Tag Archives: Inspiration

Keep Your Eyes on God ~ not your difficulties

Standard

Eyes on God

“Then Peter called to him: ‘Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.’ ‘All right,’ the Lord said, ‘come along!’ So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.”

Matthew 14:28 – 30 TLB

We may not walk on water, but we do walk through periods of tumultuous circumstances in life. If we focus on the swirling waves of difficulties surrounding us, we can easily feel like we are being swallowed up by the surge of life’s problems.

Peter experienced a rather unusual example of God’s power when he went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. His faith in Jesus gave him the courage to throw his leg over the side of the boat and step out into the stormy sea.  However, his faith wavered when he realized what he was doing. Once he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the crushing waves around him, he began to sink.

Like Peter, we often start out with great intentions. We may be “prayed up” and filled with holy confidence before we begin to face the day. But once we wade into the undulating sea of life, our faith begins to falter, and we sink in despair. We feel ill-equipped to navigate the storms that batter us. Yet this doesn’t mean that we have failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he immediately reached out to Jesus. In his time of greatest fear, he called on his Savior to rescue him.

When you are afraid of the troubles that swirl around you, keep your eyes on Jesus’ power rather than your own inadequacies. Call out to Him for help, and He will rescue you from the stormy seas.

“We have to pray with our eyes on God ~ not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:31-33

Advertisements

Creation Points Us To the Creator

Standard

IMG_5421

As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV)

Each tiny piece of God’s beautiful creation exemplifies the work of a master artisan. Take a few moments today to get outside and observe some of the intricate details in nature, and you’ll be amazed at the magnificent workmanship of God ~ The Maker of all Things.  There are so many awe-inspiring mysteries in nature that we will never fully comprehend ~ like how a baby’s body is formed in a mother’s womb or how a caterpillar metamorphosizes within a cocoon into a beautiful butterfly. Nature plays a very important role in God’s grand plan.  In fact the very first verse of the Bible tells us that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1 (NIV)  And since the very beginning, He has used the creation to point us to the Creator.

For ever since the creation of the world, His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks).”  Romans 1:20 (AMP)

The marvelous creation not only teaches us about God’s divine nature and infinite wisdom, but it also glorifies God on its own.  That fact should inspire us to do the same through worship and praise of our Heavenly Father.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays his handiwork. Day after day it speaks out; night after night it reveals his greatness.  There is no actual speech or word, nor is its voice literally heard.  Yet its voice echoes throughout the earth; its words carry to the distant horizon. In the sky he has pitched a tent for the sun. Like a bridegroom it emerges from its chamber; like a strong man it enjoys running its course. It emerges from the distant horizon, and goes from one end of the sky to the other; nothing can escape its heat.” (Psalm 19:1 – 6)

The Creator takes great care in watching over His creation, yet nothing in all of creation is more valuable to Him than you.  He designed you as a one-of-a-kind original, and He knows each detail of your life…including your name and number of hairs on your head!  Never doubt that God loves you dearly and  is watching over each moment of your life.

Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.  (Matthew 10:29 – 31) 

Her Children Call Her Blessed

Standard

black butterfly

“Her children arise and call her blessed…”

Proverbs 31:28a

Not only do mothers have the special role of bringing their children into the world, but they also have the important privilege of bringing them up in the world.  From the very beginning of life, babies learn the feeling of unconditional love through the tender care of their loving mothers.  As they grow, children learn about life through her example in the home, from her words of wisdom and encouragement, from listening to her prayers, from observing her faith in action, from her acts of kindness, from watching her care for the poor and sick, and from seeing her diligent work ethic as she provides for their basic needs.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”  Proverbs 31: 26

No mom is going to do things perfectly all the time.  There are situations that arise in life for which there is no “instruction manual,” and sometimes she might stumble along as she strives to find the right technique for those unique conditions.  But if she continues to seek God’s guidance, and if His words are written upon her heart, then wise and thoughtful instruction will come through in her speech.  Her words will be sifted through the filter of love and sprinkled with God’s wisdom.

