Monthly Archives: October 2016

Seeking God Day 31!!!

halden31 days has finally come to a close. I am so honored and humbled by the friends I’ve met this month, by your encouraging words and the sacrifice you made to read my blog all month. Its been a journey of discovery for me and I hope for you as well.

Together, we have taken time to contemplate and consider God. He has shown me through these last 31 days that his love is consistent and continuous. It covers me completely and is unfathomable. How will I ever be able to understand how deep, how wide and how great his love is for me and for you? We are considered his children and there is nowhere we can go to escape his loving presence. He will not abandon us and even when we can’t see Him he is always there.

The most amazing promise of all about seeking God is that he promises:

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

When we seek God he will reveal himself to us. We may not always understand what he has revealed, we may not always agree with what he is doing but he will be found.

Jesus says,

Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

When we feel alone, afraid, confused, empty, separated or at our wits end, if we look to Jesus he will answer us. It’s a promise, an assurance that we can always rely on. It’s security. It’s rest. We are safe in his love.

A life with Christ will continue to amaze and surprise you if you continue to learn more about Him, more about what it means to follow him, what it means to be called his child. You will never come to the end of his love and his wisdom, there will always be more you can learn. There will always be more of Him to discover. He is endless. And that is amazing!

The words I want to close this series up with are from Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

If we live in the truth of God’s promises, our lives can not help but be transformed and become more like Him. Our minds, our hearts, our wills will change. We will become more true, noble, right, pure, lonely, admirable, excellent and we will be filled with praise. It just will happen. And when we are transformed like this we will be filled with joy. A kind of joy that has no definition because it can not be explained, it can only be experienced…lived.

This joy can be called contentment or peace. It brings space and the ability to breathe. It is clarity and vision, harmony and rhythm. It bursts forth with color and explodes with laughter.

My friends, keep seeking God.

Keep asking him to reveal himself to you.

Rest in his arms and breath in his spirit.

He loves you so much.

That is Truth.

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Seeking God Day 30

haldenWe took the kids to Cedar Point this summer for a quick family get away. The first day we were there the humidity was a solid 80% and the temp was an oppressive 98 degrees. Even though we wanted to be having a great time, it was nearly impossible. There is just no way to love what you are doing when you are so uncomfortable.

When the sun finally went down so did the heat and humidity. It was such a welcome relief. Instead of focusing on how miserable I was, I could start enjoying the rides. I’m disappointed at how distracted I am when I’m uncomfortable.  It doesn’t take much change my focus or deter my progress.

The last ride of the night was a roller coaster. It was close to midnight and incredibly dark as we stood in line waiting for our turn. When we finally made it to the front of the line and loaded into the cars my heart was pounding. I made sure that the harness was securely locked; pulling on it two and three times. My feet dangled off the ground and I waited for the ride to begin. The attendant signaled, the coaster hissed and my stomach suddenly was stuck to the back of my seat…away we went. The darkness added to my excitement and my terror. There was no way to know when we would go right or left. I couldn’t see when the dips were coming and had no idea when we were headed upside down until we were already in a full blown twist.

Sometimes following God’s plan for my life feels much the same. Terrifying and exciting all at the same time. Not knowing where the next twist or turn is. Continuing to check the harness to make sure it’s secure.

We sang this song in church today, the lyrics of the chorus go like this:

Where you go I’ll go

Where you stay I’ll stay

When you move I’ll move

I will follow You.

Complete surrender, that is what this song is talking about. Riding a God’s roller coaster in the dark, checking the harness but surrendering to His will.

Do I trust Him? Can I lift my open hands to Him and say, “Your will Lord.”

Or,

Will I continue to hold back? Will I continue to try to wrestle for power?

The sentence, “Yes, Lord” can feel like we are abandoning control. It is really. But instead of being terrified, if we trust God, it can be freeing. Allowing us to close our eyes and enjoy the wild coaster ride He has planned.

Being surprised by God is breathtaking!

