Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I AM that I AM Has Wonderful Plans for You!

I remember from most of my teacher friends that lesson plans are a real bone of contention. I don’t understand what all is involved but yesterday I noticed a friend posted on social media that she had lost a thousand pound weight – lesson plans were done for a class she’s taking at college! I also have a friend who has been sharing information about estate planning, especially for those who don’t have the finances to pay a lawyer or an estate planner. This will be a real help for many people.

Even with gardening and crop farming, there has to be a plan. You’ve got to know when to plant, what to plant, how much to plant and how to care for what you’ve planted. Without the proper plan all you can do is throw out seeds and hope something happens. It’s haphazard at best and going to be a waste of time and money.

From teachers to farmers, everyone has to make plans. We all need plans to create, organize and enjoy our lives.  We need plans to spend, save and pay our bills. We need plans to even have a great vacation or wedding or other exciting and fun event in our lives. A good marriage requires planning, even after the I Do’s.  Finding time alone is important to plan for couples with young children. Planning is required to have success in any area of life.

Planning for our spiritual life must be done as well. Unless we follow God’s plan, we have little hope to produce fruit in our lives or grow in faith and knowledge. If we don’t begin at the beginning, with His plan for salvation, we will never be able to make any other lasting plans. But with the foundational work done by the Lord Himself, we can build and make plans that will be for His glory and our good. God not only gave us a plan for eternal life, He has given us plans for godliness and abundant living.   

Maybe you are having a hard time seeing God’s plan through the tears, through the fears, through the hard knocks of life. Maybe you had plans and they were good, but they’ve fallen by the wayside or someone ruined them for you. You can hold fast to God in spite of these things, because God Himself is your Life and Estate Planner! His plans never fail, though we seem to be at others’ mercy many times, we are never out of His abundant care, as long as we hold onto God’s eternal, unchangeable, immutable plans.

Oh beloved, God has a wonderful plan for your life! Open His plan book, the Word of God, this morning and read about His plans. Read again how He has plans to prosper you, give you hope, give you a future and bless you with joy and peace, faithfulness and forgiveness. When God speaks to you He says, I AM your Planner, I AM your Guide, I AM your Answer to every situation of life! You can trust ME because I AM that I AM and I will guide you, bless you, forgive you, redirect you, redeem you, uphold you, care for you all the days of your life. And when I AM ready to take you home, I AM the One who will welcome you in to My Father’s House. You have nothing to fear and nothing to dread for as you follow Me, I will protect and deliver you from every messy plan that others try to give you and wipe them from your heart, replacing them once again with My plans. I love you and I am always for you and that’s a plan worth following!

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Psalm 33:11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.

Psalm 40:5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.

Jude 1:1-2 This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.  May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ordinary Can Become Extraordinary!

It’s nearly always going to rain during the Wild Hog Music Festival in Helena. This year was no exception. We so enjoy helping out with this event. CMA puts up a booth where we give out coffee, water, tracts and friendship. Meeting folks and praying for them is a real privilege. Even though it rained a lot this week-end, we still had ample opportunity to help folks as well as work the gates for the promoters.

We don’t often get time to do much else, but I was drawn to a little shop that is right downtown and next to one of the ticket gates. We went in there several times to look around at the scented soaps and candles, along with gifts and jewelry. We went in there several times.

The owner was cordial and we struck up a conversation with her the last time we went inside the shop. She asked us what we were doing at the festival and how we ministered there. We shared what we do and then she told us that some of our group had come into her shop last year. She was having a rough go of it at the time and they prayed for her and her shop. She said that it was an answer to prayer. She told us that we don’t just minister to the bikers; we minister to the community people as well. It was a real turning point for her.

Often we think that ministry is strictly for those who don’t know the Lord or those who are down and out in some serious way. We know that people need the Lord, but once we are saved, we’re not sure about our walk with the Lord. Because we still have struggle and issues, we find it hard sometimes to see God in our midst. God is totally concerned with our salvation, that we meet the Lord and give our hearts to Jesus. But He’s also concerned about our everyday lives. He wants to be a large part of everything we do and how we live; He wants to become the center of our existence so that we can live in the light of His Word and prosper and thrive in this world.

Maybe you’ve been trying to make sense of the life you are living. You know you gave your heart to the Lord, you know that you are headed for heaven, but the here and now seems so insecure, so unsure, and so uncertain. You’re struggling with the issues of life and you have cried out to the Lord, asking Him for help. Like the shop owner, you have questions and you need answers.

Oh beloved, God wants you to know that you can more than exist. You can live a life that is not just ordinary but extraordinary! You can have the confidence to live a life that is pleasing to God and spiritually successful. You don’t have to wonder if you’ll make it, if you’ll thrive or if you will know how to live. You’ve asked for help and looked for someone to give you answers. Even if no one comes into your life to pray, Christ Himself makes intercession for you! He can send people to pray for you and give you encouragement, but even if He doesn’t He still speaks to your heart straight from His heart. He wants to fellowship with you and hear your deepest needs. Lay them out before Him and watch as His truth unfolds and your steps are established. He speaks to your heart this morning to give you confidence and hope. He says I am with you! I am all that you need. If you will follow Me and seek My face in all your ways, I will take your life and give you more than you can imagine and all that you need. Ordinary for you will become extraordinary with Me because I hold your hand, I gift you with faith, truth and knowledge. Everything you need is found in Me. Trust Me this morning and I will send you the answers so that you can live in the light of My Word.

God loves you so much that He will move heaven and earth on your behalf. He is for you continually as you make decisions and walk the walk of faith in this world. You are His beloved!

Psalm 73:24 You will guide me with Your counsel and afterward receive me to honor and glory.

Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth I cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps and makes them sure.

Psalm 32:8 I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

God is Closer Than A Phone Call!

