Thursday, September 10, 2009

God Exists Everywhere

My father-in-law wrote a great reply to my last devotion. I thought you all might be interested in reading it as well!

God Bless,



People can see the evidence that God exists everyday in His creation. – if they want to. Psalms 19:1 says, “The Heavens declare the Glory of God; and the firmament [the stars] shows His handiwork.” So how can you miss God in all that? But His handiwork, just like all of His more sensational and spectacular miracles in the Bible, still get missed or forgotten by people who also still fail to notice Him and fail to continue to give Him credit. They just forget and fall back into their unbelief and let life go on “as usual” without God and without faith. Sure, we’re all humans, and you can expect that sort of thing, but thank God He created faith as a plan for those if us who want to remember Him and all He has done!

I believe the real reason we humans forget about God is because no one ever truly sees God and keeps on living. We just see His actions, His work and His results, but never His face. Moses was told by God that "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." (Ex 33:20). So Moses got to see the back of God for just an instant, and that almost killed him! We only get to see the evidence of God’s existence, and that where faith (and often a lot of it) is required for us to believe that the evidence means that God truly exists. The works, wonders, and miracles are all only signs & representations of who God is, but we never really get to see God Himself – because if we saw Him, we would surely die.

I also believe that it would be impossible to see God and still not believe in Him. Good or bad, once you see Him you’ll believe alright, but then it’s too late to do anything about it because you’ll also be dead, and all that’s left then is The Judgment. There’s no gap or time to decide to follow Christ or to correct your crooked path or clean your soiled garments. The instant a human see God – truly and really sees God – life as we know it is over.

This leads me to the list of my three good reasons why God doesn’t actually show Himself to people directly:

1) It eliminates the faith required to believe (aka, “seeing is believing”)

2) it eliminates the ability for people to act on that belief (too late to change; and

3) it eliminates the ability to share that faith and spread it to others.

So again, God in His grace knew we couldn’t actually see Him or this whole plan wouldn’t work right. I’d love to actually see God face to face today because I know I’m ready to meet Him. That doesn’t scare me at all. But if I did see Him right now face to face, I wouldn’t be able to stay here and share my faith with others who don’t know Him and that would not be good for His Master Plan – The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). So as long as I’m part of His plan here on Earth, I’ve got to use faith to keep me in tune with God.

The only exception in the Bible are those people who saw the physical human body and face of Jesus himself. Even then, however, the disciples only saw the physical Christ and never the fully incarnated glorious heavenly Christ. God limited what they saw to what they could understand and endure without zapping them all into heaven in an instant. He needed to energize them to start the church, but He didn’t want to wipe them out before they got started. Maybe that’s why the first generation of the church was so empowered and so spiritual – they saw more of God than any other living man, but yet they continued to live here on earth. That extra dose of God – seeing Christ in His resurrected body – had to be awesome to say the least.

The point of all this is to say that God created faith and gave it to us for us to “see” God in this world and in all of the miracles our human eyes might view. Faith is the “eye-glass of the soul” and God’s primary tool to get man back into fellowship with Him. He still reveals Himself through miracles and acts of healing and the like, and man will continue to get all excited at times and then forget Him at other times. But these things are provided to remind mankind of the faith that we all need to have in Him in order to believe that He truly exists. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Without faith, we may see evidence of God all around us, but never truly see Him as our Lord & Savior. But with faith, our eyes will be opened more and more to see and appreciate all of His wondrous works and His desire to be Our Awesome God!

How Often Do You "See" God?

Many people wonder why God doesn't just "show himself to the world" so that we may all see and believe. Well, anyone who continues to ask that, does not fully understand or know the bible. Time after time in the Old Testament, God revealed himself to the people. There were miracles, prophecies, parting of rivers, the 10 commandments, military victories, tornadoes of fire, etc. Unfortunately, after every event, God's people forgot what He had done. They turned back to their old ways and began worshiping/creating false gods.

Even after Jesus walked on this Earth raising people from the dead, healing the blind and sick, feeding thousands of people out of just a few loaves of bread, walking on water, and turning water into wine his disciples almost immediately threw all of the physical evidences of God (along with all his words and predictions to his death) away.