Do you dare?

And here is the most amazing thing…

Luke 12:7 says:

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

As risky as trusting God seems, he values you. Every hair on your head is numbered, you may want to be afraid but you don’t have to be.

Do you dare believe that God loves you as much as he says he does?

It’s going to be a wild and holy ride.

 

 

 

Seeking God Day 29

haldenJesus, Jesus precious Jesus how I proved him more and more. Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus, O for grace to trust him more.

We live in a country that is just a few days away from a national election; I don’t have to tell you that. The candidates? Less than desirable from any angle. How does loving and trusting Jesus influence who you vote for?

My Facebook feed is filled with stories about one group of Christians judging another group of fellow Christians. They disagree. Each side believes they are right, each side believes the other is deplorable. How do you love and trust Jesus in this environment? How do you know when you are on the “right” side? Is there a “right” side? If you question it, does that make you less spiritual? Does that make you a heretic?

What happens when we disagree? Are we as the body of Christ allowed to disagree and still be followers of Christ? I ask this with all sincerity because when I read one side’s or the others literature and rhetoric I’m led to believe that there is no room for middle ground. There is no tolerance for confusion or questioning or dialog. There is simply right and wrong.

I don’t want this post to be about any issue in particular but rather I want all of us to wrestle with what it means to seek God in this world full of differing opinions, worldview and choices. Seeking God conveys that we don’t know God fully, that there is still more to discover, that we may only know or understand a small piece of what is happening around us. Seeking God means that we don’t know it all. It’s a belief that we fully expect that He can and will reveal more to us about Himself, His love, His mercy and His grace.

We must be people of conviction but I also think there is danger in being too convinced of our convictions. The danger with unwavering conviction is that it is a fertile soil for pride to grow. Unwavering conviction does not leave much room for humility or learning but it does pave a wide road for self-importance.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

This may certainly expose a flaw in my character but the above statement is one of the only things that I believe with unwavering conviction. God loves me. God loves you. He gave his life for both of us. We only need to believe.

This world is extremely confusing to me. I am positive that I don’t understand all of what God wants or demands or expects of me and my neighbors. There are days that everything seems black and white but honestly, the older I get the more I question if a black and white world is just too simple. As soon as I type that, I wonder if a world full of gray answers is also too easy.

I don’t have the answers. I only have a lot of questions. I would love to tell you how to live but honestly, I don’t know if you should listen to me, actually I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t. Together we are better off as explorers. Seekers doing our best to help each other understand God, His word and His love more.

I’m so glad I learned to trust thee, 
precious Jesus, Savior, friend; 
and I know that thou art with me, 
wilt be with me to the end. 

Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus by Trinity Worship

Seeking God Day 27

haldenI sat talking with a young mom today and even though I was a complete stranger she left no detail out as she shared her story. She and her husband had 3 kids under 4. He was in school. She was working part time at a job where she started at 3am so that she could spend the rest of the day taking care of the kids. He was gone, a lot. This was their plan but it was so hard. When he finally came home she wasn’t sure if she should run to the bathroom to spend some time alone, flee with her girlfriends for some adult time or say yes to her husband’s request to spend some time together. Nothing was easy. Marriage, parenting, budgeting, surviving, it all seemed impossible.

As I listened, I realized that I had forgotten. I forgot how it was when we were newly married and the kids were small. I like to call those days the “pressure cooker” days. Doug and I were both physically exhausted. We were trying hard to fill the roles of mom and dad, husband and wife. It was all new.

I can’t believe I forgot. I look around now at our family and everyone has grown so much. There aren’t any primary colored toys on the ground. There are no sippy cups growing mold in my van. No one sleeps in a crib and I’m the first one up now days. Life is still hard but it’s different. Way more busy and yet a lot less harried at the same time. I have the luxury of sitting here at my computer, to think and write and contemplate life. 10 years ago that never happened.

