Let Him Ask God

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Do you remember when you were a child?

You wouldn’t just walk away from your home without telling your family and asking permission.

In fact, you probably wouldn’t have made plans to do anything without talking to your parents first.

Virtually all your childhood plans were subject to the thoughts and guidance of your parents or guardians.

When you became an adult, things changed somewhat.

Being mature, many of your decisions could be made independently.

There was no longer any need to ask your parents about everything.

Still, it was a good thing to seek advice and listen to your parents’ opinions.

Parents are only human and, of course, they may not always know what’s best.

In thinking about this today, I was considering how we, as believers, have God as our Heavenly Father.

Even though we are adults, we are His children.

Unlike our earthly parents, God cannot make a mistake.

His judgment is always right and His guidance is perfect.

Knowing that, why is it that we make plans without asking what He thinks about it?

If we feel that we should seek the advice and opinions of our parents, shouldn’t we also ask the same of our Heavenly Father?

Shouldn’t all our plans be subject to the thoughts and guidance of God?

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If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

—James 1:5-6

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A New Mind

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Who do you love?

Do you love someone who needs a hew heart?

A new mind?

Do you know someone who has a stubborn heart?

Once we have found the truth of God through Jesus, we change.

When we change, our hearts are turned toward God.

When our hearts are turned toward God, we begin to desire those that we love to have the same relationship with God as we do.

When those we love do not share in this greatest of blessings, we yearn for them.

We long for them to join us in the most precious relationship of all.

It hurts to watch those we love go about their daily lives so burdened with poor choices and the consequences of those choices.

It tugs at all we are when we know that if they possessed an obedient heart toward God, life could be so much more for them—–and not just now, but for eternity.

If you love someone who even denies that God is real, the weight is heavy as you hope for a new day when they will come to believe.

In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, God speaks to the exiles, telling them that their hearts will change.

I know that God can change the hearts of those we love, even now.

Pray for those that you love.

Pray for a new mind.

A new heart.

One that is obedient……

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I will give them a new heart and a new mind. I will take away their stubborn heart of stone and will give them an obedient heart.

—Ezekiel 11:19

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On a Thousand Hills

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True thanks.

Kept promises.

Trust.

Praise…….

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O my people, listen!

For I am your God. Listen!

Here are my charges against you:

 I have no complaint about the sacrifices you bring to my altar, for you bring them regularly. 

But it isn’t sacrificial bullocks and goats that I really want from you.

 For all the animals of field and forest are mine!

The cattle on a thousand hills!

And all the birds upon the mountains! 

If I were hungry, I would not mention it to you—for all the world is mine and everything in it. 

No, I don’t need your sacrifices of flesh and blood.

What I want from you is your true thanks;

I want your promises fulfilled.

I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you and you can give me glory.

—Psalm 50:7-15

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Transient

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Faith.

Believing.

Knowing in our hearts.

Touching what is not seen with outstretched hands of hope.

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So we do not lose heart.

Though our outer self is wasting away,

our inner self is being renewed day by day.

For this light momentary affliction

is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.

For the things that are seen are transient,

but the things that are unseen are eternal.

—2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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The Lord is Good

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What does it mean to depend on God?

To trust Him in every area of my life?

What does it mean to trust His goodness?

How can I search for Him throughout all of my day?

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The Lord is good to those who depend on Him,
    to those who search for Him.

—Lamentations 3:25

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Anyone to Perish

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My prayer for many people is that they not die without knowing the Lord as their Savior.

There are movies about end times and science fiction shows about planetary disaster.

But, really, when a person dies, that is the “end of the world” for them.

I want them to know Jesus before that happens, don’t you?

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The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

—2 Peter 3:9

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Trust in the Lord

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

—Proverbs 3:5-6

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My Peace

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Peace.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines peace in one form as “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.”

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” —John 14:27

Jesus can certainly give us freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.

Simply put, we can have freedom from worry, anxiety and fear.

It’s more than that, however.

Jesus’ peace is His peace.

A divine peace that cannot be fully described.

What is worrying you today?

What is causing anxiety to well up inside you?

What is inviting fear into your heart?

Ask Jesus to give you His peace.

