Saturday, February 20, 2010

Aloha and Mahalo!

As I mentioned earlier this week, my daughter and I flew off to Kauai yesterday. Today, I am, hopefully, lounging around the pool, deep in conversation with my most-favorite woman in the whole wide world. We have lots of catching-up to do, so I've given myself permission to halt production of the blogs for a week.

Till we meet again, may God bless us, each and every one!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Promise of Being a Great Provider

Do you remember the chorus "Jehoveh Jireh?" As a new believer, I belted out the words to that song without even knowing what Jehoveh Jireh meant . . . before I realized what a great provider God is.

In Scripture, God provided for His people over and over. Whether it was:
  • providing the ram in the thicket for Abraham to slay instead of Isaac,
  • providing manna in the wilderness, or water from the rock for the Israelites, 
  • providing signs for Gideon, or strength for Samson,
  • providing food and rest for Elijah,
  • providing oil for Elisha.
The list is endless.  

The best provision of all, however, was the gift of His Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. God required of Himself what He did not require of Abraham--He slew His beloved Son, the unblemished Lamb of God, so that all who believe on Jesus might be redeemed.  

Our God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Promise of a Heavenly Husband

My heart often breaks for widows . . . especially the older ones! I've seen how lost and alone they are when the men they've spent their entire lives loving and serving are taken to Heaven first.

"Why, God," I used to ask, "do you tell women to submit to their husbands as to the Lord, and then You take their men Home first? We spend our whole lives honoring you through our husbands--then, suddenly, they're gone. Then what are we supposed to do?"

Do? I Timothy 5:5 says that the widow trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. Okay, I thought, she certainly has more time to spend on her knees than she did when her husband was living.

I don't know how long it took me to finally catch on; but one day when reading Isaiah 54, my eyes fell on verses 4-5:

"Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame.
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And will not remember the reproach
of your widowhood anymore.
For your Maker is your husband. 
The LORD of hosts is His name; 
and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth."

God is the widow's husband!

As a consequence of Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden, women had to submit to the LORD through their husbands. However, when a woman's husband dies, God takes direct responsibility for her. It only makes sense that God would want her to "continue in supplications and prayers night and day." She needs to get to know her heavenly Husband and re-establish a relationship with her First Love before she goes on Home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Promise of Being Cared For

Not all children grow up with the assurance they will be cared for. Because of divorce, abandonment or death, many feel unloved and unprotected. Some of them have a difficult time relating to a loving heavenly Father who will look after them. They have no frame of reference.

God admonishes the church to look out for orphans, but He goes beyond that by taking guardianship of those children whose parents have abdicated their responsibilities.

"When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me."
~ Psalm 27:10

My husband's parents were divorced when he was a young boy. Dick freely tells of the scrapes he got into as a child and on into his teens. At one point he stood on the threshold of evil, but some force held him back--a force he later recognized as the hand of God protecting this fatherless child.

May we be sensitive to the needs of children who live in less-than-ideal circumstances and be God's hands and feet of blessing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Promise of Mother Love

This coming week I will have the great joy of spending time alone with my daughter on the island of Kauai--so, I thought I'd concentrate my posts on the promises and joys of family.

In describing Zion's future in Isaiah 66, God speaks of the difficulties, delusions, and time it will take to bring about her deliverance. He concludes with this word of hope:

"Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.
Then you shall feed; 
on her sides shall you be carried, 
and be dandled on her knees.
As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."
~ Isaiah 66:12-13

God, Who created the heavens and the earth by the power of His word . . . God, Who will judge the nations and cast Satan and his powerful minions into the Lake of Fire . . . this same God looks with mother-love on Israel and those who love her (v.10). He will comfort them like a mother comforts her child, carrying them, dandling them on His knees.

Can you even fathom this? Sitting on God's knees? If not, why not?

After all, God sent His beloved Son Jesus Christ to prove His love for the world. And Jesus reaffirmed that love over and over again by His life and testimony. Didn't He delight in little children? Didn't He pick them up and place them on His knee?

Whatever the future holds--and reading about future events in the Bible can be a fearsome thing--we know this much, our God loves children. And Heaven will be populated with those of childlike faith.

"Assuredly, I say to you, 
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child
will be no means enter it."
~ Luke 18:17

We can rest in the fact that God has promised to comfort His own with the love of a mother.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Promise of Upward Mobility

What do you think of when you hear the term "upward mobility"? In our culture, that would mean moving up in socio-economic circles, and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that. But biblically speaking, upward mobility takes on a different meaning.

"The way of life winds upward for the wise,
that he may turn away from hell below."
~ Proverbs 15:24 NKJV

The book of Proverbs specializes in contrasting choices made by the wise and the foolish. 

The wise are those who trust God and lean on His wisdom in making their choices. The way of life, i.e., the path of life, winds upward for the wise. Fools, on the other hand, are those who do not acknowledge God. In fact they despise wisdom and instruction. Their promised reward is destruction, distress and anguish.
I find it interesting that the verse above does not promise an easy path to Heaven. Even the wise, at times, feel they're going around in circles and may be tempted to question the wisdom or the goodness of the God they follow. But the promise is that the way, though it may wind, is winding upwards.

How good to be spiraling upward rather than downward--downward to hell below.