Why I Believe: Psalms 14

fool  /fo͞ol/  noun

a person who acts unwisely or imprudently

David’s seven verses in Psalms 14,  give us a glimpse of a fool.  The fool.

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.

Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

I love how David directs us to the heart. God knows what we are saying and feeling on the inside. For me, that thought can be comforting. And sometimes it can be convicting. He KNOWS it all!

He knows the heart that is denouncing his existence, and he knows the heart that is questioning and seeking – and he knows the difference.

When I look back at my faith journey, while there were seasons of rebellion, I can honestly say that I never had thoughts or feelings in my heart that there wasn’t a God.

Did I have seasons of questions? Absolutely. Do I still wonder the whys and the hows? For sure. But the existence of God was something I learned at a young age, that I then independently confirmed as I got older. I confirmed this through prayer, scripture studying, and so many God-instances that the world might call coincidences. But he has continued to show up – on my darkest days, during my low points, and has shown me he is true. He is real. He is love. The God on the mountain is the God in the valley!

Unfortunately, during those rebellious seasons, my actions may have looked like I didn’t believe in a God – but sinning isn’t a sign of denouncing God. He is so merciful to forgive and restore. Don’t get discouraged and confuse sin with unbelief, but stand on the promises of that if you confess your sin he will forgive. He will continue his work in us – sanctifying us for his purposes.

Verse four says that the foolish devour God’s people like eating bread. Like a normal, routine everyday thing – eating bread and devouring the faithful. And here’s the key, the last part of that verse says – these foolish unbelieving hearts  NEVER call on the Lord. They’re not seeking God. They’re not praying. They’re not asking for help. They’re denying God’s existence, continuing in sin and corruption like its routine, and they’re definitely not calling on him.

I love how this scripture comes together and points to the way they could get out of their foolery – Seek God – CALL ON HIM – pray for revelation of his existence.

If you are questioning the existence of God, take a step in faith and ask him. Simply spend time each day and ask him to show you if he is real. Day by day, I believe he will reveal himself to you – as he has to me, and so many others.

Over the next few weeks as we read the Psalms and draw out our own stories of belief, I hope you’re encouraged. Whether it’s these journal entries, or articles and books from scientists that confirm a world created by God or an amazing sermon you hear… there are statements of faith and personal creeds all around us.

Ultimately, your own personal testimony of the Lord is what captures your heart. Your unique experiences with him. Your ah ha moments. The overwhelming peace he brings. The sweetness in your soul. I have no doubt he will show himself to you, as he has millions of others.

This chapter wraps up with a promise from the Lord. He is the refuge for those  that believe in him and made righteous through their faith! If you are experiencing corruption and sin at the hands of fools, God is your comfort. He will restore his people. This chapter ends with rejoicing in his salvation! Hallelujah!

The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus comes that we may have life, more abundantly! John 10:10

I Believe: Begotten

In the best known scripture in the world – have you ever wondered about…

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

…have you ever wondered about begotten? I’ve always accepted it as had, or a word for possession. Simply, God gave His Son. Which is true.

I was intrigued and enlightened to learn more about this word.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity explains that this word represents Jesus as the same being as God, from before all worlds was even created. He contrasts begotten from created… Begotten being the same as the begotter, and creation being different than the creator. People beget people. Squirrels beget squirrels. God created earth. A bird creates a nest. I create a painting. But God beget Jesus, His Son, who is also fully God in his image.

So what’s the big deal? Does this begotten matter?

Back in 325 AD, apparently it did matter – there was a large discussion (debate?) within in the early church, which resulted in the Nicene Creed (the first half is below). Nicene, because it happened in city of Nicaea (present day Iznik, Turkey), and Creed, which is a fancy word for statement of beliefs, usually in the realm of faith.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the begotten of God the Father, the Only-begotten, that is of the essence of the Father.
God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten and not made; of the very same nature of the Father, by Whom all things came into being, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.
Who for us humanity and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate, was made human, was born perfectly of the holy virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit.
By whom He took body, soul, and mind, and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance.

