Tag Archives: child of God

Leaning on God in our battles

“I’ve come to fight you in the name of the Lord Almighty.  Today the Lord will help me defeat you.”  (parts of 1 Sam. 17:45-46)

The Israelites were confronted by a giant that was larger and stronger than them.  They were so frightened they didn’t know what to do.  

Sometimes we are faced with enemies or battles that feel the same way.  And some battles take a while.  Perhaps, like the Israelites giant, the challenge in our lives is given every morning and every night for 40 days.  I once had a health issue that lasted 7 ½ years.  

We can run away and hide, like some of them did.  Or we can lean on God, as David did.  

David realized the enemy was making fun of the army of the living God, and he knew that was not ok.  They mattered to God.  

We are children of the living God, and we matter to God, as well.  

Others criticized David, belittled him, and talked down to him, as he started to rise up against the enemy.  They may do the same to us; but David was strong in his resolve.  He remembered all the previous occasions on which the Lord had helped him defeat an enemy or overcome an obstacle, and he said, “He will keep me safe now.”

The King tried to have David fight in his armor, but it didn’t fit David.  He couldn’t fight like someone else.  He had to fight like him.  When we are in our battle, or facing our enemy, we have to fight with what the Lord has given us, and trust that the Lord will keep us safe, just as He did David, and just as He has done for us in the past.

The enemy laughed in David’s face, but David said, I’ve come to you in the name of the Lord!  He didn’t try to fight in his own strength.  He didn’t have to.  He knew the Lord would help him defeat the enemy.  

He will do the same for us.  The battle may rage, we may have to endure, but the Lord will always be on our side, and He will fight for us!  When we lean into Him in our weakest moments, His strength will always carry us through; and He will prove that the enemy can be defeated with the smallest of actions.  

Just believe,

jamie

He chose you

“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…”

Yes.  There is more to that Scripture in Eph. 1:4, but this morning, I wanted to point out to you and to me that God chose us before the foundation of the world.  If you’ve been wondering if you were chosen, if there has been any doubt in your mind if the gospel message is for you, if you weren’t sure if you were lovable enough for Him, then let this verse reassure you this morning…He chose YOU before the foundation of the world.  And then He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to ensure that Your salvation would be in place if you chose to believe.

Thursday night I went to visit an elderly man that I have befriended over the last few years.  He is a precious man that has spoken encouragement and life into me over the last couple of years, and when I went into his house he said that his heart was racing with me being there because he was so excited to see me.  When I left there that night I was in tears.

This man chose me.  He chose to be my friend, to speak encouragement into my life, to want to be my friend; and when he saw me, his heart was literally racing with excitement.  That says so much to me.  I went there to see him because I love him, but I left there feeling so overwhelmed with love.

God chose us before the foundations of the world!  He speaks life and encouragement into us through His Word more than any person could ever do.  He sent His only Son to die so that we could be with Him for eternity.  That’s how much He wants to be with us.  Y’all!  He wants us!  We are chosen!  If you have ever doubted it…let those doubts be erased now.  He loves You!

His,

jamie

Lessons from creation

Mt. 18:14:  “Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

The song of a Carolina Wren caught my attention this morning.  I found it was perched on my fence, singing.  I noticed a rustling in the garden below and realized that it’s mate was down there eating.  I watched as they took turns perching and eating.  It was nice to see the unity between the birds.

After that, I read the parable of the lost sheep, and I couldn’t help but see the way God shows us His feelings throughout His creation.  Mt. 18:12 says that if one sheep is lost it will be sought.  Every single one of us is important to God.

When we think of the way we feel about our own family, we can understand why this is important to God.  If one of our own family becomes separated from us, we would give anything to bring them back to us.  The birds I was watching this morning were in sync, so beautifully paired, that I know they’re union has meaning to them.

God put examples of His own feelings within His creation.  We can better understand that God truly doesn’t want to lose a single one of us.  He wants us all with Him.  We are important to Him and it grieves Him to lose us, just as it grieves us to lose someone.

If we know someone’s family member is missing, we do everything in our power to help them find that person.  God asked us to do the same with His children.  When one strays away, or one hasn’t found the way to Him, He asks us to show them the way.  He asks us to introduce them to the One who is the Way, Jesus Christ.

We can take a lesson from God’s creation and lovingly seek out God’s lost children and bring them to Him.

Lord, help us show them the Way.  Help us to get over the fear of  speaking to others about You.  Help us to remember that the love we have for our own family is just a glimmer of the love You have for Your own children.  Help us to be willing to seek and find those who are lost.  We know this is Your will.  Thank You for loving each one of us this much, Lord.  You are a good Father.

Found,

jamie

A fine line

Pr. 19:23:  “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil.”

Attempting to guide my children in the truths of the Bible isn’t always easy.  Lately I’ve been unsure if I’m handling things right.

While trying to teach them about sin, I am very nervous that I might leave out the beauty of grace.  Then, while I’m busy teaching grace, I have an ever-present fear that I’m leaving no room for accountability and repentance.

This morning I bumped into this Proverb about ‘the fear of the Lord,’ and I realize that the only answer for me as a parent is to walk this fine line with a foundation of prayer and trust in the Lord.

In my own strength, I will never be able to teach them exactly right.  The beauty of God’s word is that it does not return to Him void.  It accomplishes what God pleases, and will prosper in the purpose for which it was sent.  (Is. 55:11)  Therefore, I must conclude that speaking the Word into my children’s lives is my job.  Accomplishing what God pleases is His.

