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

 

A Prayer for Thanksgiving

“Give us enough trials to keep us strong,

     enough tears to keep us tender,

     enough hurts to keep us humane,

     enough failure to keep us humble,

     and enough faith to keep us confident in You

     O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.”

~ Taken from Being Still With God, by Richard and Henry Blackaby

photo by Donna Bannister

Settle it on the Front End

I received a prayer request recently from a friend whose loved one needed prayer.  He was having difficulty believing that God could love him.  He felt that he was “too bad” and had “sinned too much”.  But Scripture tells us that God loves us and that He pursues us.  This can be a difficult concept for us to believe and understand when so much in our life is based on the conditional.  It can be especially difficult for those whose earthly father was not as loving as he should have been.

In Experiencing God, Dr. Henry Blackaby says, “The cross, the death of Jesus Christ, and His resurrection are God’s final, total, and complete expression that God loves you.   Never allow your heart to question God’s love.  Settle it on the front end of your desire to know Him and experience Him.  He loves you.  He created you for a love relationship.  He has been pursuing you in that love relationship.  Every encounter He has with you is an expression of His love for you.  God would cease to be God if He expressed Himself in any way other than perfect love!” 

Charles Spurgeon put it this way in his book, Morning and Evening:

“It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.  He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.”  All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within.  But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.”  Remember, therefore, 

  • it is not your hold of Christ that saves you–it is Christ; 
  • it is not your joy in Christ that saves you–it is Christ; 
  • it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits; 

Therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to your hope, but to Jesus, the source of your hope; look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.  We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.  If we would at once overcome satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.”  Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon your mind; when you awake in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him.  Oh! let not your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you.   “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesu’s blood and righteousness: I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesu’s name.”