He Cares for Us

‘In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them.’ Isaiah 63:9 NIV

When we suffer he cares. In this life we will have trials. That is a given. But when we suffer he blesses us with his presence. Knowing he is with us can bring comfort. Knowing we are not alone and that he will help us is important for strength. When we are weak he can be strong.

When I am dealing with hard things such as my health and pain it always helps to know he cares and he will in his time bring about what is best for me. His best is always more than I expect. He loves me and as I focus on being the best me I can be for him he wants to bless me.

He always is doing special things for me. Whenever I think I am going to need something a special gift I never expected will show up. Like this week the bag of chocolates I got for Christmas was almost gone. I had really enjoyed having a little treat after lunch each day and even though I can do without. A package came from my daughter of a large bag of chocolates.

Just God’s way of sending blessings my way. Extra special blessings. I always say thank you. And I feel that he cares always.

I had pneumonia a few months back and it came on quickly and strong. One minute I was enjoying time at church with friends and feeling fine. Then at dinner I felt dizzy and nauseous. I had to go to bed. I kept feeling worse and worse. This had never happened before and I thought I was having a heart attack.

I had to trust that God knew what was wrong and that he was in charge. But that didn’t happen at first. I gave myself a panic attack first. I felt my heart race and knew I needed to relax. God helped me fall asleep when I thought I couldn’t. He helped me rest over the next few days even when my roommate was loud.

They did lots of tests and assured me that in time I would be fine. It took about three weeks before I got to feeling like myself again. Dizziness and plugged ears almost drove me crazy. God was with me though. It just took a lot of rest.

Recently as I prepared to go to the conference at church I awoke In the night worrying about everything that could go wrong. My ride being late. Not being able to open doors and get around on my own. I laid awake for quite some time thinking of everything that could go wrong.

I finally said a prayer that he would take care of all my needs. I reminded myself that he had it under control and I had nothing to worry about. As the conference came and went it went off without a hitch. Better than I ever expected. I had a great time.

Let him take your cares for he does care for you.

You Can’t Out-give God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Psalm 3:5 NIV

” And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:19 NIV

God spoke to me this morning as I was talking to him. He has been opening my eyes to his ways a lot in the last fourteen years. I can understand how blind we can be at times. Going through life day by day it’s easy to get focused on ourselves and our daily struggles. It took him bringing me to a place where my every breath was up to him.

He has taught me so much about how he works. As I was growing up my father and grandfather taught me so much about giving to God first. Tithing was something they had learned was very important and they always saw his blessings through it. So as I began working I tried to continue that tradition.

When I got married and it was no longer just my money I felt it was more important to submit to my husband and let him be the head of the house. He always felt there were so many bills and never enough left over for God. That’s where he was wrong. But it wasn’t up to me to correct him. That’s God’s job.

What we need to understand is that God has commanded us to give and he has very good reasons. We also need to understand that God knows everything. He is not ever going to ask us to do anything that is not good for our best. He has promised to work everything for our best. That’s all the good and bad.

I had to get to a place where I had nothing so I could see that the little I gave was blessed.

I remember the story of the widows mites from when I was a child. This poor widow gave two copper coins as her offering, they were only worth less than a penny but it was all she had. Jesus saw how much it was to her when others gave large amounts and didn’t even miss it.

Many people have been blessed with a lot of money. Some aren’t Christians and know nothing about tithing but they give large amounts away to hospitals, research, even feeding children in other countries. They have learned the blessings of giving. God can use them just as easily as Christians.

First we need to understand it is not our money anyway. When we were born we had nothing and when we die we take nothing. Who was the first person? Adam but everything he ever had was given to him by God. God promised to always give us all we need. He knows all so he knows how to do it. We don’t need to know how.

If you try to make a budget first it will never make sense. His economy does not work the way we can understand. He is looking out for billions of people’s needs all at once. This last week I got to go to a convention for leadership training. They spoke of a need in one of our churches for a food pantry. This remote city had limited resources and great needs.

I felt God speak to me to give an amount. My mind told me how will you do that? My heart told me, ‘God can use me as well as anyone else and I want the blessings he has for my life. He obviously knows more than me. So I gave.

He can bring blessings into my life through unexpected sources. Gifts, inheritance, unexpected money from many places. I am supported by social security. They pay for all of my needs since I became disabled. Leaving me with $100 a month for clothes and miscellaneous needs.

