Friday, July 31, 2009

Tempted With Discouragement

Have you ever miscalculated the distance you've traveled only to realize you're only halfway there?

A few years ago, Tom and I were in Sequoia National Park and decided to go on a hike. The guide at our lodge gave us the directions of how to get to the head of the trail, and then follow signs along the way. We were intrigued by the halfway mark titled "Goliath". We found what we thought was Goliath - a large tree on its side - and were glad to see we were making fast progress through the woods. Imagine our discouragement when, thinking we were almost to the end of the trail, we came upon the real "Goliath". Could it be we're only halfway? I wanted to quit, but we didn't have that choice, since our car was waiting for us at the end. To make things worse it was nearing sunset, and we weren't prepared for nighttime in the dense forest. I was truly discouraged and afraid.

Similarly, two days ago I awoke and began my devotions as usual. For some reason, on this morning, I realized I was only in 2 Samuel, and it was the end of July. I wondered how I was going to finish the Old Testament by the years end, when I saw it - a second column of Old Testament reading assignments! Somehow I had failed to notice this for 7 whole months!

My first reaction was "Oh no! I'll never catch up - I'm not going to finish my reading this year!"

But quickly I heard the Lord say, "Rest assured, I'm in this, and you'll be needing the Scriptures I have assigned for you as you read them on this delayed route."

I had to laugh!

Then, I thought of others who are on this road with me that may be behind. Please don't give in to discouragement - God is leading you just as He is me. He will give us exactly what we need on the day we need it, whether or not we arrive at our destination when we think we should. The good news is there is no danger in a forest after dark when the Lord of Hosts is leading the way!
Sunday, July 26, 2009

Traveling Route 66

Did you know that the historic Route 66 is hardly visible these days? If you want to travel this old highway, you must first map out your route using the computer in order to know where to go and how to get there.

In studying the book of Hebrews this year, I've become quite familiar with the Old Covenant and the way God used to relate to His people. When Christ came it was as if a new road was built alongside the old road. Although we're still going in the same direction, now our way is sure! Christ has literally paved the way for us; No more pot holes of the old sacrificial laws. Praise God!

As we travel through the Old Covenant we know that it is pointing ahead to the New Covenant. As Mike Nash so excellently preached this morning - the Old is only a shadow of the great highway to come, the highway of holiness!

So may I encourage you to continue moving forward through God's Word? You never know when you're going to hear exactly what you need to hear on any given day. One thing is certain - we know God is going to complete this journey with us.

Here's our Weekly Oil:

Read Hebrews 10:1-18
Read Bible Speaks Today pages 173 - 182
Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekly Oil

Read Hebrews 9:23-28
Read Bible Speaks Today pages 168-172
Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekly Oil

I had the opportunity one year to go on a road trip with my Mom through the mid west with my children. We happened upon a little town where Laura Ingalls lived and went to school. Upon entering the one room school house, we were able to imagine what life was like for her in her day and time. It was a wonderful excursion, but I left feeling grateful for indoor plumbing and electricity. Life was hard for her then, and it made me appreciate life now.

This week we're doing a similar excursion. We're going to stop and tour the place of the Old Covenant - like a one room school house - the tent of meeting was the central place where the Israelites gathered on the Day of Atonement to receive forgiveness of sin. The purpose is to reflect on how hard life was for them then, and to grow in our gratefulness and affection for inward atonement, the grace of God and the New Covenant. What an undeserved gift Jesus Christ is to sinners.


Leviticus 16
Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Post Card #9 - The Bumpy Road

You know I've been thinking a lot about bumpy roads. We have a road near our home that has speed bumps in regular intervals for about a mile. Whenever I take that road I know I'm going to go over those bumps! When my children were little they used to beg me to go down "the bumpy road" because it was fun to them! And it can be great fun - that is when we see it coming!

But what about driving over unexpected potholes! I have done this before and my first thought was..."oh no, now my alignment will have to be adjusted!" It was more than disconcerting.

It's the same way as we travel Route 66. We can take the bumps we know are coming without difficulty, but it's those unexpected potholes that can really mess with our alignment! The good news is that God sees it all - even the bumps we don't anticipate! He wants us to cling to Him in such moments, not to the ability of our cars to go the distance.

Has your trip been interrupted by unforeseen potholes? Are you needing realignment with the Truths of Scripture? This is all part of God's plan - so don't give in to panic and despair. Instead, rejoice that your Heavenly Father has taken notice of you along the way...AND He's continuing His plan in the midst of your trouble.

Bring on the potholes, if they are means to realign our hearts with what matters most! After all, this is the point; not only reading Scripture, but learning to apply it to the potholes of our lives - for His glory!
Sunday, July 05, 2009

Weekly Assignment vs. Weekly Oil

Somehow "Weekly Assignment" sounds so uninviting, yet reading God's Word should be inviting to the Christian soul. I think a better term to use would be "Weekly Oil". A car's engine needs good clean oil to run smoothly, and we, too, need the oil of the Spirit to live our lives as God intends. It is impossible to read consistently through God's Word without the oil of His Spirit leading us to do so.

Be encouraged! God has placed this worthwhile desire in your engine, and He's provided the oil you need to go the distance. Don't be discouraged if your oil needs changing - God provides that as well! Only this morning at Metro Life Church God poured His Spirit upon us in a fresh way. I pray that each of you received fresh motivation as His Word was preached to us boldly. If you missed the service, you can listen to it on line through Metro Life Church's website (see link to the left of this post!)

So here it is - fresh oil for your journey:

Read Hebrews 9:15-22
Read Bible Speaks Today pages 161-167