Details

Details (1)

How many stars are there in the universe? The lowest estimate, 1022, is considered “only a rough number.” Mind bending.

Then there is this truth in Psalm 145:4-5 (VOICE):

4 He counts all the stars within His hands,
carefully fixing their number
and giving them names.
5 Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power.
He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure.

We, humans, with our best resources, can only come up with a rough estimate. God? He counts them within His hands, carefully fixing their number and giving them names.” Let us sit with this truth for a while.

Then there is Psalm 139:1-18 (VOICE):

1 O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am;
2 You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again.
Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking.
3 You observe my wanderings and my sleeping, my waking and my dreaming,
and You know everything I do in more detail than even I know.
4 You know what I’m going to say long before I say it.
It is true, Eternal One, that You know everything and everyone.
5 You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder.
6 It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out;
the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it.
7 Can I go anywhere apart from Your Spirit?
Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?
8 If I go up into heaven, You are there.
If I make my bed in the realm of the dead, You are there.
9 If I ride on the wings of morning,
if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean,
10 Even then You will be there to guide me;
Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there.
11 Even if I am afraid and think to myself, “There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
the light around me will soon be turned to night,”
12 You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to Your eyes.
For You the night is just as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.
13 For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
14 I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
15 You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You
As I took shape in secret,
carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb.
16 You see all things;
You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
17 Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! I cherish each and every one of them!
How grand in scope! How many in number!
18 If I could count each one of them, they would be more than all the grains of sand on earth. Their number is inconceivable!
Even when I wake up, I am still near to You.

God pays attentions to details.* In the universe. In our lives. In your life. We can trust Him with all aspects of our lives. All the details of our lives matter to Him, including those details that may bore other people. Not our Father. He knows all the details of our lives and all the details of our lives matter to Him. All of them. Why? Because we matter to Him and He invites us to come to Him with all the details. All of them.

*(Click here for additional examples.)

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“Just as He said”

Just as He said

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken and will He not make it good and fulfill it?”                                        
(Numbers 23:19, AMP)

It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will go across before you [to lead you], just as the Lord has said” (Deuteronomy 31:3, AMP)

“And now, look, the Lord has let me live, just as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, look at me, I am eighty-five years old today” (Joshua 14:10, AMP).

The Lord has done [to you] just as He said through me [when I was with you]; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David” (1 Samuel 28:17, AMP)

“He carried out of there (Jerusalem) all the treasures of the house (temple) of the Lord, and the treasures of the house (palace) of the king, and cut in pieces all the articles of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, just as the Lord had said” (2 Kings 24:13, AMP).

“And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him” (Jeremiah 40:3, NIV).

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.  He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said [He would]. Come! See the place where He was lying” (Matthew 28:5-6, AMP).

Take God at His word. He will do what He said He will do.

(Emphasis added in each Scripture verse.)

With you. For you: Do not fear

With you.For you

It came in the early hours between sleeps, the thought that this year could hold much to fear. But before it could take root, it was vanquished by words from a hymn I learned in childhood:

God will take care of you,
Through every day o’er all the way;
He will take care of you;
God will take care of you!

Later, I found the complete hymn, “Be not dismayed what’er betide.” It has several verses, all worthy of attention because of the comfort and assurance they provide.

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you!
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you!

God will take care of you,
Through every day o’er all the way;
He will take care of you;
God will take care of you!

Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you!
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you!

All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you!
Trust Him, and you will be satisfied,
God will take care of you!

Lonely and sad, from friends apart,
God will take care of you!
He will give peace to your aching heart,
God will take care of you!

 No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you!
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you!

I also found comfort and assurance in verses such as Joshua 1:9 (AMP),

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, AMP).

“The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Omnipresent. Always present. Everywhere. With all that He is. With you and for you. Do not fear.

 

Old and New and All Our Days

 

old and new (1).png

December 31st is known as Old Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, depending on which part of Adonai’s world you inhabit. Years ago, I realized that the name I give to the day can provide a different focus. Old Year’s Day can promote a focus on the current year with all that made it what it was; it can also promote an expression of gratitude as I recognize that God brought me through challenges and blessed me richly. New Year’s Eve can promote a focus on the coming year and the dreams, hopes, plans, and even uncertainties I may have about the future. I see value in calling the day both “Old Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.” Doing so reminds me that He inhabits my past, present, and future. That, EmmanuelGod with us, is not solely a Christmas promise.  I have His promise to never leave me, never forsake me; He is with me whether or not I feel that He is present. The same is true for you. He is with you.

