Saturday, March 31, 2007

Next post will be on Monday

I haven't had a chance to post today, but I will post again on Monday.

My husband has decided that, from now on, on Sundays, we will not turn the television on, nor the computer on. That was an answer to prayer, I've been wanting to do this for a long time.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Decrees of God - Part Two

This morning I finished Chapter 2, in A. W. Pink's book, The Attributes of God. This is a short book with only 92 pages, and it's taking me a long time to read. I hate to think how long it's going to take me to read Stephen Charnock's book, The Existence and Attributes of God, which has 524 pages. It's a good thing I started Pink's book first, I may not have gotten to it otherwise.

"Second, the decrees of God are wise. Wisdom is shown in the selection of the best possible ends and of the fittest means of accomplishing them. That this character belongs to the decrees of God is evident from what we know of them. They are disclosed to us by their execution, and every proof of wisdom in the works of God is a proof of the wisdom of the plan, in conformity to which they are performed. As the Psalmist declared, "O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all" (Ps. 104:24). It is indeed but a very small part of them which falls under our observation, yet, we ought to proceed here as we do in other cases, and judge of the whole by the specimen, of what is unknown, by what is known. He who perceives the workings of admirable skill in the parts of a machine which he has an opportunity to examine, is naturally led to believe that the other parts are equally admirable. In like manner should we satisfy our minds as to God’s works when doubts obtrude themselves upon us, and repel the objections which may be suggested by something which we cannot reconcile to our notions of what is good and wise. When we reach the bounds of the finite and gaze toward the mysterious realm of the infinite, let us exclaim. "O the depth of the riches! both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" (Rom. 11:33)."

What struck me the most was this part:

"In like manner should we satisfy our minds as to God’s works when doubts obtrude themselves upon us, and repel the objections which may be suggested by something which we cannot reconcile to our notions of what is good and wise. When we reach the bounds of the finite and gaze toward the mysterious realm of the infinite, let us exclaim. "O the depth of the riches! both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" (Rom. 11:33)."

There are certain times of the month when my hormones seem to be out of whack. As a result, my soul feels heavy at times, for no apparent reason other than hormonal. For many years I gave into my feelings, and was pretty miserable during those times, which didn't make for very enjoyable times.

Nearly two years ago I learned of Nouthetic Counseling, but knew little about it until I took the Introduction to Biblical Counseling class at church about six months ago. Through that course, and through different reading materials, I became aware that following my feelings was a sin. Since then, I've been making the attempt to change that part of myself.

The class, and the books, have taught me to trust in God, and trust His Word, versus what I may be feeling inside. God is good, and wise, and His character is such that He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. On the other hand, my feelings are unreliable. And it is to His Word that I run to when I have those downcast feelings, or am irritable. I run to Him in prayer, and to the Scriptures. Regardless of how I may be feeling at any given moment, it is always right to praise Him, because He is worthy to be praised. Praising Him doesn't require me waiting until I *feel* like it, I am to praise Him because He is worthy, and deserves all praise.

Psalm 147:1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

Psalm 147:2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

Psalm 147:6 The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.

Psalm 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!

Psalm 147:8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills.

Psalm 147:9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.

Psalm 147:10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,

Psalm 147:11 but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Psalm 147:12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!

Psalm 147:13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.

Psalm 147:14 He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat.

Psalm 147:15 He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.

Psalm 147:16 He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

Psalm 147:17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?

Psalm 147:18 He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.

Psalm 147:19 He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel.

Psalm 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the LORD!

There are so many Scriptures that are full of praise. My youngest daughter and I love to sing the old hymns. Lately, whenever I might have that heaviness in my soul, I pull out my hymn book and begin singing. After a few songs, my heart is lifted up.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Decrees of God - Second Thoughts

I posted this quote by A. W. Pink's book, The Attributes of God, earlier today:

"God did not merely decree to make man, place him upon the earth, and then leave him to his own uncontrolled guidance; instead, He fixed all the circumstances in the lot of individuals, and all the particulars which will comprise the history of the human race from its commencement to its close."

The words, "He fixed all the circumstances in the lot of individuals" are what caused me to think about my salvation. It was God who chose me (John 15:16), drew me to Himself (John 6:44), enabled me to believe by giving me a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26), and who gave me the faith to believe (Ephesians 2:8-9). There was nothing in me that caused God to save me, He saved me because of His great mercy and grace. I am grateful to God for plucking me out of the pit I was in, from my dead, lost state (Ephesians 2), and saving my soul. He was not obligated to save me, nor to save anyone else. But, the wonder of it all is that He did just that because of His mercy and grace.

