Sunday, June 29, 2014

A DONE DEAL

     My brother has shuffled his ranking of favourite cookies. For now, Debbie's ginger snaps have pushed Aunt Nora's "oatmealers" out of top spot. I enjoy baking. The routine blending of ingredients provides quiet moments when my mind is still. While making the last batch I saw a truth demonstrated in an obvious way.

     In anything we're doing, whether weaving fabric, building a home, or baking ginger snaps, we visualize the goal and we expect to accomplish it. I never butter the cookie sheets, preheat the oven and mix the dough, all the while thinking it's not likely that I will actually produce a batch of cookies. I expect their yummy fragrance to fill the kitchen. I'm sure the cookie tin will be full before long.

     If I'm confident of seeing the finished product, how much more is Father God positive that He is able to complete the work He's begun in each of us? Through the prophet, Jeremiah, He declares, "I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

     Until Isaac's birth when Abraham was 100, the patriarch chose to believe God's promise that he would be the father of many nations, but our heavenly Father knew the names of every one of the multitude of descendants yet to be born. Regardless of the obstacles the enemy uses to hinder us from fulfilling our destinies, God sees us becoming all He intended. He is so willing to finish what He visualizes for every individual. He sees His children in health, prospering, succeeding, enjoying relationships.

     We can be equally confident that the blessed life God designed for each of us will unfold step by step as we walk with Him. He supplies us with faith to know His goals will be accomplished. For every believer, by His grace and mercy, it's a done deal!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

THE ULTIMATE FATHER

     Years ago I planted my favourite iris in what I thought was an ideal spot for its growth and my enjoyment. NOT! It has almost met its end many times. After a storm, large branches that fell on the garage roof were tossed smack dab on top of it. The stones that should protect it seem to be the natural ones to kneel on when cleaning the pond. I forget the iris and squish it when I'm focused on getting goop out of the water. Somehow it survives and reappears each spring.

     Warm days have been slow coming. Corn is just now showing in the fields. Farmers nurture and protect the crop in every way possible. Jesus used the beauty of the short-lived grasses and lilies as examples of His Father's care for everything in nature. He wanted us to understand that Father God will surely provide all that we need.

     A butterfly landed by my feet as I was walking by the river earlier. The breeze was cool, but in that sheltered spot the sun was warm enough for the wee thing to be able to move about. In Psalm 145:16 David said, "You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." (NKJV)

     Jesus said, "Look at the birds... your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26 NKJV) We can't begin to understand how much Father God treasures each one of us. We know the Lord Jesus is His beloved. The Father's love for His Son is over the top of any we can imagine. Yet He gave His Son for us!

     We know the love a human father can have for his child. Jesus said, "How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 6:11 NKJV) He wanted to assure us that even though a natural parent's compassion may fall short, Father God's will never.

You'll enjoy Janet Sketchley's post He Can Do It Again concerning God's care for us.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

WE ARE SAFE

     Back in the day we had a single 45 rpm vinyl recording of "Safe Am I". As a child I loved the melody and Mildred Leightner Dillon's lyrics. In part, they were, "Safe am I in the hollow of His hand; sheltered o'er... with His love forever more. No ill can harm me, no foe alarm me, for He keeps both day and night."

      The photo for May in Haven Ministries' 2014 calendar showed water falling over a rock formation hollowed out at the base. Imagine resting on cool, smooth rock sheltered from the heat of the day and the torrent of water cascading over that falls.

     Conflicts, hardships, difficulties do flow over us. David experienced what seemed a non-stop deluge of them, but he knew his safe place. In Psalm 32:7 he said the Lord was his hiding place and that his God would keep him safe from trouble. In verse 6 of that chapter he said a flood of great waters would not come near him.

     Our enemy would delight to see us sink under whatever hassles he can stir up. When he tries to push us down with reminders of past failures, Romans 8:1 declares nothing can condemn those who are in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:13 refutes Satan's attacks on our confidence to overcome challenges in any area. The Lord Jesus took every sin and physical affliction on Himself at Calvary. The remedy for all spiritual and physical needs was supplied for each of us for ever.

     Whatever stands against God's child at this moment is temporary. Jesus' sinless life and what He accomplished through His death, burial and resurrection has provided a safe resting place for all who receive Him as Lord.

     When Mr. Whiskers finishes what, at the moment, is important to him, he knows how to kick back, completely at ease. God's people have infinitely greater reason to know we are tucked away, safe in Christ.