Archive for August, 2019

Change is Your Choice

August 27th, 2019


God’s Way Is the Right Way.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world
but be transformed.” Romans 12:2 NIV.

Situations and seasons of life hold the power to greatly shape who you become. Those moments may appear incidental at first, but they touch matters which are eternal. When you meet God in ways you have not previously known Him, that moment can change you forever. Experiences, as well as relationships, produce defining moments that impact what you will value and how you will live. Moments define individuals, marriages, families, friendships, communities, churches, nations, and even eternity.

Jacob is a case in point. He spent much of his life running. He ran from home after deceiving his father. He ran from Esau, a brother he had cheated and angered. Jacob ran from Laban, a conniving uncle who prospered at his expense. Really, Jacob was running from himself, probably unhappy with who he had become.

Running from God is exhausting and ineffective. Jacob ran from God, until he was too tired to run anymore. That happens to everyone eventually. You just get weary of the public masquerade and tired of being someone less than you are meant to be. In that moment, of self-discovery, you are finally ready to meet God without conditions. That’s when Jacob met God. “So, Jacob was left alone, and God wrestled with him until daybreak.” Genesis 32:24 NIV. God knows that you are worth His every effort. Eventually, Jacob’s heart turned toward home, a home he had left long before. An admired friend of mine described home this way, “Home is a place, where when you come there, they have to let you in.” Jacob headed homeward.

He sent messengers to Esau that he was coming; he sent his servants and herds and flocks ahead with gifts for Esau. He finally sent his family, and all his possessions. Jacob was tired of running; he was coming home. First, he faced the problems of his past. That is always your first step toward future blessings. Alone, Jacob struggled with God until his breakthrough. I think Jacob was struggling with himself more than God. At last, Jacob wanted to be right more than rich.

I love the longsuffering and patience of our Heavenly Father. Jacob’s story has defining moments. He recognized that he had to face the man he had become. He had to face Esau, the brother he had betrayed. And most importantly, he had to make things right with God.

Are there amends you need to make? The Bible is clear. ”If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-25 NIV.

I love the moment of truth. “God wrestled with Jacob until daybreak.” Genesis 32:24 NIV. God’s loving pursuit of you is indefatigable. Read 2 Peter 3:9 NKJV. God wrestled with Jacob until Jacob wanted what God alone could provide, “I will not let you go unless You bless me.” Read Genesis 32: 27-29 NKJV. Any life without God at its center is not worth living.

God is serious about your need for change; you must be serious about needing His help to change. “Do not conform 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 12:2 NIV.

My prayer for you today is to know and highly value all which is eternal.

EDL Communications 2019
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Wants, Needs, and God

August 13th, 2019


God’s Supply is Unfailing.
“My God will meet all your needs according to
the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NIV.

Most of us seem to be a bundle of needs. More realistically, we are a bundle of wants. However, Google search lists only five basic needs for physical survival: oxygen, water, food, shelter, and sleep. Needs are less numerous than wants. Often wants will pose themselves as needs. Wants are about personal preferences. Needs are about necessary provision.

Wants are your responsibility to provide. Needs are God’s delight and promise to provide. When it seems I need a lot of things I don’t have, I discover most of those are things I want more than things I lack. Invite the Holy Spirit to examine your heart.

God promises to, “supply all your needs according to His riches.” Be cautious about wanting more things than you are willing to expend the effort and expense they would require. Yes, you and I have needs. We always will, because none of us are self-sufficient.

True needs, as contrasted with wants, are fewer than you might suppose them to be. God’s Word assures that you can always trust your needs to His care because we can trust His benevolent generosity. I love this Bible verse. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV. ”So do not worry, . . your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33 NIV.

Across my lifetime, I have found God’s Word true. “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NIV. That is His promise from Heaven’s never depleted resources. But please notice that our Heavenly Father promised to meet all your needs, not all your wants.

God will supply your lack or provide your needs in both normal and miraculous ways. God also works through people to provide the help you lack. And God wants to use you as a channel of His blessings and provision to others and use others as the delivery system from His heart and hands, becoming deposits of His grace and provision to your life. The stark reality is this. Without the sufficiency of God and generosity of others, we will be incomplete, limited, and inadequate. You need God. Every person needs God. God needs you and people need you.

You and I were designed for interdependence. God will provide what we lack. Through you or others, God will supply what I need but lack. You and I were never created to be independent of God or one another. However, or by whomever your needs are met, God is the Source.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV. God’s blessings and gifting in your life and God’s blessings in others lives are for mutual benefit, spiritual edification, and Christian witness. Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-31.

Here is my summary of this matter. ”Now, to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 NIV. Yet the measure of what God gives is not limited to natural sources. Are you inviting God and allowing others to be God’s channels of His love and provision for your daily needs?

His promise is sure. “[Do not] have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek [a]the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” Luke 12:29-30 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is to be confident in God’s promise and provision.

EDL Communications 2019
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The Ways of God

August 7th, 2019

God’s Way Is the Right Way.

“Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may live
according to your truth!” Psalm 86:11.

My thoughts and comments today are about,
“the ways of God.”

Have you ever presumed that your way of doing things is the right way? Of course, you have. I have as well. Maybe you have considered your way was even the best way. Hopefully, you have lived long enough to know that your way is not the only way and often not the best way. On some occasion, most of us have presumed that, without even thinking about it.

In marriage, as well as friendships, such assumptions are soon challenged. As is typical of most marriages, my wife’s family and my family celebrated birthdays and holidays similarly, but just a little differently. A couple or a family’s behaviors are not necessarily better or worse, just different.

Gayle and I soon learned to consider together the best of what was familiar to us individually, then find what could become distinctive to us as we constructed our marriage and family together.

But my thoughts today are not about past history, previous experience, or personal preference. My thoughts and comments are about a holy passion to learn fully, value highly, and obey readily the ways of God. I am considering what the New Testament described as the old man and the new man in Christ.

God holds up His thoughts and ways and compares His with ours. You and I do not come out well in that comparison. God’s ways are these, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the Lord. And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT.

Reflect on God’s comparison of His, “ways and thoughts,” and your own. God’s ways and thoughts are always higher and well beyond anything you or I could imagine or achieve without Him. It’s really this clear and simple. “As for God, His way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30 NIV. What is left to compare? Every other comparison must fall short and be found inadequate.

Here is where you begin. Bring your heart and thoughts to Him with this humble request. “Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to Your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor You.” Psalm 86:11 NLT. Moses promised Israel, ”For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do – to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him – then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves.” Deuteronomy 11:22-23 NKJV.

This is not complicated. Be assured. God promises that, “A man though a fool will not err therein.” Isaiah 35:8 KJV.

My prayer for you today is for you to know, choose, and walk in the ways of God.

EDL Communications 2019
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