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

 

The Word Became Flesh…

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As we enter this Christmas season and ponder the meaning of the incarnation, the excerpt below from Philip Yancey’s, “The Jesus I Never Knew” may very well shed some light in your heart on the light of the world — God in flesh.

 

The Jesus I Never Knew

~ by Philip Yancey

I learned about incarnation when I kept a salt-water aquarium.  Management of a marine aquarium, I discovered, is no easy task. . . You would think, in view of all the energy expended on their behalf, that my fish would at least be grateful.  Not so.  Every time my shadow loomed above the tank they dove for cover into the nearest shell.  They showed me one “emotion” only: fear. . .

To my fish I was deity.  I was too large for them, my actions too incomprehensible.  My acts of mercy they saw as cruelty; my attempts at healing they viewed as destruction.  To change their perceptions, I began to see, would require a form of incarnation.  I would have to become a fish and “speak” to them in a language they could understand.

A human being becoming a fish is nothing compared to God becoming a baby.  And yet according to the Gospels that is what happened at Bethlehem.  The God who created matter took shape within it, as an artist might become a spot on a painting or a playwright a character within his own play.  God wrote a story, only using real characters, on the pages of real history.  The Word became flesh.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,

the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

–John 1:14

 

Flowers in My Heart

~ music by Shane Henry, “Amore” from the Album “Beauty in the Struggle”

Recently I saw a quote on Pinterest that said, “I don’t need someone who sees the good in me, I need someone who sees the bad and still wants me.”  Thankfully, there is such a One!  God knows us inside and out.  He sees the bad and still wants us.  He remembers that we are “but dust” and “doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve” or “repay us according to our offenses”.  (Psalms 103:10 & 14)  He is patient, longsuffering, and loves us with a perfect love that can only come from Him.

See wise words below from Tim Keller and remember, God will never leave you or forsake you.  “He who began a good work in you WILL carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 1:6)

 

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“The gospel is this: we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

– Timothy Keller

Vast, Unmeasured, Boundless, Free

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I’ve heard it said before that more often than not we won’t remember the words to a sermon, but we WILL remember the words to a song.  I believe this is true and exactly why God told Moses and Joshua:

“I am going to give you the words to a new song. Write them down and teach the song to the Israelites.  If they learn it, they will KNOW what I want them to do…”   (Deuteronomy 31:19)

Because the truth of the song below is important and is something that God wants us to know, I’m sharing it in my blog post this week so that perhaps we will all learn it, remember it,  and know what God wants us to do…

(Click title to hear a beautiful rendition.)

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!

Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Words:  S. Trevor Francis, 1875

Act,— act in the living Present!

Maybe it’s because I am getting older, but I am so sad to take my Christmas tree down this year.  For 28 years I have taken our Christmas tree down on the day after Christmas.  Looked forward to it!  I was always ready to get my house back “in order”.  But this year the thought occurred to me, “What’s the hurry?  Why all the rush?”

So tonight, I sit in the dark bathing in the peace of the twinkling blue and white lights of my heavily adorned tree.  And I have decided to slow down, enjoy the glow, and leave my tree up until after New Year’s.

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       A PSALM OF LIFE

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

      WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN
SAID TO THE PSALMIST

    TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real!  Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”

~ John 10:10