Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

Crazy Love

Scripture
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

Genesis 29:30 NASB

Observation
People do crazy things for love. Jacob worked seven years so that he could marry Rachel. The Bible says that it seemed like only a few days. He was surely in love.

We have all been there. We have all seen it in others. Love changes behavior, causes people to do things they wouldnt normally do.

This applies to God too! God did something crazy because He loved us. He sent His Son to Earth to redeem His people from sin. His only Son left the glory of Heaven to live like a man for 30 years. He was made fun of, spit on, tortured and given a criminal’s sentence of death because He loved so much.

Application
Has your love for anyone caused you to do crazy things? Maybe not crazy like the world considers crazy, but have you done something you wouldn’t normally have done because of love?

What about for Jesus? Have you ever done something crazy because you love Jesus? Jesus said if you love me, You will keep my commands. Maybe, the crazy thing that you do is that you live counter to the world, because you love Him so much. Maybe you give up some of the things in your life because you know that He doesn’t approve. The world would say that is crazy, but you’re doing it because you love Him.

Jesus did a crazy thing for you. Love Him crazy!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for Your love that knows no bounds. Help us to love You as You desire, by obeying Your commands. Help us, even when we are so different than what the world would expect.

Peace,
Todd

Don’t Go There!

Scripture
Then Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there!
Genesis 24:6 NASB

Observation
God had spoken to Abraham and asked him to leave his family and land and go to a place that He would give him.

When it came time for Issac to find a wife, Abraham wanted to make sure that she was not tied to the land of Canaan, which worshipped other Gods.

But more importantly, Abraham didn’t want Issac to go back to the land that God had moved him away from. So he sent his servant to find a wife for Issac.

Abraham knew what his family was like. We see it later when Abraham’s servant goes to find a wife

 After finding Rebekah, they ask him to stay 10 days. He doesn’t relent, and gets out quick. Later, in the story of Jacob, they entice him to stay 14 years!

Abraham knew that being around family, in that land, would cause him to want to stay and be comfortable. Abraham guarded Issac from that.

Application
Our tendency is to move to things and times that are comfortable and easy. It’s understandable. After striving and pushing, we want rest and some time to relax. 

The problem arises when we get too comfortable and lose the urgency that God has given us to accomplish His will.

Again, resting isn’t wrong. God has given us a day of rest. But He hasn’t given us a week, month or year of rest to sit around and not live in His will.

God has a plan for your life. It is better than you can possibly imagine. He wants you to move forward, not backward. He wants you to continually seek Him. Going to the familiar, the easy, the comfortable, usually takes you another route other than the Lord’s. Not that the Lord always causes you to struggle, but you WILL have to depend on Him and have faith. This means that you are “active” in your walk with Him.

Prayer
Lord, help me to rest when it’s time to rest, but then continue in Your will when it’s time toove forward. Lead me through the Holy Spirit to Your plan for my life.

Peace
Todd

Taking God at His Word

Scripture
Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.”
Genesis 22:5 NASB

Observation
Was Abraham crazy or was he full of faith? God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, the son of promise that was born to Abraham when he was 100 years old.

Scripture tells us that Abraham complied that next day. He didn’t argue with God. He didn’t try to find a hidden meaning. He just obeyed.

On the way there, he didn’t take a sacrifice, because his son was going to be the sacrifice. But he did tell his servants that they would worship and return.

Abraham didn’t know how it would all play out, but He did have faith that God knew what He was doing. God made a promise to Abraham. God is not like us, He keeps His Word! Abraham knew He could trust God.

Application
How many times do we get in the way of God’s work and mess it all up? We seem to k ow so much more than God. We are told to trust no one, but ourselves. But we should trust God.

In fact, God has given us His Word. His Word is true and you can take His Word as His promise to you. What He says in His Word, He will do it!

But this brings to task the business of obedience. Abraham was obedient. He was faithful. He trusted. Are you lacking in these things? Don’t! Start to trust Him more everyday!

