“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV
This morning in my quiet time this verse just jumped off the page. Life can be hard and scary at times. I’ve had times when I just felt confused. Was I going the right way? Couldn’t I just have a clue? Before I had my stroke I stopped trying so hard I just wanted to satisfy myself. I stopped caring about doing the right thing. It was my time. I had gotten away from the Lord and Satan had me convinced that I wasn’t wrong. I deserved it. It was a very selfish time in my life and I am not proud of it, but I was so deceived. I now know how easily that can happen. Not spending time with the Lord and in questionable pursuits had hardened my heart and I was not seeing clearly. I really feel my stroke was what saved me. God grabbed my attention and said, “What are you doing?” Well after a massive stroke I was flat on my back, unable to speak, move, or even open my mouth. I had plenty of time to think. That was such a dark time, but now I can see again. It is so important to stay plugged into God so the power does not go out. I never want to go there again. I have been seeking the Lord so earnestly for the past few years and my life is so much better. People all around me chat about this problem and that problem like it’s normal and I feel so blessed and lucky. This morning it began to make more sense. Jesus really is light, and if you really are walking in the light you can see clearly. When you are doing everything you can to grow with Christ by praying, reading the Bible, going to a good church, listening to praise music, and really focusing on doing things that lift you up. For me that was no tv except Pureflix, Christian books, Bible studies and podcasts, even religious games and staying away from non edifying things. I had to immerse myself in God for a time. Now I enjoy it so much I can’t stop. Now I am flooded with light and my life has never been more awesome. I still have problems and concerns but when they pop up I can hear that still small voice telling me which way to turn and that’s so special. Try this, do that, and they work. The light of life is great.
Do you know how much easier it is to walk in the light?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NIV
Oh, how God loves us! He could not let one little mistake condemn the world to a dead life and then death. He loved us so much that he wanted to share everything with us and enjoy life together forever. He can not condone sin but he planned a way to do away with that sin so we could be together. He paid a very large price to see that accomplished. He had to watch his own son suffer and die taking on all the sins of the world in our place. He had to turn away from his precious son because of all that sin. Even though he had lived a perfect life. He was so proud of his son, but he carried all that sin so we wouldn’t have to. After three days of torment he was raised to his rightful place in glory at the right hand of his father. Now God sees us just like his son. We are joint heirs to everything that he has and part of his family, brothers and sisters of Jesus, of God. He never wants to be a taskmaster or will he look on us with contempt. He just wants us to take him up on his offer to always love and care for us by just believing that he is who he says he is. He has proved it by fulfilling so many prophecies over thousands of years. He has also shown such great love by helping and meeting the needs of his children over and over again. Miracle after miracle, again and again. I’m just one daughter in billions but after sixty years he has done so much for me and anointed me to make a difference in my world. I feel so small and insignificant at most times. I am in a wheelchair and can’t walk, I do not talk very clearly and have trouble being understood. I have plenty of negatives in my life but he doesn’t care. He wants me to be great. He has enabled me to touch so many lives. I am important in his eyes and he keeps confirming that to me. I have such a hard time accepting that at times but he has shown the (FOG) favor of God in my life. I do not know how people who don’t know him get by. This is a very difficult life we live but I have hope. I accept all the help I get and will do whatever my creator says will help. He knows best and he’s proved it over and over again.
Do you want the FOG over your life?
