A note from Lamentations

www.bible.com/72/lam.3.22-23.hcsb

Just a note, a drop of honey in a bitter brew. Lamentations is about the devastation of Jerusalem in the wake of the Babylonian siege and destruction. This verse is the one that says that in the midst of this devastation, we will still trust in the Lord. Wow.

God bless you today.

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Happy Sunday!

www.bible.com/72/rom.10.17.hcsb

I hope this word finds you all doing well today. We have a great task to perform today, and I hope yours done with joy as mine is, attending with the local body of believers to worship. If faith come by hearing, then I pray that your messages from God’s word today are powerful and effective unto your faith, that by faith we are saved unto God.

God bless you all today.

Waiting

www.bible.com/72/psa.130.5.hcsb

in context, our brother David is waiting on forgiveness. He is feeling the iniquity of himself and his nation, and is waiting earnestly, like the watchman for the morning, for God’s grace to fall. There is a poignancy here to his request. He is feeling the stab of guilt and the crushing weight of sin. Sin is not kind once fostered in your life. It is like a growing gangrenous wound, slowly eating away at your healthy spirit until you feel dead inside.

I wonder if I feel this. It is one thing to be aware that you have sinned, but do I notice the guilt and sense of iniquity that comes along with it? Or have I ignored it, with my conscience seared and burned away to certain sins that I commit so frequently? Lord I pray restore to me my sensitivity to sin, that I may feel that guilt again and seek your forgiveness, that you may cleanse my heart afresh upon my confession. May I like David wait upon the Lord and put my hope in the grace He has promised through His Son.

We have these precious and certain promises, that if we confess our sin, He will forgive us our sin and cleanse our hearts from unrighteousness (1 John 1:7).

My prayer is also for you today, dear reader, that you have not let sin get under your radar by stealth and familiarity. May your eyes be open to sin and alert to temptation. Help us Lord to watch as the Watchman for the morning, waiting for your cleansing blood to move through us and make us clean, unshackled by the sin that so easily entangles us. (Heb 12:1-2)

God bless you all today.

Trust

bible.com/72/jer.17.7.hcsb

Seems to be a word that we throw around quite a bit. Trust your doctor. Trust your government. Don’t trust anyone. What does it mean? This verse says that trust and confidence are similar ideas. The one who trusts in the Lord has his confidence in the Lord. Hmmm.

First, are you totally dependent on the Lord? Maybe the Lord doesn’t fix you breakfast in the morning, or brush your teeth, but I have met people recently for whom even these simple tasks were impossible. They needed caregivers to do these things for them. Trust can involve total dependence.

Second, realizing that you can’t do it on your own. We think we can do many things without help, and the Lord made us to be able to. But there are some things, big and important things like paying for grace that we cannot do. Only the blood of Christ can do that. Trust includes this kind of understanding.

Third, understanding that you are not God. I know. While we want to be God’s counselors sometimes, giving Him our opinion about certain things, in the end we have to acknowledge that we don’t know everything. We don’t know why bad things happen. But they do, and whether God permits them or uses them to chasten is we may not know, but trust is letting God be God, and us keeping our place as limited human beings.

Fourth, submission. Like the serenity prayer, we accept the things we cannot change, and let God have the final say. Even when something looks really inviting, even tempting and God says NO, we must be willing to submit to His wisdom and trust His word. We acknowledge that God does know whats’s best for us, even when we are sure we know better. We trust His commands for our lives.

Lastly, trace through your life in all the lessons He has taught you, all the times you’ve trusted Him. Has God been faithful? Has He kept His promises to you? Have you been blessed and been better off obeying than ignoring? Remember His kindnesses to you, and His record of faithfulness. This will help you trust him for your future.

Trust is being totally dependent, realizing helplessness, understanding your limitations, submitting to His will, and tracing His track record in your life. Trust is all of these things, and probably more. But that’s enough for this morning. We’ve got a day to work out our salvation.

God bless you today.

Just Ask

bible.com/72/jas.1.5.hcsb

I hate asking anyone for anything. I hate to be a bother, or to inconvenience someone else. If I can’t do it myself, I feel really uncomfortable and pushed out of my comfort zone.

So when I come across a verse like this, it is uncomfortable. My prayer life isn’t the best anyway, but here is God calling me to talk to Him and ask for something, wisdom. Granted, I have taken him up in His offer and asked for wisdom, for I find as I’m getting older, I don’t know everything, not like when I was a teenager. Maybe that’s wisdom, and proof that God has been answering my prayer all along.

But asking for help usually isn’t in my vocabulary. I’ve found that this is an act of humility, as admission that I cannot do this on my own. I struggle with pride, and get down on myself when I discover again that I am not all that I think I need to be. Asking God for help is humility, admission of fault, but absolutely necessary for our growth in Christ. So I recommend you ask of God early and often, before you’ve decided that you can handle it. Even if you can, you invite God the event, and He will help you see things you are blind too, bring others alongside whom you will need. Simply acknowledging that you are not sufficient for a task, even if you think you are, is an invitation to God to work alongside you. And God seeks to work out His good, pleasing and perfect will in you as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2)

When I post these, I try to do it first thing in the morning, when my thoughts are fresh with the assistance of a hot cup of coffee. If you are reading this, I hope it has been a benefit to you. These little nuggets are a journal of sorts, for my part anyway. I find just sitting down and distilling thoughts into words very helpful. I would encourage you to do the same if you haven’t already. It has been helpful to my faith as I hope it has been to yours.

God bless you all this morning.

Ready to Listen

bible.com/72/1jn.5.14.hcsb

Ever feel like you are talking to a brick wall with some people? You are talking and they are nodding, but they aren’t really hearing you. We suffer from isolation because of this. We feel like no one listens to us, to our wants and fears. We feel alone because no one truly understands us or gets who we really are.

It doesn’t help that the cell phone has become the medium of choice for conversation. Whether people prefer to type out their conversations with others, or a person sitting next to you is too busy with their phone to listen to your words, phones have helped to isolate us further. Ironically it is the phone which is taking away our ability to communicate.

This verse tells us that God is always ready to listen. I know the difference between hearing and listening. It’s a distinction we have in the English language between hearing the sound and listening to the content. But I don’t think that God ever just hears us talking. I believe God listens, both to our words and the murmurings of the spirit within us. He knows us better than our closest friend. He knows us better than our wives.

And this is the confidence we have. We know that when we talk to God, He has the time to listen to us. This ought to be an encouragement to prayer. I hope it is for you. As Christians we are never alone. His presence goes with us everywhere. As the Psalmist attests, if I go to the depths of the sea, you are there. He will never leave us.

So may I offer this: make time for God today as he has made time for you. It’s ok to put down the phone. Speak to the One who listens to you. You will feel better.

God bless you today.

Come Back

bible.com/72/isa.55.6-7.hcsb

This is the simple plea of God.

God loves you, no matter what you have done. I believe there is nothing you can do to invalidate that. The people of Israel had wandered off multiple times, and they had the promises, the miracles, the prophets all to remind them of the truth of God, His immediate presence and power. And yet they still rebelled, and required an Isaiah to call them back again. Still, God was merciful to them, still patiently called them to come back to him.

Now we, who have the resurrection of Christ as our proof, the providence of God as our constant witness, and the presence of the church as our reminder receive the same call as those ancient Israelites. Come back. We have wandered far from home. Come back. If if you have never known God, He knows you. Come back home.

God bless you today.