Wednesday, March 31, 2010


“Then he stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.” (Acts 28:30-31)

Interesting arrangement. Paul was a “guest of the state” in Rome (a prisoner), but he rented his own house there. He paid rent for 2-years. Essentially this was house arrest. Anyone who wanted to could come and go, but he had to stay put. That seems to have been his only real limitation.

With regard to kingdom work, Paul freely proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ “with full boldness and without hindrance,” says Luke. There were no attempts to muzzle him. Paul says in one of his letters that the entire “Praetorian guard,” that is, the troops assigned directly to Caesar heard the gospel during his stay. Undoubtedly, many came to faith in Jesus during those two years.

Since Luke says that Paul “stayed” two full years there, the past tense of the verb suggests at least the possibility that Paul was released after that and continued his itinerant mission work. Other allusions in the New Testament in the Pastoral Epistles seem to clearly indicate that Paul in fact had a 4th missionary journey, before being re-arrested and taken to Rome where he was then, according to tradition, beheaded.

The point of these verses Luke wrote is that the gospel of Jesus Christ will find a way to be proclaimed. The Holy Spirit intends for the gospel to be preached, and when we follow His lead He will show us the open doors. We must then have the courage to go through the door and share the gospel freely.
In your personal situation, you may feel that there are encumbrances around you that prevent you from sharing the Jesus story with others. Those hindrances may well be there, but what we need to remember is that they are not there for the Holy Spirit. So what we need to do is to ask Him to show us ways within our context for how we can share the gospel with others. We then trust Him to show us the way.

Lord, Show us today some ways we can share the gospel. Amen.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Too Old for Change?

“God said, ‘I am God, the God of your father: Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you back. Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.’” (Genesis 46:3-4)

Joseph finally revealed himself to his brothers. Terror streaked up their spines when he did. Throats got dry. Nobody could talk. Eventually, Joseph was able to convince them that he wasn’t going to annihilate them, and arrangements were made to bring their father, Jacob, and all the family and possessions to Egypt.

When Jacob got the word that Joseph was alive came through a time of being stunned, the reality revived his spirit, and he was excited for the first time in a long time. He wanted to go see his son before he died.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, however, Jacob knew that where he was in Canaan was the land God had promised to him and his descendants. He had to have wondered where Egypt fit into all this. He may have had some misgivings about going to Egypt, but still he boarded one of the wagons Pharoah had sent for him and his family.

The entourage spent the night at Beersheba, and Jacob gave a sacrifice to the Lord. That very night the Lord spoke to him in a vision and gave Jacob reassurance that he was doing the right thing, and that He would bring Jacob back to Canaan in the future.

By this time Jacob was very elderly, so this move represented another sudden change in direction and lifestyle for him and his entire family. He may have thought that he had made his last move in life when he returned to Canaan. But when someone is committed to the will of God and is willing to follow the Lord whenever, wherever, the need to be prepared to change is always there. Part of the challenge of discipleship is being prepared to change.

What sort of “changes” might God be asking you to make for the sake of His kingdom?

Lord, May we never become so inflexible as to be unusable in the work of Your kingdom. Amen.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


“My heart and flesh cry out for the living God. … Lord of Hosts, happy is the person who trusts in You!” (Psalm 84:2b, 12)

Trust is a decision founded on positive relationships, and positive relationships develop through experience over time. The psalmist said he longed and yearned for the courts of the Lord, and he remarked how even a sparrow finds a place to build her nest in the house of God. The sparrow knows something: the house of the Lord is a place of peace and safety where praise rises. Someone who resides or abides in the house of the Lord is someone who is happy, says the psalmist. He speaking of the temple, but what if your house actually became the Lord’s house? If you decided to give your house to the Lord and then resided there with Him, would that be a blessing for you and your family? That would be only a decision away.

Those who trust the Lord find their strength in Him. They avoid the temptation to build only on self-reliance and discover instead that trusting God actually strengthens them, even though it may appear to be weakness to those who don’t know Him. Our world says, “Pull yourself up in your own strength,” but believers say, “Only the strength of the Lord is true strength, and that’s where I put my trust.”

Trusting in God is a truly satisfying experience and place to be.