Also, I must keep in mind that I was not created as The Holy Spirit.  While it is my job to guide and teach my children, it is the Holy Spirit who will bring to their remembrance the things they’ve learned about God as they walk through their lives.  (Jn. 14:26)

Fear of the Lord is something I can demonstrate in my own life and in the way I teach and train my children.  The more we learn about God, the more our own values and character will be fashioned after His.

I must also demonstrate what it means to grow in Christ.  While speaking to my daughter about self-control a few weeks ago, I realized that I’m not bearing that same fruit in certain areas in my own life.  So, I had to make some adjustments.  Allowing her to see those weaknesses in me and to see how I choose to confront them will testify my beliefs to her more than any words I could ever speak.

So, do I know exactly how to walk this thin line of teaching sin and grace at the same time.  Definitely not.  But I know the One who does and I am reminded that not only is His strength is made perfect in my weakness, but that He loves and cares for my children even more than I ever could.  He will guide and water them as His own. I just need to plant the seeds.

I’m thinking the best way to teach them is for me to continue to stay grounded in Him.  Thank you, Lord, for this reminder.  I trust in You.

Learning,

jamie

Grieving the one who is lost

Pr. 15:8:  “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”

My friend’s mother passed away yesterday morning.  She was a Christian who had lived a full life.  She was ready to go home to be with the Lord, and what more fitting day than Valentines Day to go home to her true love.  

Even though her family has some peace in her passing, she is now very absent from their lives, and there is still grief in loss.  When someone we love dies, we are keenly aware of the fact that they can never be replaced.  We experience a void that can never be filled.  There is no one who can step into the place of anyone who has passed and fill their spot.  The person we have lost will always be lost, and that brings us very real pain.

There are also families who have a loved one who is missing.  The family has no clue if their loved one is alive or dead; they just know they are gone.  The void that’s left if palpable…unrelenting.  The grief they experience is never-ending.

This made me think about God and how He must feel when we are lost to Him.  Sin separates us from the Lord.  He is Holy, which means He cannot tolerate sin.  Even as Jesus hung dying on the cross, the Lord could not look upon Him.  The sin upon Jesus separated them.  When we live our lives in sin, and are separate from God, do you think He grieves the way we do when we lose the one we love?

In the parable of the lost son, Jesus illustrates what happens when a sinner, who was lost and dead, comes back.  When the father saw his son, he ran to him, fell on his neck, and kissed him.  He was overjoyed and called for a celebration.  He said, “for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”  Isn’t that how we would feel if we could possibly be reunited with the one we love who was lost or dead?  Imagine the joy we would feel!

The Word tells us that when someone who was lost comes to the Lord there is rejoicing in heaven.  I truly believe that being created in God’s image means that our emotions are not unique to us, but are part of His own make up.  This brings new meaning to the fact that the prayers of the upright are His delight.  If our loved one, who was lost or dead, comes back to us, wouldn’t we delight in their words, as well?

This makes me look at living a life separate from God very differently.  If, in understanding grief, we can put ourselves in His place…imagine His grief for one who is lost…could we more understand His love for us?  We are His children.  He desperately loves us!  He wants us to be with Him—forever.

His,

jamie

Campfires and salvation

A couple of years ago we invested in our family time commitment by buying some really good camping gear.  It’s a great time that we cherish, where there are no screens in our faces, no distractions from one another…just us, together, on an adventure.  We hope this investment, throughout our kid’s lives, will pay off in great dividends.  🙂  On our first camping trip this year I had the following thoughts and today seems like the day to share them:

When we woke up this morning Donnie made us a fire.  I was enjoying just sitting by the fire, but there wasn’t much wood left for us.  The fire was slowly going out, but I didn’t want that relaxing time to end.  I wouldn’t have it!  Determined, I got up and was scrounging around for any sticks I could find.  I was gathering up even the tiniest little sticks, twigs…anything that would burn.  I was willing to gather up anything just to keep the fire going for as long as I possibly could.  When Donnie laughed and asked why I was doing that I said, “I’ll get whatever I can to keep that fire going.”  The thought that went through my mind was, “I don’t wish that it should perish.”

Well, where did that thought take me?  2 Peter 3:9:  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  As I scrounged around looking for anything, just anything, to keep my fire from dying, from losing that fire time, I thought about The Lord.

Sometimes its hard for us to truly grasp how much The Lord doesn’t want His children to perish.  Satan loves to tell us we’re worthless.  He’s lying.  Just as I desperately searched for anything…anything to help keep my fire alive, The Lord has gathered up and given out everything He could to keep us alive.  Time after time He has given His children provision and opportunity for repentance.  He has been longsuffering from the beginning of creation.  He doesn’t want to lose a single one of us.  Think about my devotion to that one little campfire.  That was Nothing compared to the devotion one has for a child.  God was so determined not to lose us that, after offering every provision He could to try to keep us alive, He even sent His very own Son to die for us.

I will never be able to think on this verse in the same way.  Knowing the effort I put forth for a fire I knew I would eventually abandon, the magnitude of God’s effort for us is simply unfathomable!  How amazing His love for us truly is!  He searches for those who will allow Him to use them to reach all this lost children and bring them to knowledge of salvation and eternal life.  He is not willing that any should perish!  If I can be even a twig for Him to use to keep the fire of eternal life going for all His children, I am willing.

I hope I shared my thoughts clearly enough to make clear the point He revealed to me that morning.  Rewarding camping trip indeed.  🙂

He loves you,

jamie