On Wings Of Eagles

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Letting go


1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

In the final scene of the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest Junior has started going to school, and Forrest has waited at the bus stop all day for him to come back. We may say that Forrest did that because he had an IQ of only 75, but in real life, many parents feel the same way when they send their children away for their first day of school.

Going to school for the first time is a big event for young children. They have to transition to spending a lot of their day interacting with strangers—teachers and other students. That makes for a big change not only in the children’s lives but also in their parents’ lives, especially for a parent who has been at home with their child every day for the past several years. It is not easy to let your child go.

The writer of Hebrews talks about what Abraham and Sarah had to let go. They let go of their home, extended family, and community when God called them to leave and travel to the land he would show them (see Genesis 12). Abraham was also willing to let go of his son Isaac, the promised son born to him and Sarah in their old age (Genesis 22:1-12).

They did all this “by faith”—and faith is a learning process. Just as parents get used to letting go as their children begin to grow up in life, so we too learn to let go of things in our lives as we trust God to guide us day by day.

Dear Lord, through the storm we pray that we would trust in You fully. Through the night lead us on to the light; take our hand Lord and lead us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Thankful for the small things


Psalm 147:3, 7 (ESV)

3 He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
    make melody to our God on the lyre!


When young children scrape a knee or elbow, they cry for a bandage—whether they needed one or not. It is surprising how much comfort can come from a small adhesive strip. That’s probably because the tiny bandage represented much more than a wound covering, it is put in place by hands with a history of showing love and tender kindness.

Throughout the Bible we can see that God also uses small things to bring hope and healing to the world. God chose the small nation of Israel and charged them to be a blessing to all other nations. Through this group of people, preserved and cared for by God’s faithful hands, the Savior, Jesus Christ, came into the world. And the Savior himself came in a tiny package: a baby born of a teenage peasant girl. Who would imagine that such a child would heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds?

Psalm 147 uses words that echo throughout the Bible and were made visible as Jesus went about his compassionate healing ministry. What’s more, Jesus promises to forgive all our sins and to be with us always to bring comfort and hope far beyond words printed on a page.

Today let us give thanks that God works in small ways. Ask him to help you see today how his faithful hands are tending your wounded heart.

Dear Lord, we want to thank You that You came in a small way to change everything with the forgiveness and hope that You brought. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Travelling mercies


Genesis 28:15 (ESV)
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

I remember a practice that my dad started with us as little kids.   When we would leave on a trip whether it was to go and see Grandpa and Grandma, Grandma, Uncle Bob or any other family vacation he would begin the trip with a prayer in the asking God to provide "traveling mercies." It's a practice we continued with our family and still do to this day. Ultimately it was a request that God would protect us along the way and return us safely home.

We live in an age of safety requirements. Safety belts and air bags are required in every automobile. Tires have to meet safety standards. Windows are made of safety glass. Rear doors have child-safety locks. But only God can keep us truly safe.

In the midst of his lonely escape from a brother plotting to kill him, Jacob meets God. In a sleep-induced dream, Jacob sees that God is with him, and he hears God make a promise of protection.

God will go with Jacob and watch over him. In this journey, God will ensure a safe return. God promises that he will never leave Jacob. And Jacob the schemer finds that God is the planner and provider. Jacob is learning the lesson God shared with Abraham: traveling mercies are about traveling with God.

Traveling mercies mark our movements as pilgrims along God's pathway. God wants us to come home. The destination isn't a matter of geography. Home is being with God--wherever we are.

Dear Lord, many of us wander. We never seem to be settled. Please guide us and make us pilgrims walking with you, day by day. And for those that have strayed help them find their way back to You.  In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Communication


Hebrews 1:2 (ESV)
But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

When we are away from family and friends, it’s good to keep in touch with them. Today we can do that by phone, text message, e-mail, Facebook—and even by the old method of sending postcards or letters.

God’s message comes to us in his Word, the Bible. And the Word of God has become flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5, 9-14). As believers today, we can now hear and receive and live by the Word of God, and we experience something of the life God intended for us when he created the universe.

In the Old Testament God spoke through the prophets, but that communication was often limited to the situations of the people in those days. Prophets were spokespeople for God; Jesus is the Son of God. Prophets grasped part of the mind of God; Jesus is the mind of God. What more can be said than what God has spoken to us through his Son?