So, the question I ask myself, do I truly believe in Jesus as fully God, begotten, not made. Born from a virgin birth. Or have I accepted this as a sweet traditional story during Christmas, folklore almost? And does this differentiation matter?

Here’s what I’ve come to, and I am curious about where you land.

I believe it does matter. This is the basis of Christ, who He is, why He came, and the sufficiency we have through Him. Without the virgin birth – without the begotten – He wouldn’t be fully God, and able to be the perfect and full sacrifice for our sins. Without this, we aren’t able to live in eternity with the Father.

What proof or why do I believe this? Sure, I can go with “it says so in the Bible”, but without the belief in the inerrancy of scripture, or taking God’s word as truth, it might be difficult to stand firm in this belief in the begotten Jesus. Like other questions of faith, it requires prayer. Persistently asking the Holy Spirit to guide you to truth. In this you might land where I did – begotten Jesus is in sync with other truths God has shown us. Collectively and personally. The consistency of the begotten Jesus reaffirms salvation available through a perfect sacrifice. Personally, this sacrifice has been life changing. This side of eternity, I experience salvation and life as a new creature. This personal testimony can only be attributed to the begotten Jesus.

This belief is also woven all through scripture. In the first chapter of John, it’s noted that In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus is the Word, and He was both with God and fully God. Mind blowing. Perfect. Complete.

In Psalms 2, which is our reading for today, you can read through the passage and see these themes:

        • Verses 1-3 Our sin and rebellion
        • Verses 4-6 God’s response
        • Verses 7-9 Begotten Jesus’ authority over all
        • Verses 10-12 Our response

I love how Psalms 2 ends in a charge for us to respond. Be wise, serve the Lord, humble ourselves.

How do you answer this question in your own faith journey? Do you recite John 3:16 or the Nicene Creed in a routine manner, without having explored your true and full belief in the begotten Jesus?

I’d love to hear your reflections and thoughts. I’m praying for each reader to feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit – to identify your belief or areas of doubt as we journey through the Psalms. Don’t be afraid to recognize those corners of your heart that have questions. I’m praying that each of us has a renewed conviction to search through the doubts we carry. A desire to ponder our uncertainties. Through this we can develop our own personal creeds.

Revelation 12:11 says that we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb (thank you Jesus) and the word of our testimony. Our personal testimony of who Jesus is and what he has done in our life.  I can’t wait to testify together in 2021. Creed on, friends!

Begotten References

        • John 1:18 begotten Jesus is declared by God
        • John 3:18 condemnation through  disbelief in the begotten Jesus
        • Hebrews 1:5, 5:5 and Acts 13:33 reference to Psalms 2
        • 1 John 4:9 begotten Jesus is a manifestation of God’s love

 

A Thrill of Hope

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

I wonder how this landed on people seven hundred years before Christ came. We may accept this prophecy as known and believed today, but based on the responses in scriptures, they didn’t seem to. God With Us?  Could they imagine it or understand it?

When you zoom out from this moment with God, King Azah, and the prophet Isaiah, the landscape is heavy. Isaiah served as a prophet to the people of Judah and during the reign of four different kings. This time period experienced war  after war, and all the while Isaiah counseled the kings to trust only in the Lord. Wait on the Lord. But his advice fell on deaf ears resulting in defeats, captivity, and exile.

All the while, the people had turned away from God – their hearts weren’t in it. Interesting enough, they were still going to the temple and making sacrifices for their rebellion. They knew they weren’t following the Lord, but rather than truly repent and change, they tried to quick-fix their sins with worthless sacrifices. These sin and hypocrisy cycles continued for decades!

You know what I love about God and how he used Isaiah? In the midst of all of the disobedience from the kings and leaders of the nation, to the disobedience to the everyday people – at every level they had turned their backs on the Lord – but he remained. He still continued to give them hope. He didn’t leave them. He provided prophets to point the people back to himself. The thrill of hope is woven all through the book of Isaiah!

Isaiah is truly an amazing foretelling of Jesus. God used this one prophet to share so much hope and truth about our Messiah. The need of a savior was apparent, and Jesus Christ is our perfect provision!

