peace

God is to be praised.

God is to be praised.

1 Chronicles 23

Of everything written in this chapter of 1 Chronicles, this stuck out to me the most: "[The Levites] were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals." (vs 30-31)

God is strong.

God is strong.

1 Chronicles 16

Do you ever feel weak? Powerless? Insecure? Quite honestly, with the world we live in, I can’t imagine how people don’t feel this way. There seems to be little solid ground to stand on. What can we count on these days? It seems that everywhere you turn, you find unrest, violence, hard times, and despair. The economy may be currently booming in America, but it feels like that could turn around at any time. Is there any true security? What can we really count on?

God wants to give you rest.

God wants to give you rest.

2 Kings 16

As I read this chapter, I felt so bad for Ahaz, didn’t you? "Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree." (vs 2-4)

God is the only way to peace.

God is the only way to peace.

2 Kings 9

Before we get into the meat of today’s blog, I have to point out this verse because it actually made me laugh out loud: "The guard in the watchtower said [to the king], 'Your Majesty, the rider got there, but he isn’t coming back either. Wait a minute! That one man is driving like he’s crazy—it must be Jehu!'" (vs 20) Ha! It seems there were bad drivers all the way back in Bible times. Either that, or Jehu was a teenager.

God's way brings peace.

God's way brings peace.

1 Kings 4

At least starting out, Solomon did things the right way. He had a heart for others. With his newfound power, he was more worried about having the wisdom to judge his people fairly than he was worried about accumulating wealth or honor. And here, we see that God was true to His word: He gave Solomon what he asked for... and everything he didn’t ask for.

God is tenderhearted.

God is tenderhearted.

RUTH 2

I really saw a picture of God in this chapter, coming through in the tenderhearted nature of Boaz. From the text, it’s clear that Boaz was a man of the Lord—and at a time when the majority of Israel was heading down the wrong path. When Boaz arrives at his fields, he greets all of the harvesters with a blessing from the Lord. (vs 4) Later, he praises Ruth for her commitment to Naomi and calls upon God to bless her because of it. (vs 12)

Change of Heart {gn33:4}

Photo © Robert T. Garrett

Photo © Robert T. Garrett

Esau, Esau,
what happened to you?
The last time we heard from you,
you were muttering under your breath
about killing your brother,
having been "cheated"
(so you claimed)
out of your "blessing."

How is it, then,
that you garnered
the very best blessing of all?

When did you surrender to the
Transformer of Hearts?

Esau, Esau,
you may not have received the birthright,
but you did not escape the blessing
of a contented heart
at peace with What Is in the world.

 

God wants you strong.

God wants you strong.

JOSHUA 1

Here’s one of my favorite Bible passages (from The Message paraphrase): "God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels." (Eph 6:10-12)

God believes in full disclosure.

God believes in full disclosure.

DEUTERONOMY 28

So, here we have a mega-extension of yesterday’s chapter and lesson about God—that He warns us of impending danger. I know I’ve read this chapter of Deuteronomy several times as I’ve made my way through the Bible in the past, but never have I been so struck by the description of what life is like when we disregard God’s law of love. It is bleak.

God wants to hang out.

God wants to hang out.

LEVITICUS 3

Have you ever thought about God as a guy who just wants to hang out with His friends? Perhaps it’s not our usual picture of God. It’s easier to think about Him doing big things, like creating planets or running the universe. But, in Leviticus 3, we get a glimpse of a God who has (among other things) set up a local hangout in the sanctuary.

God is a peacemonger.

God is a peacemonger.

GENESIS 15

Genesis 15 begins with the word of the Lord coming to Abram, and the first thing God says is, "Do not be afraid."

If there was a way to sum up in one, short sentence the overarching message of God to humankind in the Bible, it would have to be this: Do not be afraid. It appears over and over and over again in the Scriptures. It is often, quite literally, the first thing out of the mouth of God or His heavenly messengers when they encounter human beings.