Thursday, June 27, 2013

Are We Better Off Now?

1Peter 1:13 - Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ... 

Okaaayyyy. Are we better off now? Hmmmm. Where am I going with this? I could be worming my way into the political scene, which on its own does beg to ask the question, are people better off four years after the last election. But I'll leave that up to you to decide. I've said more than once this country is not about a solitary man because man is so imperfect. We all are imperfect and to believe otherwise will get you into a lot of trouble some day because it's called pride...the biggest problem we humans have.

Can we be we better off now...with Jesus? A resounding yes! All else falls into place when we have the knowledge He brings through His Holy Spirit. Oh my, how blind eyes are opened, how true hope and change are revealed...not promised with promises failed (by anyone), but promised...and promised and promised some more.

Jesus, in a nutshell, is about life: Living! Bread of life. Living water. Savior of the world. Spiritual healer (that brings eternal life). The way, the truth and the life. Jesus Himself tells us:  ...I have come that [you] may have life, and that [you] may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Life.

When we have given of ourselves, humbled ourselves, to become Christ followers, we have all the hope we need. He gives us new life...a change well worth the price. He brings hope where there was no hope.

When I think back at where I was before Christ, where I was headed, how I really thought I was happy and hopeful, I'm thankful I changed my mind. In actuality, I wasn't all that happy. But I am thankful that when I received Christ my future was eternally secure. In time I began to realize that no weapon formed against me would prosper (Isaiah 54:17). I learned that even in death I would have life because my old self was washed in His blood, cleansed and purified, made righteous, which to this day still is a mystery to me because I know I am still not perfect...but that because I made a choice years ago, I am only seen by God through Christ. Who can understand this?

Am I better off now? I'd say so. Can you be? I'd say so again. It's your choice...spiritually (as well as politically). But make no mistake. Your spiritual future is more important. Are you moving forward spiritually or stagnant...or out of touch altogether? It's your choice.

Knowing Jesus is the most important choice you can make. Then the things of this world won't seem so iffy! Although it is important which candidate gets to run this country, it won't matter as much who gets in office because as believers we still have the change and hope Jesus brings. No president can offer this. We will know absolute truth. We will know who is for us (Romans 8:31). We know where we stand - In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12). God, who knows our needs here on earth, and who offers us eternal life through Jesus, who brings us eternal freedom that we can hold on to even today.

Lives filled with real change and hope, filled with promise for the future that is really important. Do not turn away the real candidate in this life who can give us what we really need. A living God, one who will live forever. One whose life on earth may have been short but whose life after death can be ours as well if we seek Him over any man.

This world be looking at dark days ahead. I'm sure you see stuff you can't wrap your head around right now. But with Christ we see the light of life. I'll take life over death. Will you?

John 12:46 - I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

Friday, June 21, 2013

You Do Not Believe

John 10:25 - Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe."

The religious leaders of Jesus' day, had a difficult time believing all the things He said. He showed them signs through healing, by speaking words they couldn't believe because He had not studied as they had done. How could He understand? He claimed repeatedly that He spoke only what the Father told Him. The healing as well came not of His own will, but His Father's. Above, the response was to the religious leaders' question, again, was He the Christ?

These people knew a Messiah was coming but they didn't see Him though He was right before them, speaking to them, healing. What Jesus did was done in humility, yet power. They were looking for the power first, I think. They weren't looking for a humble man but a strong warrior who would defeat their physical enemies.

Good chooses the weaker things to prove His point. Jesus was not weak, but He obeyed His Father. He knew who His authority was. And these people refused to believe. They thought Him an imposter of sorts.

So what happens when Jesus says, Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again' (John 3:7)? Aren't these His own words? Hasn't He pointed out all throughout the Gospels that this is the only way to the Father? Aren't people not believing His words if they somehow choose not to read or heed these words? You must be born again.

Jesus goes on to say, But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:26-27). These religious leaders weren't hearing what He claimed. He did things they couldn't figure out because a mere man can't do those doesn't that mean He's from above? If we do not heed those words we are not His sheep either. We think our salvation comes from the good things we do in our lifetime. We believe it comes from our compassion for others. Those things are good, but the motive is wrong. If we do these things to think that God the Father will see us and reward us with eternal life because of our works, we are deceived.

It is first receiving Christ, being born not of man (flesh) but of God (Spirit). Then our works are good because they are done to glorify God. Some may still do good to be noticed for those deeds. God will deal with them on that!

