Tag Archives: trust

“I Have Plenty of Time”


Nahum 2: Eternity is Just Around the Corner

Our world is consumed with “fluff” meaning that which is without substance. It wants what “feels good.”  The city of Nineveh was like that; trusting in its captured riches at the expense of others. Like Nineveh, today when we speak to others of the goodness, holiness and sure justice of God they answer “What? Me Worry?” about eternity? I have plenty of time.

Learn the lesson of the man who built his barns; sat back and said; “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate.” But God said “you fool, this very night your life will be demanded back from  you…” [Luke 12] That was the mindset of Nineveh. God gave Nahum a message of both hope for the Judahites whose riches had been plundered by them and a message of imminent destruction for Nineveh. They had had 100+ years of blessing from God’s decree of judgment but like so many today said–tomorrow I will worry about eternity.

God is slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness but he is also “a zealous and avenging God.” He also “will certainly not allow the wicked to go unpunished.” God loved Judah; God loved Nineveh and God loves you. He may allow the storm to continue but one day the storm will pass and the sun will shine forth. God will bring an end to suffering and He will make all wrongs right again.

The Ninevites trusted in their walls but it was washed away in a single night. What do you trust in?

“Some trust in chariots and others in horsesbut we trust in the Lord our God.” [Psa 20]


Those Pesky Deadly D’s

jesus way truth lifea


As we continue through the letter titled simply Hebrews we are noting the fatherly yet teacher  character.  He has not been remiss to remind the reader that even though they might be like those  who are facing almost daily  persecution and difficulty in their lives, these readers should beware of drifting and disbelief which are part of the disease of the deadly d’s. Our archenemy has his arsenal complete with just the one for today it seems–like distraction. You are on your way only to be distracted from your appointed round by it! And then there is discouragement. Add to that list any more that begin with “dis..” and you get the picture.

But, Christ is supremely appointed as our high priest and he is greater than any “dis…” The author of Hebrews reminds us that we need to focus on Christ who is and was the perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. As the Son, Jesus is superior to angels, superior to Moses and now superior to Aaron. And yet in his humanity he suffered, prayed deeply, was tempted yet without sin. This is why he could “[become] the source of [our] eternal salvation.”

It is why Jesus said about himself “I AM the Way, The Truth, the Life” and no one, not a single person alive now or before or in the future will  come before the God of the universe apart from Jesus Christ. Many say that is so narrow-minded. I didn’t say it Jesus did. He is the one who died on that cross and rose again to new life. Consider then the source.

Think of being on a deserted island with no provisions. A rescuer comes. You have a choice, will you choose to trust him even though he is a stranger when he says, “if you trust me I will take you to safety.” You have a choice to follow or stay. The one who follows is just like the one who trusts the words of Jesus and is saved for eternity. The one who says no I won’t trust him has just lost their ticket to salvation/freedom, rescue and a life with God in eternity.

Have you believed and trusted God’s plan or are you thinking if I just love God it is enough? James said  “Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear” yet they are not saved for eternity. God’s plan may be narrow-minded in your eyes but that is His way, will you trust him? The blessings are out of this world!

Are You Ever Ashamed of Christ?

1john 2 not ashamed2aWhat would be your answer to that question? There more “shamers” amongst us than we want to readily admit. Let’s look at the evidence.  The disciples failed to trust Jesus to provide sustenance for the crowd. Is this us too?  Do we like the Pharisees look for a sign rather than trust Him? Are we often ungrateful when we see Him work like the healed blind man but fail to stop and say thank you? Are we silent before others when we set our interests on men’s ways rather than on God’s ways?

Jesus asked the disciples “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered “you are the Christ,” yet in the next breath he began to rebuke Christ when He spoke of his suffering to come. Jesus reminded him that his agenda was man’s not God’s. Perhaps that is why right after that Jesus asked: You want to be my follower? Then you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. If you ashamed of me now in this life, I will be ashamed of you in the life to come.

Let’s get personal: When we quench the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit to trust Him; when we fail to give Him the glory it might be because we are ashamed. Today, be quiet before the Holy Spirit and see if any of these are true. If so, seek His forgiveness so that at his appearing you may stand with confidence!  [1Jn2]

Photo credit: Christianimages.

The True 007 Stands Up!

ImageIf anyone could write a novel of real life as a 007 agent it is King David. His life of hair breadth escapes reads like a James Bond novel and Psalm 54 fits in perfectly with the plot line. If you are a fan of James Bond, you know that he often escapes with finesse and clever tactics, thanks to cinematography, and you walk away with your heart palpitating. David lived it in real life and today’s psalm finds him seeking a respite as he had done previously near the camp of the Ziphites, who were in fact blood relatives. However, they are the Judas Iscariot’s of the OT as they betray and double-cross on more than one occasion revealing to Saul where David is hidden. Chapters 1Samuel 23 and 26 is a record if you care to read it and see the true 007 in action.

