Why am I afraid?

“Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear.  So he got into the boat and left.”  Luke 8:37.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ezra 2-3, and Luke 8.

What scary thing had Jesus done that caused them to be fearful?  According to Luke eight, Jesus had turned a dangerous madman into a regular person.

How could that be fear worthy?  Some would say that it was because Jesus had sent the demons that possessed the man into swine which led to their destruction.  Lost income made them afraid.

I think that there is more to the fear expressed.  These folks had a problem (demon-possessed man) but it was under control.  Granted, the problem hadn’t ended but it wasn’t directly impacting them because he was in a remote place.  Now things were different and the reasons for wanting him away from them when he was bad were the same as wanting him away from them when he was good.  They would have to make changes.

I suspect that when they told Jesus to go away they probably wished that the transformed man would go with them.  And that was what he wanted to do.  He knew how hard it would be for him to stay where he was from.  Ever try witnessing to a relative??

But Jesus wanted him to stay home and he did.

I can imagine how uncomfortable it must have been in that village with the transformed man there.  He would be a large monument to what Jesus could do but at the same time a reminder that they had sent Jesus away.  Think of the between-the-lines things of the Bible that we don’t know.  Wouldn’t you wonder how things went in that village as the transformed man lived out his life?  You certainly couldn’t avoid him and I dare say he was loud and clear about Who was responsible for his transformation.

“Lord, You are my great God.  Your power is unlimited.  You are in my midst and I thank You for that.  Prick my conscience when I am loose from You so that I will function as You want me to.  Enable me to be Your Light in my midst.  I have so much to be thankful for.  Hallelujah!”

Our fears reveal that what we trust, other than God, is not as trustworthy as He is.

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God is in charge

“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:” Ezra 1:1.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ezra 1, Psalm 84-85, and Luke 7.

This is a favorite verse of mine.  Why?  When I look at “huge” obstacles nationally and internationally and worry, this verse put things into proper perspective.

God is in charge.  There is no one beyond His reach.

God considered Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar to be His “servants.”  They were working for Him whether they planned it that way or not.

When the leader of North Korea says he will destroy places, you have to cringe.  BUT God has that guy under His own control.  God will be steering His ship whether He thinks so or not.

We are not immune from suffering so this verse can’t be taken as a guarantee of safety.  BUT if I know that God is in charge, then I know that all things work together for good to those who love Him.  We lovers of Him win in the end!

“You are a great God.  Thank You for the Bible evidences of Your greatness.  I want You leading my every step.  I surrender everything to You.  Take complete control of my life.  I love You, Father.”

If God is in charge, of what can I be afraid of?

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What’s my heart condition?

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”  Luke 6:45.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Daniel 11-12, and Luke 6.

My words reveal my relationship to God.

I thought I was going along good until this morning when a torrent of impatient words flowed out of me.  Then I knew that I had loosened God’s control of my life.

A Godly life is not something you drift through.  Why?  There are too many currents to take the drifter places they should not be in.

My relationship to God must be ongoing.  It must be active.  I must be thinking about Him and seeking with all my energy to please Him.

When I start to drift, I shortly seek out what I want to do apart from God.  He gets outside my consultation realm and then I do things that displease Him.

I am thankful that I know that my words tell so much about me.  I often need that wake-up call to reorient myself in His direction.

“Lord, I always want Your Words to be my words.  Forgive for choosing my own words.  They always lead to distance from You.  I don’t want that to happen.  Have Your Way with me, I beg, this day. Give me a Godly heart that overflows with Your Words.”

Listen to your words and you will learn of your heart condition.

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Coming to God with the right attitude

“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”  Daniel 9:18.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Daniel 9-10, Psalm 123, and Luke 5.

We deserve nothing from God with our track record!

We don’t come worthy.  We come unworthy.

We don’t want justice because we’d be a goner if we got it.  We come begging for God to have mercy on us.

Daniel was well aware of Israel’s history.  He knew of the evil that had gone on.  There was nothing to offer to elevate Israel’s status before God.  If He chose to wipe them out they would be getting what they deserved.

But Daniel also knew that God was merciful.  He knew of God’s willingness to cancel punishment to those who repented.  He was a forgiving God.

