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]

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Basic Training

As this year draws to a close and the New Year of 2008 approaches I am grateful to God for all He has done in my life, my church, and in the lives of those around me. His Holy Spirit, His Word, and His very presence are what equips and enables us to help one another as the day approaches for His return.

When a man goes in the military - he goes off to "basic training" camp for an initial equipping in order for him to participate in what the commander will require of him. He will learn the rules and how to abide by them. He will train hard, failing from time to time, getting up and starting over. He will beat his body into submission in order to bring it to its fighting potential. Then, when he is faced with the battle before him, he will take orders from his commander, stand beside his fellow soldiers, fully equipped, ready to face the enemy - and he will be victorious!

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NLT)

4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. [emphasis mine]

Ephesians 4:4-7, 11-12 (NLT)

4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
7 However, He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. [emphasis mine]

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work. [emphasis mine]

He gives us tasks and duties beyond our own capabilities - so that He can equip us with His power. I'm sure glad that God has our "basic training" covered with His Holy Spirit's indwelling, the pages of His Word (His very breath) as well as His presence in our lives. It's no wonder that He says we are "more than conquerors..." (Romans 8:37)

May 2008 be filled with all the blessings that come from obedience to the Living God, Jesus Christ our LORD! Let all God's people praise Him!

Choosing Great JOY,


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Perfect ROBES

  • Revelation 19:13
He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and His Name is the Word of God.

  • Hebrews 9:22
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

  • Revelation 19:6-8

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like a roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:


For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and His bride has made herself ready.

Fine linen, bright and clean,

was given to her to wear."

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

My response to these passages:

You chose to wear the robes of blood,
Where tears of joy my heart did flood.
For in my place You bled and died,
My vile life ~ in Christ to hide.
You shed those robes on Calvary's tree,
That one day I would be set free;
From sin and guilt and utter shame,
To stand in Awe ~ in Jesus' Name.

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, December 22, 2007


Look at these two passages. The first on is what the angel says about Jesus. The other is Jesus words about Himself. Awesome!

  • Luke 2:8-14

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."

  • John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

From My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
Entitled: The Great Life [a partial excerpt]

God’s mark of approval, whenever we obey Him, is peace. He sends an immeasurable, deep peace; not a natural peace…but the peace of Jesus….
The spirit of simplicity, clarity, and unity is born through the Holy Spirit, not through your decisions. God counters our self-willed decisions with an appeal for simplicity and unity.
My questions arise whenever I cease to obey. When I do obey God, problems come, not between me and God, but as a means to keep my mind examining with amazement the revealed truth of God…. Any problem that comes while I obey God (and there will be many), increases my overjoyed delight, because I know that my Father knows and cares, and can watch and anticipate how He will unravel my problems. [Italics mine]


Choosing Great JOY... for what has been lost - has now been found!


Friday, December 21, 2007

21 on the 21st

I have filled in my own name in the blanks of the [brackets] to make this Psalm personal to me. God speaks so clearly from His Word if only we will trust and believe Him!

· Psalm 21

For the director of music. A psalm of David (referring to himself as "the king").

1 O LORD, [__________] the king rejoices in Your strength.
How great is [her] his joy in the victories You give!
2 You have granted [her] him the desire of [her] his heart

and have not withheld the request of [her] his lips.
3 You welcomed [her] him with rich blessings

and placed a crown of pure gold on [her] his head.
4 [She] asked You for life, and you gave it to [her] him—

length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories You gave, [her] his glory is great;

You have bestowed on [her] him splendor and majesty.
6 Surely You have granted [her] him eternal blessings

and made [her] him glad with the joy of Your presence.
7 For [___________] the king trusts in the LORD;

through the unfailing love of the Most High
[she] he will not be shaken.

8 Your hand will lay hold on all Your enemies;

Your right hand will seize Your foes.
9 At the time of Your appearing

You will make them like a fiery furnace.
In His wrath the LORD will swallow them up,
and His fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,

their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against You

and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed;
12 for You will make them turn their backs

when You aim at them with drawn bow.
13 Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength;

we will sing and praise Your might. [all emphasis mine]

Choosing Great JOY,


Thursday, December 20, 2007

You Need Only to "BE STILL"

I continue to seek the LORD’s help as my PROTECTOR, DEFENDER, JUDGE, and FATHER!
He has asked me only to “BE STILL”.

Isaiah 46:10

Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

Exodus 14: 13-14

13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." [emphasis mine]

Then - will I see my PRINCE of PEACE!

Choosing Great JOY,


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Watching Eyes

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—

He who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, He who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—

the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—

He will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore. [emphasis mine]

Our eyes are to be ever looking and watching for the return of our Savior! In the meantime, He is watching over us with every move we make. He knows our coming and going and He's watching over our very life! Wow!

