|GOD IS IN CONTROL|
(Newest ones are last)
|All Things Work Together for Good|
|God is Still on His Throne|
|From Everlasting to Everlasting|
|Respecting God's Word|
|He Is Able|
|Giving and Getting|
|This IS the Day!|
|Bound With God|
|Your Opinion Doesn't Change God|
|That Doesn't Make Sense|
|10/13/97 All Things Work Together for Good|
|"And we know that all things work together for good to them that
love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
|COMMENTS: This is my favorite scripture! This tells me that NO
MATTER WHAT HAPPENS it is happening for good. It may not be good for
me, but is good for someone. I may never find out what good came out of
something bad, but I can rest in the fact that God is in control and that He
A few years ago, when I thought one of my sons might be seriously injured or dead, my youngest son got out his Bible and wrote the above verse on a piece of paper and taped it next to the telephone. It is still there today. It has gotten smeared and dirty, but still continues to minister to us as smaller trials roll on through. If you struggle with having enough faith to stand on the promise in Romans 8:28, you only have to pray for more faith.
As you get to know God better He will provide you with examples of how you can trust Him for smaller things. Soon you will be trusting Him for larger things as your faith grows!!
|12/13/99 God is Still on His Throne|
|"The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting." Psalm 93:1-2|
|COMMENTS: Do you ever feel totally flustered? scared? confused? Have
there been times when you don't know which way to turn? Do you look at the
polluted earth, the morally corrupt society, the atheistic view of creation
taught in schools, the "separation of church and state," the lack of
sprituality in people, abortion, and feel despair? Does Y2K scare you?
Take heart. GOD HAS NOT FALLEN OFF HIS THRONE!!
Let Him handle things. "The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved." Ps 99:1 God is capable of taking care of things. You need to just take care of your relationship with Him and the things He would have you be doing.
Nothing that is happening is escaping His watchful eye. "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?" Ps 94:9
"For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings." Job 34:21
"The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men."
"He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah."
"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him..."
You do not have the job of worrying about things. You do not have the job of fixing the world. You do not have to fear the things of this world. You are to take comfort in the fact that God loves you. You need to find out just how much He loves you. You are not on the earth by accident. He has a place for you, a job for you, a future for you. Find out your place. Rest in the protection He provides.
"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."
"quot;He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved."
"Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress."
"But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge."
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock."
You are not alone. God has not forsaken us. Yes, mankind has turned God's world upside down, but God is still in control. He gives each of us free will. Some choose to do the wrong things. You have your own free will. What will you choose?
|12/21/99 From Everlasting to Everlasting|
|"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed
the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art
|COMMENTS: This is on the same theme as our last week's Bible study.
No matter what, God is God. God doesn't change. His love for us doesn't
change. His power and strength do not change. His mercy does not change.
If you feel like everything is falling down around your ears, take heart! Some things have not changed. God is not affected by wars, by famines, by the weather, by illness, or by earthquakes.
When you feel like you are sinking then stand on Him. He will never sink. Turn your eyes to Him. Lean on Him. Pull yourself back up by taking His hand.
PPut your trust in the one who deserves it. He has the ability to do everything necessary to put things right in your world. You don't.
|1/3/00 Respecting God's Word|
|"And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up." Nehemiah 8:5|
|COMMENTS: What kind of attitude do you have about your Bible? What
kind of respect do you feel toward the Word of God? Think about it a little.
It is the WORD OF GOD!
The people in this week's scripture had not been together as a nation in a long time. They had been taken into captivity by their enemy and had become scattered throughout different lands. They had not heard the Word of God read in quite some time.
What did they do when the book was opened? They STOOD UP! They had so much respect for God's Word that they stood up and REMAINED STANDING the entire time it was being read!
The Word of God was all it took to speak the entire world into existence. There is power in the Word. Your Bible is not just another story book. It is full of power!
Open your Bible and imagine that God is in the Words. When you touch the pages you are touching the Word of God; you are touching God. When you read you are inhaling the Word of God.
I have a friend who told me that he took his Bible to bed and slept with his arms around it. There have been times when I have rubbed my fingers over the Words and times when I have placed my face on the open pages. What kind of respect do you feel toward the Word of God?
|1/10/01 Waiting Patiently|
|"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1|
|COMMENTS: I've heard it said that we are the microwave generation.
When we want something, we want it now! I believe it is true that people are
losing the skill of waiting patiently.
It isn't easy to wait. We can picture in our minds what we want and we want it to become reality as quickly as possible. When we have a problem we think we have to do something about it right away.