Daniel appealed to “that” God; the God Who responded to the repentant.  On behalf of Israel, Daniel repented of their sinfulness.

I also found in Luke 5 today an evidence of people praying on behalf of others.  It was in the story of the roof being removed by the friends of the paralytic man.  God recognized their faith and healed the paralytic man.  Daniel prayed for the same thing for Israel.

Scripture encourages me to pray for others.  It works.  But I must approach God with a repentant heart.  I must be clean myself before God.

“Lord, thank You for the role-model behavior of Daniel.  I must be willing and eager to pray for others.  Help me to realize that it is a calling to constantly seek Your face on behalf of others.  Forgive me for ignoring this privilege.  I love You, Father.”

To approach God rightly I must come in total need.  He is the need meeter!

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Having enough of the Holy Spirit

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”  Luke 4:1.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Daniel 7-8, Psalm 137, and Luke 4.

Do I have enough of the Holy Spirit to be “led?”

Note the example of Jesus in today’s chosen verse: He was “full” and He was “led.”

I often wonder why I wander around out of God’s Will or in search of God’s Will.  Isn’t it obvious what my problem is?  I am NOT filled with the Holy Spirit.  I HAVE the Holy Spirit but I am not filled with the Holy Spirit.

I believe that the Holy Spirit enters our lives when we accept the Good News and begin to live accordingly.  But having something and acting accordingly can be two different things.  I can be filled with information that my car is low in gas but if I don’t act accordingly than am I really filled?  I have knowledge but do I act in accordance to that knowledge?

Jesus was filled and could be led.  If I am truly filled with the knowledge that my car is low in gas then I will be getting to a gas station in short order.  No one will have to remind me. The one who is bringing gas to me along the road in a container will not be questioning my common sense.

“Lord, I want to be led by Your Holy Spirit this day.  Forgive me for knowing about You but living without You.  Why would I ever want to lead myself?  What promising history has that ever produced?  I need You.  You know best.  Take complete control of me now, I beg.  I love You, Lord.”

Having the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit having you are two different things.

 

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I want God to have all of me

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”  Psalm 130:5.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Daniel 5-6, Psalm 130, and Luke 3.

I was drawn to the “whole being” part of this verse.

Is my mind engaged in waiting to be sure of what He wants me to do?

I am easily distracted.  I am easily side-tracked.  I have a host of good intentions.

Sadly, I am unable to sustain a total turn to God.  He wants that from me.

I often think of things in relation to me instead of in relation to Him.  I believe that God wants me to do more reading but will I approach the reading time as if it is ordained by Him not me?

God has a plan for my life.  For me to have access to His Plan, I must remember that it doesn’t come on a sheet of paper entitled, “Today’s Plan.”  It will be an ongoing thing.  I cannot assume that I can “take it from here” and move off as I see fit.

I have surrendered my life to God many times and often in the ending prayer on this blog.  Why do I undo that “surrender” so often?

“Lord, I need You every second.  Not periodically.  Forgive me for choosing me over You. I cannot get things right on my own.  I need You.  Prick my conscience when I have wandered off.  I don’t want that happening.  I love You, Lord.”

During what portion of your waking hours are you intentionally yielded to God?

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I don’t know what God wants

“’Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he was saying to them.”  Luke 2: 49-50.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ezekiel 47-48, and Luke 2.

God is in charge of everything whether “everything” knows it or not!

Jesus was not where his parents expected Him to be.  They searched for Him as if he were a “normal” 12-year-old.

We often make the same mistake when we search for God.  We have expectations of what He wants, or doesn’t want, based on our limited view of Him.

The more I know Him the more likely I will know what He wants from me.

I love to read the Bible.  The more I read it the better my understanding is of what is expected of me.  Yet I often am confused by what to do.  Why?  Because my understanding is still so limited.

What to do?  Press in for His Wisdom.  Beg for Him to open my mind to His Truths.

“Lord, forgive me for misunderstanding Your Ways.  Forgive me for functioning as if I do know what You want.  I am needy of Your Insights in everything.  I thank You for Your Word, where I can read of what You did and read some of what You said.  I want to know You better.  Help me, I beg.”

I must passionately seek to know God’s Will.

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