Monday, January 24, 2011

God Doesn't Get Tired

One consequence of getting older (which is better than the alternative) is that we find that our "bodies betray us" by not being able to do at 30 (or 40 or 50 or ?) what we assumed we would always be able to do at 20.  This weekend we were involved in helping our youngest and his wife move into a new house and we were reminded that we are not twenty.  But I think more than physical labor, what tires us (me) the most is problems in relationships  -- conflict, misunderstandings, he said/she said, and so on -- these seem to just drain the energy from our very souls.  

So, I am reminded of these verses from Isaiah 40:27-31 (Message)

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
   or, whine, Israel, saying,
"God has lost track of me.
   He doesn't care what happens to me"?
Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?
God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
   He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
   And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
   gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
   young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
   they walk and don't lag behind. 
 Even when no one else knows, God knows.  He knows and He cares.  He will give us fresh strength.  And what do we do to get it?  We 'wait' on Him.  Thank you God!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Say So

Echoing Angels "Say What You Believe"

Some days I just want to scream everything that I believe in
Oh, there’s a love that will quench your soul and show you what life is
But then I turn in fear and doubt that someone will hear me
That they will all just laugh in face and call me crazy
Oh why’d I back down
I’ve got to share my heart
Turn this world around


Sometimes there is a hesitancy to speak what we believe, but as the psalmist says, don't hold back!  Don't conceal or restrain your lips.  Say so.

Ps 9:1
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
   I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

Ps 30:1
I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
   and have not let my foes rejoice over me.

Ps 40:9
I have told the glad news of deliverance
   in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O LORD.

Ps 40:10
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
   I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
   from the great congregation.

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
   whom he has redeemed from trouble

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Believe and Speak

You may be familiar with the exhortation from Paul in Ephesians 4:29

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it. [Amplified]

Paul says to only speak what is beneficial to the spiritual progress of others (other translations say, "what is helpful for building others up according to their needs" [NIV 2010] or "say only what helps, each word a gift" [Message]).  I think the underlying motive is love (wanting only what is best for others) and also the realization that words have power.

What I suggest is that you apply this same exhortation in "speaking to yourself".  You should only tell yourself what is beneficial to your spiritual progress and what will bless you in the Lord.  When you do this you are speaking the truth to yourself about what God says about you and who you are, and you are, in faith, believing God and giving God the glory.  As 2 Cor 4:13 says  "since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak".

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  2 Corinthians 4:13-15

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Is there something you are desperate for God to provide?  Usually, at least for me, "desperate" for God doesn't mean that I am asking for a grown-up toy, but that I'm asking for intervention or healing or something that I know unless God in His mercy grants it will not happen.

That's the lesson for me from Jacob.  He was desperate, and refused to let go until he got God's blessing.

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, "Let me go, for the day has broken." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered." The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.  [Genesis 32:24-32]

God blessed Jacob.  Jacob was never the same again.  I'm asking God for a blessing this morning.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I've noticed that if someone is wearing perfume, they don't have to tell you -- you know it!  Usually, pleasantly know it, assuming it is a pleasing fragrance and you are not allergic to it.  Perhaps that is what Paul means in 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. [Message]

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Do Not

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:9

Fill with All Fullness

When you think of God and his nature, is one of the first characteristics to come to mind his wisdom?  If you are like me, then probably not.  That is why I am so struck by Paul's statement at the end of Romans "to the only wise God" (16:27).

25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.  [Romans 16:25-27]
Of all the characteristics (his love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, so forth), to highlight his wisdom is surprising. 

Yet, here is something even more surprising.  God has chosen to make his wisdom known to the "rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" through the church.

so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. [Ephesians 3:10]

Yikes!  Have you seen the church?  Doesn't this make you a little concerned?  It makes me even more aware of God's provision, grace and faithfulness.  Just a few verses later we see:

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God [Ephesians 3:14-19]

Yes God, fill me with all the fullness of you "that to him [God] be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." [Eph 3:21]

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I love this song by Rita Springer

I have to believe, he sees my darkness
I have to believe, he knows my pain
I have to lift up, my hands to Worship
Worship his name
I have to declare, that he is my refuge
I have to deny, that i am alone
I have to lift up, my eyes to the mountains, thats where my help, it comes from

Two Things

"Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior."
John Newton (Amazing Grace