We don't want to have to wait. We know that God's timing is perfect, but we can't see His timing. We can only see our point of view. Sometimes we think God didn't hear us. He hears us. He won't be one minute late with the response. His timing is perfect.
Isaiah 40:31 gives us good reason for waiting on God, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." We may feel like we are getting weary in waiting, that we are getting close to fainting while waiting, but the cause is probably because we have taken our eyes off the Lord. We are not holding the promises of His Word in our hearts and minds. Read this verse again. It says they SHALL renew their strength; they SHALL mount up with wings as eagles; they SHALL run, and not be weary; and they SHALL walk, and not faint! Remember, though, it is a promise to those that WAIT upon the Lord!
I will leave you with some more "waiting" promises from the Bible:
"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
"For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth."
"The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."
"Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me."
|12/25/01 He Is Able|
|"For the which cause I also suffer these things:
nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am
persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him
against that day."
|COMMENTS: The study is pretty simple this week. When we do things
that God wants us to do (that which we have committed unto Him) then He
handles the rest. He is able to "keep" what seeds He has given us to plant.
It is important that we find out what He would have us do and then do it. It is important that we find out what He would have us say and then say it. It must be no more and no less than the portion He directs. He handles it from there.
We no longer are responsible for the results. We are no longer responsible if someone else comes along and messes up what we have done or if it is rejected altogether. That is not our portion!
There have been many times when I have mentally beat myself up thinking, "I should have said this or said that." I no longer do that. I make sure that what I will say is in God's will and then it doesn't matter at all what else could have been said. Perhaps God will give someone else that portion later on down the line. I don't know. It isn't my job to know. I can't see the whole picture. I only see in part, the part that God reveals to me.
II guess once you do what God requests it is time to "let go and let God."
|6/24/02 Giving and Getting|
blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."
|COMMENTS: Oh boy can God bless! Wowie! There is nobody on earth that can
come near to offering what God gives!
In the opening message I gave a rundown of the blessings that have been showered on our family this past week. I am still finding myself just in awe of God. I just have to sit and shake my head in amazement.
A little while ago the salesman from the car dealership where we bought our car called me. He seemed surprised that I sounded so happy. Well, yes, I am happier than usual, but I usually am fairly happy sounding when I answer the phone. However, he hears something in my voice. He will tie that in with the witnessing I gave last night at the dealership. I was telling him there is no such thing as luck and was telling him how God preserved our son's life in his car accident.
Oh that everyone would realize that God is capable of miracles! Oh that everyone would realize that God can provide peace in the midst of chaos! I am rich!! I am rich in blessings, peace, comfort, love, and joy! I am rich because I have an endless source of all my needs! I am rich because I am a child of the King!
A number of years ago I gave my children to God. I imagined myself walking up to Him and placing them in His lap and then walking away, leaving them there. I admitted to Him that I was not able to protect them or care for them the way He was.
As I was typing that it occurred to me that last year I was thanking God for our new camper. He told me to give it to Him. The thought went through my head that maybe He was going to take it away from us. However, if He should decide to do that I would have to allow Him to do so since it would be for the best. Now, I certainly wouldn't agree that could possibly be for the best, but I have to have faith in Him that He is going to do what is necessary. If that meant taking away our camper, so be it. Then, after I told God the camper was His He told me to give my son Casey to Him.
Ohhhhhh, my heart felt like it was being torn open! The thought passed through my mind that we would be in a car accident and the truck and camper would be totaled and Casey would be killed. It took me a few moments to wrestle with that, but I knew that I couldn't protect my son in my flesh. I knew that God is God and He has the master plan and I had to have enough faith to allow Him to do what He willed. So, I gave Casey to Him (again).
Now, look at what God did! There is no doubt that Casey's lack of serious injury was a miracle! God preserved him better than any airbag could have done and better than I could have done!
We must learn how to let go of things and have faith that God will always do what is best. We can't always see what is best, but God can. It isn't easy to have that much faith, but God will help us with that, too!
|3/18/03 Got Faith?|
without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek
|COMMENTS: Faith in what? Faith in God. Faith that He CAN and WILL do what He
has said. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Without faith we are
like a trumpet in a world with no sound. Without faith we are like a book
with no pages.
If we don't have faith then we don't really believe God is God. It isn't possible to pick and choose what we will believe about God and what we won't without affecting our relationship with God. He wants us to accept Him and believe Him 100%.
Faith like that doesn't come naturally in the flesh. We have to allow God to give us the faith. Then we have to not modify it to fit into our preconceived ideas or into our comfort zone.
