Thursday, April 19, 2018

BIG ENOUGH

One billion trillion.  Stars in the universeThat's just an estimate.  That's just what scientists think.  They haven't actually traveled the universe and counted each star, each sun. There are probably way more than a billion trillion.  One billion.. what is one billion?  A billion is one thousand millions.  A trillion is one thousand billions. These are astronomical numbers. I cannot imagine the magnificent greatness of that, much less the majesty of the One Who created it all.

This week I read a verse I had never noticed before - "He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name." (Psalm 147:4). What exactly does that mean? I mean, exactly translated? I mean, someone doing an in depth study of each word? It means - He knows how many stars there are and took the time to name each star and he knows the number and the name He named every star.

OK.. so.. so.. so what? So... how great is this God who can count and number more than a billion trillion things? I forget the names of people who attend my church, and I go to a small church. God numbers and names the stars.  And remembers the number and name. 

This reminds us that we have been given more than we can imagine...to have the mind-boggling privilege, through Jesus, of BOLDLY, CONFIDENTLY approaching the Throne of this MAGNIFICENT, MAJESTIC, ALMIGHTY GOD. I mean, why does God even bother with us? What kind of LOVE is this?

Jesus told us more about the nature of God when He told the people that God sees to it that the ravens are fed and that the lily's of the field is the way God decorates and clothes GRASS. (Luke 12). 

OK... so..so..so what? So Jesus point was to remind the people that if God - OUR FATHER - cares enough to feed birds and decorate grass.. HOW MUCH MORE DOES HE CARE ABOUT US - AND - THE THINGS WE CARE ABOUT?

FINALLY.. GETTING BACK TO PSALM 147....

The verse BEFORE the one about God naming the stars reads: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3) I am encouraged when I have the most infantile, basic hint of understanding about how great and mighty and majestic and awesome my Father in Heaven is... AND YET...
HE HAS HEALED MY BROKEN HEART.
HE HAS HEALED THE WOUNDS MY BROKEN HEART GAVE ME.

I want you to be encouraged also.  He is SO BIG that He numbers and names every star.

IS HE BIG ENOUGH TO HEAL YOU? HE IS.
IS HE BIG ENOUGH TO PROTECT YOU? HE IS.
IS HE BIG ENOUGH TO FORGIVE YOU? HE IS.
IS HE BIG ENOUGH TO UNDO YOUR MISTAKES? HE IS.

He is SO LOVING that He also sees each broken heart.
He is SO FILLED WITH COMPASSION that He heals each broken heart.
He is SO MERCIFUL that he binds the wounds and the pain and the consequences of the broken hearted.

BE ENCOURAGED TODAY....
God is 
BIG ENOUGH 
to care about 
THE SMALLEST DETAILS OF YOUR LIFE.


"Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit."

Psalm 147:5
    

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

BLAMING BARUCH

They were God's people... and they were terrified... TERRIFIED.. of the Babylonians... (and who can blame them?)and wanted to escape from Israel and go to Egypt...where they assumed they would be safe.  

As they were on their way... already kind of deciding what they thought they SHOULD do.. they approached Jeremiah to ask him to inquire of God.. Should they go? Should they stay in Judah? This is a curious thing that they did - because they had already started out to go to Egypt. If I were Jeremiah I might have asked them,"Why are you asking? It seems like your mind is already made up and your feet are already following the path you have decided is the right thing to do." 

Furthermore, they told Jeremiah, "May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God." (Jeremiah 42:5-6).

Jeremiah inquires of the Lord. God tells Jeremiah to tell the people to stay in the land.. their land..His land... and if they do He will bless them and build them up and prosper them.

The people reject what Jeremiah tells them that God has told him.  They accuse him of lying and being influenced by his scribe, Baruch.  And they accuse Baruch of lying because he wants them to be handed over to the Babylonians and killed. What they never ask themselves is, "Why would Baruch want that for us?" and "How can we possibly know what Baruch is thinking or saying and why we think Jeremiah would be influenced by it?"

What?
So they disobey, go to Egypt and are destroyed and led in to captivity.

Sad story. So what?

Have you ever met people who say they want God's will but they have already started to go in the direction they want to go?  

I have.

They ask you what you think and when you offer them God's Word they reject it. 
They "Blame Baruch"...they refuse to accept that God's Word is God's Word and blame the Bible as an unacceptable answer to what they have already decided to do.  

IT'S TRUE THAT SOMETIMES... we all face TERRIFYING BABYLONIANS... we face things that we cannot control.. we cannot overcome.. .we are convinced it will destroy us.

So we run to Egypt.. we run to what makes sense.. what we can control.. because we refuse to believe God is good and can protect us... WHERE WE ARE.. IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT WE ARE FACING.

The Babylonians were cruel and destructive. No one can blame them for being afraid.
So is cancer.
So is betrayal.
So is death.
So is financial fear.
So is rejection.
So is the world.
So are the leaders of our nations.

It's natural to be afraid of and affected by those things.

It seems unnatural to trust an unseen Being who doesn't let us hear His voice when we want to. 
We want to trust ourselves.
It makes sense to take matters in to our own hands.

You don't have to believe the Bible is God's Word.
You don't have to believe He will walk with you, next to you, help you. You don't have to WAIT until the victory is evident.
You don't have to ask the Holy Spirit to help your actions conform to what the Bible says.

You can take matters in to your own hands - or trust your life in to the Hand of God. That's your choice also.

God's Word is God's Word... And in it He makes promises that will never be broken.  He gives assurance that no matter what you are walking through, He is walking right next to you.

And you have been given the freedom - BY GOD - to believe it and receive and live it.. or not.

Many people say they want to know God's will, but when the Bible seems to indicate that the path they are on is not the path God has offered them.... they brush it off as words from an archaic Book.

Blaming Baruch is often the first step toward our own demise.