God Speaks

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth (Ps 119:103)

I know God speaks, but do I want to listen? I am doing just fine on my own.

 

Am I afraid of what God is going to say me? I am told God is a consuming fire and a jealous God – will he speak words of punishment that will cause me to beg him to be silent? Will he command me to do things that I am unable or unwilling to do?

 

Will I turn away from the one who warns from heaven? Will I refuse the God who speaks?

 

God’s powerful words laid the earth’s foundations in place and set the heaven’s in place. His trustworthy words call out at the city gates.

 

God’s eternal words lead to the paths of righteousness, shining ever brighter until the full light of day. His words lead to safety, away from snares that cause feet to stumble. His words cast out all fear, and bring sweet sleep. His words are the way of faithfulness.

 

God’s unblemished words are words of unfailing love. His good word leads to blessing, and to the favor of the Lord. His words are right and true. Words that open eyes to see amazing things.

 

God’s flawless words offer wisdom, knowledge, judgment, understanding, insight, discretion and discernment. His words are more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. They are more precious than rubies. His words are words of counsel and sound judgment. They are words of insight and power.

 

 

God’s perfect words are a bubbling brook of love, grace, compassion, that cleanses with comfort and healing. His words provide strength to face the day. God calls you by your name.

 

God’s desires to teach his words. His Sweet words are the only way to stay on the path of purity. His words light the path. His strong words lead away and rescue from sin and shame.

 

God’s wonderful words are a refuge and shield in times of trouble. His delightful words sustain and uphold those who are lonely, despised, in trouble or distress. His words answer every cry for help through the watches of the night.

 

God’s words are alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, they penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. They judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart 1.

 

Each of God’s words will accomplish what he desires, and will achieve the purpose for which they were spoken. Not one of his words is wasted.

 

The paradox of listening to and obeying God’s words is that his words lead to freedom.

 

Hope anchored in God’s words will never be shaken for his words are eternal. God’s words stand firm in the heavens.

 

Living a life responding to God’s word is proof of the existence and character of God.

 

Prayer:
My ways are in full view of you Lord. You examine all my paths. Search me and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me 2.

 

Today I choose to write God’s words on my heart that I might not sin. Today I choose to obey God’s words with grateful trust and love. Today, with thanksgiving that God has spoken, I choose to worship with awe and reverence. Help me to hear your voice as you walk in righteousness through my workplace and city.

 

Scripture – Hebrews 12:25-29 
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”.

 

A Royal Invitation

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28

Come with joyful songs! For the Lord is good and his love endures forever!

Come, enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise!

Come as God’s precious child and worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, for God’s faithfulness continues through all generations!

Come to Christ when your work burdens you down and find rest for your soul!

Come, when the process is long and your losing your song in the night, and hear the cloud of faithful witness cheering you on!

Come, when your spirit has been drained by your cares for the people around you, and let your soul be refreshed in God’s Kingdom!

Come with your broken heart or your pillows soaked in tears, and allow God to comfort you!

Come from the turmoil of your work and experience God’s peace that passes all understanding!

Come in humility and trust out of the midst of the noise of bullies and self-proclaimed heroes to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Come when you are hungering and thirsting for righteousness in your workplace, and allow God to fill your soul to overflowing with love, joy, peace and the deepest longings of your heart!

Come in purity of heart and see God in all his glory, majesty, splendor and holiness!

Come as a child and crawl confidently into God’s lap, or leap into God’s arms and soak in God’s love as he hugs you tightly!

Come when you are persecuted for righteousness – for you do not belong to this world, but to the kingdom of heaven!

Come when you have sinned and allow the blood of Christ to cleanse you from all unrighteousness and wash your sins away never to be remembered again. Then bow down at the feet of the Living God, the Holy and Righteous Judge – you won’t be condemned!

Come, you won’t be chased away! You will be welcomed! This is where you belong!

Come joyfully to worship and celebrate with the assembly of angels in God’s presence!

Come proclaiming “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Heb 12:22-24)

Persevere

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(Hebrews 12:1-2) 


Persevere in your faith. The multitudes of Christians who have gone before you, living lives grounded in God’s grace, are cheering you on to continue to be faithful. They have proven that God is faithful. Their lives are a testimony of God’s unseen power to deliver. They assure you that God’s promises are real, reliable and trustworthy.

