How Big Is Your God?

Our mind is a wonderful thing. It has imagination, it can visualize dreams and can understand reality. But, when we think about God, what do we see? Can we see God in everything good? How big is our God, our wonderful God? The Father of our Savior, the Lord Jesus. 

Think about it for a minute or two. Maybe even for an hour. Who can speak, and the immaterial becomes material, real becomes visible and tangible? Who can pick up a handful of dirt and make a living breathing person? Only our God. Who can hang a star in place or cause the earth to rotate around the sun without burning us up? Only our God.

When He formed Adam, He leaned over him and gave him the breaths of life. Both earthly and eternal breaths were given to him because the soul never dies. It lives forever, somewhere. Actually, the soul has two choices and only two. Heaven because of our relationship with the Son of God or hell because there is no relationship with Jesus. 

The Almighty, in His wisdom, looks after the details of each person. For the righteous, his steps are God directed. Yet God allows man a choice to be obedient to Him or to disobey Him. Our decision is the basis for our eternal rewards or the lack of them.

God knows how to get the attention of each individual. Once He does, He allows us to follow His lead or to ignore His leading. It’s our choice. 

Adam chose to eat the forbidden fruit. Noah built an ark on dry land. Lot’s wife decided to look back and ignore the warning. Elijah trusted God over Baal. Nehemiah was willing to be sad in front of the King to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. David trusted God with a slingshot. The list goes on and on. But each one of the previous examples was all about decision making. The size of their faith was about the size of their God. For some, their personal God was bigger than the circumstances around them. 

What does that say about us thousands of years later? What can we trust God for, or can we trust Him at all? God has a track record of being true and fulfilling His promises. No, we may not get our way at times, but did He promise us that? The Lord said He would never leave us. Jesus didn’t promise to make us millionaires or to give us perfect health. He simply said He would always be with us.

Can we see His strength by the way He hangs the stars? How about the rainbow? He will never flood the whole earth again. What about the still small quiet voice that speaks to our heart. Or that conviction of sin. To me, God is real. Personal. Understandable. He loves me each and every day because He cares. Everything else is a want. One thing I know is I need a deep personal relationship with Him. Because as big as He is, He is still interested in me.

Persistence

Life seems unfair at times. You do the right thing, and it still doesn’t go your way. It happens to all of us, too many times for many of us. 

What do you do? Get mad, give up, or reach down with determination and say to yourself, “I won’t quit.” Do you give up? There must be a way to accomplish this by the grace of God.

Then it’s you and God, no one else. It seems very lonely sometimes when you put yourself out there. No encouragement, maybe. Possibly you have quit sharing your dream, desire, or determination with friends and family. You may have even stopped praying about it for a while. But, the desire reappears in your heart. You can’t let go; you keep your hand on the plow (Luke 9:62). You keep plugging away. It seems like each thing you try is a dead end. Somehow, you keep going, eliminating one more wrong solution. It may seem like there are no more thoughts on how to accomplish your dream. Slowly, another one comes to mind. You say in your heart, “do I try this one?” You do it again. It is not the solution. Then you try again and again.

It seems out of the blue the answer comes. It may be your idea or from someone in your past. Maybe a new person in your life. Whatever or whoever the thought comes from may be the God-sent solution. The problem solver. It’s all of God. The answer, but especially the timing. All your efforts were not fruitless. God wanted to see your gut, heart, and pure reliance upon him.

See, God knows what is best and when is best. We do not. That’s hard for us to accept sometimes. Extremely hard, but faithfulness and trust in the Almighty are never wrong. He is always looking out for us, even when we do not know it or understand His ways.

It is in these circumstances that bring our focus on Him and not on our efforts. We don’t understand this principle, but God wants the glory. He wants you and me to do the best we can. I know our puny efforts seem insignificant. But He sees our sincerity and love for Him in our actions. That’s important to Him. 

So, don’t give up even if your desires did not come to be. Your request was not for you, and that is best for you. 

We may think, finally, when He comes through and answers our prayer. We need to thank Him, not once but multiple times, even years later. God is good, loving us regardless of life’s dealings with us. 


Through persistence, God answers your prayer, like the widow before the unjust judge in Luke 18:18. God is revealing to you He is in control even when our human eyes can’t see it. 

God does reign Supreme even when we do not know it or see Him working.

Obedience

All of us can remember when we were obedient when we didn’t want to. Our parents made us comply. We did it, not because we wanted to, but because they demanded it. Either out of respect or fear, we responded outwardly the way they wanted. But inside, there was a rebellion in our hearts. 

