Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

If you're a REBEL...

God loves YOU!
Don't be so surprised.  Just read Psalm 107:10-15:
"Those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and irons,
because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High;
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor.  They fell down, and there was none to help.
THEN they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains apart.
Oh, that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works toward the children of men."
The mercy and goodness of God are incredible.  If you are in a mess that you cannot solve today, in a difficult circumstance and you see no way out, God has an answer for you, but you must ask Him--and ask Him with all your heart. It is then that His power is released for you, to move the very foundations of the earth for your help.  He can "bring you out of darkness and the shadow of death, and release your chains," so that you are no longer a prisoner, no longer confined and awaiting certain death.
In a very real sense, everything in this equation depends on you.  You simply have to ASK.  Until you ask, God will turn a blind eye to your affliction, and until you ask with all your heart, it will seem as if there is no answer to be had.
This is a feature of the sovereignty of God.  HE runs the universe, and He is not at your beck and call. However, He is merciful and gracious, and the cry of the rebel calling on Him is never ignored.
do you have to "do something special?"  I don't know.  It is up to Him and you.  God can tell you what He wants pretty easily, don't you think? You got yourself into this mess. God wants to get you out.  Do you want out?  will you do what He says, and "seek for Him with all your heart?"  That's when you'll find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
Tired of the advancing shadow of death?? Feeling cold and alone with nobody there to help?  God can be at your side in a moment.  He can lift you up and fill your life with light, love, and warmth--and Himself.  Don't give up.  Go to God.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Whenever you're in trouble...

Call on the LORD.
Psalm 107 details a series of circumstances in which we can call on the LORD, and be heard and receive His help.
Here's the first one:
Psalm 107:
1      Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
3 And gathered from the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.
4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; They did not find a way to an inhabited city.
5 They were hungry and thirsty; Their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.
7 He led them also by a straight way, To go to an inhabited city.
8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!
The message here is for all who are alone, struggling, without any food or drink, living in the wilderness of life and gradually declining to the point of death.
God hears you when you call on Him.
Many times, we wait until there is no other hope available before we call on God.  We are hopelessly lost.  We are hungry.  We are thirsty.  There seems to be no right path.
While the writer of this Psalm is discussing a set of physical circumstances, the promises expressed here are also true of our emotional and spiritual circumstances.
Alone? Suffering? Wasting away? Think you're too far from God for Him to hear and help? You're wrong.
God is interested in you.  He loves you (yes, YOU! No exceptions).  
"They cried out to the LORD in their trouble..."
The writer is not saying that they made an amazing, eloquent, long prayer.  What he says, is "they cried out..."  Simple, short prayers work!
"Lord, HELP!" is plenty. He knows your heart, and what you need before you ask Him.
On the other hand, don't ask stupid questions about this, like,"Why doesn't He anticipate my problems and solve them before they occur?? Why am I in this mess?"
The answer (although you still shouldn't ask) is that He wants you to acknowledge Him and your dependence on His grace and power.  What's wrong with that?  Shouldn't you be ready to acknowledge your own inability to fix your life, when it's true that you cannot?  Shouldn't you be glad He offers His grace and power?  Shouldn't you appreciate the lovingkindness (mercies) of the LORD?
So reach out to Him while you are still able, call upon Him, and enjoy His answer. But don't expect to have no part in your own deliverance--the text says, "He led them," not, "He transported them on a magic carpet."  You will still have to put one foot in front of the other, and walk in His way. He is the Guide, but you must Go. Call on Him, wherever you are, and He will work for you.