The life of faith that you are called to live was chosen for you by God before you were born. God is too wise to have made a mistake about the unique path of faith you are called to follow. Endure to the end on the path God laid out for you with patient obedience and reliance on God’s promises and power.

Be careful! There are many things along this path that will tempt you, burden you and drag you down, or tangle up your feet so that you can’t move forward.

Don’t fall in the trap of comparing yourself or your path to other people. Your journey of faith is unique. Jesus reminded Peter, that Peter must follow Jesus and not worry about God’s plans other disciples.

Don’t be tempted by the god’s of this world. Heed the warning given by the lives of the Israelites who didn’t remove all the idols from the land of Caanan. Those idols ensnared them and they ended up forsaking God for idols.

Guard your tongue. “For the mouths of fools are their undoing and their lips are a snare to their very lives” (Prov 18:7). “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare” (Prov 21:6).

Perhaps you are like Jonah, or David and Bathsheba and find yourself caught in sin. Sin which has entangled you keeps you from moving forward in your life. Sin clouds your vision so you can’t see God’s light along your path. The same peace that David testified to in the Psalms when he confessed his sin, is available to you. When you confess your sin and admit your mistakes Jesus will freely forgive you, and once again you will be able to relax and rest as you enjoy the grace, joy and peace of our loving Savior.

As you are faithfully doing your job day in and day out, as a parent or an employee be assured that there are no little people and no little places in God’s Kingdom. You have the same infinite value as every person of faith.  Ruth and Naomi bear witness to the possibilities of an unassuming life of faith.

Maybe some of you are looking at all you have accomplished like the man in Jesus’ parable who had just reaped an abundant harvest and was looking to build bigger barns. Others of you know that what you have built is holding together precariously like a house of cards and you are afraid that it will all fall apart if you move on. Just as Joseph faithfully believed that God would deliver his descendants back to the Promised Land, you can release what you have built (your church, your company, your department, your program, your ministry) into God hands and trust God to redeem, restore and deliver.

Maybe you feel like you aren’t qualified or capable, like Moses when God called him from a burning bush. Moses life demonstrates that God equips those he calls with the right stuff at the right time. Moses is cheering you on as you obediently take each step in faith, trusting in God to equip you.

Persevere with your eyes fixed on Jesus so you don’t have to worry about being snared by sin. Jesus sees the temptations and snares around you, and will safely guide you past them. If you have taken your eyes off Jesus, look again at Jesus and see the compassion and love in his eyes for you. He understands your struggles and doubts for he has experienced these himself. He is your High Priest who offers you the cleansing and forgiveness you need so that it is possible for you to enter God’s presence right now.

Your faith depends on Jesus alone from start to finish. Jesus has blazed the trail of faith to its triumphant finish at throne room of heaven, and now walks beside you. Jesus is the fully sufficient Savior who alone is enabling you to persevere and attain the goal of your faith.

As you look at Jesus, see the joy that awaits you in God’s Kingdom. Persevere in your faith with your eyes fixed on Jesus who is waiting for you at the finish line. Jesus is fully sufficient! You don’t need anything else or anyone else. Your destiny is not in the hands of other people, managers, rulers or the government. Your life is safe in the strong hands of Jesus, the King of Kings, who is sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven.

Persevere to the end! Finish the race! Keep the faith! There is in store for you the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you on that day. (Heb 4:7-8)

Read Psalm 91 on Bible Gateway

Do Not Be Discouraged

He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities. 
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, 
so great is his love for those who fear him; 
as far as the east is from the west, 
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 
(Psalm 103:10-12) 

When you hear the names Gideon or Samson what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is your first thought about Gideon’s fleece, or Samson and Delilah? Or do their stories remind you of God? It is interesting that when we think of people, we often think of their colorful faults or weaknesses.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that when God sees Gideon, or Samson he doesn’t see someone who is frightened, or someone who was just as interested in women as serving God. God remembers their faith! Their stories are examples of God’s grace, forgiveness, mercy and power.

Do not let your faults and mistakes discourage you! Do not believe Satan when he tells you that you are unworthy when your faith fails at times. For in each one us something sinful can be found. My faith is halting and imperfect many times. However, none of that changes how God sees us. God sees us as men and women of faith.