Luke 24 depicts the scene of two of Jesus' disciples meeting Jesus on the road after the resurrection. One would think these disciples would remember God's words (and recognize Jesus) especially after all they had witnessed:

". . . the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him mover to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life" (Matthew 20:17-19)

Jesus said the above words directly to his 12 apostles. Yet as these 2 men were walking along the road, they assumed Jesus was a visitor to Jerusalem. They spoke to him about the man who was crucified, a great prophet, the one they thought would "redeem Israel."

How could these men not know Jesus? They were the ones who knew him the most while on this Earth yet they STILL had to have Jesus(disguised as a visitor) explain to them why He(Jesus) was the Christ! It says that Jesus explained the Scripture to them and all it had said regarding the Christ: "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." (Luke 24:27)

So ask yourself, why do you need God to reveal himself to you? What good would it do? Would you honestly change your life and live it better? Would you forget it? Would you go and tell others? Would other people even believe you? This is why (if you remember my devotion about Elijah on the mountain), God does not want to have to show himself to us in a BIG way. He would much rather be that whisper, that intimate, close relationship that only we can explain. This is why God is so special. And don't forget, you never know how often you are actually interacting with God. Look at the disciples, they did not even know they were speaking with Jesus on the road! How often do we encounter Him in our lives and dismiss Him?

God Bless you all,

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up with wings as eagles they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Are you luke warm?

The Devil has many tactics to prevent us from seeking the comforting and loving arms of our Lord and Savior. One of those ways that he prevents me from seeking God is the feeling of guilt and shame. When I sin, I try to hide from God, just like Adam and Even did when they realized they were naked. The Scripture says that when God asked why they were hiding they said they were afraid. (Gen 1). Why should we as Christians feel afraid? We have Jesus who came and died for our sins. We have nothing to fear so long as we follow God. Anytime we sin, we need to ask for forgiveness and repent. The key word here is "repent." This means we must turn from our sins and continue on the path of righteousness. When we do not repent our actions have serious consequences for us and others around us. Read this passage in Jeremiah:

"During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, 'Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,' declares the Lord. The Lord said to me, "Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah." (Jeremiah 3:6-10)

In this passage, Israel sinned by committing adultery against the Lord (which in this case means worshiping other man made gods). While Israel was sinning, her sister Judah saw Israel and decided to follow Israel's footsteps down the path of sin and destruction. This is where the message becomes difficult to comprehend. God says in the end that Judah (the sister) comes back to God in "pretense" which means with false sincerity. Judah may have said they were sorry but they most likely were continuing their same lives as before. They merely asked for forgiveness in an act of ritual.

How often do we sin against God, but continue on the same exact path, stopping only for a moment to ask for forgiveness out of habit not out of sincerity. The bible clearly states that God will judge our hearts. We cannot run and hide from God. We cannot trick God, making him think we're asking for forgiveness, but in our hearts we are not. Don't be mistaken, it is not good to be like Israel in this passage either. Israel's sin is what caused Judah to go into sin in the first place. I have seen many Christians in my lifetime, including myself, who have went down a path of sin thinking that we will "come back to God later" or we will be the prodigal son and return at another point in our life. Ask yourself this question if you are on that path right now, are you willing to be responsible for the other souls you are leading on the path with you? You may have intention to return to God at some point in time, but will the others? Your temporary sin could be responsible for someone's soul dying, condemned to an eternity of separation from God.

"Return, faithless people," declares the Lord, 'for I am your husband." (Jeremiah 3:14)

May you all be blessed. And please, wherever you are in your life right now, make sure you are sincere in your faith with God. It is better to be hot or cold instead of lukewarm......

