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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Glory of God


Who is God? In Psalms 139:17-18, we find these words - How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!   How vast is the sum of them!  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.  I awake, and I am still with you.   

When a sixth grader asked in all earnestness, when was God born?  I contemplated the answer carefully, for I had never considered the question before.  My answer?  In the beginning God!  (The first four words of Genesis, of God’s Word)

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”  God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”   Exodus 3:13-14

The reading continues into the 15th verse - God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

God IS.  This is his name, God IS has many shades of understanding, (from John Piper ).
First of all, God has no beginning or ending.  He simply is, there is no place to go outside of being.  Before He creates, that is all there is: God. 

God IS reality, absolute reality.  There is no reality outside of God. Only God.  When He spoke the universe and all that there is into being, there was nothing or no one.  Everything that has life depends totally on God.  He is not dependent on anyone or anything, for He created everything.  Nothing evolved or big-banged its way into existence for God created everything that exists. Everything that is not God, depends on God.  He is independent.

All universe is nothing before God’s Greatness.  The universe is secondary and stays in being on God’s decision to keep it in being.  Isaiah 40:17 - All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

If God created us all and all the world we live in, how can we add to His Glory?  This is the same thing the Psalmist asked in Psalm 8:4-6 (and in Hebrews 2:6-8) What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?  Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,

How can we glorify God?  How can we, just people, add to His Glory?  We come to Him and acknowledge Him as our Lord God, first of all.  Praise, honor and worship Him as He declares in His word.  In all humility and adoration, love Him.  See the splendor of His Holiness!  Psalm 29:1-2 – Ascribe (Honor) to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

And that is just the beginning of living.  Someone dear to me once told me that each time an Angel declares, Glory to God, it is because they just learned something new about our Lord God.  And the sweet thought she related is that we will never stop learning, and will be saying, Glory to God, for an eternity.  Another wise man said, the Bible, The Holy Word of God with its sixty-six books in the Old and New Testament is just a ‘snippet’ of what there is to learn about the God Who created us to worship and adore, His Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit Jesus gave us to teach us and guide us. 

I Thessalonians 4:7-8 – tells us clearly - God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

How can we refuse or deny our Lord who gave us breath?  It is amazing that since the beginning there are those who deny God and those who live for Him.  It is a daily choice.  I choose to Let God be God. I choose to worship Him and give God the glory for all He has done, when I don’t ever deserve it.  Each day I have another opportunity to show Him my love by my words, attitudes and actions by living for Him.  Humbly I lay all that I am at His Feet and pray for forgiveness. 

We are people who constantly need reminders of who we are in Christ Jesus.  In our culture, we remember so many things each day such as numbers we live by, the day’s activities in a planner. The one thing that remains the most important when all is shaken down is the great love of Jesus, Who gave us His love on the cross by giving His life as a sacrifice.  For years, I pondered the words, “In Remembrance of Me” on the communion table.  The freedom and joy to partake of the juice and the bread and we remember Jesus who grows sweeter as the years go by. 

As the years go by, I realize more and more, that remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, is glorifying God the Father.  When I have faith and trust God in all His Ways, I bring Glory to His Name.  When I show in my life the Fruit of the Spirit, I bring Glory to God.  Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-Control are the fruit of the Spirit, I long to see in my life.  This is my prayer.
 

Our Lord God is timeless, the God of all ages.  There is never an expiration date stamped on His Word or His Way.  God is ours now and forever and we worship Him with all that is in us as long as we have breath.  How can we do anything less?


Comments? eacombs@att.net

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Wonder of His Love


I sit here in the quiet, ready to write and listening to the strains of My Tribute  by Andrae Crouch. Each time the lyrics move me to Thanksgiving and Praise.  He understood the magnificence and wonder of God’s Love.  His Faithful Love that endures forever.  Just yesterday I played this song for my husband, diagnosed 4 years ago with dementia.  Often the only way to reach my husband now is through music that expresses praise to God and His great love.  And I am so thankful for this way to our Heavenly Father.

Recently I read this quote on Facebook – Music speaks what cannot be expressed through words.  I am adding, but only through the heart!
When I think of all the songs I have sung, The Lord’s Prayer, The Lord is My Salvation, I am Satisfied with Jesus, Green Pastures, Jesu Bambino, Silent Night, It is Well, Goin’ Home, The Old Rugged Cross, This is My Story, and many more and then when I read the following verse, music become more precious to me.