When our faith falters at times, when our faith is imperfect and incomplete Jesus intercedes on our behalf to God, his Father and our Father. Jesus says “I died for their imperfections, and faltering faith.” And with great joy God replies, “Yes my son, because you willingly shed your blood for them, I have taken away their sins! I find no fault in these my precious children”

Hear the words that God has to say to you today … “I find no fault in you!”

Do not be discouraged! Press on in faith!

Your life is a story of God’s grace, forgiveness, mercy and power. Your story brings renewed hope to the people around you, and to future generations!

Since God sees no fault in you, in faith fulfill the calling God has placed in your heart! Continue to be a faithful husband or wife! Continue to be a faithful worker, manager, student, entrepreneur, or author!

May many people be inspired as your life story demonstrates God’s ability to turn weakness into strength and to deliver in times of need!

Read Hebrews 11:32-40 on BibleGateway

Abraham’s Story

When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.
(2 Sam 23:3-4 NIV)


 A life anchored in faith, living as a citizen of heaven, sets you free to enjoy everything this world, God’s creation, has to offer. As a person of faith you can live here and now your life to the max. With your faith grounded in God’s Kingdom, as an employee, manager, or executive, as a parent, a friend, a spouse, or a student you have the privilege of enriching the lives of those around you.

 

In Genesis 12 God appears to Abraham with a call and a promise. A call to follow God to a land that God would show him, and a promise to bless Abraham and to make Abraham a blessing.

 

Abraham chose to obey God leaving behind the ‘seen’ world of his former days and launched into a project of ‘daring faith’ believing that the riches of the God’s Kingdom immeasurably surpassed anything this world had to offer. Abraham kept his focus on heaven – a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God.

 

When Abraham got to the Promised Land, by faith he made a reality of what wasn’t obvious to an onlooker. He started farming, he raised sheep, he dug wells. He worked hard, and was financially rewarded for the fruit of his hard labor. At the same time, he became respected by the people he lived among as a ‘Prince of God’ (Gen 23:6). He was viewed as a ruler among the people living in that area, and went so far as to go to battle to free the Kings of that area. Abraham’s servants (or employees as we would call them today) acknowledged that God was source of Abraham’s blessings (Gen 24:27).

 

While he enjoyed the wealth and prestige he earned by his labor, people knew that Abraham’s life rested on the stability of the promises of God, not on material things.

 

By going in faith where God sent him to go, Abraham brought glory to God. Abraham’s hard work and leadership amongst the people where he lived honored God. Abraham worshipped God by his quite faithful obedience throughout his life. And so God was not ashamed to be called the God of Abraham, and Abraham was counted as a righteous man.

 

When people observe your life, what do they see? Do they see your abilities, do they see what you have, or do they see your faith in God?

Rahab’s Story

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.(Prov 3:5-6 NIV)


Men from all over the known world came through her door to stay at her place. Over the years they told many stories. Stories of the Nile River teeming with frogs, and grasshoppers. Tales of flies swarming across Egypt and unprecedented thunderstorms and hail storms. People described to her how the Red Sea dried up, and a hundreds of thousands of people walked across safely to the other side like they were on dry ground. Then over a few drinks they laughed as they recalled the sight of the Egyptian chariots tossing and turning in the swirling waves of the Red Sea. Others guests told her of the amazing sight of seeing a flock of quail fly overhead and land amongst these people. Over breakfast a few people tried to compare the taste of Manna to the food she served them. She heard stories of water coming from a rock, and a mountain roaring with thunder and lightning. She heard stories of the magnificent tent that the people carried before them, and wondered what its purpose was if the people never used it for shelter.

There were rumors of strange rules that these people were to obey. Rules carved into two stone tablets that were carried inside a wooden box ornately decorated with gold. A box carried on two long poles, never touched by human hands. Rules that condemned what her guests would do with her at night.

More recently came stories of the towns that had been conquered by these nomad’s.

Strangers at her door …

One day two strangers showed up at her door. These men were different, they weren’t interested in her body.It didn’t take Rahab long to realize that these two men were from that nomadic group she had heard all the stories about. They told her they were Israelites, and confirmed the stories she heard. They explained to Rahab that it was the Lord God, creator of heaven and earth who had brought them out of Egypt, and to the other side of the Jordan River.

