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The Word For Life.

If we meet and you forget me, you have lost nothing:
but if you meet JESUS CHRIST and forget Him,
you have lost everything.

I am of the Lord
Posted:Dec 10, 2018 4:28 am
Last Updated:Dec 10, 2018 4:06 pm
16 Views
Read: Isaiah 44:1-5

The Bible in a year: Hosea 1-4; Revelation 1

The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God
(Romans 8:16).

Does not take much time to realize that fashion is now tattooing. Some tattoos are so small that soon as they are noticed. But others--from athletes and actors to ordinary people - opt to cover the body with inks, words and colorful designs. The trend seems to have come to stay; a trend that gave gains $ 3,000 million in 2014... more another 66 million for tattoo removal.

Aside from what you think of tattoos, Isaiah 44 speaks metaphorically about people who wrote something in his hands: «The Lord am» (v. 5 ). This «autotatuaje» is the climax of an entire paragraph which speaks of God's care for his elect (v. 1). They could count on his help (v. 2), and their lands and descendants were designated to receive blessing (v. 3). Three simple but powerful words-"the Lord am» - reaffirmed that the people of God knew that it was possession of him and that the Lord would look after it.

Everyone who comes to God through faith in Jesus Christ can say with confidence: «The Lord I am». We are his people, his sheep, their offspring, their heritage, their abode. Although we have no external marks or tattoos, have the testimony of the holy spirit that we belong to him (see Romans 8:16-17).

Father, thank you for your demonstration of love and because belong to you.
How it can impact your way of life knowing that you belong you to God?
1 comment
Gods hidden hand
Posted:Dec 7, 2018 2:33 am
Last Updated:Dec 9, 2018 4:20 am
71 Views
Read: Psalm 139:13–18

Bible in a Year: Daniel 5–7; 2 John

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

My friend was adopted by a missionary couple from the United States and grew up in Ghana. After his family moved back to the US, he began college but had to drop out. Later, he signed on with the military, which eventually helped him for college and took him all over the world. Through it all, God was at work, preparing him for a special role. Today, he writes and edits Christian literature that ministers to an international audience.

His wife also has an interesting story. She failed her chemistry exams during her first year of college due to the strong medication she had to take for epilepsy. After some careful deliberation, she switched from studying science to studying American Sign Language, which had a more manageable workload. Reflecting on that experience, she says, “God was redirecting my life for a greater purpose.” Today, she is making His life-changing Word accessible to the hearing-impaired.

Do you sometimes wonder where God is leading you? Psalm 139:16 acknowledges God’s sovereign hand in our lives: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” We don’t know how God will use the circumstances of our life, but we can rest in the knowledge that God knows everything about us and is directing our footsteps. Though His sovereign hand may seem hidden, He’s never absent.

Dear Lord, help me to trust You even when I don’t understand.

What steps can you take to discern God’s leading or to act on His call for your life?
1 comment
Lonely Christmas
Posted:Dec 6, 2018 4:18 am
Last Updated:Dec 7, 2018 2:33 am
125 Views
Read: Psalm 25:14–22

Bible in a Year: Daniel 3–4; 1 John 5

My eyes are ever on the Lord. Psalm 25:15

The loneliest Christmas I ever spent was in my grandfather’s cottage near Sakogu, northern Ghana. I was just fifteen, and my parents and siblings were a thousand kilometers away. In previous years, when I’d been with them and my village friends, Christmas was always big and memorable. But this Christmas was quiet and lonely. As I lay on my floor mat early Christmas morning, I remembered a local song: The year has ended; Christmas has come; the Son of God is born; peace and joy to everybody. Mournfully, I sang it over and over.

My grandmother came and asked, “What song is that?” My grandparents didn’t know about Christmas—or about Christ. So I shared what I knew about Christmas with them. Those moments brightened my loneliness.

Alone in the fields with only sheep and occasional predators, the shepherd boy David experienced loneliness. It would not be the only time. Later in his life he wrote, “I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalm 25:16). But David didn’t allow loneliness to cause him to be despondent. Instead, he sang: “My hope, Lord, is in you” (v. 21).

From time to time we all face loneliness. Wherever Christmas may find you this year, in loneliness or in companionship, you can enjoy the season with Christ.

Lord, thank You that with You I’m not alone even in my times of loneliness. This Christmas, help me to enjoy my fellowship with You and to reach out to others.

With Jesus at Christmas, we’re never alone.
1 comment
A Hand Up
Posted:Dec 5, 2018 6:41 am
Last Updated:Dec 6, 2018 10:36 am
129 Views
Read: Ecclesiastes 4:8–12

Bible in a Year: Daniel 1–2; 1 John 4

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiastes 4:10

My children have enjoyed the thrill of a backyard ice-skating rink during our cold Idaho winters. When they were young, learning to skate was challenging: persuading them to deliberately set foot on the hard, icy surface proved difficult because they knew the pain of falling. Each time their feet slid out from under them, my husband or I would reach out to pull them again to their feet, setting them upright and steadying their frames.