Salvation to many religions happens when we are baptized as infants. That is not salvation. Salvation comes when we are able to understand what it means to be born again...born of the Spirit...when we are able to make the decision for Christ. Being able to realize we are sinners and then confess Him as the One who can wash away the stains of our sins. Mark 16:16 tells us he that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be damned. Again, the words of Jesus. You see, we must believe first, then be baptized.

Babies have not developed enough intelligence to practice sin, therefore are quite safe if they die young. At that age in some churches, the babies are dedicated to God, like Jesus was dedicated at the temple. Dedication is a commitment by the parents before God to submit that child to God's will. They promise to raise the child by the Word, which will teach the child God's ways. Of course, a child still has the choice to choose a life God's way or not. It is always the hope that the child will then make it's own decision some day for Christ...being born again.

So, what happens when it is suggested by people other than Jesus that a person must be born again? Are the receivers like those religious leaders? Are they worried that what they have been taught in church is all wrong? Are they offended because the words seem to slam some church doctrine?

The religious leaders were afraid their jobs would be in jeopardy if Jesus was who He claimed to be. They would no longer be needed to carry out the responsibilities they now had being the ones to implement the atonement for sins...through all the acts of sacrifice the people had to do. They never had to confess anything, they only brought their sacrifices to the temple and the priests offered them up as atonement. They acted as sheep...daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, listening only to the temple priest. And their sins (and the priests' sins/jobs) never ceased. In the New Testament we are called to follow the Shepherd like sheep, not the doctrine of man.

So Jesus was a threat. He called people to follow Him because He knew one day He would offer Himself up to God as a sacrifice for all our sins once. ONCE. And then the sins were covered by His shed blood, like the blood of the Old Testament sacrifices which went on and on and on.

What is so hard to believe about that? We all know that Jesus has said, And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand (John 10:28). He gives eternal life. We cannot do anything to receive it. That is why we must confess our sins to Him and only Him. No other man can save us. Just like the priests in the Old Testament there is no pastor or priest in the church today who can save us. We must go to the Lord Himself with our confession. Religious leaders today can point us to Him but it is our choice to receive, believe and be saved.

Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe in what He said? Then you should also believe His words You must be born again.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (John 3:6, Acts 22:16)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

You and Your Household

Acts 16:31 - They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

I had a brief, unfinished discussion about the above scripture with a friend. I don't remember why it wasn't finished.

I know there are people who read this scripture and assume that it means that if they are born again believers in Jesus Christ then their whole family will be. If only that were true. How simple it would be to continue life with a peace in assuming this. 

As I was saying to her, it's still about a choice each of us has to make to receive Christ. Just because someone in the household is saved doesn't mean another or others can slip in on the apron strings (or shirt tails!) of the believer who has taken the time to know Christ and strives to live a life pleasing to God. It's still a personal choice.

I did a little research and there were other scriptures related to this one that opened up the meaning a bit more:
Mark 16:16 - Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 
Acts 16:32 - Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 
Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

It's all about choice. Believe and be baptized. The message must be spoken, heard and received by all to be saved. Then there is the declaration of this testimony, "Jesus is Lord." You and your household must believe, not just one person.

We so want to sugar coat God's hard words...that we might find peace in our souls now. But this is another hard still is about the choice we each have to make. 

I know we all have those people in our lives who don't get it, or don't want to. Every so often the fears creep in about them and we hear the enemy whispering, "It just ain't gonna happen." Then the remembrance comes to mind that nothing is impossible with God. It's then the peace floods the soul again and the lies and deception are banished till he tries to interfere next time. He's good at that. 

We should be giving up control over those people in our lives. Let God do what He needs to do. Don't try to figure out the why's or how's. Just trust the Lord. I'd heard someone say one time we cannot get between God and another person. That's like believing we can do a better job than He. Get out of His way so He can do the work.

I have also read that the word believe can be translated obey. I didn't always know when Jesus spoke the words "Believe in Me" or others said to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," that there was a deeper meaning than to just lightly believe. It took awhile to get it. Those who have been saved know what I mean. When we believe, there's an inner work that takes place. We realize it's not about anything we have done but all that Christ has done. It's not about our works, which are as filthy rags. It's about our coming to grips with our unworthiness, admitting our sins, turning from them and turning to Christ. I can only make that choice myself. Each one of us has to come to a point in our lives when we choose. But I can't choose for someone else.

Christ alone does the work of saving. You and your household must individually hear, believe and confess. This is all God's work. As He has done in me, He must do in others.

Here's something to wrap this all up. 

Romans 10:13 - ...For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When, When or Then

1Kings 8:23 - ...Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.

I have written about "if, then." Well, now it's "when, when or then!" We see in the Old Testament the example of what's to come in the New. You can't have one without the other. The Old Testament lays the foundation for the New. God always lays a firm foundation.