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.  Zephaniah 3:17

I listen for God’s Song of Love through His messengers in the wind, the rain, the brilliance of warm sunshine and silver light of the moon at night.  The wind has a voice all its own.  As my husband and I discussed this, he remembered he could understand the different ‘moo’s’ of a cow, he told me when he was a rancher.

Never has there ever been a more God-filled songwriter than David, the Shepherd Boy, who killed the giant Goliath, the boy who became King!  He sang to God a song- from his heart to the heart of God: David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul.  He sang: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:1-3.
David knew his steady Rock.  He knew the Truth!  The Reality of this world and David knew how much God loved him. 
Moses and the people of Israel sang to God.  It was a song of deliverance from their slavery in Egypt.  It celebrated their escape from the soldiers on chariots who chased after them to bring back laborer-prisoners to Egypt.  God had other plans when the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and charioteers were catching up with them.  God told Moses, Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea and divide the waters. Moses did so, and the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground with walls of water on each side.  When the Egyptians followed to the middle of the Red Sea, God released the walls of water.
Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!  The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is his name!  Pharaoh’s chariots and the army he has hurled into the sea. The finest of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. Exodus 15:1-5
As I think of the many songs that touch my heart, and draw me back to focus on the One who created me and lives with me.  I know who sends the Holy Spirit, through Jesus to live in me, I praise Him.  I rejoice as hope and love spring from my heart. 
What is my song of praise to God?  How do I compose this masterpiece of a composition?  First, I realize that we don’t leave God in Church when we leave – He is with us, He loves us, and we have a relationship with Him.  No matter where we are, no matter what our skin color, no matter what our language is, He waits for us to come to Him.  He never gives up. His Son Jesus loves us so much and He paid the price on the cross for us to be able to walk with God.  The Holy Spirit is our comforter, guide and teacher that Jesus sends to dwell in our bodies.  This Trinity of Love knows our every thought and deed and word.  They know the pain and the suffering and longings that come to each of us. Jesus experienced more than we ever shall.  We matter to God.  Our song of praise to God is one of Thankfulness, giving Him the glory!   
Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. Psalm 33:3
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. Psalm 42:8

These words created by Jimmy Owens:
Tell me, is it any wonder that I love Him - When you consider all He’s done for me?  And is it any wonder that I want to do His will - And let His light shine out for all to see?  And is it any wonder that I praise him - Each time I think of how He’s set me free?  And is it any wonder that I’ve given Him my heart, - When Jesus freely gave His life for me?


Link to My Tribute - (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RZTYDPavEY)



Comments? eacombs@att.net

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Precious Presence

In 1970, Anna Daisy Siemens, my Mom. published her first book – Stand Tall – a book of poetry.  If you ever wanted to know what made Anna Daisy, Grandma Daisy, who she was, it is written here, captured in this last poem in the book.  The poem a former piano student made his ‘have to’ reading.  Curious, I found the book and looked.  The poem is entitled Precious Presence.

The first verse:  Refreshed the birds awake to watch/ All earth awash in glistening dew:  The flowers await a rising sun.  All life one more begins anew; Then all of nature stands in awe, To watch another day new-born, Of Precious Presence – God is here…At rosy blush of early morn!

Where did these words come from?  They came from a life of complete exhaustion when everyday sounds were repeated and magnified.  Words came in the night repeating themselves in her mind eliminating sleep until she wrote them down.  In her words, “Putting the words on paper released my off-button to find peace.” 

She recovered from the exhaustion, but during that time she had a Precious Presence with her every moment.  Such a blessing to find these words that she wrote of that time.  I thought about the Presence of God and wanted to know more.  The last Bible Study, Discerning the Voice of God, gave me more insight using question after probing questions.

Second Verse :  At last, reflection time has come…To view what I have won or lost; And if my honest strife was right, I simply cannot count the cost.  There in the fading afterglow… Of day I have retained the best.  O Precious Presence – God is here, The burning sun has gone to rest.

Often our lives are journeys of the process of understanding.  I remember one Women’s Retreat, we were instructed to find a stick, a stone, or anything that reminded us of an aspect of God – and share with others.  It reminds me of a game I played with my children, Where did this come from?  We chose any object and asked Where does this come from?  It always and ultimately comes from God.  Even such a tiny thing as a nail comes from God. 

When we exalt man’s mind and his cleverness in this world – it is always traced back to God.  We can do nothing apart from God, for He created us – in His Image.  Our entire life is a journey of equipping us to understand our Lord God and His Glory so that we are awakened to the spiritual life with God and His Son Jesus. 