On the other hand, if I were to say that I chose Christ, on whom would the gratefulness be placed? On God? Or, would the gratefulness go to myself for having made the right decision? It would seem like I would be grateful to myself because I was the one who made the decision to pluck myself out of that dead, lost state.

Just some food for thought there. I'm still not sure if I communicated that with what I'm trying to get across, but I do hope it makes us think.

The Decrees of God - Part One

Last week was a trying week, with the death of a friend's son, and of the Mawxell's granddaughter. I don't know the Maxwell's personally but I have followed their ministry since 1998. Learning of God's attributes has given me peace, and the ability to trust Him during trying times.

This morning I read this in Chapter 2, of A. W. Pink's, The Attributes of God:

"God did not merely decree to make man, place him upon the earth, and then leave him to his own uncontrolled guidance; instead, He fixed all the circumstances in the lot of individuals, and all the particulars which will comprise the history of the human race from its commencement to its close."

Can you imagine what chaos there would be if this world was not controlled by God? It would be even more chaotic than it seems to be right now.

Think about these words "He fixed ALL the circumstances in the lot of individuals." ALL of the circumstances, not just part of them. Two things came to my mind when I read that. First, the deaths of Kent, and Susannah Joy didn't take God by surprise. He Himself, for reasons known only to Him, ordained that these two would be with him at the exact time of their deaths. Though it's a difficult time for the families involved, they know they can trust God because He is good.

There is a second thing that I thought of, and I'm going to think on it more this afternoon, and write my thoughts on that part later this afternoon, nor evening. I haven't quite figured out how to word it.

I would also ask that you would pray for the Nathan and Melanie Maxwell, the parents of Susannah Joy, and also for the Maxwell's, and Melanie's family.

Sad news regarding Susannah Joy

I didn't have an opportunity to turn on the computer this weekend, so I didn't read until today about Susannah Joy. Susannah Joy passed away on Saturday, March 24th. My heart is broken for the Maxwell family, and for Melanie's family, but I know that that Lord is faithful, and that He is good, and He has a plan and a purpose.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request for baby Susannah Joy Maxwell

I just came from the Maxwell's blog. If you are not familiar with the Maxwell's, they can be found here. They have a ministry called Managers of their Homes, and it's been a great help to me through the years.

Steve and Teri Maxwell's son and daughter in law, Nathan and Melanie, had a new baby on March 21st. Her name is Susannah Joy Maxwell, and she is in the NICU, and it is very critical. Here is the link to the blog, the information on her, and a picture, of the baby.

Please keep them in your prayers, this is a difficult time for them. This brings back memories because our youngest daughter spent three weeks in the NICU almost nine years ago.

A thank you to Heather

My oldest daughter, who will be 14 yrs. old next month, made supper Monday through Wednesday night this week because I've been really sick with headaches all week. She is very creative, and did a wonderful job.

God has gifted her with many creative abilities. She can sew, which I cannot do. I taught her how to hand sew, but she learned how to sew with the sewing machine. She has made dresses for dolls, pillows. She even made a skirt for herself.

She taught herself how to play the dulcimer. She is also very good at drawing.

I do hope this is not coming across as boasting, because that is not my intent at all. I wanted to post encouraging words to her, and to thank her for her help.

She was such a help to me when I was sick. She also washed the clothes, besides making supper.

So, I wanted to publically thank her for all of her hard work.

Thank you Heather for all that you did when I was sick. I love you.

Thoughts during a funeral

This morning I went to a funeral for the son of a couple from our church, and our pastor preached the sermon. Their son was saved, which does give great comfort during this time of their loss. Because of this, I decided to write about that today.

Before the service started, I came across the below verses from John 11:

John 11:25-26 "
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

When my mother died in April, 1991 it changed my life forever. Hers was the first real death I had dealt with of someone that I was very close to, and saw on a daily basis until I married, and moved away from home in 1982. In many ways I think it caused me to fear death, and the loss of those whom I love. At the time of her death, I claimed to be a believer, but in reality, I don't believe I was because nothing in my life had ever changed, I don't believe God had regenerated my heart, and given me a new nature. So, I didn't have Christ during that time in my life.

My father passed away in November, 1998, and I think that caused me to fear death even more, and to fear getting close to people I loved because it hurt too much to loose them.

