He Came

Years ago, I had a dream of God and Jesus talking about Him coming to earth. Jesus  said to his Father, it is time for me to go. God, as any earthly father, in anguish said, “I can’t let you go, my Son. You have no idea how people are going to treat you.” He went on to tell Jesus what a difficult task that would be. Although Jesus, as an obedient son, listened respectfully, He reminded his Dad that they had promised a Savior to this world and He needed to go now! That dream never left me!

One day as I was spending time listening in the morning, the dream I had of this scene in heaven highlighted again the wonderful gift Jesus gave us.

Two thousand years ago, I came to earth.
Many people would not believe I was God’s Son.
For me, leaving the awesome glories of heaven
to come down to earth as a human baby was challenging.
Unless you have caught a glimpse of my home in heaven,
you cannot comprehend the utter beauty and peace
which pervades this majestic and wonderful place.
I willingly came to be born in a lowly, dirty stable
to Mary, a teenage girl, and Joseph.
They were willing to accept
the miracle of my conception and birth,
to raise me as one of their own.
They loved me very much.
Although they had been told by angels I was a special child,
at times, believing I was the Messiah was hard.
The world, at that time, was torn apart
by conquering Roman armies,
and by greedy, self-righteous priests.
I came to tell people there was a better plan.
God wanted to make a change in their hearts and lives.

 

Posted in Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Announcement of Jesus’ Birth

As we approach the Christmas season, I am reminded again that God gave the announcement of Christ’s birth to a very diverse audience.

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph.” Luke 1:26-27 (NIV)

 Mary was a teenage girl engaged to be married to a man probably much older. Yet, when asked to bear the Christ child she willingly said yes. However, when Joseph discovered she was pregnant he wanted to break the engagement privately. But, then he also heard from the Lord.

“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matt. 1:20 (NIV)

 Therefore Joseph took Mary as his bride though she was pregnant.  They went to Bethlehem with only a donkey and Mary was heavy with child. Since there was no room in the Inn, Mary gave birth to the Christ child in the stable.

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them… and said: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11 (NIV)

Shepherds received the message from a heavenly host of angels, and hurried to pay homage to the Savior.

The wealthy wise men who studied the stars realized the new star appearing in the heavens announced the birth of a King in Israel. They traveled a very long way to see the Blessed Child.

All of these people listened to God announcing Jesus’ birth in unusual ways. They went to find Him. Jesus came to earth as a baby to show us how to live and gave His life for the salvation of all who seek Him. He came to the rich and the poor. He is the reason for this season.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Luke, Luke 001, Luke 002, Matthew, Matthew 001, New Testament | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Resting

Go in my peace surrounded by my loving kindness.
I have loved you and watched you grow.
Isn’t it wonderful to feel my peace and love,
regardless of the circumstances?
In resting, you will know what path to take.
Take your time when making decisions.
Resting is better than frantic worry.
I have promised to guide you with my eye.
Trust and do not be afraid!

 Psalm 32:8: (KJV) “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

 In the New Living Translation the above scripture reads as follows: “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

 There are so many decisions to make in everyone’s life. Where should I live? What career do I want? Who should I marry? These are just a few of the choices that face many people.

I was under the mistaken impression that once people were older, their lives followed a fairly predictable pattern. However, there are always important decisions that must be made in every stage of the journey and I am thankful for God’s promises in which we can rest. He does give guidance each and every day.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Old Testament, Psalms, Psalms 032 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are You Using Your Talents?

Remember the story I told to people in Judea about
the servants who were given one, two and five talents?
They were to have used them!
However, one buried his talent in the ground.
I have blessed you with some talents.
Why do you persist in believing
I am pleased when you hide them?
Do not let doubt, fear and discouragement
rob you of the joy of allowing Me to give you
wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Your talents and abilities are to be shared.
I have given you people who will help you.
Simply do what you can.
Remember a little faith can
move mountains of fear and doubt.
Have faith that I will assist you in all things.

 This story is found in Matthew 25:14-30 and is called the Parable of the Talents. We know that God gives us talents He wishes us to use in his kingdom. Sometimes I have difficulty in discerning what talents he truly has given me. However, when I have ventured out in faith, He has provided many, many people who have helped along the way.

Inviting people for dinner, spending time in prayer for those who are sick or persecuted for their faith, financially supporting missionaries or actually going on a mission trip, caring for one’s family or teaching children, visiting nursing homes or leading Bible studies; all of these are talents which the Lord uses.

When we use the talents He has given us, all will hear Him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things… Come and share your master’s happiness.” Matt 25: 21 (NIV).

Posted in Bible, Matthew, Matthew 025, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Time is Short

I want to tell you some things you may not understand.
However, do not fear, you will not go through them.
I want you to be eager to seek my face
for the people around you
who still do not know Me in my fullness.
The time is short; calamity is going to come.
Your country has enjoyed
a high standard of living for many years
which will shortly come to an end.
No one will know how to deal with
the reality of poverty and hardship.
My people will be caught up to meet Me in the air.
However the cries of those who have never heard of my love
ring in my ears as that day approaches.
Keep your mind fixed on Me.

Revelation 22:20 (NIV) “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

On our travels this year, we have met more fellow believers, who, like us, believe Jesus will return very soon. There is an excitement which to me seems almost unprecedented. Fifty years ago, I recall many services which included a call to be ready to meet Him in the air. One song was:

“I want to be ready, I do, when He comes for the faithful and true.
Those whose garments are white, and whose lamps all burn bright.
Oh I want to be ready, don’t you?”