That is not much but after Christmas last year I felt so blessed. I got so much I did not expect from others that I have no needs. The food has been great lately and I haven’t even needed the snacks I used to buy and keep around. My shampoo and other supplies seem to go a lot farther than normal.

I give my tithe every month and wish I could do more. Some months he does ask me to do more. I give and he supplies the need. It is so much more blessed to give than to receive. You can even test God in this one area and see just how impossible it is to outlive God.

Heritage

‘And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers.’ Acts 3: 25 NIV

‘It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes through faith.’ Romans 4:13 NIV

‘If you belong to Christ, you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’ Galatians 3:29 NIV

‘So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.’ Galatians 4:7 NIV

‘This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.’ Ephesians 3:6 NIV

We are chosen to be heirs of this great world. Not everyone but those who have believed by faith in the one true King ‘Jesus Christ ‘.

Just think about it. The true king, creator of heaven and earth. Everything that ever was or will be. He has called us to himself. He loves us soooo much and wants us together forever. He is drawing us closer to himself each day.

I looked into royalty as a definition. It means status, dignity, power, prestige and belonging to a royal family. We are nothing special on our own. We are after all just sinners condemned to die from those sins. But we were ‘called’. Just as thousands of years ago God called Abraham to leave his home and family and to follow him. We have been called.

We are not heirs by blood from birth. But as heirs we are special to the King. Not being British I can’t really understand what it means to be royalty but I do see the favor and power on children in the royal family.

Since I was young I have followed those in Queen Elizabeth’s family. Kings, queens, princes and princesses. Dukes, duchesses, lords and earls. Being given an important heritage that follows you through life. Their actions are highly scrutinized. Their position warrants it.

I am a child of God. Not just a famous family. An heir with Jesus Christ to inherit this world and live in it forever with a select few. This is very much an honor and I do not take it lightly.

My behavior is also watched by many. I want to be as much like my King as I can be. Doing what my King has asked of me. It is always possible with his help.

How many of you realize how important that we really are to the final outcome of the kingdom of this royal family.

Being Blessed

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived ” — the things God has prepared for those who love him –” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

We all want good things for our lives and will spend all our time and money trying to get just that. It really is much simpler than that. Our Heavenly Father wants just that for us already. He has told us in his word how much he loves each and everyone of us. With a love we could never begin to imagine.

Before we ever were he thought of us and every day he had prepared for us. How he would bless our lives. Destined for a good and blessed life if we just follow him and his ways. He is after all the wisest most powerful creator that ever was. Everything that ever was or will be was created by him for us. He is also our father.

As our father he wants to bless us and see us happy. Have you known any good parents that didn’t want so much for their kids. We want so much to give them way more than we had and see their excitement when we give it. As a parent I always enjoyed Christmas morning when they had been begging for that special gift and I knew they were getting it.

Seeing the joy on their face when they opened that gift was priceless. We couldn’t always afford to give them everything they wanted but God can afford anything that is good for us. He has no spending limit. We are priceless to him and nothing is too good for us.

Growing up we may have picked some bad ways of seeing our God. Thinking we don’t deserve his love because we are not good enough is the worst. Even on our worst day he looked down on us and decided to make a way to be together forever. As parents whose kids act out. We know how frustrated we can get. We don’t like their behavior but we could never stop loving them.

We are not perfect and can make mistakes but he is perfect and could never want anything but the best for each of us individually.

So many people come to God with a list of I wants … That good job, that perfect spouse, or to win the lottery. We bombard God with constant requests. Have you ever stopped to think how much this might be limiting him? We may be dead set on one important want. And wanting it just how we see it.

But what if God wants something so much better for us. It is like asking God for $5000 and getting so adamant about it, that you just have to have it. When all along he wanted to give you $1,000,000.

That is why he taught us to pray: “…thy will be done…”. We do not know all he wants to bless us with, but it is more than our simple minds can fathom. I have never known anyone who walked with God who was disappointed in God. I have known others who preferred to do it their way that have had major regrets.

Even when I was living life my way and going for all I could get it was never enough. I had my stroke in 2005 and thought it was the worst thing I could ever face. I lost everything that I saw as important to have a good and happy life. Now I know he gave me the best thing ever. It was a time I sought after him and meaning in life. He gave that to me and so much more.

