What’s Next, Lord?! {{Trials Tuesday}}

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Earlier, I read something that struck a chord with me.

My times are in Thy hands. I’ll always trust in Thee. And after death at Thy right hand, I shall forever be (Hymnist William Lloyd).

Like a child, I need to come to our Abba – Father, our great God, asking deep questions. I am pondering the future and what it may include. It’s hard. I don’t know what the rest of this year holds in store, but I wish I did.

Thankfully for us, there is a Scripture on this exact thing –

My times are in Your hands; Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who pursue and persecute me (Ps. 31:15, AMP).

God’s Word even tells us that our days. . . our lives are lovingly placed in His hands. He is the One who can turn everything out for good. He is the One who needs to lead us.

Choosing to Draw Nearer

Friends, let’s keep drawing nearer to our King Jesus and see what He tells us. Very much, He wants to speak to us one on one about our difficult situations. I don’t know what you are facing, but thankfully our Risen Lord does!

Let’s recall what His Word says –

Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began (Ps. 139:16, CSB).

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).

You yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call. This I know: God is for me (Ps. 56:7-8).

Our grace filled heavenly Father is for us, and knows what is going on behind the scenes. He sees us in the midst of our trials, and He knows the good things He has planned for our lives. He knows how the trials will bring out good things in the long run, even if we are utterly convinced that no good can come from it.

Come, Friends

Come to Him as His dearly loved children, my friends. God is our good Father. He absolutely sees us and has great purpose for us. He loves us and wants to experience an intimate relationship with us – through His Son Jesus Christ. This is why He came.

I don’t know how God will turn out things for my good, but I do know that He is good. Even if I get tempted to think He won’t work things out, deep down I know He is good. Sometimes, I just need to take a step back and remember He is good. He is really good, and knows what He is doing.

Friend, just keep drawing nearer to our Lord Jesus. Don’t be afraid to ask Him the big questions in prayer, but ask the seemingly small ones too. Our God is a Mighty God, and He is able!

Asking Him,

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Job 21-23

Chapter 21 – Job speaks

“Listen to what I say. Let this be your way of comforting me. Be patient while I speak. Then after I have finished speaking, you may make fun of me (vv. 2-3, ERV).”

All Job wants is – comfort. He is hurting on an intense level, and his friends aren’t showing much comfort or compassion toward him. He desperately needs to hear from God.

Even when we have been given good comforting friends, we still need comfort and to hear from God more than anyone else.

Jesus, as our Comforter, reminds us that we can draw near and allow our relationship with Him to be the most important thing in our lives.

Jesus Christ is the Comforter we stand in need of. No matter what kind of friends we have, our need for Jesus never changes!

We need Him to overwhelm our souls with His goodness, hope, and eternal salvation.

We have Jesus Christ as our great Savior. He came to give us a new beginning, where we dwell in the presence of our God. God loves us, and pursues us – daily!

Chapter 22 – Eliphaz Responds

Haven’t you done many evil things? Don’t you sin again and again? . . . That’s why traps have been set all around you. That’s why sudden danger terrifies you (vv. 5, 10, NIRV).

This is why Job’s friends have a bad reputation. They are convinced that sin has caused all of Job’s trouble. These men didn’t know about Job 1-2. This is where we learn that our relationship with God, causes the Devil to become angry and seek to devour us.

The closer Job got to God, the more the Devil wanted to try and destroy him. As we see from the last few chapters, Job gets even more prosperous as he sought God.

Let’s stay steadfast in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God is far greater than the Devil or anyone else, just like verse 12 teaches us.

You agree, don’t you, that God is in charge? He runs the universe—just look at the stars! (MSG)

Lastly, we have verses 21-30. This is a Scripture worthy of our attention, which teaches us three key points –

  • Obey God and be at peace with Him.
  • Let’s put away our sin and return to the Lord!
  • Make Jesus Christ your delight.

Chapter 23 – Job Speaks

But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food (vv. 10-12, NLT).

Amen! When the time of testing is over, we will come out as gold. Our time of testing shows where our faith has stood in our darkest hour.

How will we come out of our testing time, and will we cling to the hope found in Jesus Christ no matter what?

I want to live my life in such a way, so that after the testing I can feel unashamed about how I responded.

 

Finding Captivating Love {Devotion}

While this post is over a year old, it is worth making sure its contents are shared with all of you – my lovely readers who are dearly loved by our heavenly Father. Allow it to soak into your spirit, help you draw nearer to Jesus Christ, our King, and ponder the truths of our great God and His Word!


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1-2).

In 1 Peter 1:2, we learn a few interesting things.

  • God has a purpose regarding us.
  • We are chosen.
  • We have been made holy.
  • We have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (that is, Jesus Christ).
  • Grace and peace are ours in full measure.

The question I want us to answer today is….

How are you at living out these basic precepts that make up the Christian faith? It can take some of us many years to finally grasp the fact that we are –

  • on God’s mind (that He has a purpose for us!)
  • chosen by God alone (and it has nothing to do with our works)
  • cleansed (really cleansed) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus, the Messiah!)
  • God’s grace and peace are completely poured onto every aspect of our lives, if we will allow God to do it!