Having someone there to help us up when we fall is the gift of a helping hand depicted in Ecclesiastes. Working with another makes our work sweeter and more effective (4:9), and a friend brings warmth to our lives. When we encounter challenges, it helps to have someone come alongside with practical and emotional support. These relationships can give us strength, purpose, and comfort.

When we find ourselves flattened on the cold ice of life’s hardships, is there a helping hand nearby? If so, it might be from God. Or when someone else needs a friend, could we be God’s answer to lift them up? In being a companion, we often find one. If it appears that no one is nearby to lift us to our feet again, we can find comfort in knowing that God is our ever-present help (Psalm 46:1). As we reach out to Him, He’s ready to steady us with His firm grip.

Thank You, Father, for helping me up when life knocks me down. Thank You for the people You’ve used to encourage and strengthen me. Yours is the most faithful friendship I have.

How can you open yourself more fully to God’s presence in your life?
2 Comments
Questions at Christmas
Posted:Dec 4, 2018 3:16 am
Last Updated:Dec 5, 2018 6:41 am
143 Views
Read: Matthew 16:13–21

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 47–48; 1 John 3

“But what about you?” [Jesus] asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15

Well before the calendar flips to December, Christmas cheer begins to bubble up in our northern town. A medical office drapes its trees and shrubs in close-fitting strings of lights, each a different color, illuminating a breathtaking nighttime landscape. Another business decorates its building to look like an enormous, extravagantly wrapped Christmas present. It’s difficult to turn anywhere without seeing evidence of Christmas spirit—or at least seasonal marketing.

Some people love these lavish displays. Others take a more cynical view. But the crucial question isn’t how others observe Christmas. Rather, we each need to consider what the celebration means to us.

A little more than thirty years after His birth, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13). They gave responses others had given: John the Baptist, Elijah, maybe another prophet. Then Jesus made it personal: “Who do you say I am?” (v. 15). Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (v. 16).

Many will celebrate Christmas without a thought about who the Baby really is. As we interact with them, we can help them consider these crucial questions: Is Christmas just a heartwarming story about a baby born in a stable? Or did our Creator visit His creation and become one of us?

Father in heaven, may our Christmas celebrations this year, whether lavish or small, honor the Messiah who came to redeem His creation.

Who do you say Jesus is?
2 Comments
Thanks for Being You!
Posted:Dec 3, 2018 5:49 am
Last Updated:Dec 3, 2018 11:05 am
173 Views
Read: Psalm 100

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 45–46; 1 John 2

Enter his gates with thanksgiving. Psalm 100:4

When I served as my mom’s live-in caregiver at a cancer center, I got to know Lori, another caregiver who lived down the hallway from us with her husband, Frank. I would chat, laugh, vent, cry, and pray with Lori in the shared living areas. We enjoyed supporting each other as we cared for our loved ones.

One day, I missed the free shuttle that took residents to buy groceries. Lori offered to drive me to the store later that evening. With grateful tears, I accepted her offer. “Thanks for being you,” I said. I truly appreciated her for who she was as a person, not just for what she did for me as a friend.

Psalm 100 demonstrates an appreciation of God for who He is, not simply for all He does. The psalmist invites “all the earth” (v. 1) to “worship the Lord with gladness” (v. 2), being confident in knowing “the Lord is God” (v. 3). Our Maker invites us into His presence to “give thanks to him and praise his name” (v. 4). Yes, the Lord remains worthy of our ongoing thankfulness because He “is good,” His “love endures forever,” and His “faithfulness continues through all generations” (v. 5).

God will always be the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and our intimately loving Father. He deserves our genuine joy-filled gratitude.

Lord, thanks for being You!

Who can you share God’s love with today?
1 comment
Honoring God with Thanks
Posted:Nov 30, 2018 5:31 am
Last Updated:Dec 3, 2018 11:07 am
224 Views
Read: Psalm 50:8–15

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 37–39; 2 Peter 2

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.
Psalm 50:15

The doctor wasn’t frowning, despite talking to my husband about his recent cancer diagnosis. Smiling, she offered a suggestion: start each day by giving thanks. “For at least three things,” the doctor said. Dan agreed, knowing that gratitude opens our hearts to find encouragement in God’s goodness. Thus, Dan starts each day with words of praise. Thank You, God, for a good night’s sleep. For my clean bed. For sunshine. For breakfast on the table. For a smile on my lips.

