good, and His loving kindness endures forever… Ezra 3:11 Take time today to sing, praise, and give thanks! Amen

2 Timothy 2:19 says, 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Lastly, look at the end of Ezra 3.  At first I was unclear about verses 12-13. The contrast between shouting for joy and weeping? In my study bible it talks about the mix of emotions being felt at that time between the generations.  That some Jews had lived when their first temple was originally built, while others were part of something for the first time.  How many times does the Holy Spirit produce that same emotion in us?  I can be standing in church arms up, praising God singing,  without any care for my pitch.  The next moment, my hands wiping tears from my face convicted once again.  I can often become sobered by my shortcomings, and full of joy, thanksgiving in other moments. In these moments I can see how there are times when it is hard to decipher.  Only God can move us that way.

12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

 

Where do you turn when your world has been flipped upside down? Maybe it was a marriage, job, your own child, a bad decision? Where do you return? You return home to the Lord.  If you have been lost, or maybe just need to rebuild.  Head into the wonderful arms of our Lord.

Have a blessed Tuesday.

Speaking Up

Just this last week at school (principal at K-5 building)  I had an opportunity to talk with some students and their families about the many decisions they have the opportunity to make daily.  When talking to these students and their families I referred to 1 or more of Paul’s characteristics of the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5. That in acting out of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control there are many more chances to experience joy.  Just like these children’s decisions we equally get to make daily choices. Often our decisions are based on our own self-serving attitude, and at times they can come from pressures of the world or others.  Prayerfully,  our decisions can be given to God and model Godly obedience.

Today, in Jeremiah 38 there are a few decisions being made by multiple people.  Each of these decisions can fall into one of the above categories.  Let’s look at who they were and where their faith was.

Princes and King – Even though just a chapter earlier, (37:21) King Zedekiah was listening to Jeremiah, now the king had the attention of these princes. (38:4-5) In these verses the king had told them he didn’t have any control of Jeremiah, that they could do what they will.  The princes were listening to the voices of the people of Judah, believing that the words from Jeremiah were weakening their armies. The princes were eventually given the ok by the king to put Jeremiah into a cistern to die. People pleasers.

Ebed-melech the Ethiopian – God uses us in many ways.  Ebed-melech showed his faith in various forms here. First in going to speak with the king about saving Jeremiah.  Then convincing his friends to help him pull out Jeremiah. He even thought to get extra padding for the ropes to hurting Jeremiah.  He feared God more than the people.  (Later after Jerusalem fell captive to the Babylonians Ebed-Melech received a very encouraging word of hope through Jeremiah’s prophecy Jeremiah 39:15-18) .

“Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘Take thirty men from here under your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies.’ So Ebed-melech took the men under his authority and went into the king’s palace to a place beneath the storeroom and took from there worn-out clothes and worn-out rags and let them down by ropes into the cistern to Jeremiah. Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, ‘Now put these worn-out clothes and rags under your armpits under the ropes’; and Jeremiah did so.  So they pulled Jeremiah up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, and Jeremiah stayed in the court of the guardhouse” (Jeremiah 38:10-13).

 

My message to the kids this last week and often is you can go along with the crowd or do what is right.  In this situation Ebed spoke up for God.   When have you stood up for what is right even when it was risky? What helps you to serve God when people around you are not doing so, and even when they criticize or threaten you? When another person is treated wrongly do we speak up and show love and kindness? Maybe even pull them out of the cistern they are currently in? Have you ever been in the trenches? Thank God for the times He sends an “Embed-melech” your way.

Dear God, We are so grateful for the prophet Jeremiah and his faithfulness. For  those like Ebed-melech and the rope holders who’ve helped pull us out of difficult situations. Those who have given us an uplifting message, interceded in prayer on our behalf, and provided their time and expertise to help us in our dilemma. Help us to be a rope holder and offer a word of encouragement, be a listening ear, and extend tender compassion and mercy to one in need. Help us to obey and be Your hand extended to those in need.  Amen.

Meanwhile in Jerusalem – 1 Chronicles 20

 

It happened in the spring of the year, at the time kings go out that Joab led out the armed forces and ravaged the country of the people of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. And Joab defeated Rabbah and overthrew it. 1 Chronicles 20

Notice anything different about this verse? Yes… one thing could be spring time is when battles were fought.  Who would want to go to battle in the cold.    Currently, I’m very eager for spring to be here.  We have had our kids in for many days over these last few months. They are ready to be out.  Yes, I’m sure  there was frost bite whether in battle or just playing outside for an extended amount of time.