When I read John 11:25-26 this morning before the service, it was like a light bulb went off in my head, and I had understood a bit more. What I'm about to say seems so simple, yet I could not grasp it until today. As a believer, I have nothing to fear, I don't have to fear death, whether it be my own, or my loved ones. Because when we pass away, we will be with the Lord. Our souls will be with Him. The verse below tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord:

2 Corinthians 5:8 "Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord."

Those verses gave me great comfort today, and I no longer have that fear. The death of a loved one is never easy, but when that loved one is a believer, it does make it easier. We know that, even though we miss our loved one, they are with the Lord, and we will see them again.

Death is much more difficult to handle when your loved one was not saved, or you don't know they were saved, as is the case with my parents. Even in that situation, we can trust God to do what is right. As difficult as that may be, we can surely trust Him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

First Day of Spring

I almost forgot! This is the first day of spring! I think this is my favorite time of year because the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the weather is just right.

The Solitariness of God - Part Six

I've been sick with a headache since Sunday afternoon, and when I get them, they're pretty bad, and leave me unable to function. The worst of it was yesterday, and though I still feel it a bit today, I'm feeling much better. I'm not sure if it was a sinus headache, or because of a lack of caffeine.

In the second to last paragraph of Chapter 1 of A. W. Pink's Attributes of God book he says this:

"Nor is God known by the intellect. "God is Spirit," (John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth) and therefore can only be known spiritually. But fallen man is not spiritual; he is carnal. He is dead to all that is spiritual. Unless he is born again, supernaturally brought from death unto life, miraculously translated out of darkness into light , he cannot even see the things of God (John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God"), still less apprehend them (1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned). The Holy Spirit has to shine in our hearts (not intellects) in order to give us "the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

This hit home with me because of a conversation I had with my oldest brother, a retired history teacher. He calls himself an atheist. He, my oldest daughter and I, talked for quite a long time about science, and evolution a couple of weeks ago. Right before our conversation ended, I began asking him if he had ever lied. I was trying to show him that we have all broken God's law, and there was a penalty to be paid for our sin. He couldn't understand that, which to me is simple. It's simple to me because the Lord has opened my eyes, and my ears, and has saved me. It's something I've been thinking about ever since our conversation. My prayer is that He would do the same for my brother, and my other lost family members.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Solitariness of God - Part Five

Going through A. W. Pink's Attributes of God book has been, so far, such a good study. I learn something new every day. Today, I read a paragraph where he quoted the below verse.

1 Timothy 6:16 "who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen."

In the last two sentences, he had this to say:

"Such an One is to be revered, worshipped, adored. He is solitary in His majesty, unique in His excellency, peerless in His perfections. He sustains all, but is Himself independent of all. He gives to all, but is enriched by none."

Reading that, and meditating on it, causes me to be so grateful to Him for saving me. He didn't save me based on anything I did, He choose me, I did not choose Him, (John 15:16). He did a work in my heart, and made me willing, and though I did repent and believe, apart from His working in my heart, I would never have done those things. And that's just one thing that causes me to be so grateful, and to stand in awe of Him. He doesn't need me, I need Him.

There is so much more I could say, but I've been coming down with a cold, and on top of that, my heart is heavy tonight. Some good friends of ours from church lost their adult son this afternoon. If the Lord brings them to your mind, please pray for this couple.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Solitariness of God - Part Four

I woke up early this morning, probably due to too much caffeine yesterday. It's not too bad because it enabled me to focus even more on the Attributes of God book by A. W. Pink.

In Chapter 1 of The Solitariness of God, Pink quotes Genesis 1:1, and then says this:

"There was nothing, no one, but God; and that, not for a day, a year, or an age, but "from everlasting." During a past eternity, God was alone: self-contained, self-sufficient, self-satisfied; in need of nothing. Had a universe, had angels, had human beings been necessary to Him in any way, they also had been called into existence from all eternity. The creating of them when He did, added nothing to God essentially. He changes not (Malachi 3:6), therefore His essential glory can be neither augmented nor diminished.

God was under no constraint, no obligation, no necessity to create. That He chose to do so was purely a sovereign act on His part, caused by nothing outside Himself, determined by nothing but His own mere good pleasure; for He worketh all things after the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11)."

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning"

Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change"

Ephesians 1:11 "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,"

God is not powerless, waiting for us to choose Him, nor is He powerless, waiting for us to do anything for Him. He doesn't need us, we need Him. We are dependent upon Him for every little thing, we can't even take a breath apart from Him giving us our next breath. It might be nice for us to think that He needs us, but the reality is that He doesn't. The truth is that we need Him, and apart from Him we can do nothing, and in Him we live and move, and have our being.