Lord, May we walk through this day and every day trusting You and knowing the peace and fulfillment that comes from that. Amen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time to Think

“So 10 of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.” (Genesis 42:3)

Famine devastated Canaan as much as it did all the other regions around it. Year by year it intensified. Jacob heard there was food in Egypt, so he gathered his sons and told them to go to Egypt to buy food. He sent 10 of them, all but Benjamin, for fear something might happen to him, since he was the youngest and only remaining son of his wife Rachel.

The journey to Egypt was about 150 miles. Each brother likely led two donkeys each to help transport grain back to Canaan. So likely they made 15 miles a day. This means it took them about 10 days to get there.

Ten days of walking all day long gave them a lot of time to think. Can you imagine what some of their thoughts were about? We aren’t told specifically, but what would you think about? They were going to Egypt. Years earlier they sold their brother Joseph to Ishmaelite traders who intended to sell him in Egypt as a slave. Joseph was basically “dead” to them, for all they knew, but they had to have known that he could still be alive as a slave in Egypt. Surely they wondered. For at least some of them there may have been some remorse for what they did.

These 10 men had no idea what was coming.

The dream they had hated was about to come true. A young, brash Joseph had told them of his dream that his sheaf of grain stood upright, and all their sheaves bowed down to his. When they stood before Joseph, they did not know it was Joseph, and they all bowed down to him. They never saw it coming.

This reality points us to an important truth. These brothers did not know that God was at work redemptively and sovereignly in all this. We may at times see how God is working, but we don’t always. The fact is that God is at work in the background accomplishing His purposes whether we see it or not, whether we know it or not. Our inability to see it or know it does not nullify that truth. Thus, we can be confident that God is at work achieving His purposes, and thus we can trust Him.

Lord, We thank You that You are working to achieve Your purposes, whether we see it or not. Help us to walk before You in trust. Amen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


“Jesus told her, ‘Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. … God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” (John 4:21, 24)

The woman at the well wanted to argue with Jesus about worship. She was a Samaritan, who believed God was to be worshiped on the mountain of Samaria. She recognized that the Jews believed God was to be worshiped on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Jesus avoided the argument and went straight to the truth: the place of worship is not as relevant as the fact that worship takes place. The manner of worship – in spirit and truth – trumps the matter of where God is worshiped. That means worship can take place anywhere, anytime.

Worshiping the God who created us is the single most fulfilling experience any human being can have. It is an event that makes us feel complete. When real worship takes place, when we genuinely connect with the God who loves us and created us, something wonderful happens within us that defies description. We can only describe it as feeling full. Worship is the most fundamental human experience of all.

Sometimes folks come to a “worship service” and just go through the motions, hoping something significant will happen. Just going through the motions of worship, however, is nowhere near what we need. We need to enter fully into worship. So, how do we do that?

We prepare through the week, of course, just as the Israelites prepared to worship God at Mount Sinai. As we come to worship, though, we begin by first giving our hearts and our minds totally to God. This is an act of worship. Then, we humble ourselves before God and submit our hearts to Him and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into this “spirit” of worship. This is a spiritual event, accomplished by the Holy Spirit. We then keep our hearts and minds focused on listening for what God wants to say to us.

Lord, Help us today and each day to experience this kind of genuine worship, for that is the greatest need of our hearts. May You be glorified in that. Amen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ministry Mantra

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

The Scripture quote above from John the Baptist could almost serve as a kind of “ministry mantra,” a slogan. John was very much in touch with his ministry. He had no identity issues and no authority issues. He was a prophet sent from God to carry out a mission to herald the arrival of the Messiah. His message was a simple, powerful call to repentance in preparation for the Messiah, and a demonstration of that repentance and commitment by baptism.

By its very nature, John’s ministry was temporary. When Jesus arrived, the decline of John’s ministry would be natural. John knew this and eloquently expressed it: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

In a sense, this is the way it is for all ministry of any kind. The task of all Christian ministry is to point people to Jesus. The only justification for making much of our ministries, as Paul put it, is so that we can point people to Jesus and thus glorify Him. Jesus taught His disciples that if He were to be lifted up, He would draw people to Himself.

Ministry must focus on exalting Christ. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, and both within and through us, that is what the Spirit wants to achieve. Thus we must decrease so that He may increase.

