Archive for the ‘trust’ Category

Giving God Our All

“God wants our hearts as well as our minds.” – William Wilberforce, Real Christianity


God deserves our all.  He doesn’t just want it.  He deserves it.  In fact, God delights in our willingness to obediently follow His commands as well as our willingness to forsake everything else to follow Him.

Jesus said as much in Matthew 22:37, saying for us to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind.  We can hardly accept His offer of salvation without our own form
of sacrifice and submission.  Francis Chan said it plainly in Crazy Love,”Jesus asks for everything.”


Giving your all to God is not as easy as it sounds.  There are times when we want to hold on to what we have brought with us.  He dare not release our baggage at the Lord’s altar or drop our burdens at the foot of the cross.  We hold onto what has been having a hold on us for whatever reason or excuse that we conjure up and believe.  We want what God has to offer us through salvation and forgiveness of sins, but we somehow miss out on loving Him with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).

If God can handle our sins, He surely can handle our troubles.

He is able. . .

He can do more than we can “ask or imagine”( Ephesians 3:20).  He wants us to give it over to Him.  And He is more than able to handle it.

He is accessible. . .

He invites us to His “throne of grace” to receive  both grace and mercy “in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)


He is attentive. . . 

“Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” – Psalm 4:3 (NIV).  He hears us and He can help us.  He pays attention to our cries and pleas to Him.

Do not neglect what God can do on our behalf.  He offers so much more than just freedom from sin’s grasp.  God gives us so much and only asks for us to trust Him.  Trust God with your worries and all that weighs heavily upon your heart.  Freely approach God with all that has held you back and release it into His hands.

Give God all of you, and then watch what He makes out of you.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5 (NIV)

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Problems with Patience

Have you really had struggles or trials with patience?

Think back and see what you really thought during such times.

Were you eagerly awaiting something, only to discover that you needed to exercise patience?

Patience can become a problem when you have taken the ready position without any means of going forward.  Some folks can this “the waiting game.” Others shout and pout or rant and rave.  Yet, patience is what is required. 

God expects us to await and remain aware.  Some of God’s work is unfolding things in His own way despite everything being in His hands and under His control.  He may just be watching us while we are waiting, seeing if we have the patience to persist.  But patience also has its “perfect work.”

You might not like it, but it is part of how God works.  You may want to quote some biblical eloquence about how God wants you blessed or why God has all things for all His children.  However, let me allow the Scriptures to speak to that as well.

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:4

But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
– 2 Cor. 6:4
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.- James

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; -Col. 1:9-11

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Keep Count in 2012

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? – Luke 14:28 (KJV)

In 2012, you had better keep count of some things.  You should keep count and keep track throughout the year. Look back at how God answered prayers and provided for you thus far, holding on with hope for Him to continue to grant you such blessings of grace and mercy in 2012.

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Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. – Philippians 3:12 (NKJV)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

Many people fail to keep going.  Unlike Paul, they fail to press on towards clearly defined goals and objectives.  They miss the mark when it comes to getting things done.  They rarely get beyond the surface when it comes to accomplishment or achievement.  These people just do not get very far despite how much or how hard they try to get with their work.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

Unfortunately, these people fail due to lack of faith.  When it comes to church, some tend focus on the visible rather than hidden mysteries of God.  Some cannot keep their eyes on the prize and simply walk by faith.  They lack the faith to stick to the path that will lead to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  They want to see it, but they cannot reach it since it seems like a great deal of work.

They get distracted.  There is a detour or delay.  Somewhere along the way, they get distressed.  They simply lose their way.

They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. – Psalm 107:4 (NKJV)

The trouble is that many of us fail to hold on.  We fail when the going gets tough.  We fail when the road gets rough.  We fail to keep going in faith.  We fail to keep the faith.

We need to learn to trust God at all times.  We need to have the type of faith that fully relies upon God.  Without such faith, we fail.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. – Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. – Psalm 56:3 (NKJV)

Trust the Lord.  Trust the Lord to take you all of the way.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. – Psalm 37:3 (NKJV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding – Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV)

Trusting God does not mean that you just leave things with God and walk away.  Give it to God in faith.  You let God have rule over the matter, while you remain connected to what God has given to you as divine directives.

