Posted in Daily Devotions

Precious in His Eyes

You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head. — Psalm 139:5

How precious are your thoughts about me,O God.

They cannot be numbered! — Psalm 139:17

There was a time when I thought I could not live without a boyfriend. When one relationship ended, I was on the lookout for a new one. I needed someone to help me go through life and tell me that I mattered. It was a vicious cycle of highs and lows, happiness and pain, validation and emptiness.

It was years later that I became a follower of Jesus. Stumbling through the Bible I came upon these words (Psalms 139:5, 17). The God of the universe thinks about me? Almighty God, Omniscient, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, the Creator of heaven and earth has me in mind all the time? Really? It was incomprehensible. But I was so comforted to know that it is all true — He is faithfully and wonderfully true! A Father who watches over me, concerned for the things I pursue and occupies my heart. A King who delights to bless me with all the good at His disposal. A Protector who remembers my weaknesses and fears and never fails to encourage and strengthen me. A Healer who knows every cell in my body, with all the aches, pain and ravaging disease. A Lord who entrusts me with all His possessions though I waste and misuse much. The Lord of mercy whose lovingkindness never fails.

Who could ever love me as much as God? Not the best boyfriend or the most understanding husband could bless or have precious thoughts about me. Secure of His love, I was freed from ‘the need’ to seek affirmation in all the wrong places. Blessed be His love!

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Posted in Daily Devotions

This Passing Season

So teach us to number our days,

That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.     — Psalm 90:12

How many hours have I wasted watching television or dawdled in social media sites rather than reading God’s Word?  How many minutes have I spent gossiping rather than encouraging someone?  How much energy have I squandered with my anger rather than going down on my knees in prayer?  How many times have I made excuses for pursuing worldly dreams rather than pursuing God’s agenda?  Three-fourths of the year has gone by and what have I to show my Maker?

Nothing much and nothing to be proud of:  a heart with shades of anger and bitterness, slow to accept correction and learn God’s lessons, procrastinating on God’s clear directions for fear of failure and rejection.  A professed child of God consumed with the tyranny of daily life to accept Christ’s invitation to walk with Him.

How many more days are left for me, I wonder?  How many more minutes left for me to say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” to those who need to hear it?  How many more seasons for me to help a friend or share His word with someone?  How much strength is left in my body to pray?  How many more breathes to take before I breathe my last, how many more nights before I finally close my eyes?  If I were to meet my Maker today, what would He see in me?  How would I account for the gifts and blessings, the doors of opportunity, the entrusted souls, the wasted time, His precious Word?  Will I cry for joy at meeting my Savior who has given me everything?  Or will I cry for shame for being a poor steward?

Let this be the start of a new day, a recommitment to my Father:  to meet the sunrise meditating on His word, to fill the hours conversing with Him and to close the day with thanksgiving and praise.  Let me mark the passing of time not with my accomplishments but with the Lord’s goodness and grace, His daily, wondrous miracles.

Posted in Daily Devotions

Not Logical At All

The Lord has spoken to you, O remnant of Judah, “Do not go into Egypt!”   — Jeremiah 42:19

It’s difficult to follow directions and obey instructions. Even with a pamphlet of instructions, we often ditch that and try to assemble a furniture or equipment on our own, only to find that we’ve left out a vital part to make the furniture stable or the equipment function smoothly.

It’s the same way with the Bible and us.  We pray for God’s leading, His direction in our lives and when God does lead us to the right direction, we ditch His directions and proudly go our way.  More often, we don’t even wait for our loving Father’s leading but fly away expecting that He would follow us.

I used to do that — to go on my merry way despite God’s warning — and sometimes, to my shame, I still do.  I’ve found that in those instances, I’ve mentally made-up my mind on what action to take even before praying.  And if God’s advise does not coincide with mine, then perhaps He missed out on a few facts.  ‘Lord, it’s a higher paying job and the money would cover all our basic needs.  No more debts!’ Or ‘It’s just so much better to migrate there.  I could be more productive.’

We all have our valid excuse and most of it is because we are dissatisfied with our present circumstance and the new opportunity seems heaven-sent.  The new window of opportunity would answer several immediate concerns and for someone, even God, to say otherwise is hard to accept.

But looks could be deceiving and not all presents tied in a beautiful, bright bow are God-sent.  God warned Johanan and his followers not to go to Egypt (Jeremiah 42-43).  God wanted His people to stay in ravaged, war-torn Judah.  Defenseless with hardly any food and shelter, Judah was not the most logical place to live in.  Prosperous, fortified Egypt seemed to be a safer, more comfortable place.  Human logic says that Egypt is the better place.  But God does not deal with logic; He deals with faith.  God promised restoration, life, security and compassion to those who would stay in Judah (Jeremiah 42:10-12); and death to those who would go to Egypt (v. 15-17).  He longed for the trust and obedience of His people.  He wanted to shower them with compassion and let them experience His mighty work — if they would only have faith and follow Him.

Our present circumstance, our Judah, may be of trial, difficulty and need. But if the God Who Sees asks, warns, advises and directs us to stay and remain where we are, then it is for our own good.  Nay, it is for our best. The temptation to go back to our comfort zone, our Egypt or former life, may be great and may seem to be the most logical solution to our problem.  But God’s thoughts are far more deep and wider than we could ever imagine.  He knows our circumstance, our heartaches, needs and dreams.  And He promises restoration, life, security and compassion to those who would obey Him.

Johanan and his followers refused to trust God as they were too proud and stubborn.  Are you going to remain proud and stubborn too?  Are you going to settle for temporary, immediate relief or choose to believe the One who wants what is best for you?  Are you going to humble yourself, trust and follow the One who loves you the most?