Remember, God never changes. Also remember, none of us is perfect; we are all sinners, no matter how good we think we are. What God offered and commanded in the Old Testament Christ did in the New.

I'm taking several verses and condensing them from the Book of Kings, chapter 8, giving you the when followed by the then. Have fun!  (I Kings 8:31-49) Don't forget, although it was written for Israel, we can be substituted there.

When anyone sins against his neighbor, when Your people are defeated before an enemy, when the heavens are shut up and there is no rain, when there is a famine, pestilence, blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, (or) You (God) become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy...because they have sinned against You (for there is no one who does not sin)...

When they turn back to You and confess Your name, and turn from their sin, pray and make supplication; when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple...when they say: We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness, and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul...

Then hear in heaven their prayer and supplication and maintain their cause, forgive the sin of Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance; forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days; act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

First of all, this goes for the whole world. God can punish blatantly sinning as a people or as a country. He can cause the pestilences, famines, wars. Yes, He can!

This is telling us what we sometimes don't want to hear: we must admit we are sinners, repent of our sins, turn from them...then God will do good toward us. He will forgive, He will bless, He will heal, He will make us righteous. But it only comes when we are focused on Him, which we just don't see much of anymore. Many churches today only want to preach the better half of this message...that God loves us and He will forgive us. BUT, we have to turn away from all that goes against God's will or desires for us. We must humble ourselves before Him. We must confess we are sinners and that He is the ultimate authority, not us.

The world holds on to values that are not very valuable. Where's the value in too much of anything we don't really need? Do we believe that because we can afford it we have a right to misuse it? Sounds a bit proud. We can be broken some day...through illness or monetary loss, I think even abandonment of friends or family because of unwise choices.

If one wants to go overboard about anything, do it with something eternally valuable...God and His Word. Store up those riches in heaven that will not perish. Living in the here and now may seem the best thing to do because our time on earth is limited but, although and because this is only temporary, we should be considering what's eternal. Where do we want to spend eternity? Living it up today will not secure eternal life.

Are we walking before God with all our hearts? Are we believing that some day will be a better day to be serious about the Lord? What would happen if you were killed in a car accident today? Would some day be good enough? We should not wait. Some will outright reject God, not believing any of this. It's their choice. If you believe there is a God He wishes that all would come before it's too late. He has shown us throughout the Bible what He desires, commands, offers. Are we too proud to heed His words?

There was one part of the scriptures I did not include above--1Kings 8:41-43. Briefly it is a plea from Solomon to God asking that when those who are not the people of God come having heard about this great and powerful (and yes, compassionate) God, would He hear in heaven and do according to all they call for...that the earth may know of His name and fear Him. This is where I come in. I pray that you would seek God now while you have time. When you do this, stated above. He offers His covenant with all but we must be willing to receive it. We must be willing to humble ourselves, confess, repent. Can you do that? Remember, this life IS temporary and there IS a place where we will live for eternity.

1Peter 2:11 - Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Foundation Was Laid

1Kings 5:17 -  And the king commanded them to quarry large stones, costly stones, and hewn stones, to lay the foundation of the temple.

King David had died. His son, Solomon, was the new king of Israel. David wanted to build a house for God but God told him it was not to be his task, that his son Solomon would do it. The reason? I believe there are two. One was that David was a warrior. It was his duty to secure the land of Israel against her enemies; therefore, it was his duty to kill. The second was his adulterous affair with one of his officers' wife Bathsheba, for which he killed him. Well, God would not allow David to build a sanctuary, a house of God, for what he had done. But now the enemies were no longer a threat, there was great peace and the time to build was now. And David charged Solomon with the responsibility.

In reading the details of gathering the men, the skills and materials, and the tedious process of building, it dawned on me how enormous the task would have been back then. Laying the foundation of this plan alone was huge. Solomon knew who to solicit for the various jobs. The laborers alone numbered 30,000 men! These men worked 10,000 at a time for a month with two months back at home. Labor was non stop. In addition to these laborers, 70,000 were hired as load bearers; 80,000 quarried stone; 3,300 supervised the work. Imagine. What an enormous undertaking. Not like today. Real labor.

God works in us the same's a lengthy, tedious process. It is never ending in our lifetime.

Detail of the process is outlined. Because I've read this before, I knew what was coming...the hewing of the quarried rock was done off site to keep the noise level down in and around the temple...then it was hauled to the site and positioned precisely where God intended it to go. I remember hearing one time about the noise level...the temple was to be the LORD's house. It is a sanctuary...the sanctity of quietness... (I can relate to this!)

