The LORD Is, 1

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.” – Psa. 145:8

Some have a view of God that He is cruel and distant. However, this is the true nature of God.

Joy Triggers the Holy Spirit

jumper-cables-926308_1920When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth both were unexpectedly and miraculously pregnant (Mary as a virgin and Elizabeth because… she was old. Forgive me Elizabeth, but that’s what the Good Book says). When they greet each other for the first time, something extraordinary happens: John leaps for joy… in the womb! And not only that; Elizabeth is immediately “filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)

Now, this raises 2 interesting points:

1. Luke (a doctor, mind you) considered the fetus to be a “babe.” We know this because he used the same Greek word (“brephos“) in 2:12, 16 – “You will find a baby lying in a manger.” [More on this subject Sunday Dec. 17th!]

2. John’s JOY triggered Elizabeth’s filling of the Holy Spirit. Let that sink in. John (who was given a full dose of the Holy Spirit in the womb, Luke 1:15) “leaped for joy” and THEN Elizabeth was filled.

Could it be that joy sparks the Holy Spirit? Does it help activate Him? Is joy a catalyst? Could it be that those who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can help ignite others by being joyful? It would appear so. After all, joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, is it not (Gal. 5:22-23)?

In this manner, joy can be like jumper cables infusing a dead car battery with life and energy! It does so by sharing that life and energy. We do likewise by sharing the joy that the Holy Spirit gives us to those who are dead (spiritually-speaking)!

Let us then be joyful. Who knows who we may vicariously jump-start in the process?

Skip to 42

Job 42
Job 42

Wouldn’t it be nice just to skip to Job 42?

Instead, we gotta complain. We gotta whine. We gotta give God our 2 cents on the matter. We call a buddy and have them confirm that we’ve got it bad. Then we definitely feel the need to enlighten the All -powerful Creator of the known universe with the way we would’ve done it.

Job did that. He had finally had enough. Job said enough of the boils and scabs, enough of the terrible advice from his “friends,” and enough of taking it. So, he let God know.

And God let him speak his little mind.

Then it was God’s turn. God said, “Brace yourself, I will question you and you shall answer me.”

By the time Job 42 rolls around, Job’s story has changed, hasn’t it? He realized that he spoke of things he didn’t understand. He pontificated on matters he couldn’t possibly understand. Finally he repents.

The LORD blesses the latter part of Job’s life more than the former. Way more! In fact, Job lived for another 140 years for crying out loud and saw his grandchildren’s grandchildren.

There are times when we shake our fists at God and feel like we’ve been dealt a crumby hand. However, there are things we don’t understand. Couldn’t understand. But God does. All He asks is that we love Him, believe in His Son, and leave the rest to Him.

I need to skip to Job 42 and just thank God.

May God’s Love be with you

Dungeon Songs

Acts 16:24
Acts 16:25

Ever get a song stuck in your head? Of course you have! The Belle Stars’, “Iko Iko” from the movie, “Rain Man” used to get it’s catchy claws on my brain and not let go.

Well, how about after you’ve been arrested… in a dungeon… at midnight? Still got a song rattling around up there? Kind of different, huh? Well, that’s exactly what Paul and Silas were doing when they were in prison in Philippi:

“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;” (Acts 16:25)

Nowadays, songs that get stuck in my head are Christian worship songs. That may sound weird to you, but to me it isn’t. A couple of years ago I took the K-Love “30-Day Challenge” of listening to only Christian music for a month… and I never looked back. That’s not my point, my point is this: we lay up things in our heart. They can either be things of God or things not of God. When you wake up with a Christian song or a Scripture verse in your head, then this is the “song in the night” that God has given you!

“The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalms 42:8)

Prison at midnight might not seem like a great place for singing. But in fact, it was ideal. Note that “the prisoners were listening to them.” What a witness! How many of Paul and Silas’s fellow inmates were converted that night? It’s hard to tell.

It’s also hard to tell who’s listening to you. And make no mistake, nonbelievers are listening. What are you singing? What songs are stuck in your head? God can give you songs in the night and it will be a prayer to the God of your life!

May God’s Love be with you

Re: Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie, “Songs in the Night”

The LORD Sits

Psalms 29:10
Psalms 29:10

For our honeymoon my wife and I were blessed with a trip to Paris. While we were there, we visited the Palace of Versailles. Once the center of political power, Versailles is now France’s foremost tourist attraction. Besides it’s sheer grandeur, one thing stuck with me about that palace: the thrones.

It is there that I learned what a throne represents. I mean, of course I knew that a throne represented power. It is obvious that to have people come to you is a demonstration of power. But, it is absolute power to have people come to you as you remain seated.

Ever thought of that before?

The Throne of God is mentioned several times throughout scripture. I won’t bombard you with all of them. Most famously it is described by Ezekiel (chapter 1). I’d like to mention also that the angel Gabriel refers to the Throne of God in Luke 1:32-33 because… he should know, he’s been there. He’s actually seen it!

God is mentioned as “sitting” multiple times as well.

• “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.” – Psalms 29:10

• “He that sits in the heavens laughs” (at the futile efforts of man’s rebellion) – Psalms 2:4

• “Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high?” – Psalms 113:5

Sitting on His Throne, God is The Absolute Power. He is the Power of the Power. There is none above and all below. Yet, He makes Himself low to guide and love His fragile creation.

In your quiet time with the LORD today, reflect on our God’s astounding ability to speak stars into being and also whisper encouragement to His children all in the same all-powerful breath. He does so with perfect love from His magnificent Throne.

God Bless!

His Love Is Relentless

MrPatVincent
His Love Is Relentless, Matt 20 • MrPatVincent

My wife and I had an interesting conversation yesterday morning about the 11th hour.  I believe we will be surprised with who’s in Heaven when we get there.

“Wait, what? Am I in the wrong place…How did YOU get here?!”

Right? I mean, we all think: this person is holy and that person obviously is not or this person is saved and that person obviously is not. But scripture tells us another story.

Let’s look at the cross. There were two thieves on each side of Our Lord that day. Now, you didn’t find yourself at the business end of a crucifixtion for nothing! Suffice it to say, these two were probably what we would consider “not holy” and definitely “not saved.” However, at the last possible moment one of them accepted Jesus into his heart and Jesus saved him! Talk about saved at the last moment! Thank God for that kind of Mercy and Grace, right? I don’t know about you, but I need it everyday!

Quickly let’s also look at Jesus’s teaching about the 11th hour and “Idle-all-day” people (Matt. 20:2-16). Some workers work all day long and some only work for one hour, yet all were are paid the same amount. My favorite part of this parable is that the lord of the vineyard KEPT going out every hour to look for labourers! He looked for people who were idle… all day! Jesus will never stop! Even until the last hour of the day, He will search for you! His love is relentless!

In Ecclesiatetes 7:8, Solomon tells us better is the end of a thing than the beginning. I’ve ran marathons, that statement is very true! Sometimes it’s how you finish that makes the difference. Goal-setting resolutions can never match the unbelievable blessing of God’s divine intervention to have Mercy on us!

So you see, it’s never too late. God is waiting on you, not the other way around!

God Bless!