In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for coming to Earth and teaching us about Yourself. Thank You for being truth and the Word. Lord, I know all things are in Your hands and You can be trusted. Lord, from my perspective I can not understand all that happens, but I do know nothing is outside of Your understanding or direction. Thank You for always being in control, even when things seem opposite to us. Thank You for being truth. How great and mighty You are! How blessed we are to know You even a little. To have Your Word as our guide. To have breath each moment. To be given life eternal through Your sacrifice! I praise Your Holy name, Lord Jesus and I thank You for every detail. Thank You for being God born of a virgin, man who is Truth, and the perfect sacrifice for every sin and to top it off, You rose again defeating death and sin and the enemy all at once. Praise be to Your glorious name, Jesus!
Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Psalms 86:3-5 KJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for life, love, and truth. Lord Jesus, You know the cries of my heart. You know the joys and sorrows of this life. You understand all the inner workings of all that is happening, far better than I. Lord Jesus, I trust You. I wait upon You with open hands. Take what You will and give what is best. Let my life be a service unto You and please place in me Your Word. Lord, please let our lives bring glory to Your name. Lord, I lift up those in need. That the widow, the fatherless, the weak, the sick, hurting, the lost, and the forgotten will be touched by Your Word, Your love, Your truth. Lord, please break in pieces the lies, deception, and abuse. Let those who fear You, purify their ways and live devotedly to You alone. Please begin with me and my family. Please help us to be Your servants, looking for nothing more than service to You each day. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your truth. In Your precious name I humbly ask these things. Amen.
Judges 17:6 NKJV — In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
The book of Judges contains some excellent lessons.
As this verse states there was no king in Israel.
The reason for this was that God was their King.
Later, we see God clearly state this when the children of Israel ask Samuel to anoint a king over them.
1 Samuel 8:7 NKJV — And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”
Obviously, here in the book of Judges they had already rejected the LORD as their leader for : “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
The entire book of Deuteronomy is a reminder of all the words God gave Moses and all that the children of Israel were to do as His people.
No where does it say: do what is right in your own eyes.
Read the book of Judges.
It’s not pretty nor is it nice.
The sins of people quickly lead to suffering.
Only through God’s appointed judges do the people find some relief.
Unfortunately, many of these judges do not cling to God and His Word throughout their entire lives and the consequences of this cause more suffering.
It’s an important reminder for us.
In our society it has been said truth is in the eye of the beholder.
Truth is what is true to you.
Absolute truth has been degraded and disregarded.
The book of Judges makes it clear what happens when a society lives as if there is no absolute truth.
The people suffer.
Therefore, those who have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ have an opportunity.
The first thing is to live unto the Lord and not unto ourselves.
God’s people daily living for Christ is one way God reaches the world.
Secondly, we have the privilege to pray for others to know God’s truth.
The Bible is the absolute truth and we have the responsibility to know it and to stand in the gap for those who have yet to know.
We can also learn something else from Judges.
God sent judges to help the children of Israel.
He hasn’t changed, God is still in control, even of the authorities. Romans 13:1
We can seek Him and pray for godly leaders, beginning at home (pray for our family as individuals) and outward (pray for your church leaders, your community leaders, for the government leaders).
When we pray and trust the Lord for every facet of our lives we are putting God where He belongs, we make Him King.
And God is faithful.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for the lessons in Your Word. Thank You for truth. In You I put my trust. In You I find security. Lord, I lift up my husband to You and humbly ask that You continue to guide and direct him. Thank You for giving him to me, he is such a blessing. Lord, I lift up my family to You. Please guide and direct them. Please teach them Your ways. Lord Jesus, I lift up our leaders to You. Please let those in authority be people of integrity. Lord, speak truth into their lives and let Your ways be clear. Lord Jesus, please continue to grow Your church, that many would call upon Your name. Thank You Jesus for all You have done and all You are doing. I praise and worship Your holy name! May the whole Earth be filled with the glory of the Lord. Amen.
The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalms 11:5 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Lord, You understand what is best for us and You also see the schemes of the enemy. Lord, Your Word teaches us the ways of sin bring death, but Your sacrifice has brought us life everlasting. Thank You! Lord, we want to be obedient children, we want Your favor to rest upon us. Please help us to walk with You in integrity and truth. Please help us to be people who are honorable before You. Lord, please protect us from the evil one. Please place a hedge of protection around us. Guard our hearts and minds. Please show us any areas where we have strayed from Your path. Thank You so much for salvation. Please continue to reach those who have yet to know You. Please protect the innocent. Please provide for the widow and the orphan. Thank You for all Your ways. They are good! I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Honestly, at one point in our lives I didn’t think I’d ever be able to say that: father and son.
When I found out, many years ago, I was pregnant I assumed we were having another girl.
We already had three daughters.
It just seemed to be logical to assume we were having a fourth.
I was wrong and more than a little surprised when the ultrasound showed a son.
Children are a blessing and each is a unique treasure.
I’m certain we would be just as happy if God had given us another daughter, but it’s been fun to have a son.
