Archive | November 2019

Exodus 3:4 ” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’ “

“Here am I.”  It’s a well used statement made by many great people of the Bible when called by God.  In Genesis 31:11 when God summoned Jacob, he answered, “Here am I.” and so did Abraham in Genesis 22:1.    In I Samuel 3:4 the young Samuel answered God’s voice with, “Here am I.”  And when Isaiah was being commissioned, he also replied to God’s call with, “Here am I.”   There’s so much meaning within those three little words.  It says, “It doesn’t matter what You have for me to do, great or menial, I’m happy to serve You Lord.”  It also says, ” I desire to do Your Will Lord, not what I want.”  Three little words of submission that force us to set aside ourselves, pick up our Cross, and follow Him.

John 13: 37 ” Peter asked, ‘Lord, why can’t I follow You now?’ “

This conversation happened during The Last Supper…Jesus had just told His disciples that where He was soon going they could not come.  So in verse 36, Simon Peter asks Jesus, ” ‘Lord, where are You going?’  Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.’ ”  It happens so often…we catch a glimpse of what God has for us to do and we are impatient…desiring to heed Him immediately.  So like Peter, we anxiously query, “Why can’t I follow you now?” But all of our gung-ho enthusiasm can’t measure up to the basic training and discipline we may need prior to God’s nod of approval.  Over these years I’ve found one of the hardest words to accept gracefully from God is, “wait.”  But I also know in the end any delay is only for my good and benefit.

Isaiah 53:3 ” He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.”

We are not “acquainted with grief” in the same way Jesus Christ was.  When illness, injury, or affliction strikes us…we suck it up, endure, and just live through it, waiting for it to end.  But Jesus faced sorrow head-on…knowing intimately what it was to suffer.  He very plainly explained to His disciples in Luke 18:31-33 how He would be mocked, insulted, spit on, flogged, and killed…personally taking on and experiencing all the pent-up evil of this world.  We taste suffering and sorrow…but Jesus is intimate with them.

Luke 12:40 ” You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

Jesus rarely shows up where and when we expect Him to.  He usually appears when we least anticipate Him, and always in the most illogical situations…that’s because most of the time, we’re so absorbed in our own little  “Ministry”  that we forget Him.  And it’s almost as a after-thought we ask God to be present in our work…just assuming He’ll show up and be part of it anyway!  Our Ministry may be just that…Our Ministry alone… devoid of God’s presence and blessing.  For just because we’re doing the Lord’s work, doesn’t mean the Lord is part of it.

Psalm 69:1-3 ” Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help: my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”

In the verses of this Psalm, David is lamenting…he is battling depression…and he is searching.  To the Believer, depression may seem as something only non-believers suffer through…but it’s not true.  Statistics show 18% of Americans have been or are currently depressed.  I myself went through a period of clinical depression years ago when a combination of debilitating emotions, negative thinking, and a sense of sadness overwhelmed me.  But what got me through the distress was the awe of God.  I clung to His Word as a drowning person would cling to a life-preserver thrown to them.  I would recite Scriptures out-loud that God is in me, (Colossians 1:27-28) God is with me, (Philippians 4:4-9)  and God is for me. (Romans 8:31) and slowly the hope in God returned… just as we find it did for David later in this Psalm. (Psalm 69:30-36)

Romans 1:11-12 ” I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”

We all have Spiritual Gifts graciously given to us by the Holy Spirit at conversion.  But they are not meant to be hoarded, hidden, or stashed away…they are given to us for the edification of others.  But you can’t encourage others if you’re not actively within the Body, and they can’t exhort and inspire you if you’re not attending Church.  As Believers, we all need each other for mutual encouragement on a regular basis…so if you haven’t attended Church in quite a while…maybe it’s time to re-engage.

Jeremiah 20:11 ” But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.”

Jeremiah was not popular among the people of Judah!  His message from the Lord was primarily one of judgment, which lead to his life often being threatened.  During his over 40 years of ministry Jeremiah often implored God to protect him…”Remember me, O Lord; remember me and care for me.” (Jeremiah 15:15) and  “Let my persecutors be put to shame, but keep me from shame; let them be terrified, but keep me from terror.” (Jeremiah 17:18)  Jeremiah had learned to put his absolute trust in God regardless of what the circumstances looked like around him…for he had discovered there’s no safer place to be than in the very center of God’s Will.