Name to Face

 

Look at the sky and see.
    Who created these things?
    Who brings out the stars one by one?
        He calls them all by name.
    Because of the greatness of his might and the strength of his power,
    not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:26

 

Taking care of kids involves a lot of paperwork. One piece is our Name to Face sheet. On this we put the name of each child who is attending. Then every time we take them from one room to another or from inside to outside or vice versa, we are to call out each name, hear them say “here” or see their face, and check them off. It takes time but keeps us from losing a child. In my defense, though, I ‘d like to say that I never lost a child even without the list! But that’s not the point.

God created the stars and He named them one by one. He knows the names of the stars! Every single one! Astronomers estimate over 100,000 million stars in the Milky Way alone. How many can you name?  Me, not very many, maybe only one – the North Star, but He knows them all. And not one is missing. He must have His own Name to Face sheet for the stars.

If God would take such great pains to keep stars in place and know them by name and prevent even one from being missing, wouldn’t He do the same, if not more, for His children who are the crown jewel of His creation?  He has engraved our names upon His hand and numbered the hairs of our head. We are far more important to Him than the stars and yet look at how He cares for them.

Whatever the difficulty you face right now or the trial you may be going through, God isn’t unaware. You are not Missing in Action. He knows where you are and what you are going through and He knows the exact date it will be over; the very moment when your deliverance, your breakthrough, your healing comes through. It isn’t planned for our timetable but for His and while I don’t understand that at times and wish He would move on my timetable, He is faithful and not one of His children will come up missing or in lack or want. That’s good news, isn’t it?

Jesus, You are Lord of all creation, even me. The stars tell a story of Your intimate knowledge of my life and my comings and goings. Not once have You forsaken me or forgot about me or lost me. I am Yours and You faithfully, lovingly keep watch over me. Thank You that I am recorded on Your Name to Face sheet and in Your Lamb’s book of Life. Thank You for hanging on to me even when I fail to hang on to You. Especially when I fail to hang on to You. Have Your way in my life and in my heart and in my family, I ask in Your powerful name. Amen.

 

picture credit: anyasgarden

Advertisements

Unlimited Asking

The best way to be sure your prayer is answered… is to pray! 

God challenges you to do unlimited asking. 

To the one in need of salvation, He says, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37)

To the one in need of healing, He says, “I will come and heal him” (Matthew 8:7)

To the one tormented by fear or dogged by failure, He says,”Come unto me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)

To the one who is slave to habit, He says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)

Are you expecting an answer?

If you expect the Lord to do wonderful things for you, He will.

Believe it, and you will find, as I have, that prayer is one of the most wonderful experiences ever known.

This excerpt on prayer was written by Oral Roberts in his book Oral Roberts Answers Questions About …PRAYER.

I love the expression “unlimited asking”. Prayer is not something that interrupts God’s day. It isn’t something that He grows tired of hearing. He beckons us to prayer to ask so that we might receive. I love that prayer is something we can all do and that Jesus responds to our prayers. Our words don’t have to be perfect, our posture doesn’t have to be a prescribed position. Prayer is really pretty simple – ask and believe. So the question becomes – are you in need? Did you pray? Did you keep on coming to Jesus, and keep on praying and keep on asking and keep on believing? I know I am guilty of praying earnestly for a time and then moving on. Then, of course, I wonder why I don’t see more answers to prayer than I do.

A friend of mine and I have purposed to get up a half hour early and pray each morning. We are believing that not only will God answer our prayers because He is a prayer answering God, but that He will also redeem that time and we won’t miss that half hour of sleep.  So far, so good. Finding time to pray is something that doesn’t happen unless we make it happen. Care to join us? You can even stay in your pajamas and in your bed, and He still hears, isn’t that good?

Lord, I come to You in need. In need of healing and rest and freedom from busyness. I love that You hear my prayers, that You solicit my prayers, that You respond to my prayers and act on my prayers. You are so merciful and gracious to me. Help me and my friend as we purpose to rise early to seek Your face. Would You meet with us and lead us to pray for what is on Your heart each morning. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of bringing Your kingdom to my corner of the world. Love You, Amen.

picture credit: aheartforthehome.com

A Change of Perspective

Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.

The Lord be with you all!

II Thessalonians 3:16

Yesterday, two young Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door. They asked the question, “what would you change if you could change one thing about this world?”  I answered that I would change people’s perception of God, which in turn would change their perception of themselves. The story comes to mind of Gideon.

Gideon lived in turbulent times. For seven years, the Midianite invasions left them stripped of crops and livestock and Israel was starving. They cried out to God to help them. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon as he was hiding in order to thresh his wheat. Then He addressed Gideon as, “you mighty man of valor”. He continued to tell him that God was sending him to rescue Israel from the Midianites. Gideon’s first response is much like mine would have been. What me? How? Really?! But I’m…just…so…me?!