(Although he doesn’t always like being the youngest of three sisters. It can be kind of like having four Moms.)
He loves each of his sisters.
He has the distinction of being the only boy, so sometimes he gets Dad all to himself.
It’s been fun to watch.
My husband and our son doing things together, being “guys”.
When they came home Sunday evening from six days of camping and hunting I was glad.
They were super tired, but had enjoyed the time.
My phone alerted me to a text this morning and it contained the picture at the top of this post.
Father and son, 2020.
Little moments and memories like these are so valuable.
I hadn’t realized what precious gems they were until our oldest girl married and moved.
Now that we are down to only two at home, I find so much joy in capturing these treasures.
And I am reminded…
God feels the same way about me.
Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV — The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
And He is a part of these lovely memories with my family.
After all He gave me each and every one of them!
It is another proof of His incredible love for me.
I can praise Him during these moments and I can cherish the love He gives me for them and through them.
With each day, through each circumstance, I can walk in the love of Jesus.
I can abide in His presence.
I can show this same love to those around me, especially to my children and my husband.
And I can treasure these moments.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for my family. Thank You for my husband. Thank You for each of our children. Thank You for our son-in-laws and grandchildren. Thank You for so many others we love, family and friends. Lord Jesus, please continue to help me see how blessed I am. Please continue to show me how to cherish the moments. Lord Jesus, You are so good, so faithful, so true. Help those who have yet to know You to find the truth. Let them know how loved they truly are. Thank You. Amen.
“Amazing Grace! how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like Me!”
John Newton’s hymn is timeless.
Although there are many hymns and songs which articulate the same truths this one does, it will always be a favorite.
The first line vibrates with such meaning.
For a sinner, covered in the stains of disobedience, the sound of Jesus’voice granting both cleansing and rebirth is the sweetest melody.
“I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.”
The truth of being lost in utter darkness is a terrifying place to be, but oh how joyous to have Christ throw open the heavy disgusting prison door of wickedness and separation from God, to allow the truth of His sacrifice to bring such as myself into the glory and healing of life in the Son.
“‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How previous did that grace appear The hour I first believed!”
When one sees clearly, the enormous gap between the sinner and God Almighty seems an unreachable divide.
Then the cross becomes a door, a gift of grace to all who chose to enter, and upon opening the door of belief in Jesus each one finds even more grace through the abundant love of Christ Jesus.
“Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.”
Once the sinner turned saint steps into the journey of life in Christ Jesus they find a friend Who walks with them through every trial and trouble.
They are sojourners on their way through this world toward life eternal with Christ in heaven.
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun. Amen”
Our time oriented minds can not truly fathom eternity.
But to spend a little imagination, we might think, we might well picture what praise, worship, and prayer at the foot of God’s throne could be like.
To be utterly free from sin, wickedness, evil, death, fear, anxiety, trouble, hunger, grief, pain,…
I can easily see why we would spend ten thousand years worshipping and be content to continue on and on.
Revelation 4:8 NKJV — The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for being holy. Thank You for salvation and Your amazing grace. Lord, thank You for giving us so much, for we do not deserve any of it. Lord Jesus, please help those who have yet to know You to see You and recognize Your salvation. Lord, please soften hearts and open their eyes to Your truth. Lord, for those who are called by Your name, please help each one of us to remain humble, aware of Your incredible grace each and every day. Let us never take advantage of the glorious gift You have given, but instead strengthen us to remain vigilant, wise servants who watch and wait for the return of their Master. I love You, Jesus. I praise Your holy name! Amen.
2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.
2 Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
Psalms 119:105 – NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
God’s Word is permanent truth, testifying of God and Jesus, and is a guide and direction for everyday life, and it was written for us.
The Word of God is where we can learn about God and where we can learn about His creation: nature, relationships, eternity, heaven, and the future.
It is also where we can learn about ourselves and how God sees us.
It is an opportunity to gain wisdom beyond anything man could concoct.
The Word of God is where we can find fulfilment in life through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thank You for giving us the Bible and for the way You have preserved it for thousands of years. Thank You for the truth, wisdom, guidance, and love we find in Your Word. Thank You for the direction, protection, and provision You give us through Your Word. Lord, please help us to read Your Word and to understand it. Please keep the enemy from twisting it into meaning something You never intended as he did in the wilderness, when he tried to tempt You. Lord, let us learn from Your example and find Your truths pure and unblemished. Let us understand the Truth. Thank You. Amen.
(I highly recommend A Case For Christ by Lee Strobel if you want more information on the facts which support Christianity. He gives a lot of information and other titles if you want to dig deeper.)
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; Job 19:25 NKJV
The truth if these words should be enough to carry any child of God through anything.
Job’s words are not spoken lightly.
Nor is he speaking from a place of comfort and security.
His heart is in anguish.
I call my servant, but he gives no answer; I beg him with my mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am repulsive to the children of my own body. Even young children despise me; I arise, and they speak against me. All my close friends abhor me, And those whom I love have turned against me. Job 19:16-19 NKJV
These words are but a small measure of the depth of Job’s sorrow.
And who can blame him?
His children have all been killed on the same day.
