Category Archives: God

Mama Bear Love

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“That brings out the mama bear in me,” a friend exclaimed!

Parental love is scary strong. Love hits a new parent like a tidal wave. It’s often said that becoming a parent is like having your heart walking around outside your body. Such fierce love struggles with children growing up in a world filled with danger, evil, and pain.

Parents decide to take control and guarantee their child’s safety. An impossible task. Knowing our children have free will to make bad choices adds to our fear. Even when our children are grown, we still want their safety, well-being, and happiness.

Once a parent, always a parent.

Our twenty-four year old son described a health issue he had but that he had no plans to see a doctor. I was sleepless as I imagined him headed to an early grave because of his choice to ignore the problem.

The next morning, reading about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar in Genesis 21,

I found hope.

God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, though past childbearing years. Sarah offered her servant, Hagar, to Abraham so he could have a son by her, planning to raise him as Abraham’s heir. Hagar had a son but a few years later, God fulfilled His promise and by a miracle, Sarah also had a son, the intended heir. When conflict arose between the two sons, Sarah insisted Abraham get rid of Hagar and Ishmael. So, Abraham (with God’s blessing) gave them water and bread and sent them into the wilderness.

Hagar went as far as she could, until the water ran out. “Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, ‘Let me not look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite of him, she lifted up her voice and wept.” Genesis 21:16

I feel her pain. She’s done all she can. She’s convinced her son will die. How does a mom watch her son die of thirst?

But… “And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’” Genesis 21:17-18

“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.” Genesis 21:19

Why did Abraham agree to send Hagar and their son into the wilderness? Unbeknownst to Hagar, God had already given Abraham a promise. “And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” Genesis 21:13

Before Hagar entered the wilderness, before she ran out of water, before she collapsed in pain and sorrow, expecting her son to die, God knew what would happen and had planned to make a nation from Ishmael. God had a plan Hagar didn’t know about. Then, He opened her eyes.

As a mom, I can think like Hagar: because of this obstacle, my son will die. But God is sovereign. He’s the one who knows what the future holds and He holds each of us in His hands.

I can trust Him.

I can pray.

God hears my prayers as He heard Ishmael (v. 17). I pray for our son and I give him advice when he wants it, but God already knows what will happen. He already has it covered. He had a plan for Ishmael from the beginning and He has a plan for our son.

I don’t have a guarantee bad things won’t happen to our son. Trusting God doesn’t mean everything will work out as I want or that our son will live to be a hundred years old. It means God already knows the future and He’s already there.

I can trust God no matter what.

Father, thank you that you knew the day you placed our son in our arms how his whole life would play out. You knew from the day he was born every obstacle he would face, each weakness, and each choice he would make. I know he belongs to you and you hold him in your hands. Thank you dear Father! I know I can trust him to you.

Already There      by Casting Crowns says it so well.

 

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Known

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S – “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3

O  – David knew how much God loved him. He trusted God wholeheartedly. What a beautiful account of how God knows us.

A – Everyone wants to be known. We all want someone to know us, really know us. It is so wonderful to know God knows me inside and out. He even knows my thoughts before I do. He knows what I will say before I speak. He surrounds me. I can’t go anywhere where He won’t be there. I can’t hide from God. He knew me when I was being formed in the womb.  He knew me the instant that egg was fertilized and knew what my life would be. I’m never alone, Never abandoned. I always have His love.

P – Thank you dear Father. You know everything there is to know about me. I’m your child. Please show me if there is anything in me that is hurtful or wicked or that gives you grief. Lead me the way you want me to go.

SOAP

 

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God Knows How the Chaos Will End

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S – Exodus 3:18-22

O – God was calling Moses to go and rescue his people who were in slavery in Egypt. In these verses, God tells Moses everything that will happen from Pharaoh not listening to him to the people giving them their gold and silver. God already knows everything that’s going to happen. He knows EVERYTHING.

A – God already knows everything that will happen in my life. In the United States. In the world. In our son’s life. He knows the end from the beginning. Does this mean we are robots and have no choice, that God just does what He wants?

No, it means God knows what will happen because He’s Sovereign and He’s all-knowing. He knows what choices we will make.

That’s how well He knows us. I’m free to choose but God knows me so well, He knows what I’ll choose. That’s amazing! He knew in advance every sin I would commit. Every act of selfishness, every moment of pride, every bit of apathy, every weakness and jealousy yet He still chose me! He still loved me! Jesus still died for me. My brain cannot grasp that. He also knows everything that’s going to happen in this country. He’s not surprised by all the chaos and hate. He knew this would happen and He’s already there to pick us up. We can give Him our complete and total trust and accept His perfect peace. As He said to Moses, “But I know…”, He also says to us, “But I know…”

Our part is to keep on trusting and fix our eyes on Jesus.

