When I was nineteen years old, my parents decided to build a new brick home with three bedrooms, a formal living room and dining room, and a den! We put our old house up for sale and it sold about six months before we were ready. That meant moving into very cramped temporary quarters with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a one car garage (which we used for everything but cars). The closet in my bedroom had been converted into a kitchen pantry, so I lived out of a suitcase during those months. I didn't complain much, however, because my younger sister slept on the couch.
The worst part about it was being in transition all that time, knowing that nothing was permanent. I can't say that I know how the Children of Israel felt during their years of wandering, but it was as close to their experience as this city boy wants to get!
At last, Jehovah told David that is was time to settle down. "I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt to this day. I have moved from one tent site to another, from one dwelling place to another." (1 Chronicles 17:5) Why did God decide to exchange His tent for a temple? Some think the temple was built after Israel became firmly established in the Promised Land. Others say that the temple, built on a firm foundation of solid rock, pointed toward the coming Messiah... the rock of our salvation.
Some Christians spend their lives being "unsettled" in their relationship with God. Instead of enjoying a life built upon a solid foundation of faith, they ride the roller coaster of inconsistency. Beloved, become settled in your Christian walk. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you the unchanging truths of God's Word. Enjoy the blessings of a firm foundation by exchanging your nomadic relationship with God for one that is secure, solid and safe.
GospeLines Prayer: (Borrowed from Psalm 84)
"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God... Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."
I am often mystified and excited when I find that others are praying for me and comfort me when I least expect it. I have a mother in my life who remembered me recently in a most unexpected way. She’s actually a dear friend’s mother, Mrs. Branch, and we saw each other at church, but didn’t have a chance to speak.
So, with her infinite wisdom, she wanted to gift me with a blessing and she sent the following poem to me in the mail with a loving note. I delight in sharing God’s message.
A Poem given to me by God’s Holy Spirit (April 1992)
I am God’s masterpiece
Perfect, whole, complete
There is no other like me
He does not himself repeat
I am God’s masterpiece
On cosmic wings I soar
Over land, air, sky and seashore
To knock at millennium’s door
I am God’s masterpiece
And I can see all souls are too
So fearful and wonderfully made are we
Thank you God for one and all
And so it is… Amen, Amen, Amen
GospeLines Prayer: Father, have I thanked you today? If not, I thank you for your love and for your Word at most unexpected times and in unexpected ways. You always seem to know what I need just when I need it. I am blessed to have the Angels you’ve sent and there have been many. I thank you for the Word you bring via email, snail mail or over the phone.
I thank you for those praying Sisters who hear my cry and for the shoulder they provide. I thank you for those moments when I can drop to my knees and pray; and, in those times when I can’t that you know my heart.
I ask that you help me be a blessing to others. Enlarge my territory through your wisdom and your Word.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, April 9, 2008
"Fill ‘er Up!"
Anthony Davis tells about running out of gas on a lonely stretch of highway and being told by a motorist that there was a gas station a half-mile away. So he took the gas can from the trunk and trudged the distance in the sweltering sun. The attendant filled the two-gallon can and Anthony lugged it back and poured the gas into the tank. But when he tried to unlock the door it wouldn't open. It was then that he noticed an identical car parked a short distance away. THAT was his car; he had filled a stranger's tank.
Too many Christian's are so busy trying to fill the other person's tank that they neglect their own spiritual needs. (Pastors are too often guilty of this. Ask how I know?) Consequently, they find themselves slipping into slothful lifestyles or spiritual poverty because they have no energy for refueling. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you will take the time needed for replenishing your own spiritual and physical resources, thereby gaining more strength for dedicated service in the future.
GospeLines Prayer:O, Lord, in the morning you refresh me from a restful night's slumber. At night you comfort me with kudos from a successful day of serving You, and watch over me while I sleep. Throughout the day, you walk with me and whisper promises of encouragement in my ear. How tireless your mercy is toward me. My heart is overflowing with praise for your endless love and watchcare over me. I praise you for caring about me twenty-four seven, even when I cannot slow down to care about myself. Amen and amen.
Jesus said that His sheep follow Him because they know His voice (John 10:4).Unfortunately, many people will follow anyone who sounds correct...
Jesus warned us to watch out that we are not deceived because many will come in His name, claiming to be the Christ (Luke 21:7-9).He emphatically added, “Do not follow them!”
Repeatedly, scripture warns us not to be deceived (1st Corinthians 6:8-10; James 1:15-17)
Paul warned the Corinthians about someone preaching a “false Jesus” when he said, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ…”(2nd Corinthians 11:3-4)
If you're not completely convinced that the Bible is the Word of God, you are susceptible because false teachers can insert new ideas and new doctrines that sound good but are contrary to the Word.
Christians who are not adequately founded in the Word are susceptible to false interpretations, interpretations taken out of context or truths that are distorted.
The Bereans “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” because they didn’t want to be deceived. (Acts 17:1)
John tells us at the very beginning of his gospel that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”The Word… Jesus, the Messiah.John goes on to tell us that Christ is the light that shines in the darkness (world); but, the darkness doesn’t understand it.
The world doesn’t understand because, without the Spirit, no one can accept things that come from the Spirit - they are foolishness to them, and they cannot understand them - because they are spiritually discerned. God’s children are not taught by human wisdom but by the Spirit.(1st Corinthians 2:13-14 – NIV)
Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)
If you hold to His teaching (His Word), if you live, move and have your being in His truth, you are His offspring (Acts 17:28) and you will never be deceived. Hallelujah!Amen and amen!
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
Surrounded by snow-covered mountains, we sped along the frozen Canadian tundra at the top speed of 20 mph. The sled dogs were yelping, the guide was shouting, and I was holding on with all my strength.One of my childhood dreams was being fulfilled.
I have always wanted to drive a dogsled across frozen snow in the dead of winter!The song of David rang in my ears on that crisp day:“For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.In his hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to him.”Psalm 95:3-4
Without warning, my foot slipped off the narrow runner and my knees hit the hard surface.In a split second, all I could recall was the warning of our guide at the outset... “WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T TURN LOOSE OF THE RAIL.”And that is all that saved me.Skinned knees, bruised ego, wet jeans, but I held on.
When you feel your life suddenly slipping toward unexpected disaster, if you remember nothing else at all in that split-second, HOLD ON TO THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SAVE YOU... and never let go of Jesus Christ, your rock and your salvation.