When I’m working I don’t always go home for lunch. But yesterday I did. I went across the street and visited with one of my daughters and then I went over to my house and grabbed my phone charger.

As I stepped to the door to go outside a young man was walking up into my driveway with a spray bottle in his hand and a rage on his shoulder. I first thought, wow, detailers can sure spot the dirty c...ars, as mine was still littered with dead bugs and dirt from our thousand mile trip.

But I became uneasy right away and realized that most people aren’t home in my neighborhood during the day and the few neighbors that are home are women and small children. I let him know that I didn’t want any cleaning supplies and he walked on down the street. Now I live out in the country and there was no car, no signs, nothing. Still feeling uneasy, especially with elderly widow neighbors, I just called to talk to the sheriff’s department.

They said they would check it out. Do you know that before I could lock my house and drive a block the sheriff’s patrol was already driving by? That’s a real comfort.

I felt so relieved driving back to work. Relief came because I knew who I was calling. That I knew the dispatcher’s voice, I know our sheriff by name, know the deputies because my kids grew up with most of them and they responded quickly. I had heard we have a great county sheriff’s department but I’d never personally needed them.

There may be nothing to it; he could have been someone really trying to get by, make a living or get some extra money. I hope I was mistaken and that he’s a very nice young man. I’ll probably never know. But I do know now, by experience, that Clark County residents can rely on the system. They can rely on the sheriff and his deputies as well as the dispatcher and others who work to keep us safe.

I also whispered a quick thank you to the Lord when I realized that He is always available for any need I have. The sheriff’s department for me was a great reminder of God’s ever present help. I know that God is just a whisper away because He’s proved it over and over to me!

Are you feeling uneasy and fearful about your circumstances? Are you wondering what you’re going to do? It’s impossible to lock out the world. It’s impossible to stay behind closed doors. It’s hard sometimes to believe that God is for you when life is hard and surroundings feel suspicious. But you can relax and rest in the Lord!

Oh beloved, He speaks to you this morning with authority and love I AM closer than a phone call, quicker than a deputy and full of wisdom, power and might. When you call on Me, there is no lag time, no waiting in line and no stranger on the other end. I AM the Lord Who watches over you, sends my angels to guard you, sends my Spirit to guide you and sends my Peace and Comfort to be with you always!

You can thank Him ahead of time for His watchful care and immediate response when you call No lag time, no waiting in line, no stranger on the other end of the line.

Rejoice that no matter the situation, God is with you and He is an On Time God! He loves you and because of His great love He will be right by your side as King of Kings and Lord of Lords all the days of your life!

Psalm 34:7 For the angel of the LORD is a guard; He surrounds and defends all who fear Him.

Psalm 139:5 You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head.

Psalm 138:7 Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out Your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me.   ---Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

In His Presence is Your Peace!

Decorating cakes is one of my favorite things to do, especially for my grandkids. Although I’m not really an artist, I do get artistic pleasure from creating a “masterpiece” of icing and cake mix. I admit sometimes I am “under the gun” as to time for getting this done.

Getting ready for Stella’s birthday party was an under the gun time in my life. Danny’s aunt was sick and we were preparing for a secular event to work. We were juggling our schedule, thinking ahead and hoping everything would land together in a good way.

Turns out of course that our plans don’t always go so smoothly. I baked the cake one night and finished decorating it the afternoon before Stella’s party, the same afternoon we left for West Texas and a family funeral. I was definitely under the gun!

The finishing touch on Peppa Pig (the cake) were her eyes. Danny got off work and ran by the store to pick up the tubed black icing.  They were out! I knew I had seen some candy eyes so I asked him to just pick a package of those up. They’d have to do.  I was also playing with grandkids, sweeping the kitchen floor (long overdue) and packing our clothes.  Are you starting to get the feeling that I was stressed?

As Danny ran in, handing me the eyes, I opened them and saw that they weren’t the candy eyes but rather plastic ones! I knew it was too late to do anything about it, so I told Stella’s mom to make sure nobody ate them! LOL   The jitter of juggling everything was starting to show and I could NOT get those plastic eyes in the right place on Peppa’s face! Danny got the tweezers for me and picked up Stella, who was now crying and wanting “cake, cake, cake”.  One little boy was climbing on the bar to look at the cake, another little boy had fever and was sitting in the recliner, one daughter was watching and Danny and Stella were right next to me.  Now as I look back at it all, I am laughing, but right then it was anything but funny.

I exclaimed to Danny, holding the crying granddaughter, “please take her somewhere else for a moment! I can’t get these eyes on the cake!” I had made everything on that cake just right, but those little eyes were going to be my undoing. I was worn slap out! I had had enough noise and help and attention and company.  I just needed a quiet moment to finish the embellishment. I just needed a little silence to concentrate. It wasn’t about the clatter – no one was doing anything wrong. I just needed a moment. A moment to block out the noise and concentrate so I could finish things up right.

Ever feel like that? Ever wonder how you started out a simple faith seeker and ended up a juggler in life’s circus? Is the noise of even the fun things becoming deafening to you as you try to concentrate on both your physical life and your spiritual life? Do you ever wonder if you’ll get things done right and make everyone happy and get to enjoy life again? Do you long for just a moment of quiet so you can think about what you’re doing and get it right?  

Oh beloved, maybe it’s time to get away with Jesus! God knows how stressful your life can be. He knows the demands of your work, your home, your family and your faith. He knows that you may wear 10 different hats and juggle 10 different tasks. He also knows the solution for stress is to let Him bless! Bless you with time alone with Him. Bless you with spiritual delights in your quiet time. Bless you with His help to get everything done.  Bless you with His joy and peace. Bless you with the knowledge that - while it’s impossible to have it all, make everyone happy and hold it all up by yourself – He will hold it all up for you as you let Him be there for you! Slip away into His loving arms. Rest in His loving Word. At the Name of Jesus, and in His presence, weariness must flee, worry must vanish and peace will reign.