You learn to trust Jesus by spending time with Him everyday and getting to know Him through His Word. There is no substitute or excuse! 

You will never know everything there is to know about God. He is too great for our minds to comprehend. But, you can know Him more and more everyday.

He will not turn you away or forsake you. He loves you.

Prayer
Lord, help us to know You through spending time with You. Help us to understand Your Word through the Holy Spirit. Help us to have faith and obey you in what You call us to do.

Peace
Todd

Nothing Is Too Difficult!

Scripture
Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Genesis 18:14 NASB

Observation
Abraham was 99 years old when the Lord reaffirmed to him that he would have a son. Even for those days, Abraham and his wife were passed child bearing days.

When the Lord said this to him, his wife laughed to herself. She was in the tent, not in front of them. But the Lord called her on it. Is anything too difficult? 

It might not have been on their time, but God did exactly what He said He would do. He always does! His promises are yes and Amen!

Application
Do you realize that God has given you many promises in His Word? You might look at those and think, “how will that happen?” But you will be asked the same question Abraham was, “is anything too difficult for the Lord?”

Then, you must understand that God has a plan for your life. It usually is something that will stretch you and have you to depend on Him. Again, is anything too difficult?

Yes, you will have to trust. Yes, you will have to obey. Yes, you will have to grow in faith. Yes, you will be stretched. But this is God we’re talking about! Nothing is too difficult with Him!

Stop being a spiritual wuss. Spend more time with Him, get in the Word, your faith will become stronger.

Prayer
Lord, forgive me when my faith is so small. Help me to trust and have faith in Your will and Your ways. Help me to stay steady until Your Word is performed.

Peace
Todd

Your Spiritual Markers

Scripture
3 He went on his journeys from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,  to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.
Genesis 13:3-4 NASB

Observation
Abram, his name hadn’t be changed to Abraham yet, leaves Egypt, after an embarrassing and humiliating scene with Pharoah. 

First, Abram shouldn’t had left the land that God gave him. He was never told to go down to Egypt. He just saw the famine in the land of Cannan and decided that it would be better there. Then, Abram asked his wife to lie and not reveal she was his wife because he was afraid they would kill him for her. 

The Bible would make it seem like Abram wasn’t trusting fully in God’s provision or protection. So coming back from Egypt, he must have felt it and spiritually he need to get right with God again.

So, Abram goes to the place where he did hear the Lord. He travelled back to a place where he built an altar and worshipped.

Abram could have let this time in his life do him in, but instead, he chose to seek God. He had the altar between Ai and Bethel as a spiritual marker where God had spoken to him before.

Application
In times of uncertainty, when we are waiting on God, spiritual markers are huge. They are times in our lives when we have heard God speak to us or have seen Him do something awesome in our lives.

We should remember those times well! We should let them mark us! They serve as times that we can look back and see God moving in our lives. They help to sustain us when we are spiritually weak or waiting on God. 

Have you taken time to remember and maybe even write down some of the ways God has come through for you?

Write your spiritual markers down and look at them often. They will help build your faith and give you encouragement. God loves you and He will moves in your life. He has done it before!

Prayer
Lord, You are always there. Sometimes I have trouble trusting and waiting for Your next move. Thank You for spiritual markers in my life that allow me to remember how You have always come through for me in the past.

Peace
Todd

What Does God See?

Scripture
Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.
Genesis 7:5 NASB

Observation
Because God is active in this world, He notices our lives and our response to Him. He delights in those who choose to live for Him and obey His commands.

When He finds someone who is willing to obey, He uses them, maybe even to save the human race from extinction.

God used Noah to start over. He didn’t look for a good person. He didn’t settle for someone who wasn’t “that bad.” He found in Noah, someone who was righteous, right with God. There is no other way to live. 

When we choose to live, to the best of our abilities, to be right with God, we are noticed by Him and we are a blessing to those around us.