Lord, Help us today to make much of the ministries You have given us, to the end that we will exalt and glorify You. Amen.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Situational Despair

“Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah and the captain of the guard.” (Genesis 37:36) “The following night, the Lord stood by him [Paul] and said, ‘Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.’” (Acts 23:11)

Joseph’s brothers beat him bloody and threw him into a waterless pit in the wilderness of Dothan. Then they sold him into slavery to Midianite traders headed for Egypt. Things got much worse before he exited that dark tunnel.

Paul went to Jerusalem with the best of intentions, only to be mobbed and beaten and then arrested and imprisoned. His freedom was mostly gone, along with the fellowship with other believers in the Jerusalem church. The Lord appeared to Paul. Jesus only does something like that when there is an urgent need. He spoke to Paul of courage, probably because Paul was not feeling much of it at the time. Then He spoke to Paul of what was to come eventually – witness in Rome. In the meantime, Paul had some writing to do.

Joseph and Paul had a kind of “situational despair” in common in these life events recorded in the Bible. This is not the kind of despair that makes people feel like there is no more hope. A situational despair is a sustained “down” feeling produced by a circumstance that seems to be totally incongruous with what we thought was God’s will and direction for us. Joseph had to have felt it. Clearly Paul did. These sorts of situations raise the question “why” or “why me” or “why this,” and they lead to a feeling of “I don’t understand why God is allowing this to happen to me.” This comes because we cannot see our way through the situation to where everything is clear. To put it another way, we are too close to the situation to be able to see beyond it.

If you find yourself facing a situational despair, you need to respond in several ways. First, understand that, even though it may not seem like it, it is temporary. Second, determine that you will endure the situation and trust God for His direction and fulfillment of His purposes. Third, put your trust into action and just keep moving ahead, watching for God to bring His purposes to fruition.

Lord, May we apply patience and trust to those situational despair times, understanding that You will achieve Your purposes in Your timing. Amen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29)

What did John mean when He pointed to Jesus as “the Lamb of God?”

In the Exodus, the blood of a lamb was put on the doorposts and lintels of Hebrew homes in Egypt so that the angel of death would “pass over” their houses when God pronounced His 10th judgment on Egypt and its gods. That judgment was the lives of all firstborn sons in the land. A lamb was always sacrificed and eaten for the Passover meal to commemorate this passing over. God’s judgment passed over the homes marked by the blood of a lamb.

As the “Lamb of God,” Jesus became our Passover Lamb, whose blood covers over our sins, thus taking away our sins. He becomes the One who then takes away the sins of all who follow Him in faith as the people of God.

The blood of Jesus now covers the sins of all of us who have come to faith in Him and walk with Him, so that before God we are now fully innocent. No charges can be laid at our doorsteps. God has graced us with life. Hallelujah!

Lord, We thank You for giving us this new life in Christ. We thank You for the price You paid so we could have this opportunity. May we pass this good news on to others. Amen.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


“There was a man named John who was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through Him” (John 1:6-7)

Moses was a witness to the power, majesty, and grace of God, and he recorded that for us in the Torah. The prophets were all witnesses to the word and workings of God and recorded that for us. John the Baptist came, sent from God, to serve as a witness to testify about the light of God in Christ. When ordered not to continue teaching and preaching in the name of Jesus, Peter said, “We cannot help but preach what we have seen and heard.” Paul, when arrested in the temple spoke to the crowd and gave his testimony of how he met Jesus on the Damascus Road and how the Lord changed his life. John, writing one of his brief letters, gave his testimony of what he had seen, had touched, and had heard concerning the word of life that was revealed in Jesus. The only reason that someone can write these words today is because someone has been faithful through the centuries to share a testimony with others about what they have experienced in coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

If the gospel is going to continue into the future until Christ returns, it will be because people of faith commitment bear witness to their experience with Him and share with the world how He has changed their lives.

People may argue with the Scriptures and may challenge your testimony, but they can never neutralize your experience with the Lord. Your testimony is the one thing you can share with others that may make a difference in whether they make a faith decision to commit their lives to Jesus. So, share it.