Friday, July 24, 2009

Walking alone..... with God

Often times in our walk with Christ we come to stepping stones. In order to make it to the next stone, we have to take a great "leap of faith" (pardon my cliche). Depending on where we are in the walk, there may be others right with us taking the step. For example, when we are young, perhaps it is our parents who help to give us insight into the Word of God. At other times, it may be a pastor or a friend. But as we grow, there will always be a point where we must come to that stone alone. It is only up to us to make the jump. It becomes easy to glance around and wonder, "why, where are all the others to help me along the way?" Well, my friend, think of it as a glorious event. It is the jump into "adulthood with God." We cannot learn to depend upon these others in our lives to "make" our relationship with God rich and deep. No, my brothers and sisters, it is up to each and every one of us to make sure that the budding friendship with our Savior blossoms into a magnificent flower.

You may wonder why I speak of relationship with God that is so intimate and sacred that no one else can be there with you for it. In the past couple of days I have watched a few movies regarding the Nazi Jewish Concentration Camps. They have tugged at my soul. I even was brought to the point to ask questions like, "God, why didn't you hear their cries? Didn't you see them" which God in turn replied the following:

"Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? Does he who disciplines the nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge? The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile." (Psalm 94:9) - great read; I recommend reading the whole passage.

What I am trying to say is that my husband and I are in a place in our life where it can feel lonely. We do not have many physically close Christian brothers and sisters to turn to. We are in the midst of the challenge of beginning a new church and yet we aren't real active in that process yet. I find myself whining saying, I do not have strong Christian brothers and sisters to surround myself in order that I may grow. Yet, how can I make it their job to grow my relationship with God? I must take responsibility for my own placement in Christ. For I do not know the true extent of what good someone else may do for me. As the good Word states, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Phillipians 2:12). It does not just say to "work out" meaning that it is all done in one instant. It says continue! Our relationship with God does not end as soon as we accept Him as our Savior. It is JUST the beginning. Everyday we need to wake up and "continue to work out our salvation." We must choose to live for Him daily. This means putting ourselves into the Scripture so that the Lord can challenge and enlighten you in brand new ways.

I pray that you all are seeking the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It is with this that God can bring light to His word and in your life.

God Bless You All,

Psalm 94 : 23

"He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Christianity: Bondage in Rules or Freedom From Pain?

Many people dislike Christianity for all the ‘rules’. Well I think that is nonsense! What is Christianity except a release from the world’s rules? Christianity is how I am able to be my own person. The world tries to tell me that I need alcohol, wealth, clothes, sports teams, a business, my own career, and a mind that accepts anything and everything as okay.

Christianity in my perspective frees me from the above bondages. For my purpose in life is to not buy clothes, save up a lot of money, or to even be the nicest person in the world (let’s face it – I could try but it probably wouldn’t happen). My purpose is to live each day with a love unlike any other. It is a love that exists through any circumstance. It is a love that tells me to accept everyone else with the same love that I am given. A love that rejoices in flaws because I understand I can never fully reach perfection in this lifetime; at least not until I am united with the sole perfector of the universe, Jesus Christ.

Some other religions or philosophies require that we carry around some item that will bring us good luck, good energy, or make us a better person in general. With Christ we do not need to carry anything with us. We have God at our fingertips literally anywhere, anytime. He even left us a gift, the Holy Spirit which dwells inside of us and helps to direct us. You can think of it as a roadmap from God in case for some reason we cannot understand what He is telling us to do; which is ironic, because the road map is still God speaking to us. You see, we cannot separate from Him. He will never leave nor forsake us.

And if God for some reason required us to carry around some “item” what would we do if we lost it? How would we become better people without some physical item outside of ourselves directing us? A lot of us depend on material things to bring us good luck, charm, and energy. Some believe that these objects will even make us a better person. Well I want to ask a question, why would some being, or whatever you believe in, require us to have some material object in order to become a better person? That would mean it would not be accessible to every person in the world. Jesus’ love extends to every person, of every background, race, ethnicity, and class. And the question I brought up earlier, what would you do if it was gone? If you had nothing left in this whole world except the clothes on your back. What would you do? How would you do it?

Can your rock or your so called god do miracles? Can it provide for you holistically? Can your god heal a lifetime of pain? Can it mend broken relationships? Can it guarantee you happiness and an eternity of riches? NO – because there is not ONE thing on this earth that can guarantee that. No marriage, drink, friend, money, energy baring rock, can do that except for Jesus Christ. He does all of that and guarantees you eternal joy and happiness in His kingdom.

