Thursday, May 29, 2014

Unfolded by the Spirit

Every word You give me is a miracle-word -
how could I help but obey?
Break open Your words, let the light shine out,
let ordinary people see the meaning.
Psalm 119:129-130 The Message

Between the skeptics and unbelievers, questions swirl around Christians. The world constantly queries the Bible and seeks to discredit it on many fronts. Sometimes, even Christians have difficulty explaining God's Living Word. Words from Ray Stedman's The Power of His Presence give a good description of the Old and New Testaments and why both are still relevant.
first gardenia of 2014! ~dho

"The Old Testament is designed to be a picture book, illustrating with fascinating stories the spiritual truths presented in the New Testament. . . One of the most convincing proofs of the inspiration of the Bible is the facility with which the Spirit of God took simple history - facts as they were lived out day by day - and recorded them in such a way as to weave together a totally accurate pattern of the development of spiritual life. In other words, what took place physically in the Old Testament is a picture for believers today of what takes place spiritually in their own growth in grace."

The NASB uses these words in Psalm 119:130 ~ The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. When we spend time reading the Living Word, God's promises and spiritual truths are unfolded by the Spirit. Through studying the Scriptures, we begin to understand more about the character of God and His purposes for us.

Gracious LORD, I come to the altar shouting
praise for all the blessings in my life. You are
the Light that writes the words of my soul-song.
It is You that gives my heart its desires.
Faithful Father, I am God-strong; my blessings
abundantly exceed my needs. Creator, gather
the details of my life, take Your holy threads and
weave a tapestry of Your design. You transcend
all circumstances, expose all evil, reveal all love
but never measure Grace. I am God-strengthened!
 ~dho

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Divine Retreat

He will shield you with His wings. He will shelter you with His feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4 NLT

God’s faithfulness provides safe shelter for His own. Whether the metaphor refers to feathers of angels or eagles and hens (see Matthew 23:37), trusting in this living God becomes a shield for the fearful, the forgotten, the desperate, the dying, the wounded, the weary. The world reeks of danger and uncertainty, but we find our refuge, our safe place in the embrace of God Almighty.

Whether the context is Moses reminding the Israelites or Jesus grieving over Jerusalem or the world churning its chaos, God longs to sit in the inner sanctuary, to have communion and fellowship with those who seek Him. So come to a place of safety, a place of Divine Protection, a place of unfailing love. El Shaddai, You are my safe place, my port in life’s storms, my retreat from daily struggles, my shelter from Satan’s lies. Great is Your faithfulness; be my salvation. - dho

Focus Point: The world reeks of danger and uncertainty, but we find our refuge, our safe place in the embrace of God Almighty.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Faithfulness

MAY is National Brain Tumor Awareness month! Celebrating my nephew, Thomas! July 2011, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, sent immediately to Duke Children's hospital, underwent surgery and weeks of radiation treatments. Almost three years later, Thomas remains cancer free! To God be the glory!         Go GRAY in MAY!       

To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith – 
the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1Corinthians 1:9 NKJV

God is sovereign, all-powerful! This attribute of God’s character escapes our full understanding but becomes the truth a faithful follower accepts. Our loyalty to Christ reveals itself by our faith in God. When things fall apart, when circumstances become difficult, when we can no longer see God’s purpose – we have a tendency to doubt, blame, and criticize. This eroding of personal faith affects our spiritual health and witness. Our faith must stay grounded in the faithfulness of God, not in our ability to understand the situation.

In our faithfulness to God, perseverance must continue, as well as loyal devotion with Christ as the “object of our faith”. Especially when we do not comprehend, trusting in a faithful God brings the soul true hope and provides rest in fellowship with Christ. On this journey there are many unexpected roads that lead to despair, wind through darkness, or pass over mountains, and God always goes before us. Our continued faithfulness in God “in every circumstance” finds its greatest purpose in allowing God to work through us.
El Shaddai, Lord God Almighty – renew Your gift of my faith. Reach through me to others that need to know of Your power. Let my story be: Great is Your faithfulness to me, in every situation. –dho


Focus Point: Our faith must stay grounded in the faithfulness of God, not in our ability to understand the situation.