“There is a time to be born and a time to die…”. Ecclesiastes 3:2 NIV
There is a time to be born and a time to die. There is really no mystery over death and it is predetermined. Before we were ever born God had a plan for every minute of our lives. Whether we live for two minutes or 30,000 days it is in God’s hands. We don’t die one minutes early or one minute late. The only one who has control over our lives is God. I know the devil would like us to think differently. I’m sure he probably thinks differently about the subject. One day over two thousand years ago he had a plan to destroy a good man. This was a very good man that healed the sick and raised the dead. This was God’s one and only son. Do you think he would have let him die if he had known the final outcome? That one death would change the world and make it possible for no men to die again. God’s perfect plan of salvation. The devil would love to see you tormented by a fear of death and dying. Will I have a heart attack, be murdered, get hit by a car, or die suffering from cancer. It really doesn’t matter to me. I know that God knows the minute that I will close my eyes for the very last time. Nothing can happen that my God doesn’t know in advance. There never has been a time that he was surprised. He never said, oh no, I didn’t see that coming. What are you doing in heaven? If he knows when a single sparrow falls then he can see us every minute. You may die because of an accident, car accident or a drowning, but it wasn’t by accident. God doesn’t make accidents. He is perfect. He may let the enemy think they have gotten away with something, but ultimately they have no control only control God has given them. But he also makes things work out for our best. So God has the last laugh so to speak. I have a friend whose roommate died suddenly and it was a medical mistake that caused her death. My friend was so upset that she had died so young and felt someone should pay. I explained that it was God’s will for her to die when she did and that God just used an accident to fulfill his will. Humans can set out to take a life but only God’s will is final. I know an incident when someone set out to have an abortion on their unborn child only to have that child live. It may have physical problems but God’s plans are good. I loved the movie ‘Breakthrough,’ about some teenage boys that fell through ice into a lake and one boy drowned. The boy could not be revived when he got to the hospital and the doctor finally told the frantic mom. The mom prays frantically and the boys heart begins beating. Doctors tell her there is no hope for a good outcome. They keep him in an induced coma for some time. The nurses even complain about taking care of someone who will die eventually. But when the mom says wake him up and pull the plug he awakens and gives his momma a big hug knowing full well who she is. He is perfect. This well known doctor is floor-boarded. He had never scene such a miracle. This was a true story that rocked an entire town. This is the God I serve, and he’s awesome.
Do you fear death?
“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
God does not want us to live in fear. We can not change anything when we fear. What will be, will be. God’s will prevails. When we fear we rob ourselves of current peace over a future we have NO control over. God wants us to trust him. God will turn everything for our good for those that love him and are called to his purposes. That is so true but fear still exists. I did some looking into fears and phobias. Recently I have had to have several rotten teeth pulled. I know it is for the best but I have a real fear of dentists. They make me anxious. I can get through cleanings all right. I have always had bad teeth. I had my first filling when I was quite young. People fear many things. Fifteen of the most common fears are- claustrophobia, dentists, public speaking, spiders, large areas and crowds, bridges, blood, birds, bodies of water, heights, fire, not having your cell phone, technology, dogs, and the dark. I have had nine of these but three don’t bother me anymore. FEAR – False evidence appearing real. More confidence as I grow older and am stronger in what I believe has helped me in speaking. But as I waited for my dentists appointment God showed me what can ease fear. His presence will overcome fears. How do we come into his presence? He inhabits the praises of his people. So praise him. Be still and know that he is God. He deserves praise because he is sovereign, holy, righteous, and very loving. He even told me to turn on praise music, put my earbuds in and then go to my appointment. It really helped because I was singing along to the music (to myself) and not really paying much attention. In five minutes he was all done. In his presence is fullness of joy. These fears really are irrational but they are real. I used to love going to Coronado Island in the summertime but I had to cross that bridge to get to the island. I’ve had so many shots, iv’s, and blood drawn since my stroke that it doesn’t phase me anymore. Since the stroke I have a real fear of heights. Even sitting on the edge of my bed scares me because I’m unsteady and have experienced many falls and I can do nothing to help myself. So that one is justified. Even though I used to fly airplanes I have a fear of heights. In a plane you are strapped in and in control. I can’t even look down from a high room without getting nauseous. It’s funny how many strong people have these phobias. All you can do is pray to get through them and his presence does help.
What are some fears you have?