The most BEAUTIFUL thing is that we do not have to ‘do’ anything. There was only one factor that “I” had to do. I simply had to ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior of my life, to forgive me of my sins, and to make in me a new heart. That was the end of it. I was guaranteed a life with God from that point on. Oh, you ask about all the “rules” us Christians must abide by? Well God simply asks us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. That is the only rule of Christianity. When you begin a life of following God, when you love Him with all your Heart, that is when all the other things in our life begin to change, that is when you decide to stop doing whatever it is that God has called you to stop doing. But only once you have found God. Christianity is not bondage in rules, it is freedom from pain.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How do you know God's will?

Jesus came to this world with a purpose, a mission. He came to set us free, each and every one in order that we may live a life abundant in the Kingdom of Heaven. However, he left us to decide whether or not we would follow Him to that eternity. Therefore, we must face decisions. Sometimes we consult God, other times, we do not. My question to you is how do you know what is the will of God? How do you pursue His will? Do you pray? Do you ask others? Do you simply make a decision and hope for the best? There is an answer in the word of God that directs us to finding God's will for our lives. In Romans, Paul encourages us to "offer [our] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God." When we present ourselves to God completely free from all other bindings, it is then and only then that we may find a will for our lives. Paul continues to say that this act is not only a guide to finding what God's will is but it is also an act of worship.

You see, we have made worship into a form of entertainment within the church. This is not how it is meant to be. Worship can occur at any moment, any place, with or without sound, with or without other people. Ultimate worship is laying your life down to follow God. This is a form of praise. God does not want us to conform to this world, which in some circumstances, may be the way you worship God. Do not make your worship simply a way for you to be entertained, where you focus on how you feel. This makes it about yourself and not God. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will." Worship God completely, which entails laying your life down before Him, and you will find and enjoy God's will for your life.

God Bless You All


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12: 1 - 3

Jesus lived and died, he sacrificed himself for us. Can you now become a living sacrifice?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Revel in God and He will Reveal Himself

One of the most difficult aspects of Christianity (and sometimes the most frightening) is speaking about our faith to others. It is popular to believe that we need not worry (or prepare) for these encounters because Jesus tells us to "not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:19) However, this popular verse is taken out of context. When you read just a couple sentences back the whole passage says

"But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father through you."

When Jesus was speaking to his disciples about being arrested, he also was warning the disciples that they will be flogged, stoned, and hated ("I am sending you out like sheep among wolves" - Mth 10:16).

As you can see, there is a huge difference between how these disciples were witnessing and how we today speak about our faith in America. We are not facing whippings or stonings. Yet we expect that God will move and speak through us just the same. In my opinion, I think this is a little naive and prideful on our part. It is naive and prideful in the aspect that we do not spend time in God's word preparing ourselves for the situations that arise in which we must speak about our faith or answer difficult questions. Jesus' disciples had walked, talked, and lived the life of a true Christian so of course the Holy Spirit would speak through them when they were arrested (or in any other situation as well). My point is to not make you think that God cannot and will not provide the words to say in touchy situations, I merely saying how can we expect God to suddenly save us from embarrassment (if we cannot answer someone's question or we seem to stumble on our words when we explain our faith) when we do not live fully for Him? If you do not anticipate the questions that others may have - then you will not have the knowledge already in your mind for God to suddenly pull it forth from you and to speak for you.

I have a great friend who constantly challenges me about my faith. I try to answer the best I can. But because of her, I have learned to anticipate what she may ask me. I have thrown myself into the bible, studying it so that God can pull together everything I have read. You see, it is not I who find the answers, but I put myself in a place where God can REVEAL the answer to me. That is the key factor to success in speaking about your faith. You must be willing to put yourself in front of God so He can speak to you.

Remember my devotion about God's whisper - sometimes it is just that, a whisper. And once God has whispered to you, it is your duty to spread the word so that others may see and hear the light.

"What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." -- Matthew 10: 27

May God Bless You All!!