He loves you, precious child, and He’s for you, beloved believer. And that’s all that really matters!

Luke 10:41 But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!

I Chronicles 16:27 Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary. (Amplified)

Psalm 89:15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

You Were Born to Love God & Let Him Love You!

Today we are celebrating the life of our granddaughter Stella. Two years ago she was born a 24 week preemie, struggling for life. Here she is a thriving two year old, a precious toddler full of life, talkative, laughing, playing and wrestling with her big brothers! We are most thankful to God that we were allowed to have her in our family. When I hear her call me Wowaw I am undone! I remember the first time I held her – I don’t even think she was 3 pounds yet. Much to celebrate and much to give praise to God about this little fireball!

We are also celebrating the passing of Danny’s Aunt. Eighty years ago she was born as the middle daughter in a windy West Texas town. Sixty two years ago she was a bride who married her beloved. Fifty-two years ago she embarked on the ministry with her husband who pastured churches all these years. Not all those years were easy, but with God’s help and by His grace, they stayed committed to each other and to God.

Life and death come to everyone. We are rejoicing that Stella survived her early birth and has become a normal, active little darling. We are rejoicing as well for Aunt Eddie, even though we are sad for ourselves.

Both Stella and Aunt Eddie have enjoyed their lives to the fullest. We know that when Stella gets older she may have stories to tell about the angels in her NICU room, for we prayed daily for them to watch over her. We know that Aunt Eddie is with the angels in heaven right now – praising and glorifying God.

What better testimony than to live life, even with its struggles. To be blessed by God, even in the storms. To have our lives hid in the shelter of the Rock, knowing that “these momentary light afflictions” are worth their weight in gold for our faith. We are not mere survivors, born to live in drudgery, darkness and fear. We are meant to be victors! We are meant to live beyond our troubles, toil and grief.

Oh beloved, perhaps you feel you were born in turmoil. Life has thrown a lot of junk at you. You’ve been sick, downtrodden, dismayed. It may feel like everything you do turns to nothing. Maybe you wonder why you were even born. But God Himself says to you today! You were born to love Me and let Me love you! You were born to worship Me in spirit and Truth! You were born because I ordained your life before the foundation of the world! Rejoice today that you were born and I will turn your mourning into dancing, I will redeem what has been taken from you, I will make you shine like the diamond stars in the sky. I AM your reason for living and if you will let Me, I will make all things new and give you a life that will be celebrated all the days of your life!

Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life – in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my Salvation!

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the LORD always and again I say Rejoice!

Isaiah 61:10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God for He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels!

God's Fingerprint is on Your Life

The funeral for Danny’s aunt was held in North Central Baptist Church. The men who officiated at the funeral knew his aunt quite well.  The man who sang was one of Danny’s childhood friends.  All three men talked, through tears of grief, of growing up under her guidance in that very church.

The pastor talked about Uncle James pastoring the church for so many years. They were instrumental, Danny’s aunt and uncle, in building the new sanctuary (now 20 years old). They talked of her tireless efforts to help build the building, teach the Sunday School class and feed the grieving at oh so many funerals. They also spoke of her reminding them to live for the Lord and how they each wanted to do better just to please her. They spoke over and over about her love for them, for their children and now their children’s children. Her dedication to the Lord left them grieving even more at their loss.  

As one speaker put it, “Her fingerprints are everywhere in this church.”

We loved her and we knew a lot about her. After all, she was Danny’s aunt. But I don’t think any of us knew the exact scope of her inspiration and spiritual fingerprints on all who knew her.  She was a friend to sinners, a mother to those who needed mothering and a helper to her husband and daughter and congregation.  She did everything with love and tender care.

Not everyone has a person in their life who was such an inspiration. It could be that some folks grow up without the spiritual influence of a loved one. Not everyone lives their whole life within the shadow of the church walls.  There are times when grief is overwhelming and no one knows life’s hurts and trials. You may be thinking that God must have loved her a lot; God must have loved her church family a lot to let them have her in their life.  You may be wishing for just such an influence.

Oh beloved, there is One whose fingerprints are everywhere in your life! From the foundation of the world you were cared about. Before you were conceived you were planned! Before you were born, every issue of your life had its resolution. Even in the times when your birth family was less than it should have been, the Lord Himself was tending your life! He wants to remind you this morning, He speaks from His heart as He woos you, I love you – your name is graven on My hands. Your life is hidden in Me. Your past is paid for, your present is secure and your future is with Me! I love you and I am always with you, He calls out again. He speaks Truth into your heart and His plan is that you should live your entire life with His fingerprints on every aspect of your life!

If you will let Him, He will take the things that are less than great to remember and put them away. He will replace your hard times with His tender mercy. He will remove your guilt and give you grace to make it in times of need. He will move you from ordinary to extraordinary so that when it’s all said and done and life here is over you will be welcomed to your real home in glory! And that’s worth living for Him!

Colossians 1:27-28 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing His glory. So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.

I Peter 4:2 You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.

Matthew 6:25 That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

2 Peter 1:4 And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sweet Spot to Tight Spot? God is With You!

For some reason, my name was chosen to lead praise and worship at church Sunday, like a name pulled from a hat. Not much rhyme or reason there. I can sing, but I’m not a singer. It’s just not my calling. I do play the piano, but an accompanist is not a leader. Our praise and worship leader was going to be out of town and he called out my name to our pastor. Really.

I was fretting about it for... several days. I did pray, but mostly that God would intervene! My pastor said if God told me not to he’d find someone else. Well, I never heard from God on that, so I fretted some more! Then right in the middle of my wondering about it, Danny just made a little suggestion. He reminded me that he had bought a praise and worship dvd a year or so ago at a greatly discounted price. We’d watched it once, but never done anything with it. After all, we don’t “lead” praise and worship, so why would we ever need it?