Seeking God is seeking to know more about Him. Yet, we must go with open minds, faith not wavering. I've used this example before, but it is a good one so I will use it again.
"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Jesus said if we had the tiniest amount of faith we could move a mountain. He may have been referring to a large problem as a mountain, but let's look at it as an actual mountain. Is there anything to prevent us from moving a mountain if God tells us that He will empower us and expects us to move one? Do you believe that God can move a mountain from one location to another? It doesn't matter if you think He won't have a reason to move it, the question is do you believe He can?
This scripture says NOTHING will be impossible for us if we have enough faith. So, if we seek God and find out what he wants us to do is there any reason we won't be able to do it?
What has God done in the past? Can He do it again? Can He do even more?
I believe President George Bush is praying about the actions he is taking. Perhaps he isn't waiting for the answers, I don't know. Perhaps he has clearly received direction from God. That I don't know, either. However, President Bush is a Christian and does pray. I'd say the United States is very fortunate to have him for a president at this point in time just like we were fortunate to have his father as president during the previous conflicts. God is going to honor the fact that President Bush is seeking Him.
Let's pray for him and pray for God's will to be done. After all, my opinion regarding the political situation is nothing more than words. God's opinion is what matters.
|7/30/03 This IS the Day!|
is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
No matter what happens in a day, it is a day that the Lord has made.
Good or bad it may seem to us, God made it. So, what's so great about
a bad day? Sometimes we don't see the good in a day. Sometimes
we are so focused on the bad parts we don't take time to look for any good
parts. I need to stop myself sometimes and put things in perspective.
I have to think about what is good and remind myself.
Some days those things could include:
Usually, if I make a list of good and bad things the good side is 50 times greater than the bad side! Then, too, I remind myself of the scripture that sustains me through trials. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Rom 8:28) No matter what, God already has a plan of how He is going to make something good out of something that seems bad to me.
Putting things in perspective isn't always easy. Sometimes things seem much bigger and much more important than they actually are. One thing I want to be able to do and have asked God to help me to do is to see everything and everybody through His eyes. Now THERE'S perspective!!
|Link to 7/30/03 welcome message.|
|9/1/05 Bound With God|
|"Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul
of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and
the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of
|This was Abigail,
the wife of Nabal. To find out the story of why she was talking to
David you'll have to go read the first part of chapter 25.
The part that we are going to focus on is where she says,
"the soul of my lord [David] shall be bound in the bundle of life with the
LORD thy God."
In verse 30 she says, "when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee...." So, what it is saying is God had a plan for David's life and had let David know what that plan was. David knew the job he had to do for God. Think about it.
When we are doing what God wants us to be doing and when He has other plans for us then WE ARE BOUND IN THE BUNDLE OF LIFE WITH GOD! He has us bound up with Him and is protecting our lives! That's all I'm going to say because now it is time for you to think about that and tuck it down into your heart and, more importantly, stick it in your brain!
|5/12/06 Your Opinion Doesn't Change God|
|"Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the
beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants
thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain,
and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in"
reasons people are not comfortable with letting God be God. They
prefer to have Him stay in Heaven and leave them alone. They prefer to
believe that He doesn't want us to do anything but be "good" and, in
return, He will give us money, blessings, protection, and more. They
think He won't punish them for things they do wrong. It's almost like
they think that if they ignore God He will ignore them in return!
As an example lets say people establish and entire city near the base of a mountain that last experienced volcanic activity over 1500 years ago. Everyone in that town chooses believe that the mountain will not have a volcanic eruption and destroy the town. After all, the mountain certainly doesn't look dangerous. In the winter it has a lovely snow covering and ski slopes. The snow skiing business brings lots of money in to the town and it becomes a gold mine for the businesses.
In the summer there are beautiful forests, wildlife, and birds. Tourists still come in the summer to ride the ski lifts up to the top where it is cool and beautiful, perfect for hiking. It is just a lovely mountain and nothing to fear. Since the mountain is so lovely and is such a financial bonanza everyone that lives in the town ignores the fact that it is not only a mountain, it is a volcano.
Some of the people of the town have chosen to believe that it won't erupt and the rest hope that it won't. Those that believe that it won't pass that belief on to their children and to other people.
For example, a new family comes to the town to buy a house because it is so beautiful. The real estate agent tells them that there is nothing to fear in that town and they believe it. After all, who is more knowledgeable about property than a real estate agent? When the children get older the parents, truly believing there is nothing to fear, tell them that there is nothing to fear. The children believe it because they know their parents won't lie to them. Do you see where I'm going with this?