There are many ways in which God continues to communicate to us through Jesus, by the power of his Spirit. Today God’s Word is proclaimed all over the world. May people receive it for what it really is: good news that opens us to new life with God. Daily we read Scripture not simply for information but to hear how God is directing and sustaining us through his Son. As we follow Jesus, we also learn to pray and work, spreading the good news of salvation to build up the kingdom of God.

Dear Lord, speak to us that we may speak in living echoes of Your tone.  Help us bring Your Word to those around us so that it reaches into their hearts, that they may live by the truth. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Who can find a faithful man?


Proverbs 20:6 (ESV)
Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
    but a faithful man who can find?

An old Scottish folk song says, “I will love thee ’til all the seas run dry.” Sadly though, there’s a song by Robert Burns, an old-time bard of Scotland, in which he sings, “Wantonness has been my ruin,” lamenting that he has been led astray by lust, his life is a shambles because of promiscuous relationships, and he can’t break free.

The situation today is no different: many popular songs are about broken relationships and broken hearts, tales of deep sorrow and woe.

In light of all this, let’s think about the importance of faithfulness and unfailing love in all our relationships. Those characteristics—flowing from the character of God—are much more important than outward beauty or handsome features. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). The same is true, of course, for a God-fearing man. And Peter notes that beauty comes from within—“the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”; he also encourages respect and consideration for all (1 Peter 3:4-7).

Are you looking for a boyfriend or a girlfriend? Don’t just look at outward appearances. Think about what’s really important. Look for someone who loves the Lord. Here’s the key to joyful, lasting, fulfilling human relationships: God’s love, steady as a rock, in our hearts.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your love and faithfulness and how You protect us each day. May we show Your love in all our interactions with others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Prayer


Colossians 4:2 (ESV)
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

To be devoted to something means to continue steadfastly and to persist in it. It's worth noting that in the New Testament it is about prayer more than anything else that we are told to persevere, to be tenacious.

In his book The Life You've Always Wanted, John Ortberg says prayer is learned behavior; no one is born an expert or ever masters it. We're always just beginners.

How, then, is prayer learned? I don't think it happens by mastering a set of techniques, though techniques may be helpful. Prayer is learned as we are mastered by the resurrection. Prayer operates in a resurrection atmosphere. It requires a commanding sense of God's presence, of being a citizen of the kingdom of God. John Piper writes that prayer is not a hotel intercom that we use occasionally for room service; it's a walkie-talkie that keeps us at all times in touch with headquarters.

Pray and be watchful, says Paul, using the imagery of guard duty and keeping alert. We are engaged in a spiritual war. The world seeks to squeeze us into its mold; the routine of ordinary life lulls us into complacency, blinds us to the great mystery of our place in Christ's kingdom. Be watchful.

And be thankful. We are watchful not in a spirit of fear but with confidence that our resources in Christ are greater than whatever the opposition can throw at us.

Dear Lord, we pray that You will enable us through Your Spirit to keep the lines of communication open with You, that we may be watchful, wise, and effective in the way we act toward others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Do you love children?


Mark 10:14 (ESV)
But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.


I hope you do, because Jesus loves them.

Some grown-ups treat children as though they aren’t important. But Jesus didn’t act that way, as we can see in our reading for today. Jesus became indignant— even angry—when the disciples tried to keep children away from him.

“Let them come and don’t hinder them,” he said.

Then Jesus added that “the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” The number-one characteristic of small children is that they depend on parents and other caregivers for everything. Jesus was saying that the kingdom of God belongs to those who, spiritually, are childlike in their dependence on their heavenly Father. As children lean upon their parents and rely on them for every good thing, people of all ages who want to enter God’s kingdom must trust him completely to provide for them, body and soul, for time and eternity.

The Bible says that Jesus “took the children in his arms …” Girls and boys alike received his blessing. In some societies, sons are treated better than daughters. But it is not so in the kingdom of God.

All of God’s children are created in God’s image and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and all share equally in God’s fatherly love and care.

Dear Lord, help us to trust You completely. Take away our fears and worries, and make us all like children, trusting completely in You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.