As I saw the exhaustion and longing in her eyes, I realized a truth that I don’t want to forget. Nothing stays the same. Whatever you are dealing with right now it will pass. Now, I realize this isn’t new or ground breaking Solomon wrote about this in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

 

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest. 

Everything that we go through, the pain, the struggle, the joy, the confusion it’s all a season. Being single, being married, raising young children, caring for aging parents, tight budgets, cold weather…you name it. Wherever you are, you will not stay there. You are not stuck there forever. Things will change, seasons always do. God promises that they will.

Being knee deep in today often blinds our ability to see the bigger picture. God always has a bigger picture. Sometimes we are allowed to see it, other times He asks us to just trust Him.

It’s not easy.

Today will pass, tomorrow will come.

In the end God is always in control and He promises to give us what we need to move forward. He will never leave, no matter what season you are in. He is there.

 

Seeking God Day 26

haldenI sit in the front row of the balcony, the lights in the house go down and the lights on the stage come up. My son, walks out on stage with his saxophone and the world around me fades away. I only have eyes for him and nothing else matters. I can’t decide if I want to close my eyes and listen to the music he is playing or keep them open so I can watch. I’m in love.

Each one of my children can command my undivided attention like that. It doesn’t matter if they are on the ball field, in a pool, on a stage or simply playing with their friends. I love to watch them. I love to see them being them. It is a joy to see how they grow and become more of who they were created to be. They have no idea how I feel. How could they?

There is a verse in the book of Zephaniah that speaks of God’s love for us this way:

Zephaniah 3:17

 

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.

The song that is playing in my head on repeat is call Amazed. The lyrics are taken from this verse in Zephaniah,

You dance over me
While I am unaware
You sing all around
But I never hear the sound

Have you ever imagined God dancing over you? Could you ever believe that He takes great delight in you? In You!

Even when we don’t know, don’t see, don’t hear Him, He is still there watching. I’m sure that he watches you the way I watch my own children, except more. God is more. His love is more for you and for me than mine could ever be for my own children.

He has gifted you. He has plans for you. He has a purpose for your life.

Philippians 1:6

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 

He is faithful.

Today as you seek God, examine how big you believe His love for you to be. And when you think you understand, think again. Ask God to awe you with the depth of His love for you.

Be amazed.

And then smile because You are His!

 

Seeking God Day 24

haldenRaising teenagers is like playing a continual game of red light/green light. You know the game right? The person who is the “caller” gets to stand a ways away from the other runners and intermittently turn around and face them and yell out “Red light” or “Green light.” The other players get to move or have to stay still based on the command of the caller. Eventually the person who advances the furthest and reaches the caller first is crowned the winner.

The thing about this game is that everyone is at the mercy of the caller. Your advancement depends on when and if the caller yells, “green light.” As a young mom I was the “caller” and my children were the runners. I’d tell them when to get up, when to eat, when to play and when to go to bed. I had absolute power. With teenagers, not so much. I can’t even figure out if I’m the caller or the runner some days! Say something or don’t say something. Offer help or be illusive. It’s a constant, ever changing landscape and one wrong move and your are “red lighted.”

The rules of the game seem to change as often as the weather and aren’t consistent among the 4 various teens living in my house. Just when one of them green lights me another is red lighting me for the same reason. I used to tell them when they were little, “It’s a good thing your cute!” I still think the same thing but now, I don’t say it outloud.

The game red light/green light has been on my mind a lot lately. I see similarities in my longing to understand how to live a Christian life with integrity and character. Do I say something or do I hold my tongue? Do I stay still or am I supposed to act? It’s frustrating. Unlike with my kids, I don’t think God keeps changing the rules but rather I just don’t understand the rules very well. Just like parenting, I’m still learning.

I love 1st and 2nd Timothy because these books are a “how to” manual for living a Christian life and how to be a good leader. My blog is entitled, “A trustworthy saying” in honor of these books. Paul says over and over again, “Here is a trustworthy saying.” When I read those words I pay special attention to what comes next because I know it will be important.