Choosing Great JOY,


Sunday, December 16, 2007

The JOY of Giving

2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Generosity Encouraged

1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
[emphasis mine]

Make us more eager for the JOY of GIVING than for the security of keeping! ~ John Piper

...All for the love of Christ - and what He accomplished on the cross - the remission of our sins!

Choosing Great JOY,


Friday, December 14, 2007

Ruffled Wings

Luke 1:11-25

11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
18Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
19The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."
21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25"The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people." [emphasis mine]

Gabriel must have been taken aback – it almost makes me laugh. He probably looked at Zechariah with eyes of frustration and perhaps with ruffled wings - and thought to himself, [my paraphrase here] Do I look like some ordinary angel? I am GABRIEL – I just came from the throne of God Himself with this message…God sent the best of angels to give you this good news and you don’t even believe me?

Wow – do I do that? Do I doubt God’s promises? Do I ask too many questions or want too many details? Have I prayed for something for so long and then when God is about to deliver the promise to me - I am not ready to receive it?

Choosing Great JOY,


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Silent Lamb

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
4 Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to His own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He was my Lamb in the thicket...He took my place silently and willingly.

Thank YOU, JESUS... the Lamb of God!

Choosing Great JOY,


Monday, December 10, 2007

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

John 1:14

14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Romans 3:21-26

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. [emphasis mine]

Let's make Him known and make Him shine in our lives - this Christmas season!

Choosing Great JOY,


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Simeon's Promise Fulfilled

Luke 2:21-32

Jesus Presented in the Temple

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise Him, He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He had been conceived.

22 When the time of their purification [33rd day] according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for Him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 which You have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel."
[emphasis mine]

Can you even imagine what it must have been like for Simeon to finally see and hold and bless the Lord's CHRIST? As he held that tiny baby in his arms and praised God - Baby Jesus held the hope of world in His hands.

Simeon is a great example of FAITH... trusting God for that which is not yet seen... [Heb. 11:1]

He was old and had waited patiently for God's perfect timing - he had faith that God would fulfill the promise made to him - he was obedient to the Lord's commands - he was righteous and devout. The Promise 'came to be' and his reward was worth the wait!

Choosing Great JOY,


Thursday, December 6, 2007

All Will Bow Down

  • Luke 2:8-14

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."

  • Matthew 2:1-2,10-11
The Visit of the Wise Men [Magi]
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh.

Kings of Earth on a course alone, bearing gifts from afar.
Hoping, praying, following yonder star.
Silhouette of a caravan,
Painted against the sky,
Wise men searching for the Holy child.
One King held the Frankincense, one King held the Myrrh,
One King held the purest Gold…
One KING held … the Hope of the world.

From Common Shepherds to Persian Kings - all nations will bow down to King Jesus!

Oh how different our sharing Christ would be - if we announced the "good news of His coming" with great joy in our hearts!

Choosing GREAT JOY,


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Psalm 145 - Extol Him

I meditated on this entire Psalm this afternoon and it speaks so much the desires of my own heart toward the LORD our God. I want to speak of Him from generation to generation – to my children and their children – to show WHO HE IS – and what HE can do! He is the AWESOME and ALMIGHTY GOD – the GREAT I AM!
  • Psalm 145

A psalm of praise. Of David.

1 I will exalt You, my God the King;
I will praise Your Name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise You

and extol Your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;

His greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation will commend your works to another;

they will tell of your mighty acts.
5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty,

and I will meditate on Your wonderful works.
6 They will tell of the power of Your awesome works,

and I will proclaim Your great deeds.
7 They will celebrate Your abundant goodness

and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The LORD is good to all;

He has compassion on all He has made.
10 All you have made will praise You, O LORD;

Your saints will extol You.
11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of Your might,
12 so that all men may know of Your mighty acts

and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

and Your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all His promises
and loving toward all He has made.
14 The LORD upholds all those who fall

and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You,

and You give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open Your hand and satisfy

the desires of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways

and loving toward all He has made.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on Him,

to all who call on Him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him;

He hears their cry and saves them.
20 The LORD watches over all who love Him,

but all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.

Let every creature praise His Holy Name
for ever and ever. [emphasis mine]

May we Praise and EXTOL His Name together - forever!

Choosing JOY,


Monday, December 3, 2007

Follow the Leader

Romans 8:1-8, 12-14

Life Through the Spirit

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. [emphasis mine]

This week in my MSP class we have been studying the Person of the Holy Spirit. So often as believers we do not draw upon the power source that God intends for us to use daily in our lives. The Holy Spirit is the leader and we need to willing follow His path for us each day. I ask you the same questions I have been asking myself this week. Who has the reigns of your life today? Are you following the leader (the Spirit) or are you trying to take control of your day today? I want a willing obedient heart to 'follow the leader' - my God - my Holy Spirit! Only He knows what is best for me each and every day.

Choosing JOY,