God's Word is Powerful

God's Word is Powerful

Thursday, March 22, 2012


If you have ever shadow boxed or played shadow tag you know that you can hit a shadow or step on it and you will not affect that shadow in any way shape or form.  It is not substantial and real in the sense that we can hold and touch it.  In many other ways our world seems so real.  We can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste many different aspects of our world. In contrast heaven and eternity seem very unreal to us and sometimes we have a hard time living with eternities values in mind.  That is why it is hard for us to fully grasp what the Psalmist is saying in these verses.                                                                               

Psalm 144:3-4 (NET)  O LORD, of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them?  Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them? [4] People are like a vapor, their days like a shadow that disappears.

Psalm 144:3-4 (NLT)  O LORD, who are we that you should notice us, mere mortals that you should care for us? [4] For we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow.

In comparison to the universe with the splendor of the stars and the almost unimaginable distances of light years who are we?  Psalm 144 asks that very question.  Why did God take notice of us?  Why has God paid any attention to us at all?  We are not much more than a vapor or breath of wind.  In comparison to God and his creation we are merely a vapor or a shadow.  That really should step all over any illusions we have about our own importance.  Our lives, as real and substantial as they feel to us, in light of eternity and the realities of heaven, are nothing more than a passing shadow.  Yet the God of the universe the creator of all that we see and all that we cannot see still provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him.  It cost the life of His Son Jesus.  But through the death of Jesus we can come to God and ENJOY Him here and now and also throughout eternity. We must always remember that we are just a passing shadow that this world is NOT what it is all about.  We are merely preparing for eternity.  We have to remember that the blink of an eye or the flicker of a shadow that is our life here will pass it will come to and end.  That is when the REALITY of Eternity in God’s presence will start.  What an amazing God we have.  He is Worthy of ALL our praise Worship and adoration.  The old song said it this way:  This world is not my home I’m just a passing through.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.  The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door.  And I can’t feel at home in this world any more. 

PRAYER:  Lord Jesus, help me to remember that this world and everything in is will pass away.  Help me to live with Eternity and the Realities You have promised in mind. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I HATE GOODBYES!  It has not always been that way.  When I was in High school I could get caught up in the adventure of being away at camp for 8 weeks and not miss home or family all that much.  But after I married Carol - saying goodbye to her or our daughters when they still lived at home was never enjoyable.  I did - many times - but I never liked it.  Yes once I got into the trip I enjoyed the ministry part of it.  It was always amazing to see God doing wonderful things in the lives of people.  It was exciting to see God use me in some way to encourage or help others.  But getting home was always so wonderful.  I am glad that God understands me and that He does not condemn me that I hate the last couple of days before I actually start a trip.  I am glad that in His compassion He watches over me and gives me the grace to go and watches over Carol and gives her the grace to send me on my way.  I Love these verses that tell us of the compassion of God. 

PSALM 103:13-17 (NLT)  The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. [14] For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust. [15] Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. [16] The wind blows, and we are gone -as though we had never been here. [17] But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him....

Our God is like the perfect father who is both tender and compassionate.  WHY?  Because He knows us He understands us, after all He is the one who made us.  God knows that we are not much more that grass or wild flowers which bloom and die.  We have a life cycle built into us by our God.  We are born we live and we die.  The difference between us and the flowers of the field is that God LOVES US and after we are saved we enter into a personal Relationship with Him.  He loves us with a Love that NEVER FAILS. His Love remains even when we our faith is weak and struggling.  His Love remains even when we struggle to do what He has called us to do.  His love remains even when we have to say goodbye for a time to those we love.  His love and compassion is why we can count on His strength and help during those times when we are struggling. 

Prayer:  O God, You have proved Your Love over and over but especially in knowing and understanding me.  Even though You know me so well You still Love me and have pour out your Love and Compassion on me.  THANK You.  Thank You that you understand that I hate to say goodbye but that I still go trusting You in those times of separation. 

TEARS of Sorrow - TEARS of JOY!

After I returned from an amazing trip serving with our Missionaries in Mexico Carol and I packed and travelled to the memorial service for her nephew Jeremiah Small.  (If you have not heard about his death serving Christ in Iraq here is a link to a great article about him. http://www.worldmag.com/articles/19280)  After talking with family who had just returned from Iraq as well as being at the memorial service it is still hard to communicate what powerful impact this 30 yr. old young man had and is having on the people of Kurdish Iraq.  We may never know why Jeremiah was killed since the young man who shot him took his own life.  But we do know that nothing catches God by surprise He is sovereign and that He knows what He is doing.  Jeremiah’s mother and father came back to US and shared with us that it was very evident from everything that had been going on that Jeremiah’s work in Iraq was finished and that he would continue to serve his Lord through his death.  His family were part of the ongoing demonstration of the Gospel Truth.  Over and over they were asked: will you seek revenge?  will you seek financial compensation?  Time after time they answered NO we are NOT here to seek either REVENGE or Compensation.  We are here to extend Forgiveness to they young man who shot Jeremiah and to his family.  They were able to place flowers on the tomb of the student who shot their son and embrace the parents of the student assuring them of their forgiveness.  In a culture that always seeks revenge it was a powerful demonstration of the grace of God.  For the people of Iraq to hear the parents of a murdered teacher offering words of unconditional Forgiveness was unheard of. Jeremiah loved his students and adopted country - he knew it was a dangerous place to publicly live out his Christian faith but that is what God called him to do.  So he did it.  I was reading in Philippians this week with many of these thoughts running through my mind.

Philippians 1:21 (NIV) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21 (NLT) For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

Philippians 1:27 (HCS) ...Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ...

Philippians 1:27 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ...

In light of Jeremiah’s willing sacrifice of himself for the people he served these verses offered up a new challenge for me.  To LIVE, truly live as a committed follower of Christ means I must count the cost and be willing to pay the price.  Willing to offer up myself for the Lord Jesus.  I may never be put in a situation like Jeremiah - my living for Christ may mean dying a little each day to myself and to the pleasures of this world. Being willing to spend myself for the good of others and the gospel.  It will certainly mean to do what Jeremiah did by living in a way that is WORTHY of the gospel of Christ.  What does it mean to live worthy of the salvation that was bought through the cross of Christ?  It will mean thinking and speaking and acting in ways that bring honor to the Lord who gave His life for us.  That is what Jeremiah did - he lived in a way that showed everyone what it meant to be a Christian.  There was no mistaking his loyalty and commitment - it was to Jesus Christ.  He was not there because he was paid well, he was not there because he was an adventure seeker, he was not there because he was forced to be there.  He was there because he wanted to show the reality of living everyday for Jesus Christ.  Thank you Jeremiah for your example.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to live FOR YOU.  To live Worthy of the gospel Your death for me.  Help me to willingly die to self everyday.  Help me Lord God to live in a way that these things are TRUE of me in practical everyday ways.