In addition to my warmer weather prayer you read, But David stayed in Jerusalem.  What? David didn’t go? This is the very short version of 2 Samuel 11. Go back and read that chapter for the details.  What was David doing? As the king he should have been doing his duty and leading his army to war.  Instead he sent Joab because he was too focused on his own desires.  How often can we do the same? Not following what God has planned for us and following our own temptations even when they know they are wrong.  Based on the idea of a Rooster Crowing app mentioned by Mike Baker in our most recent sermon from the series Imperfect. The idea is that each time we denied Jesus the rooster would crow. In this case, the crowing would be going off big time the minute David thought, No I think I ‘ll stick around here, Joab you go.

A couple reminders to me were;

  • During this time when God’s planned on David leading his army out to battle,  David stayed back back and was tempted giving into his desires. Take the initiative to do God’s will, and not your own. Don’t give temptation a foothold by resting in inactivity. If we cannot fill our days with our own matters, there is always plenty to be done for others… God has big plans for you.
  • Beware of moments and times of ease.  It is in these moments that we most easily fall into the power of Satan. Watch and pray in days of relaxing and ease, even more than at other times. There is nothing more full of subtle danger in the life of any servant of God than that he should remain inactive.   God wants us to be out in the fields.

It seems like spring is here this week. Let’s keep our focus on God and take initiative for His will not our own.  Have a blessed Tuesday.

 

One-liners

Proverbs 10 provides 32 verses of various types of truths for us.  These verses can be reflective on past stages of living while also providing wisdom for living life closer to God. 

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. v. 9

Each verse has a contrast approach by referring to acts of wickedness or righteousness.  I wish I could say I landed on the side of righteousness throughout the stages of my life so far.  Unfortunately, because of my human tendencies and self serving attitude I acquired I have fallen short more times than I would like to admit. 

Hatred stirs up strife,
    but love covers all offenses. v.12

As we read through these general truths by Solomon ask yourself, ”  Is my life defined by my infinite “to do” list and what can I do to serve myself?  or A life of loving the Lord and seeking ways to follow Him? We all have a mutual 24 hours given to us.  Give, Grow, Gather, Go and above all Love.

The righteous will never be removed,
    but the wicked will not dwell in the land. v. 30

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray for your continual guidance, grace, and wisdom to saturate our hearts. Let our lives be one that is being lived for you and not us.  That in our mutual breaths of life we have on this earth they are marked by love, integrity, and righteousness. That in our thoughts, words, and actions your presence reminds us to submit to you. Help us to repent in our sins and allow our weakness to be filled with grace and love only for you.  Thank you God for your living word.  Amen

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence, 2 Peter 1:3

Have a blessed day!

Ups and Downs

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

What is your greatest desire?  Think about it for a minute.  Do you have something? Often our schedules or circumstances can apply enough pressure to never think about this question.  At first we may think of various earthly treasures  or warm places we want to be based on our current weather here in Illinois.  Still, there is no place, thing, or human that can fill this desire.  David writes in Psalm 27 that the one thing he seeks, is to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  How awesome is it to remember. That on this side of Heaven, our earthly days are promised too!!! So when we ask again what is our greatest desire, it would be A desire to always be in His presence.  Look back at Psalm 23:6.

Now as a husband, father, brother, son, principal, coach, and friend  I understand the multitude of things we are part of or are called to do from sun up to sun down.   We are stretched pretty thin and always trying to do  something helpful for others. Being God’s hands and feet.   Take time in all our daily lives to allow the Lord to dwell in your heart today!   

In Psalm 27:1.  we look back at verse The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Am I the only one tired of fear creeping into my mind? The painful self generated questions,   How will this turn out? What are they thinking about me? What if I fail? Fear is always lingering waiting for us to take the bait, to believe in the “fake news“. The two fears you are born with are the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.  Let’s not let the noise of the world, others, or from our self imprison our minds and hearts.  God hears our voice when we call out to Him.  Psalm 118:6 reminds us that the Lord is on our side, what can man do to me?

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. v. 10

This verse reminds me that whatever is  in your past doesn’t matter anymore. God can take away any past pain. Broken homes, addictions, divorce, loss, abuse? Whatever horrible experience you have lived that has caused a void in your heart, God can heal. He can take away any pain.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

I know waiting is not easy.  I have a few of my own children that are masters at asking the question, Are we there yet?” Waiting on the Lord can be hard because we usually want answers to our prayers yesterday.  We just need to remember that God’s plan and timing is always better than ours.  Wait and trust… so hard. What is God trying to teach us in our waiting?  God offers hope to today and our future. Let our waiting teach us of His glory, grace, and power.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
 they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40 28-31

Dear God, I pray that you take my selfish desires and turn them to you. That through a love and trust in your promises I can put aside my fears, failures, and false gods to dwell obediently in your presence.  Let us wait patiently for all you have planned for our lives.  In your loving name we pray. Amen