Do you feel dry? Do you feel like you need a drink of something … but whatever you drink it just doesn’t seem to be enough to satisfy your thirst? Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of … everything that makes sense to you … and it’s still not enough. Are you ready? Are you ready to try something new? Are you ready to try something that may not make any sense at all to you, but works? Isaiah 55:1-3; 6-9 (ICB) reads, “The Lord says, “All you who are thirsty, come and drink. Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk (symbols of abundance, enjoyment and nourishment). You don’t need money; it will cost you nothing. Why spend your money on something that is not real food? Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you? Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the food that satisfies your soul. Come to me and listen. Listen to me so you may live … Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So, here we see that when we go to God (rather than to the temporary things of this world), our souls will be satisfied. We will be refreshed as if we had drank gallons and gallons of water that re-hydrated us after we had been dehydrated. We will be “eating” what is good … we will be partaking of God’s goodness and love …we will be enjoying all the qualities of God … qualities he wants to give us like love, joy, and peace … and, in so doing, we will get spiritually “fed” … and our dryness will have turned into streams of refreshment … and that refreshment won’t run out since we can make the choice to continually go to God to get more whenever we need it. In fact, John 4:10–15 (NIV) says, “Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Therefore, we can have confidence in the timeless truth that whenever we go to God to be filled up with refreshment, He will never disappoint us … whenever we “drink” from Him we will be satisfied continuously. So, if you’re tired and worn out and feel like you’re too tired even to go to church (or even to watch it online) remember – it doesn’t have to make sense. Make the choice to go anyway (or to watch it online anyway) … and, in so doing, (with an open heart), you can expect God’s streams of refreshing to revive, restore, and renew your tired, worn out soul … and that, in itself, will give you more energy to “get up and go again” than even the most powerful energy drink out there!
Have you ever been asked to do a job no one else wanted to do? Did you feel like you were stuck because the person asking you was your boss and you knew you couldn’t just say no … so you grudgingly, painstakingly, slowly performed the job all the while grumbling under your breath … and then you didn’t even get so much as a thank you? Well, if that has happened to you, you’re not alone. Work, of any kind, is just that – work. Perhaps what is needed is a change in perspective. Colossians 3:23, 24 (NIV) says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” So, this timeless truth gives us insight into the type of perspective that can help change our whole outlook on work … of any kind. When we come to realize that we are actually working for the Lord (not men) we can do that work “as unto Him” … as if we were doing it directly for Him … as if He were our boss. And since we know that God is for us and not against us, anything He (as our boss, so to speak) asks us to do is for some good purpose … even if we don’t know what that purpose is at the time … or ever. We can trust that God is working it all out for good since Romans 8:28 (NIV) tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him …” So, even if we are cleaning toilets, we can choose to have the perspective that we are actually working for the Lord and we can find a purpose in our work … perhaps we are keeping the toilet sanitized so that when the next person who comes in to use it (who may have a compromised immune system) doesn’t have a bad reaction to the germs that otherwise would’ve been on the seat … if you really want to use your imagination, perhaps those germs would’ve caused a nasty rash that got infected and caused further problems for the person … including having to go to the hospital to be treated and having to be subjected to even more germs … which could’ve made even more problems develop … BUT … BECAUSE you chose to work “as unto the Lord” and BECAUSE you chose to do a good job cleaning that toilet seat, NONE of those things happened! The person with the compromised immune system NEVER had any problems whatsoever … and all because you did your job with the right perspective! So, the next time your boss asks you to do a job no one else wants to do, remember to take it in stride and have the attitude of Christ who did not think it was beneath him to wash his disciples feet but, instead, did so with love.
Are you the stubborn type? Do you like to have everything go a certain way (your way) and do you easily get upset when your plans get changed? Well, there’s good news … you’re not alone! It’s quite common for people to think their way is the best way (perhaps the only way) to get things done, and get them done efficiently! The up side of that mentality is that you generally have a good work ethic; the down side is that you may not realize there’s a problem until someone else points it out (hopefully gently) … and that’s when humility needs to come into play. You need to be willing to accept there really are other ways of doing things … and some ways just could be better than what you imagined. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So, this timeless truth lets us know that God’s plan for our lives is good (period). Even when it may not look that way on the surface, God’s plan is always good … the problem often comes when we may not see things the way God sees them. We may have a vision of how our lives ought to go … how one thing will lead to another, and another, and another so that eventually our vision comes to pass. However, as we quickly learn (as in all of life) our plans often undergo several “revisions” before the “final draft” is completed … and even then, it’s still not over until it’s over (meaning even more revisions will most likely be needed before all is said and done). The key is being open and willing to allow Jesus to be Lord (not just Savior) of our lives. Think of the word revisions as re-visions … being willing to change and get a new vision … being willing to change course (as the Lord leads). Suppose you had gone through the process of applying for several new jobs and had started to think maybe there was one other job you might be willing to apply for as well and you had started to open yourself up to that possibility but had not yet actually gone and done it. Then suppose you get a phone call out of the blue from a company in the same business as the one you had been thinking about (but had not applied to yet). This company got your resume online when you filled out all the information for the job bank and you had no clue until you got that phone call that you “just so happened” to answer without knowing who it was. What would you do? Would you be open and willing to at least talk to the person on the other end … even though it wasn’t in your plan? Would you be willing to “change course” and see what they had to say/what they had to offer you? Would you realize perhaps this was a blessing from God you hadn’t fully considered receiving yet? Would you revise your own plan and be open to a new plan – a new vision? Hopefully (and prayerfully) you would … otherwise, it’s possible you may miss making the change that could be needed … the change that could lead to a new destiny for you … a new blessing for you to grow in the grace and knowledge of God … into the knowledge of how much of a loving and gracious God we have the privilege of knowing personally. Remember, when God tells us a revision is needed to our original plan, we can trust that His plans are always good and always better than anything we could have dreamed up ourselves!