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV
Have you ever been at the end of your rope? Barely hanging on and not able to go on? Trials and circumstances seem to be pounding into you like waves. God where are you? I need help I can’t do this. You are not alone. You are in good company. Last week fear was gripping me and saying all of God’s promises just didn’t help. I believe Gods words and I can quote many of them but that wouldn’t make it go away. I was trying to write in my book and ignore what was going on in my mind. I felt God said to write on strength. God is an ever present help in trouble. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. So I wrote and God spoke. When I was almost done he told me something really important that would help. Praise! Whenever you need victory stop. It isn’t that God’s not there. It isn’t that you don’t deserve help. It isn’t that God doesn’t want to help you. Be still and know that I am God. The only way to do that is to be open up and be in his presence. Because in his presence is fullness of joy. Something I didn’t have right then. Where can you find his presence. Correct, he inhabits the praises of his people. So all week long I plugged in my ear buds and turned on praise music and sang along letting each word fill my head. He is good and he knows what he is doing even though I don’t. I don’t have to know the outcome because he is trustworthy. I look back over my life and can not think of once when he failed me. He is never late or unable to meet my needs. I could talk all day about his great and mighty wonders and barely scratch the surface. I think, “what is the worst that could happen?” Death, well if I’m dead, I’m with him, so not death. Job was probably one who holds the record for bad days. He lost everything his children, servants, possessions, his wealth, even the respect of his friends and his wife. They blamed him and told him it was his fault. While he sat in ashes wishing he was dead. His wife told him to just curse God and maybe he will strike you dead. But Job was a good man and could never do that. Even if God was to slay him he would always serve him. Worrying and being anxious doesn’t do anything. Can we change anything ourselves? No! Seek him and his presence and wait. This too shall pass. This week I am back to blessed and victorious. And I know a week of his presence helped.
Where does your strength come from?
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us that are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV
How can you prove that the Bible is true? I watched a debate about this subject and it is hard to explain. I think a better question would be, “how can you prove that the Bible is not true?” If the Bible is not true than nothing is really true and there is no absolute truth. Scientists have had their theories for many years, but they are just that they are just man’s theories. And we know that no man is perfect. We all make mistakes. I look at this complex world and know with every fiber of my being that something so intricate and amazing did not just happen. A designer is the only thing that makes sense to me. I believe in an all knowing, perfect creator. Because to me the perfection in all life is too elaborate for any other scenario. Random chance seems just ludicrous to me. If there is an all knowing creator then the fact that he knows everything makes sense. It may be relative but I believe that the Holy Bible is a gift from our creator to help us live a perfect life. If we know how life works best than we can learn how to understand life and how to be perfect. We may fall short but we are made in our creator’s image with all it would take to be like him. Who is perfect. He promises to help us, because on our own that is impossible. With him nothing is impossible. He has told us that all truth is his and that he can’t lie. Jesus is the truth. He is the only way to the truth. Men like to think that they know everything. Their pride can blind them and make it impossible to see truth. The true Biblical message in its entirety is a love story so powerful it beats all love stories. If someone really seeks the truth they will find it in Jesus. But those who believe their version of the truth are perishing and will probably never be able to see truth. I believe that if someone really tried to find all the flaws in the Bible they would find Jesus who is the truth and the truth would set them free. I don’t think you can really pick apart all the details of this amazing love letter and not be changed. When you know the truth it will set you free. It is easy to say that the Bible isn’t relative and that those stories just can’t be true. That it is just outdated, which makes no sense if God is the same always, never changing. He is also right and perfect. He would know what we would do back then as well as tomorrow. He can even predict our behaviors perfectly. He knows our every thought and why we would think it.
Do you really think you can prove him wrong?
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
At what time do we earn independence? I always thought that depending on how hard it was for our forefathers to get that we would always have it. But we now live in a time that you have to earn it yourself. Without age, education, money and success you may not have it. If you are alive in the womb you don’t matter but the one who carries you decides if you matter. In our Declaration of Independence, in the second paragraph it says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men(humans) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Life is no longer valued and you have to earn it. Are you of value at conception? We worry more about animals than humans that were made in the image of an all perfect creator. One that loves them and has great plans for them and a mission. He wants us to know the truth because then we can be really free. If our world was still perfect than no one would ever die. But our world is far from perfect. That child deserves to learn everything they can and to be the very best person they can be and then they can make a positive impact on their world. But they are told what they can learn and how. They are told just what they can and can’t learn unless they have money for private education. Just as every child has the right to not learn what they do not want to learn they should be allowed what they choose to learn. Families have the right to take there families to church but schools have the right to teach them other beliefs. We are only taught what our government wants. It doesn’t matter if it is correct. It was said once, “Our country is great because our people are good, but if are people aren’t good we will cease to be great.” Our great country is falling fast. This is so saddening. God’s son died so that each and every person conceived could be free and luckily before they are old enough to decide for themselves God decides for them a chooses them for himself.
Do you value human life?