Talk to Him about the things that are troubling you.

Jesus is with right there.

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What Is It, Lord?

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It was a clear night and totally perfect for viewing.

A friend had told me about an application for my cell phone that would inform me of visable passes of the International Space Station.

Being excited about possibly seeing it pass overhead, I went outside just a few moments before it was to appear.

Staring at the sky in the area that it was supposed to be coming from, I saw an airplane at first.

Then, I found it!

Gliding smoothly through the sky like a pearl dropping effortlessly through a container of oil, its bright white light traveled over a backdrop of darkness.

I hadn’t even thought about photographing it.

I did have my cell phone with me because I had wanted to refer to the application to learn exactly the time it was to come by my area.

Quickly, I took a photo of it with my phone.

Of course, the photograph did not turn out well, but I had to try.

Looking at it later, it actually looks like more than just a white dot in the sky.

Although it is terribly fuzzy, I can almost make out a shape within the area of light.

When the next pass happens, I’m going to be out with camera in hand, ready to see what I can do!

Besides the International Space Station, I know that there are many satellites that orbit the earth.

It is still amazing to consider how a satellite can transmit a sports event to various places around the globe as it is occurring.

Messages and images can reach people separated by great distances at the same moment.

Pondering this idea, I realize that God sometimes works in this way.

He may be preparing the heart of one person to hear a message from Him at the same time He is preparing the heart of another.

In the book of Acts, chapter 10, we find the account of the meeting of Cornelius and Peter.

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.  One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.  Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.  

—verses 1-7

Cornelius told these men everything and had them start on a journey to Joppa. Before the men could reach Peter, God sent a vision to Peter. Afterwards, God spoke to Peter as the men arrived at the house, telling him to go with them, because He has sent them.

God sent a vision to Cornelius about Peter.

He obeyed God’s instructions.

God sent a vision to Peter, preparing him to meet Cornelius.

He obeyed His instructions.

When I see God at work in my own life or in other’s lives in this way, it brings great joy to my heart.

It is a time when I realize God’s plan for that moment is coming together with divine direction—across the street, across the country or across the world.

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All the Earth

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Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of His name;
    give to Him glorious praise!
 Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds!
    So great is Your power that Your enemies come cringing to You.
 All the earth worships You
    and sings praises to You;
    they sing praises to Your name.”

Selah

—Psalm 66:1-4

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Be Joyful

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Almost every day at work, I make a list.

A “to do” list.

If I don’t, I risk forgetting something very important.

And if I forget something important that I was supposed to do, a lot of my day–or even my week– could go wrong.

I have sticky notes on the edge of my computer screen for important dates to remember.

Often, I have a paper on my desk, listing my tasks.

It is ready for me to add to it at any moment.

In the 12th chapter of Romans, there is also a “to do” list.

Here are just a few of the things listed that should be on our list:

Love must be sincere.

Hate what is evil;

cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.

Practice hospitality.

—-Romans 12:12-13

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Maybe I should copy this down and place it on my desk at work.

If I forget about these things, a lot of my day–and even my week–could go wrong.

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The Riches

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Money.

Who has money, really?

We might hold it in our hands or have it deposited into a bank.

But is it ours?

I don’t think so.

Money—and all the things that it can buy—really belong to God.

Is your house that you bought with your money really yours?

Or is it the shelter that God provided for you through your work or some other means?

Is your car that you bought with your money really yours?

Or is it the vehicle that God provided for you through your work or some other means?

If God really owns all that we have, what does that make us?

Stewards.

To be a steward is to be the manager of something that belongs to another.

When God blesses us with anything—we become the caretakers of those blessings.

What happens when we feel that we need more money or something that money can buy?

We must go to God in prayer, asking for His provision of that which is already His and not ours.

Believing that He hears our prayer, we must wait for His answer, trusting that He loves us and knows what is best.

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And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:19

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Equipped for Every Good Work

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As I walked by the building, there were pegs on the wall placed in position to hang tools and useful things.

A shovel, a rope and a ladle…

To place needed items where they can be easily accessed is always a good idea.

I enjoy camping from time to time.

Before I go, I make a list of necessary items that I expect to need when I arrive at the site.

