Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you.
An excellent swimmer, she was lost in a local lake just before sunset. She could easily see the shore and was enjoying her swim. Suddenly a fog rolled in from seemingly nowhere. The swim went from leisurely to frightening. She lost all sense of direction because all landmarks had disappeared in the fog. She swam first one way and then another, unable to find her bearings. Finally, after about twenty minutes, she heard voices. She swam toward the shore with only the sound of the voices to guide her.
Sometimes in life we feel all alone in the fog. We head in one direction, then another, and still can’t find the safety of the shore. We wonder how we will ever find the way. The Swiss pschiatrist Paul Tournier once said, “Where there is no longer any opportunity for doubt, there is no longer any opportunity for faith, either.” The “foggy times” of our life bring us doubt, but they can also give us a chance to exercise our faith. God loves us, and the Bible gives us many examples of His concern for us. God uses natural resources, such as voices on the shore, to show us the way. Sometimes He also uses superrnatural resources such as dreams. We will be uncertain at times in our lives, but we can always be sure that God is there and He does care. One way or another, He’ll provide the “voices” we need to teach us and show us the way.
Thought: What subtle “voices” from God are instructing me in my life today?
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
People are not naturally moral. History proves it, our own nature shows it, and the Bible tells us from cover to cover that stumbling is part of our natural condition. History, for example, is filled with wars, greed, deceit, and hatred. Our present generation has witnessed the Holocaust, the threat of nuclear war, public corruption and private betrayal. And if we really look within ourselves, we have to admit to self-destructive habits and sins. Physically, we often don’t take care of ourselves as well as we could. Mentally we view ourselves with such distortion that we often need professional help to sort truth from error. Morally, we take short-cuts, hold grudges, tell lies on a small scale if not a large one.
Christ would not have had to die if people were perfect. But, when we depend on Christ’s substitution for us, we become perfect in God’s sight. We read in today’s verse that some day Christ will introduce us to the Father as faultless-and He’ll do it with great joy.
Thought: Today I will visualize Christ as proudly introducing me to the Father-and rejoice that His sacrifice makes it possible for me to be good.
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorities, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Josh. 24:15.Two young men had heard stories for years about the wise old hermit who lived up in the mountains. Rumor had it that he was very eccentric, but there wasn’t a question that the old man couldn’t answer. The young men decided to test the old man’s brilliance. They decided to catch a little bird and hold it with their hands. Then they would ask the hermit if the bird was dead or alive .If he said it was alive, they would crush it to death. If he said it was dead, they would leave it alive.
Pleased with themselves, the youths stomped up the mountain until they arrived at the hermit’s cabin. When the elderly man answered their knock, the bravest one said, “Sir, we have a little bird in our hand. Is it dead or alive?” The man looked right into their eyes and said, “Whether that bird is dead or alive is in your hands. The choice is yours.”
As women on the journey, we too have the choice in our hand. We can choose life through Christ or death by turning our back toward God and his provision for us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the freedom to choose whom I will serve.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Do you ever struggle against bitterness? My own struggle could have been called the bitter battle of the suffering saint-although now I prefer to call it the better battle of the recovering masochist.
Actually, I think I hid my bitterness pretty well most of the time. Even my closest friends would have told you that I was a happy person who nearly always had a kind word and a contagious laugh-and that really is part of who I am. But there was also another person inside me-a bitter woman who felt life should treat her better since she tried so hard to do what was right. My bitterness was private, but I know it influenced my loved ones. Hidden feelings often have a profound effect on our own lives and the lives of others.
Looking back now, I realize I was trying to play God and decide what results I should get for the efforts I had exerted. Through prayer, Bible study, and quite a bit of self confrontation, I finally began to let God be God. I realized I’m not smart enough, nor is it my place, to figure out what is fair and what isn’t.
Do you have bitterness? Don’t let it get the best of you. Give it to God. He knows what to do with it.
Thought: I will let go of my secret bitterness today. I will trust God to even things out in His own way and His own timing.