Lord, We thank You for those who shared their testimonies with us. Help us to pass it on and share our testimony with others. Amen.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mind War

“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)

The appearance of the resurrected Jesus in the upper room became cause for celebration. Eventually. That first appearance, however, was terrifying for the disciples. Luke says so. They thought they were seeing a ghost!

Jesus challenged and encouraged them to look at His hands and feet and touch Him to see that He was real. Their terror subsided but not their doubts, not those question marks in their minds, so He asked for and ate a piece of fish. That may have helped, too, but it was only when He “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,” that is, what was written about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms that they began to accept the full reality of His resurrection.

Understanding the Scripture is a spiritual event, accomplished by the Holy Spirit. He unlocks and opens our minds to understand Scripture truth, and that is what then changes us and impacts our life-direction and, thus, how we then live. Therefore, one of our daily prayers before the Lord should be that he open our minds as we spend time in His word, so that we may move through and beyond any fears, doubts, or hesitations that would keep us from the fulfillment of the potential He has placed in us.

Indeed, Lord, please open our minds to Your word today, so that we may move spiritually beyond any hindrances that would keep us from the fulfillment of Your will. Amen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


“After we sighted Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we sailed on to Syria and arrived at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there.” (Acts 21:3)

Luke detailed their sea journey toward Jerusalem: Cos, Rhodes, Patara, then, a ship change to one heading toward Israel’s coast. They sighted Cyprus, got their bearing, and moved on toward Tyre.

It all sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Luke treats it like a trained navigator, checking off each place on a checklist. No comments added. Maybe none were needed, but thoughts had to have raced through Paul’s mind. Very likely some emotions welled up within his heart. Memories.

Cyprus. Barnabas was from there. This had been the first stop on their first missionary journey. Sergius Paulus. Elymas the magician. John Mark. Cyprus was the destination of Barnabas and John Mark after they stormed off, following Barnabas’ argument with Paul. For Paul, Cyprus was the last known location of Barnabas.

It likely took them most of a day if not longer to pass by Cyprus. Lots of time to think.

Sometimes we need to pass by our previous experiences. Slowly. It can help with the ones to come.

Lord, Help us to take the time to reflect over those experiences of life today You want us to learn from. Amen.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Passing By

“And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.” (Acts 23:32)

Sparkling sunshine and fresh salt spray, along with Mediterranean blue and a pristine coastline were invigorating to Paul, Luke, Timothy, and others in their party. They were port-hopping southward along the coast of Asia Minor (Turkey today), closing out the third missionary journey. They sailed past Ephesus, and yet something in Paul pulled at his heart like a magnet, creating a longing to go there. He could not, though, because a stronger voice was calling from Jerusalem. That is where he needed to be, and he hoped to be there by the Day of Pentecost. Even so, 3-years of ministry invested in Ephesus was drifting behind them. He had a farewell in him that needed to be expressed. So, he had the ship pull into the next seaport, Miletus. He sent messengers to Ephesus and called for the leaders of the church there to meet him in Miletus. They did. He gave them his farewell and encouragement, and that is when he spoke the words above.

This “commitment” was a goodbye. He felt he would never see them again in this life, and that they would not see him again. So when he said, “I commit you to God,” he meant that he was releasing them into the care of God. They had been trained. They knew what to do. Now it was time for them to fly.

Paul also committed them to the message of God’s grace: the gospel of Jesus Christ. He reminded them that this message impacted them in at least two ways: 1) it built them up, and 2) it gave them an inheritance. The gospel builds a relationship with God. It represents a relationship of a parent to a child. As children of God in faith, we thus have an inheritance, because we are among those set apart to God.

God has committed to us today the message of His grace, and He has now give us also an inheritance in His kingdom. What He has committed to us calls for us to be faithful.

Lord, May our walk with You in Your kingdom be fully faithful. Amen.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Will

“But he handed Jesus over to their will.” (Luke 23:25b)

That was Pilate’s ultimate decision – and responsibility – to turn Jesus over to the will of the crowd and their leaders. He decided earlier to release Jesus, because he saw no grounds for the death penalty. Neither did Herod. But the crowd, the chief priests, and their leaders were relentless. So Pilate gave in and released Jesus to their will.