He has quickened in me a longing for His return as well as a desire to pray for people to come and receive Him as their Savior. On Wednesday night, our church had a baptismal service where many older people said they had wandered from the faith but had come back and asked Him to be their Lord and Master.

Posted in Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Paradox

When I was on earth I never did things in a hurry.
I want you to slow down.
My best work is accomplished when you are at rest.
A strange paradox, I know.
But my kingdom is different than the world’s view.

When Jesus walked this earth, his ministry was confined to a small part of the world. The Romans used chariots and tried to subdue nations with power and might.  Jesus left the throne room of glory and came to earth to be born in a stable.  He changed many hearts and is still changing them today with peace and love.

The Bible is filled with paradoxes. If you want to become great, be a servant. If you want to be rich become poor. If you lose your life, you will actually find it.

When I rest, it is a joy to walk a beautiful park at the end of my street. It is amazing to meet people who want to talk about Christ and His life altering power. Others need prayer for a problem. Some women become close friends whom I treasure. Too often I associate ministry with church work and now I am learning God does use people who are at rest. We grow in Him slowly, changing as He sees fit. I do love to see the difference in allowing Christ to do His work in me.

Posted in Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Am Your Shepherd

 I am always with you, though, at times,
you do not sense my comforting spirit.
You will find encouragement in the pages of my Book.
In the Psalms, David penned many loved passages.
Almost everyone is familiar with Psalm 23.
I am your Shepherd.
Simply let Me lead you today.
You will find I am all you need.
You will find the peace and contentment you want.
Take the sense of my presence with you everywhere you go.
Rest in my unfailing love.

Psalm 23:1 (KJV) “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

Returning from a six month trip, visiting our family living in the States and Canada, seeing old friends and enjoying different National Parks, we came home to our condo. Services needed to be re-established, neglected paperwork demanded attention, doctor appointments required scheduling and we were slightly overwhelmed.

Yet, my Lord and Master says that He is my Shepherd. Patiently and kindly He teaches me to take the time with Him and let Him lead and guide my day. I find His peace and provision amazing!

Posted in Bible, Old Testament, Psalms, Psalms 023 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

People Change

I came to give you abundant life
and show you the ways of love.
Recall the story of Judah, Joseph’s half-brother:
Judah had wanted to kill Joseph in his younger years.
Yet later, in the presence of Joseph whom he did not recognize,
he offered himself as a slave rather than let his younger
half-brother Benjamin be enslaved.
With remorse in his voice Judah said: “Joseph is dead
and my father is still grieving over him.
Jacob, my father, will die if he lost Benjamin.
Therefore, I would be glad to be your slave so
Benjamin can go back to his father.”
Love sometimes takes a long time to develop.
Past grievances heal, people change.
Their hearts and actions change,
especially if love has its way
and softens hearts that were hard.

 The story of Joseph and his eleven brothers is fascinating, with many twists and turns – found in Genesis 37 continuing on to the 50th chapter.

In almost every life devastating events occur which change us. Judah and most of his brothers were jealous of their teenage half-brother Joseph. In blended families, children often have difficulties with anger and bitterness, not knowing their importance or how they fit in the new family dynamics, and therefore relationships can be strained for many years.

Judah greatly changed, perhaps because of his father’s grief and genuine remorse for his actions. Definitely, time changes hearts. God is in the business of showing us that love and trust is a better way.

Posted in Bible, Genesis, Genesis 037, Old Testament | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Heal and Deliver

Tired of struggling? I can heal you!
Although you do not recall how subtly you came to this stage,
it was always about doing one more job.
Your family did warn you about
taking on too many tasks, 
and pushing too hard.
Yet, you were not willing to listen.
Are you willing to go through an adjustment period?
Making wrong choices makes it difficult to get on the right path.
Small choices, careless choices lead you from My way.
However, I came to heal and deliver you.

 Are you a person who works on different projects at the same time? Do you ever take on too many jobs and then find yourself struggling to complete them in a timely, competent way? If you answered those questions in the affirmative perhaps you can relate to the way I often felt throughout life.

When I went to the Lord about my fatigue listing due dates on projects, the above is what I “heard”. Intellectually I knew I was not blessed with unlimited energy or talent, so I knew I had to set better priorities, which included down time.

It is comforting to read about Jesus, that while on earth, He had the right priorities: Luke 5:16 (NIV) says “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Although He had many people who wanted and needed to be healed, Jesus knew God’s way was to go away alone, talk to his Father and renew his strength.

I too want to listen to the Lord, renew my energy and be healed.

 

Posted in Bible, Luke, Luke 005, New Testament | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Leave the Old Ways

I have many principles in My Word.
Recognize there may be little choices
which need to be changed.
My road is narrow and often the way is not easy.
But, there is also great joy!
Joy comes from accomplishing the work I have given you.
After I left this visible world,
my disciples were filled with power.
No longer were they torn between
their old lives and new ones.
They now had a sense of purpose and direction to follow.
I have many who set their gaze on Me
and follow the narrow path.
They accomplish much throughout their lives.
Some carry out my will in very quiet ways
with their kind words
and smiles which reflect my love.
Others achieve much by doing their daily work 
well
without 
complaining but with great love
for Me and others.

This fall I came across an old book entitled “God Owns My Business” by Stanley Tam who owned a business on I-75 going south near Lima, Ohio. On the exterior of the plant, it says “Christ is the Answer”. It is a very outstanding story.

I am quoting from page 118 “Stewardship is more than money. It is obedience, constant listening for that quiet voice of divine guidance sure to be heard when we follow the precedent of the Word of God which says: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.”

Mr. Tam learned to obey in small as well as big ways and carried out God’s will for his life. I want to do the same.

Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 010, Bible, New Testament | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment