Tag: firm

June 29 Standing firm

O Father, how Your heart must ache when Your people choose to turn away from You!

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You have given me all I need for an abundant life, yet the society I live in, and the one the Israelites lived in, pull people away from You to continually seek after other things.

When the kings over Your people were bad, they worshipped idols in the open, even sacrificing living children by fire.   They fought battles according to their own strength, or bought allies with the treasures from Your Temple.

When the kings were not evil, and led the people back to worship You, they still did not remove the high places and Asherah poles, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

The values and attitudes of their society had become so evil, that this behavior was accepted by even the good kings.  But it was not acceptable by You.  And eventually You sent armies from the east to conquer and capture Your people, taking them into exile.   This was as You had promised.  You outlined their options for blessing and cursing, and they made their choice.

Lord, how often in my life do I allow the ungodly values of my society to sway me, divert me from what You have told me is true?  Often what is evil is accepted as good.  And even the good leaders abide by it as if it were ok.

Do we think as a society that there will be no accounting?  That’s what the Israelites thought.  Didn’t work out so well for them.  And I fear it won’t work out in my times either.

When Your Word spread in Ephesus, people who practiced sorcery burned their scrolls, and idol worshippers stopped buying the silver idols.  As the economic impact increased, so did the opposition!

Society today would also prefer that believers keep their faith to themselves.  When it begins to impact political issues or economic factors, there is friction.

Father, as You have called me to live in the world, You have also separated me, set me apart from it.  Help me understand how to be ”in” the world while being separate from it.  Remind me to question values, holding them up against what Your Word says.  Only then will I know I am on solid ground.

Show me if there is any value or attitude I need to change to be right with You.  And strengthen me to do it; amid, or even against, the pull of society.  Amen

2 Kings 15:17-16:20; Acts 19:13-41

Sept 10 Give me understanding

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Father, what a vision You gave Isaiah!  It’s as if he were privileged to peek into the actual Throne Room in Heaven itself!  His eyes were opened and he saw and described amazing things that are like nothing ever seen on earth.

And once again, when confronted with glimpses of Your glory, the human response is the recognition of our unworthiness.  In the presence of such greatness and holiness, human frailty pales in comparison.

You gave Isaiah a message for Your people.  You directed him to say to King Ahaz in the face of military invasion:  “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

It was true then, and it is true today.   A paraphrase I heard growing up was “If you don’t know what you stand for, you’ll fall for anything.”

Because I believe You are God, Creator of the universe and the only Savior for all who You created, I can stand.  My faith is the firm base I need to plant my feet on.  You are a firm and solid rock.

Sometimes it helps to have scripture verses that remind me of these truths.  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  Psalm 23:1

Sometimes, it helps to remember statements of truth that are based on scripture.  “God is who He says He is.  God can do what He says He can do.”

Or to proclaim in song, “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”  These are some ways I find reassurance when I feel afraid or doubtful.

Father, I do not want to be “ever hearing but never understanding; ever seeing but never perceiving”, with my “heart calloused”, my “ears dull”, and my “eyes closed.”  I want to “see with my eyes, hear with my ears and understand with my heart…and be healed.”

When You open my eyes and ears, I have understanding.  And I can stand.  Father, help me stand even in the face of the invasion of the enemy.

Help me remember Your truths.  Help me recall Your faithfulness to me in the past.  These things build my faith even stronger.  And give me a firm place to stand.  Amen

Isaiah 6:1-10

Mar 25 Help me see

eyeglasses-2003188_640Lord thank You for these pictures in scripture about the ability to see truth for what it is and to understand the meaning behind being a follower of Christ.

Your first picture reminds me that although a blind person who cannot see can help another blind person, there are blocks they will both stumble over due to their lack of vision.

Yet, how many times have I relied on the advice and guidance of another person, who is “in the dark” as much as I am when it comes to seeing things from Your perspective?  Rather than coming to You, I seek help from another “blind” person who is in no better spiritual position than I am.

Interesting that Your next illustration has to do with vision too.  Contrasting when I go to another for help, this next one shows that when I try and “help” someone else by fixing a problem I see in their life.

There’s a good chance I have bigger problems in my own life that should be a priority for my attention.  Only after my own bigger problems are dealt with can I see well enough to be of help to anyone else, should they ask.

In both these examples, my own lack of vision blinds me to the truth.  I need to remember to look to You for guidance, answers and perspective on issues in my life.  And before I look too closely at a friend’s life and shortcomings, I need to examine myself.  And then, again, seek Your help in correcting the issues I find there.

Another example You give has to do with how I act on what You tell me when I turn to You for the “vision” I lack.  It’s not enough to simply call on You for guidance.  It’s also imperative that I listen for Your response and do what You say!

Otherwise, all I do is based on my own, unreliable, limited understanding and will fold in on me like a house built with no foundation.

Father, I desire to obey You so my efforts won’t be wasted; so what I do has a firm foundation, and will stand solid against any difficulty or challenge that comes.   And the challenges will come.  You are the solid foundation I can put my trust in and gain confidence from.

Open my eyes of understanding.  Do not let me turn to other blind people, but to the One who made my eyes and gives me sight.

And I will be glad and rejoice with You; happy and joyful!  Amen

Luke 6:39-49

Mar 4 Worship! And Stand!

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Clap your hands!  Raise your voice!  Sing hymns and worship songs at the top of your lungs!

Put on a worship music tape and crank up the volume!  Don’t be bashful – show your joy!  God is the One and Only True God who has more power than any person, any force, any thing on this earth!

You, Lord are more powerful than Mother Nature!  You rose from the dead while other proclaimed ”deities” are in their graves!

Your creation of the earth and choosing a people for Yourself has been a best seller ever since there has been a printing press!  It has been translated into 3,223 languages!

I do not live in subject to a king, but Jesus Christ is my King – the King of Kings!  I owe You my praise and will sing out to You.   I will hum quietly, sway and clap, sing in the shower, and with others at gatherings.  I will play any instrument I can, write new songs, sing along with youtube videos that make me cry, and continue to sing through tears!

You reign and rule, but not from an earthly throne in a temple or synagogue or sanctuary.  And not on a mountaintop or in a river or floating on a cloud.

There is a reality that cannot be seen by the human eye and cannot be described completely by human words.  And in that place, is a great throne room, where You are seated on Your Holy throne.

Because I cannot see it, You draw me pictures with parables: a vineyard owner who went on a journey renting out the land.  This is something I can visualize and understand.  Though the owner is not present, he exists, and is still the owner, and is due the income from the land and the respect of the people.

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It is the same with You.  Just because I cannot see You, I should not doubt You are real.  Or think that You will not come for what is Yours.

When the storm comes, and I believe it is coming to this country in my time, and has swept by; O Lord, may I still be standing firm.  Amen

Mark 12:1-12; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 10:25