You Are Not Alone Today!

For July 19, 2020
While reviewing the recent news headlines, one has to wonder if there is any good news to be found…anywhere!

For if this twenty-first-century world—filled with its wars, hatred, hostility, violence, disrespect, greed, inconsideration, selfishness, pestilence, disease, uncertainty, and fear—represented all that this life has to offer us, we would be “most miserable,” just as the Bible tells us.1

Praise the Lord! This world, and all that’s in it does not encompass all that life has to offer, nor does it represent our final destination. The Bible tells us we are mere pilgrims and strangers traveling through it.2 For some, the journey may be thirty years while others exceed the seventy-year benchmark given in Psalm 90:10. Whatever time we have, Job 14:5 tells us the Lord has determined the exact day and time of our departure.

Let’s pause for a moment to explore the actions of our loving Creator as Genesis 1:1 (AKJV) depicts, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” which begs the questions, Could not such a Being create all that exists today? Could He not also preserve and sustain it?

We can be encouraged that God continues to do all these things and more, just as Nehemiah 9:6 (NLT) tells us,

You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of Heaven worship you.

What’s more; instead of expressing Himself as an impersonal, ambiguous force to be reckoned with, God chooses to fellowship with the pinnacle of His creation—the human species (that’s you and me)—through His Son, Jesus Christ; Who died for our sins and rose for our justification, as Romans 4:25 attests.

When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we experience eternal reconciliation with God. And as we seek His Kingdom and righteousness first, we can experience His eternal peace, comfort, and joy as He supplies what we need (Matthew 6:33).

This is possible because He alone is God, and He is completely sovereign,

Although this sovereignty is thus universal absolute, it is the sovereignty of wisdom, holiness, and love. The authority of God is limited by nothing out of Himself, but it is controlled, in all its manifestations, by His infinite perfections. This sovereignty of God is the ground of peace and confidence to all His people. They rejoice that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth; that neither necessity, nor chance, nor the folly of man, nor the malice of Satan controls the sequence of events and all their issues. Infinite wisdom, love, and power, belong to Him, our great God and Savior, unto Whose hands all power in Heaven and earth has been committed.3

Yet, while we await our departure from this earth, the Lord has promised everlasting communion with both He, and the Father through the Spirit along with eternal life being prepared for us in Heaven,

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 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? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am (John 14:1-3 NLT).

His is an intimate, communion that lasts forever. For in Christ, we have the Comforter who gently comforts, helps, guides, teaches, and secures us until we inhabit our eternal home as John 16:7-15 tells us.

The Lord has been with you since before you were born; shaping you in your mother’s womb; planning your bright hope and expected end that will inspire others and honor Christ now and forever. And because we yet matter to the Lord, let us be encouraged by knowing that He is with us, to help us and sustain us, just as the Psalmist presents in Psalm 121:1-8 (NKJV),

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Because He’s promised to keep us to the end, we can rest assured the Creator and Sustainer of Heaven and earth will keep His word also.

What a Wonderful Savior!

The Lord Sees, Knows, And Is At Work Today!

For July 15, 2020
Musing over the majesty and splendor of our wonderful God and Savior is truly a refreshing and invigorating change of pace to what bombards us each day: Wars and rumors of wars, political/social unrest, coronavirus fact and fiction, political/social animosity, ruthless gun violence, political/social rhetoric, random and senseless murder, condemnation of the President of the United States for what did (or didn’t do), angst over saving the planet, business closings, shelter in place, state shutdowns, country shutdowns, which elicit widespread panic and fear.

Oh, if only we would apply the principles of Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV). How much more tranquil and peaceful our lives would be,

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength!

God is watching us, and He sees everything. He created us, and He knows everything about us. We are finite while He is infinite; we are powerless while He is all power; we have limited knowledge while He has all knowledge; we are flawed while He is perfectly holy. He alone is accomplishing His perfect work in all of us, moving us toward His consummation of all things revealed in His glorious return with a new Heaven and Earth,

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4 (NKJV)

Ultimately, Jesus Christ left glory, not because of what we could do for Him but because we needed Him to pay our sin debt at Calvary, and to give us His Holy Spirit to comfort, secure, guide, and sustain us throughout our earthly journey.