What would our lives look like if we really grasped these truths? What would my life look like, if I really knew that I was loved by my Savior? Not a conditional kind of love that is based on what I do or don’t do, what expectations I completely miss by a long-shot, and any other human measure I can concoct in my mind.

Jesus loves, really loves, me and you. To such an extent that He came to earth.

Think about what kind of longing that would take.

“I am going to earth, to redeem them.”

“I will be forsaken, unloved, hated in fact, punished for what THEY did (for our sin, and He did it with such amazing love), and I am going to BRING them back. I am going to FIX our broken relationship, because I dearly love them and created them.”

This is true, friends.
Our reality.

God’s love is passionate. He is absolutely for us! And, this is the kind of love that God has for each one of us.

There is this song I reheard at a conference, but it took on a whole new meaning while there. “Live Like You’re Loved (Hawk Nelson)”. What would it take for me to live like God loves me? Not on some mini-level. We are talking about a football stadium, out of this world, full blown confidence, kind of love that God has for each of us.

The love of God is beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

We could take all of the oceans of the world, line them up next to each other, and it still wouldn’t even come close to the greatness of God’s love for us. All He wants is to be with us. To spend time with us. It’s a relationship!

Exodus 25-27

I have, obviously, gotten off track in my Bible reading (plan). Today, is a new start. I will share whatever I feel led to share. Some days, it just might be a quote or song. Other days, a paragraph on what stood out. On some days, utter silence I am sure.

My physical weakness is debilitating tonight, so no guarantee I will make it to this Bible reading tomorrow. But, tonight I am going to offer myself. And, listen to the Word of God.

Exodus 25-27

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give (Ex. 25:1-2)… Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them (vv. 8).”

“Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain (Ex. 26:30).”

“Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain (Ex. 27:8).”

Worship We Seek

God was so specific on what the Israelites needed to do. God not only expects us to worship Him, but He shows us exactly how we can please Him. God pours His love all over us in His directing. He is our good good Father, and is showing us what worship looks like. For the Israelites, at this time, this is what was expected. God enabled them to do all He asked, and He would be so well pleased!

God is precise in how the Israelites could worship Him. Not only would they be worshiping as they sought after God and His resources, they would worship Him as they carried out His commands.

Don’t Miss This!

The tabernacle and altar are so holy, yet God is using His people to construct it. This is just so important. God uses His people. We willingly give Him our worship, and God does something amazing and beautiful out of it. This is why it is of such great importance to know God’s instructions, and to do them.

Learning to Worship

“According to Your Word.”
Let it be as the Lord has said. Let’s pursue what the Lord has directed us to do.

Reminded of what Mary told the angel, when she learned of God’s plan for her life. Her response is the kind we need.

Mary said, “[Look; Behold] I am the ·servant [bondservant; handmaid] of the Lord. Let this happen to me ·as you say [according to your word]!” Then the angel ·went away [left her] (Luke 1:38, EXB).

May we just obey God. Put away our excuses and fears, and worship the Lord our God from the serving to the giving to the praying for God to grant us the resources needed to complete our worship task. Oh, to simply give ourselves to the King of all kings.

How are we seeking the Lord our God and His Holy Bible (His Word) in showing us what worship can look like in our own lives?

God’s plans for his residence among his people take into account a number of factors relating to our human condition. We need some tangible means of recognizing and celebrating God’s presence; we need beauty and majesty; we need a sense of dignity and worth that genuine involvement in a great undertaking can bring; we need to feel that each one’s gifts and abilities have significance (Ashbury Commentary).

Job 40-42; Psalms 36-37

I find myself getting behind on a lot of things these days. Let’s see how this current week goes. The goal of any Bible study is to get closer to our Savior Jesus, and so my hope is to rearrange things to make sure that – while I study, I focus on staying at Jesus’ feet.

jan-15

Assigned Reading: Psalms 36-37; Job 40-42

Psalms –

Chapter 36 – The problem of self given flattery is – our spiritual eyes become blind and don’t recognize the sin we are entangled in. But, we have a place to run: God is our Refuge! His faithfulness and love are ours to cherish, as are His abundance and Him being the One to preserve us!

Chapter 37 – Friends, let us take heart in the truth found in verses 3-5.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this…

God offers us His abundance. His safe pastures are given to those who trust their good Shepherd (see Jn. 10). This is where real living takes place. An enduring, good life is found when we trust in Jesus and commit ourselves to Him.

Job –

God speaks to Job. Powerful words. Words we need to listen to.

Who then is able to stand against me? Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me (Job 41:10b-11).

Job speaks. Now, Job must answer for all he has spoken.

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know (42:2-3).

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes (42:5-6).

Job and his friends are brought to repentance. They had to mourn over their sin, and confess it to God. God showed them mercy, by not dealing with them as they deserved. God showed his love to them in this, and restored to Job all that was his before plus more. He had seven sons and three daughters. His daughters, even, were included in his will and named in the 42nd chapter – which is actually rather unheard of. God showed his goodness. Job showed his faith and heart toward God, as he recognized his sin and repented before God for all he had done.

What do we need to repent of, before God today? And, how are we drawing near to God?