John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

Acts 17:28 “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, "‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

If you have not read, nor studied Pink's book, I encourage you to do so because it is very thought provoking.

May your Lord's Day be blessed today.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Solitariness of God - Part Three

Here are more verses from A. W. Pink's book, The Attributes of God, found here:

Isaiah 40:12-18

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,
or what man shows him his counsel?

14 Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.

17 All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18 To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?

When you read those verses, what comes to your mind? What do you think of? Matthew Henry had this to say:

Let us see how great our God is, and fear before him; for,

I. His power is unlimited, and what no creature can compare with, much less contend with, Isa_40:12. 1. He has a vast reach. View the celestial globe, and you are astonished at the extent of it; but the great God metes the heavens with a span; to him they are but a hand-breadth, so large-handed is he. View the terraqueous globe, and he has the command of that too. All the waters in the world he can measure in the hollow of his hand, where we can hold but a little water; and the dry land he easily manages, for he comprehends the dust of the earth in a measure, or with his three fingers; it is no more to him than a pugil, or that which we take up between our thumb and two fingers.

2. He has a vast strength, and can as easily move mountains and hills as the tradesman heaves his goods into the scales and out of them again; he poises them with his hand as exactly as if he weighed them in a pair of balances. This may refer to the work of creation, when the heavens were stretched out as exactly as that which is spanned, and the earth and waters were put together in just proportions, as if they had been measured, and the mountains made of such a weight as to serve for ballast to the globe, and no more. Or it may refer to the work of providence (which is a continued creation) and the consistency of all the creatures with each other.

God's power is unlimited, and there is none like Him. We may think that we have even a tiny bit of power to do something, when in reality, we have none at all. As believers, whatever we do is Christ working through us. We can't even take a breath without His help. He holds our lives in His hands.

When I think of God's power, and how it is unlimited, it gives me reason to fear Him, knowing that He has the power to cast the lost into hell. It causes me to be thankful that He now deals with me as a daughter, because He is my Heavenly Father. His unlimited power gives me great comfort as well because I know that whatever happens in my life, it has come through His hands, and is for my good, and His glory. It isn't always easy, in fact it's painful at times. But I know that all I go through He is using to conform me into the image of His Son.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Solitariness of God - Part Two

Our son and daughter in law were here this afternoon, and showed us the first ultrasound of the baby they are expecting in the fall. This is such an exciting time for them, and for us.

In keeping with my focus on the attributes of God, here is another verse about the Solitariness of God, from Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 9:5-6

5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, "Arise, bless the LORD your God forever and ever!
O may Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise!

6 "You alone are the LORD
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host,
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them
You give life to all of them
And the heavenly host bows down before You.

God is the only living, and true God. He is self existent, and independent. He does not need us for anything. It's the other way around, we need Him, we depend on Him for every breath we take.

As much as I would like to continue with this post, I am very tired and will have to finish it tomorrow. I do pray that the little bit I posted will be of some encouragement to you.

I took my daughter outside this afternoon, and we were out there most of the afternoon, and into the evening, and that's why I'm so tired.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Solitariness of God

I've been studying the Attributes of God for the past few days, from the book, Attributes of God, by A. W. Pink, which can be found online here. It has been a wonderful study so far, and an important one. If you don't know the character of God, it is more difficult to trust Him, and to believe what He says in the Scriptures.

Today I was reading about the Solitariness of God. Here are one of the Scriptures that was given in the book:

Exodus 15:11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?"

Think about that! There is NONE like God, no one else who is majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, and doing wonders. It is nearly breathtaking to think about.

And, look at this from Malachi:

Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed."

James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."

We change from day to day, we can be moody one day, or joyful one day, and be depressed the next. But God is not like that. He never changes, He is the same, which brings to my mind this verse from Hebrews:

Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

It's comforting to know that God does not change like we do. He can be trusted to be the same, day after day after day. He can be counted on, He can be trusted, and His promises can be relied upon. His Word is truth.

I will post some more of the Scriptures from that chapter tomorrow.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

This has been a very enjoyable day. I was surprised today by a visit from my middle brother, and his wife. I was expecting my oldest brother because he was bringing my daughters home after they spent the weekend with him and his wife. Before today, it had been over two years since I had seen my middle brother and his wife.

My oldest brother had to leave early because his wife is going out of town on business tomorrow. Because my middle brother and his wife drove their own car, they were able to stay later. I made lasagne and garlic bread for supper, and after we ate, we sat and looked at some old pictures that I had of my brothers and I when we were growing up.

