Mundane Monday: Security in Insecurity

we-could-never-be-more-secure-than-in-that-moment-when-we-understood-our-great-need-for-salvation-and-accepted-it-loved-sealed-for-eternity

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

We could never be more secure than in that moment when we understood our great need for salvation and accepted it. Loved. Sealed for eternity.

Scriptures of the Day:

1 Samuel 25:29 (NLT)

“Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the LORD your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling!”

1 Samuel 2:9 (NET)

“He watches over his holy ones, but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness, for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.”

David was no stranger to enemies, like the persecuted church today. Far beyond what we normally call enemies today in our sanitized world and vain imaginations, enemies are very real, nonetheless.

In pursuit of God we have the enemy of our souls and our flesh to deter us, let alone people who want to bring us down. But there is an understanding that transcends our circumstances and gives us security when life feels insecure.

Abigail entreated David to consider that despite the evil intent of those around him, he was indeed secure. Not because of alarm systems or body guards, but because the God of this universe had his back. God would take care of those who stood against David in His perfect timing and way. It might have taken 15 years for Saul to be deposed, but the character gained in those years could not be formed otherwise.

Hannah saw this same security from the strength of her living God who granted her deepest desire to have a son. Her security came from an insecure place, and God met her there. Her need for God’s provision and security through family caused her to go deeper with God and to rear a son who would be a mighty prophet for God’s people.

This insecure world invites us to accept the challenge of the difficulties around us and to place them at our Master’s feet.

Maybe you are hated. Maybe people are jealous of you like they were of David. Maybe it is an unbeliever hating you for your faith in Jesus, or maybe it is believers who are caught in a mire of covetousness who slander you to elevate themselves.

Either way, none of this is new underneath the sun. We can expect adversity if we are seeking to do God’s will, but that need not remove our security that we have in Christ.

We could never be more secure than in that moment when we understood our great need for salvation and accepted it. Loved. Sealed for eternity.

All the security we ever need is found Jesus, Who perfectly accepts us and heals our wayward souls. Our eternal security cannot be provided in anyone else.

But the temporal burdens in this world which frighten the human soul long for something more tangible. We want to be free from all fear and terror. How does this eternal security impact the temporal station where we reside?

It is in the recognition of the brevity of life that we see how all we are investing in the here and now impacts all of eternity. 

The suffering, the joy, the blessings and burdens all are a part of living. We cannot avoid pain, but we can call on El Elyon – the Eternal God Most High – for grace and strength while we battle through this life to live in a way that pleases Him.

For if our goal is the removal of fear or suffering we have set our bar too low.

To be secure in the security this life offers does not prepare us for eternity.

But to live this insecure life with abandon before our King, fully trusting and seeking to glorify His Name – this is really living a secure life, no matter what life brings.

Lord, You are awesome and Holy, our living Refuge! Help us to live lives that are radically transformed and surrendered to You.

Sabbath Reflections: Great is Our God

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The past two weeks God has been impressing upon my mind a need to proclaim His greatness, in particular as we remember the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

I put together a video and slideshow for our worship service today to commemorate just some of the many miracles God did during the devastating events of 9/11. It was awesome to reflect on how God is so much bigger than any sorrow this world brings.

In my search to find footage that glorified God, I was really struck by a couple of videos I found. Here is a link to the video I created, splicing together two videos I discovered on the internet: 9/11 Remembrance. The amazing thing about the video I picked which shared the testimony of the finding of pages of the Bible being fused to metal at Ground Zero was that the very Scripture the Bible was turned to was the same passage our pastor chose to preach from today.

So today, as we contemplate God’s goodness, mercy, grace and strength which sustain us at all times, I want to share lyrics from my song, “Comfort to the Weary”, which was penned in 2002 and played in the heart of Ground Zero, New York City for a 24-hour time period. The lyrics still vividly remind me of our need for God’s comfort now, more than ever. See the slide show I created here: Remembering 9-11 Slideshow. To God be the glory in all things at all times. He is our ever present help in time of need.

 Comfort to the Weary (c) 2002 Denise Pass

There’s a man on a New York downtown corner, Holding our a picture of his wife;

Holding on to hope with his heart filled with grief;

He’s wondering if God really cares at all.

       He gives comfort to the weary, strength to the weak.

       Healing for the wounded heart and power to the meek.

       He knows all your pain and burdens, all your angst and strife;

       And in the midst He’s there with you, though the pain cuts like a knife.

       He is there – He is there.

   There’s a girl who doesn’t have a daddy anymore,

Wondering why he had to die.