My life is so good right now and I have been so happy lately. For Christmas I had a list of wants but when it was all over I got so much that I hadn’t even begun to think about. I had been so blessed again. This is going to be a good and blessed year.

God is Good

“For God So loved the world that he Gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son in to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16&17. NIV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans’ 6:23. NIV

These passages speak of the love God has for everyone. He soooo loves us not just when we are good or do what he wants. But everyone and all the time. He does not want anyone ever to perish. He wants to save the whole world. He gave us his one and only son to be born just so he would be condemned to die a horrible humiliating death so nobody else would ever have to die.

That is love. He is a perfect and holy God who can not dwell among sin. They made a way for us to live with them in paradise forever. But they also gave us free will to choose what we want. They have made it very clear what they want. They have given us their words written out for all to discover.

Even if something is Gods will, and it is the very best thing for us, he will not force it on us. It is totally our free will to decide on our own. By doing nothing and making no decision we have decided the answer is no. “I do not want your gift God.” Even though saying yes has made me happier than I can ever imagine. At one time in my life I said yes.

They have given us a gift. Just like every gift you have ever been given it is free. You have to do nothing but accept it. It takes faith to accept it because it is not something we can see or feel. We have to believe we have it. With that gift comes the promise of their help. This is not all us but we have help.

Once we believe we need to practice what we believe and turn away from sin. We are no longer a slave to sin and the way to death but are made new. Many people choose to believe the parts of the Bible that they like. It is historically accurate and has been proven to be true. If it is true it is to be believed. All of it.

If we believe all the good things like how much God knows us and loves us. Knowing our every thought and always wanting what is best for us. Then we ought to believe when he tells us what not to do. Sin is not just wrong it is not good for us if it brings our eternal death. He has warned us time and time again. But this is one thing he doesn’t have control over.

We do though. So nobody can say that a righteous God would not send someone to hell. He doesn’t. We do by not believing and obeying. We have the final say over our actions. We can use any excuse we want but not doing his will puts it on us not him. He is a very loving and just God.

He tells us in his word how to be blessed. He tells us how to live a full and abundant life. How to have fullness of joy. Bubbling over in our lives. He wants what every good father wants for his children. The best. Every good parent will do everything they can to see their children happy, healthy, and safe. They will discipline them and at times say no if what they want is not best for them.

They don’t serve ice cream for breakfast and candy for lunch. If we ate like that we wouldn’t live to see our teens. Running free in the streets is not allowed because it’s not safe. We expect those things even though eating our veggies is a drag we want to be healthy. So we do things we dislike.

Shouldn’t we be glad to do things that bring joy, happiness, and blessings. We want a good happy life? Right.

‘For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’    2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

I so much hate that people see Christians as weak and powerless. The devil is a liar. People are so deceived and I have been there. I thought at one time that it was all about me and what I could have. It didn’t matter who it might hurt if it was good for me. I was in charge of my destiny.

I had gotten away from God and his ways and focused just on me and my ways. It is not a time I am proud of. But I was blinded by pride. That roaring lion that at some time controls all of us.

We believe the lies in our minds. Lies that tell us we ‘deserve it,’ or worse yet, ‘we don’t deserve it (happiness), ‘we are not getting it’. Lies that make us focus on how bad it is. This makes us just focus more and more on us. What we want or want others to feel sorry for that we don’t have.

People can blame God, say he is not good to us. But the problem is that we have shut him and his ways out. We have not given him a chance. He is good and getting to know him personally and read about all his ways has just let me see all the more blessings and power he longs to give me.

We have been given a good mind. The mind of Christ to be exact. With this mind we have power. All the power to have a full and abundant life. Full of happiness, love, fulfillment and a disciplined life. These are things that all people want or should want.

All that we have been called to do is possible for us if we believe.

By listening to God and obeying his words this power is available to us. My eyes have been so opened and when others are hurting or struggling I see how deceived they have become and it is the lies they believe, or at least a lot of it is. We all have trials to overcome. And we can have power to do just that when our eye is on him.

Lately I have come to see just how blessed I am. I also have been given favor with man. Maybe that’s just because I am a better and more loving person. I love people and will do all I can to help the lives of others. The more I love others the more love I have to give.

It all comes from following the two greatest commandments given to man. First, love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love all others more than yourself.

When you are focused on just these two commandments in your life everything else falls into place. You may not be rich or famous but you will be completely satisfied with the life you have and sleep peacefully at the end of the day. What more could you ask for?