Rahab was faced with a choice that would define her destiny on earth, and for eternity. For her the choice was easy. Hearing all these stories, Rahab was convinced in her heart that the Lord God, is the supreme God of heaven above and earth below.

Rahab protected the two strangers. Rahab placed her faith in God, trusting that God who had brought the Israelites out of Egypt to the gates of her city, would faithfully protect her.

In the coming weeks after the spies returned to Joshua, Rahab’s faith in God would be thoroughly tested. Would they come back and rescue her?

Waiting … in faith (mixed with a little doubt?)

With her house built into the town wall, with a crimson cord lowered from her window she waited in faith. She waited in faith until the Israelites were camped outside Jericho. She waited for another seven days as day by day the Israelites walked around the walls of Jericho and passed under her window.

Did doubts swirl in her mind? Did she wonder if God would forgive her and redeem her on that seventh day as she watched the crimson cord in her window flutter seven times as the Israelites walked around the walls and passed under her window? She waited as the Israelites blew their trumpets, as her house shook when the walls around her came crashing down. She waited as she heard the Israelite army charge into town, as she heard the screams and noise as the Israelites killed, destroyed and burnt everything in sight. Would God remember her? Would God save her?

And then somebody was breaking down the door to her home …

God is faithful!!!

God was faithful. God was powerful. God rescued Rahab and her family. By faith she and her family moved out of her home and lived among the people of Israel. Her sins were forgiven! Her life was redeemed! Because of her faith, Jesus was not ashamed to call Rahab his ancestor.

God continues to be faithful. God is powerful. By faith you live in God’s Kingdom, among God’s people. Your sins are forgiven! Your life is redeemed! Because of your faith, God is not ashamed to call you his child!

Read Joshua 2 on BibleGateway

Walking with God

Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb 11:6)


God eagerly desires for you to walk with him. It doesn’t matter what you are wearing, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. It doesn’t matter who is around you. The joyous privilege of enjoying intimacy with God rests solely on God’s grace.

When you are walking with God, God won’t run ahead, and then jump out from behind a tree to scare you. When you are walking with God, God won’t run the orange light and disappear into traffic. Yahweh the one who delivers on his promises will stay by your side so that you can continuously look full on his wonderful face in every activity of your day.

God won’t hurt you, stomp on you, crush you, or say things against you when you are hurting. Instead the Good Shepherd will tenderly lift you up and carry you in his arms. The author of life and light won’t extinguish the spark of life and light inside you. No! He will help you fan the flame so that your light will shine brightly.

As you enjoy fellowship with God, you will learn God’s vocabulary of sin and grace. As you take the first step of faith with God, God will continue to turn your heart toward himself, and will teach you how to obediently keep his commands in all you say and do.

When you walk with God you are entering into a warm, prayerful, worshiping relationship with the Lord of the universe in a world that does not know peace or joy.

The cool thing is that when you are walking with God, you get to light up the darkest of rooms with the sweet fragrance of God’s grace. When you are in fellowship with God you bring God’s blessing of peace and joy to those around you. But even better than that, God is pleased with your faith!

What is holding you back from accepting God’s invitation to walk with him? Why are you afraid to do or say what God wants you to do or say? Is that part of your life that you want to hang onto for yourself really better than what God could offer you?

Faith @ Work – Bridging Two Worlds

Seek first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33-34)


At your workplace your life is intertwined with the real stories, hurts, experiences, fears, success and failures of your co-workers. At the same time, your life is immersed in the scriptures, living and inhaling the love, hope, and grace of Christ. How do you connect these two kingdoms? Or are they two separate worlds?

Bridging these worlds occurs as you interact with people. It is in your relationships with people that you exhale the love, hope and grace of God.

I would suggest that you can connect these two worlds by seeking God and his righteousness in the midst of the all the stories that your life is intertwined with. Doing your work with excellence, constantly learning and improving your skills, will earn you the right to be heard and respected for constantly seeking God and his righteousness.

Seeking God requires an absolute trust in the solid rock of your loving Heavenly Father. There is no place for worry in your heart when you are wholeheartedly seeking God. A life of trust, a life without worry is contagious. God knows your needs. God alone is capable of providing for your needs! God knows the hearts of the people you are dealing with. Only God can transform their hearts.