You have to keep the faith.  You have to keep going.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.  – Psalm 20:7 (NKJV)

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Worth the Risk

“Faith laughs at impossibilities.” – Smith Wigglesworth

Faith involves a certain degree of risk.  My pastor preached and taught many times over the years that faith can cause you to end up looking foolish following God.  If you are going to have faith, you must be willing to take a risk.  You have to be willing to stand out from the crowd.

As Christians, we are called to be faithful.  Faithful indicates that one is full of faith.  Imagine if you were so faithful that it began to overflow and touch others.  Take a moment to think of all of the ways that you touch people by living a life full of faith.

When you risk your public image, your reputation, and your good name, you take a risk of losing face.  You put such things on the line and trust God, leaving all things in His hands.  You have enough faith to hold on and see things through, even when it seems like things won’t work out for your own benefit or gain.  You trust that God has it all worked out.  You put your faith in Him.  In the end, God gets the glory. 

If God gets the glory, then it all is worth the risk.  Friends may come and go, but God reigns supreme over an everlasting kingdom.  Let the glory be given to God and see that faith is well worth the risk.


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Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham’s child, but even though Abraham is old I have given him a son.”
– Genesis 21:5-7 (NIV)

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
God can do wonders beyond our finite imagination.  He can things beyond the limits of the time frames and deadlines that we set up and uphold.  Yes, the Creator is in ultimate control and reveals His omnipotent power to us at various times.

God demonstrated His power by giving Abraham and Sarah a child in their old age.  At one hundred years old, Abraham was blessed with a son.  God can use us, even when we no longer think that we have any use left in us.  he can bless us at a time when we feel that there is no hope left.

Trust God today.  He is able.  His ability rests in who He is- I AM.  It does not depend on what we think He is or imagine He is.  It rests simply in who He actually is as God Almighty.  Trust Him today.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
1Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her. –Genesis 20:1-2 (NIV)

Have you ever repeated a mistake? You have gone through it at least once before, but you repeat it anyhow.  Rather than rely upon God, you start relying upon instinct and intuition.  yet, you find yourself back in the same situation that you once experienced and should have learned from some time ago.

Abraham did just that.  He had done similarly as to when he entered into Egypt.  He  told his wife to tell those they encountered that she was his sister (Gen. 12:13; Gen. 20:2).  He was different in Genesis 12.  He was still Abram then, but now he had a new name.  He was uncertain of what God wanted to do with him, but now he had been assured by God.  He was unsure of this land that God would show him, but now he had already seen the land of promise

What gives?

We really don’t know.  If we knew, we most probably wouldn’t repeat mistakes like that ourselves.  If it was so easy, we could condemn Abraham.  However, it is not so easy and we surely don’t have an easy answer that we can just slip in and suggest as a rationale for repeating mistakes.

What we can do is simply try our best to avoid making repeated mistakes.  Is there a lesson that we should learn in it? Learn in it and grow from there.  Cut down the number of repeat mistakes by seeking the counsel of God.  Pray before you make a major move.  Ask of God before making transitions and shifts in your plan.  Listen to God’s Spirit.  Hear what the Lord has to say to you, then make a move.  Possibly, if you are attentive and act accordingly, you will see yourself making fewer and fewer repeated mistakes.

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Christmas Crime

Christmas With the Kranks

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
-Judges 2:10 (NLT)
This holiday season has disturbed me a bit.  No, it’s not because me artificial tree looks like it needs a stimulus package or recovery funds.  I can deal with that.  It’s not even because we have Christmas on a tight budget this year (and every year).  It certainly isn’t due to the fact that my Christmas savings account was empty before I had purchased a single gift for anyone.  None of that is a big deal to me.

The Ice Harvest

These holiday criminals have me puzzled.  They prey upon households that tend to be the people who really don’t deserve to be robbed blind if there ever such a list existed.  For instance, a woman from our church and a family friend spent much of early December helping prepare for our church’s Angel Tree celebration for the children of the incarcerated through Prison Fellowship.  Yet, her house was robbed and ransacked just days before Christmas.  My neighbor who never fails to speak or wave and who always seems to be ready to offer a cheery smile was robbed the day before Christmas as I grumbled about losing a gift card for one of my family members.  Here I was complaining about the $30 card I had lost, but this man and his family were wiped out in an instant.