This is the backdrop and prominent theme in Psalm 54. Our true 007 did not trust in harrowing car chases but instead as he wandered from oasis to oasis learned to trust God (Elohim—Creator who interacts and reveals Himself to His creation, one who has sovereign authority over all). David voiced his prayer to Elohim and asked him for deliverance in vs 1-3 and in vs 4-6 records his thankfulness for having his prayers heard.

Vs 1: O God deliver me by your name. God’s Name is strong and powerful; by His Name He brought creation into existence and by His Name He continues to reveal Himself. “For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen,”[Rom 1] Paul reminded us in Ephesians 6 to: “be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power.”

Vs 2 O God, listen to my prayer. God hears and responds to those whose heart is perfectly aligned with him. Pro 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Vs 4 Look, God is my deliverer! God, Elohim is the only one who has the power to deliver when we are in dire circumstances. David trusted that God “is” that he is currently and always will be. Secondly that according to his character he will deliver. Deliverer is “’azar” and carries with it the meaning of one who helps or supports.

Vs 7 Surely, he (Adonai = Lord- master) rescues me from all trouble. The confidence that David had in this challenging time is seen in this last verse. Pro 3:26 for the Lord will be the source of your confidence, and he will guard your foot from being caught in a trap. Where is your confidence this day?

You may not be living a life as a 007 agent but your life may be just as Paul described in Ephesians 6
“a struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” In whom do you put your trust for deliverance when the roaring lion roves about seeking whom he may devour?


The Widow’s Mite….


After teaching a parable regarding the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, being tested by the Sadducees about the resurrection and an interchange between an expert in the Law who is found to not “be far from the kingdom of God,” Jesus takes time out and sits down. This is one of the few times we see Jesus taking time from his “duties” to sit and just observe and use the teachable moment for his disciples. He chooses his “people watching” space near the Treasury Box. As he observes he notes two categories of people who come to offer their tithe this Passover season and uses this opportunity to teach us all a principle of “heart giving.”

First to capture Jesus’ attention are the experts in the law who come in their long flowing robes and seeking elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogue and the places of honor at banquets. Jesus says they also devour widow’s property and make a show of long and supposedly devout prayers. Beware of them as their outward show will only earn them a severe punishment.

But then his attention is arrested when as he watches the crowd, one person stands out above the rest. She is a poor widow. How did he notice her? Was it by the way she dressed or was it her age or was it because she was alone indicating she was like Anna of Luke’s gospel with no male husband or heir? As he watches, she approaches the treasury box. It is as if when she reaches this point that she stops and praises God for the gift that will keep on giving. The copper kettle does not ring loud and long but only a pittance of sound is heard from her two small copper coins yet Jesus notes her inner joy. Her small token will provide so much for service to others as it came from the heart. In her giving she is demonstrating that she trusts God for her daily provision from His hand. Note Jesus said she gave out of her poverty and gave from the very livelihood on which to subsist. Others may have taken this opportunity to chide her saying why not keep one to provide for your needs? Ah, but she might answer, this what I desire to do for Him—from my heart. He will care for my daily needs.

The teachable moment for us is that her gift kept on giving for even today we read of this and marvel. When we give is it from the heart so that only the eyes of Jesus see? Do we offer praise for the small gifts that are given from the heart?

Acts 21 “Support or Dissuade?”

ImageWe are often reminded of this wise counsel of “A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.” [Prov] But along with this God often, but not always, brings others alongside us to give us moral support, when we seek to do God’s will and His work. God also often through the still small voice reveals what may lay ahead for the choices we make. As we re-read Acts 9 Christ spoke to Ananias about Paul’s life ahead: “this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” If God should ordain that you suffer are you as willing to drink that cup as Paul? If truth be known we shy away from this and forget the principle of  Luk 14:28 “counting the cost?”

 As we have been reading the journeys of Paul we can see that he in fact counted the cost and was willingly ready to face the words “you will suffer.” As he taught new believers and prepared to re-enter Jerusalem did the words of Jesus to his disciples in Matt 20 come to be his daily reminder of Jesus’ suffering? Is this why he could like Christ say:  I am “compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem without knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit warns me in town after town that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me.”  In Acts 21 Paul hears from precious believers not to set foot in Jerusalem and again the prophet Agabus came to see Paul and role played this scene:  “he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it, and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over to the Gentiles.”

