How do you and I plan to live the rest of our lives?

Being a senior this devotion grasps my heart. Will the rest of my life be live in ‘fear’ or ‘faith’? Does God still have significant works for me to do? Let’s see what Dwight Hill had to say on that matters.

Recently I asked a group of businessmen their greatest concern in life. Their answer? Fear:

Of the future, failure, the past, peers, financial ruin, superiors, bad health, the competition, death, personal inadequacies, parents, the rejection of their children, and the unknown.

Aristotle observed the paralyzing effect of fear upon our lives:

“Elderly men… have often been taken in, and often made mistakes. The result is they are sure about nothing and under-do everything. They ‘think’, but they never ‘know’; and because of their hesitation, they always add a ‘possibility’ or a ‘perhaps’, putting everything this way and nothing positively… They are cynical; that is, they tend to put the worst construction on everything.”

They are small-minded, because they have been humbled by life: their desires are set upon nothing more exalted or unusual than what will help them to keep aliveTHEY GUIDE THEIR LIVES TOO MUCH BY CONSIDERATIONS OF WHAT IS USEFUL AND TOO LITTLE BY WHAT IS NOBLE[They] lack confidence in the futurepartly because of their cowardice. They live by memory rather than by hope… ”

Obviously, “fear has to do with torment… ” (1 John 4:18b). But the good news is that God offers us deliverance from its bondage,

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)

If you are struggling with fear, refuse to allow Satan to gain the upper hand. Claim God’s promises. Memorize, meditate, and appropriate His promises for your life. By so doing, you will put yourself in a position where God can, and will, set you free from the bondage of fear:

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) (See John 8:36; Psalm 119:45; Romans 6:14-18,22; 8:2)

“‘… Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraidfor I myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:10, 11, 14) (See Psalm 27:1, 2; 46:2; 56:3; Isaiah 12:2; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18)

QUESTION:

How do you and I plan to live the rest of our lives?

Paralyzed and diminished by fear?

Or liberated by the promises in God’s Word?

As always, the choice is ours.

 

Learning To “Wait” On The Lord

 

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalm 130:5, 6) (See Psalm 5:3; 130:5-7; 17:14; 37:7, 34; 38:15; 119:84)

Title: “WAIT” (Author Unknown)

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried: Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied. I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate and the Master who gently said, “Child, you must wait.”

“Wait?” You say, wait!” my indignant reply. “Lord, I need answers, I need to know why! Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard? By faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

“My future and all to which I can relate hangs in the balance, and You tell me to wait? I’m needing a ‘yes’ a go-ahead sign or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.

“And Lord, You promised that if we believe we need but to ask, and we shall receive. Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry: I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate, as my Master replied once again, “You must wait.” So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut, and grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting… for what?”

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine, and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign. I could shake the heavens and darken the sun. I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.

“All you ask me I could give, and pleased you would be. You would have what you want – but, you wouldn’t know Me. You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint: You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair: You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there; you’d not know the joy of resting in Me when darkness and silence were all you can see.

“You’d never experience that fullness of love, as the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove; you’d know that I live and I save… (for a start), but you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of My comfort late into the night. The faith that I give when you walk without sight. The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked of an infinite God, who make what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee, what it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for Thee.’ Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true. But, Oh, the loss! If I lost what I’m doing in you!

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see that the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me. And though oft may My answers seem terribly late. My most precious answer of all is still, wait.‘”

 

Prayerful Meditation on The Scriptures

I personally enjoy Prayerful meditation on the Scriptures. The rewards are very real. It’s a channel used by the Holy Spirit to teach us deep lesson. Dwight Hill in his book ‘Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals’. offer five suggestions.

  1. Meditation on the Scriptures should not be viewed as a method or system, but as an attitude: Faith, openness, reverence, expectation, and supplication.

This people draw near to me with their wordsbut they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for me consists of traditions learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13 nasb)

  1. Meditation can actually be quite difficult at times. Thus, we should not judge its value on how

Let me understand the teachings of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” (Psalm 119:27)

  1. It is only if we have a heart fixed on obeying God without reservation that a little effort goes a long way. When we are resisting Him through disobedience or compromise, no amount of effort can produce the desired result.

I have more understandingfor I obey your precepts.” (Psalm 119:100)

  1. In our pride, we don’t want to be beginners. In truth, we will never be anything but beginners. Given the challenge in learning to effectively utilize meditation for spiritual growth, we would do well to recognize the need for a mature mentor.

Whatever you have learned or receivedfrom me, or seen in me – put into practice.” (Philippians 4:9)

  1. Often, what first seemed easy and rewarding suddenly becomes utterly impossible. We struggle with inner confusion, coldness, and lack of confidence. We find concentration difficult. Our imagination and emotions wander – or run wild. We often feel dry and desolate. Repugnant fantasies buried deep within us take over. We totally lose interest in spiritual matters.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I doFor what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15, 19)

So don’t give up, because God promises you that “the path of righteous people is like the light of dawn that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday...” (Proverbs 4:18) (GW)

 

 

On Becoming Like Jesus

 

During my devotional reading came across this devotion that I did found this very inspiring writing. The author is John G. Butler, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.


If we desire to be like Jesus Christ, then there are four of His characteristics we are to emulate:

1. Give up all our rights:

“Let Christ Jesus be your example as to what your attitude should be. For He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God’s equal.”

Prayer: “Lord, I relinquish all my rights: To family. To finances. To recognition. To pleasure. To quietness. To health. To privacy. To be loved. To be treated with respect. To justice.

2. Become nothing:

“[He] stripped Himself of all privilege.”

Prayer: “Lord, I surrender my position. My status. My heritage. My career. My capabilities. My resources. My experience. My reputation. My education.

3. Become a servant:

[“He consented] to be a slave by nature and [be] born as a mortal man.”

Prayer: “Lord, I abdicate my desire to climb the social and economic scale. I renounce all my rights. I ask you to give me a heart to serve you and others on your terms, not mine. Lord, I love to be regarded by others as a servant; help me to be joyfully willing to be treated as a servant.

4. Surrender to His Lordship in total obedience:

And, having become man, He humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dyingthe death of a common criminal.” (Philippians 2:5-8 – Phillips Translation)

Prayer: “Lord, I choose to obey you on your terms, not mine. Whatever the cost: Loss of health. Status. Finances. Family. As did Jesus, I pick up the cross you have assigned me, and by your grace I will carry it to the death. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Pilgrimage

A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Usually, this is a physical journeying (often on foot) to some place of special meaning to the believer of a particular religious belief system. The great Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca (now in Saudi Arabia), is obligatory for every able Muslim. In the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to the experience of life in the world (considered as a period of exile).  Wesley Granberg- Michaeson describe it well, “Pilgrimage is as much about the journey as the destination. The point is not simply to get somewhere, but to expect that the process itself will reveal unexpected discoveries (serendipity), test and nurture spiritual strength, build new relationship along the way, and strengthen our exercise of faith. The pilgrimage of Christianity in the world today requires attentiveness to whom we meet,  openness to new understandings, unwavering trust that the Holy Spirit continues to prepare the way, guiding us into all truth.”[1]


[1] From Time Squares to Timbuktu, Wesley Granberg- Michaelson, Ed. Eerdmans, 2013. P.6