I recognize that dread of the new year can creep in when I see the new year only as 365 more days of the mundane. As holding at least 365 opportunities to make mistakes, etc. Focus matters. Without question, the new year will have challenges. That is life. As in previous years, there will be days, weeks, even months when I pray my way through every hour.  When I stumble more that I stride. But there will also be moments of joy, and wonder, and the satisfaction of tasks well done.  Moments when I have the privilege of being part of someone’s healing and having someone be part of mine. Moments of extending and receiving grace. Moments when hope seems futile and moments of restored hope. Moments of chaos and pain and moments of clarity and peace. Moments of bone weariness and moments of renewed strength. Moments of relational rupture and moments of restoration and deep connection. Moments of resting in sunshine, the warmth of the sun feeling like a soft kiss. Moments when all the world seems gray and wet. Moments when I receive forgiveness and am enabled to forgive.  Moments of learning more about my heavenly Father and, as a result, learning more about who I am in Him.

And all of these moments are in the hand of the Eternal One. The One who neither sleeps or slumbers. The One whose eyes are on the righteous and His ears open to our cry. The One who loves us with an everlasting love and draws us with lovingkindness. The One who is full of compassion and abundant in loyal love and truth. The One who is Almighty and omnipresent and invites us to come boldly to His throne of grace and find help in the time of need. The One who is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we can ask of think. Old Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve and all our days, EmmanuelMay you experience prosperity as He defines it, in every area of your life in 2018.

 

The Love of Advent

Love

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
(Isaiah 9:6, NKJV)

“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, AMP)

Today is the last day of Advent 2017. Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of our Savior. There was no other way to redeem us so He, the Word through whom all things were made and are sustained, He became flesh for us. May this truth constantly boggle our minds, bend our knees, and so fill our hearts with gratitude, that our lips and lives overflow with praise and worship.

May your Christmas be filled with wonder.

Advent Week 3: Joy

Joy

Introduction and Day 15

Joy
a feeling of great happiness
a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
success in doing, finding, or getting something

Joy. True joy. Where can we find it? Its source is the Omnipresent One. 

“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

(Psalm 26:11, AMP)

“For You make him most blessed [and a blessing] forever;
You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

(Psalm 21:6, AMP)  

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” “You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23, AMP). 

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” “You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

“… I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually — regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, AMP)

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” “You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.”

Immanuel. “God with us.” 

“God with us.” “God with us.” “God with us.” “God with me.” You can make it personal because it is true. Your circumstances may be characterized by uncertainty and pain this Advent season and you may be tempted to ask, “God is with me in this?” The answer is, “Yes.” The answer is always, “Yes. ”

“God is with me.” Whisper it like a secret to your wounded soul. Apply it like a salve. “God is with me.” “God is with me and in His presence is fullness of joy.” I have joy, regardless of my circumstances, because of Him. Embrace the truth. Stretch out on it. Wrap it around you like a comforting blanket. Drink it in. Feast on it. “God is with me and He is with me always [remaining with me perpetually – regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

Joy. True joy. It is found in His presence. Fullness of joy. It is based on the Omnipresent One and He is with you always.

Prayer

Father, thank You that “Immanuel” is not just a word; it is truth. You are with me. In the midst of all that is not going well. In the midst of the challenges. In the midst of the hustle and bustle. In the midst of it all, help me slow down to rest in the truth that You are with me. I am in Your presence right now and I rejoice in You.

 


The definition of “Joy” is from merriam-webster.com. Other posts in the Advent 2017 series can be found here

 

 

 

The Peace of Advent: Day 12

Peace (4)

The season in which this revelation of God as “Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is peace,” occurred was one of oppression and starvation (Judges 6:1-6, NLT). These cruel conditions were the result of Israel’s disobedience; however, as happened repeatedly in their history, God intervened when they cried out to Him for help. God spoke to them through a prophet (Judges 6:6-10). Then, as the Angel of the LORD, spoke to Gideon, whom He had chosen to deliver Israel. The closing moments of Gideon’s encounter with the Angel of the LORD included a dramatic scene that revealed to Gideon beyond the shadow of any doubt that he had encountered the Angel of the LORD. Gideon’s expectation? Certain death. God’s response to Gideon? Compassion. “The Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not be afraid; you shall not die” (Judges 6:23, AMP). In the midst of what was likely abject terror, God spoke words of comfort and assurance to Gideon. Out of that experience, Gideon received the revelation that “the LORD is peace” (Judges 6:24).

This chapter show us that God not only gives peace, He is peace. And I am reminded of a truth shared by Ann Voskamp in her book, The Greatest Gift, “God gives God.” He gives us who He is. Other examples of this truth are found in verses such as Psalm 71:5 (AMP), “For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust and the source of my confidence from my youth, ” and Psalm 28:7 (NIV), “The Lord is my strength…” Whenever we ask for what we need, always He gives us of Himself.

Prayer

Father, this Advent season, give us a fresh understanding of the truth that You give who You are. May it sink deep into our spirits. Help us to remember that You, LORD, are peace and everything else that we need. Let this truth lead us to ask boldly for more of You. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

~~~

Other posts in the Advent 2107 series can be found here.