        • The coming of Christ is announced in Isaiah 40:3-5
        • The virgin birth of Christ is foretold in Isaiah 7:14
        • The Good News through Christ is positioned in Isaiah 61:1
        • Christ’s death and sacrifice for our sins is outlined in Isaiah 52-53
        • Christ’s return and reign in Isaiah 60:2-3

These are just a few of the many recorded and fulfilled prophesies from Isaiah about the life and ministry of Christ.

When we zoom back in to what is happening specifically in Isaiah 7, we find King Azah too rebellious and too proud to ask God, or “test God”, even though God commanded him to. God wanted to have his whole heart and be fully trusted. Even after King Azah’s excuse to not ask God, God still offers him a sign of the future to come. A future of hope and salvation through Jesus. If the people would just trust the Lord and have faith! Today we can do exactly that. We can trust. We can follow the Lord. We can let go of our empty sacrifices and rely solely on the saving grace of Jesus.

As we continue looking toward the birth of Jesus, we can trust the one who sent him. He wants us to believe. He sent Jesus so He can be with us again. I’m praying that we all experience the thrill of the hope we have in Christ!

Harmony

Have you spent more time outdoors in the past year? Camping, hiking, and fishing have exploded as people are looking for available activities. Our own family has spent more quality time in nature exploring and learning. I find myself lost in bird watching, monologuing baby racoons, and identifying animal tracks – like never before.

This summer the nature adventures may have gone next-level when “animals eating human meals” became a focal point (I blame a book I read called a Day in the Life of Squirrels). In a nutshell, think “feeding swans spaghetti”, and planning a taco Tuesday for the opossum.

It’s been such a fun family activity and we have all enjoyed these silly little goals and sightings in nature (the kids especially).

It will come to no surprise that on a challenging day in the current world, my daughter and I were in town and came upon a grey squirrel. He carefully dragged a sweet potato fry out of a carry out container in a garbage can. We followed Grey Squirrel a couple of blocks and watched him make his way to a safe place up in a tree to indulge in his trophy. Walking hand in hand back to the car (after spending way too much time watching Grey Squirrel savor his sweet potato fry), my heart was full. In that moment it felt like God gave us Grey Squirrel as a little nod. He put a distraction in our path and a smile on our face. We couldn’t have planned or planted this ‘animal food goal’ better if we tried! It was something so small but it sure blessed us that day.

I admit that all of this sounds so incredibly goofy (borderline crazy?) but for us, nature and animals have been a source of peace. Getting outside has brought us harmony and a symbol of escape from worldly challenges.

As I began preparing for this week’s passage of the foreshadowing of the Messiah, of course verses 6-9 stood out. It’s a perfect picture of the harmony between the relationships of living things, both humans and animals. Right now, the swans mostly hiss at the idea of a Lady and the Tramp spaghetti moment. But this passage gives me hope that one day, harmony will be restored, as it was originally designed in the garden of Eden. Jesus, in his righteousness, will bring relationships together in a way that only he can. He can heal like no other. He has dominion over all. At his name every knee will bow.

Maybe, just maybe, God wrote this desire on our hearts. He gave us this family activity and space to yearn for harmony. He gave us time to experience his creation, the life he breathed into existence at his very word.

At the same time that he gave us a heart for harmony and unity, he also created us uniquely and each with a different person. Without the perfect wisdom, understanding, might, and fear of the Lord, we can never strike this balance like Jesus can. Until his return, I get to work on relationships here, looking to the Word for examples of love, and patience. Grace and forgiveness. Humility and long suffering.

With our Messiah, he makes a way for us to have perfect harmony in eternity.

What a day that will be! And I’m not talking about animal food goals – but true harmony among all people and all living creatures! The absence of sin and the enemy creating enmity. Perfect. Freeing. Peace.

As we look toward celebrating his birth this month, we can also praise him for the perfect harmony he brings!

Isaiah 11:1-10 The Righteous Reign of the Branch

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
    and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord

as the waters cover the sea.

In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

Make You Known

The words of John are so deep. I’ve been mediating on chapter seventeen for weeks and each time I read it something new stands out to me. So many levels and layers to what he brings forward from Jesus. And its no wonder, as he is called the beloved, described as such a close companion to the Lord.

