God Speaks through His Work

“Look at the nations and observe – be utterly astounded!  For something is taking place in your days that you will not believe when you hear about it.” – Habakkuk 1:5

“Believers regularly seek to hear God’s voice through prayer, through His Word, or through His messengers.  Yet we sometimes fail to hear God speak through His activity, even when He’s working all around us.  Unbelievers see God’s activity without understanding what they see.  But, God encourages His people to watch for His activity.

“If you’re sensitive to what God is doing around you, He will clearly speak to you through His activity.  You will know God is work, because what you see will astound you.  Human power and wisdom will not be able to explain it.

“If you want to hear God’s voice, look around you to see what He is doing.  When you’re watching for God at work, what you see will reveal His character, and you will have a fresh understanding of how to respond to Him.”

  • Experiencing God Day By Day (pg. 299)

What More Could God Have Done?

“In Isaiah 5, God tells the story – through His prophet, Isaiah – of a disappointing vineyard.

“The prophet Isaiah told a story of a man who had a vineyard on a fertile hill.  The man cultivated the ground.  He removed the stones so nothing would hinder the vines’ growth.  He planted only the best quality vines.  He built a tower in the middle of the vineyard so he could watch for wild animals and intruders.  He constructed a wine vat so he would be ready the ripe grapes.  Then he waited.  But, rather than producing good grapes, the vineyard produced worthless ones.

“In v.4, the question is asked: ‘What more could I have done for my vineyard than I did? Why, when I expected a yield of good grapes, did it yield worthless grapes?’

This story illustrates the relationship between God and His people.  God has done everything necessary for us to produce an abundance of spiritual fruit in our lives.  He saved us when we were without hope.  He gave us the Holy Spirit to produce good fruit in our lives.  He removed our sin so we were free to serve Him.  We have the Bible in numerous translations.  We have access to more Christian books, music, videos, conferences, schools, radio and TV stations, magazines, and seminars than ever before.  There are churches of every kind and size.  We have pastors and teacher to instruct us and encourage us.  Most of all, we have direct access to God through prayer.

“Jesus said, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’ (Luke 12:48).  One day, God will hold us accountable for all He has done for us.  He will ask us to show Him the fruit from all His bountiful provision in our lives.  What will He find in you?”

  • Remembering God Day By Day (pg.186)

God Is Watching You… and That’s a Good Thing!

“For the eyes of God roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on.” – 2Chronicles 16:9

“King Asa had experienced God’s awesome power on his behalf when he faced a large, menacing army in Ethiopia (2Chron. 14:9).  God gave Asa victory, despite the overwhelming odds he faced.  Yet, the next time Asa faced an enemy he failed to trust God.  Even though this latter army was smaller than the one he’d faced before… and that God had defeated before, Asa’s faith in God was wavering.  God encouraged to take courage in knowing God never rests nor sleeps.  He is never distracted.  Instead, He diligently seeks those whose hearts are completely committed to Him.

“If you are committed to God, you won’t have to look for Him; He is already looking for you!

“Life’s challenges can sometimes seem impossible.  Do you feel you’re too weak to fight the battle?  Don’t give up!  Keep your heart loyal to God, for He constantly watched over you, and He wants to demonstrate His strength in your life!  God is willing… and just as capable… to give you victory in your current situation as He has been in your past.

“The question is not whether God is looking for His people, but whether His people are looking for Him.  Take comfort in God’s promise that He watched over you and He wants to give you victory.”

  • Experiencing God Day By Day (pg.214)

A Way That Seems Right

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” – Proverbs 16:25

“Things aren’t always what they seem.  This proverb warns that we can be deceived into believing we’re going down the right path and yet be heading toward death… the opposite direction from God’s will.”

Many of these decisions were made with good intentions.  I think of family members who are members of groups that have strayed from sound, biblical teachings.  I think of teenagers who make decisions in the moment, rather than consequences of those decisions they may have to live with for the rest of their lives.  I think of choices I’ve made that seemed right in the moment, but – with the aid of hindsight – I see a better choice might have been made.

“If we make decisions apart from the guidance of the Spirit of God, we will be like a ship trying to sail without a compass.  We will do what seems to make the most sense, based on our own wisdom.  But, what looks attractive may actually lead to sin, ultimately destroying what is precious to us, for our most profound human thinking is mere foolishness to God (1Cor. 1:18-20).

“It can be perilous to follow a path that seems right without first consulting the Holy Spirit for guidance (John 16:13).  Take time to seek the Holy Spirit’s direction when you face decisions.  He knows the full ramifications of your choices.  The Holy Spirit will assist you to understand truth and to experience abundant life.  Trust Him as He leads you.”

  • Excerpts from Experiencing God Day By Day (pg.170)

The Desires of Your Heart

“Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desire.”Psalm 37:4

“Your relationship with Gid ought to bring you more joy, satisfaction, and pleasure than any other relationship, activity, or material possession you have.  Scripture exhorts us to delight ourselves in the Lord, finding our greatest pleasure in God and the things dear to His heart.

“How can you find pleasure in what God enjoys?  Only as you spend time with Him will you begin to take delight in the things God loves.  As you spend intimate time with God (in a daily time of prayer and Bible study) and allow Him to show you your situation from His perspective, you will begin to see things as God sees them.  As you adjust yourself to God, your heart will begin to desire the same things God’s heart desires.  When you pray, you will find yourself asking for the same thins God desires.  Matters foremost on God’s heart will be foremost in yours.  Your first request in prayer will not be for yourself, but for God’s name to be exalted and His Kingdom to be extended.

“Have you bees asking God to give you what your heart desires without first seeking to understand what is on His heart?  God places this important requirement for those who pray: that we seek His priorities and make them our own.  This great qualifier prevents us from asking out of selfishness.  As we find joy in the Lord, we will see what is really important, and we will want these things as the Father does.”

