Archive | July 2013

Be a Duck

Psalm 34:11-14 – “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

The fear of The Lord. If you are like me, the fear of The Lord is a bit confusing. Are you supposed to be afraid of God? 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God did not give us a spirit of timidity or fear. He doesn’t want us to cower before Him but rather reverently come to Him.

The way we show reverence is by abstaining from evil. I know your thinking, well I’m basically good. I didn’t kill anyone yesterday. Well, what about the things you said? If you are like me, that tongue of yours is a wildfire waiting to happen. We are told to keep that from happening. Guard your words. Tough.

The part I really want to focus on is “seek peace and pursue it.” This spoke to my heart this morning. Peace is commonly defined as the absence of conflict. Can you really get along with everyone all the time? Not in reality. But you can keep your attitude in check so that your not mad all the time. Sometimes having peace is like having the back of a duck. You have to let things roll off of you. You have to fight like a pro and roll with the punches. Ok, analogies are done.😊 This is something we must chase after. Desire to be at peace as much as possible. This shows reverence to God because you are acknowledging that He knows how to handle the situation in the best way.

Today princess, be a duck. Let things roll off of you. Show other people your “fear of the LORD” by fleeing from evil and rolling with the punches.

The Nugget

1 Peter 1:8,9 – “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls .”

How about that. I was reading this morning and came across this little nugget. The truth of it spoke to my soul.

Followers of Christ believe in Him, not because of what we see and touch, but rather by faith. We believe that the Bible is more than some book filled with lots of stories that have really good meanings. It is the Word of God.

This belief in Him brings great joy in our lives. Joy isn’t being happy all the time. It is more like the satisfaction in knowing deep down that every thing is going to be okay. Joy and peace go hand in hand. When I have a bad day, I can still experience joy in my life by knowing that “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”(Romans 8:28)

And then I get to the part about “receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” I had to think on that one a minute. I had to do some searching. Here is what I found: Romans 6:22 – “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” The “salvation of your souls” is being “set free from sin” and becoming “slaves to God”. Isn’t that what salvation is all about? Leaving sin and choosing to follow after God?

But what is “the goal of your faith”? It is holiness and eternal life. Holiness isn’t unattainable. It is being separated for a special purpose. When we accept salvation, aren’t we then separated for the service of God? And in the end, our final goal is Heaven and eternal life with our Savior.

It is a beautiful thing really. Believing in someone you can’t see and receiving something you can’t imagine. Sounds a bit out there when you put it that way. But it brings a joy that can’t be explained.

Today princess, hold that nugget close to your heart. Claim it’s promises and choose to believe.

VBS Day 5 – God cares for me

Proverbs 30:7-9 – “Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

VBS Day 5 – God cares for me

The children of Israel had just seen the waters part and then they walked across on dry ground. They had just seen Pharaoh’s army destroyed. They daily saw the presence of God leading them. Yet, they complained. They didn’t like what they had to eat. Sound familiar? Fickle little boogers and we are just like them. Never satisfied.

Here in Proverbs, Agur had some amazing insight – Give me only what I need for the moment I am living in. Too much and I know that I will get prideful. Too little and I know I will want more. Did this guy hit the nail on the head or what?

As Americans, we are always wanting the next best thing. Just look at how crazy we get when a new phone comes out, for lands sake! Contentment is incredibly difficult for all of us. And we are passing this onto our children. But we give it a fancy name and call it “peer pressure.” Does that make it less of a problem if we give it a psychological name? Nope.

God provided the children of Israel with quail and manna to sustain them in their journey. Their clothing and shoes never wore out. Nor did their shelter fail them. God provides for us today. It may not always be what we want but it will be what we need. But we have to put forth the effort to follow His instructions in the whole lot of it. God told these people to only gather so much. If they gathered more, it got nasty. If they didn’t gather enough, they were hungry. God provided exactly what they needed if they followed His instructions.

Today princess, look around and see the hand of God at work in your life. Be content with what you have. Learn this treasured attribute. Make it something you choose to practice everyday.

VBS – Day 4 God guides me

Proverbs 3:5,6 – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”

VBS Day 4 – God guides me

The verses above are some of my favorites. They provide information and encouragement.

Just put yourself in Moses’ sandals for a moment – Pharaoh has just kicked you out of the land. There are at least a million people following you out of the land of Egypt. This ginormous cloud appears in front of you leading the way. And at night, this cloud turns to fire to keep guiding you. You get to the Red Sea and ask God how you will pass. While you are in prayer about this matter, people start screaming because they realize that Pharaoh is ticked off and has decided to kill the lot of you. All the sudden, God speaks to your heart and tells you what to do while the cloud becomes fire and leaves from the front of you and heads to the rear of the group. You hold up your staff and BAM! The water splits open. You take off across dry ground and tell the people to follow you. Once everyone is across, God removes the fire and off the Egyptians come. When they all get into the riverbed, WHOOSH! The water engulfs them and here you are standing on the riverbank with your mouth hanging open as you watch the hand of God judge the Egyptians.

Now is that the leadership of God at work or what! Now just think for a moment, the same God that led Moses through this entire ordeal is the same God that is leading you! The very same One!