P – Father, I know you have us in your hands. I believe you already know all that will  happen and you’re already there to carry us through. You already have a plan. You already have the answers to prayer in motion before we pray! You’re so great, our minds just cannot grasp the truth! Please increase my faith. Help me to walk in peace and truth. I trust you LORD. My heart rests in You.

He’s Already There

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Walk With God

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S –   “Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him.”  Genesis 5:24

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5

“…Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9b  “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” v. 8

O – Both Noah and Enoch “walked with God” and both found favor in His eyes. God was pleased with them. Why? Because they walked with Him. They fellowshipped with Him. They had a relationship with God. Their faith pleased God.

A – Am I walking with God? Yes, I believe in Him, I believe His word, I know He is real, and my heart belongs to Him. But do I walk with Him or do I go my merry way? Do I do what is convenient, easy or fits my mood or do I follow the leading of His Spirit even if it is inconvenient, painful or requires sacrifice?

Walk with. Follow. He leads. I walk with Him but I turn when He turns. I stop when He stops. He sets the pace.

P – Jesus, I want to follow you this way. I want to turn from setting my own pace and stopping when I want. Dear Spirit, help me yield. Help me listen and follow.

My word for 2017: FOLLOW

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Who Am I?

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Often I forget life is not about me.

I’m not the source of strength or truth in my life. I can’t produce one good thing in my own strength. My breath is a gift of grace from God. I can’t hold on to it or guarantee I will take another one.

As I take a deep breath…that act is grace.

Do I have hope? That is a gift.

Do I have a moment of peace? Also a gift.

Every second I spend with a loved one and look into their precious face is a gift. ALL good things come from our Creator Father. The ability to enjoy His gifts comes from Him. Life and death are gifts from Him. Life because it allows us to know Him. Death because it allows us to be with Him forever. I need reminders of who I am.

I’m a receiver of His good gifts.

I am…

A branch not the vine.

A creation not the Creator.

A pencil not the source of truth

A reflection not the light.

A servant not the master.

A voice not the message.

One part not the body.

Gifted not the gift.

A messenger not the message.

A channel not the source.

Forgiven not sinless.

In process not perfect.

En route not at my destination.

A singer not the song.

A child.

A follower.

A believer.

A vessel.

Forgiven, loved, trusting.

He is…

The Creator.

The Light.

The Hope.

The Master.

The Message.

The Author.

The Giver of every good gift.

He alone is worthy of praise, honor and glory.

All that I am, I owe to Him.

That this Great God would choose to love me and use me is overwhelming GRACE!

“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.” John 15:5 (ESV)

“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)

For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 Corinthians 4:7 (ESV)

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. James 1:17 (ESV)

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Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

 

 

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Pure Light

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There is NO darkness in God!

I love this verse and the picture it paints. God is pure light. There is no darkness, no hidden deceit, no malicious intent, and no evil in the LORD God. we can TRUST Him even when things look dark and scary. Even when we face painful trials. we can trust He will make all things right in the end.

I believe in you Father! I believe you are good and your ways are holy. I know you are trustworthy and your loving-kindness never fails. Thank you that there is no darkness in you. Help me to walk in the light always. Help me to walk with you as you are the light.

 

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Looking for the Garden of Eden

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“And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed…Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’…And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

Genesis 2:8, 18, 25 (ESV)

Aren’t we all searching for the Garden?

Deep in our souls we know that’s where we belong.

Walking with our Father.

Sharing our heart.

Worshiping Him.

Praising Him.

Knowing His love.

Love, perfect, complete

 

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”      Genesis 3:6 (ESV)

Yet, she was tempted.

She wondered if there was more.

She had everything.

No need unmet.

Unconditional love.

Complete acceptance.

Walking perfection.

Pure heart.

Untainted mind.

And she wanted more.

Perfection reached out for more.

“Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” Genesis 3:23

She lost the Garden.

She lost perfection.

She lost everything.

Except what was most important.

Unconditional love.

His love cannot be thwarted.

 

His Son took on flesh to mend what was broken.

His Son suffered and died to restore that walk.

Jesus restored what was lost.

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV)

By His grace we can walk with the Father.

Share our heart.

Worship Him.

Praise Him.

Know His love.

Not perfect but forgiven.

 

The tempter still comes.

He still whispers there’s more.

And we choose sin.

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” James 1:14 (ESV)

But those redeemed by Christ can never be snatched away.

Belief in Jesus seals us in Him forever.

We can walk with him in heavenly glory.

By faith if not by yet by sight.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV)

     I’m like Eve. Even though I have all I need, I still hear that whisper…Don’t you want more? More comfort? More stuff? First place? More time to yourself? More entertainment? More, more, more… just do what you want. Indulge yourself. Yet, what I truly need is always available. My Father is listening; He’s right beside me. When I walk with Him by faith and look to Him to fill the emptiness in my life…He’s enough.

We all want more. But what we need is Jesus. He’s right there waiting to fill our need if we’ll reach out in faith. Let’s reach out to Him and rest in our Father’s love.

Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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