God is delighted with the one who delights in Him,
whose lips are quick to offer Him praise.
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre…
the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
in those who hope in His steadfast love.
Psalm 147:7, 11 ESV
There’s a popular trend in Christian publishing in which authors write from God’s point of view. Sarah Young’s bestseller, Jesus Calling, is one of those books, with a twist. She believes she writes the very words of God, not simply what she thinks God would say, if He were to speak to her.
“I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more,” Young states. “I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day,” she explains. So she decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down her “personal messages from God.”
To Young’s credit, she admits that her writings are not “inspired as Scripture is,” and that, “the Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God.” However, she believes her messages address the felt needs of Christians who are “searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace.”
Jesus Calling has appeared on all of the major bestseller lists, has sold over 10 million copies, and is available in 26 languages. People are eating it up. But should we? John Piper gives good insight.
Commenting on an article published in Christianity Today, written by an anonymous professor at a well-known Christian University, who also claims to have heard the voice of God, Piper states, “What’s sad is that it really does give the impression that extra-biblical communication with God is surpassingly wonderful and faith-deepening. I grieve at what is being communicated here. The great need of our time is for people to experience the living reality of God by hearing his word personally and transformingly in Scripture” (emphasis added).
Jesus Calling raised a few questions for me: Should I be longing for more than the Bible? Is the Bible really enough? Am I missing out on a deeper experience of Jesus’ presence and peace?
So, I asked God, and He answered me with Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Psalm 19:7-11. The Bible truly is more precious than gold, and sweeter than honey dripping from the honeycomb. What could be better than that?
True thankfulness happens
when we delight in the giver,
more than the gift.
May God’s love and faithfulness to us
inspire a thankfulness that glorifies Him
and blesses our hearts.
‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
for the Lord is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever!’
Jeremiah 33:11 ESV
Also: Psalm 50:23 and Jeremiah 31:3
While waiting for deliverance,
the righteous live by faith,
because it’s impossible to put
too much confidence in God.
Therefore do not throw away your confidence,
which has a great reward.
Hebrews 10:35 ESV
Scripture: Hebrews 10:35-39
The most important things
are best understood
after we’ve spent
time alone with God.
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God.
Psalm 73:16-17a ESV
Scripture Focus: Psalm 73, Jeremiah 33:3
May God bless you
with words and opportunity,
courage and clarity,
to boldly proclaim
the good news
that is ours in Christ Jesus,
“For unto you is born this day
in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:11 ESV
See: Ephesians 2:18-20
Whenever my best friend Kare and I get together, we bring a gift. We usually find some little trinket or homemade item we think the other will enjoy. We delight in the giving and the getting. Our homes have become speckled with these tiny treasures which remind us often of the love we have for each other.
I wonder if the treasures we are to lay up in heaven could be looked at in a similar light–as love gifts for Jesus. Isn’t it possible we would want something to offer the One who has prepared a place for us in His Father’s home? Isn’t it possible we would want a treasure, however small, to lay at His feet?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21 ESV
See: Matthew 6:19-21, Revelation 4:9-11, John 14:1-4
Calling someone a Christian, who is not one, is dangerous.
It weakens our testimony;
it keeps us from praying for his greatest need–salvation;
it gives false hope to the one acknowledged;
and it just looks stupid to the watching world.
If a person displays no love for Christ or His people, he is not a Christian.
If he displays no godly characteristics, or Spirit fruit, he is not born again.
By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:10 ESV
Also: Galatians 5:22
QUESTION: Can we know God is at work in the lives of the people for whom we pray, especially as pertains to their spiritual well-being and salvation, and especially when we see little or no evidence of God’s work? And, what difference would knowing God is at work make in our own lives?
ANSWER: Yes. We can know God is at work in the lives of the people for whom we pray, because GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!
I was going to list several reasons why we can know God is at work, when we pray, but it all comes back to that one reason. It’s all we need to know, and remember–God answers prayer.
What difference would knowing make?
If we knew God was at work,
we would pray more and worry less;
we would show more patience;
we would more quickly share spiritual truths, assuming, hoping, hearts have been prepared by God to hear and accept them;
we would have joy at the prospect of seeing the evidence of God’s work;
we would be more thankful, more worshipful, more glad in God;
we would not give up!
Go ahead, see: James 5:13-18, 1 John 5:13-17
Candy canes of white and red
remind me that Christ’s blood was shed.
He died for me! So now I know,
my sins are washed as white as snow.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
We can pray without ceasing,
when our thought-life
becomes our prayer-life;
when all the things we think about,
become all the things we pray about.
Our sinful thoughts become prayers
of confession and repentance.
Concerns for loved ones
become prayers of intercession.
Wishes become requests.
And our thoughts of God turn to praise.
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
Prayer is as necessary today, as it was yesterday,
and tomorrow, as it was last year.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
In the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton, speaking of late term abortion, said, “This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make.”
She was right. Choosing to have an abortion, during any term in the pregnancy, is the worst choice. A woman will live to regret that choice, unless her conscience has been soothed by the devil’s lie that abortion doesn’t really kill babies.
Donald Trump has been quoted as saying there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions. And there will be. One day, every person will stand before a holy God to answer for his or her sin. The punishment for sin is death.
But there’s good news. Jesus already died. Jesus bore God’s wrath for us. He took our sins to the cross. By repentance and belief, His sacrifice becomes ours.
I have been there. I have lived with the regret.
I can rejoice because Jesus’ death provided a sufficient sacrifice for my sin. As it did for all those who would put their faith in Him. The good news about abortion? It can be forgiven.
We can trust in Jesus for salvation, and for the future of this country. Our hope truly is in Him alone.
Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Mark 1:15 ESV
Scripture: Isaiah 53, Psalm 139:13-18
The greater a person’s confidence
that God will provide abundantly
in every situation and circumstance,
no matter what, the greater her joy.
The Lord will provide–that’s His name.
Jehovah Jireh, God will provide!
He would not sully His good name
by leaving one of His children unattended.
So Abraham called the name of that place,
“The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day,
“On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Genesis 22:14 ESV
Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19, Philippians 4:19
Please give me a discerning spirit,
with wisdom and good judgement,
discretion and understanding.
Help me to be strict with myself,
but merciful with others.
Help me to love the way You love.
Correct quickly any thought or attitude
that wanders from Your truth.
Direct me in the path of obedience
to Your Word, because Jesus died
and lives for me, and His righteousness,
in standing, is already mine.
Scripture: Philippians 3:12-16