Each word is heartfelt. But could it sound trivial? Does our praise in life’s small details matter to Almighty God? In Psalm 50, David’s chief musician, Asaph, offers a clear answer. God has “no of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens” (v. 9). Instead of these once-formal Israelite sacrifices of gratitude, God wants His people to give Him our hearts and lives in gratitude (vv. 14, 23).

As my husband experienced, whole-hearted gratitude helps our spirits flourish. Then when we call on the Lord “in the day of trouble,” He will “deliver” us (v. 15). Does this mean Dan will be healed, spiritually and physically, during his two-year treatment? Or not until after this lifetime? We don’t know. But for now, Dan delights in showing God he’s grateful for His love, and for who God is: Redeemer. Healer. Friend. And friends delight to hear these beautiful words: Thank You.

My gratitude to God is great to Him.
1 comment
Lord of the Moment
Posted:Nov 29, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated:Nov 30, 2018 5:32 am
250 Views
Read: 2 Kings 8:1–6

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 35–36; 2 Peter 1

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Not long ago I was working on a construction project at my son’s home three hours away. The job took days longer than expected, and each morning I prayed we would finish by sunset. But every evening there was more to be done.

I wondered why. Could there be a reason for the delay? An answer came the next morning. I was picking up a tool when my phone rang and a stranger’s voice spoke urgently: “Your daughter was injured in an accident. You need to come immediately.”

She lived near my son, so it took just fourteen minutes to reach her. If I had been home, I would have been three hours away. I followed the ambulance to the hospital and comforted her before surgery. As I sat holding her hand I realized if my project hadn’t been delayed, I wouldn’t have been there.

Our moments belong to God. This was the experience of a woman whose son God had resurrected through the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:18–37). She left the country because of famine and returned years later to beg the king for her land. At precisely that moment the king was conversing with the prophet’s servant Gehazi. “Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored” her son, the woman walked in (8:5). Her request was granted.

We don’t know what even the next second brings, but God is graciously able to use any situation for good. May God give us grace to walk with Him expectantly into His appointments for us today.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of my life. Help me to be Your faithful servant.

Our lives are better off in God’s hands than in our own.
2 Comments
A Solid Foundation
Posted:Nov 28, 2018 3:33 am
Last Updated:Dec 7, 2018 6:51 am
258 Views
Read: Matthew 7:24–27

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 33–34; 1 Peter 5

Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24

Last summer my husband and I toured Fallingwater, a house in rural Pennsylvania designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Wright wanted to create a home that rose organically out of the landscape, as if it could have grown there—and he accomplished his goal. He built the house around an existing waterfall, and its style mirrors the neighboring rock ledges. Our tour guide explained what made the construction safe: “The whole vertical core of the house,” she said, “rests on boulders.”

Hearing her words, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s words to His disciples. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told them that what He was teaching would be the sure foundation for their lives. If they heard His words and put them into practice, they would be able to withstand any storms. Those who heard but didn’t obey, in contrast, would be like a house built on sand (Matthew 7:24–27). Later, Paul echoed this thought, writing that Christ is the foundation, and we must build upon it with work that will endure (1 Corinthians 3:11).

When we listen to the words of Jesus and obey them, we’re building our lives on a steady, rock-solid foundation. Maybe our lives can look a little like Fallingwater, beautiful and built to last on the Rock.

God, help us to hear and obey the words of Jesus!

What are you building your life around?
1 comment
Putting Up Hay
Posted:Nov 27, 2018 2:29 am
Last Updated:Nov 27, 2018 5:40 am
266 Views
Read: Luke 15:11–24

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 30–32; 1 Peter 4

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven. Romans 4.7

When I was in college, I worked a summer on a ranch in Colorado. One evening, tired and hungry after a long day of mowing hay, I drove the tractor into the yard. Acting like the hot shot I thought I was, I cranked the steering wheel hard left, stamped on the left brake, and spun the tractor around.

The sickle was down and swept the legs out from under a 500-gallon gasoline tank standing nearby. The tank hit the ground with a resounding boom, the seams split, and all the gasoline spewed out.

The rancher stood nearby surveying the scene.

I got off the tractor, stammered an apology, and—because it was the first thing that popped into my mind—offered to work the rest of the summer without pay.

The old rancher stared at the wreckage for a moment and turned toward the house. “Let’s go have dinner,” he drawled.

A scrap of a story Jesus told passed through my mind—a story about a young man who had done a terrible thing: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you,” he cried. He intended to add, “Make me like one of your hired servants,” but before he could get all the words out of his mouth his father interrupted him. In essence, he said, “Let’s go have dinner” (Luke 15:17–24).

Such is God’s amazing grace.

Father, we celebrate Your gracious and lavish forgiveness. Thank You for the peace and freedom it brings us as we enjoy a family relationship with You.

What a privilege to be sons and daughters of the King!
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