God's Word is Powerful

God's Word is Powerful

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Have you ever felt like a turtle sitting on fence post?  All of us find ourselves in situations when we realize we are in deep trouble without help. I found myself in that situation and I felt like I was stuck floundering with no help in sight as we were trying to finish all the things that needed to be done for our daughter’s wedding.  But it ALL got done.  How?  A whole bunch of friends and family gathered round and helped in countless ways. And as they lifted me off that fence post the overwhelming thought that filled my mind was THANK YOU. 

Maybe you have felt that same way in your walk with the Lord.  A time when it was all was dark - when there was NO HOPE - when it felt like the end was near - when you just wanted to give up.  But in crying out to God He gave hope and help and lifted you to solid ground. 

Psalm 40:2 (NLT)  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

The response to that should be Praise Worship - thanksgiving to God for ALL He has done...

Psalm 40:3 (NLT)  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what HE has done and be amazed...

It is amazing how our perspective changes AFTER help has come.  The turtle that is lifted off of the post can scurry away safely.  For me there was no need to be anxious - there were many people who helped set things up and take them down afterwards. I was humbled and THANKFUL. 

Paul’s reminder to us is that everything we do in life can be done in a way that brings Honor to the Name of Jesus.  And as we do whatever we are doing it should be done with a heart full of thanksgiving to God. 

Colossians 3:17 (HCS) And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

We may feel like a turtle on post - in desperate need of help.  But we are never alone, and God will give us the help that we need if we will Trust and Him and continue to be Thankful.

PRAYER:  Lord God - thank You for good Friends and Family who have been so encouraging and helpful.  But thank You most of all for the way You work in every situation.  Thank You for taking the hard things, the difficult tasks and using them to make me look to You for Your Help and Strength.  Thank You for helping me see that I am never sitting on a post all alone.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


What do we do when the worst possible thing takes place?  How do we feel when we wake up and realize it was not just a horrible nightmare it really did happened?  If you have ever heard the words “I’m sorry it is cancer” or if you have had a close family member or friend commit suicide.  Then in a small way you have a sense of what Jeremiah was describing in Lamentations chapter three.  Jeremiah had preached and prophesied to nation of Judah telling them over and over to turn away from idols and to turn back to God. He warned them again and again that God’s judgment was coming.  He told them that captivity and death were waiting.  But the people did not repent - and the horrors of war, captivity, and death overwhelmed them.  Lamentations is Jeremiah’s description of those dreadful and difficult times. He describes clearly what he has seen and what he is feeling.

In Lamentations three Jeremiah is brutally honest about what has happened to the people of Israel. He speaks passionately of the horrors of the invasion and the captivity.  These are the writings of an eye witness who is heartbroken over what has happened to Jerusalem.

Lamentations 3:1-2  I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the LORD’s anger. [2]  He has led me into darkness, shutting out all light.  (NLT) 

Jeremiah shares the depth of what he is feeling. God has poured out His wrath on me.  He has led me into utter darkness there is NO Light and absolutely NO HOPE.   I have felt God’s wrath - His anger has been directed against me. He has brought me into utter darkness.

Lamentations 3:7-8  He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains. [8] And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers.   (NLT

Listen to the emotion - God has built prison wall around me - there is NO ESCAPE.  He put me in chains, and even though pour out my heart to Him but He refuses to hear my prayers.

Lamentations 3:10-11, 20  He has hidden like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me. [11] He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces, leaving me helpless and devastated.       ...[20] I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.   (NLT)

God has ripped me in pieces like a savage lion.  He has left me helpless and devastated. Jeremiah has seen the horrors of the destruction of Jerusalem.  The slaughter of people and slaves being dragged away to Babylon.  He says he will NEVER FORGET this horrifying time.

But then suddenly in the midst of all the horrors of death and destruction there is a huge shift...

Lamentations 3:21-23  Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: [22]  The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. [23]  Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. (NLT)  

I DARE to Hope - What?  How?  In the darkest times Jeremiah had ever face he stopped and focused once more on God and His FAITHFUL Love. Why?  Because he knew that God’s Love and Mercy never end.  But how can all of this be God’s love? How can these horrible things show His mercy?  Jeremiah accepted the fact that the people of Israel deserved judgment.  He had warned them and preached to them.  He called on them to TURN BACK to God but they refused.  The Faithfulness of God was seen in that He chose to discipline His people rather than to give up and totally destroy them.  Even in the darkest moments with the horror of all that has happened Jeremiah believes that God will keep His promises and restore His people.  God’s Mercy will replace His judgment.  This is Jeremiah reminding himself that God is just and merciful. 

PRAYER: The words to this song by Stuart Townend are a great reminder and prayer.

There is a hope that lifts my weary head a consolation strong against despair
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit, I find the Savior there
Through present sufferings, future's fear, He whispers 'courage' in my ear.
For I am safe in everlasting arms, And they will lead me home.

There is a hope that stands the test of time, 
That lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grave,
To see the matchless beauty of a day divine When I behold His face!
When sufferings cease and sorrows die, And every longing satisfied.
Then joy unspeakable will flood my soul, For I am truly home. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


When I was in high school someone challenged me to read some missionary biographies.  I remember as I read about Hudson Taylor, Jim Elliot, and Helen Roseveare and the things that they went through as missionaries that I was stunned by their faith, courage, and perseverance.  I was in awe and wondered if I could ever be like them.  Yet down deep inside there was always doubt and fear.  I was sure that I could never do those kinds of things or be that kind of person. Sometimes I still feel the same way when I read some of what Paul wrote in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 12.10 "That’s why I take PLEASURE in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (NLT)

Paul, what do you mean you take PLEASURE in weakness, insults, hardship, persecution, and trouble?  Are you nuts?  Why in the world would you find any pleasure in those things? It makes a lot more sense to try to avoid those things, to do whatever is necessary to steer clear of them rather than to embrace them. The first two words of vs.10 give a hint as to why Paul felt this way.  They take us back to the context in the previous verses.  Paul had something very serious and perhaps even painful that he was dealing with. So in vs. 8-9 he said "Three different times I begged the Lord to TAKE IT AWAY.  Each time HE said, MY grace is all you need. MY power works BEST in weakness..." 

So Paul took the hardship that he was facing, that he found extremely difficult to handle, right to God and asked Him to take it away. God's answer was “you need this Paul because MY GRACE is seen most clearly in you when you are WEAKEST and dependent on ME.”  At that point Paul tells us “that is WHY I take pleasure in these things.  Because when I am weak, when I cannot do this alone, when I am powerless and unable to do the next thing, that is WHEN God's Power is really comes through.  That is when God works in my weakness to give me HIS Strength.”  So what does Paul do?  He embraces and takes pleasure in whatever the hardship or struggle may be.  No matter what he is facing he moves forward TRUSTING God to give him the ability keep on going.

PRAYER: Lord God, I confess that I do NOT DELIGHT in hardship, persecution, weakness, or insults.  Most of the time I fight against those things.  Lord Jesus, please help me to stop trying to do everything I can do to get out from under these things and help me to embrace them instead.  Help me to pause and ask for Your for Wisdom, Your Strength and the ability to DELIGHT in You and whatever You bring into my life.  Lord I cannot do this without Your Power; please help me.