Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Feathered

Feathers certainly have their place but it is not in the kitchen drain! Between duck, dove and goose hunts, there were times it seemed feathers were abundant here. Do you sometimes feel featherless in this life? I once saw a naked chicken (no feathers); it was a sad sight. God doesn't intend for Believers to ever feel exposed or helpless. Truth is, however, we are easily flustered and fearful in the face of real life. Such times call for more than a long leisurely tub bath or a few quiet moments to regroup. God is sufficient strength and protective shield: "The LORD is my Strength and my Shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped." (Psalm 28:7). He is the safe harbor and protective cleft: "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find Refuge." (Psalm 91:4). Whatever troubles you at this very moment, why not lay it aside and face life ... completely feathered!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

God's Process

Meat processing – we really don’t care to think about how our much loved barbeque pork,  charbroiled hamburgers, smoked turkey breast and grilled chicken make it to our dinner tables. Nonetheless, there IS a process. Maturing in Christ is a process, and that process has a name: sanctification. It’s not such a common word, but it’s good Bible! The word [sanctification] describes the Believer's growth from spiritual infancy to maturity in holiness; it begins the moment of one's Salvation and continues until the grave. Sadly, some Believers live as if their Salvation is an end instead of a beginning. We’re made new and righteous, of course, by God’s Redemption through Jesus Christ; however, that begins the life-long journey of becoming like Christ. This process [of sanctification, becoming holy] is of divine origin and purpose, “according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:2).  Now, who doesn’t love a good plate of barbeque or a big juicy burger, but much has happened before we enjoy them. God wants every Believer to become “vessels for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21).  Interestingly, we all are currently in a process of becoming something - honorable or dishonorable. Consider [then] where you are in His process today!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Remember and Tell

Do you remember the movie, "Total Recall?" It had lots of action, but that ping-ponging from past to present to future to real to not real left me lost most of the movie. Says the Prophet Isaiah, “I will mention the lovingkindness of the LORD …” (Isaiah 63:7a). In our English language, to mention is to refer to something briefly and without going into detail; synonyms include "to allude or to touch on."  The Hebrew word for mention, however, carries a much stronger meaning; it is to remember or to recall. It’s the same Hebrew word used when God remembered Noah (Genesis 8:1), when God remembered Abraham (Genesis 19:29), when God remembered His covenant with His people (Exodus 2:24). Our God isn't casual about anything! Imagine if He were casual in His promises to us or just casually faithful. Isaiah said I will remember how loving and how kind Almighty God has been and is to me. I believe Isaiah was referring to total recall - remembering, even reliving, the sure-and-certain steadfastness of His God! We must discipline ourselves to remember God's faithfulness then faithfully tell it to our children, our grandchildren, our friends, our neighbors – remember and tell of God’s faithfulness. Do you remember your last total recall of God's goodness? Remember! Remember and tell of His greatness!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Be Blessed!

 Have you ever been manipulated? Usually, it was only afterward I realized I had been covertly and skillfully managed to someone else's benefit. Sounds terrible, yet we are guilty of the same thing. In His deep love for us, God has wisely given us instructions to both honor Him and to live honorably among others. Yet! Yet! Yet! we live as if wiser. "Rebellion is as [serious as] the sin of divination (fortune-telling), and disobedience is as [serious as] false religion and idolatry. Because you [King Saul] have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you as king." (1 Samuel 15:23). King Saul paid a tremendous price for rebellion against God, acting in his own wisdom, doing things his own way. In V.25 God makes clear He takes great delight in obedience rather than  "burnt offerings and sacrifices." We can say with our lips all-day-and-every-day we love God but it's the obedient heart alone that honors God! Perhaps we do not think of ourselves as rebels or rebellious but when we choose to do anything other than obey God, that's exactly what we are. Let us turn aside from spiritual rebellion - manipulating our lives to suit ourselves, to our own benefit. God's commands to us are not burdensome; He loves us and has instructed us to honor Him and to our greatest benefit. Obey Him and be blessed!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Kind To God

 Have you ever thought about how very little of us is required to be kind? Why then are we so stingy with it? Weary and thirsty, Jesus said to the woman in John 4:7, "Give Me a drink." The woman's act of giving Jesus water was nothing short of, yes - kindness. We rightly talk of the kindness of God to us; indeed, the ways of His kindness are without number and measure. However, we forget how God values our kindness to Him! To His people, God said, "I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved Me and followed Me through the wilderness, through a land not sown." (Jeremiah 2:2). Can't you just hear the treasure of that memory to God - the devotion and kindness of those who love Him: God remembered! How kind have you been to God lately? Do the words of your mouth and meditations of your heart reflect a kindness toward The Father? Is your kindness toward Him evident in your uncompromising obedience? Are you kind to others because, like your Father in heaven, is kind? Kindness always counts and it costs so very little. Make kindness a way of life; practice kindness, and let it begin with being ... kind to God.