It is very important to have everything on the list at my disposal.

If I don’t have what I need, the trip will not be as successful as I had hoped.

What do I need every day in order to be prepared?

If I have been consistent in reading the Bible, I will have God’s words stored in my mind.

It would be a really good idea to have a Bible placed where I could get to it easily.

As I am starting my day, prayer will allow me time to communicate with God, receiving guidance for the hours ahead.

Throughout the day, these “tools”—God’s word and prayer—-will be what I need.

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

—2 Timothy 3:16-17

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Ask The Lord

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Do we look for blessings in the wrong places?

When there are needs, we should ask the Lord to provide for us.

He is the only one who can.

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Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime, and he will answer with lightning and showers. Every field will become a lush pasture.  How foolish to ask the idols for anything like that! Fortune-tellers’ predictions are all a bunch of silly lies; what comfort is there in promises that don’t come true? Judah and Israel have been led astray and wander like lost sheep; everyone attacks them, for they have no shepherd to protect them.

—Zechariah 10:1-2

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So That We Can

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Driving home from work today, I passed a residential area.

For some reason, I thought about a senior citizen couple that lives there.

I haven’t seen them in quite a while.

Still, I remember their kindness from almost fifteen years ago.

My family and I were experiencing some very difficult circumstances.

This couple hosted a weekly prayer gathering at their home in a nearby town.

Someone who attended their gathering asked for prayer for us.

Just praying for our family would have been a wonderful thing.

This couple, however, went the extra mile.

Actually, it was the equivalent of several miles.

First, we received a phone call from them, inviting us to a service at their church.

After church, they wanted to buy lunch for our entire family of six at a nice restaurant.

When we arrived at the church, they were waiting outside the door, truly excited to meet us.

It was like we were long lost relatives that they had finally found!

This began a relationship of love and support as they continually reached out to us.

I remember them even taking our youngest two children out for put-put golf and to an animal petting zoo….

God’s love streamed from them into our family.

We joined their church and became very involved in many of its ministries.

Today, as I thought of how they had reached out to us when they had not yet even met us, a feeling came over me.

It wasn’t words in my mind but more of an encouragement in my heart.

An exhortation to be more like this couple.

A reminder to be more giving.

I will always remember how God loved us in that difficult time in our lives through the generosity and genuine care of those two precious people.

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

—2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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While They Are Yet Speaking

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God hears every prayer.

Prayers about big issues.

Prayers about small things.

He doesn’t just hear them only; He answers, as well.

This morning, after I had left for work, my husband sent me a text message and photo.

As he was getting ready to leave for the day, he noticed a green lizard in the bathroom.

He took a picture of it as it sat on the top ledge of the mirror.

Not having time to try to catch it and take it outside, he simply informed me of it, shut the door and placed a towel at the bottom so he couldn’t get out.

He knew I would want to catch it and release it when I got home.

If lizards get trapped in a house, they have no water supply and dehydrate.

When I arrived home this afternoon, I got a paper sack and went into the bathroom.

I prayed and asked God to allow me to find the lizard if he was still in there.

After looking around, I concluded that there was no lizard.

Putting the sack away, I began to do some housework as we had invited guests for dinner this evening.

At one point, I decided to take the cloth off our dining table in order to take it outside and give it a shake.

Our cat had jumped up on the cloth.

Pulling the cloth all around, I finally persuaded her to get down.

Bunching the cloth up in a big wad, I took it outside. As I was stepping on the front walkway, I noticed something moving in my bundle.

It was the green anole lizard!

Very carefully, I moved the cloth over to some decorative grass planted near the porch.

The lizard hopped off into the thick, green blades.

Hurrying inside, I picked up my cell phone and took some photos of the now liberated lizard.

I had asked God to let me find him if he was still in the bathroom.

Instead, He allowed me to find him bundled in a cloth in my arms—a cloth that had recently been sat on by our cat.

God delivered the lizard from death by dehydration and death by predator attack!

He also allowed ME to be part of the rescue.

Upon telling this story to my husband, he said that God was at work when we didn’t even know it.

Saving a lizard may seem to be a little thing, but to the lizard, nothing could have meant more.

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Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

—Isaiah 65:24

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