Saturday, December 18, 2010

To Grammie's House We Go!

Christmas time is here! My husband and I have been reminiscing over all the Lord has done and we are truly amazed at His grace, His mercy, and His marvelous provision. I have also been hustling and bustling around my house because this year all my kids are coming over! My husband has been laughing at me as I have been preparing and getting little goodies and things for the grandkids to do. He asked me a question that caused me to think – and that is what I am sharing with you all today.

The other morning as I was telling my husband some of my plans for while the kids are here he smiled and looked at me and said, “you’re so excited that the kids are coming, aren’t you?” I replied to him that I was indeed and told him that I knew he was too! He is the one that has everyday written down, all the places he hopes to go with the kids, and a schedule of various things to do (and he was laughing at me). We are both so thrilled to have them “come” here.

When my husband asked me that question instantly I was reminded of our Lord and His plea for us to come to Him. As I pondered over the idea of how much we as parents like to have our children come to us –I realized that perhaps we have that desire to teach us and give us a glimpse of what it means to our Lord when we “come” to Him.

When I was younger I can always remember my grandparent’s first question to me when I called them was “when are you coming?” My parents, when they moved out of state purchased a large home to accommodate our family to ensure that we would “come” to visit them. Well, now our children are all grown, we are grandparents, and now its our turn – we now understand just how much it means to have our children want to come to see us.

In reality all parents like it when their children come to them – even when they’re babies. It is so precious especially that first time they extend their arms to us wanting to be held. Parents will make promises “if you come to Mommy (when they’re learning to walk), I’ll give you a cookie.” Sometimes the great lengths parents go to in order to have their children “come” to them is almost comical. The truth is, we as parents all like to have our children want to come to see us, to spend time with us because we love them so much and desire their company. This morning my daughter was telling me that my granddaughter Haylie (2 years old) got dressed, put on her sweater and her shoes and then told her that she was coming to Grammie’s house and that she was going to hold my hand…how precious is that?

And so today I would like to remind you that our God, our Saviour wants us to “come” to Him.

He tells us that we can come unto Him as children, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16

When we’re thirsty He says, “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37

When we’re burdened He says, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

In our times of need, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

And most especially He is the only One we can go to for salvation. He came to us because we needed a Saviour, and He did His part in dying on the cross to save us from our sin so that we can “ever be with the Lord'” (again showing His desire for us to "come" to Him.) When thinking about going to great lengths consider that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

And today He invites us to come…

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. ” Revelation 22:17

It’s Christmas I truly hope that you’ll… “come to Jesus;” He is the reason for this wonderful season!

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Figs, Figs

This morning I was reading from the Book of Jeremiah. This book of the Bible holds a special place in my heart each time I read it because I am reminded of a very specific promise that God gave to me during the most difficult time in my life.

The specific promise to me was that God would hear me and answer my prayer, and show me great and mighty things…and that He would heal my daughter. It was shortly after my daughter had been diagnosed with cancer – in fact just a little over a week after her diagnosis she suddenly developed excruciating pain and my husband had to take her to the hospital in the middle of the night…again. I honestly feared for her life and as I prayed the Lord gently directed me to Jeremiah 33 where I read 2 verses that helped me then, and have continued to help me since that time. Jeremiah 33:3 which says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” As I continued reading verse six of the same chapter said, “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.” I was amazed that God would answer me so directly and personally – even as I remember the evening and re-read these verses I continue to be amazed by His grace!

This morning I did not read those verses, but I found a truth that I would like to share with you today. I read from Jeremiah 24 – the sign of the figs. As I was reading I saw something that I had never noticed before – I saw the Lord telling His people that He was removing them from their home land, and putting them in to captivity for their good. He was giving them a promise that He would be their God and would one day return them to their homes and that He would build and plant them. I also noticed that he said because of their captivity they would return to God with their whole hearts and would be His people and He would be their God. This was God’s action towards the good figs – those that were willing to be carried away and trust God through their captivity (i.e. difficult time).

To the evil figs – those that would not trust God, those that were turning to other sources to avoid the captivity – to them He “promised” that they would never return home – they would be cursed. He likened their lack of trust to idolatry – to turning to other Gods.

We live in uncertain times where many folks are really struggling and are being tempted as the evil figs to devise plans, use men’s devices, dream up schemes, and deceive themselves because of desperation. Jeremiah 23:23, 24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the Lord.” When facing trouble, those that reject God's plan view God as being far away and are in essence forgetting that God is near, or able to see.

In reality what we really need to be doing is wholeheartedly trusting the Lord; seeking Him in earnest and relying fully on Him because of what the Lord tells us Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Will you be willing to trust the Lord and let Him take you to where He wants you to go…for your own good, or will you turn away from Him and dream, devise, and deceive yourself into believing you know best? This is a tough one, I know – but I have learned by experience “…after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Remember Psalm 27:14, "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."

The difference between the good figs and the bad figs?

The Good figs fulfilled Jeremiah 22:3-4, “Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.” These verses are instructing us to Trust and Obey God …do what has been judged as “right,” witness to the unsaved, be ye kind one to another, and don’t discourage anyone from turning to God for salvation by your actions; and then promises by these we’ll be blessed.

The Bad Figs = Jeremiah 22:5, “But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.” In other words if you Trust in yourself and refuse to follow the instruction given then you will face certain destruction.

There are many times throughout our lives when we’ll face hard times, and with them comes hard choices. When we make our choices and decisions based on the Word of God – we have confidence because as John 17:17 says, “...thy word is truth.”

Are you struggling with a decision today? Are you afraid of where your journey may lead you? Place yourself amongst the good figs – God will provide and that is His promise to you!

I love you ladies, and pray that God will use these verses to help you today!