The Lord loves us more than we could ever comprehend. It is not our works but our faith in His works that restores and secures our eternal fellowship. We don’t rely on our capricious will and finite human ability to hold on to Christ while facing life’s uncertainties. Instead, we rely on His infinite power and providence.

It’s up to Him to hold on to us and renew us as we press forward,

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT)

Our focus should always be on Christ, our Good Shepherd, whose providence watches over us, and His power keeps us. In Him, we find hope, strength, perfect peace, and victory as we progress through this life toward our glorious reward: Heaven.

Our endurance is more about God’s omnipotence and faithfulness than it is our finiteness and inadequacy. Abundant life now and eternal life later are both certain and secure—through Jesus Christ. Our faith begins and ends with the Him because He is our hope, peace, expectation, and great reward, now and forever.

No one but Jesus Christ loves us so deeply, gives of Himself so freely, and keeps us so completely throughout this life and into the next…Rest in Him,

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 24-25 (AKJV)

Jesus Christ is more than mere “fire insurance” because He is the embodiment of all God’s promises. He’s got it, and He’s got us as well. Thus, we trust Him always, because He delivered us from a life of sin and He presents us before God as forgiven and righteous. Won’t you trust Him today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

We Can Trust In The Lord Today

For May 17, 2020
Faith is the trust or belief we have in someone or something to perform a task that may be beyond our current level of understanding.

Some try to use it as an instrument to impose our will on God. Here, we look at God not as the almighty and all-knowing Creator and Sustainer, but as a puppet on a string whose sole purpose is to do our bidding, as if He were our own personal genie in a magic lamp.

Yet our God will do exactly what He will do at the precise moment and in the precise manner that suits Him, not us. To us, His ways may appear to be mysterious at times, but they are always perfect because He always knows what is best for us in every situation.

The Lord said that we could move mountains and that nothing would be impossible with faith the size of a mustard seed. Job cursed the day of his birth, and yet he had a tremendous faith in God. To gauge the quantity or fervor of our faith, we can never rely on our feelings alone, because faith is a mystery that is essential to our human experience.

The Lord not only wants us to commit every element of our very lives over to Him , but He wants us to completely trust in Him  also, get out of His  way, so that He can perform His  perfect work in us and through us as Psalm 37:5 (NLT) teaches,

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.

Faith, trusting, committing all convey the idea that we believe in God because He not only loves and cares for us, but that He also wants the best for us in every situation. In this life, we will experience pain and suffering as reflected in recent news reports that show how the entire world seems to be paralyzed by fear and panic associated with the covid-19 virus.

Life’s vicissitudes are attributable to our inherent sin nature, our own poor choices, or just because. But despite these challenges to our faith, we can still believe that the Lord is holy, infinite, and His ways are perfect. As He leads us through life, His most perfect purpose for us will take place in the fullness of time (Romans 8:28).

Through faith in Christ, God supplies us with a new spiritual being. He eliminates our sins by way of the New Birth that Jesus described as mysterious as the wind and as the prerequisite for true fellowship with God (John 3:3–8).

We must invite Christ into our lives by faith, and through our obedience and submission, we receive a new internal being that allows us to perform the will of God, secure His eternal favor, and become His beloved children forever.

What a Wonderful Savior!

Then The Lord Showed Up!

For March 29, 2020
There was much excitement among the hundreds of thousands of freed Israelites who camped by the Red Sea. They were celebrating their sudden and unexpected release from 400 years of Egyptian bondage. Their first Passover resulted in the deaths of every firstborn in Egypt, which prompted the immediate expulsion of all Hebrew slaves.

However, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about releasing the slaves and he ordered his army to capture and return them to Egypt. He pursued them in his chariot along with his army, his officers, and all the other chariots.

It was an imposing sight for Israel to look behind and see Pharaoh’s army marching towards them. Especially when there was no physical barrier to protect them, and with the Red Sea in front of them, they were doomed.