Had you been in the hearing of all of these words what might have been your reaction and what would you have counseled Paul? The people begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. To that Paul responds: “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Hundreds of years later William Carey heard much the same: “When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or ours” and yet he resolutely and steadfastly set his heart to go forward.  The reason both men were able to face those who would seek to dissuade them was because of their life’s choice: “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” [Phil 3]

Beloved, perhaps the Lord has touched your heart and called you to ministry or some avenue in which you need to count the cost.  Parents, friends and sometimes even Pastors counsel you to “count the cost” and even seek to dissuade you from this course of action just as the early believers did for Paul and later, William Carey, missionary to India. “The world seems to offer two kinds of support: “Wait ’til you get out in that cold, cruel world. It’s rough!” And those who exude a contagious, confident “Bon voyage!” [Neal Pirolo] When you know that the Holy Spirit is directing your steps do you trust HIM or listen to those who are giving you counsel that is opposite to that?  


Roses or Thorns?

ImageRoses and Thorns; ups and downs; wins and defeats; life at its best and its worst. King David as the leader of Israel faced both wins and challenges both in his kingship and in his personal walk with the Lord God Almighty. His psalms reveal the inner struggles he faced and where he turned when all of life was full of roses and when it was full of thorns. Remember the Transfiguration story in Matthew? It was there that the disciples, Peter, James and John had the privilege of seeing Jesus in all of his glory. It was there on the mountain top they also saw only the grandeur and vista of the heavens and the valleys below were a distant speck. Peter wanted to memorialize the beauty and never leave, but Jesus reminded the disciples that the valley below lay with unfinished work…the thorns like the faithless disciples unable to conquer the demon possessed boy. King David in Psalm 21 has been victorious in battle and his life is full of roses but in Psalm 22 we find life is also filled with thorns—the disappointments, the discouragement, when all of life “stink; when we have our “melt downs.”

Observe a life full of roses from David’s perspective, his mountain top day. O Lord, you give me strength, you deliver me, you have granted me my heart’s desire, and have not refused my request. I have rich blessings beyond number, a house full of children that will carry on my lineage, nations that bow down to me in reverence. All of this is because I have chosen to trust in you and Your faithfulness.

Psalm 22 is a sharp contrast and a day filled with thorns. It is here that David felt abandoned, alone in his  prayer time.  He wrote: I pray but my prayers are full of groaning and tears that do not let up. People, my fickle sons of the kingdom, are insulting me and despising me, taunting me and mocking me, they remind me that I am just a lonely man twisted as a worm. In times when I need their comfort, they instead are coming to me saying where is your God now?

We can relate to David’s days. Life changes, people are fickle and they come in and rearrange our things so that the order of our lives is altered, sometimes even down to the paper clips on our desks. We walk through our day and find our daily discipline challenging and the enemy’s words follow us in our minds from room to room. What is the solution when we have days filled with thorns? Take time and return to the mountain top to see the beauty of the Transfiguration, to see the beauty of the heavens and hear the words of God reminding us softly and tenderly that we need to listen, pay attention to His Son. Do as King David; reorient your day with prayer, meditation and rejoicing in the small victories that make life amongst the thorns bearable. Perhaps you are facing a day of thorns. Stop! Refocus your attention on the roses that are in full bud waiting to be opened.

Remember this:  Roses are teaching that the beauty of life will bloom, once you have taught yourself the lessons given by living with the thorns.”[Deoudis]

Steadfast Confidence

ImageHow do you react in times of difficulty? Are we confident in the God we say we believe? If so, are we living so that others may ask how we are facing life’s circumstances?

As Paul wrote this second letter to the church in Corinth he shared from the heart the burdens he was carrying and the love he had for them. His ministry was not without a cost however and in this letter he openly bears his soul to them that they may learn from him how to handle adversity. As we read we want to keep our eyes open to what he faced: conflicts, fears, sufferings. Then we want to transition to ask: are they similar to mine? Am I persevering as Paul did? What lessons can I learn that I can use later for others?

Question 1: Who is God to you when you face adversity? Is he as Paul notes: the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort? Is he a god who can comfort us in all of our troubles? Do we see our troubles as God’s open door for us to in turn minister to others? These are the questions we need to address as we read 2Cor.

Principle 1: One purpose in suffering is that we may in turn comfort others when they face similar circumstances.  vs 4 God is the God of all comfort; vs 6 if we face affliction/suffering/adversity it is that we may be in turn be able to comfort and empathize with others.

Principle 2: We can be confident and trust that God is involved in our circumstances vs 7 And our hope for you is steadfast because we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you will share in our comfort. Vs 9 we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.

Principle 3: Be steadfast, immovable in whatever circumstance you find yourself vs 10 We have set our hope on him – on God alone

Principle 4: Our prayers that are being offered are useful for ourselves and others. 1:11 as you also join in helping us by prayer, so that many people may give thanks to God on our behalf for the gracious gift given to us through the help of many. John Bunyan wrote: “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

What adversity are you facing today that you can implement these same 4 principles? Perhaps you may have faced a similar adversity. Thus the question is: How may I pray for you in this time?

Know this: God is not only a God of all comfort but He is a God of love! Image