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Archive for May, 2009

Rooted and Established

May 29th, 2009

I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend…

Ephesians 3:17

 

This time of year the wild flowers are blooming adding color to the landscape. Many wild flowers actually have the ability to also add richness to the soil, making it more fertile. The grace of God has that affect in our lives: it changes an otherwise drab existence into one of vibrant hope.

 

The Apostle used two illustrations to help us understand the central role the love of God is to play in our lives. The first related to agriculture: “being rooted.” Just as a plant needs to be rooted in healthy soil, so we need to good soil of the love of God for our nurture and maturity. You can tell children who do not come from homes where love is secure; they show it on their faces, in their mannerisms, and in the common expression of their insecurities. How different are children from homes where they are rooted in the love of their parents; they show just the opposite – confidence and security in life.

 

But we are to be rooted in God’s love, not just the love of family or community, as helpful as these are. A plant must remain in the soil to be rooted; it must send its roots searching for the nutrients and this takes time. Christian growth also takes time with God, meditating on His truth, fellowshipping with Him in prayer, trusting in the reality of His love. And like a plant it is beneath the surface, unseen by others but essential to our growth.

 

The second illustration was about a building: “firmly established.”  Again he was writing about the part of our lives that is below the surface, our hearts, our faith, our thoughts, our values, and our meditations. The foundation determines the height of the building, just as the root structure determines the sturdiness and health of the plant. When we go through times of discouragement we have failed to comprehend the greatness and the security of the love of God.

 

When discouragement comes return to the cross and to the Christ. Speak with His Spirit, meditate on His word, and spend time with Him. The healthy soil of His love will begin to surround the root structure of your life giving you the freedom to grow into Christ-likeness. Fears can be put aside when there is love, for “perfect love drives our fear” (1 John 4:18).

 

Prayer:

 

Lord, ground us in Your truth and in the reality of Your love. Let us throw aside every obstacle and distraction from You. Amen.

 

 

Evening Devotionals

Encouragement from God

May 27th, 2009

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.

Psalm 50:15

 

The promise of God’s help is a constant supply of encouragement to believers. Calling on him is the privilege of every Christian, and though his help often comes in ways we would not expect, it will come. He assures us of deliverance and rescue, not just religious sounding platitudes, but real help, according to our need. Is your need for wisdom? God invites you to come to him and ask (James 1:5). Is it for strength? God promises to renew our strength as we wait on him (Isaiah 40:31). Is it forgiveness? God invites us to come to him and reason together about his grace and our need (Isaiah 1:18). Do you need the hand of God for deliverance from trouble? Call on him. This promise gives us hope for every day and in every season of life.

 

The “day of trouble” will certainly come to each of us. Each family will have its sorrows, each soul will have its burdens, and each life will have its dark days. There is not a human life on this planet that will not experience, in some degree or another, difficulty and discouragement. But it is particularly the Christian privileged perspective to see the greatness and supply of God becoming larger than any problem of life.

 

Perspective is essential in life. For an artist, perspective gives the painting a three dimensional character; it allows the viewer to see what things are closer and what are farther, and how they relate to one another in distance. It allows us to know if he is painting a midget in the foreground or a giant from a distance. The knowledge of God and his promises gives us the capacity to see perspective in life, to know those matters that are genuine concerns and what are relatively minor matters, to understand the giants from the midgets, and the molehills from the mountains.

 

Calling upon God means coming to him in faith and submission with our trouble. It means to lay it all before him and let him guide us through the mess, sometimes showing us how we could have done things differently. God delivers with his wisdom and in his holiness, in a way that brings honor and glory to him self. Sometimes this means our fault might be exposed that we might repent and gain wisdom, but always with the goal of our forgiveness, restoration, and growth. The nature of God’s work within us is always marked by grace.

 

Whatever is troubling to you today, bring it to God in prayer. Look for his wisdom and council in the Scriptures. Follow his advice explicitly. You will find when circumstances are placed in his hands he has a way of working things out – often not in the way we would do it, but always for the sake of redemption and salvation.

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are my ways higher than your ways

And my thoughts than your thoughts …

My word that goes out from my mouth;

It will not return to me empty,

But will accomplish what I desire

And achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:8,9,11

 

Prayer:

 

Lord, we thank you for your presence in times of trouble. You have promised in your word that nothing shall separate us from your love and you are always available in times of need. We bring our needs to you today, as you have invited us to, with the assurance that you will provide strength and salvation. Lead us with wisdom and grace to follow your plan for our lives.  Amen.

 

 

 

Evening Devotionals