Well, that dvd was the icing on the cake of God’s making. I was relaxed and ready – how could anything go wrong when it was all laid out. I wouldn’t have to do much except share what God had spoken to me about praise and worship and let the dvd do its work.

Except our praise and worship leader was there! I thought for sure I was off the hook, but no, he said that I had prepared all week (he didn’t know what all I had done lol), so I needed to go ahead. Now it was worse – the worship leader would be PRESENT! With sweaty palms I proceeded. One of our elders asked me if I was leading the worship service and I so “no, God is!” I figured since God got me into this I’d just blame Him!

I got up and shared what God had shown me – that while I was not a worship leader, I was a praiser and a worshiper by nature. The dvd began, I stepped over beside the worship leader and then God did what God always does – He took over! I asked our song leader to lead and stepped into the pew by my husband. It was awesome!

We all have gifts from the Lord that are meant to be used to edify the church body. But sometimes God nudges out of our comfort zones. I’m not sure I know why, but I know He knew it would happen when He prompted Danny to buy the dvd. I know He knew the outcome while I was trying to prepare. I know He had a plan and I was allowed to be on it in some small way. Get ready, because God may ask you to get out of your sweet spot and into a tight spot so that His glory will shine through!

Oh beloved, God says to you this morning, Let Me use you! Let Me guide you! Know beloved, that even when others ask something of you that’s out of your realm of possibilities, God might just be asking you to let Him perform the impossible through you. Every opportunity given to share the Gospel, love on God’s people, serve Him in unusual ways or shine His light is from Him! Sure it might be a little uncomfortable, sure it might be beyond you, sure it might take great faith to proceed, but those are God’s working plans! He takes you beloved, out of your comfort zone and into His blessings. He promises always to use you, bless you and guide you so that you can grow in faith and He can be glorified! He loves you and He’s for you and that’s worth saying, “Yes, Lord, Yes!”

Matthew 14:29 "Yes, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Acts 9:10-16 (v.13 “But Lord! exclaimed Ananias…”

2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time He said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

I Corinthians 2:5 …so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Is Anything Too Difficult for God?

My husband is the handiest man I’ve ever known. He can just about fix anything. He can make broken things run again. He can repair just about anything, from broken toys to broken vehicles.  We’ve had motorcycle blow-outs and he’s plugged the hole and gone on. We’ve had alternators quit and he figured out a way to get us home. 

One day I called him when I arrived home first.  We had no electricity. I looked in the neighborhood and everyone else had their lights on.  I knew I had paid the bill, yet I was doubting myself. I was torn up! I called him and found out that he was on his way home.  He got out of his car, went to the side of the house and checked the main power switch. With a simple flip all power was restored!

Last night I heard him vacuuming the car. I wanted to go out to thank him and laugh with him, “It’s not gonna do much good with all the trees dropping their blooms.” But before I had a chance to get out there I heard the leaf blower.  Sure enough he was blowing away all those as well!

God says to you this morning, Is your heart broken? I can fix that! Is your faith sight failing? I can correct that.  Are you wondering if you can get through the next hard circumstances looming before you? I can get you through that.  Everything that needs fixing in your life – from church to faith to work to home to anything else you can name as a problem or a trouble – God says to you this morning “I can fix that!” His name is I AM and because of that, He is I AM for every situation in life. He says to you daily that I AM the one who loves you, I AM the one who provides for you, I AM the heart mender, the circuit repairer and the fellowship restorer. I AM your all in all – so that when you come to Me you never have to wonder if you’ve done something wrong, forgotten to do something right or messed up. Even when you mess up I AM with you. I AM here for you, I AM able to meet all your needs, bless all your life and fix all your problems.

You may say you are all alone, you have no one to help, but God is always with you and He is always the answer to life’s problems and He holds the answer to your problems in His heart. Trust Him, go to Him and let Him be your everything, for He always says I love you and I am for you and that’s all that really matters.

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

Exodus 34:6 The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I AM slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

Psalm 75:3 When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I AM the one who keeps its foundations firm.

Isaiah 43:11 I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior.

Jeremiah 32:27 I AM the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for Me?

Psalm 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Feed Your Faith and Fears Will Flee!

“Lions and tigers and bears oh my!” one of my favorite lines in The Wizard of Oz. In the original movie, there were lots of scary things appearing and lots of scary situations going on! It was so full of scariness that my mother wouldn’t let me watch it until I was older. I was sure that there were monsters under the bed, in the closet and around the corner.

They were taking a trip together but found themselves entering a dark forest. They began discussing the dangers that could appear along the way. One moment they were embarking on a delightful trip and the next moment the Scarecrow was thinking he might meet a straw eating villain along the way. The Tin Man tried to encourage them but instead scared them more as he said, “…mostly lions and tigers and bears”.

The life of faith is a wonderful trip. We have an incredible destination! We’re blessed that like-minded believers walk along the path with us throughout our lives. It’s of great encouragement to have folks who believe the Word and heed God’s call along the way.

While most folks are sure of the destination, others aren’t so sure about getting there.  After all bad things happen. People get sick. Friends get transferred. Kids grow up. Parents pass away. Pastors go to new congregations. Jobs go away. Hobbies change. All these things can be pretty scary.  Other people’s perceptions of you, discussions of you or pronouncements can keep you cringing in fear.

As Dorothy and her comrades discussed the dangers that could happen, they began to feed one another with fear instead of faith. Soon they were cowering together and certain that the worst would happen.  They were losing hope and not sure if they’d make it out alive!