Christians are like that, sometimes, our behavior has those same childlike emotions. We comply, but not without hurt feelings. Other times, we express our dissatisfied opinions. Church splits happen over instances like this. Feelings never to be reconciled. 

Godly obedience isn’t always easy, but it is still right. The Lord has given us specific instructions in the Bible. A heart, in fellowship with God, will do as He directs. We may not understand why at the time. But “we know that all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Even though we might not know why we trust God’s instructions, that’s faith in action. Do what He wants when we don’t know His why. 

Christ was doing His Father’s will on the cross. It was there the Lord was paying the ultimate price for our sins. The Messiah was doing what was necessary, so we could have our sins forgiven. In obedience, Jesus sacrificed Himself for us. When He was doing so, Jesus felt deserted. Our Lord even cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34 NKJV). Obedience isn’t always explainable, but you know in your heart, it is right. 

Doing what is honest before God is always best, understanding isn’t necessary, but compliance is. Faith is hard sometimes, but it’s still for the best both now and all eternity.

When we don’t understand God’s whys, we need to realize the understanding will come sometime. But the act of obedience is desired behavior. Sooner or later, we will be glad we agreed with God. It’s always best to honor God in all things!  Did Moses understand why he was to hold his hands up at the Red Sea? He did it, and God parted the sea. Abraham didn’t understand the offering of Isaac, but he did it. What Abraham found out is that God always supplies grace. If we can be obedient to God and follow His divine instructions, we will experience God’s provision.

He never fails. He will never ask His children to do something He is not there to support. That’s how our God works. He is always faithful. Always.


All About Fear

Mask wearing is the new norm. It has been declared necessary, even mandatory in some areas. This phenomenon may be for health reasons, but mask-wearing isn’t new. Criminals have used them to hide their identity and their wrongdoings.

Healthy people may wear the visual one for protection, but others wear the invisible one. It’s the mask of hidden character. They are afraid to reveal their real intentions even in everyday life. Very few people know the real person behind the mask. Friends don’t know; even mates do not know. But there is this looming personality hiding behind the mask.

Sometimes they are afraid to reveal the real thoughts and desires of their inner being. Christians make up part of this segment in our society. They want to be outgoing, magnetic personalities for Christ. But they feel safe in the shadows. The spotlight on their lives would show their flaws. Their humanity. The real ordinary person. To open their mouths and engage in a genuine conversation about the Lord would show their lack of spiritual knowledge. That’s what they may think deep down inside, not realizing the other person may feel the same way.

Opening up for the Lord can be scary. Frightening even. But once you put yourself out there, it’s inspiring what you will say. You may also place your spiritual foot in your mouth. The other person in the conversation can’t see it because they know less than you do about the Bible. You haven’t realized that fact because of the fear you imagine. Yes, the concern is real, but only to you. Did you hear yourself? They know less than you. Have you ever thought that thought? It’s true. They just didn’t have the nerve to ask the question. Why? Because, they are afraid, too.

You have heard the expression, “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” Nothing is accomplished unless you put your fear aside. A helpless person would perish in a burning building if no one rushed in to help them. People would drown unless somebody jumps into the water to save them. The one who rushes into the burning building or jumps into the water has forgotten their fear. 

What kind of fear do you have? Can you get your eyes off of you and look to see where you can be brave? You really can’t plan bravery. It just happens to the ones who are willing to overcome their fears. 

Proverbs 29:25 may have the best description. “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (NKJV). 

The Lord will take care of you, even if you are afraid.

Love – A Different Prospective

I was reading today. The content was about love, God’s love. Then, this thought ran through my mind. God was and will always be about love. God’s love is plain and simple. The Father loves His Son, Jesus. The Father loves the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The Father is all about love. Genuine love. Spiritual love. Real love. The kind of love that is beyond man’s ability to understand. 

I can only understand human love, most of the time. Not all the time. I love my wife, children, and grandchildren, but that love is human, not divine. My love has limits. God’s love is deeper and broader—past man’s ability to grasp. 

God’s love is about giving. Sharing. Even when it is not recognized or appreciated. His sincerity is real and available for all humanity to accept. If only we would. What keeps us from doing so? I suppose there are many reasons. It seems like ignorance is the main reason. That is a harsh word, but valid.

Many people do not realize that God love them. He loves them on a personal basis for who they are and who they can become. God, the Father, sees potential. He sees what could be if only they would look to Him. 

Here’s the problem. So many people do not know Him as Father. They are His children, but they do not recognize Him as an affectionate, loving Father. His own family here on earth does not always appreciate His affection. The foundation of this dilemma may have its roots in our upbringing.

