God’s Word is Eternal

It’s amazing how God’s Word zeros in on a modern cultural trend, thousands of years after the words were written. I am constantly in awe of the power of His Word!

Isaiah 5:20-23 is a perfect example.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!  Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink,  who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

Those verses, about calling evil good and good evil, could apply perfectly to what we see every day. Humanity never learns. We are still making the same mistakes that our ancestors were making centuries ago.

And yet, even centuries later, all we must do is repent and we can be immediately forgiven. God’s anger is never forever if we can humble our hearts and repent. It should give us hope that all is not lost even for our current culture that appears to be hurling itself toward destruction. It’s  still worth our time to share the Gospel that some might be saved!

Isaiah 12:2   Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. For the Lord God is my strength and song. And He has become my salvation.

God’s Response to Spilled Milk

Back in the days when I had seven boys around my dinner table   every night, there was a high probability that something would get spilled. And during the season when we were foster parents and had as many as nine boys at the table it was almost a given that there would be a clean up necessary sometime during the meal.

Our youngest foster son was three when he came to live with us. He was a precious little guy who needed lots of love and patience. One night at the dinner table, he not only spilled his milk but spilled his brother’s at the same time. Waving his arms around as he told us something he was excited about, he bumped both cups at the same time and milk went everywhere.

The horrified look on his face broke my heart. It was obvious that he expected major consequences for his actions. But that wasn’t how we operated at our house. We simply cleaned it up, poured another glass of milk for each of the boys, and went on with the meal.

I think this is how God wants us to expect Him to respond  when we do something that makes a mess. Instead of His response being,  “now look what you’ve done!” I believe He comes along side of us and says,” here, let me help you clean up this mess.”

As a mom, I know that there are times when my patience wears thin and I may respond with less patience than I would like    But God never runs out of patience with us. He is always ready to help us with the messes that we or others create in our lives.

How do I know this? Because God showed us that this is how He works. He saw what we’d done and  sent Jesus to help us clean up the mess. If He was willing to do that, we can be assured there is no mess we can make that He will not help clean up.

 

Hebrews 4;16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Isaiah 41:10  Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

 

Can’t We Just be Kind?

Most of my boys’ first jobs were in food service or customer service of some sort. They regularly came home with stories about the rudeness and demanding nature of some customers. There are so many people these days who think the world owes them something…maybe everything.

Are Christians any different than the unbelievers when it comes to treating other people kindly, particularly those who are serving them? Sadly, my boys say no. In fact, sometimes the Christian customers are the worst when it comes to impatience and rudeness.

Lately it seems that judgment with regard to the “big” sins is being freely expressed.  Louder every day. You know, things like adultery, stealing, murder, sexual sin.  Christians have become very outspoken about that sort of behavior.  But have we forgotten that God sees no “degree” of sin?

So when we are impatient or rude to someone who is serving us, how does God view our behavior? And, how are we reflecting Him to the world who desperately needs Him?

Can’t we just stop being so self-absorbed and focused on our own needs or preferences and just be kind? We might just bless someone who needs it.

Philippians 2:3-4  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

When is a Sinkhole Good News?

My husband and I have been on a journey for many years, learning about seeking God’s guidance in our decision-making for big and small things. Our prayer mirrors a verse in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

We believe that if we trust God’s direction, He will lead us step by step in the way that is best for us. We frequently ask Him to just reveal the next step. Sometimes we get ahead of Him but we are getting better at seeking His direction and then waiting. We are also getting better at accepting whatever He says, whether it’s to move forward or turn back.  I shared our story of our move to Iowa in an earlier post titled Monkey Bars. That story began with us asking God to show us if we were to move. He opened the doors wide and we moved forward.

Recently we had the opportunity to again ask for similar direction. During a trip to Florida, we felt like we should consider our options and began to look at property on the internet.  We had thought about how nice it would be for my husband to have workshop space that he could work in year round instead of the unheated space he currently has.  Of course, an added bonus is that we have six grandchildren living there! We happened to find a home that had a five-car garage. I could just see him drooling at the possibilities. We talked to the realtor and set up a time to visit the property. The night before, we gathered with my son and his family and prayed for crystal clear direction.

The next day we headed out to see the home.  We arrived before the realtor and decided to walk around the outside of the house while we were waiting. We rounded the corner of the house and were greeted with a stand of palm trees encircled with bright yellow CAUTION tape. In the middle of the circle was a sinkhole. We both looked at each other and knew that God had CLEARLY answered our prayer.  Can you get any clearer than a sinkhole in the back yard?

It was a clear answer and we were willing to accept it. God has a plan and it’s a good one….and it doesn’t include a sinkhole.  So we will continue on the path we’re on until He tells us otherwise, but we are always open to a new direction.  In a post called, Are You Willing to Go Wherever? I talked about what it means to follow Jesus anywhere.  Are you willing to ask God for clear direction and then follow Him anywhere?

Psalm 37:23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

God is in Control

Nahum 1:3a  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

Nahum 1:7  The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.

When I feel like I’m at the mercy of those who do not have my best interests in mind, who would do me harm or make my life difficult, I can release the entire situation to God. He sees it all and will be my stronghold. He will also be sure to provide consequences to those involved and I can release them too, knowing it isn’t my job to be sure they learn their lesson!

God has everything under control!