How important it is that you walk the walk of faith with those who live out their faith! Fearful situations will come along, but we can be fearless for we know Who walks with us. When we have troubles we consult the word of God first and friends next.  It’s imperative that we seek out strong people of faith to walk alongside us and keep God ever before us!  He is the True Light of the pathway, shining brightest in our darkest moments. He is the keeper of the Destination, guiding all the way to our ultimate reward.

Oh beloved, are your cringing in fear? Are you feeling hopeless? Are you feeding on that fear rather than feeding on faith? Run to the Word and speak it aloud! Tell God how you feel, but tell that fear to get out of the way for you are coming through.  You have the Lord God Almighty who lights the path. He not only lights the way, He is the Light! He loves you so much that He will always guide you, always keep you safe and always honor your faith. Speak faith today and your fears have to flee! Speak love today and hate has to vanish! Speak the Word today and lies have to scurry back into the darkness they came from!  You have a changed heart and a badge of courage given to you from God and He will never take it away!

I Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. NAS

2 Timothy 1:7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline

2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight NAS

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

picture from www.dailylifeverse.com

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How to Really Fight!

Look Away From Your Troubles!

As we rode into town the other night there were 4 large deer crossing up ahead. It was hard to make out the animals except that their eyes were brightly shining in our headlights. They had stopped in the middle of the road staring straight our way. You could say they had that “deer caught in the headlights” look. As we got closer they picked up their pace and trotted into a friend’s yard. If they’d not gotten their eyes off of us, we’d have run over them. If they had panicked in confusion and run back into the highway it would have been a disaster. But they looked away from us and found refuge in the trees off the road.

I’ve had that look before. I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks and been caught so off guard by circumstances I was not expecting. Sad to say we can be totally mesmerized by problems, illness, heartbreak, anger, resentment, fear and more. We become frozen in time and blinded by it all. If we’re not careful we’ll be run over by the incident that was merely a passing situation. But because we were caught in the blinding light it can cause us to become victims.

Maybe you’ve got that look right now. There are so many things that can cause us to slip into depression, despair and pain. You’ve gotten a bad report and that’s all you can focus on. You’ve heard sorrowful news about someone you love and you’re done in. You think God has left you, people have left you and love has left, so you just want to lower your head and let life run you in the ground. I know it’s hard, I know it’s almost unbearable. I also know the Lord. And His promises are higher than your lowest moment, brighter than the darkest hour and safer than the oncoming troubles.

Oh beloved, Look away! Look away from the troubles that have you caught square in their path. Look instead to the Lord! That’s His hand motioning you to come to Him. That’s His Spirit that is wooing you to listen. That is His safety that is calling you to forget what you’ve been staring at and look into His Wonderful Face! He will either take you out of the situation altogether or stand in the gap for you through it all.  He can be trusted! He can be believed! He is more than a Savior, He’s your friend! Because He loves you like no other, He can be trusted more than circumstances, people, places or things! Hallelujah! What a Lord!

Psalm 59:17 O my Strength, to You I sing praises, for You, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.

Psalm 123:2 We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in Him.

Psalm 18:30 God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.

Psalm 34:19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
Micah 7:7 As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me

Friday, April 19, 2013

Need Directions? Follow Christ!

Back in the early 70’s my dad often went to the VA hospital in Little Rock. It was the old one on Roosevelt Rd.  One time I took my friend Teri with me. We were barely 16. We dropped my dad off at the hospital for a checkup and proceeded to go downtown to window shop.  We even went into a wedding shop and tried on wedding gowns! I laugh about that now, what nutty things we did.  Mostly harmless, but loads of fun!

The problem with going downtown was the one way streets.  We didn’t really know what we were doing and I was driving. I found myself going the wrong way! Thankfully there wasn’t a lot of oncoming traffic! One man rolled down his window as he met me and warned me.  We got back in the right direction and drove on. It was a close call.

Throughout the years I’ve had plenty of times to discover I was going the wrong way.  Being young you just think you can do it all, have it all and make life conform to your way. Driving a car into oncoming traffic can cause a serious accident. So can going your own way headlong into life.

I traveled my own road for quite a while. It was all about me and it was lined with great ideas and lots of wants. One day I met Someone who told me I was going the wrong way. Jesus loved me enough to roll down His window from heaven and show me the way.  He didn’t just holler at me and say “you idiot!” or “you’re gonna be sorry!”  No, He stopped and got out of His vehicle and waved me down with a banner of love. He left the splendor of His home and went out on the road of life looking for me!  He kept on looking until He found me, then He called me and now He guides me. Occasionally, I might get my direction mixed up and again He will correct me and get me turned around and headed in the right direction. 

While there are many roads that lead to many different places, there is only one road that leads to life. That road is a one way road.  For life and that more abundantly, you have to get on His Road and travel by His guidance. There will be dangers, toils and snares along the way. The road is not always pretty, doesn’t always go smoothly and can travel through dark areas. But this Road will lead to everlasting life in Heaven with Him. 

Not only will He keep you going in the right direction, He will use you to point others to the Way. He will use you to speak His Truth IN LOVE, so that they can go the right way too!

Oh beloved, have you heard the sound of the Lord calling you? Are you headed in the right direction? If you’ve put your trust in Him, then you can let Him turn you around when needed and adjust your life so that light shines ahead in the darkest of nights. He may tell you to turn around, but He always speaks with love. He may ask you to travel with Him, away from all that is familiar, but He will always be with you. His love is His vehicle to call you, to save you, to keep you, to guide you and to get you safely home. And that’s all that really matters.

John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.

John 10:10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). Amplified

Isaiah 48:17 This is what the LORD says--your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Need a Mediator? There is One!