Our own family may not have been genuinely loving, at least not outwardly. Maybe because of these roots, we do not know how to verbalize or show our feelings. The sad thing is our example is contagious. Maybe learned would be a better way of saying it. Most of us learn by example. It does not make any difference in the model, whether it is good or bad. It is still the example we implement. It’s not until later, we may learn better ways.

The same principle works with God because He loves us. He wants what is best for us. Sometimes, the Lord will use undesired measures to correct us, but He still loves us. 

Learning love can also be significantly enhanced by reading examples of God’s love in the Bible. Whenever God’s people are rewarded here on this earth, you see the love in action. When you see disobedience and His disciplining hand, it is still love in action. If you are a parent, you punish your children for bad behavior, especially when they disobey your instructions. Their attitude against your established principles is a form of rebellion. As a parent, you still love your child even when you discipline them.

He loved us before Adam’s creation; even thousands of years before you came into being. God loved you. God has always loved you as He loves you today.

Do YOU love Him today? Do YOUR actions say so? 

Your Closet

It is amazing what the word closet means. It has different meanings to many people in their unique walks of life. To some, it is a small room where their extra clothes hang. To others, it is a larger room where everything they wear is either hanging or tucked away in one of the many drawers or compartments.


But there is another variation. For the committed Christian, it is the place where:

  • no one else goes,
  • the believer and God meet,
  • you commune with God,
  • you fellowship with the Father of Jesus,
  • the Holy Spirit takes your words to the Heavenly Father (Romans 8:26,27)
  • and your Savior, the Lord Jesus, also intercedes for you (Romans 8:34). 

This special place is private, no one else around—a safe place where you can reveal your heart. Words you would not let anyone else hear. The deepest thoughts of your inner being, the real you. The convictions in your soul that only God knows. Your honesty can finally come out.

The sad thing is, you cannot stay there. You do not have the capacity in your soul to be in such a holy environment very long. No man, not even Moses, could stay and commune with God very long. But afterwards, unbeknownst to you, like Moses, you radiate from being in the presence of God. 

Then, there are times words will escape you. It is your heart, and God’s heart knit together for a time in purity. A room where you can enter the presence of the Lord. You can sense His presence. Hug Him. It is a holy place for you. You know God is there. Words evade your ability to describe the awesomeness of His holiness. It is so divine.

Sometimes you do not want to speak but worship in silence. Finally, your mouth opens in praise of the Almighty. The awe of your soul is revealed to Him alone. No one else is there. The presence of God fills your meeting room.

God has created in you a desire for His presence. That desire keeps bringing you back to that closet—the special place for you and God to meet.

Zeal

Sometimes zeal is appreciated, and other times, it offends. The motive may be right, but the procedure isn’t, nor is the timing. No one knows everything, and everything we attempt for the first time is an experiment. Sometimes we are successful, and sometimes our zeal seems to fail. When trying to help, we wander into a minefield. It looks like our help explodes in our face, even if our intentions are genuine.

Failure is a great lesson if we learn from it. But what did you learn from it? Hopefully, not to repeat it, but don’t quit trying to make this world a better place or to help someone. If you are a helper and it is not appreciated, do not let it discourage you or make you bitter. It is always good to be kind even if some people take advantage of you. Keep on being helpful to even some not so nice people.

Some lessons are hard to learn. One of the toughest ones to understand is that you cannot help everyone. Some people do not want your help. Then, there are times that we do not have the resources or know-how to give support in that particular area. An important take away is don’t feel guilty about it.

Lessons learned in our zeal can be beneficial to us and the ones we are trying to help. Maturity and knowledge are a never-ending, lifelong process. We all need assistance in our journey of life at times. None of us have arrived at the place where we know it all or have the resources to help everyone. Even if we have the resources, it may not be the best thing to give that help. Some of the best lessons in life are learned and experienced without the support of others. The experience gained in the process is beyond any monetary benefit.

The zeal to get us going is a God-given gift, and the journey is what makes life so valuable. Along the way, we can meet some marvelous people and learn some useful lessons. Lessons we can cherish and teach others.

What we pass on to those who follow behind us is part of the rewards of being grateful. These benefits are a by-product of your sincere zeal. A zeal to learn is a reason to help others directly or indirectly. Zeal’s energy can become a passion for benefiting generations to come. One of the highest privileges we have is helping those who will walk where we have walked and to follow where we are going.

A One On One Conversation

One conversation can have eternal results. Jesus was alone in the safety of darkness, and Nicodemus approached him. Nicodemus was an educated man, part of the elite group of the Pharisees. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, Israel’s ruling body.