Seeking God’s righteousness requires a constant careful examination of your own life so that you guard against sin. This includes the sins of judging others, and focusing on the faults of others, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to transform your life into Christ’s image. An attitude of seeking God’s righteousness, involves an attitude of forgiveness towards others even as you have been forgiven. Christ is willing to forgive you and forgive your co-workers. God is able to provide you with wisdom so that your righteousness shines brightly in your conversations and conduct so that Christ in you, the hope of glory is revealed.

In quiet confidence, with your head held high, with a holy faith, knowing that you are secure in your Father’s hand – passionately ask, seek, and knock at the throne room of heaven on behalf of the real stories of your colleagues. Ask, seek and knock until they receive with gratitude God’s precious gifts, until they are transformed by Christ, until they open the door and enter by faith into God’s Kingdom.

 

Read Matthew 6:25-34 on BibleGateway

Faith @ Work – God upholds the righteous

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isa 43:1b)


How will you respond to what the people around you are doing? The Bible assures us that God knows what is going on and controls each person’s destiny. God guarantees the blameless that their righteousness will shine like the dawn and that they will spend eternity under the Lord’s care with an inheritance that will endure forever. So why expend energy fretting about other people when you can trust God’s promises to sustain the righteous?

Yes you may stumble, or fret, we all do – but God promises to uphold you with his mighty hand so that your feet never slip. God is your stronghold in times of trouble. Take refuge in God for he will never forsake you. As God’s righteous child, God will enable you to do good, to be just and faithful right where you are working and living today. Seek the Lord and God will grant you words of wisdom and a tongue that speaks what is just in every situation.

God cares for you, his child! You don’t need to get all worked up. Be still and wait patiently for God and in his time, his peace will flood your soul. God is trustworthy so focus your energies on doing good, and dwelling where God has placed you. God has showered you with an abundance of blessings, so invest your time in getting to know him more. Roll the burdens that people around you are placing on your back to the foot of the cross so that you are free to serve God better – for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

In the morning select one of God’s many precious promises and remind yourself of that promise before each activity throughout your workday.

Hope in the Lord and keep his way!!

Read Psalm 37 on BibleGateway

Faith @ Work – Stressful Work Days

A bruised reed he will not break,and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. (Isa 42:3)


Stressful days. Days when the boss drops three piles of work on your desk just as you are ready to go home and demands that it be ready for the next morning. Times when your computer dies when you have 15 minutes left to finish your presentation. Days when the best you can do is shake your head at the way your managers, customers, or co-workers are behaving. Days when it feels like you got out of the wrong side of bed, or everybody in your company got out of the wrong side of bed.

It’s hard to believe that Jesus meets us in our stress. There are times when I wish I hadn’t allowed the stress in my life to consume me. I wish I always could believe that Jesus who was wounded for my healing, loves to heal me in my stress so that I can bring healing to others. I know in my heart that this is a present reality, but in my mind I sometimes wonder if it is just a psychological possibility. Thanks be to God that Jesus rewards me for my faithfulness and not my feelings

Today Jesus in his righteousness is with you. Jesus is taken the broken places where your work, and the broken pieces of your life and raising them to new life and giving them new meaning. Because of Jesus’ infinite grace and the redemptive power of forgiveness, you are growing into a mature, compassionate and wise leader. Praise the Lord!

Jesus delights in your continued faithfulness in your workplace. Jesus mourns with your struggle to cope with yet another tough, stressful workday. Jesus continues to strengthen you so that you don’t grow weary you as you faithfully, prayerfully, possibly tearfully prepare to go back again tomorrow. Jesus knows your faithfulness. Jesus knows your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. Jesus knows that you continue to demonstrate Christ’s love in your workplace. Jesus knows that you have remained true to his Holy name, and not walked away from your faith. The one who is holy and true, knows your deeds, knows that though you are weak you continue to faithfully depend on his strength.

Continue to buy from God gold refined in the fire so that you build up treasures in heaven. Allow Christ to keep on cleansing you from all unrighteousness so that you may wear clothes washed whiter than snow. Allow Jesus to touch your eyes, so that you might see Christ. Continue to be faithful and one day Christ will crown you with the victor’s crown and grant you the right to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God. The day is coming when you will reign with him in glory forever.

Read Isa 43:1-4 on BibleGateway