Contractual . . .

Hosea 13:4-6

“Yet I have been the LORD your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me. I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought. As they had their pasture, they became satisfied, And being satisfied, their heart became proud; Therefore they forgot Me.”

I read, ‘ . . . And being satisfied, their heart became proud; therefore they forgot Me.” And I think that Christians need to remember those words. Not because we need to tell others about the words of warning God spoke, but because Christians need to warn each other. God makes a promise and we all know he’ll keep it. We certainly balk if we feel he hasn’t or won’t; yet how easily we forget that long ago we agreed to uphold our part of a binding contract.

We are a government, people, society, even world of contracts. Paper work to verify other paper work to ensure promise of words written and said in processes of purchases, acquisitions, and agreements of all kinds. And we have laws that force any who would dare usurp such paperwork as this.

How hypocritical we all are. Christians descended of Jews who are descended of Abraham, Father of nations made a promise. To follow God, worship only Him, and to do so by obeying His will. Which, I might add, only looks to provide us the best and safest option. In other words, His will would never wish His people harm or leave us wanting. Yet we’ve strayed, and forgotten over and over that our God loves us and that we also made a promise. We have grown comfortable by the blessings He gives and in our comfort and satisfaction we forget who gives it. We think it must have been our own doing. That the ‘stars aligned’ and all our efforts came to bear fruit of prosperity and peace. But from where did we get the money? A job, the employer, the company, a city, the state, country; have all those things including the political web of red tape and regulations, with the world chess pieces of military power all been a product of our own hand?

God might ask us as He did Job if we laid the foundations of the earth and hung the stars and moon. No, we simply reap the benefits if we only obey putting one foot in front of the other. We must be cautious, and not forget when we sit on our soft couch in our warm homes just who made it all possible. Good for us we have a really big note a.k.a. the Bible, so that we can read it and remember not just God’s promises which are faithful, but our own.

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Step by Step

“God cares for you intimately, but is never thinking only of you.  His plans are always bigger than us, and that is for our ultimate good.”

From “Climbing with Abraham” by David Ramos

A few days ago, I read the quote above in a devotional I’m using.  It went on to say how Abraham, at the end of his life, had only one legitimate heir and a burial plot in the land where God had taken him.  He didn’t see the fulfillment of the promises God had made to him.  He never knew that one of his physical descendants would be Jesus and his spiritual descendants, the Church.

Then I went to a Gideon breakfast with my husband.  A man spoke about how he found a Gideon Bible in what he described as “a roach motel.”  In two years he had read the entire Bible.  He became a Christian, then a pastor.  He started a new church and now that congregation sponsors missionaries in 6 countries.  The Gideon who placed the Bible will probably never meet him.

Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on a church door.  He expected to open a dialog that would lead to some reforms in the Catholic church.  He had no idea it would lead to new denominations, printing and translation of the  Bible into numerous languages, an increase in public education, etc..

We can only follow God’s leading one step at a time.  We are “living stones” in God’s plan, but we will only see a small piece of our part.  Maybe we’ll even think we have failed to accomplish anything. Lucky for us, we’re not in charge.  If we’re faithful, God will use us in ways we can’t even imagine.

So, if you’re discouraged, take heart. You’re part of God’s plan, just like Abraham, Martin Luther, and the Gideons.  He loves you and so do I!

Switched On Mentors

If you would like to study some examples on people who were spiritually reborn or “switched on.”  their stories are in the Bible, and many of them are listed in the 11th chapter of Hebrews.  (which is, by the way, my favorite book of the Bible).

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  …By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things that do not appear.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than did Cain….

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death….

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events yet unseen, took heed and constructed an ark for the saving of his household …

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance;  and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.

By faith Sarah herself received the power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised…

By faith, Abraham when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises to offer up his only son …

By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau …

By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites…

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid for three months by his parents because they saw he was beautiful and were not afraid of the king’s edict ….

By faith, when he was grown up,Moses refused to be called the son of the Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God ….

The author of Hebrews goes on to say that there was not enough time to tell of all those who had seen the things which were to come through the spiritual understanding received in their faith. Will you be one of the “great cloud of witnesses”(Hebrews 12:1)? Whose spiritual insight has inspired you?