For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, June 26, 2010

He Intercedes

Romans 8:26-27
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

I am not a good conversationalist. When I am in a situation, usually at work, where I need to make small talk (whatever that is) my mind either goes blank, or I think of things to say that no one wants to hear anyway. Fortunately, I am not in that situation too often. Thank goodness I do not need to worry about coming up with just the right words when I talk to God.

As a believer in the grace and redemption of Jesus Christ, I am blessed with a powerful weapon. God’s Holy Spirit lives inside of me, prepared to guide me, pray for me, and show me the truth. At times in my life, when words do not come and I desperately need for God to hear my prayers, the Holy Spirit takes over and carries my thoughts to God. I know this because God answers those prayers. So, when my mind cannot form the desire of my heart into words, I depend on the Spirit to lift up those desires to God. Praise God for His gift of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Encouragement and Hope

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

I am blessed with seven beautiful grandchildren (OK, Grammy is bragging) and I love it when I see joy and excitement in their faces. My granddaughter Dylan often calls me and I love to hear the joy in her little voice when I answer the phone. She also runs and hugs me when I see her. To me she radiates encouragement and hope, two of my favorite actions.

Through Jesus we find encouragement and hope. Through his death and resurrection, He secured the hope of an eternal life filled with praise and joy. Through his words I find much needed encouragement that carries me through the difficult days on this earth. I praise God who gives us the hope of heaven and encouragement through the Holy Spirit. Some days just seem impossible to navigate through, those are the days I turn to his word even more and dig into the stories of Job, Paul, Mary and so many others who shared their earthly journeys with us. I pray you find encouragement and hope through my devotions and most of all through the Word of God.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tiger Lily Praise

Psalm 63;3-5
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

Driving home from work this week, I have enjoyed seeing the bursting orange color of the tiger lilies that live in the ditches along the road. All winter they hibernate, and in the spring they gather nourishment. When the heat of late spring/early summer arrives they burst forth like trumpets sounding toward the sky.

The stretching of their long stem and trumpet like bloom remind me of someone extending their arms and voices toward God with praise. God loves to hear us sing his praise and wants us to share our prayers. As the tiger lily stretches toward the sky, leaves out-stretched and head tilted up, let it be a reminder of our God who loves us and longs to hear from us. Let us praise God in all that we do.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fear and Joy

Matthew 28:7-9

Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

After Jesus crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (that's what they call her in scripture) decided to visit the tomb where Jesus was buried. Traveling up the path in the quiet of the day, they expected to find the stone resting on the cave opening. Instead they found an angel sitting on the stone surrounded by soldiers lying on the ground as if they had been tased. Imagine the confusion and fear that filled them at that moment. Most likely they had never encountered an angel and they expected to find their leader dead in the cave.

On top of that, the angel spoke to them and told them that Jesus was alive. The women must have stood their with their eyes wide and mouths open. Alive? Fear of the angel and the situation mixed with the joy of what was possible swirled in their hearts, as they fled to find the disciples. Then who should they run into, but Jesus. Talk about surprise and joy. With joy they dropped to their knees and they worshiped him. What a beautiful time for these women, a time they could bow at Jesus feet knowing he died for them and yet lives. We live in the time of knowing that Jesus died for us and that he lives also. Praise God for Jesus and his love.