When I was a kid my dad was pretty much a Do it My Way kinda dad. There wasn’t a whole lot of variance in what he did and how he related to me.  If you asked him to do something or get something and he said no, then no was it.  There was no wrangling, pleading, begging. His no was no. Period. End of sentence.  Therefore the things He asked of me were pretty cut and dried too. If he said eat your food, then I ate my food. If he said, do your homework, then I did my homework.  I was not a perfect child, but I had a fear of my daddy in me that made me compelled to do what he said.

My niece Kim and I were together a lot when we were little. We had lots of fun. She was very outgoing. I was pretty shy, but she was not shy at all. If we wanted to do something, but I thought that daddy would say no, I knew that if Kim asked he would say yes, so we conspired together for her to ask him. It worked! He said yes and we both got to do it. I think it was going swimming; it doesn’t really matter now.
We all want someone to do things for us.  We want our way, so we look around until we find someone who will agree with us.  We desire things, so we listen to those who give simplistic statements about having it all. We need power, so we read up on it – books, authors, mentors – those who say power is the way. 

But with Christ, we don’t have to ask someone else to seek His face for us. We don’t have to worry that He doesn’t want to give us what we want, that He might withhold something good from us or that He doesn’t hear us at all. We can go directly to God ourselves. Jesus is the mediator for us. Holy Spirit is the Comforter in us. God is the Almighty and Sovereign One Who knows what we need before we ask for it.

Maybe you’ve been timid about talking to God.  While God is to be revered, there is no need to fear Him as an unapproachable dictator. He has been calling your name for years. He has been asking you to talk with Him all your life. He has made a way for you to be heard and receive everything you need.  This wonderful love that God has for you is beyond your wildest imagination! Because He loves you He will always answer you when you call upon Him in spirit and truth. Because of His wonderful care you can always trust Him to answer exactly according to His will and your best. Everything He does is for love and all His results are for His honor and glory!

Oh beloved, this morning is a wonderful time to talk with the One Who loves you so! His love is unfathomable, it cannot be measured!  His love is unquenchable, it cannot run dry! His love is so wondrous that no other love will ever meet your needs like His! Run to Him this morning and share your deepest hopes, your wildest dreams, your most tender hurts- He will answer you and touch your heart. He will heal your hurts and turn your dreams into reality. All you need to do is talk with Him and let Him apply His Word to your life! He speaks and the sound of His Voice will captivate your heart and soothe your spirit. He really does love you, more than anyone else ever has or ever will! He really is for you, so that when you need a touch from Him all you need to do is call out to Him! He’s your Abba Father, your Sovereign Lord, your Provider and your approachable King!

Psalm 33:20-22 We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.  Let Your unfailing love surround us, Lord,  for our hope is in You alone.

Psalm 142:4-5 I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!  No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.  Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.

Ephesians 3:2 Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Will Your Foundation Stand?

Watching home makeover and home building shows is enlightening.  I mean, we just see a house, we love how it’s made and we want it. Some of us like different nuances of a house – modern, country, log cabin, rustic. But we all like houses. And we are all builders.

One thing that pops up on these shows continually is foundation issues. From Holmes on Homes to This Old House, each one of the hosts looks closely at the foundation to see if there’s a problem. Without a solid foundation, even the best of homes will have problems.

For homes older than 100 years, it is especially important to make sure it’s right from the bottom up.  Sometimes it has to be partially torn out and rebuilt to make the strength needed. Sometimes new homes have been made poorly in part because the builder didn’t care or made shortcuts that compromised the integrity.  These have to be shored up and redone, so that the beautiful new home stays standing in the rain, in the drought and the winds of time.

A sure foundation is the part of every believer’s life. Without the proper start, there’s nothing to build your faith on. Without the proper construction, there’s nowhere to stand. And without the proper builder, there’s really a trust issue. We cannot hope to live life to it’s fullest without making Christ our foundation. He is our solid rock and all other ground truly is sinking sand. We cannot hope to make it in this world and finish triumphant without making the Word of God our go to manual for all our life’s plans.

Oh beloved, God wants to be the Builder of your foundation! He has to be the chief cornerstone of all you build on in your household of faith. He’s the strength beneath you, the firm ground you walk on and the trustworthy finisher for all of your life. His love compels Him to guide you, direct you, and keep you safe in all that you do.  His love is outlandish! So much love He has for you that He will be there for you when your life is crumbling, when your heart is breaking, when your zeal is lagging and when your life is ending. He even took care of your heavenly home – making a home for you in glory that will stand forever!

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.

Matthew 7:25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. (NAS)

John 14:2 There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

Psalm 37:18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Embrace Life - Don't Avoid It!

My brother has been coming to visit often the last year. It’s been so nice. There were literally years we’d go without seeing each other. You know, you get busy, you’re raising a family, working, all that.  Anyway, I am getting to see him at least every 3 months and we are having a wonderful time together!
When he travels this way, he uses his gps. He sets it to avoid toll roads since he has to come up through the Dallas area to get here. He By keeping away from the roll roads he keeps away from paying for the drive.
Danny’s aunt, who is in hospice, quit traveling a long time ago. She wanted to avoid the long trips and just got to where she didn’t want to go anywhere but church and grocery stores. She began to avoid travel altogether long before she wasn’t able to go anymore.
Sometimes we just want to avoid things because they’re a lot of trouble or they make us tired. Danny and I used to leave for his dad’s house at 6 pm on Fridays. We’d arrive around 2 in the morning. We finally realized that we were too tired to do that anymore. We’d have a hard time driving the  hours it took to get there in the night.
There are specific things we all try to avoid.  Pain, suffering, sorrow, fear, disappointment, discouragement, or loss.  If we’re not careful we’ll find ourselves trying to avoid joy, happiness, discovery, blessings and more.  We convince ourselves that something bad will eventually happen so we avoid the good things that life brings our way.  We could avoid life altogether, but troubles and heartache know our address so they come knocking on our door no matter where we live.
Try as you might, you can’t avoid some things.  There’s no way you can set your heart’s gps to avoid life’s ups and downs.  You cannot isolate yourself but you can insulate yourself. God’s Word will teach you how to make it through the things you would rather avoid.  It will also teach you to embrace the good things and take them as blessings while you can.
Oh beloved, God has a wonderful plan for your life! Even through the hard places, He is with you to carry you through! While there will be hard roads to travel and not so pleasant places to visit – He will be with you always! You never have to go it alone! Unlike a gps, which could fail or send you the wrong way – God never fails and you can trust Him even when it’s hard.
Embrace the joys and take the blessings whenever they come! Rejoice with friends and family. Live well. Laugh often. Love much. Although we don’t know when life’s hardships will appear, we know that as we enjoy the good times we are making memories that will carry us through to heaven. God loves you, He is with you always and He can be trusted to take you all the way home to heaven! And that’s all that really matters.
2 Corinthians 1:4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
Deuteronomy 12:7 There you and your families will feast in the presence of the LORD your God, and you will rejoice in all you have accomplished because the LORD your God has blessed you.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Psalm 23:4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Time to Forgive Everyone Everything