‘So do not worry, saying, ‘ What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew 6:31-33 NIV

In the Beginning

In the beginning God. Imagine if you will all that went on in that one little week. The Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit, the triune godhead all together created the heavens and the Earth. The word was God. Who is the word? Jesus Christ. He was the spoken word that created everything that ever was or will be. Everything we would ever need for all time. Together as one unit and not independent of each other they agreed together and it was done.

Before that day the earth was formless and void. Nothing but them existed. The spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Complete nothingness is hard for finite mind to understand. But the question “what came first,” comes to mind. God came first and without them nothing would be. They agreed in their efforts and had a plan. I have been told it is like any great building project you need an architect (God), to design; then a builder (The word or Jesus Christ spoke it into existence.)

All the exact specifications, the details were in God’s mind (on those blueprints) But Jesus just had to say ‘sky’ and everything needed like clouds, wind, seasons, details happened. And God said let there be light. In that one word so much happened. The sun with its exact specs and the moon for night with its exact orbit for time and seasons. Stars in the sky shining down on us. Even some meteorites darting in the distant sky. They were all there. And so much more.

God saw that the light was good! We can look into a powerful telescope and see some of his great handiwork but will never comprehend the half of it because we can never know all that they do. His reasons are not ours. We will never understand why he did everything he did but all we need to know is that he is perfect and that’s enough. It wasn’t just good I know it was perfect just in one simple word, ‘light’. The light we know as day and at night darkness came with its lesser light. The first day.

Let there be a vault to separate the waters. The dictionary states that a vault is an arched structure, (first clue the earth was not flat), I can see the world separating from the sky. This all happened on the second day. The waters in the sky would not be liquid in form but would be released into air molecules, I guess, but God is perfect remember. He knew what he was doing. Let the water under the sky be separated from the dry land. All the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and streams with all their inlets and outlets were set in place by their command. All working together in synchronized perfection.

It was very good. He was making all we would need. Nothing was left out of his design that we would ever need or want. He thought of it all. How awesomely we are taken care of. Science with all the things we have learned can never come close to their knowledge and foresite. Let there be vegetation on the land. Every seed bearing plant. Can you imagine all that is included there? I am not a plant specialist but I do know there are more seed bearing varieties than I could ever comprehend. We are looking at the greatest landscaping that was ever done. It had to include everything we would need for food, clothing, shelter, and to create everything necessary. Just for us to enjoy. Whew, that wrapped up the third day. What a day. It was a very good day.

Light and all that encompasses. Sun, moon, stars, set in the heavens. Giving their light in hours, minutes and seconds. What orchestration. This would cause days to become months and years. Rotation of everything flowing so perfectly. Earth as well as planets, sun and moon. This was good, day four.

Then God designed animals and all creatures in the seas and birds in the air.  So many creatures. Just birds alone is mind boggling. Billions of species. Large and small. From penguins to tiny hummingbirds. All for us to enjoy, and for food to sustain us and the animals themselves. Such variations in all different environments. ‘Be fruitful and multiply, filling the waters and the sky’s.’’ Now that’s a lot of birds and fish. This was day five.

Then God created all animals on the earth, all creeping creatures. Cattle, buffalo, and just think of the animals used in stuff we need every day. Things like leather for shoes, gloves for working, ingredients for cosmetics for us women. as well as eating just to stay alive. There even needs to be food for the food to survive. The circle of life to continue. Then God created man in the image of God.

All we will ever need to be all he created us to be and do. He thought of everything. I know at times I can get an awful lot on my plate to do. I can remember a lot but always forget stuff. Like last night at 3:30 am I realized I had not plugged in my power chair and it was dead. I would be able to do nothing without it.  God never forgets anything. His plate is a whole lot more full than I can imagine.

He created man but he needed him to have a companion and mate so he could be fruitful and multiply the earth. Just think of everyone that ever was. He knew each and every person. He knew the hairs on their heads. Everything about them. Good as well as bad and he loved ALL of them  They were all in his mind before the world began. What he had made was so very very good

So after all that he created in just six days he rested. He knew we would all need rest. He set apart the seventh day as a very special day. His sabbath day of rest. A time for renewal for us. We have all week to do our labor for income to support our lives. But the seventh day really should be devoted to him. We need that time and doesn’t he deserve it for all he has done.