Clearly God saw Gideon differently than Gideon saw himself. Of course, God has the ability to see the ending of the story before we even see the beginning of it. But more than that, God promised Gideon that He would be with him. Then God changes Gideon’s perception of God. He reveals Himself as Jehovah Shalom – THE LORD IS PEACE. Curious isn’t it that He didn’t reveal Himself as God –  “The Great Midianite Conqueror” or God –  “The Mighty Warrior”. No, He revealed Himself as peace.

I think God knew that whatever the circumstance, whatever we are facing, no matter how awful or overwhelming it can be, the one real thing each of us needs is peace. Not peace as in the absence of war, or peace as the absence of stress or conflict, but peace as in the Prince of Peace abiding with us and in us, giving of Himself so that we can give of ourselves.

Jehovah Shalom led Gideon and his team to victory in part because Gideon’s perspective of His God and himself were changed. A nation was preserved. I wonder what could happen in our lives and our small part of the world if we could see God as He presents Himself in His word and see ourselves as He sees us and tells us about in His word. What kind of victory and healing and deliverance could that bring to our world?

Lord, all too often, I feel like Gideon, wondering how on earth am I going to do the things You have placed before me. Things that seem monumental at times and totally out of my comfort zone. Thank You for being my peace, for giving me peace in every circumstance.  Help me to see myself the way You do, to rise up like Gideon and do all that You have called me to do, knowing that You, Jehovah Shalom go with me. Thank You Jesus.

Genetics

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,

Hebrews 1:3

My daughter is trying to pin her bad memory on me.  Says it’s genetics. She offered eye-witness accounts to support her case, but I can’t remember what they are. Genetics are funny things. Try as I might when breeding dogs to understand them, there is always a pup or two that seems to come from nowhere and leave me scratching my head.

Jesus is the exact representation of God, it’s hard for me to imagine that that was strictly a genetic thing. There had to be more to that duplication than just genes. However it came about, to look at Jesus is to see God.

So what do we see when we see Jesus?

Someone who was moved with compassion and went about healing all who were sick and oppressed of the devil.

Not once in scriptures, did He cause a storm to rise up but we do see Him calming one.

We don’t see Him putting sickness on anyone, we see Him taking it away. 

We don’t see Him condemning people, we see Him dining with sinners.

We see Him feeding the hungry,

ministering to the outcast,

raising people from the dead,

embracing children and clearing the temple of hypocrisy.

And what did He say? He said He only does what He sees His father doing or what His father tells Him to do. So all of these things must be God’s will expressed to His Son and then through His Son to us. People want to pin famine and floods and pestilence and such on God. Even insurance companies call floods and storms “acts of God” but I don’t see eye-witness accounts of these in Jesus’s life to support those theories.

Jesus healed people. Those with relationships with Him and those without. Jesus healed because it is part of what His Father, our Father sent Him to do.

How easy it is to blame You when things go bad. Please forgive me for times when I have done that. Times when I still do. I know You are not the giver of pain and disease and that You came to set us free from those things and yet sometimes, I doubt that. Sometimes, when the pain seems to be winning, I lose sight of all that You are and who You are. My Healer God, sent from heaven to put me right. Thank You Jesus for not giving up on me, especially when I am willing to hold You responsible for this pain not being gone. Help me to keep my eyes on You, the way You lived while on this earth.  In Your name, I ask. Amen.

God With You, God With Me

Emmanuel

Written by Bob McGee

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,

His name is called Emmanuel

God with us, revealed in us

His name is called Emmanuel.

P1060202This song reminds us of a promise of God.  The promise of His continual presence with us, in us, around us, for us.  That means everything He is is with us, with me, even now.  Last night was another sleepless night because of pain and when I got up to a beautiful Saturday, husband and son off fishing, I had so many wonderful ideas of what I could do with my free time.  But once again, pain redefined how I would spend my day.

I started to wallow in self-pity but then this song came to me.  God is with me.  How does that help me today when I am wracked with pain?  Just this – in the Old Testament, when the people of God were going out to do battle against their enemies, sometimes they sought the Lord and sometimes, they failed to do that.  When they had His presence with them, victory was theirs.  When they didn’t, well, they lost the battle.  Time and time again.

In the New Testament, whenever Jesus showed up on the scene, people were delivered from demonic possession and healed of ALL their diseases.  God with us bringing victory.  Jesus with us bringing healing.

Ok, so my plans were changed once again by pain I’d rather not have.  But it’s my choice whether I wallow in self-pity or meditate on the nearness of my Savior.  One brings me peace and one brings me anguish.  

So my new plan for today?  Spend time with my ever-present Savior, my Healer, my Friend.  My to do list will just have to wait. Today, I will just hang out, I will just be a child sitting on my Father’s lap.

Emmanuel, Can I just crawl up in Your lap today?  Will You just hold me?  I need to feel Your strong arms around me, lay my head against Your chest and hear Your heartbeat.  Pain has changed my plans once again, but as I sit with You,  will You redefine my day for me?   I need You; thank You for Your promise to always be with me.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Do you need healing?  Can I pray for you?  Please let me know.

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com