Trees

I love trees!

But about eight years ago a storm and straight wind pushed several over around our acreage, including the top of one pine that landed on the house. It was at that time Linda said she wanted every tree cut that could fall on the house.

That task was finally started and finished over the past few days, with the last few trees cut yesterday evening. Fourteen trees in all.

Now had all these been big majestic oaks or a bunch of fruit trees, I would be sad. But every tree was a pine, some as tall as fifty or sixty feet. Pines don’t give a lot of shade and needles and cones fall every where so I don’t count it as a great loss.

You know trees are mentioned throughout the Bible, beginning with the Tree of Life as well as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Noah made an ark from wood cut from trees. Daniel interpreted a dream about a tree that was cut down but the stump remained.

The Psalmist says that anyone that reads and meditates on God’s word,

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Ps 1:3

It is written how the trees rejoice and praise God.

Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord. Ps 96:12

And the Lord Jesus both cursed a fig tree and was later hung on a tree.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), Gal 3:13

What a sad day it must have been for that tree – that the Creator was killed upon it. But what a day for you to rejoice and praise God because Jesus did die upon that tree and three days later was resurrected.

Abba, Thank You for the sacrifice given on my behalf so that I may no longer live under the curse. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Praise The Lord

I don’t normally watch a lot of church services on TV but somehow I ended watching the Praise & Worship of one of those televised services.

The music was great – don’t get me wrong. And I don’t mean any offense by what I say but I thought it was over produced.

The lights flashed on and off in a strobe effect while colored lights alternated bright and dim. The singers backed up and did some little choreographed dance move.

While I watched I could see genuine worship in the audience and the team itself. And perhaps the person with their finger on switch that was flipping the lights on and off was also praising the Lord in this way.

While it was entertaining, the thought came to me “does God want to be entertained or praised?”

The answer is always in His word.

Ps 150
Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Yes indeed, the Lord should be praised in all things.

However I have discovered you cannot choreograph praise.

It is spontaneous. It is not planned out. It is not timed. It is eruptive. It comes from inside your heart and soul to touch the face of God. It spreads. It’s contagious. It takes different forms.

Raised hands will praise the Lord as well as silent weeping. Standing will praise the Lord as well as falling face down at the altar. You can praise Him while sitting or prostrate on the ground.

You can praise Him in the best suit or dress and praise Him in torn jeans.

There are times when I’m on the praise team and spontaneous worship begins to happen. While we practice our songs – we never practice praise or worship. It just happens.

Assembly

Ps 26:5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers,

Just as Christians assemble together in a church – evildoers also assemble together.

All it takes is some commonality between them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gang or a gathering of terrorists.

Why do people gather at a bar? To drink, to get a buzz, and even to get drunk. Do you find non-drinkers gathered drinking in a bar? Not likely.
Do you find a non-gang member gathering with the gang or a non-terrorist grouped with the terrorists? Not likely!

Like minded people gather together.

The like-minded men of Sodom gathered at the house of Lot. Gen 19:4
A gang of at least 42 young men gathered together and made fun of the prophet Elisha. 2 Kings 2:23, 24
Demetrius gathered together his fellow idol-makers. Acts 19:23-34

So who do you gather with?
What type of people are you like minded with?
Are you getting together for something honorable, evil, or just “fun”?
And is your fun honoring God?

Abba, I love gathering with your people, whether it’s in church, at work, or in my home. I abhor the gathering of those that seek to do evil but I know that Jesus died so they may also have forgiveness, salvation, eternal life, and gather together with Your people also. YES&AMEN

Big Promise

My promises to others are small. I try not to commit to what I cannot do. And sometimes I forget something, so I try to keep notes in my iPhone.

You don’t want to promise what you cannot deliver to begin with. Time and effort work against promises

I know I have broken promises, both intentionally and unintentionally. And promises have been broken to me.

God is the opposite of you and me.

Gen 15:5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

God’s promises are big. I mean to say your descendants will be as numerous as the stars is a huge commitment. It’s happened! How many descendants of Abraham have there been through the ages – both born naturally and adopted and grafted in!

It’s not the only promise He has made!

Isa 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.

Matt 28:20 “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Rom 10:13 “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Heb 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

1 John 1:7 the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Acts 1:11 This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.

Rev 22:20 “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Abba, I have yet to see a broken promise from You. I believe them all, in Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Wait for the Best!

Gen 15:3-4 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”

Abram was willing to settle for Eliezar of Damascus to be his heir; he was willing to forgo the stress of waiting and wondering for it just to be over and life move forward.

There are times you can be so desperate to move forward you will compromise for something less than God wants for you.

God has a plan. His plan is perfect. Your plan is flawed, unless that plan is to wait on God.

There are people right now settling for less than God wants for them. They are living in their sin when God wants them to live in Christ.

Some are praying to trees or dead religious leaders when God wants to answer their prayers.

You may be struggling to make ends meet or you may make lots of money but aren’t truly fulfilled or happy. God wants you to be dependent on Him for all you need, including happiness and joy.

Don’t settle for less. Wait on the Lord.

Ps 37:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Ps 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Isa 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Abba, I want the most that You desire to give to me. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Proven, Pure, & Powerful Protection

Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

God did not stop with fear; He also gave reassurance.

“I am your shield!”

A shield is used for protection and in this case it’s very appropriate since it may be an armed adversary is Abram’s concern.

You can take God at His word – it is proven protection. Ps 18:30-As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

His word is pure protection. Prov 30:5-Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

And His word is powerful protection. Eph 6:16-above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

God is your protection also. I’m sure Abram isn’t going to run over to the other kings and taunt them with a “Na-na-na, you can’t get me!”
God’s protection comes with your responsibility to be where God wants you and doing what He has asked of you.

Abba Father, I feel Your shield of protection everyday as it guards my mind and heart. YES&AMEN

Do not be afraid!

Abram’s concern over 4 different military forces seeking revenge is soothed by God Himself.

Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

God first told Abram, “Do not be afraid!”

There are several things that can bring on fear.

Sin can bring fear. After sinning in the Garden of Eden Adam hid in the bushes because he was afraid! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb 10:31
Meeting God with sin on your hands is a fearful thing.

The unknown can cause fear. Not knowing what tomorrow holds. Not knowing what is in the closet or not knowing what animal is growling in the dark. David said,

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Psalm 23:4

Though he did not know what was lying ahead or what was unseen in the shadow.

Fear can also be caused by doubt. If a mustard seed of faith can move a mountain then I think a mustard seed of doubt can keep it there.
The night Jesus came walking on the water only one man had the faith to get out of the boat – Peter!

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink. Matt 14:30

He did the impossible but then doubted and became afraid that he could not do it.

Any fear you have doesn’t come from God.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7

Maybe your response is you are afraid of snakes, spiders, or swimming at the beach.
That’s not fear, it’s just common sense. It is best to have respect for those things.

A Christian should never be afraid of spiritual matters.

Abba, with You I have no fear. You give peace. You give life. You give comfort. In Jesus’ name, I receive that! YES&AMEN