In my last review of this chapter, what really grabbed my heart was at the very end in verse twenty-six:

I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.

On this earth, there are so many things we can do, be recognized for, or accomplish. And of course we all have personal goals in different areas. Where this scripture challenges me, is how many of my own plans get right back to the heart of making God, our creator, known. K N O W N. Truly known.

Jesus, right before his arrest, spends his time praying and with the aim that the world will know his Father. His consistency and faithfulness is unmatched.

I’m not sure why this hit me so hard.

Maybe its because in the middle of a pandemic, when so many things are cancelled and shut down, I still don’t have my time with the Lord prioritized how I’d lik.

Maybe it’s because I wonder how many things have my name tied to them, instead of the Lord’s. Am I shouting from the rooftops that it’s truly ONLY BECAUSE OF HIS GRACE that I am able to do the things I do?

Maybe it’s because I find myself doing so many things, things that may even be deemed by the world as good, and yet I feel the Lord calling me saying I don’t want more actions from you, I just want more of you.  

Maybe it’s because this quote showed up in my timehop of something I posted seven years ago, and still struck me today. Ouch. All the good deeds are just that – good. But holy habits of obedience, prayer, worship… wow. That’s how we know him and in turn, make him known.

John 17 is so beautiful. As you read through this last prayer before Jesus is arrested, what stands out to you?

I Believe In Miracles

The many miracles of Jesus each teach us something different. They have unique elements and people, but with the commonality of the power of Jesus being the source. In John 5, we learn of the man at the pool of Bethesda.  He lived thirty eight years as an invalid and was seeking healing.

In the past few years of my Bible Journal writing, you may have noted that I have a lot of questions and love the details. This passage…WOW…so many questions.  How did he get there. Who told him about the healing pools? Did he ever ask someone to help him get in? Or did he just assume no one would? What was he doing while he was waiting? Why did he stand out to Jesus? How long had he been waiting? What was going through his mind when Jesus said:

Rise, take up your bed, and walk.

It seems as if he had complete faith that the water could heal him if he could just get in. And when Jesus spoke these words to him, there is no indication of hesitation. He got up, took his mat, and walked. He didn’t even stay and chit chat or get Jesus’ name. He walked.

How does this miracle land on you?

Does it give you confidence, that the Lord works in his timing? After thirty-eight years this man is healed. Does it motivate you to keep seeking and striving for healing? Even if you have to wait. Even if you don’t see a way through to the miracle…can you identify with this man who couldn’t see a way to get to the water. Do the pools of Bethesda give you hope – that God’s ways are so much higher than ours? He had a different plan for this man, that didn’t involve getting in the pool. Jesus gave him an action plan with steps and he did it.

Does this miracle challenge you? I’m challenged, and humbled to admit that like this man, I stand before the Lord with a problem, and focus on a singular solution. If he has the power to heal through water contact, couldn’t he also just speak it? I’m also challenged to keep the faith…what am I still praying for – AND BELIEVING – after thirty-eight years? While I still believe God can answer my prayers, do I believe he will?

When I pray for what feels like big requests, do I tack on “your will be done” at the end, out of respect for the wisdom of God? Or do I say that because deep down I’m not sure the prayer will be answered and I don’t want to be disappointed or disappoint others?

While I never doubt the power of God, and I have complete belief that he is still actively performing miracles today, I guess I have to admit that I don’t always believe he will. Not for lack of compassion, but maybe he has a different plan than what I’m praying for. Today’s bible journal has motivated me to dig into the word and explore more on this topic of having a heart of complete belief when praying with requests.

When my Gracie was born, with a surprise diagnosis in the spina bifida family, those first few days, weeks, months, were lots of praying, and lots of sleepless nights. I knew God could heal her. Would he? I knew he could get her through her spinal cord surgery. Would he? When I look back on that time ten years ago, I regret not being “all in” believing he would. I wish I were quicker to dismiss the “what ifs” with her health, and stand firm because I had complete belief that she was going to have a miracle. She was going to make it through. Instead I went through that season waiting for each turn, waiting for the next round of imaging, testing, etc, to get an update.  Do you know someone that has such a faith like that? My grandma Rita has a fully believing, all in, faith in God answering her prayers. It’s a beautiful witness and it’s a beautiful way to live!