Fear is becoming more and more widespread as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Everywhere you turn, it seems, someone or something is trying to influence you to fear. Safety has become our #1 concern. What can we do to protect ourselves? What can we do to be safe? The answers are varied … wearing masks, washing our hands, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces … the list could go on and on. In this day and age, it’s important to know how to be safe … not just physically, but mentally as well. Our minds can play tricks with us … fear of the unknown can cause our mental state to spiral out of control … and fear of other people’s opinions can be just as damaging. When we let others opinions of us dictate how we live our lives we are, in reality, giving in to fear … we are, in reality, allowing it to be a “snare” that ends up controlling us. Proverbs 29:25 (NIV) says, “ Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” This means if someone gives you a hard time for obeying what the Lord has put on your heart to do, you will need to exercise faith and humbly trust that the Lord knows what’s best for you, personally … even if it means you’re “different” than those around you. For example, say you’re in your living room watching a church service live stream on YouTube and the worship team is singing and you feel the urge to raise your hands in praise to the Lord … right there in your living room with your husband or wife who is not a Christian in the adjacent room where they can see you and you know they may not “approve” of your behavior … right at that moment, you have a choice to make … are you going to allow that other person (as much as you love them) to be a “snare” to you … are you going to allow the fear of their opinion control your actions? Or are you going to humbly trust that you will be “safe” as you trust the Lord that everything really will be okay as you go ahead and raise your hands in praise to Him … trusting that, perhaps, your unsaved spouse may just be watching you to see how serious you really are about your faith and about expressing your love and praise to God … no matter who is watching. Perhaps, as you take that step of faith, they may even choose to come into the room and see what all the fuss is about … and they may even get encouraged to begin their own relationship with the Lord that night as well … and all it may have taken was for you to not allow fear to win. I could give many more examples, but you get the idea. When you allow God to direct your path (rather than people’s opinions) you will always be kept safe spiritually. But what if I still feel afraid you may ask? Well, 1 John 4:18 (NIV) is your solution. It says, “ … perfect love drives out fear …” When you stay close to God, you stay close to His love … and His love will drive out any fear you may feel as you trust in Him and keep your eyes on Him rather than on other people’s (real or imagined) opinions of you. Psalm 25:3 (NIV) gives even further encouragement as it declares, “No one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame.” So, today, don’t allow fear of man to be a snare, instead, trust in the Lord and you will be kept safe.
I am a sinner in need of salvation. I believe Jesus died on the cross in my place. I believe He alone gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for my sin. I believe Jesus not only died for my sins, but was also raised again and is now living in heaven. I believe only Jesus can make me righteous before You. There’s nothing I could ever do to earn Your free gift. I repent of all my sins and ask You to make me new as I accept Your gift of salvation now. I ask Jesus to be both the Lord and Savior of my life. Come into my heart, fill me with Your Spirit, and help me to live for You. Thank You for saving my soul. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Technology is constantly changing. Just when you think you’ve finally upgraded to the latest app, the latest edition, the latest version of the newest and the best technological advance on the market … just when you think you can breathe a sigh of relief that you’re finally finished and you can close your laptop – satisfied that you aren’t missing any important security features that might possibly crash your whole system … and your whole world … just when you think you’re finally done and you start to turn away, what do you see out of the corner of your eye? A pop-up notifying you there’s just one more thing to be updated! You groan inwardly, wondering when enough will finally be enough … wondering when it will finally be finished, wondering when there will finally be something you can count on to stay the same … wondering when there will finally be something that is timeless and true … something that you can depend on that will never change. The good news is that Jesus has already declared, “it is finished” when He hung on the cross, having been crucified to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world. Jesus alone is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus alone is timeless and true. Technology and the times may constantly be changing … but Jesus never changes and never needs to be upgraded. He alone is the one constant you can depend on that will never change. In fact, God’s Word, the Bible, is the absolute truth and Malachi 3:6 (NIV) declares, “I the Lord do not change.” With this in mind, I’ll be sharing a once-a-week blog post entitled, “Timeless Truths.” It will be similar to a devotion in that it’s purpose is to get you thinking about applying God’s Word to your everyday situations and circumstances, and my goal is to offer you hope and encouragement through whatever you’re facing. I welcome feedback and would like to hear if this new blog feature is helping you in some way. In the meantime … the next time you start up your computer, only to discover yet another security message in need of your attention, take a deep breath and let it out slowly, thankfully remembering your eternal security has already been taken care of through Jesus. Your part is simply to accept and receive the timeless gift of salvation He has freely offered on the cross … you don’t have to upgrade any further as you already possess the best of the best – for all eternity!