Look back at our verse for today. He wants you to trust Him with your whole heart – that means no questions, even when things seem bizarre. He doesn’t want you to try to figure things out for yourself – follow Him. If you choose to follow Him and acknowledge that it is not of your doing but rather of His, He will keep on leading you and keep on blessing you.

Moses had a lot on his plate. But he chose to follow God through it all. He choose to listen to God and allow Him to change not only his life but also the life of a nation.

VBS -Day 3 – God saves me

1 Corinthians 5:7 – “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

Day 3 of VBS – God saves me, the Passover

Exodus 12:1-14 gives the account of God’s instructions to the children of Israel in regards to the passing over of the death angel. Pharaoh’s heart had been hardened again and God was ready to stretch out His mighty hand. Every first born child of the house would die if there was not a sacrifice of blood on the door. A lamb. A simple creature, provided by God, would serve as the sacrifice. These people had specific instructions regarding what to do with the lamb once it had been sacrificed. They had to put the blood on the doorpost and eat the meat in a specific way with specific things. God doesn’t mess around when He wants us to do something.

One thing to recognize here: All the people did not huddle in one or two places and sacrifice the lamb. No, they had to do this on a family level. They took care of their family. And on an individual level, they had to make a choice to follow and believe that what God said was true.

God has once again provided our Passover Lamb in the person of Jesus Christ. He is there for the accepting. We must have the blood of His sacrifice on our hearts to come before God. The penalty of our earthly sin is death from this life. But with the blood of Christ upon us, we will avoid the second death of our soul. Serious stuff…I know.

But this is something we need to be keenly aware of in order to share with others. I think we often loose sight of the depth of the consequences of not sharing the Gospel. Hell is a prepared place for unprepared people. And likewise, heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. We don’t like to think about hell. But the people of Egypt did not want to think about death either. And disobedience caused it to come upon their doorstep, literally. Don’t let unbelief cause hell to come to the doorstep of your heart.

VBS – Day 2 – God calls Moses

Exodus 3:2-4 – “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, but was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses. Moses. And he said, Here am I.” (KJV)

Day 2 of VBS – God calling Moses

There are 4 things I want to look at in these verses today.
1. God made the first move. We always think we know best. We think we know when it is time to do something. But we have no clue. Here, God had been preparing Moses for quite some time in the wilderness. Now, He was ready to make a move. God spends a lot of time preparing us for what needs to be done – if we let Him. Wait for God to make the first move. Don’t rush it. You may not be ready.
2. Moses was paying attention. Bushes burn all the time in the place he was at. It really wasn’t an uncommon thing. But this incidence was special. And Moses picked up on that. So many times we miss God speaking to us because we aren’t paying attention. So many opportunities just pass us by. We need to be paying attention and looking for the times when and where God wants us to serve and be faithful.
3. God calls out Moses. Moses had to be alert and listening to hear this calling. Can you imagine how freaked out he was that a bush was speaking to him? Yet this was a person listening for God. We need to be more diligent in listening. We talk too much. We need to be quiet and hear what God is saying.
4. Moses was ready to listen. Attitude. It is all about attitude. I have said this so many times before, but it is so true! Moses had the right attitude to not have his pants shocked off that a bush was speaking to him. He was ready to listen. We should not be shocked at the things that happen in our life. We should be ready for action. I know, easier said than done. But isn’t that what God expects of us? Be ready to listen and obey, sister.

Moses is an intense character in the Bible. So many ups and downs. So many ways to relate to him and his struggles. But one thing we need to recognize and appreciate, God never left his side. He never failed to intervene and guide him. God listened to Moses and Moses listened to God. There is a comfort in that. He does the same for us. He never leaves our side. He listens to us and we need to faithfully listen to Him.

VBS – Day 1 – Moses as a baby

Hebrews 11:23 – “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

This week is VBS (Vacation Bible School). My husband and I are team teaching the teen class. Well, actually, he is teaching and I am managing, that’s what I told him at least. 😊

We are studying Moses. Tonight we begin with Moses as a baby.

Have you ever really stopped and gave any thought to the faith that Moses’ parents had? They had some serious trusting to do in that situation. I mean really, the pharaoh was bound and determined to exhibit population control by killing all the newborn boys!

But Moses’ parents saw there was something different about their son. They knew God had special plans for him. Think on these things for just a minute: hiding an infant until he was three months old, building a little bassinet to keep him safe while in the river, leaving him alone with hopes that someone from the palace would find him, leaving your young daughter to ensure his safety – the list goes on and on. I can’t imagine.

Let’s just take one thing from the above list – the fact that they hid him for 3 months. Newborn to 3 months is a huge change in person. You go from helpless child to sitting up (well close to it anyway). How did she find time to nurse him when she had to be gone? Did she disguise him as a girl? Crazy stuff. Yet, Moses’ parents displayed great faith in this action of love. They trusted God to take care of the details. All He asked them to do was trust and follow Him.

Isn’t that what He asks of us today? Just trust Him and follow Him wherever He leads us. Don’t fret over the details. Just hang on to His shirt tail!

Today princess, let Him lead you down the path of greater faith. It may be something like too much month at the end of the money or leaving your child at camp for the day. He cares about any and all of it. Let Him lead you.