Trapped in Paradise
It is some sad commentary on us when we think that we are immune to Christmas crimeLook at the world today.  Crime may be on an upswing due to hard times and other factors.  It’s unreal out here with the economy and the job market.  However, if we do not see the reality that is before our eyes, we may end up wondering the worst and missing our own miracles.
Home Alone
Imagine the worst and expect the worst.  It comes out like that.  It is like Murphy’s Law or a self-fulfilling prophecy.  We tend to live up to the expectations of others and we live out our own expectations of ourselves. Don’t let bad things run around in your mind to the point that you embrace cynicism and negativity as part of your outlook on daily living, even the holidays.  Embrace the miracle of what you have been given today and in this moment.  The miracle is that God allowed you to see or hear about it.  Do something about it.  Do something special for the people who had to deal with it.  Take full advantage of today.  Make the most of every God-given opportunity today.
What kept it from being your house? Grace.  Why wasn’t it you? Goodness (His, not mine).  Who could have prevented it from happening to them? No one but God.  Then, after all of that line of questioning, you still have to ask: Why did He allow it to happen to them?
I suspect it was done so the Lord could  use you somehow in some special way for someone else.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”- Genesis 17:15-17(NKJV)
Sarah: Women of Genesis
You have keep this in context.  God said what He would do through Abraham and Sarah in their old age, and then. .  . Okay, okay.  Let me say it another way.  God shared how He would bless the man and his wife with a child, even though they both were beyond the years of conception and . . . Maybe I just should say it a different way.  God informed Abraham that He would use Hs supernatural abilities to rid Sarah of her barren reproach, giving Abraham an heir of his own seed, his own blood, his own lineage.  Yeah, that’s right about the place that the old man fell on his face.  In worship?  He was in laughter, creating images in our minds of him most probably nearing tears with an ache in his side to go with it.
Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old?
And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?

That’s not the most reverent response to God known to man from the sound of it.  Abraham seems to take it a notch above a snicker with outright laughter if we take this at the surface.  Yet, let us not jump on Abraham so fast.  Genesis 18 complicates the matter even further when the Lord appears as three men approaching Abraham one day. 

Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here, in the tent.” And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.)  Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”- Genesis 18:9-12 (NKJV)

Just like her husband, Sarah laughed at the idea.  She, too, saw it as an impossibility for her and her husband to rear children at their advanced years of age.  No matter if it is the Almighty God Himself or these three men entertained by Abraham, the idea presented to both husband and wife seems comical and causes both to laugh.

Was it really a laugh? Was it truly laughter? Were they both the same type of laughter?

The same root word is used in our English translation for “laughter” and “laughed,” making any distinction or differentiation between the two difficult.  You would think that both were similar if not the same.  Yet, Henry Morris points out in The Genesis Record that Abraham’s laughter was “with joy and surprise… not a laugh of doubt.” It is different from Sarah’s laughter that warrants the rebuke of the Lord in Genesis 18:13.  Morris calls Sarah’s laughter “cynical.”  Dr. Morris surmises that “her faith needed to be strengthened.”

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be wit Sweatshirt X-Large WhiteUnlike the interaction with Abraham alone, the theophany in Genesis 18 leads to the Lord questioning Sarah’s laughter.  Despite Sarah’s denial, the Lord breaks through all of the mess and addresses the child of promise issue again, repeating the promise before both Abraham and Sarah.  Ultimately, He poses the deepest question that could be asked of any believer- whether they need their faith strengthened or not: Is anything too hard for the Lord?

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But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works. – Psalm 73:28 (NASB)

 This psalm speaks of man’s lack of understanding the things observed and obsessed over in this life.  The pressure of life is what emerges from the psalm when the writer speaks of being “plagued with problems all day” in verse 14.  Pressure can cause a lot of things to happen with us and within us. Does your pressure lead to your praise of the Lord?

Being under pressure can cause us to stress, strain and struggle.  We can seem to barely make it.  Some of us just don’t make it.  The pressure seems too great to keep going on and dealing with it.  Pressure can be positive when it produces something beneficial.

Yes, I am serious.

When your pressure produces praise, there are some direct benefits as a result of such pressure.  Am I right? Look at the psalm again.

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. – verse 23, NIV

You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny– verse 24, NLT

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – verse 26, NIV

 . . .I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.- verse 28, ESV

What does your pressure produce?

Pain or promise?

Pity or praise?

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