Monday, December 30, 2013

My Tour Guide

The last time we went to DC, we had an opportunity to go on a DC Duck Tour.  Not only did we get to ride in a Duck - an amphibian vehicles from the early 1900s army issued, but the tour took us by all the great sites in downtown.  The tour guide knew everything about DC and about the Duck.  We stopped by several missed monuments that I hadn't known about.  He knew the ins and outs of downtown.

Most tour guides are like that.  They know the best places to go.  The best places to stay.  They know all the history the city holds.  They know what's going on and what plans the city has.

The Bible shows God is our Guide.  He guided Noah to build a boat.  He guided Abraham to go to a new land.  He guided Moses out of Egypt and Joshua into the Promise Land.  He guided to prophets to speak to the people.  He spoke to Mary and Joseph about His coming Son.

Jesus was raised in Nazareth.  A place that was despised.  A place that nothing good was would come.  Yet, despite those conditions, He grew.  He learned scripture.  He didn't allow that place to change who He is.  He grew into the perfect man there.  

God will lead us.  He knows our life better than we do.  He knows our thoughts.  He knows our true needs.  He knows our history.  He knows our future.  He can be trusted with our lives, our plans, our goals.  He knows the best places to go, to stay, to see.

Is God your Guide?  Do you listen for His instructions?  Do you obey immediately?  What needs to change in your heart so that He is your guide?  So that you do heed His Word?  That you trust His direction? 

Are you content with where you are planted?  Do I appreciate what God is doing right now?

Friday, December 20, 2013

No Room at the Inn

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

We're approaching the day we celebrate the blessed event written out in Luke.  I was struck by this verse in my counseling study.

Presented with two solutions to every problem.  The problem of course is sin.   The first solution is remedial from within.  It is to search God's word to change the heart, to prepare for spiritual warfare.  It is the putting off of the sin.

The second solution is discipleship from without.  This is applying God's word.  It is the putting on of Godly fruit.  Being a disciple is making room for Jesus.  It is the only way to conquer life dominating sins.  It is filling my time, my thoughts, my anything I do with Jesus.  When Jesus has all of me, I don't have time for life dominating sin.  

Just as many centuries ago the crowd didn't have room for Jesus.  Now with Jesus in my heart, I do not have room for sin.  When He fills every space, He is all I want.  

We (God and I) are working together to get this done.  It is a life long process, so be patient.  It is a clear indication I'm not spending enough time with God and allowing Him to fill me fully when old life dominating sins that I have repented of come back.  Always be on guard, always be filled with Jesus.

Merry Christmas
Have a great Holiday, I'm on break until the new year.  Many Blessings to your family.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Joseph, The Obedient Father

Joseph felt betrayed.  The woman who he’d known most of his life, his fiancĂ©, was expecting a child.  He knew it wasn’t his.  What was he going to do.  Despite her betrayal, he couldn’t bring himself to shame her publicly as he ought.  No, he’d handle matters quietly, ending their engagement, and maybe someday, he wouldn’t be embarrassed in their community.

He then went to sleep and an angel of the Lord said that everything Mary said was true.  The child she carried was God’s Son.  Joseph was to take Mary as his wife.  He was to endure the suspicions of their community with her being with child before their marriage celebration.  He was to carry the weight of caring for God’s only Son.  He was to name Him Jesus.

Joseph did all that.  He took Mary with him to Bethlehem, for leaving her at home was not an option.  He stayed by her during the trip, concerned for she was due soon.  He search the whole city for a room to stay in.  He had no family in which to turn.  He found the only warm place for them, a cave.  The animals kept the small place warm. 

Joseph witnessed the birth, helped Mary along.  They wrapped Jesus in clothe and laid him in a manger.  He deserved better, but what could Joseph do?

Once the census was done, Joseph moved his small family into a home.  He left behind the home he had prepared in Nazareth.  He left behind the family business.  He waited until God told him what to do. 

Magi from the east came to worship his Son.  They gave gifts even he couldn’t imagine.  Now Joseph was a steward over God’s Holy Son and this large fortune given to his Son. 

Another dream warn Joseph to flee to Egypt.  Immediately he flees, thankful for the gifts to fund the trip.  They barely escape Herod wrath.  He’s sadden by the story that Herod kills all the young boys in the area in hopes of killing God’s Son.  Joseph trust God’s provision all the more.  God would protect them.  He would protect His Son. 

Joseph has another dream – go home.  He packed up his family and headed north.  Upon hearing the king’s son ruled, he took his fears to God.  Surely God intended His Son to be raised in Bethlehem.  Surely He planned to raise Him near the Temple.  Yet, no, God directed Joseph back to Nazareth.  A place despised among the Israelites.  A place no man would look for God’s Son.

On Joseph’s journey, he was obedient.  He was willing to give up his future plans – plans to be a carpenter, to marry Mary and settle down.  He gave up his home.  He gave up his business.  He gave up his reputation.  He went willingly into a foreign country. 

What plans do I need to sacrifice so that God can guide me?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Run to Safety

Recently we took a walk around my neighborhood.  Nothing new, we normally take a walk after dinner dishes are washed.  This time, something extraordinary happened.  As we rounded a corner, two very scared horses were galloping towards us.  Not being used to horses, I stopped and grabbed my girl.  Dale instructed us to move over and for our girl to get behind me.  He meanwhile approaches the horses without much thought.  In his youth, his family raised horses.  Instinct for him kicked in. 

Although he didn't know these horses, he understood their nature.  He was able to stop them from running further away.  The horses were very scared and did not allow him to approach.  Not long their owners came along.  But even with the owners they were scared.  So they ran here and there.  They ran into the bean field and began to dine on the young crop.  The owner came close, but a neighbor's dog finally noticed what was happening, began to bark scaring one horse and the other followed suit.  In just a few moments they galloped back towards their barn.

How often do we allow life to scare us from the safe shelter of our Father?  We think we'll be better off running, but only to find ourselves even more frightened by the unfamiliar surrounding of the dark world.  Some may try to point us back to safety, but we become frightened because we're uncertain. 

God is a God who protects.  He's calling you back to His arms.  Return to His safety.  His ways are better.  They are easier.  It means turning from the things that bring us false safety - mammon.  Letting go of this world and clinging tightly to Jesus.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:9
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