Forever – Psalm 136

Forever – Psalm 136

Read Psalm 136

 

for.ev.er: for all future time; continually.

You don’t have to be a genius to realize that nothing in this world lasts forever.  The car you were so in love with when you bought it, is repeatedly in the repair shop.  Those fancy new tennis shoes you bought, are now scuffed and worn. Even the roof with the lifetime warranty doesn’t truly last forever. The only thing that truly lasts forever is Gods love. 26 times the writer of this Psalm gives us something to praise God for, then reminds us that His love lasts “for all future time”!

Think of what this means. When we sin and need forgiveness, His love endures forever. When our life is messy and we can’t control it, His love endures forever.  Whenever circumstances seem overwhelming, we can still praise God, as His love is always present-for all future time and continually.

Next time you hear the word “forever”, think about how it’s being used and remember, Gods love for us is the only thing that truly lasts forever!

 

Connie Delphon

What have you done for me lately? – Psalm 106

What have you done for me lately? – Psalm 106

Read Psalm 106

 

When I read through Psalm 106, the Janet Jackson song where she says “what have you done for me lately?” comes to mind. It reminds me of how many times God has saved and blessed me even though I am forgetful and unappreciative.

It appears we are apples that didn’t fall far from the tree. Our ancestors passed this on to us. In Psalm 106:7-8, “Our Fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea – the Red Sea. Nevertheless He saved them for His name sake.”

Why can’t we remember ALL that He has done for us and be THANKFUL!? There’s no way we can remember ALL the things He has done for us – the list would be too much to fathom. Nevertheless, I want God to know through my actions how much I recognize what He has done. I want to be like Phinehas in Psalm 106:30-31, “Then Phinehas stood up and intervened and the plague was stopped. And the Lord counted him as righteous to all generations forevermore.”

What is it you need to be thankful for? What has God done for you? He may not have split the sea in front of us, but there are numerous things He does every day that deserve our praise. Psalm 106:48 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!”

 

Michael Glassford

Writing on the Wall – Deuteronomy 11

Writing on the Wall – Deuteronomy 11

Read Deuteronomy 11

 

As a mom of 3 young kiddos, I have scrubbed my fair share of walls that seem to be adorned with various artwork.  My 4-year old’s favorite is ‘practicing’ his name in his bedroom.  He claims, “These are my letters.  I need to make sure I’m really good at them!”  Both are true statements.  Let’s just keep it on paper, please!

God tells us these same statements.  “These are my words!  Please make sure you remember and apply them!”  In verses 19-20, the Lord commands us to continually talk about His word with those around us and to cover our homes with His promises.  By doing so, we can ensure that our thoughts are focused on Him and not on this world.  The world’s pull is strong but in order ‘to love the Lord your God, walk in obedience with him and hold fast to him’ (v22), we must put His word first in our life and before the noise and chaos of the world.

Whether you hang a chalkboard sign in a high traffic area of your home, grab a dry erase marker and head to your bathroom mirror, change the screensaver of your phone, or simply stick a sticky note to the dashboard of your car, I encourage you to write out a verse or two of hope, encouragement, or truth.  Take note of the difference this makes in your everyday life as you dwell on the promises made to you by our Savior.

 

Megan Byrd

Go Forward – Exodus 14

Go Forward – Exodus 14

Read Exodus 14

 

Paralysis by analysis, anyone feel what I’m saying here?  There are times in my life when I get caught up in looking at all the options or all the details, it sometimes leads to the point where I simply can not make a decision.  It reminds me of the time I made the mistake of telling my 6 year old she could choose any box of cereal she wanted.  In the past, I offered her 2 choices and she was able to make a pretty speedy selection—whichever had the most sugar seemed to be how she made her choice.  But this time, I thought she was old enough to simply select her favorite and we would move on.  Wrong.  Way wrong.   When I tried to offer a choice she quickly reminded me I had told her she could choose “on her own”.  Have you walked down the cereal aisle at the height of a 6 year old?  Shoot, it can be intimidating for a grown adult, to a 4 foot tall sugar addict it was paralyzing.  We were in that aisle for what seemed like 30 minutes to me. Now that same child takes forever in choosing her nail polish color, so many choices often makes it hard to decide.

In Exodus 14 we see where the Israelites had just 2 choices, move forward and drown or stay still and be slaughtered.  Either choice seemed to have the same result, death.  Talk about a paralyzing situation!  Fear must have stopped them cold.  I can’t even imagine all the thoughts that were racing through their minds, we get a glimpse in Exodus 14:12 where they were wishing they would have just remained slaves in Egypt.  Regret & fear all at the same time.  

Then the Lord says to Go Forward.  Really?  Into the water?  In our earthly minds this absolutely makes zero sense, but in times of intense stress sometimes all you need is someone to tell you what to do.  And they did, they went forward.  And the rest is a sheer miracle from the Lord Almighty!

What are you looking back on with regret?  What fear are you letting paralyze you from making a choice?  Fear can paralyze you.  God simply says Go Forward.  If you are His disciple, if you are listening to His voice just obey, move forward and let the same great Lord Almighty show you He has got this.

 

Sheila Konitzer

Take the Long Way – Exodus 13

Take the Long Way – Exodus 13

Read Exodus 13

 

Have you ever thought “this sure seems harder than it should be?” Sometimes when I am learning something new or trying to tackle a project, I often say there has got to be an easier way.

Such was the case when we look at the Israelites and their journey to the Promised Land. Can you imagine walking in the same place for years?  Talk about wanting to ask for directions!   But notice in Exodus 13 verse 17 “Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt””  So basically God led them down the longer, tougher path because they might lose focus and He had something so much better in store for them if they just stay the course.  The long and hard way was the better way, it was also God’s way.

That’s human nature isn’t it?  When things get tough, let’s just quit.  Let’s stay complacent and not live out God’s dream for our lives.  But what if through the hard way, our faith is tested and it grows?  What if the hard way produces endurance and persistence, strength and determination? What if the hard way is God’s way of growing you more into the likeness of His Son?

Whatever you are going through, whatever your dream is, whatever God designed you to do, don’t lose sight of the goal.  You are going to want to take the easy route, but sometimes easy isn’t God’s best.  May you never settle for less than what God has for you.  Follow Him and He will lead you to a life beyond what you could have imagined on your own.  In what area of your life do you need to stay focused even though it’s harder?  Lean into God and follow Him, stay the course, it will be worth it.

 

Sheila Konitzer