Here is what Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:22-26

2 Timothy 2:22-26

 

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

It all seems pretty straight forward, right? And yet, if Paul, who is the author, felt the need to write these instructions out, that must mean that these lessons needed to be taught. I find it difficult to separate the foolish and stupid arguments from those that need to be argued. I have a hard time being kind to everyone and I’m certainly not teachable all the time. Earlier in the chapter he says:

2 Timothy 2: 14-17

 

Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. 

Much like red light/green light I hop, skip and jump through what sometimes seems like a land mine of conversations. Wondering where do I speak, when do I listen, when should I be walking away? Correctly handling the word of truth is a daunting and scary job at times.

Red Light

Green Light

Stop

Go

Lord, please teach me to be one “who does not need to be ashamed.” I long to live this way for your glory.

 

Seeking God Day 23

haldenHave you ever dreamed of something happening and when it did you can hardly believe it? It happened yesterday and then again today for me.

After 5 months of watching my two middle kids sacrifice their lives to learn and perfect what it means to be a member of the marching band, I watched them perform at their highest level. Every step, every note, every bend and flag toss was executed with the best they had to offer. It felt almost sacred to watch them because I knew what it had cost them to be out there.

It would have been enough for me to just have the opportunity to watch them. But that wasn’t the end, they were awarded the top honor in their class, first place and they also scored 3rd among the 45 bands that competed.

My heart is full.

At the same time band after band was taking the field to compete, the Chicago Cubs were taking loading the bases. A moment that up until last night had only been dreamt about and talked about in the terms of “some day,” became reality as the Cubs won the National League Conference and a chance to go to the World Series, the first time since 1945. Honestly, I’m not much of a baseball fan. It sort of bores me. But growing up I can’t recall a summer day when the baseball game wasn’t front and center in my grandparent’s house. I can still hear the crackle of their kitchen radio and Harry Carry’s voice announcing the play by play of the game. If it wasn’t the radio,  then my grandparents were seated in their tiny living room watching the game on their tiny TV. My grandma would watch intently as she wiped the sweat from her forehead in the heat of a summer afternoon and talk to the TV as if Ryan Sandberg or Don Zimmer could hear her.

Cubs baseball is more than a professional sport to me it is part of my heritage, part of who I am and the people who loved me. My grandparent’s never got to see their beloved team go to the World Series but I’m proud to say my kids and I will. My heart is full remembering my grandparents and knowing how happy they would be if they were still here.

After yesterday, I didn’t think my heart could hold any more but this morning I felt it over flow with happiness and thanksgiving as I watched Lucy Jean’s head sprinkled with baptism water.

lucys-baptism

It was a day that I’ve prayed for and one that I was afraid I’d never see. At 27 weeks this little girl breathed her first breath and cried her first cry even though she was only 1lb and 11oz. She entered this world small and frail but proved to everyone watching that she was fierce and brave and had more fight in her tiny body and spirit than would even seem possible. I’ve watched this precious child grow and accomplish feats that seemed out of her reach. She has defied all the odds so far and continues to blaze her own trail, challenging everyone around her to keep up.

My heart is full.

The lyrics to the song, 10,000 Reasons, keep going through my mind right now.

“Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul. Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, oh my soul, I’ll worship your holy name. The sun comes up its a new day dawning, it’s time to sing your songs again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing till the evening comes. Your rich in love and your slow to anger, your name is great and your heart is kind. For all your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my hear to find!”

Seeking God sometimes mean soaking in God’s blessings. Looking around you and being amazed at how He has lavishly poured out his love on you and everyone you love. Lifting up your face like you do on an early summer day when the sun is shinning and feel the warmth on your skin.

Seeking God sometimes means that you raise your hands to the heavens and say, “Thank you!”

Oh what a beautiful day!

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Seeking God Day 22

 

halden“It’s not God, it’s you!” That is what I had written in the margin of my Bible. I have no idea when I wrote those words but they caught my attention this morning.