As a terrified nation cries out to the Lord for help, Moses offers them these encouraging words:

Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13-14 (NKJV)

Then the Lord showed up…to protect and defend His children miraculously! The Lord told Moses to stretch out his hands and staff, because they were to cross the Red Sea on dry ground! This was something unheard of.

The Angel of the Lord and the Pillar of Cloud positioned themselves behind the people to separate them from their enemies. The cloud illuminated the way for Gods people, while darkening the path for their enemies.

The Red Sea divided, and the Children of Israel walked across on dry ground; with the water standing like two walls on their right and left sides. Their pursuers would follow them, but at their own peril.  When the Lord disabled their chariots, the Egyptians realized they were fighting against the Lord Himself. And once Israel was safely across, the waters receded to full depth. Not one pursuer survived.

The Lord saved His people so that the entire world would know that He alone is God.

As the Lord saved ancient Israel that day, He is both ready and able to save His people today. We must pray to the Lord, trusting that He is fully capable to deliver us from adversity. For He is ready to protect and defend His people of faith, especially those who trust in Him for salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Many of us are now facing an invisible enemy designated as covid-19, and for some, the battle appears to be hopeless. Nevertheless, the Lord is good and merciful; ready to “show Himself strong” on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect before Him.1

Our Lord can make us witnesses of His miraculous work on our behalf so that we may love Him, trust Him, and serve Him. Therefore, let us call on Him to fight all our battles, and watch Him show up for us.

Our Lord is merciful, loving, and faithful; worthy of our faith, confidence, and love as Lamentations 3:22-24 (NLT) teaches:

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

What a Wonderful Savior!

What Ever Happened To Our Faith?

For March 22, 2020
Up until a few months ago, there was much discussion about how we have the ability to manipulate the earth’s environment in ways that will allow us to facilitate climate change successfully.

This was a false notion as recent events have demonstrated how our human efforts are woefully inadequate when addressing environmental, microbiological, or global life science-related issues; especially in light of the ongoing, worldwide covid-19 hysteria.

We are not the Creator, and we do not have the capacity or the means to manage God’s creation. We are mere stewards over His creation. In our pride and arrogance, we’ve mistakenly attempted to elevate ourselves to deity with the insane notion of managing God’s universe.

Yet, it has been astounding to watch how one, single, invisible, microscopic, organism can completely incapacitate 21st century civilization, as has cov-19. Instead of our eradicating the virus, we’ve resorted to fear, paranoia, hysteria, misinformation, “social distancing,” isolation, and despair.

In other words, if we cannot control a simple virus, how can we control our atmosphere? At times we are so overwhelmed by life’s unexpected uncertainties that we overlook the simple answers—right before our eyes: only the Creator can solve creation’s problems.

In our hysteria, we have disregarded how Genesis 1:1 tells us that in the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. We also have overlooked how Psalm 115:11 tells us to trust in the Lord because He is our helper and shield.

As our Sovereign Creator and Sustainer, God never abandoned His creation. He alone preserves and sustains the whole universe and us, just as Nehemiah 9:6 (NKJV) declares:

You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.

One theologian describes God’s ability to preserve us:

Preservation is that continuous agency of God by which he maintains in existence the things he has created, together with the properties and powers with which he has endowed them. Preservation implies a natural concurrence of God in all operations of matter and of mind. Though personal beings exist and God’s will is not the sole force, it is still true that, without his concurrence, no person or force can continue to exist or to act.1

God is our Sovereign Lord, Creator, and Sustainer in Whom we live, move, and have our existence as Acts 17:28 declares. His sovereignty provides us with comfort and assurance we need in our distress, because we know He cares for us and that His special preservation towards His creation cannot fail since nothing occurs or exist independent of His sovereign will.

Those of us who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the vicarious merits of His  death and resurrection, which paid the price for our sin and reconciles us to God forever, are certain to experience the Lord’s continual care as Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV) illustrates:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

1 Peter 1:5 tells us that we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Ultimately, our faith should never be placed in our finite human strength, because it will always be inadequate in and of itself. Instead, we must put our faith in God’s almighty power and loving care, for He’s got this and He’s got us—now and forever!

What a Wonderful Savior!