I bought a metal plaque this week-end at a little Christian bookstore inside Gospel Light Church where we held our CMA Seasons of Refreshing. It read simply, “Forgive Everyone Everything”. It caught my eye and it caught my heart.

I’ve heard it’s possible, but I’ve never met anyone personally who doesn’t love their own children. I admit we parents have no idea just how in love we are going to be while carrying the baby, but at the moment of birth we are forever undone over this bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.

It’s not always a honeymoon. Kids are imperfect. Parents are imperfect. They step on our toes when they’re little and then they step on our hearts when they’re older. Many times we punish inconsequential things and overlook the big stuff. We try to let them know they’re loved no matter what, but we also try to get them to do things right.

Still and all, they are our heart walking around outside our bodies. No matter what age they are, they are our babies. Our son walked in this afternoon for a quick hello and my heart melted all over again, just like it did the first time I laid eyes on him. Our middle daughter texted an I love you tonight and my heart skipped a beat. I texted I love you to our oldest daughter and got the same in return. Gave me great peace.

Our family is like most families. We get bent out of shape, we don’t always see eye to eye, but in the end, when it’s all said and done, we love one another.

Last night I quoted the plaque. I just don’t have the words to express our complete and inescapable sorrow over such dear, dear friends losing their 35 year old daughter in a car accident. We hold our children’s hands so tightly, even the grown ones. We get accused of clinging and more, but it’s that fragility of life that keeps us parents catching our breath over and over again.

I know you will understand won’t you that today is a good day to forgive everyone everything. I know this because God forgave me and I am the most imperfect person ever known. I didn’t deserve grace, I didn’t merit it or pass any tests for it. But God in His infinite, perfect love, reached down and gave it to me. So I just pass it on to others, especially my children.

Oh beloved, let God love you! Let God forgive you! And then, let God lead you to forgive everyone everything. It really doesn’t matter does it in the long run what it was because God has buried all our sins in the deepest sea – as far as the east is from the west – never to be counted against us again. God knows the struggles you have, He knows the hurts you carry and He knows the burdens that seem oh so heavy. But He’s made a way to help you when you’re low, relieve you of your load and bless you with good days and opportunities to love and forgive. He is trustworthy even when all looks hopeless. He really does love you, He really does hear your prayers, He really does want to walk with you and guide you all the days of your life and that’s all that really matters.

I John 4:10 This is real love--not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Mark 11:25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

Psalm 18:6 But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry to Him reached His ears.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Need Some Light in your Darkness?

My parents loved to travel in the wee hours of the morning. They’d set out for their destination at 3:00 o’clock in the morning. There were no all night stores at the time, so they’d have to make sure they had a thermos of coffee and a full tank of gas. By daylight they would be able to fill up and use the bathroom. Except on Sundays hardly anything was open.

There are stores that stay open around the clock nowadays. You can usually find a gas station or a fast food joint open somewhere. Even the huge discount centers stay open all night most places. You’d think they would meet all the needs a person could have because of their availability. But even the discount centers aren’t completely open. You can’t get a prescription in the night, you can’t buy glasses or have your glasses fixed. While you might be able to drop off your roll of film, you can’t get your picture taken in the photo shop.  And the banks or fast food restaurants located within the stores are closed to business in the night.  There may be exceptions somewhere but in our part of the world this is the way it is.

Even though we have an instant access world for the most part there are just some things that aren’t available in the middle of the night. If you run into a real emergency you’re just going to have to wait until morning.  

While many of our physical needs must wait for regular hours, we have a God who is available to us 24/7. In the night, on the hospital floor, at the bedside, in sickness, under duress, during sleepless times and during sorrow, God is available. He never leaves us, He never sleeps, He never posts a closed sign and He always comes to our assistance. We never have to worry if God will hear us when we cry out, no matter when it is, for He promises to hear the contrite heart, the repentant heart, as well as those who sorrow, gasp in fear or those who have no hope.

You can rest assured that no matter what you seem to be in need of, God fills every single one of them. And you can call on Him, no matter what the hour, for He’s an always available God.  You don’t have to wait till Sunday to speak with Him or to hear from Him. God knows your every need and He’s fulfilled them already through His Word. He owns the earth, the seas and the skies and all that is seen and unseen. He is accessible, ready and willing to care for every need, no matter what, no matter when.

Oh beloved, run to the One Who is the only One who can meet all your needs! He knows you and He’s well acquainted with your hurts, your fears, your hopes and your desires. He sees your situation and He’s no mere distant figurehead – He’s available! He’s with you before you call, His door is always open and everything  - absolutely everything – you need is met in Him! You may feel alone, unloved, or hungry and thirsty for relief. God is there, God is here with you always! He turns your hopeless situation into peace. He turns your darkest night into light.  He will give you peace and assurance no matter what the problem is, so that you can rest in the middle of the darkness.