You know one of the things I really love about God? He gives us more chances. He gives us more opportunities to exercise our faith. To pray and believe. To ask and be all in and ready to receive. In this life, there isn’t a shortage of opportunities to ask and believe in a miracle. I’m going to keep asking. And when my faith starts to waver, I will pray and ask God to grow my faith and help me approach his throne boldly and with a fully believing heart.

Who, Me?

Who, Me?

It’s equally fascinating and encouraging who God uses to complete his will and further his kingdom. Scriptures are filled with countless examples of sinners turned saints, the least of these becoming great in service for the Lord.

The enemy is actively trying to discourage us. He wants us to focus on our past failings or current things we view as limitations. He tries to highlight our shortcomings so we shudder from our calling.

I have to think that so many had their own  Who, Me?  moments.

Esther becoming queen… Who, Me? A jewish woman? Esther 2

Peter after the resurrection… Who, Me?…that denied Jesus three times. John 21

Paul on the road to Damascus… Who, Me?…that persecuted Christians. Acts 9

Where God calls, he equips. Where God guides, he provides. Whatever doubts, fears, or failings may hold us back, we can trust in the Lord to equip us!

God not only calls the imperfect or unlikely… he also calls and uses those he knows will have future struggles. And not to sugarcoat it – by struggles, I mean SIN! What an encouragement! God not only knows our past – but he knows our future! Jesus saved us while we were yet sinners… God calls and equips us to serve in his kingdom, knowing we will continue to mess up! Take heart, friends, perfection isn’t a requirement for God to use you!

Most of us know the story of Noah, one who faithfully walked with the Lord, and he is remembered in the Hebrews lineup of faith heroes.

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7

Noah was obedient – even when it didn’t make sense to everyone around him. I wonder if he had his own thoughts of Who, Me? or Do What?  But he continued to answer God’s call. And not just for a day… he worked on the “pointless project” as some likely called it – for DECADES! Because of his obedient service, humanity and animals were saved from extinction from the flood.

What you may not know, is after the Flood, after the rainbow, and after God’s covenant with Noah, Noah messed up. Genesis 9 doesn’t outline all the details – did he get too comfortable and it was a slow fade into sin, or was it an impulsive, out of character moment of sin?  Either way, this wasn’t a surprise to God, all knowing and all powerful, he knew all along that Noah was going to fall into sin. When Noah was measuring wood and counting cubits, gathering two of each animal, God knew that years later, Noah would fall into drunkenness and nakedness.

What an encouragement that God calls us, has plans for us, despite our past, and despite what he knows about our future! Noah’s sin impacted generations to come, and bible scholars conclude that Noah repented of his sins, as God later identified Noah as one of three of the most righteous men (Ezekiel 14). I’m so grateful for a forgiving God that provided salvation through Jesus.

As I was preparing to put thoughts on paper this week, I also had swirling thoughts of what Noah thought of himself after he fell into sin. Did he doubt the Lord’s calling in his life? And how Noah was judged after his sin? Did his family and community discredit all of his years of obedience and faithfulness because of his current sin? Did they think God made a mistake in choosing Noah to build the ark? I can’t imagine that…but I also find our current culture (myself included) painting with a broad brush, or casting judgement on Christians that fall into sin – even after repentance. These thoughts are still swirling in my mind and I don’t have it all figured out, but I am so glad that this true story of Noah is included in scriptures – all of it.

Where does this land on you today? Are you being called in a direction that you are unsure you’re able to fulfill? Concerned with how other may perceive you? Have you been asking Who, Me? Are you letting the voice of the enemy distract you with your past? We have the power to remind Satan of his future! And if you have sought forgiveness for your sin, you can trust in God’s promises of cleansing and forgiveness. He knows our hearts.

Let’s boldly move forward, with a focus on what God knows about us, and let go of what others think they know about us. 

 

 

The Way

This past week we worked on comparing and contrasting in our reading time for school work at home. How are these two things the same, how are they different? We made Venn diagrams  (overlapping circles) to visualize this concept for characters in stories, two animals, etc.

