“He Will Lift You Up”

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So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5:6 NLT
 
In today’s “me first” society, we are fed a steady diet of “it’s all about me”. Everything from billboards, ads, commercials, to the design of the clothing we wear screams “look at me”.  This worldly diet leads to death, not life.  If we can get past all the nonsense about atheism and “Jesus was just a good man, not a Messiah” arguments, we find that the real problem people have with Christianity is that it requires submission to a higher power. That word “submit” lights a fire under those who are proud and haughty. “I have come this far by myself, why should I submit to anyone?”  There is not one single vocation or avocation that does not require us to submit to someone sometime. Retailers submit to the demands of their customers. Designers submit to the whelms of modern society. In a peaceful society, we all submit to one another to some degree. Spouses and parents submit to each other and to the wants and desires of their children. Jesus submitted to death on a cross, the most painful and shameful way to die. Jesus humbled Himself, giving up all His glory in heaven to experience everything a human being experiences and He did so without sinning. His humbleness and humility defeated sin and satan and God exalted His Son above everything and every being, giving Him all authority in heaven and earth.  If we want to have great power in our lives, we must go through the valleys of humbleness and meekness. If it weren’t for the valleys, we wouldn’t have any mountains.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-21-2018

Reasons for Seasons

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1 For everything there is a season,

    a time for every activity under heaven.  –Ecclesiastes.3:1 NLT

As we travel on our journey with Jesus, we all have seasons that we go through, some are short, others longer. Some are joyous, others are sad. Some are lonely, others seem so crowded that we lose touch with our Master. Some are stormy, others calm and peaceful. God allows these seasons in our lives for His own reasons and purposes. But, always remember, we are just passing through on our journey to spend an eternity with Him. And we are never alone, He is always with us. Take a few moments to consider what you are going through right now. Are you allowing your emotions and feelings to rule your life? If so, it probably seems like you are on a roller coaster that never stops. All year long, but particularly now, let the peace of God rule in your life and enjoy His presence. Do you want to get off that roller coaster of emotions and feelings? Accept Jesus into your life as your Savior and Lord and He has promised:

5 The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
    and the rough places made smooth.
6 And then all people will see the salvation sent from God.’ — Luke 3:5-6 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 12-07-2016

We Can Never Be Alone

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21 I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.
22 For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return. — Job 16:21,22 NLT

 

Here and in other verses in this book, it is as if Job gets a glimpse of the future and the plan that God has in place to redeem fallen man.  Job realizes that it is useless for a man to argue with God.  We need a mediator and God had a plan in place to provide one for us.  We are certainly free to state our case in any situation.  When we are speaking to God, we should always be as honest as both Job and David.  They were not afraid to pour out their disappointments to God.  They did not blame God.  However, just as we do, they questioned why God allowed certain things to happen in the life of His children.  But when we do this, we must realize that we are in the presence of the Almighty God.  We can be bold but at the same time, we must be humble and ready to accept His answers.  God listens carefully, but He does not negotiate.  In the end, we, like Job and David, must come to the conclusion that God is God and He truly knows what is best for us. We all must go through the valleys and the dark nights.  But the key thing for us to remember is that we are going through, we are not going to be there forever.  For every valley, there are two mountains and for every dark night, there is light on both sides.   As the McKameys sing, “the God on the mountain is still God in the valley and the God of the daytime is still God in the night”.  Do not be discourage or dismayed, our God will never leave us alone and He will never forsake us.

Post 06-25-2016

 

 

You Get the Idea

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17 “But consider the joy of those corrected by God!  Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.  — Job 5:12 NLT

Job 5: 17-27 NLT

Eliphaz was wrong in assuming that Job was being punished for some hidden sin that Job had not confessed. God was allowing satan to test Job’s love and loyalty to Himself.  But those of us who have sinned and are being disciplined can receive great encouragement from these words of Eliphaz. God not only allows us to be tested and disciplined, but when that time of testing and/or disciplining is over, He heals us.  Eliphaz lists several ways that God takes care of us and protects us and our families from dangers.  He blesses us in times of distress and provides everything we need to live Godly lives {2 Peter 1:3,4).  We are disciplined so that we can share in His divine nature and become more like Him.  And James tells us that “we should count it all joy ( James 1:2-5 ).  Some say “Life is a marathon”.  I prefer to think of it as a series of short sprints with some refreshing stops in between. Testing-joy-testing-joy, you get the idea.  Whether we consider it a marathon or a sprint, the point is there are hills and valleys, there are times of testing and there are times of refreshing.  Those times are means to an end.  That end is to arrive at our heavenly home after we have run the race.  Some of us will run all the time and some of us will need to rest more often.  Either way, press on to “press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us”.

