Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


2 Thessalonians 3
[The Message]

4-5 Because of the Master, we have great confidence in you. We know you're doing everything we told you and will continue doing it. May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God's love and Christ's endurance.

Habakkuk 2 :4
[The Message]

"Look at that man, bloated by self-importance— full of himself but soul-empty. But the person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really alive.

by Francois Fénelon
Written in the 17th Century while an Archbishop in France
[from the last printing]
This book should be read in a devotional mood if it is to fulfill its purpose of revealing to the reader the spiritual wisdom, insights and convictions of a truly great spiritual giant [in Fénelon].

It must be read slowly. The rush and speed of our modern life does not make it easy for us to go at the devotional pace which is "not faster than a walk."
We normally skim over newspapers and magazines hurriedly, but in devotional reading our whole being (not only our intellects) must be quieted and made open, receptive and expectant.

Consider turning to this book not primarily to expose your mind to idea, but rather to seek to enter into companionship with this friend of God. Through reading this book we are going to school at the feet of a truly great saint to catch by contagion something of his intimate companionship with God.

Robert E. Whitaker
Whitaker House Publishing, 1973


A dear friend, who is now in heaven with the Lord, gave me a copy of this book over 5 years ago. I had misplaced it along with the tender letter that she wrote inside. She was fighting a cancer battle at the time - and second bout took her life less than two years ago. This book is very powerful in its message and the scriptures it refers to. It is meant to be read as a devotional along with your own personal Bible study reading each day. I have added my own [forward] below:

There are 40 letters that make for a daily read – as one letter per day – pondering, musing over, and considering what each message is and how it should apply to you individually in your present circumstances, no matter what they might be. Your focus will be on God alone - and off those circumstances in order for your life to be transformed in the Presence of God by the very words and Scripture lessons given here. ~ TRUTHSHARER

If you'd like to enter the drawing for this book - simply leave a comment on this page and the winner will be announced on October 1st.

Choosing JOY,
[JESUS - For His Name's Sake]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Luke 16:19-31 [NLT]
Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.
24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’
25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides,
there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’
27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.’” [emphasis added]

I'm not usually a 'hellfire and brimstone" kinda girl. But.... God brought me to this passage early Monday morning from the KJV. It's what triggered the first part of this post series in Part one. Yesterday, I read it in every different version, The Message, NIV and the NLT [printed here]. But no matter what translation or paraphrase I read - it said the same thing:

As the passage climbs to its end we see the truth. The rich man asked Abraham to send someone back from the dead to tell his five brothers about Christ and the truth of that place of torment. But Abraham's answer basically [in my paraphrase] says: "If they didn't listen to the living Word and the prophets who spoke it, they aren't gonna listen to a dead guy."

Someone in my Bible study group this week asked me if there was any hope for those who are already dead. Any second chance? God had already given me this passage the same day she asked that question. It was a hard answer to give her, but it was, "no there isn't... it's too late by then." I thought about it later.....

How many chances does God give?
How many are missed or rejected?
How many times does it take to get through to people - that without Christ they are going to hell - all alone in torture and flames?

God is merciful and forgiving and slow to anger. But He is also a God of Justice and He cannot look upon sin . Only the blood of the Lamb - shed on a Cross can pay for your sin and mine. But we must come to that place of believing and receiving it. It's a free gift - but if it's never opened - it can never be applied to the one given to.

The scripture is clear - there is a great chasm [gulf, separation] where there is no crossing over. That separation is between God and man. Christ is the BRIDGE - but only on THIS SIDE of ETERNITY!

Those flames are too hot for anyone!
In the end - we're all on level ground before Christ! Only His applied blood covers us!

Choosing JOY,

[JESUS - For His Name's Sake]

Monday, September 14, 2009

FIRES of HEAVEN and HELL - Part 1

2_Thessalonians 1:3-12
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
5 All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power 10 on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 12 We pray this so that the Name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. [all emphasis added]

When you read this passage, what thoughts is the Lord bringing to your mind? Are you focused on the unity of believers in the early church - their faith in trials - their perseverance in growing and enduring these trials?

OR - do you melt with compassion over the 'lost' souls in your own family, work, school, neighborhood, [and even] your church body, who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord [Master] and Savior and are on their way to an eternity in hell - separated from God's presence, His power and His majesty?

Who do you know that does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
Who will you plead before the Father, that he/she would be saved?
Have you offered this person, JESUS? You have nothing else to give them. Your opinion doesn't count, your knowledge won't help them, your thoughtfulness is nice but it won't quench the fire of hell.

As I ask you to ponder these questions, I ask myself the same ones. I just lost a distant family member - who as far as I know - died without knowing or obeying Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There is no more hope for that one.... But there are still others .........

Acts 3:6 [KJV]
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Will we give them JESUS?

Choosing JOY, Stephanie
[JESUS - For His Name's Sake]

Saturday, September 12, 2009

If You Could've Heard Her Scream...

Psalm 127:3 [KJV]
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.

My oldest daughter, Rebekah, posted this on her blog site today. It was worth sharing with all of you, especially those of you with little ones. Becky and her husband and their three kids will be going to Haiti as full-time missionaries in February 2010. I hope they don't have mosquitoes there!!

This story is about my 3 year old granddaughter, Tessa Hope, the only 'girl' of my 8 blessed grandchildren!! She's usually a pretty tough cookie!

Please click on this link to read what happened to her:

Choosing JOY,


[JESUS - For His Name's Sake]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What PATH Are You On?

Are you at a crossroads in your path of life? Is your faith walk with Jesus taking a wrong turn or a right path?

Proverbs 8 [NIV - selected verses]

1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
6 Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,

11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

Jeremiah 6:16 [NIV]
16 This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Psalm 23 The Message
A David Psalm

1-3 God, my Shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to Your word, You let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
[all Scripture emphasis added]

God gave Jeremiah the prophet a word for the people to choose the "ancient paths" and the "good way" to walk in it. Those were the ways and boundaries that were set to protect and bless God's people. Yet we see in that last line of verse 6, the people said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Are you like the people of Israel in Jeremiah's day who blatantly turned away from the paths chosen for their good? Or like David who followed the Shepherd's lead? David waited for that same Shepherd to send him in the right direction - into the paths of righteousness - for His Name's sake.

Choosing JOY,
[JESUS - The One I Adore]