God of All

Do you realize that God wants to be as intimately involved in your life as He was in the lives of those recorded in scripture? A friend recently pointed out how reassuring it was knowing that we serve the same God whom Abraham, Isaac and Jacob served. This knowledge can be a validation for who God is. It may even give you a reason to trust God.

While thinking about some of these men and women of faith, we will highlight how God intervened in their lives. Then we will think about how we can relate to these individuals.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
These men are often referred to as the patriarchs of our faith. God cares about families and lineage and heritage. God first revealed Himself as the God of these three men when He spoke to Moses through a burning bush. God said in Exodus 3:6, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
God cares about your family. Do you have grandparents and parents who set a Christian example for you? Thank God for them! Maybe you are the first one in your ancestry to become a believer. Blaze the trail for future generations.

Moses and Joshua
God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery. Joshua was their leader when they entered the Promised Land.
Who has God used to lead you to Jesus and out of sin’s bondage? Who may become a believer in the promises of God because of your influence?

Ruth
Ruth was a Moabite. She did not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Because of the influence of her mother-in-law, Naomi, Ruth became a believer. She says in Ruth 1:16, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
As a believer, you are a witness for Christ. You may be unaware of your influence upon those around you. Is there someone specific to whom you are called to be a witness?

Isaiah and Jeremiah
These two men are examples of the Old Testament prophets. Prophets foretell and forth tell words of the Lord.
Prophecy is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit listed in I Corinthians 12:8-11. Do you have the gift of prophecy? If so, use it according to Romans 12:6. Paul says in Ephesians 4:1, “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received.

Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth
T
hese women had trouble conceiving a child. However, over time, God was faithful to answer their prayers.
Conception problems can be either physical or spiritual. Is there an area in your life where you are struggling to give birth to something new? Be encouraged by how God intervened in these women’s lives.

Mary the Mother of Jesus
An angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would give birth to a son named Jesus. Although Mary did not completely understand all that was happening or the significance of it, she carried Jesus within her body for nine months.
Have you asked Jesus into your heart but still have things of faith you do not understand? Just as Jesus grew in Mary’s body, your faith will also grow with time.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
These men are the authors of the four gospels. They wrote about the stories of Jesus’ earthly life. Their messages tell a spiritual history.
Your story, your testimony, tells His story in your life. It is your spiritual history. Your story becomes HIStory. Revelation 12:11 says, “They (believers) triumphed over him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

Saul/Paul
This man’s story begins in the book of Acts. He was first named Saul, but later was known as Paul. Both his nature and name were changed when he encountered Jesus on his way to Damascus. He went from persecuting Christians to proclaiming Christ.
May you never quit praying for family and friends to personally encounter the Lord. Lives can be changed. Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You.

Ephesians 4:4-5 says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” God is God and Father of us all! Just as God was God of each of these Biblical people, He wants to be Lord of your life. With which individual do you most identity? Which person gives you the hope that God is with you and understands your situation?

According to Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” God wants to minister to you. He is alive. God knows everything – He is omniscient. God is in everything – He is omnipresent. God is working – He is omnipotent. All fo us learn of His faithfulness through stories recorded in His written word. What He has done in the past, He will continue to do.

May your faith and your confidence in God grow as you meditate upon what He has done for those who have gone before us. Hebrews 12:1 encourages us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

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Barefoot

bare-feet-1bare-feet-2Since warm weather has arrived, I have exchanged my winter shoes for summer sandals. These summer shoes reveal more of my feet and provide a little less protection. However, I also like to throw off even my sandals and go barefoot. There is something special about being able to run barefoot through a thick lawn of green grass on a summery day! It is freeing to feel the grass between my toes. Maybe I can identify with Moses and Joshua who went barefoot in the Lord’s presence. In fact, they were personally instructed by God to take off their sandals in His presence.

In Exodus 3, Moses was intrigued by a bush that appeared to be on fire and yet was not being consumed. As he went closer to the bush, God spoke to Moses saying in Exodus 3:5, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” In the following verses, Moses and God have a conversation regarding God’s desire for Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. When Moses argued with God, God had an answer for him that revealed His willingness to help Moses in all he asked Him to do. In a sense, taking off his sandals signified Moses’ vulnerability to what God asked of him. I wonder if God is asking me to take off something so He can better use me according to His plans and purposes. I do not have to provide my own shoes, or my own strength. In contrast, God asks me to remove any confidence I have in my flesh. In II Corinthians 12:9-11, Paul records, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” … Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

In Joshua 5 while Joshua was preparing for the battle of Jericho, he encountered a man with a sword. When Joshua inquired about whether he was for them or against them, the man revealed himself as the commander of the army of the Lord. In Joshua 5:15 it says, “The commander of the LORD’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’” Joshua obeyed this command out of reverence and respect. I want to follow Joshua’s example and take off my shoes in the presence of the Lord. Like the soles of my shoes that pick up the dirt of the ground around me, my soul within me can pick up sin from the world in which I live. Out of reverence to my holy God, I want to remove sin from my life. I Peter 1:15-16 says to me, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’” Taking off my sandals or shoes can be an outward expression of worship revealing my inward reverence for the Lord.