I’m studying prayer along with James MacDonald from Walk in the Word and he referenced this verse in Isaiah. I don’t remember reading it before but obviously I had and it had convicted me enough to write something more in the margin.

“Actions affect access,” is what Pastor MacDonald said and then he read this verse,

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2

“Confess!” “Confess!” was also written in pen in my handwriting and underlined in my Bible. When had I written that?

Pastor MacDonald has been teaching about prayer and he asserts that unlike what I’ve always believed and been taught, God does not always hear my prayers. I’ve been chewing on this idea for awhile now. I’m not sure how I feel about it. But here it is in black and white.

I don’t believe that God isn’t aware of my prayers but here it says that my sins can keep me from seeing him and plainly it says, “he will not hear.” I don’t like that at all.

Proverbs 28:9 says, “If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.”

I don’t like that one either.

I like the verses that talk about access to God and receiving wisdom and Him knowing my name and being an heir. Those are comforting and kind and soft. But these verses are bare and harsh and require something of me and quite frankly I’m turning my nose up.

 

I want God to always hear me, to always answer me and usually I want him to answer me on my timeline. The idea of him not hearing me or finding my prayers “detestable,” is disconcerting. He can’t do that, can he?

The Bible is full of descriptions of God’s character and his love. We can pick and pull out all kinds of verses that will make us feel good and loved and warm and fuzzy. But what about the other stuff? What about the commands and instructions for how we are to live? What do we do with that?

I Peter 5:5-6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Pastor MacDonald said that prayer is “the process of becoming fit to receive from God what he is already ready to do.”

James 4:2-3 “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives.”

I want to just want to say, “Uh, no! Don’t judge me!” and then drop the mic.

It’s uncomfortable to be examined this closely. It’s like looking at myself in one of those mirrors that are magnified. I see way too many wrinkles, sun spots and pores. I can try to cover them up but I know they are still there. Don’t look too close.

Psalm 103: 8-12 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

 

This truth is his word says that our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west. They are no longer there. He does not harbor them. But I think they can certainly paralyze us.

We stand in our own way. Our pride, our love of self, our wanting will keep us from seeing, hearing, reaching God. Jesus is the bridge. We are told over and over to be holy like he is holy. It’s a process, an on-going process as long as we are on this side of heaven.

James 5:16 “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I want to have a powerful and effective prayer life. I want to seek to know God. Please Father, transform me and change me and make me more like you.

From the Inside Out by Hillsong

 

Seeking God Day 21

haldenI’m tired. It’s not just because I stayed up late again to watch the Cubs win. It’s not simply because I woke in a cold sweat last night at 3:30am from a nightmare. It’s not even because there is more laundry again and the dishes are dirty again and the bathrooms need to be cleaned again. It’s a soul- deep tired. The kind that weighs on my shoulders and makes me long for easier times.

Do you know this kind of weariness?

I find myself praying, “Father, give me rest.” Yet, I’m unsure what the rest I’m asking for looks like. I’d love to go on vacation and escape from my everyday life here for awhile but that doesn’t seem to scratch the itch that is making my soul so irritable.

So I close my eyes and breathe, Feeling my diaphragm expand and fall. Silently pleading for God…

…to come

…to fill me

…to answer me

..to be with me.

I’m not afraid. I’m not alone. I don’t feel forsaken or oppressed.

I’m just tired.

Matthew 11:28-30

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I just recently heard someone describe what a yoke was. I’ve always known it was the collar that oxen wore when they plowed a field, at least that what my Sunday school teacher told me. Truth be told, I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and I’ve never plowed a field with oxen. Actually, I’ve never plowed a field.