When we realize that God gives us gifts to serve Him and glorify us, our life begins to have meaning, direction and purpose.  When we begin to walk with Him in our hearts and minds, searching ways to glorify Him…life begins.  Then the phrase, it’s not about me -  we often hear - has meaning.  Raising a family is a lifetime of serving Him.  As much as possible with our limited understanding of what matters, the first years of care and nurture transitions into the painful letting go of our children’s hands and letting them fly with our prayer and encouragement.  They will always need our prayers and the knowing, they always can come home.  Home is in our hearts and no space or time can limit that sense of ‘being home’.  One of the most precious verses to me, comes from Ecclesiastes 3:11 -  He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end 

God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, is our ultimate Home.  This life is not all there is…and when we live true to the eternity that God placed in our hearts, there is no allure the world has to offer.  This life is simply our ‘school’ to learn, to follow and to glorify Him who created us. 

When God’s love replaces revenge, chaos, manipulation of others, for a serving and loving heart and a search for peace, faith, and kindness, can we find peace in Him.  He is the One who is Able to comfort us every moment and in every situation. 

How much does Jesus love us?  John 14:15-18  -  If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  
Whose presence do you desire with you each moment of the night and day?  Whose presence can you trust?  It is a matter of choosing.  It is the difference between Light and Darkness and the difference between Life and Death. 
During the time left us on earth, what can we do? The last verse of Precious Presence:  Appointments can be made with Him…It matters not what time of day; In early dawn or late at night, In field or home – at work or play – But we must will His presence near.  Our meeting place is everywhere.  O Precious Presence – God is here, I feel His Power in blessed prayer. 

 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.  Revelation 20:11
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Psalm 51:10-12














Comments? eacombs@att.net

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

BEHOLD!

Behold, Pay Attention! Listen! As I listened to these words, I could hear those same words from my Dad and Mom, and from the teachers at school.  Of course, some of the teachers added, wash out your ears!  When I was a teen, Mother left the house, after giving me a list of things to do.  I listened, but procrastinated.  She came home earlier than expected and asked about the chores.  I did not obey until too late. I knew I was in trouble. 

Had I contemplated Mom’s words, discerned and not disregarded her request, I would have been in a different place with Mom.  The disappointment in her blue eyes was worse punishment than any other she could have meted out. 

Curiosity made me wonder as I read in I John 3:1 – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us…how many times that word is used in the Bible?  The answer is 586, in the King James Version. 

But when I read the same words in the scripture, Behold…what manner of love the Father has bestowed (given) to us, I know why.  This bit of scripture, in an easier to read version is, See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! NLT

Suddenly the immensity of God’s love for us strikes me, and you, with incredible force.  From the beginning, He wants a relationship, a fellowship of love, with us.  He wants to talk to us and for us to talk to Him.  We will never be able to love Him as much as He loves us.

While celebrating Mother’s Day, I realize again how much I love my children.  I bestow my love – give as a gift – to them.  Multiply this love by an eternity, and you begin to understand how much God loves you and me.  In Luke, chapter 2, there are four “Beholds” announcing the birth of God’s Son, Jesus!  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid…. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people”… And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him…. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against.”  God wants us to listen and pay attention and BEHOLD his Son!

What happens if cannot hear the voice of God?  What happens if we procrastinate obeying our Lord?  Or ignore God’s voice?  Do we have a plan B while listening to God’s plan A?  Jim Cymbala writes, “Our spiritual ear will never be sensitive to his voice if we have a personal agenda to which we are already committed.  God leads and speaks to the humble who have surrendered their plans and want to do His will.  With an “open heaven” and a surrendered will, we will be able to clearly hear God’s voice in our hearts.

Let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  James 1:7-8

I often think of the single-minded faith of Abraham in the Lord God.   When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God came to him to make a covenant.  “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!  Genesis 17:4-6.  God continues… This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.  Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility.” Genesis 17:4-9

 God singled out Abraham, just as He has prepared work for each of us.  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”  Jeremiah 29:9-13

The more I listen to his Word and think on Him, my Lord God teaches me that the manner of His love is beyond comprehension.

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Ephesians 3:14-19

Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.  Psalm 95:7-8
Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.  Only do as I say and all will be well.
 Jeremiah 7:3-23
I will hurry without lingering, to obey your commands.  Psalm 119:60
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.  Revelation 1:18
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Revelation 1:18
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:11
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:20




Comments? eacombs@att.net