Every part of his finances have been stripped away on that same day.
As if these things were not enough, his body is struck by painful boils from head to foot.
His wife is anything but comforting or understanding.
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9 NKJV
Yes, anyone can see Job is suffering in the deepest of ways.
So, there is such testimony in his words of his anguish.
In the middle of him listing off all those who no longer love or respect him he speaks words of such truth.
Words every believer can cling to no matter the season or circumstance.
“For I know that my Redeemer lives,..” Job 19:25a
Our Redeemer is Jesus Christ.
He paid the price for sin, all sin, when He died on the cross.
And He rose again!
Truly, knowing our Redeemer lives, is the very deepest part of a Christian’s faith.
Without Jesus, there’s simply ritual.
It is a personal relationship daily with our Redeemer that breathes life everlasting into our soul.
…”And He shall stand at last on the earth;” Job 19:25b NKJV
Let us never forget this.
Jesus is coming back.
He promised to return for His bride, the Church, and He will.
No matter what our daily activities, we must never weary of looking for the return of our Savior.
Truly, those who are called by His name can say:
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; Job 19:25 NKJV
In fact, let us say it often.
Let’s remind one another of this truth.
Let us hold fast to our integrity like Job did, that when the Master returns, He shall find us waiting for Him.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for these truths. Thank You for the teaching we can glean from Job. Thank You for shining Your truth through scripture to our hearts and minds. Thank You for always walking with us, through each circumstance. Lord, humbly, I request, that you make me like Job. A person of integrity, who holds fast to what is right, one who doesn’t waver in their faith no matter the cost. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
So much so, I’d almost given up on the idea completely.
Back in 2011, I had a difficult period.
My physical body was struggling, but the lessons I learned were so worthwhile.
During that season I felt the Lord ask me to draw.
I was surprised when He said, Sailboats.
As I drew, studied pictures, and prayed I learned something which comes to mind everytime I look at these boats.
My experience with physical problems has taught me that often emotional hurts will join the pain.
It actually makes sense.
If you are hurting, you’re going to struggle at seeing anything from any other perspective, but your own pain.
There will always be people who mean well, but actually hurt you simply by not understanding what you are going through.
Unfortunately, there will be others who will drop you completely, because you are no longer any use to them.
And on top of it all there are relationship struggles as the people closest to you work through their own pain and fear.
What does this have to do with sailboats?
Simply put, although a sailboat is made for sailing: its designed to be in the water, all will pickup some unwanted debris or go through a storm.
Whether it’s barnacles, scrapes from floating objects, or some other wear and tear, at some point it will need to be cleaned and maintenanced.
The same is true for us.
There will be seasons which will mar us, leave us feeling in need of repair.
That’s when we should head for the dock.
Only Jesus can heal our souls.
Only in God can we find the renewal and repair for the hurting heart.
Only His hands can restore.
This truth comes to mind whenever I see one of these pictures.
I’ve moved twice since drawing these sailboats.
For some reason, I’ve never framed them.
Last night, as I prayed about something else, the Lord reminded me of two frames.
They’d been given to me because they were in need of repair and our busy daughter didn’t have time to deal with fixing them.
I couldn’t understand why God was talking to me about the frames.
“Lord, I don’t know what to do with them after I fix them.”
My heart filled with gratitude at His answer.
Now they’re hanging where I’ll look at them everyday.
A wonderful reminder to take all my cares and worries to Him.
1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV — Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for caring for every detail of our lives. Thank You for helping me draw these and now getting to enjoy them each day. Lord, so many are hurting and damaged, my heart aches for those who have yet to turn to You for healing and restoration. I so want people to be touched as You have touched me. Like the woman who reached through a crowd desperate for healing, You healed her and restored her. I am that woman. Thank You for Your touch. Please, let the hearts of the hurting reach out to You. Thank You. Amen.
Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, Proverbs 3:3 NKJV
We are studying Proverbs.
Yesterday was chapter 3.
Definitely one full of application.
Something stood out that I’d not noticed before.
…Write them on the tablet of your heart, Proverbs 3:3b NKJV
The word tablet is a specific type of medium used to record information.
But a tablet isn’t like paper.
To write upon a tablet you must engrave it.
Not only is this much more time consuming than pencil on paper, it is much more permanent.
Tablets have been found for centuries which have taught us much about ancient cultures.
Thus to engrave mercy and truth upon the tablet of the heart is to speak of a purposeful lasting mark.
Something which doesn’t erase with ease.
Instead, it leaves a deep change upon the heart.
Choosing to carefully, with effort and patience, engrave God’s Word into our hearts is to chisel mercy and truth upon our character.
It’s not going to be a quick half hour job.
Nor will it be easy.
Yet, the rewards of such efforts is truly worthwhile.
And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:4 NKJV
To be held in favor and high esteem by God is a worthy goal.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Lord, please help me to engrave Your Word upon my heart. Help me to encourage others to cherish Your Word in the same way. Lord Jesus, please help me to live purposefully, redeeming the time. Please continue to teach me Your mercy and truth, that my character might be a reflection of Yours. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.