Sunday, March 27, 2011

Psalm 139

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

This psalm serves to remind me that there is no hiding from God because He sees my every move and even knows my deepest thoughts. That's so hard for some of us to understand but we need to realize and accept that it is true. He knows you all too well and better than we know ourselves. Instead of turning to the world for advice, seek his guidance and listen to His words. He knows about every aspect of your life and wants you to be filled with joy. God has been watching you from the moment you were being formed in your mother's womb and is by your side at every moment of every day. So when you feel that no one understands you and you are uncertain about which step to take next, turn to Him and let Him lead you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

His Promises

Why is it that we trust everything else but God and his promises? We put way to much trust in ourselves and those around us, even though we constantly let each other down and forsake one another. I want you to stop right now and think about a time when God forsake you? When He did not carry through on one of his promises. Some of you will answer, “never!” and others will have one or more occasions. Now for those who have one or more occasions in mind I want you to really reflect on that experience and ask yourself if it was God who forsake you or the World. If your answer is still God then I want to ask that you open the Bible and read through God's promises and see for yourself that you are wrong. There isn't a need for you to share it with me and for me to show you it was not God. In his word you will see for yourself that He has not let you down. That's how confident I am in the fact that God's promises are certain and that HE NEVER FAILS. Amen!

I found this great website called The Interactive Bible and here is the link that contains a list what can be said about God's promises to his children.

Here they are:

1.He has promised to supply every need we have. The Bible says: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus". That's Phillipians 4:19. Now notice, God has obligated Himself only to the extent of our needs. That would include food, clothing, shelter, companionship, love, and salvation thru Jesus Christ. It would not include the multiplicity of luxuries that we have come to think of as needs.

2.God has promised that His grace is sufficient for us. (II Corinthians 12:9). in fact, He has made provision for our salvation by His grace through faith. Read Ephesians 2:8. It is through an obedient faith that we have access into the grace of God according to Romans 5:2.

3.God has promised that His children will not be overtaken with temptation. Instead, He assures us that a way of escape will be provided. This promise is recorded in I Corinthians 10:13. Jude wrote: "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present your faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy" (Jude v 24). Darius, King of the Medes, said to Daniel, "Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee" (Daniel 6:16). He did deliver Daniel from the den of lions

4.God has promised us victory over death. He first resurrected Jesus by way of assuring our resurrection. Peter said: "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:32). Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3,4). Later on he adds: "but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:57).

5.God has promised that all things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28). It may be difficult for us to see and understand how this is accomplished at times, but God has promised it, and He will deliver.

6.God has promised that those who believe in Jesus and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins will be saved. (Read Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38).

7.God has promised His people eternal life (John 10:27,28). In closing, let me appeal to you to live so that the promises of God will be yours.

Now for those who still felt it was God who forsake you, do you still feel this way? It was not God my friend, it's Satan trying to make you believe that it is. There are going to be times when we feel let down by God but that's only because we can't understand why things happen the way that they do and because we expect God to give us everything that we want. We are like children, we feel let down when we don't get the toy we wanted. Life on this earth will never be rosy and filled with infinite bliss because of sin. This evil that surrounds us and fills us with greed, hate, jealousy, and other ills that plague our society. We will all continue to suffer the consequences of our actions and the actions of every inhabitant on this earth until Jesus comes again and restores his Kingdom.

Some of us have had to go through some heavy struggles, some of us are going through them right now but somehow we have gotten through them and will get through them again and again. There are people that I know that have lost their jobs and homes but God is still meeting their needs. There are people who have lost their spouse or a child and by the grace of God they are standing strong because God is getting them through it and they are holding on to the promise that He will reunite them in Heaven with their loved ones. There are people who have grown up in broken homes but God has restored them. We must have faith, no matter the circumstance.

I feel very fortunate because I am the child of the One who holds the world, of the one who created it and created me. He is my creator and I know he will not destroy me, instead he gave up his life for me and fills me up with the spirit. He gives me gifts every day and seeks me out because He is in love with me and I with Him. You too are the child of this wonderful God and he is calling you today to have faith in his word.

Which is why today's prayer is,

Thank you God for your promises. Thank you for helping me get through difficult times and for your promise that you will always be there to help. Lord although I can not see what lies ahead I know that it will never be more than I can handle and that even after death you will be there to hold my hand. Lord help me always hold on to your promises, keep my faith strong in times of distress. Thank you for your grace, thank you for your love, thank you for the gift of eternal life. Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Visit Home

I have been thinking about the home I grew up in lately, something I have not done since we moved from there. I close my eyes and picture it in my head and at times I almost feel like I am back there again. I picture each piece of furniture, the decorations on the wall, how it felt and smelled. My home was very humble and everything we had was given to us. It was cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer. There was no central air or heating because it was a garage. It had a cement floor, a tiny bathroom, a sink and...that's pretty much it. I was embarrassed to live there. I didn't want anyone to know and the worst day of my life, or so I thought, was when a kid from school found out and told everyone I lived in a garage. I remember coming home with tears in my eyes because one of my classmates asked me if I was poor.

When I think about it now it makes me laugh. Silly me, why did I make such a big deal about it? The worst part is how much I hurt my mother. I would ask her over and over again why we couldn't live somewhere else. I would cry to her, asking her to find a better place for us, without understanding that this was the best she could afford. Not only was I embarrassed over the fact that I lived in a garage, I was also embarrassed about not having a car. I hated going to the store with my mom because I didn't want anyone from school to see us walk home carrying groceries. There came a time when I refused to go with my mom because I was too embarrassed and instead of my mother getting upset at me or scolding me, she just said, “esta bien” (it's okay). She never gave me a hard time, but I knew my attitude hurt her.

One morning in Junior High I was outside with my P.E class. From the field you could see the street I lived on. My mother had gone to the store that day and was pushing a shopping cart full of groceries home, passing in front of the field where we were playing softball. Someone in my class yelled, “Hey! That's Lucy's mom!” I turned to see my mother with her shopping cart full of groceries. Someone made a comment about how she could get in trouble for taking a shopping cart from the store and I was humiliated. I wanted to disappear. I came home angry that day, wondering what my mother was thinking and how she could embarrass me like that. Not once did I ask myself how I could be such insolent child.

As an adult I can't help but feel shame and embarrassment when I think about how inconsiderate I was. I am so embarrassed over being a coward, a brat, and worst of all being ashamed of my life. I cry as I write this and I'm filled with the desire to go back in time and make it up to my mother. I've never truly apologized to my mother for my behavior and it's time I do. I know she has forgiven me and doesn't hold it against me, but I haven't forgiven myself; maybe after talking to her I will be able be to.

At the time, I didn't see the value in living in a home full of love and peace. I am so blessed that I didn't grow up in a broken home. Yes, I didn't have a father but my mother played both roles better than most parents I know. My home was humble but rich in love, peace and support and all who visited could sense it.

I think it's time to start visiting that home in my thoughts more often and reflect on why God put me there. Maybe it's time for all of us to close our eyes and visit our childhood home. For some of us this visit will cause pain and bring back memories we have been trying to forget; for others it may be bittersweet. The important thing is that we reflect upon it. Maybe then we will see how God has been with us every step of the way and realize what he has been trying to teach us all along.