Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Prayer

 "Investigate my life, O God,





       Find out everything about me; 
  Cross-examine and test me,
Cecelia Lester 
        Get a clear picture of what I’m about.
   See for yourself if I have done anything wrong—
            Then guide me on the road to eternal life."      
Psalm 139:23-24 (MSG)

“Investigate my life, O God,”
            David, in essence, asks the Lord to put his life under a microscope.

            I recently had a circumstance enter my life that has caused me to take a look at myself. Once, I spent time putting my actions under a magnifying glass. At that time I needed to decide if my behavior allowed me to be worthy of a position in which I had found myself. Again, I find myself evaluating my motives, my physical actions, and my speech.

“find out everything about me;”
            The shepherd king tells God to look at every part of his life.
            In the previous time of introspection, I noticed everything I did and wondered how it looked to others. This time, I am concerned about how I look to God. Hence the different perspective, magnifying glass versus a microscope.

“Cross-examine and test me,”
            David allows the Lord to question him and everything about him and to judge him. He even allows the Lord to test him.
            Sometimes, I believe that God tests me. Other times, I conclude that the world temps me as a part of a test to see what I am made of.

“get a clear picture of what I’m about.”
            David desires God fully to see what motivates him and how he comes across. He expects God to show him the areas in which he fails to follow God’s leading.
            I want to have a sharp picture of who I am and what I believe. I also want those who know me to be able to know the real me, even those who might not care for me.

“See for yourself if I have done anything wrong—“
            David says these words because he wants to correct what God sees as wrong in him.
            I want to discipline myself in the areas that God finds amiss in my life.      

“then guide me on the road to eternal life.”
            David’s ultimate desire is that he spend eternity in heaven with the Lord.

            It is my hope, as it is with any devout Christian, to be judged worthy to enter heaven when my time here on earth is over.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Review: The Daniel Code, by O. S. Hawkins

The Daniel Code

                Reverend Hawkins sheds light into the first six chapters of the book of Daniel, giving new light to an old story.  In this work, he gave me new insight into the importance of passing family stories down to younger generations.
He also reignites the importance of trust when we find ourselves in tough situations. The four friends found themselves in an entirely foreign land with different religions, different customs, different literature, and different foods.

                Reverend Hawkins made the stories in the book of Daniel come alive to me. Trusting in God for all things has become easier because of how he highlights the response of Daniels three friends to Nebuchadnezzar as he tells them of their fate he thought awaited the trio.
                The author makes comparisons of the Babylonian indoctrination of Daniel and his three friends to the changes brought about in our American society since the early 1930’s, a sobering thought as I presently re-read this book as a part of my devotional reading.

                I recommend this book to those serious about growing in their faith.

                The Daniel Code is part of a series. Other titles are The James Code, The Jesus Code, and The Joshua Code. Reverend Hawkins donates all his royalties . . . from these books to the Mission: Dignity, a ministry dedicated to assist retired missionaries living near poverty level to live with dignity and security.”

                I received this book free from Thomas Nelson, a registered trademark of Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Inc. through its booklook review program. All they ask from me is an honest review.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Times of Refreshing Come from the Lord

Image result for biblical times of refreshing 

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that time of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19 (NIV)

            Peter and John had healed a beggar at the entrance to the temple. The people came running toward the duo and the healed beggar.
            He spoke to the crowd about their part in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He reminded them that they disowned Christ before Pilate, although he had decided to let Jesus go. He then told the crowd to: “”Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that time of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

            The priests, the captain of the temple guards, and the Sadducees spoke to Peter and John. This message disturbed the officials. The two men wound up in jail.

            Isn’t Peter’s message relevant to our world today? When we as Christians realize things are out of synch, not quite as they should be, in our lives, the first thing we need to do is to search within us to discover if the issue begins with our hearts.

            The next step we have to take is to seek God’s forgiveness. This involves confessing any sin we find in our hearts. The passage tells us to repent. To repent simply means to turn away from something evil, to never do it again.

            When we go through this process, we allow God to come into our hearts and refresh us. The pray, confess, and repent process has to be a daily practice. As time grows closer to that time chosen by God for Jesus to return to earth and set up His kingdom, let us all be more open to the need for repentance and refreshing from the Holy Spirit.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...