“Train a child in the way he should go. When he is old, he will not turn away from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

Perhaps the “job” of motherhood is one of the most demanding you could find.  The “job description” for a mother might look like this:  long hours, 24-7; responsibilities include (but are not limited to) laundry, cleaning, cooking, counseling, refereeing, nursing, financial management, tutoring, and chauffeuring.  But any mom would agree that although the days are sometimes demanding, the rewards of motherhood are infinite!  “Her children arise and call her blessed…”

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Love Never Fails

Standard

Snow Valentine

And so faith, hope, love remain
[faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things;
hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;
love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us],
these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (AMP)
 
 

LOVE

is patient.
is kind.
does not envy.
does not boast.
is not proud.
does not dishonor others.
is not self-seeking.
is not easily angered.
keeps no record of wrongs.
does not delight in evil.
rejoices with the truth.
always protects.
always trusts.
always hopes.
always perseveres.
never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4 – 8a)
 

Love never gives up.  It is kind and puts others first.  Love is not jealous or envious and doesn’t brag or boast.  It doesn’t force itself on others, nor fly off the handle. Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, and always takes pleasure in the truth.  Love always protects and trusts.  It always looks for the best in others and never looks back. Love keeps going to the end.  Love never ends.
 
“Whoever does not love, does not know God, because                             

God…is love.”

 (1 John 4:8)

Are You Listening?

Standard

IMG_3076

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;

He does great things beyond our understanding.

He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’

and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’  

Job 37:5-6 (NIV)

“…Are you listening?

                              Have you noticed all this?

                                                                   Stop in your tracks!

                                                                                             Take in God’s miracle-wonders!

Do you have any idea how God does it all, how He makes bright lightning from dark storms, how He piles up the cumulus clouds—all these miracle-wonders of a perfect Mind?”  Job 37:14-16 (MSG)

Nothing can compare to God.  By spending time observing the majestic scenes and intricate details of God’s creation, we are reminded of His awesome power in every aspect of our lives.   Life always creates more questions than we have answers, and we must continually turn to Our Heavenly Father for answers, guidance and fresh insights.  When He speaks, we must be ready to hear His message.

Take a moment to “stop in your tracks,” find a quiet place and listen to the marvelous voice of God.

Heavenly Hugs

Standard

Beloved

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him,
for He shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.”

Deuteronomy 33:12b (NIV)

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him:

As a child of God, you are dearly loved and cherished by your Heavenly Father.  You are a treasure to Him, and in Him you can rest peacefully and securely.  He will never leave you alone, and His faithful love for you will never end.   No matter what your age, this is God’s promise to His beloved child,”Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

He shields him all day long:

God is a shield of protection for His children.  In His protective care, we have nothing to fear.  “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 (NIV)   “But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3 (NIV)

The one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders:

As a child you might have run into your father’s arms if you were hurt or afraid, or even when you were tired and sleepy. In his arms you felt safe and secure, as though nothing could happen to you in that place of refuge. You could lay your head between his shoulders an totally relax, seemingly without a care in the world.  If you are going through a difficult time right now, imagine your Heavenly Father holding you in His loving arms.  Relax in His divine embrace and feel His heavenly hug. ~ His beloved child rests securely between His shoulders:

  • If you are afraid, He calms your fears.
  • If you are in pain, He comforts you.
  • If you are sick, He heals you.
  • If you are heart-broken, He consoles you.
  • If you are in danger, He protects you.
  • If you are weary, He gives you rest.
  • If you are discouraged, He encourages you.
  • If you are weary, He gives you rest…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~Jesus  Matthew 11:28(NIV)

“…and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”  Deuteronomy 1:31

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

Give Thanks in Everything

Standard

IMG_1443

“Give thanks in all circumstances;

For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…” What’s the will of God for you?  That in everything you give Him thanks.  That’s His will for you.  The circumstances swirling around you aren’t necessarily His will, but He desires that you give Him praise and thanks in the midst of those circumstances.  By doing so, you begin to infuse any situation with the possibility of His divine presence and His almighty power.

Sometimes it’s very easy to be thankful.  When God’s blessings seem to be overflowing in our lives and everything is running smoothly, it’s easy to have a thankful heart.  But in times of hardship or heartbreak, in times of bitter disappointments, in times of tragic loss,  in times of painful suffering, in times when the diagnosis is bleak, in times when we’ve been treated wrongly ~ God’s will for us in those situations is to continually give Him thanks.  Through these difficult times, we shouldn’t be thinking, “This terrible thing must be God’s will for my life,” because God didn’t necessarily cause the thing that happened to you.  But as Christians “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)  This is not saying that God caused bad things to happen to bring about good in your life.  No, this tells us that even when bad things happen, God can weave His power and love in it, through it, and beyond it to bring about good in your life.

So as His children, we know that God can take the worst of circumstances and weave in threads of hope and goodness to form a beautiful tapestry.  Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people.  Begin to praise Him and thank Him in the midst of your circumstances, and invite His presence to permeate your situation.  Your present condition may or may not be directly changed by God, but ultimately He promises to bring about good in your life as a result.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100: 4 – 5