The inside of a yoke has many hard barbs or spokes, sort of like the metal dog collars some people use on big dogs. If the animal pulls it’s head to far to one side or the other, the yoke makes the animal uncomfortable so it will learn to keep it’s head straight. This allows the farmer to keep the animal walking in a straight line. When two oxen are yoked together, then they both need to work in harmony, synchronizing their steps and keeping their bodies aligned. If one animal pulls to hard to one side or the other it will be uncomfortable and their progress will be stunted or even halted.

Jesus says that his yoke is easy. I wonder what he meant by that? I’m sure that there is a lot more to what he said than what I understand.

Today, I’m wondering if I’m tired because I’ve been plowing alone. I want to be the second ox, I want to be connected to Jesus and walk with him. I know my yoke isn’t easy but he promises that his is.

He knows the path.

I’m tired of being poked and prodded by these dang spokes in my yoke. They hurt!

I need rest.

An easy yoke and a light burden sounds like rest to me.

Jesus promises rest for my soul if I will only learn from him.

Lord, I’m listening.

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

 

 

 

 

Seeking God Day 20

haldenToday is the 9 year “friendaversary” on Facebook with my dear friend Carol. When I opened my computer this morning the Facebook elves had magically made a video that documented our friendship. As I watched the pictures scroll by, I was amazed at how many memories I had forgotten. I was also just as touched by the many memories that came flooding back to my mind even though they weren’t pictured. The video reminded me of how much I love her and how grateful I am for her friendship.

Whoever came up with the idea and program to bring old pictures into my current newsfeed was a genius. It’s the part of my morning that I love and sometimes hate the most. My heart melts seeing pictures of my children wearing diapers when today they need to be wearing deodorant. I instantly remember the clothes they were wearing, I can feel the weight of their little bodies in my arms and I remember the sweet sound of their little voices. For a brief moment, I can breathe in the memory like it was yesterday and it helps me remember who they and we used to be and who we are becoming. It’s bittersweet.

On a morning when child #2 was yelling at me because child #3 was late and child #4 was anxious because I hadn’t paid for his field trip and child #1 was still sleeping…it’s good to remember that at one time we were laughing at wearing giant Hulk hands or struggling with potty training or snuggling together on a small couch. It’s good to be transported to another time when things were either extremely good or impossibly hard. The ability to look back means that somehow time has passed and we have survived and we have become or grown or been transformed. We are no longer them, we are us. We are us because of them. Remembering is good.

I read today in the last book of the Old Testament Malachi. The verse that caught my eye is this:

Malachi 3:16

 

“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.”

The phrase, “a scroll of remembrance” just shook me to my core. It made me wonder what they had written on that scroll. What events or understandings did those leaders decide needed to be recorded? Whose names were written down? What made those individuals stand out?

All we know of them is that they “feared the Lord” and “honored his name.” Read that again and let it sink in. They feared the Lord and honored his name.

I want my name to be written on the “scroll of remembrance.” I want my character to be such that it is said of me that I fear the Lord and honor his name. I am so grateful for these Old Testament leaders. Because of them we are us. Look what is written next in the chapter:

Malachi 3:17 

 

“”They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

God spared these people because of their faithfulness and eventually sent Jesus, the savior of the world, through their lineage. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us and reveals himself to us because God saved a remnant of his people who feared him and honored his name.

I am positive that it was not easy to be one of these few, to be a member of this group. I am positive that they questioned their ability to lead. That they questioned their strength in that time of adversity. I’m sure that they questioned whether or not they were the right people for the job. But I’m so grateful that in the end they stood, they stayed, they talked. I’m so grateful that they sought God. I’m so grateful that in the end they knew that the Lord had listened to them and had heard them.

A scroll of remembrance. A written account of their encounter with God so that all would remember who he was and is and will always be. An account of his faithfulness, his goodness, his love.

We all need that, don’t we?

A story of God’s faithfulness in our lives when we were able to know that he had heard us and listened to us. That story will serve to tell the next generations of what we have learned. It will also help us remember. When everything seems impossibly hard, we need to take out our scroll and remember who God is.

Here is a song to help you remember. Jesus by Chris Tomlin

 

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