Smarter than God

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-MediumThe scripture for today, September 2 (9/2), is Job 9:2 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Though one wishes to dispute with Him [God], he could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.”

There are so-called sophisticated intellectuals in the world who want to come up with all the answers about God. Many even make God in their image instead of we being made in God’s image. They try to reduce God to complete human understanding.

I smile sometimes when I hear TV evangelists declare, “God likes it when you…” or “God approves when you…” or, “God thinks…” and they’re all different.  He must look down on it all, shake his head, and think, “You know nothing.”

This was Satan’s temptation and Eve’s desire ~ to know everything God knows. She bought into Satan’s lie.  How can we even begin to figure out God?  There are two trillion galaxies out there ~ not stars but galaxies. And one hundred thousand stars in each galaxy.  And God is larger than them all. Dispute with the all-knowing God?

That cannot be! If we could understand everything about God, He would not be God! He has told us everything about Himself in his Word that he wants us to know and that we are able to comprehend.  Actually, He has poured out his heart to us in His Word.

Let us rejoice that there are things about God we do not understand. Let us rejoice that there are events in our life that we do not understand with our finite minds. Let us rejoice that such a God loves us in our finiteness. He said so Himself.

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When you fast?

Applied ChristianityThe scripture for today, August 21 (8/21), is Ezra 8:21a as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“There, by the Ahava Canal [from the Euphrates R.], I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God.”

In our modern society, does anyone fast anymore? Not drinking our food (juice) for a day and calling that a fast, but a true fast where we drink only water to stay hydrated, but that’s all? And we turn off all computers, phones, radios, and televisions for the day?

Jesus said in his sermon on the mount, “WHEN you fast….” (Matthew 6:16). He didn’t say, “IF you fast….” No, he assumed his followers would fast. Do we?

If you do, do you do it as a group? Jesus said we are to keep it a secret. Does anyone else know about your fast? They shouldn’t know unless they are the reason for our fast.  Fasting is an act of self-restraint. It belongs to the sphere of humble self-discipline. It is strictly a personal and private matter.

All moral and bodily restraint, all humbleness of body and spirit are represented by fasting, and it is a complete failure of self-restraint to want to show the world our self-restraint. An unknown author wrote this:

  • Let us keep our fast within,
  • Till heaven and we are quite alone;
  • Then let the grief, the shame, the sin,
  • Before the mercy-seat be thrown.

Fasting is a way of starving yourself temporarily, a way of saying, “God, I would do this and more for you; I would die for you.” Or, “God, if it were possible, I would trade lives with this person I am fasting for to give them rest. I would even die for this person.” It is a deep expression to God that goes beyond words.

Also, when you fast, your mind is freed from guiding the digestion of food, so you can think clearer and deeper. And you can face yourself more honestly.

Just what are you deep down? Do you truly love God as much as you claim? Do you truly love your family as much as you claim? Your neighbors? Your fellow Christians? Your enemies? This is your time of self-reflection and self-honesty.

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My weariness you make sweet

The scripture for today, August 13 (8/13), is Isaiah 8:13f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary.”

Righteous God in heaven, so far and yet so near. You made the rules so I wouldn’t hurt myself. No matter how hard I wanted you to change them, you refused to change. You are forever the same. My rock. My foundation, My wall of salvation. My sword of truth. My rainbow of love.  You have clothed me with your perfection because I can never attain it. You have clothed me with your purity because this I can never accomplish either. You have clothed me with your majesty to rule with you somewhere in your realm someday because I could never have the wisdom or patience you do.  You have given the earth to me, and all that is in it to rule with you. You have granted me a canopy of stars over my head and a rainbow of delight to encircle my heart. I love you, my God.

From the night, you call forth light.  From the soil, you call forth a flower. My tears, you turn into diamonds. My laughter, you turn into mountains of love. My weariness you make be sweet, peaceful rest before the dawn. My soul rises to meet yours, my heart flies to touch yours, my mind, my understanding soars to try to understand you. You are so great, and I am so small.  Yet you love me so. I do not deserve it, for I am sinful. You love me still. I worship you.

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And They Wept

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleMediumThe scripture for today, August 10 (8/10), is Nehemiah 8:10b as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

After exile over 70 years for forsaking God, the Jews were led by Ezra and Nehemiah back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and rebuild the wall. On a special day, Ezra read the Law of Moses to all the people.

And they wept.

They were so embarrassed and so sorry they had betrayed God. The above scripture quotation is from that occasion.

But many people find it too humiliating to admit to others they were wrong. Others find it easy to repent, but never regroup and pull themselves up so they can try again. Still, others say, “What I’ve done is so bad, God could never forgive me.”

God can perform miracles. That means he can forgive the greatest sinner. So grieve. Ask for forgiveness. Then start over fresh ~ innocent in the eyes of God.

Remember, when you feel weak, the joy of the Lord is always your strength. And it is magnificent.

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Goodness in every country on earth

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnailThe way you designed the trees is so much like the growth of my soul.  We start out life as a little ball, so tiny and full of wonder.  Then as toddlers, that tiny ball develops into a bud with just a touch of color peeking through. Finally, we open up in full bloom and our faith in you is so innocent and pure. Then we reach our teens and doubts creep in. One by one the sweet-smelling blossoms lose their colorful leaves. But, in young adulthood after we come out of our dares and doubts, we form into something else. The flower has turned into a miniature green fruit, a promise of things to come. In full adulthood the fruit becomes yellow or red or whatever it is supposed to be and adorns the branch it has grown from. In middle age we are plucked and become nourishment to others. Finally, in old age, the tiny seeds that fall from the fruit are buried once again, some day to start all over again as a little green ball, tiny and full of hope. May my life blossom the way you intended and, after I am gone, may the seeds I leave behind develop into a brand-new generation to carry on your work and your glory.

Thank you that I live in a free country to do whatever kind of work I desire to do, to live where I want, and worship you freely. And, thank you, for the other countries of the world. They may not have the freedoms I have, but many of them have opportunities not available here. And they live in areas full of so much ancient history, much of it having been lived out in your Bible. How exciting for them. There is something good in every country. I thank you for helping me not become arrogant and think my country is better than anyone else’s country. Thank you for opening my eyes.

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