As I thought about the labor involved and the very precise methods and placement of every piece of stone or log and considered the foundation of this work and the temple, I knew there had to be more of a story here. And the thoughts were racing. The foundation was laid...securing the workers, preparing the materials and the preciseness of placement.

When we come into relationship with Jesus Christ, He lays the foundation for us. He IS the Foundation. When we receive Christ, the temple of God then resides within us spiritually (1Corinthians 3:16). That sanctuary within...built to God's specifications. He begins a work within us that we would be more like Him. We are told: He who begins a good work in you will bring it to completion (Philippians 4:6). And His plans are for good. And His plans are perfect. And each one of us is uniquely built. We are the workers He secures to spread the Gospel. He prepares us and He precisely places us in the world. And we realize we are are on a sure footing.

Our foundation is laid. This chorus to this old hymn came to mind:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

The sure Foundation...we are molded and shaped by Him. But there is a hewing that takes place in the process. He works His precise work in us. God's timing is always perfect. We know that the number seven biblically means perfection. God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. The temple Solomon built was finished in seven years. God's design implemented to a tee, exactly according to HIS plan.

We must remember, it is HE who does the work in us. We cannot make ourselves into the people God wants. He forms us. He has given us our talents and even our means. He does not look at our supposed goodness nor our works. They mean little to Him until He has begun that good work in us. And that means first starting by receiving Christ, being in relationship with Him, letting Him be the sure Foundation....building our lives on nothing less than Him.

I love what God told Solomon as the temple began to take shape. It is a word for all His followers. It is a word (though for Israel, we can look at ourselves as a type of Israel) worthy of heeding if we truly desire for Him to dwell with us.

1Kings 6:11-13 - Then the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying: “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Knowing Him

John 7:28-29 - Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 

Just as Jesus was sent by the Father, the Father sends His Spirit that we might know Jesus.

There are many people who know me and not so many anymore who know from where I came. I have one friend in particular who could tell you stories!

If we have at some point in our lives come to that place where we have received Christ, we have come from somewhere else...a different life. Like the Pharisees couldn't see Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God. He was only Joseph, the carpenter's, son. How could He claim to be God?

So how can I say I came from somewhere else? God creates change in people. There are endless testimonies from people who have known Jesus and were transformed, delivered out of sin, set free from addictions, lives changed. Not that all changed lives were from some huge thing but all from a worldly knowledge to a godly knowledge.

We come from a worldly lifestyle, one of total self, total self-indulgence, total pride, confidence, desire. It is a lifestyle that tends to go against that of Christ. If we know anything at all about Jesus, He preaches a lifestyle so unlike what the world reveres. And much of the world is offended by Him.

These words come from a song called Knowing You:
All I once held dear, built my life upon
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now compared to this

Compared to what? Knowing Jesus. This world views the here and now as the most important thing. Self and desires. But how things change when Jesus steps into our lives and God begins to mold and shape us, like the Master Potter He is. Little by little we see things differently and recognize the fact that we ARE only in this world for a time and what happens after we die is what we should be most concerned with because that's where our eternity will be from that day on. NO, we will NOT be reincarnated as some would believe. Been there, believed that! Resurrected, yes, as was Christ, some day.

Christ came that we might know Him, His power, wisdom, righteousness...that we might be conformed into His image, yet not be Him. We can never be God, only like Him.

We may not be opposed to hearing God's name (even if in vain) or going to church or having prayer in schools because we believe in God and know of Jesus. That may not be offensive.

The offense can come, however, when one claims to KNOW Him differently, intimately. This knowing comes from His Holy Spirit and is very real. THIS can be offensive, that someone might have a special knowledge of God that another might not have (or even want).

Some sort of commitment and personal change must take place, a removing of self from what the general society believes is okay, or what a church or denomination has told us, and may even truly believe.

Now before you turn away from this read on.

Jesus said He did not come of Himself. I say the same. I did not want to know God any differently than the rest. But sometimes we are so powerfully confronted by this God we cannot turn tail and run! If our hearts are allowed to soften and allowed to hear His voice, we will KNOW Him as He comes to us.

He comes, as Jesus also said, in truth. His truth, His power were put before me one day and I could not run. It was exactly what I needed. A minute before that I didn't know I needed Him. But in an instant (in the twinkling of an eye, as it were) I was changed, through the power of God. I came to a realization...truth was revealed...that apart from Him I could do nothing. I could not change anything in my own strength...only in His. Can anyone fault me for choosing that? He says His yoke is easy and burden light. I didn't see any of this coming...and it might be the same for anyone else...even you if you have not encountered Jesus.

