Tag Archives: the Word of God

It’s Less About Us & More About Him

The message of the Cross is more about Jesus and less about us (in terms of qualifications or assets we may bring to the table).  The central theme of the Cross is God’s overwhelming and extravagant love for humanity. Hinged on that love, Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice was displayed for all of the world.

The compelling truth regarding the Cross is that you or I do not have to be “good” enough, as if that were even possible, to become sons and daughters of God.  In fact, we know that the Bible says that our righteousness (if there’s anything remotely good about us) is equal to that of filthy rags.  Wow.  Way to deflate the human ego.  But it’s true.  I think most of us already know that, if we are honest with ourselves anyway.

No, the message of the Cross is less about us and all about Jesus.  His character is compassionate, loving, kind, good, thoughtful, patient, longsuffering.

“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.”  ~ Psalm 103:8

If we can just grasp those attributes and dwell on those for a moment…It’s overwhelming to consider that the Great God of the Universe thinks about you and me … and prays for us daily.  The Bible says He daily makes intercession for us!  (Romans 8:34)  That is a humbling thought right there, my friend.  He has time for me?  Well, the reality is that God transcends time and space.  His reality is not the same as the confines we, humans, operate in.  He is All Powerful and His power knows no limits, no boundaries.  That is something that is difficult for our finite minds to process.  We must simply believe.

The truth is that none of us are qualified to become followers of Jesus Christ.  Equally true, God calls the unqualified.  That right there should be a liberating thought, my friend.  Grace beckons to our soul to receive such an unattainable and unearned gift.  And because of this great gift, we are then able to show others such grace.  Not that we would become hoarders of God’s gift, but a sieve for it to then flow through.

There is room at the Cross for you today.  It doesn’t matter what your past is.  God can rewrite your life story and create a brand new future for you.  That’s what I love so much about God and the redemptive power of the Cross — It is transformational!

If you fully accept God’s gift of grace, it is impossible to remain the same.  Once you’ve accepted God’s love and understand the sacrifice of His Son, it makes you want to change!

The message of the Cross is all about the love of our Heavenly Father, poured out through Jesus Christ, to reconcile a lost world back to Him.  His message is still the same today.  He is Jehovah, “I Am”, the One Who is the Self-Existent One.  He never changes.  His promises never fail.  When we are faithless, He is faithful.  (Psalm 102)

Rather than focus on your own shortcomings, set your eyes on the unchanging character of God through His Word.  When we study God’s Word, it causes things to fall into the proper perspective.  It sheds light on our darkness.  It gives us wisdom to know which path to pursue.

No, we are not the message of the Cross.  We are merely the objects of God’s unending affection.  In that regard, it makes us kind of special.  But, it’s all about Him.  We are God’s creation and He is the Creator.  May we never allow pride to confuse the two.

“God saved you by His grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”  ~ Ephesians 2:8-9  NLT

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This World is Not Our Home

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Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.  These are not from the Father, but are from the world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.  But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

~ I John 2:15-17

It often amazes me the hold “pop culture” has on believers.  Recently, I’ve noticed that during the Pastor’s sermon when he references a popular actor or actress in making a point, the reaction and connection of the congregation is very engaging.  They can totally understand the Pastor’s point.  He has broken it down into terms they identify with.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being familiar with the latest movies or t.v. series necessarily (unless they are in opposition with the Word of God, that is).  But, the issue is what captivates our attention?  What holds our hearts?  Are we devoting equal or greater time to studying God’s Word, the message of Good News, so we may be strengthened in our faith?  Are we who we say we are on Sunday… on Monday through Saturday?  This world is looking for authenticity.  Will they find it in us?  If not in us, who then?

I am a stubborn person.  Yes, it’s true.  So, I naturally dig my heels in when it comes to conforming to this world’s standards!  I refuse to be a cookie-cutter human doing.  I refuse to fall into the rut of looking like Barbie, wearing the latest color clothing someone has deemed to be the latest and greatest, behaving in a way to be accepted by society, listening to the most popular tunes and lyrics that are not edifying at all and, my personal favorite, looking out for #1 solely!  I refuse.  You know why I refuse?  Because I choose to base my life on the Word of God.  And the Word of God says that I am to be a “peculiar people”, “a royal priesthood”, a “holy people”, a “chosen generation” who are called out from among the world.

It says, “Do not be conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:2

We need to often remind ourselves that we are merely pilgrims passing through!  This world is not our home as Christians.  We have the hope of heaven in our hearts if we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.  That is an exciting thought, my friend!

This world, with all of its problems,

is fading.  The Bible says that heaven and earth will pass away, but it’s His Word that will remain.

What are you investing in today?

Remember … This world is not our home!

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Can These Bones Live Again?

