Showing posts from 2020
In the Hands of a Hungry Pilgrim

Its cover is worn with bent edges
Its pages yellowed with passing time
It smells of age and cellar
Its years beyond mine

In it though a treasure resides
Words of hope and strength and life
From page to page and word to word
Come truths to help and remind

Its resting place seemed its forever home
Until seeking eyes upon it fell
And the thirsty heart felt strength arise
Its page's words a restoring supply

Discarded not, nor left behind
From elder hearts come treasures prized
Not set aside but dearly held
In the hands of a hungry pilgrim

We carry in us, in these earthen vessels, treasure of great worth and value, deposited by the Lord. Like an old book, some of us are wearing with the years and feeling the cricks and cracks of an aging body. But still, the treasure remains. 

We may feel, like an old book, threadbare and tattered, but that does not mean we are not useful in the Master's hands. Our pages may be yellowed and stiff, but let us not lose heart, for the y…
God’s Favor
So Potiphar left all that he owned in Joseph’s care; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. (Genesis 39:6)

The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him, and the Lord made everything that he did successful. (Genesis 39:23)
Joseph was undeniably a man on whom the favor of God rested. And who doesn’t want the favor of God in their lives? Some of us have even adopted the angelic proclamation over the Savior’s mother as our own, declaring, “I am blessed and highly favored.” But in our desire for God’s favor, have we also embraced its multi-layered purpose in our lives? Have we thought about, and do we understand, the why behind God’s favor?

Joseph, a Hebrew captive, had been sold as a slave to Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph’s low position was an opportunity for the favor of God to manifest. But trial was at the door waiting for opportunity to manifest as well. And soon, for…
The persistent ramblings of a power-stripped enemy

In his sci-fi book, “Perelandra”, C.S. Lewis portrays the devil as a dead-stare constantly talking man whose arsenal of weapons is his multiplication of words. His tactic is to talk lies from various angles until they seem true; to use different words to say the same untruth until it rings true. It’s an accurate depiction of the schemes of the enemy of our souls and his team of fallen angels.

The truth is, though, God has you on a mission and the enemy will try to stop you from fulfilling that mission by “talking you to death”. And sometimes, like background voices that we stop realizing are there, his constant murmur quietly settles into our environment. But we are not alone in this struggle.

Nehemiah faced a similar struggle in his effort to rebuild the fallen city of Jerusalem, and he took the right tact in dealing with it.
Nehemiah knew the enemy and knew his goal.

Critique, unreasonable expectations, tearing down confidence and raisi…
Fighting for Justice

Look at this story from Jacob’s life,

38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.” (Genesis 31:38-42)

Jacob trusted God with the injustices in his life. And we should do the same. But why? Why should we trust God with the “unfai…
Our Father, With Us

You can learn a lot about God and people by reading the narratives found in scripture. God graciously gives us a little window to see into His heart and our nature. One such story is the account of Moses being called to action at the burning bush. The LORD has called Moses to go to Egypt and bring deliverance to His people. But Moses is feeling quite ill-equipped for such a great task. His flaws rise before his eyes like the stinging smoke of a campfire.

Yet God continues to call and even graciously addresses Moses' concerns. We read in Exodus 4,

Moses answered, “What if they won’t believe me and will not obey me but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’? ” The Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand? ” “A staff,” he replied.
“Throw it on the ground,” he said. So Moses threw it on the ground, it became a snake, and he ran from it. The Lord told Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grab it by the tail.” So he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staf…
My God

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will ... then the Lord will be my God." (Gen 28:20)

Jacob, on a great journey through many lands, has in this narrative of his life laid out what on the surface would appear to be a list of requirements for God to be his God. God, if You do x,y,z, You get to be my God. Maybe you have one - a list of qualifications of what it means for God to be your God. Jacob's list went something like this,

- Be with me in all that do and everywhere I go
- Give me a safe journey in life
- Provide for my physical needs
- Bring me home safely

But Jacob was not making a deal with God. He was not saying, my God must be this to me or do this for me. Remember, Jacob's life (Jacob who was soon to be Israel) was the result of a promise; and he knew it. He knew that God was the God of his father and that God was the God of his grandfather. But to this point, Jacob had yet to embrace Him as, my God - it wasn't yet "personal".

Jacob is NOT sayi…
Foiled Plans
Is it possible for people, those in a position of power for example, to foil the plans that God has for me? Can man interfere with the road laid out by God for me?

In the book of Acts we read, 
Then Paul declared, 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but raised in this city. I was educated at the feet of Gamaliel in strict conformity to the law of our fathers. I am just as zealous for God as any of you here today. 4 I persecuted this Way even to the death, detaining both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and the whole Council can testify about me. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way to apprehend these people and bring them to Jerusalem to be punished. (Acts 22:3-4)

If God can change Paul, a man who was a thorn in the side of the church, He can deal with the situations of life where we are inflicted by others or where people seem to have the ability to delay or derail the plans of God in our …
What's the Point?

You may be asking yourself, "What's the point?" I work, I raise my children, I care for the home, but I don’t really feel like I have any big or lasting impact in this world.

It has been suggested that the efforts of Ezra and Nehemiah would not have been possible if it had not been for the role of Esther in biblical history. She played a foundational part in the plan of God to return His people to their home. In her imperfection God made her what she needed to be for the time she was in. And her life made it possible for Ezra and Nehemiah to have their impact.

The mother of John Newton, the ex-slave trader and writer of the hymn Amazing Grace, died when John was just a child. Yet the seed of faith that she planted in her son never left him and grew into a great faith that influenced and impacted many. 

John the baptist made a way for the Savior of the world. He had his place, but realized that it was not about him. He decreased while Jesus increased (…
I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Back and forth goes the sparring, the accusations, the reasonings, the theories as to why's and what's of what is going on. Job, a man of integrity, sits in his pathetic and helpless condition being schooled by his so-called friends why his life has taken a turn for the worse. Job, further burdened by the bitter words of his "comforters", grasps for relief, and searches for reasons for his current condition. 

Life's big question remains unanswered - "Why?"

But not really, for we have the curtain drawn back, the blanket lifted, on what is really happening here. Played out before us is a heavenly sparring, a battle in the celestial arena, a fight over the truth that Job belongs to God ("Have you considered My servant, Job?") Here we gain insight into the source of Job's difficulty - a battle between accuser and Defender. And in the end, we will see that Job is lifted from his depths to his rightful place by his Def…