Several things stand out about the Lord. Nicodemus knew He was a teacher of the Word of God. He recognized Him from the Temple where He was teaching. The Lord also made a lasting impression by cleansing the Temple of the money changers (John 2:13-22). Nicodemus even knew where to find Him.

Nicodemus initiated the conversation by acknowledging the Lord’s authority. No one can do the things Jesus did unless God empowered him, Nicodemus thought. The Lord told Nicodemus that no one would see the Kingdom of God without being born again. This statement aroused the curiosity of Nicodemus.

The Messiah referred to Moses, lifting the brazen serpent in the wilderness. Those who looked upon it would receive divine healing from the poisonous snakes (Numbers 21:9). This was an illustration of the unredeemed looking to Jesus for redemption who would soon suffer on the cross of Calvary.

So, what does it take for someone to know God? 

Jesus spoke the most famous verse in the Bible to this religious elite at night. It was Nicodemus and Jesus talking. No one else around. Just the two of them. 

It was then Jesus spoke John 3:16 to Nicodemus. Did you catch that? Only Nicodemus heard these words in a one on one conversation with the Lord. The verse that we teach our children was said to an adult first. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (KJV). This verse must have echoed through Nicodemus’ mind.

But verse sixteen came with a warning. Two verses later, it said if one does not believe Jesus is the Savior, he is already under condemnation. Why? Because he didn’t believe in Jesus as the way to heaven. It was good for this religious person to hear these words. This Pharisee took the discussion seriously.

Fast forward to the Lord’s crucifixion. Nicodemus helped prepare the Lord’s crucified body for the nearby tomb (John 19:39,40). This born-again, nightly visitor of the Lord honored His Savior by bringing the spices for His burial.

An individual will not know this side of heaven what a conversation regarding the Lord will bring. It can bring eternal dividends.

All we need to do is honor the Lord with our mouth as the Lord gives us opportunities. Can we do that?

Focus

For some reason, I thought about a magnifying glass this week. Years ago, we had one. We took it outside in the bright summer sunlight with a piece of newspaper and held the magnifying glass at a certain distance from the paper. That concentrated the magnified light to make a little, bright yellow circle on the newsprint. The sunlight had to condense through the magnifying glass to just the right spot. The process burned a hole in the paper. That was fascinating to a nine-year-old. 

To get anything done in a timely fashion, one must focus on the objective. The focusing, regardless of the time necessary, is to complete the task. The journey to completion may be short or long. Whatever its length, the focus is required to see the desired result. 

So, what is your focus? What is your project? Is the end in sight, or is it only the next step nearing completion? 

For me, it’s just the next step. The path has been long. The hours consumed are beyond counting. Times of discouragement have come and gone. Setbacks and bumps in the road have been there, but focus keeps me going. 

The project is not mine; it’s God’s. It belongs to Him. If it were not His, I probably would have given up by now. Obedience is my reason for not quitting. I do not want to stand before God and say I didn’t finish what He told me to do. That is the reason I’ve stayed focused. By His grace, I will see the end result for His credit. 

When Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ,” I had no idea it would apply to me two-thousand years later. This verse is that magnifying glass to me. It means having the right focus on bringing about the desired result, regardless of the potholes and the roadblocks. All they mean to me is that there is another route. The new untraveled road is somewhere before me. I need to focus on finding it. Then He will have completed the project—all in His timing.

Before You Get Up

How does God speak to you? What does He do to get your attention? Sometimes it’s the voice of others. Friends, strangers, children. Usually, it’s not the whole conversation but a phrase or a sentence. Somehow it speaks loud and clear to you. That has happened many times in my life.

Things have changed. There is a new way for me now—it’s interrupted sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night. One of the things I notice is the first thought that comes into my head. It’s one that happens before I get up. Whatever it is, I have slowly recognized it is from God. It could be something new to do the following day. Today, however, it is to straighten out a mistake I was going to make. In this case, a little one, but an important one for me. 

The confusion became clear before my feet hit the floor this morning. Now to unravel the mess that I had set in place. 

I’m fortunate there is not too much unraveling to do, but it could have been bigger. I’m glad for those divine thoughts. God, in His kindness, gives me something else to do or say today before the covers move on my bed, and He gets me up to spend time with Him. He always knows how to get my life pointed in the right direction, His direction. 

Some people may claim it’s just coincidence. I would accept their opinion if it happened only occasionally. But this is not a chance happening. It takes place on a regular basis. Always with the right timing. See, I believe God is in the small things in life as well as the big ones. 

He is fulfilling His word. He said He would never leave us nor forsake us. That includes everything in our everyday lives. Isn’t God good? 

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