Jesus goes on to say that although "you" don't know God the Father, He does because He was sent by the Father. I say the same to those who do not have intimate knowledge of the Lord. He knows you. And if you have not received Him, you do not know God. Jesus was sent FOR you. He knows what you have need of. He knew what I needed and He was there; I now know Him. You can too.

I am, again, saying that it was God who came to me and opened my eyes. I am not claiming myself to have understood Him and chose to receive Him on my own. His Spirit had a very large hand in this. It's the way it happens. He shows us. He reveals. Some don't like what they see, it's offensive, and they will never believe there is a God. Or they will believe in God the way they want to, not believing the truth as He explains it: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

God sent His Spirit to me to introduce me to the Living God, to Jesus, that I might receive Him for that eternal life. I had little to do with it, other than having a discontentment I didn't know what to do about...and something from which He wished to lighten my burden.

Knowing Jesus is not a very hard thing to do if the desire is strong. He knows your heart. He is able to capture it if it is soft enough and open to receive. He WILL show you your sins. He will forgive you too. He will turn what was wrong into what should be right...not all at once and never, ever totally.

He beckons daily. His work is never finished. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. He is ever watchful on both the good and evil. Let me pose this question to you from Oswald Chambers: Can you recall (a) time when the light of God in the face of Jesus Christ was clearer...than anything else has ever been, when (you) saw perfectly clearly and understood exactly what the Lord wanted? Did you follow that light? Or did you choose not to? His light so shines today for all to see and grasp. Reach out and receive. You will see that it is not totally of yourself. The light will come from God as He comes beside you to guide you into His truth and righteousness. In time you too will know Him.

John 8:28-29 - Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

That You Would Be Glorified

Matthew 6:13 - ...For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 

Love this God I/we serve! I've said it before and I will say it yet again. It's all about Him. If anyone thinks that makes Him arrogant, they don't know Him. His desire is for us. His desire is that we would all be His children, that our eternal life would be secure in and through Him. But we know that not everyone will receive that. That's just the way it is.

So last night at church we continued our study of the book of Matthew. Week by week we walk slowly through a few scriptures talking in depth about them. There's no need to hurry! We are sitting at His feet and last night we were at the Lord's Prayer. Although Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray (and as an example for us), He was showing how He prays to His Father. 

What was pointed out first was how we know this prayer so well it just rolls off our tongue without any thought to its meaning. It takes a concerted effort to "visualize" in our mind, spirit and heart the meaning of the words, otherwise the prayer is empty...vain or useless, producing no results, as Webster's defines it.

The kingdom, power and glory are God's. Period. I will stand by that truth always.

I had been with a friend all day yesterday and as usual a lot of our time was talking about God. It just seems natural to do this. We marvel at Him, exhort each other, ponder Him. I remember her saying, and I've felt the same way on many occasions, that He loves our conversation when it is about Him. He inclines His ear to listen as we speak, and He is glorified and joys in conversation that is centered on Him. It's a form of meditating on His Word, I think, worship. Sound like arrogance? To the natural man it is.

In the natural world a person would be looked upon as arrogant if they became puffed up by someone talking about them. Not so with God. He alone is high and lifted up, His robe filling the temple (Isaiah 6:1). He is Lord over all. He is greatly to be praised. He is the only one we should be lifting up our voices to in praise. Again, if that seems arrogant, one doesn't know this great God of ours.

He alone is to be glorified. Our lives are to be lived so that the glory of our God might be seen. This is done in all we do for Him, anything that draws attention to Him. Natural ears and minds can't understand this. But in the spiritual it is so right.

In today's twisted world God and His Word are being shoved aside, being rejected because it might offend someone. Truth can hurt. God's Word is truth. Some do not want to be reminded of or confronted with their sins. So it is natural to want silence. It's a natural, self-centered man who thinks like this. True superiority is to think somehow God or His Word will be stifled. One can do all they want to remove Him but it will backfire some day. 

God is to be glorified. He created all things. He is in control. He knows what we have real need of. He offers freely. His way is narrow but true. His way leads to life, joy, peace, hope, strength if we receive and glorify Him. He protects and provides. It's all about Him. Period. 

All this talk of glorifying. I awoke in the middle of the night and snippets of scripture of who our God is came to mind. I wasn't working at coming up with these words, they just were there! My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word (Psalms 119:148). Praise God. He was glorified again. Who can explain how this happens? Knowing Him is one explanation. 

A "word" was given to me last night by this friend I spent the day with. Glory again to God! Besides this, I've been playing one song over and over in my car (and in my head): Knowing You. It's all about Him. 

Jude 1:24-25 - Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.