Application
What does God see when He looks deep within your heart? Don’t think about what you would like Him to see. What does He really see?

Like Noah, you have a choice how you want to live. And on this side of the resurrection, Jesus has promised the Holy Spirit to help you. 

So if you have the desire to live righteously for God, you can do it. It’s your choice! But remember, it is the choice God looks for!

What an awesome way to live…To be pleasing to Him!

Prayer
Lord, as You look down from Heaven, I pray that You are pleased with me. If there is anything that You are not pleased with, please help me to remove it from my life. There is no one like You. And you are my desire.

Peace
Todd

Hiding from God

Scripture
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:8 NASB

Observation
Since the very beginning of time, God the Father has desired a relationship with His creation. He chose to come down from Heaven to walk in the Garden of Eden and spend time with Adam and Eve.

And since the beginning of time, His creation has been trying to hide from Him.

Adam and Eve hid because they knew they would come face to face with holiness, perfection. They were filled with sin. They knew that sin could not stand in the presence of God without being dealt with. Sin changed the relationship with the Father forever. 

At that time, God started on a plan to get things back again. We stand on the other side of the cross and tomb, in realization of the completion of that plan. He has restored the relationship.

Are you still hiding from Him? Possibly because you haven’t received His forgiveness and mercy and accepted Jesus as Your Lord and Savior? Or, maybe you have, but you don’t realize the magnitude of what it all means. In Jesus, God set the relationship status of man back to where it was before the Fall in the Garden of Eden.

He wants to walk in the cool of the day with you. He wants to know you intimately. He wants you to know Him and rely on Him as your source of life. 

This is all encompassing! This is everything you truly ever wanted or needed. What are you waiting for?

Application
Have you ever thought about how you treat the Lord? He’s a big guy. He can take it! But have you ever thought about it?

He has set all things right in regards to knowing Him, but then His creation rather do other things like watch TV and other things that have no eternal value.

God will come near to you when you come near to Him. You don’t have to hide. He is God the Creator of Everything!!!! And He wants to get to know you on an intimate level. 

How? Through prayer, reading the Word, spending time with Him in worship, being around His people, thinking about eternal and godly things. He sees straight into your heart! He knows what is truly there. Take the time to respond to Him and draw near. No one who truly did was ever disappointed!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for making a way for us to come close to You through the blood of Jesus. Help us to not take advantage of Your mercy, but to see it as an opportunity to know You intimately.

Peace
Todd

While You’re In the Wilderness

Scripture
I cared for you in the wilderness,
In the land of drought.
Hosea 13:5 NASB

Observation
It doesn’t matter where you are or what the circumstance might be, God can always reach you! God’s power is not limited by anything! Even in the dessert wilderness, in the middle of a drought, He can come to your rescue.

The problem is when we get our eyes off of God and focus on something else. It doesn’t matter what that something else is. It’s not God! It can’t help you like God can help you!

And the thing is that you don’t have to find out the hard way. Look at the example of the Jewish people. Don’t turn from the Lord, but instead establish Him as your first and only priority. Everything else falls into place.

Application
Think about the last time you encountered a problem. What was your first reaction? Was it to seek counsel? Did you Google it? Did you make a list of all the pros and cons? Or did you go to the Lord, seeking His will and diving into His Word?

For the Christian, going to God is always going to be the answer. He can do it! He knows exactly what you need. 

Pray for His will in your life. Examine yourself to see if there is anything in your life that doesn’t need to be there. Make sure you are reading His Word and applying it to your life. Seek out other believers that will encourage you in the faith.

God will come and help you. He will meet you in the most unlikely of places. Just make sure you put Him first!

Prayer
Lord, forgive us when we don’t put You first. Help us give You our full attention. We know You are all powerful and there is nothing greater than You. You and only You are able to save! You are able to rescue. Thank You!

Peace
Todd