Post 06-22-2016

Get Up And Eat!

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Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” — 1 Kings 19:7 NLT
God had just used Elijah to defeat the 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, after that, God had given Elijah supernatural physical strength so that Elijah could catch and outrun Ahab’s chariot to Jezreel.  Now, Jezebel had threatened his life.  She promised to kill him before twenty-four hours had passed.  After seeing the miracles God had just performed, how could any human being think that they could do anything to one of God’s chosen people?  Even worse, after all Elijah had experienced, how could he possibly believe that God could not protect him from the threats of Jezebel?  Is the God on the mountain not still God in the valley?  Yes, He is!  We want to spend our lives living mountain top experiences.  We should take notice that there is very little life on the mountains above the timberline.  The view is great and the atmosphere is exhilarating, but there is not enough dirt or oxygen to sustain life.  The life-giving elements are down in the valley and we need to spend some time there as well.  Elijah was having his valley experience, wallowing in self-pity, as we so often do.  God said “get up and eat”.   He was preparing Elijah for a journey that would take all of his strength.  When God calls us to do a work, He always provides everything we need to accomplish the task.  It is up to us to decide whether or not we are going to “eat” the spiritual food that will prepare us for the trip through the valley and to the next mountaintop. 
If  we don’t eat the spiritual food God provides, the road will be rough and the journey will be miserable.  But if we do eat and prepare, the road will seem to be smooth and the journey will be a joy as we experience the presence of Jesus leading us home.
Post 05-07-2016

God Chose Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

even-smaller-bug-light19 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

​Think back to ​a time in your life when there was a particular group that you wanted to be chosen to be a part of.  Do you remember the joy and exhiliration that you felt when you saw your name on the list or heard it called out?  Multiply that feeling by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the joy that we should feel every day because God has chosen us.  Knowing that we are God’s special possession should fill our hearts to overflowing and cause us to shout praises from the mountaintops or in the deepest valleys.  In the best and the worst of times, we, the chosen, can proclaim:

31 If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans 8:31​b​

Think back to the time when you were a child and you were afraid of the darkness and how great it felt when Mom or Dad walked into the room, turned on a night light and took time to comfort and encourage you.  Or as they stayed, held you and you drifted peacefully off to sleep.  Multiply that feeling and that peace by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the feeling of peace and the brightness of the light that comes when we answer the call of Jesus to come out of the darkness into His wonderful light.  And think of this, they left the room when you drifted off to sleep, but we have the added assurance that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  He is here to comfort and protect us all day and night, every day and night.
 

8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” — Deut. 31:8 NIV

No matter what circumstances are surrounding us or what situation we find oursleves in, we should be filled with joy because we serve a God who has been there, is there now, and will always be there. 
 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. — Phil. 4:4,5 NIV

Post 12-14-2015

No Valleys, No Mountains

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5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. — 1 Peter 5:5 ​,6 ​NIV

In today’s “me first” society, we are fed a steady diet of “it’s all about me”. Everything from billboards, ads, commercials, to the design of the clothing we wear screams “look at me”.  This worldly diet leads to death, not life.  If we can get past all the nonsense about atheism and “Jesus was just a good man, not a Messiah” arguments, we find that the real problem people have with Christianity is that it requires submission to a higher power. That word “submit” lights a fire under those who are proud and haughty. “I have come this far by myself, why should I submit to anyone?”  There is not one single vocation or avocation that does not require us to submit to someone sometime. Retailers submit to the demands of their customers. Designers submit to the whelms of modern society. In a peaceful society, we all submit to one another to some degree. Spouses and parents submit to each other and to the wants and desires of their children. Jesus submitted to death on a cross, the most painful and shameful way to die. Jesus humbled Himself, giving up all His glory in heaven to experience everything a human being experiences and He did so without sinning. His humbleness and humility defeated sin and satan and God exalted His Son above everything and every being, giving Him all authority in heaven and earth.  If we want to have great power in our lives, we must go through the valleys of humbleness and meekness. If it weren’t for the valleys, we wouldn’t have any mountains.
Post 08-06-2015