My middle brother did some cleaning up on my computer, and he did a great job.

We have had a very busy couple of days. My brother picked our daughters up on Friday so they could spend the weekend with him and his wife. I thought this was a good opportunity for me to get some much needed things done.

I will post again tomorrow, or rather later this afternoon, since it is after 3 AM right now. I stayed up to mop the floor, and then had to wait for it to dry. Now, I am off to bed.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Sovereignty of God

I've been thinking more about God, and his Omniscience, and about His Omnipresence as well .

Three years ago this month, we had a health scare involving our youngest daughter, who was 5 yrs. old at the time. She had a stomach virus, and became very sick. We took her to the doctor that night, and he did some blood work on her. He told us that her blood platelet count was low, and that he wanted her to come back a few days later to check it again. That was alarming to me because my mother, who passed away in 1991, had a platelet problem when she was in the hospital just before she died. Because my mother seemed to have a fear of doctors, and had not been to one since I had been born, we don't know how long she had this platelet problem.

We took our daughter back to the doctor, and her platelet count was still low. After a few weeks with her pediatrician checking her platelet count, meaning sticking her with a needle, he finally sent here to a hematologist, because of my persistence. During the time she had this low platelet count, I praise God that her platelets have never been dangerously low for that entire six months.

At the time, I was not a believer in reformed theology. During those first few months, when the doctors had no idea what was wrong with her, I read the book of Job. I had read it before, but somehow I missed the sovereignty of God throughout the book, especially chapters 38-42.

The clincher came with these verses:

Job 42:1-6

1 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

2 “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’

5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;

6 therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes."

God can do all things and no purpose of His can be thwarted. We see that in Ephesians 1:11 too:

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Reading Job gave me peace, and I knew then that God can be trusted, and that He was in control of all things. He knew what was wrong with my daughter even when the doctors did not. I was comforted so much, knowing that my daughter's life was in His hands. That is when God began revealing His truths to me, summed up by this acronym:


T - Total Depravity

U - Unconditional Election

L - Limited Atonement

I - Irresistable Grace

P- Perserverance of the Saints

I was not looking for Scripture so that I could believe in Calvinism. It was quite the opposite. I said many times that I would never be a Calvinist. I was looking for Scriptures that would help me understand why this was happening to my daughter. As I searched the Scriptures, God revealed those truths to me, through Scripture, little by little. And, I found the comfort and peace that I was looking for.

My daughter was diagnosed with Chronic ITP, which is Thrombocytopenia. Today, she is 8 yrs. old, and seems to have outgrown it. She no longer bruises easily, is no longer tired, and is a happy, cheerful, little girl. She has been through a lot in her young life. She was premature, spent three weeks in the NICU, and then came home with an apnea monitor that she wore until she was six months old.

It gives me such comfort to know that is working in my life, and that He can be trusted, and that He has all things under His control.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Covenant Keeping God

I woke up this morning feeling anxious, with no good reason, though there really never is a good reason to be anxious. Lydia, over at the Purpler Cellar, had an excellent post today on Philippians 4:5-7, which were the verses I turned to this morning. I won't comment on that because she had a wonderful post on it. And I wanted to post on something else that had caught my attention. In case you are not familiar with that passage, this is what it says:

Philippians 4:5-7

5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I have several verses highlighted in my Bible, and this morning I came across the below verses. I have only verse 12 highlighted (until this evening when I plan to highlight verse 13).

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:13
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

What particularly caught my attention was verse 13. NO creature is hidden from God's sight, none of us, not one. This includes believers, AND non-believers. I knew that God is omniscient, and here is the definition of that word from Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry:
om·ni·scient Listen to the pronunciation of omniscient
New Latin omniscient-, omnisciens, back-formation from Medieval Latin omniscientia
circa 1604
1 : having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight 2 : possessed of universal or complete knowledge

Even though I had known that already, it just seemed to hit me this morning full force. I am naked and exposed before God, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He sees everything I do, the good and the bad. I find that to be a sobering thought. It has caused me to fear God in a way that I may not have ever done.

Even though He sees everything I do, the amazing thing is that He still loves me. His love for me is not based on what I do, or what I don't do. His love for me is based on His covenant, and that He is a faithful, covenant keeping God.

What a mighty God we serve.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

God Our Father - Part Two

Yesterday, I wrote some thoughts that I had about the words, God Our Father, which you can read here. I had been reading Ephesians 1:1-2.