That's what people do with God. They cozy up close to Him and enjoy the blessings and protection He provides. They go to church and learn all about what He has for them from their pastor. After all, who is more knowledgeable about God than a pastor? Then they pass on that belief about God to their children.
Some people never examine the uncomfortable scriptures about God and that includes pastors and teachers of the Word! They don't talk about the fear of the Lord, examples of God's tremendous anger toward people He loves just for complaining and wanting meat (Num 11), repentance, or any other topics that are not fun to snuggle up to. (There is a study available called God Wouldn't Do That! Would He? giving examples of God's anger.)
People settle in to their cozy place next to God and believe that there is nothing to fear. They pick and choose the things they want to believe about God. Scriptures are interpreted in the light of what sounds the most pleasant and comfortable. They often choose to believe that He won't do the types of things that are written in the Bible. After all, who wants to even consider that God will kill you because you are lusting after some meat?
A person's opinion about a volcano not being dangerous does not change the volcano. The volcano will not change its behavior to fit within any one person's ideas about it.
It is the same with God. He is who He is. He does not change to fit our idea of what we want Him to be.
Our scripture gives a taste of how powerful God is. He created the universe as easily as you can pull a curtain across a window! In comparison to Him we are like grasshoppers, something very small. In the scheme of things grasshoppers are not worth much. As a matter of fact I think they are annoying. They eat things in my garden.
Look at verse 12, "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?" Who? Why, God, of course! We are a speck to Him!
We must all walk carefully. "All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity (vs 17)." We aren't as special as we think we are. We can't do whatever we want without some kind of consequences.
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Gal 6:7) We must give God the respect that He requires and deserves. We need to fear the Lord (See the last study for more about the fear of the Lord.) We need to get out of the ME mode and into the HIM mode! God sees what we are doing. We aren't fooling Him.
|11/4/09 That Doesn't Make Sense|
"For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have
mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
There are a lot of things about God that are hard to understand.
This is one of those things. God picks and chooses among people.
When we are seeking God's will, laying ourselves before Him asking Him to remove everything in us that hinders our being His servant, and what seems like hell-fire begins raining down on us and our life turns upside down IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE! Why isn't He protecting us from disaster? Why doesn't He rain down blessings on us? After all, we've been obedient and seeking His face. I think about Noah. God blessed him, right?
Throughout the Bible God chooses some people over others. Sometimes it makes sense to us. Noah was chosen because God saw that he was righteous (Gen 7:1). That makes sense.
But when I start to think about it, I remember a lot more examples of things in the Bible that don't make sense when it comes to people getting what I feel they deserve.
Why did God choose Jacob over Esau? Jacob lied to trick his father into blessing him. (Gen 27:19) That doesn't make sense.
You know about Job. He went through many months of suffering for God to prove a point to satan. Satan's a jerk. Why would God waste His time proving something to him? That doesn't make sense.
The Israelites were tired of wandering in the wilderness. They were tired of manna bread, manna burgers, manna cereal, manna steaks, manna pudding, and manna casserole. Wouldn't you have been? They mumbled and grumbled. God sent fiery snakes to bite them and they died. (Num 21:4-6)What? Just for being frustrated? That doesn't make sense!
Romans 9:18-21 says:
"Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"
When I stop to think about it I see where God just may have known what He was doing, at least some of the time. When the Israelites were grumbling, what if the grumblers got them all to grumbling? What if they all decided to go back to Egypt?
When I compare my life to other people I can see where I have had some really awful things happen to me, things that seem to have a theme of "unfair" "mean" and just plain "weird". The more I try to be in God's will the more things happen it seems.
I should just give up and walk away from God because sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. On the other hand, why haven't I gone crazy? Why haven't I buckled under the load? There are a number of people who are amazed that I haven't been squished flat.
God has sustained me. I am the clay and He is the Potter. Even if I can't see any good coming out of my trials I must have faith that He knows what He is doing. Some of the trials have made me stronger, some have helped other people, and some have no results that I can see.
Did Job know why God allowed all the sorrows to be heaped on him? The Bible doesn't say he knows. I doubt if he did.
Let me encourage you with this scripture:
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."
God WILL comfort us and help us through our trials and tribulations. At the very least we will be able to have the strength to comfort others. Have you ever been able to minister to someone by saying, "I've been there myself"? Sometimes that is the only way that someone will listen to you.
Jesus suffered. Why should we think we shouldn't?
So, when the trials get heavy remember that God will keep you from being crushed completely flat. When you look back you will see His hand was holding you up.
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