While walking barefoot, I feel a closeness to the God of all creation who has created the grass upon which I walk. I am aware of being in touch with the Lord when my feet are touching His creation. A few scriptures come to mind that inform me of how to walk with the Lord. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Then II Corinthians 5:7 KNJV tells me to “walk by faith and not by sight,” while Paul reminds me in Galatians 3516 NKJV to,Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Bare feet and summer seem to go together, but I need to remember that in order for me to walk with the Lord I should be barefoot in His presence no matter what season of the year. I John 2:6 NASV says, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” In order for me to walk as Jesus walked, it will be beneficial for me to be barefoot so I can place my footsteps in His footprints.

My Reader, do you want to go barefoot today?

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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Fifth “P” – Possessing Change

 is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a 

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Possessing Change
“The Promised Land is a Land of Promises”

Today I am remembering the fifth “P” God placed on my plate of life while we were encountering our Life-Journey-Change experience with a new home five years ago. This “P” represents “Possessing Change.” Change is not easy but it is something all of us will encounter during life and we must learn to embrace it. I pray that my sharing during these nine weeks is beneficial to all my readers.

Although we had now been in our new house several weeks and I had accepted our new address, it still did not feel like this location was truly home. Whenever I was asked how I liked our new house, my response continued to be, “The change is a process and it’s taking time.” In order to feel like I had taken possession of our new home, I thought I should have everything unpacked and put in its new spot. I wanted to have appropriate curtains at every window. I heard the bare walls in the dining area screaming at me for something to be placed upon them. I did not feel like I was doing a very good job of making our house feel like home. I wanted perfection before possession. Finally I felt the Lord impress upon me that I was to change my perception from “processing” to “possessing.” God was asking me the same question that Joshua asked the Israelites in Joshua 18:3, “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” I needed closure regarding the transition and I needed to change my outlook. This house in Henrietta was now our home and I had to take accountability and responsibility for the change that had occurred. Everything did not have to be perfect for us to take full possession of the change. Perfection was not to be a priority. We had set our feet on this property of Aspen Look Drive that God had revealed to us and now it was vital that I take full possession of it emotionally and spiritually as well as financially. The scripture that came to my mind was Joshua 1:3, “I will give you every place where you set your foot.” My feet were now in Henrietta.

The book of Joshua tells the story of the Israelites not only entering the Promised Land but also conquering it. Just because the Israelites now lived in the land of Canaan, it did not mean life was easy for them. Even though there were still nations to be conquered, the Promised Land was to be a land filled with the fulfillment of God’s promises to help the Israelites on their journey within their new territory. Their experiences in Canaan were applicable for me. My husband and I were now in the “Promised Land” God had for us and I was required to do my part to move forward to completely possess it. Possession did not mean that I would not struggle with making this house a home, but it did mean that I must fully accept it as a personal possession. Unexpected problems with the house would occur but that did not mean that this was not the right house for us. God helped the Israelites conquer the enemies in their land and God would help us overcome the frustrations we would encounter.

The Bible became my “land of promises” to help me in our new Promised Land. Scripture is full of promises for all types of situations. I found an appropriate scripture verse to claim for each room of our home. As I prayed through our new home and claimed promises for each individual area, I took possession of this property. I came to realize, and still know today, that “possessing change” is easier when I take possession of specific scriptures, His “land of promises.”

God saw our new home as having potential while I had seen it as having problems. It depended upon the perspective from which one was looking. God also showed me that the potential He perceived for this property related more to what would happen for us from this location rather than the perfect condition of the house. Who we would welcome through the doors into our home and where we would go when we went out the doors were more important than the structural condition of the doors.

Whether it was for the Israelites entering Canaan or for us in our new home, God had more in mind than making a location feel like home. Even today I must remember that the Lord is more concerned with supernatural growth than simply natural comfort and convenience. Joshua 21:45 says, “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” The Lord was faithful to the Israelites and He continues to be faithful to me today. God has promises that I can claim and He will fulfill them but it may not be in the way I perceive because He sees potential for His greater eternal purposes beyond how my problems affect me. God is more concerned for His glory than for my perfection.

Possession, problems, potential, perspective, promises are all “P” words for me to ponder!

My Reader, join me in the Bible Study for Possessing Change so we can study together some of God’s promises and see how He fulfills them.

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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