Actually, when you think about it, wasn’t it also Jesus who released Himself to their will? After all, He could have called on 12 legions (72,000) angels at any time to come to His rescue. So, what happened was also according to His decision.

When we take a step back, what we see is the Lord placing Himself in a position of being subject to people’s will. We are watching a question take place in this event: “What will you do with this opportunity?”

That same question has remained through the centuries. It is a question that comes to all of us: What will YOU do with Jesus? The choice is to receive or reject. The choice is to acknowledge Him as King, or disavow Him as an imposter. The choice is to believe, or not to.

So, what have you done with your opportunity? And how is that now reflected in how you live?

Lord, Thank You for the opportunity. May our lives reflect a commitment to You as Lord and Savior. Amen.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fearful Places

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. He was afraid…” (Genesis 28:16-17a)

A certain fear arises in us when we encounter places we consider holy. Moses before the bush that burned without being consumed recognized the presence of the Almighty, took off his shoes, and bowed to the ground in fear. John, in the Revelation, recognized that he was in a place where the Almighty was present, and bowed down in worship. Isaiah was in a place in the temple where he saw the Lord “high and lifted up,” and said, “Woe is me!” as he bowed down in fearful worship. Jacob, after he awoke from his dream, realized that the Lord was in the place where he slept among the rocks, and that he did not know it. That made his afraid, and led to his initial commitment to the Lord in faith.

There is something about being in a place we consider holy that alerts us, that gets our attention, that brings our minds into focus. This happens because we recognize that the Lord is there, and that realization generates a fearfulness before His awesomeness that almost automatically causes us to worship Him. This is a holy fear that moves us.

We all probably have places that we associate with the presence of God. This is good, of course, and it encourages us as we enjoy His awesome presence.

There is a related truth we need to consider, though. The Holy Spirit of God now dwells in all the hearts of all believers everywhere. God gifts us with His Spirit. This makes our hearts a holy place. It is the place of God’s presence, and His presence should be a cause for constant worship. Maybe this is related to what Paul meant when he said, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Lord, We thank You that the presence of Your Spirit now makes our hearts a holy place. Help us to constantly be in a state of worship and prayer, and help us enjoy the thrill that comes from Your awesome presence. Amen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Unresolved Anger

“He lived in opposition to all his brothers.” (Genesis 25:18b)

Most of Ishmael’s days were laced with anger. From a human viewpoint, he probably had every right to be anger. His father was Abraham. His mother was Hagar, an Egyptian, a slave to Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Sarah had no children, so she gave his mother to Abraham to sleep with so she could give Abraham a son. Hagar had no real personal choice. She had him, Ishmael. Then, when he was older, Sarah got Abraham to send his mother and him away because of Isaac, out into the desert with a little bread and a bag of water, where they came very close to dying of hunger and thirst, until God finally intervened. They survived.

In his old age, Abraham had more sons. After Sarah died he took another wife named Keturah, and she bore him 6 sons. He had some concubines, and they had sons of Abraham, too. Abraham gave them all gifts. And he gave his precious Isaac everything.

Such was the viewpoint of Ishmael. He had great anger, and he never resolved it. He lived in opposition to his 7 plus brothers. There was never forgiveness, just hostility and antagonism.

What a terrible way to live a life, with unresolved anger. And yet, there are many in our world today who live their lives just that way.

What might Ishmael have done to resolve his anger?

The first thing he could have done was to look at how blessed his life actually was. Clearly, Ishmael suffered, and yet in his 137 years of life God made his sons into major clans which went on to become nations, just as God had promised Abraham. God sustained his life.

The second thing he could have done was to trust his life to the sovereignty of the Lord, recognizing that he would know great blessings in life through a personal faith and walk with the living God.

The third thing he could have done was to forgive Abraham and Sarah for what he felt were injustices done to him and his mother. Had he understood that this was part of God’s plan for honoring Abraham’s prayer that God bless Ishmael, that might have made a difference. If he had only forgiven Abraham, his life would have been so much happier, but because he didn’t he basically lived his life in a self-made prison of unresolved anger.

If you face unresolved anger in your life, you have the same choices. First, look at the big picture of your life and see how God has blessed you. Second, trust the Lord and His sovereign plan for your life. Third, if you feel you have been unjustly treated, forgive the perpetrator. Lay your anger to rest through forgiveness. Then, experience the freedom of resolved anger.

