Journey 9-6-06

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Just down the street from where I live they are tearing down an apartment building. As I walk by I can see into rooms that used to house families, I can see doors hanging off hinges and most disconcerting, I see stairways that lead to nowhere. If you were on the stairway going down you end at a 6 story drop and if you were going up there is no more roof, just the sky.

I was thinking this week about those broken stairways. Standing on one of those steps you would be trapped, with nowhere to go. Mankind is in that same position, but Jesus bridges the gap between men and God. He becomes the stairs that allow us to reach our destination. While the building with gaping holes and broken stairs inspires thoughts of sadness, the thought of How Jesus made a way for us brings such joy. He is the way and He can build something new and wonderful when we surrender our life to Him.

Journey 8-30-06

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

But God is so much more than a list of do’s and don’ts. He is Holy and desires for us to live in holiness, but He is also grace and mercy. Christ is the one who gave himself in our place, His mercy granting God justice for sin and our forgiveness. It is so much beyond what any man can imagine that we don’t have to earn our standing with God. To accept that gift is precious. And then to live as imitators of that love is our response. It isn’t as clear cut as a directive of do exactly this, but it is so much better. The God who created us has a specific and special plan for each of our lives and we find that plan by simply imitating Him and walking in His love.

It is a good reminder to me as I look at where God has brought me from and what He has brought me to. He is leading me in that same love that sacrificed on my behalf and my job is to imitate Him and live a life of love.

Journey 8-22-06

This is what the LORD says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The devotional book that I am reading has been focusing on contentment as the theme for August. As I have been reading the stories and thoughts and prayers of others I have been greatly challenged, humbled and encouraged. I have read about contentment in want and contentment in plenty, about contentment in the midst of blessing and in the midst of sorrow. But the overall message that I have seen is that contentment comes from an eternal view. It is seeing the Big Picture and evaluating life in perspective.

I thought about the verse above and how God says to find the good way and walk in it. The good way leads to truth and hope and a promise of eternity in the presence of the Lord who loves us and gave Himself for us. I lose sight of how to be content when I take my eyes off of the destination and the goal and see only the short stretch of road before me. Or sometimes I see only the path that is behind me and all the other paths that I can not go back and travel. When I take my eyes off the big picture my soul is burdened and my heart is heavy. I want to see with eternal eyes and walk in the good way. And the key to the puzzle? God says to ask. I need to be asking God to lead and guide me, to teach me to obey and walk in the right way. Then I can have rest and contentment whatever my circumstances.

Journey 8-9-06

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:37b-38

I’ve been rereading a book called Splash the Living Water by Esther Burroughs. The first chapter impacted me the same way this time as it did the last time I read it. The message repeated throughout the chapter: “…And she was thirsty.”

How often do I look around and see people involved in normal, everyday activities and forget that many of them are dying of thirst. Many are thirsty and don’t even realize that they are trying to quench their thirst with things that only dehydrate them in the end. But there are some, who search for the drink to quench their thirst, who are looking for the living water. Am I aware of their thirst? Am I aware of those moments when God puts them into my path so that I can offer them a drink? May I see with His eyes and stand with glass in hand so that the sentence may read, …and she was thirsty, but now her thirst is quenched by the streams of living water.”

Journey 8-2-06

The Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” John 7:15-16a

I want to share with you a quote and some of my recent thoughts that relate to it.

“The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart – it is a book full of all the greed and glory and violence and tenderness and sex and betrayal that befits mankind. It is not a collection of pretty little anecdotes mouthed by pious little church mice – it does not so much nibble at our shoe leather as it cuts to the heart and splits the marrow from the bone. It dies not give us answers fitted to our small-minded questions, but truth that goes beyond what we even know to ask.” Rich Mullins.

Are you ever surprised by what God says and how He speaks to a room full of people, but really He is speaking just to you? Are you ever amazed at how the Word that you have heard maybe a thousand times can go straight to your heart and penetrate the depth of your soul? I am amazed by the teaching of Jesus Christ and the whole counsel of the Word of God. It is like a mirror into my very soul, used to refine my life and make mold me into the woman that I long to be. And I am astounded when I see God take His Word and use it to change other people’s lives as well as my own.

I was reminded this week of the power of the Word. The message it contains can change the life of the lowest of low who is so far gone that society doesn’t even acknowledge his/her existence. And the truth it reveals can change the life of the person who appears to have it all together but is trapped by the mask of success that they wear. It is the message that gives hope to the broken and joy to the rescued. It is God’s gift to us and I urge you, even as I remind myself, that if we will seek God in the pages of His Word then He will meet us there.

Journey 7-26-06

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deed among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise! 1 Chronicles 16:8,10,23-25a

My thoughts are swirling around in my head today. I am in awe of our great God.

I stand in awe of what sacrifice He made to show his great love for us.

I am captivated by this love that seeks me, this love that draws men out of darkness to light.

A love so great that it doesn’t wait for a response. A love that pursues us and gives hope to those lost in despair.

How great is our God that He chooses to love us! He is so worthy to praised and I will proclaim among the nations what He has done!

Journey 7-17-06

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” John 6:28-29.

This is what we desire for the campers that we are working with. That they will realize that the work that God requires from them is belief in the saving work of Jesus.

Journey 7-7-06

Wait for the LORD; be strong, take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

“Where God’s glory is gaining a foothold, Satan will not sit idle. Die to self…. Be desperate and dependent. Walk by faith, embrace the unknown and watch the deliverance of God.”*

God is teaching me more and more what it means to be desperate and dependent on Him. I wait for the Lord and wait to see His glory revealed.

*From Voices of the Faithful, July 1

Journey 6-28-06

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. Eph. 1:7-8a

How great is his mercy and how immeasurable the love of our God! May I learn to live in that love, giving grace and demonstrating love to a world in desperate need of redemption.

Journey 6-21-06

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. 2 Timothy 2:8a

Last Sunday the sermon was on this verse and it went straight to the core of all my thoughts. Remember Jesus Christ. Doesn’t that put all of life in perspective? When life isn’t exactly as you want it to be, evaluate it in light of Jesus. Remember who He is and what He has done. Remember that He is alive and able! He is raised from the dead. Remember that he was also descended from David. He walked this earth as a man. He understands the struggles we encounter. Remember Jesus Christ. Great advice for Timothy and for me.