Our community has recently lost some really amazing people. It seemed like the heart wrenching news just kept coming, one after another. Some of them I knew directly, and some were indirectly through people close to me. They were from different decades and had different roles in life. The oldest was just a few weeks shy of his 100th birthday, and the youngest was a young mom with little kiddos at home. They were farmers, and artists, wood workers, gardeners, and bakers. They were volunteers and activists, they were spouses, parents and friends. It’s really neat to think about all the intricacies and uniqueness of their lives, and how God created them with purpose. They were so so cherished by their families and friends. The memories their loved ones have are just beautiful.
More than all of those sweet things, the most important thing about each of these special people is their belief. If I had a Venn diagram for these three, their faith would be right in the center of it. While there might be a few other overlapping comparisons, their belief that Jesus is the WAY is what’s at the center. And it’s what was at the center of their life. When you believe in Jesus, his fruit shines through. Because of their belief, everyone around them experienced love, joy, and peace. We saw God shine through them in their kindness, gentleness, and patience.
John 17:3 says This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 
 
As we continue to grieve the loss of them here, we have the comfort of being able to celebrate that they’re in their eternal home. And we will be with them one day!
He IS the Way. If you’re unsure of your future or the Way to spend eternity with our creator, please reach out. To me or to any of us at the Bible Journal. Life’s too short to not know the Way.

Family Traditions

This week, during our e-learning adventures, I worked with my first grader on social studies. Cultures, customs, and traditions were in the lesson, and I had to laugh at the family tradition he chose to write about.

Taco Tuesday.

This kid L O V E S tacos. And he REALLY loves taco Tuesday at our house. Have you ever heard the song “It’s raining tacos”? Yeah, it’s a regular over here.

Anyway, his write up on Taco Tuesday was great – except one small detail. Taco Tuesday doesn’t fit into the definition of a tradition: a custom that is passed down through the generations over time. 

Now, if my son eventually makes tacos with his kids on Tuesdays, BAM, this custom is now a tradition! And I’d be a proud mama to pass that down.

Although, not quite David/Solomon level of traditions we have recorded in the Bible…

From an early age, David declared not just the power of God, but the power in his NAME! When standing against Goliath he says “you come with sword and spear, and I come in the name of the Lord”.

In Psalms, David says “may the name of the God of Jacob defend you“. He goes on to worship and sing praises to the name of God and call on the name of God.

There IS power in the name of the Lord! This power continues with the name of Jesus. Praying in his name, miracles in his name, POWER in the name of Jesus.

I’m guessing that King David not only wrote down about this power and strength that the name of the Lord carries, but he also shared his testimonies with his family. His real life experiences of God’s protection while battling Goliath, running from Saul, and everything in between. He shared how the Lord was his refuge and strong tower against his enemies, passing down to the generations the protection that the name of the Lord provides. I can picture them worshipping the name of the Lord together as a family. What a legacy!

Proverbs 18 records David’s son, King Solomon, penning this very same thing. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it.  His name protects us, shields us, secures us. David believed it, Solomon believed it, and generations later, we believe it. We rely on it. I’m so grateful to be part of the family of God with these truths passed down from generation to generation!

Spring of Living Water

Child-Like Faith.  First Love of Christ.

Those terms describe the simplistic and pure faith we have when we first come to know the Lord and put our trust in him. Those early days when we choose His ways over the world’s, and want to spend eternity with Jesus.

And somehow, over time, the distractions of the world creep in and pull us away from our heart’s true desire.

I love how God describes the Israelites in Jeremiah 2:

I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest.

Devoted, Loving, Following, Holy.

So… what happened?

The same thing that happens to all of us. We stray. We lose our path. We choose the temporary in place of the eternal.

As we continue in this chapter, we see how God describes the Israelites and their turning away:

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water. — Jeremiah 2:13

God is our spring of living water, and like the Israelites, we turn away from him. We leave him. And not only do we turn away, we then try to create our own water source. We create imitations of him. We try to fill our hearts with cheap idols, when we have access to the real true and living God!

Can you think of the cisterns in your world that you’re digging, instead of relying on the the living water that’s available to us?