  • Experiencing God Day By Day (pg. 200)

Needing God

“Call on Me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.” – Psalm 50:15

“Did you know you bring honor to God by calling on Him when you are in distress?

“God promised He would deliver you if you turned to Him.  You deny God that opportunity – and the honor that is rightfully due Him – every time you refuse to call on Him in your hour of distress!  There may be times when God allows you to reach a point of need so you can call upon Him, and thus let Him show a watching world the difference He can make in the lives of His children.  If God never allowed you to experience need, people around you might never have the opportunity to witness God’s provision in the life of a believer.  If you never faced distress, you might be tempted to feel self-sufficient and without any need of God in your daily life.

“Pride will convince you that you don’t need to appear as if you actually have problems.  Pride will cause you to put on a mask that says “everything’s okay”, when it’s really not.  Pride will tempt you to think you do not need to seek God’s assistance.  Pride will try to convince you that you can handle your own problems through your own wisdom, resources and hard work.  Pride will rob God of the opportunity to show He is an all-sufficient God.  Pride will actually try to rob God of the glory due Him and try to claim it for one’s self… giving the impression one can solve every problem on his/her own.

“Don’t allow pride to take what rightfully belongs to God.  Call upon God and wait exclusively upon Him to rescue you.  Then give Him the glory He deserves.”

  • Experiencing God Day By Day  (pg. 78)

Spiritual Optimism

“The account of David versus Goliath vividly pictures the source of the Christian’s faith – not our own size, strength, or resources, but the power of almighty God.  If we focus on our opposition and problems, they will seem gigantic.  But as we focus on God, we will see our situation in the proper perspective – God’s perspective – and be assured that all things are possible with God (Phil. 4:13).”

When It Seems People Reject You

“People are imperfect and can be sinful, yet they are God’s people.

“Samuel had thoroughly warned the Israelites of the dangers in appointing a king over Israel.  Yet, they wanted to be like the nations around them, insisting they were willing to pay any price.  Almost as soon as the people were granted their desire, they recognized their sin.  But it was too late.  What was Samuel to do?  They had ignored his warnings.  Now they wanted him to continue to minister to them.  It would seem appropriate for Samuel to abandon them and allow them to suffer the consequences of their actions.”

Samuel could have seen their rejection of God as King as also a rejection of him as leader  It would have been easy for Samuel to have taken it personally.

But, “Samuel knew, as Jesus knew, God sends His servants to the sick, not the healthy (Matt. 9:12).  Samuel did not take the people’s response as a rejection of him, but as an indication of their walk with God.  Samuel was serving God, not the Israelites.  When God commanded him to minister to them, he could do nothing else, despite their resistance to his message.

“At times, people will not respond as they should to the message God speaks through you.  Don’t get discouraged; it is actually a reflection of their relationship with God.”

  • Experiencing God Day By Day (pg.247)

Getting to Know God

“I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You.” – Job 42:5

When I first re-read this verse, my mind went first to the millions of lost people – so many who live in our own nation – who have heard rumors about who Jesus is… then, so many more beyond the borders of our country.  My heart first went to the desire of wishing – hoping – someone will show Jesus to them.

But, then I re-re-read the verse.  These words were spoken by Job!  The same Job that Satan gave testimony to God as being a “righteous” man, one who was loved and protected by God.  Yet, that same Job confessed he didn’t know God as well as he could have… and should have!

So, what caused Job to see God in a new light?  His adversity!  His trials and tribulations!  It was through his crummy days that he experienced God in a deeper way.  He felt God’s strong, comforting presence.  He learned that God remained, even when it seemed he had no other help at hand.

When God joins you – and leads you – in the tough times, you experience God in a way you’d previously only heard about from others.

  • Adapted from Experiencing God Day By Day  (pg.292)

Hope Was Born This Night – 2013

This song was written by Ben McDonald and Dave Frey, and was recorded by Sidewalk Prophets… included on their Christmas album, Merry Christmas To You.

Sidewalk Prophets is a contemporary Christian music band from Nashville, Tennessee. The group won the 2010 GMA Dove Award for New Artist of the Year.
The band was formed by lead singer Dave Frey and rhythm guitarist Ben McDonald when the two were attending Indiana’s Anderson University. A demo they recorded was taken without their knowledge to a campus recording contest, which earned them a performance slot. That, in turn, led to radio program directors and record labels, and a chance encounter with Audio Adrenaline’s Will McGinnis gave Dave the chance to sing in front of 20,000. Meeting with a major label exec led to a deal with Word Records.
In addition to Frey and McDonald, the band also includes lead guitarist Shaun Tomczak, bassist Cal Joslin and drummer Justin Nace.

This song compares the hillside praise of the Christmas shepherds to the praise that should be heard by us this Chrustmas season.
Bible Reference… Luke 2:1-20
Tonight I can see a star shine, and its splendor fills up the sky;
it’s the same that appeared and the wise men revered when hope was born this night.
Out upon the snowy fields, there’s a silent peace that heals;
and it echoes the grace of our Savior’s embrace because hope was born this night.

        Glory to God in the highest! Peace on Earth, good will to all men!
        Let all of the world sing the chorus of joy, because hope was born this night!

I can hear the Christmas bells ring as softly as a church choir sings;
it’s the song used to praise the Ancient of Days, when hope was born this night.
There are angels in this place, and my heart resounds with the praise;
like a shepherd so scared, I’ll rejoice and declare that hope was born this night.

        Gloria! Gloria! Gloria! Gloria! Oh, Gloria!
        Gloria! Gloria! Oh, Gloria! Gloria! Gloria! (CHORUS 2x)