Men in a plan full of hate took his life away,

Now she’s wondering if God really cares at all…

 He is there – Jehovah Jireh, my Provider – the LORD God Almighty.

       He’s our Rock, Jehovah Rapha, the LORD our Healer – He’s there for you and me.

I don’t know what plans the LORD will have for you today,

Or what pain you’ll have to bear.

But I know what’s meant for evil will be used for good –

We serve a living God who cares for you…

Lord, please open the eyes of our nation to see our sin and need of You. Have mercy on us and help us to trust in You.

Mundane Monday: Isolation’s Surprise

isolation

Photo Credit Flickr Creative Commons and loufi.

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

It is in the unlikely places that God reaches His people with His love and grace.

Scriptures of the Day:

Matthew 14:15

When evening arrived, his disciples came to him saying, “This is an isolated place and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 15 But he replied, “They don’t need to go. You give them something to eat.”

Matthew 15:33

The disciples said to him, “Where can we get enough bread in this desolate place to satisfy so great a crowd?” 34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven–and a few small fish.”

It is sometimes not until we are in a place of want that we understand how blessed we are. Not knowing how the bills will be paid, hoping the debit card works at the register at the grocery store, not being able to afford prescription medication, or even being unable to fix our car – all things I have walked through – taught me lessons I could never have learned when provision was more abundant.

The assumption the disciples made and we often can, too, is that in those desolate places, when we are alone and it seems there is no help, it is not what we have that matters. It is Who we have that makes all the difference.

The disciples did not see how they could help the masses of people. They looked at what they had, they looked at the resources around them and it looked bleak. This makes sense in our practical world. We don’t plan on what might be, we plan according to what is in our hands. While this is a sensible approach when it comes to living on a budget, God’s math does not add up when His children are hurting or in need. In the place of isolation there is a test. A test to see what our response will be. A test of trust.

He loves to demonstrate His care and use us to do so, as well. Jesus looked at their hearts and longed to provide in a way that brought glory to God. No one could take credit for such a lavish feast. People still scratch their heads today wondering how such a miracle could occur, but that is what is so awesome about God’s provision – it always surprises us because it does not seem possible.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked means of God’s provision is us. He blesses us and watches to see how we will be sensitive to see the needs of others. Will we be His hands and feet? God is asking us today, “What do you have?” Phew. humbling. But one of the greatest joys is giving and seeing God at work in the life of the recipient.  Much like earthly parents love to surprise their children with blessings, our God waits to see if we will call on Him and also be used by Him so He can answer in amazing ways.

But perhaps the need and provision are not the most significant aspects of these biblical stories. God is using that need to open their eyes to seek Him, that we might know Him more.

Lord, thank You that You are never far off when we cry out to You. Please help us to be attentive to the needs around us, ready to help, as well.

A Season of Thankfulness: Day 13 – Our Comforter

Photo Credits: quotesgram.com

Photo Credits: quotesgram.com

Psalms 31:13a

“For I hear what so many are saying, the terrifying news that comes from every direction.”

Psalm 147:3

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 30:5

“For his anger lasts only a brief moment, and his good favor restores one’s life. One may experience sorrow during the night, but joy arrives in the morning.”

On days like this when news of terror is filling the airwaves and in moments of fear, uncertainty and heartbreak, we who are in Christ have this hope: our living God is our faithful Comforter.

The rain falls on the good and the bad; all will see troubles on this earth, but it is often at the worst moments when we are closest to God.  The accusations and attack of the enemy encircle us, trying to defeat us, but if we will press in and seek God, we crucify the flesh and find ourselves at a higher place with Jesus.

Like Job, who had counselors who knew all of the religiously correct phrases, we, too, will need to go past the surface of psychology, positive thinking or religiosity offered by the world around us to arrive in Jesus’ arms and the sweetest comfort known.

True comfort does not mean having our own way.  It is a place of rest, trusting in our sovereign Father and peace in His promise to take our greatest sorrows and turn them into a place of healing, instead.  It is weeping in His presence and laying our burden at His feet, knowing that He counts every tear and that everything matters to Him.

Perhaps the greatest comfort is that Jesus chose to walk among us not just so we could understand and know Him, but so He could identify with our suffering and we could have confidence to come to Him who patiently endured the most severe suffering for us.

Lord, please ease the pain of those in shock and horror now and draw them to You – the only sure source of comfort at all times.  You are our refuge, our Healer, our living Hope.  May you be the One we run to above and instead of all else.