Ephesians 1:1-2

1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I think about the word Father, it brings to mind what a father does, or should do. I realize that not all have had earthly fathers who treated them well. An earthly father provides for our needs, he provides a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes, a bed to sleep in.

As a child of God, adopted by Him, the best thing He has done for us is to save us. Do we really realize the impact of that? Read this from Ephesians 2:1-10:

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

2:2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

2:4 BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

He could have left us dead in our trespasses and our sins, as it says we were in verse 1. We were lost, and without hope in the world, and He could have left us in that state. But He didn't! Look at verse 4, it says BUT GOD! BUT GOD! Think about that! Mediate on those words, BUT GOD!

2:4 BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

BUT GOD, was rich in mercy towards His elect, because of the great love with which He loved us! EVEN while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, He made us alive together with Christ! It it by grace we are saved! It is all God's work!

I'm sure that many already know this, but it is something we should never forget. And, it is something that we should forever be grateful for.


Monday, March 5, 2007

God Our Father - Part One

I read Ephesians 1:1-2 the other day, and have been thinking about it ever since.

1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Specifically, I've been thinking about the phrase "God our Father." I am his adopted daughter because of His grace towards me. That is a humbling thought, especially when not all can call Him Father because not all belong to Him.

Ephesians 1:4-5

4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

Imagine that! If you are His child, He has adopted you too, and you have the privilege of calling Him Father.

I think I will stop right here, and continue my thoughts on this tomorrow. Meditating on those three words alone, God our Father, are enough to think on for now.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Today's Sermon

I haven't posted recently because I have had some other things I needed to focus on, and hopefully I am back on track with posting.

It has been such an enjoyable day today. It was a little cool, but I have enjoyed watching the Robins out in one of the trees in our backyard.

This morning, our pastor was at a missions conference, and so we had someone else preach. He is a Chaplain in the Army, and he attends our church. He always does such a good job when he preaches. This morning he preached on God's faithfulness from this text in Deuteronomy 7:6-9:

6 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

7 "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,

8 but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

9 "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

He preached on the fact that God was faithful:

1) Concerning his GRACE: GRACE means that God is giving to us what we don't earn or deserve. In our sanctification, God gives us His grace. And He sustains us through His grace in sanctification.

2) Concerning His MERCY (or LOVINGKINDNESS IN SOME VERSIONS): MERCY means withholding what we deserve and giving us GRACE instead.

3) Concerning His LOVE: In verse 7, He is saying that no matter how you treat me, I am still committed to you. It's living out that love, and that is how God loves us, and how we are to love others. God showed His love by sending Jesus to make atonement for our sins. If you are a Christian, you ARE loved, whether you feel like it or not, for your highest good, and for HIS glory.

As Christians, we should not live by our feelings, but rather by the truths of God's Word. I might not want to do the laundry one day, but I do it whether I feel like it or not. Many people wait until they FEEL like doing something, rather than doing that thing out of obedience to the Lord. When you DO whatever it is that you don't want to do, the feelings will follow. When you do what is right, the feelings will follow.

4) Concerning His COVENANT: In verse 9, He says that when He makes a covenant, He keeps His end of it up. He is faithful to the covenant, even when we are not. He is a covenant making, and a covenant keeping God. Even when we don't keep up with our end of the covenant, He is faithful to keep His end of it up. God says "I'm in it with you forever. I'm right there with you."

5) Concerning His BLESSINGS: In verse 13, God is the God of math, He blesses us, and our blessings multiply. Any blessing that we get from God is an undeserved blessing. We don't deserve anything, not even the smallest of blessings. Our Bibles, spouse, children, the people who love us, are all by His grace, and we are undeserving of them.

6) Concerning His WORD: He is faithful to His Word, the Scriptures, we can count on it. He is faithful 100%, what He says He will do, He will do.

7) Concerning His FORGIVENESS: In 1 John 1:9 He says:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and (B)to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Confessing our sins means to say the same thing about sin that God does. His faithfulness, and His justice causes Him to forgive all of our sins. No matter what you have done, how often, or to who, He is still faithful to forgive.

He preached on so much more, so that was just part of it.

We closed the service with the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, found here:


Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father,
There is no shadow of turning with thee:
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
As thou hast been thou for ever wilt be.

"Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed thy hand hath provided—
"Great is thy faithfulness," Lord unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

—Thomas O. Chisholm

Copyright 1923, renewal 1951, Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission. If you wish to print, copy, cut/paste or duplicate these lyrics you must obtain permission from Hope Publishing Company, 380 South Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188 (800/323-1049).