Call on Him, He will answer! Pick up His Word and read for His Word is alive! Instant access is always there, because He loves you! You don’t have to wonder if He has time for you, if you are worthy or if He will accept your call. God is for you and because He’s for you, He’s available always! Forever and a day and then some! What an awesome and wonderful God!

Psalm 18:6 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help.   He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry to Him reached His ears.

Psalm 62:8 O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.

2 Samuel 22:29 O Lord, You are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness.

Romans 10:11 The Scripture says, No one who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed. (Amplified Bible)

Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation has a god as near to them as the LORD our God is near to us whenever we call on Him?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

God Always Leads to New Horizons!

Social media changes often, have you noticed? From facebook to pinterest to twitter, they do the unthinkable – move things around! Just as we figure out what we’re doing, we have to learn some new way to do it!

Life is a lot like that.  We do things the way we always did them. We found a plan, figured our path and went by the letter. We follow this route for years and then one day our route comes to an end. We wonder how this could happen!

We rehearse all the right things - we rehearse the route, we rehearse our faithfulness and our accuracy. Then we look to see why it no longer works. We think to ourselves, “I was a good parent” (wife, employee, church member, friend, etc.) or we say, “I liked it the way it was”. Yet the road has changed. If we’re not careful we will find ourselves bitter and frustrated to the point of abandoning the way entirely. It’s not worth it so we convince ourselves to quit.

Do you think God might have a plan in changing our plans? Do you think He might shake our world to help us focus on the “real” world of faith? Is it possible that God could let us keep going by the letter, but He might love us enough to keep us having to focus on Him and learn new nuances about the walk of faith He has planned for us?

Change is hard, but not changing is much harder in the long run. Without change, we can’t grow, learn or progress. If we’re not willing to let God change our direction or allow ourselves to be changed by Him we’ll find ourselves simply going through the motions. If we give ourselves entirely to Him and let Him be the programmer of our media, then we will find that change is not only possible it’s good!

Do you like life in the status quo? Do you want things to stay safe and familiar? Try as you might, things in your life have been shaken up, pressed down and sifted again. You may feel that you’ve lost your way because you’ve lost a friend, a loved one, a spouse.  God understands your heart – for He left the splendor of heaven for the insecurity, instability and faithlessness of life on earth. He experienced it all so that your life will remain secure until He comes again.

Oh beloved, rush to the mercy and grace of His direction! Don’t hesitate, for surely His ways are better than anything else! If He has whispered something new into your heart it’s for your good and His glory! If He’s asking for you to turn loose of things you hold much too close, it’s for the best! Let Him rearrange your life and as He does you’ll see new horizons, make new friends, learn new nuances of His grace! And when it’s all said and done you will always remember that God loves you and He’s always been for you and that’s all that really mattered anyway!

Deuteronomy 13:4 Serve only the LORD your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him

Isaiah 30:21 Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a Voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left.

Isaiah 29:24 Then the wayward will gain understanding, and complainers will accept instruction.

Psalm 37:4-5 Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.  Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you.

Psalm 31:13 For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Are You a Treasure Detective?

We watched Treasure Detectives the other night. This show showcases items from the world of arts, antiques and collectibles. A team of investigators verify the authenticity of collectibles, artwork and antiquities using innovative technology and street smarts. Is it a worthless fake or is it worth a fortune?

The show’s host goes to great lengths to discover the truth. It’s quite different from Antiques Roadshow. On that program, by the time they’re on air the discovery has already been made and we just get the results, but on this show we see the amazing ways they use to find the true worth of an item.

We’ve all had experience with treasures. From toys we loved as children to collectibles we hold dear as adults, they were indeed treasures to us. As I get older I realize that treasures are less about the world’s idea of worth and more about my personal value of them.  

Things are wonderful and it’s great to see that an old painting that had hung in a barn is actually worth millions, but it’s just stuff any way you slice it. But there are true treasures that hold their value forever.

God’s Word is the greatest treasure ever known. Its creator is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. It has been proved and tried and re-discovered. It’s the real deal. No myths, no touch ups, no cover ups. Pure treasure. It is unquenchable, unstoppable, pure gold. It was here before antiquity began, it will stand for eternity. No test can destroy it, no fake can replace it, no person can disprove it.

Have you been looking at worldly treasures to meet your needs? Have you tried to make people, places or things be your all in all? Have you been disappointed when they failed the test of time? If things are your focus, eventually they will lose their gleam, but when God is your focus, His Word becomes more and more treasured in your heart. Other things then find their rightful place. It makes things easier when we put His Word first in our life for that is where we find not only the Word’s worth, but our true worth as well.

Oh beloved, the Lord is your greatest treasure! His Word is His proof of worth. He never lies, He will remain faithful, His care is eternal, He never disappoints and His love will never fail! He knows that you’ve been disappointed. You may have been cast aside as worthless, but He says to you, My Beloved, you are worth more to Me than My own life – for I gave My Son as ransom for you. I love you forever, I treasure you eternally and I will remain your God forever. Look to Me for your true worth and let Me share with you all the treasures of My kingdom.

Every treasure of God’s Word is yours beloved – reach out to receive your inheritance and bask in the love, the care and the faithfulness of God. He loves you and He’s for you and that’s all that really matters.

Psalm 119:111 Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight.

Psalm 119:162 I rejoice in Your word like one who discovers a great treasure.

Isaiah 33:6 In that day He will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the Lord will be your treasure.

Malachi 3:16-17 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child.

Luke 12:7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be His own special treasure.