A Sunrise Service…

Early this morning before the sun had come up, my husband and I went out on the back porch and played a little game.  We drank our coffee and watched as the sun slowly rose in the sky, listening very carefully to each sound that we heard.

First came the gentle chirp of a cardinal.  Then the rhythmic sound of a cricket.  More birds began to wake up and sing, while two young squirrels scampered out of their nests.  We heard the sound of traffic off in the distance.  And all the while as we watched, the sun was making his way on the horizon, while the moon faded off to sleep.

If you really want an improved change of perspective from this day forward, try our little back porch experiment yourself and read the devotional below from Day 251 of “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn.

Get ready to receive a whole, new appreciation for each orbit you take around the sun!

The Miracle World

by Jonathan Cahn

It was late into the night and especially dark.  The moon was nowhere to be seen.  The teacher and I were sitting in an open expanse not far from the school while everyone else was asleep.

“Imagine” he said, “if we lived in a world where everything was night, a world where we could never see the blue of the sky, the yellow the sun, the green of grass and trees.  Imagine we could barely see each other.  Now imagine that something takes place in this world that has never happened before…a sunrise.  What would it be like?”

“If would be almost indescribable,” I said, “a miracle.”

“Yes,” said the teacher, “for the first time in our lives, the black sky begins to transform, subtly changing its color, the first hints of dawn.  Then come the first orange yellow rays of daybreak…and then the circle of blazing light rising up from the horizon as if floating on nothing, and our entire world is transformed.  For the first time we see everything in vivid color and clarity…It would be a miracle, a miracle as dramatic and as amazing to our world as the parting of the Red Sea…”

The teacher paused, turned to me, and said, “But the miracle HAS happened…The miracle happens every day.  Should we not then be living in the miraculous all the time?  And why don’t we?  It would be as if the Red Sea parted at about six in the morning every day.  We would no longer be amazed by it.  And yet, was there ever a vision given to any prophet as vivid, as full of detail and brilliance as the vision we see every day of this world?  But when the miracle happens every day, we no longer see it.  We become blind…and blind to the fact that there is nothing as supernatural as existence itself…that existence came into existence…and that it could have only come into existence from nothing…and that the natural world is the witness of the supernatural.”

“The sun,” I said.  “It’s beginning to rise.”

“Behold the miracle,” said the teacher.  “This life, this universe, everything you see and touch, everything you hear and have known…it’s all a miracle…a vision come to life.  Open your eyes and see the world as if for the first time, as if your first sunrise and your first Red Sea, as the miracle it is…Live in the miraculous…For you are already living…in a miracle world.”

“The Mission:  Today, live as if you were in a “miracle world,” as if everything you see and hear is miraculous — because it is.  Live in the miraculous.

“And they were calling to one another:  ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.'”

~ Isaiah 6:3

 

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Not one word has failed…

Not one word has failed..

This morning, May 14, 2018, the daily reading in my “One Year Chronological Bible” took me back almost 3000 years to when King Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

After my reading, I logged on to the Internet to catch up on the news of the day, just in time to watch the opening ceremony for another dedication — the dedication of the U.S. Embassy after it was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  This historic event of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was made on the anniversary of another historic event — the 70th anniversary of Israel’s reestablishment as a nation in 1948.

After all these thousands of years, the words that King Solomon spoke at the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem still hold true…

“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel just as He promised.  Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave through His servant Moses.  May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors; may He never leave us nor forsake us.  May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in obedience to Him and keep the commands, decrees and laws He gave our ancestors.  And may these words of mine which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may uphold the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.  And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commands, as at this time.”

~ 1 Kings 8:54-61


 

On page 228 in his book “Experiencing God Day-by-Day”, Henry Blackaby says:  “Sometimes hindsight gives us a clear picture of how faithful God has been.  We are tempted during a crisis to wonder if God will be faithful to His promises.  We focus on our problems, and our trust in God begins to waver.

  • Twenty-four years after God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, they were still waiting on God to fulfill His promise.  But in the twenty-fifth year, Abraham and Sarah could look back and see that God had been faithful.

 

  • As David was fleeing for his life, he may have been uncertain how God would keep His promise to make him a king.  But at the end of his long and prosperous reign, David could review how God had kept every promise.

You, too, can rely on God’s faithfulness.  Are you in a crisis?  Hold to the promises of your Lord!  He will not forget His promises to you.  Look back over your Christian life and recount the many ways in which God has been faithful to His Word.”

Sending this with a prayer, dear Reader, that you, too, will be able to say, “Not one word has failed of all the good promises that God has given…”

God bless!

 

The Best, No Fail, New Year’s Resolution

fullsizeoutput_2ac5Sometimes picking a New Year’s Resolution can be as difficult as keeping one.  There are so many good choices, it’s tough to narrow it down to only one.

Should I focus on eating better and exercising more?  Spending more quality time with my family?  Making a plan toward a financial or career goal?

Or maybe something more spiritual like:  reading the Bible through in a year?  Going on a mission trip?  Or volunteering at church or a favorite charity?

But what if I told you that there’s a resolution that you could make this year that would cover all of the ideas mentioned above?  Would you do it?  Consider this:  The one resolution that will help you eat better, exercise more, improve your family time, finances, career, Bible reading, missions, and ministry is the one recommended by Charles Spurgeon below.  Try it for a year and let God prove it to you…

“Our resolution this year must be: continue in prayer.” 

~ Charles Spurgeon

 

To Be Known By God

I received the devotion “Saving Faith” by Charles Stanley in my inbox this morning and thought it too important not to pass along.

Galatians 4:9 begins, “Now that you have come to know God, OR RATHER, TO BE KNOWN BY GOD…”

In other words, “Let’s make certain that your picture of salvation is correct here, because according to Matthew 7:21-23, there will be people who call God “Lord”, and who even do many mighty works in His name, but God will respond, “I never knew you.”

Do you know God?  Or do you just know about Him?  But more importantly, DOES GOD KNOW YOU?

Saving Faith

~ by Charles Stanley

The greatest tragedy that can befall someone is to think he’s saved, only to discover after death that he isn’t.  We’d all like to believe the claims of those who say they’re Christians, but Jesus gives a harsh warning because He knows many will be deceived.  They will sit in churches week after week, professing that Jesus is the Son of God, but won’t ever really enter into a personal relationship with Him.

Intellectual faith isn’t the same as saving faith.  It’s not enough to know facts about Jesus or to believe He died and rose again.  Even demons believe that (James 2:19). Salvation involves more than mere knowing.  It requires trusting that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin, receiving His forgiveness, turning away from old sinful ways, and entering into a relationship with Him.  What matters is not what we say with our mouth, but what we believe in our heart.

Although you probably won’t understand all that happens at the moment of salvation, when Christ becomes your Savior, He also becomes your Lord. As the Master of your life, He then has a right to govern what you do. His Holy Spirit takes up residence within you when you are saved, and that means you will changeGod’s Spirit continually works to remove sinful attitudes and behaviors, replacing them with His spiritual fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

We recognize a person’s salvation not by his profession but by fruit. If you are truly saved, your character will become more Christlike over time, and your desire will be to obey the Lord.  This does not mean you’ll never sin or stumble, but overall, your life will be characterized by obedience.

 

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