The message this evening at church was particularly moving.  The text was Ezekial 37 about his conversation with God regarding the dead, dry bones in the valley.  I actually think it was our pastor’s best message yet.  Much to reflect on as I contemplated the dead, dry places in my own life…you know, the areas where we’ve lost hope that things will ever change.  Did I say that out loud?  Aren’t we to be full of faith at all times?  Yes.  But sometimes life takes the wind out of our sails and we wonder if this boat will venture into deep waters again.  And so I dropped the kids off at home, switched vehicles and took the convertible out for a spin.  The kids had other things to do, so I went alone, which wound up being ideal.  For I spent the next little while traveling over winding, country roads praying and lifting my heart to the Lord.  I became keenly aware that the Lord was stirring my faith to believe once again that all hope is not lost pertaining to a particular prayer request, that I will see the answer in due time.  What a refreshing time of fellowship…just me and God.  The sweet aroma of honeysuckle in bloom paralleled the delightful time of communion I was experiencing with my Heavenly Father.

I even stopped off at an old country cemetery where many of my ancestors rest, including my paternal grandparents.  I walked around for a bit, praying for my family who remain with us.

We had such a powerful time of praise and worship before the message tonight at church.  My heart was refreshed and renewed.  How wonderful it felt to be in the house of the Lord again!  It had been three weeks as we’d been out of town and then recovering from our accident.  We all needed to go and be together with God’s people and ministry!  My husband couldn’t make it to the service we went to, but went to the next service and received communion.  I’m so glad he did.  Communion is always such a special time.  And how we need it, especially now.

We sang this song that was so meaningful:

And, so if you find yourself with unanswered prayers, questions, concerns today, my friend, I encourage you to set your hope and faith on God.  He is the One who can do anything but fail.  When we place our faith in Him, He can do amazing things in and through us.  It isn’t always in our timing, but He’s never late!  We serve an on time God.  What is a day to Him?  What is a year?  Calendars are meaningless when you are the Creator.  He transcends all time and space.  But, none of us escape His watchful eye, my friend.  I challenge you to hope again.  Dare to believe that what God promises in His Word is true and that He will lead you on the path He has for you.  There is more than what we see today.

Faith believes that we are the healed of the Lord.  The eyes of faith see our loved ones return to Jesus.  Faith can move mountains.  If we dare to believe.  Don’t focus on what’s in front of you today.  For tomorrow, it will be behind you.

I just want to encourage you to get in the Word of God as never before, pray and seek His face above all else.  Sometimes when we have issues close to our hearts, we are swift to consult everyone but the One who has the power to change the course of our lives.  Lay the cares of this world at the foot of the Cross and watch Him work in your life.  He loves you so.

“The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help.  He rescues them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”  ~  Psalm 34:17-19

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Bible Reading Goal

My goal is to read through the Bible this year.  It is my goal every year.  Last year I fell off the wagon somewhere in May when we went on vacation, and despite struggling to regain my daily pace, it never happened.  Of course, I read the Bible pretty much every day; but not always in a methodical or in depth manner.

Last year I followed a daily reading plan on   (http://oneyearbibleonline.com/)

This year I’m using The Bible in 90 Days, which takes you through a daily regimen of 12 pages.  (http://biblein90days.org/)  I have the hardback NIV edition that I bought a number of years ago, and really like it.

While my goal is not necessarily to finish in 90 days, I do like the steady course of reading through each book systematically, rather than have the daily reading broken up into bits from the Old and New Testaments, etc.  Some days I read more than the 12 page prescribed daily reading, so we’ll see how soon I finish.  The main thing is reading the Word daily, and the bonus is accomplishing it within the year!  🙂

I also have (http://blueletterbible.org/) on my smart phone, which is pretty handy.

Right now I’m in the book of Joshua, and I love when God gives these instructions to Joshua as they are about to enter the land of Canaan:

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.  Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

~ Joshua 1:6-9

This passage pretty much sums up the “why” we should read God’s Word…because it is then “we will prosper and succeed”!  When the Word of God is our life’s compass, our lives are in order with God’s plan and we are then in position to receive His blessings!

The Word of God is unlike any other book.  It is a living book!

In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
 He existed in the beginning with God.
 God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
 The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  ~ John 1:1-5

I’d like to challenge you to read the Bible through this year, if you’re not already doing so.  It will change your life and enrich your soul.  Promise.  It helps to carve out a set time each day for reading.  It’s far more likely to become a habit that way.  (kind of like exercise…but that’s another matter for another day…)

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”   ~  Hebrews 4:12

I love how God’s Word convicts me when I’m wrong and comforts me when I need peace.

Please feel free to share what has helped you to incorporate reading God’s Word more regularly or what has meant to you.  I’d love to hear.

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