Lord, Help us all to remove unresolved anger through perspective, faith, and forgiveness. Amen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Great Help

“After he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace.” (Acts 18:27b)

Apollos was his name, the Scripture was his game. He was a Jew from Alexandria, Egypt, a renowned home of scholars, and he was gifted with expertise in the Scriptures.

Apollos first appeared on the Christian scene at Ephesus, sometime after Paul’s brief stopover there near the end of the 2nd missionary journey. Apollos had been instructed at least to some degree in the way of the Lord, and he spoke fervently. Great mind. Great speaker.

Paul left Priscilla and Aquila in Ephesus, and they heard Apollos speak. They took him to lunch. They had served with Paul for at least 18 months at Corinth, so they gave Apollos a more accurate understanding of “the Way.” Whatever his reason, Apollos wanted to go to Corinth and serve there, so they gave him a letter of introduction. He went to work after his arrival, and he greatly helped those who had believed through grace. He thoroughly refuted the Jews publicly and clearly demonstrated through the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.

We hear little else in the Scripture about Apollos, other than Paul’s mention of him in 1 Corinthians. But we hear enough to know that God used this man to encourage the church at Corinth, because he was willing to learn and willing to serve, using his giftedness and skills for the glory of God.

Anyone who is willing to follow that same pattern can become a source of great help to the Lord’s church.

Lord, May we be willing to learn and serve and use our giftedness and skills for your glory and for the growth of Your church. Amen.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


“The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring’ – He will send His angel before you, and you can take a wife for my son from there.” (Genesis 24:7)

Abraham decided: he must get a wife for his son, Isaac. Sarah was dead. Abraham felt the need then to get this matter taken care of, so he called in his trust servant, Eliezer of Damascus, and instructed him to go to his and Sarah’s clan and find a wife for Isaac. Eliezer knew the right question to ask, “What if the woman is unwilling to come?” Abraham gave an enlightened response: “The Lord will send His angel before you.”

We don’t talk much or think much about angels, but the Bible teaches us they exist, that they are very real. Hollywood tends to popularize this and take great liberties with the idea of angels, distorting the biblical view of who they are. They are spirit beings created by God to carry out tasks and deliver messages from God. Angels work in the background, mostly invisibly, since they dwell primarily in the spirit world unless God makes them visible to us.

Abraham certainly believed in angels. He met three on one occasion, in fact. He knew that getting the right wife for his son, Isaac, was a critical matter in the plan of God, and that told him that God would lead in this. He was assured that God would send an angel ahead of Eliezer to prepare everything.

When there is a task or mission of great importance in the working of God’s kingdom, God sends His angel ahead of us to prepare the way. This is a matter of faith for us, and so we trust this into the hand of God. We walk by faith, not by sight.

Lord, In those tasks of this day that are important to what You want achieved, we ask You to send Your angel ahead of us to prepare the way. We trust the outcome to You. Amen.

Monday, March 1, 2010


“Now Sarah lived 127 years; [these were all] the years of her life. Sarah died in Kirath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.” (Genesis 23:1-2)

One morning Abraham got up from his sleep, but Sarah did not. As it became clear that there was nothing anyone could do, that Sarah had died, Abraham went in to her tent room to mourn over her and weep over her. Can you imagine the thoughts and images that raced through his mind?

A hundred twenty-seven years is a long, full life. Assuming Sarah married Abraham at the typical age of 15, that means 112 wedding anniversaries came and went. In our day and time, to celebrate a 60th wedding anniversary is a watershed moment, but 112? That’s a lot of years of living, laughing, and loving together.

The Lord sustained Abraham through his mourning. The Lord gave him the strength to mourn and weep, to lay Sarah’s body to rest in the cave at Machpelah, and then to keep living and walking with Him through the remainder of his life. Abraham’s faith in God created the possibility of his being strengthened for this.

The Lord will sustain us when we go through the loss of a wife or a husband, through this personal faith relationship we have with Him.

Lord, We thank You that Your strength is sufficient for the sorrows we walk through in the loss of one we love. Amen.