Make the Call

A couple of weeks ago I had to get a new phone. Unfortunately as a result I lost all the phone numbers of friends and family members that I had collected over the years. I am slowly rebuilding them. If you haven’t heard from me lately and think you might want to at some point in time, send me a private message with your phone number or email me at pastorpstephens@aol.com and I will gladly add your number back to my list of contacts.

Sorry to trouble you, I just don’t remember phone numbers like I used to. I do remember one from the Bible…Jeremiah 33:3. I was always heard that verse described as God’s phone number. The prophet Jeremiah finds himself held captive in the enemy’s court. It is not only a troubled time for Jeremiah but also for the nation. During this time, God encourages Jeremiah to call upon Him, to seek His face, His counsel, and His comfort. The Lord says, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” The Lord goes on to tell Jeremiah of a time that is coming when He will bring health and healing to His people; a time when they will know peace and truth and He will pardon all their iniquities. Yes. Call on Me says the Lord. Jeremiah 33:3. That is one number that I do not think I will ever forget.

Posted in Church, God's Mercy, God's Phone Number, Jeremiah 33:3, prayer, religion, Talk to God | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Old Junk Drawer

It was just an old junk drawer
Full of pictures, cards and files.
I decided to go through it,
I hadn’t looked at it in such a long while.

I read kind words from family and friends
And saw old photos of people I love
Every item reminded me
How I’ve been blessed by God above

I spent all afternoon going through that junk drawer
I laughed and smiled at the good times I recalled
By the time I had gone through it I realized,
It wasn’t a junk drawer after all.

Posted in God has blessed me, God Loves Me, Good memories, I am blessed, Junk Drawer, poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The other day I found myself reading once again the words that the Lord gives to Joshua as he is about to take over the leadership of God’s people after the death of Moses. Although Joshua was mentored by Moses and has been groomed for this new role, he is no doubt a bit anxious. God takes Joshua aside for instructions and a pep talk.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

As God is giving Joshua his commission He takes the time to encourage Joshua and exhorts him to go forward knowing that he will be equipped and empowered for the task set before him. Joshua will not walk alone or work alone for God will be with him. I know those words strengthened and encouraged Joshua and I can attest that those same words have also served to strengthen and encourage me at various times in my life. I am certain they have benefited many others as well. As I was reflecting on these words the other day I was reminded by looking at the previous verse of the major way we can acquire the strength and courage that is promised and provided by God. In verse 8 God tells Joshua that he should not let God’s word depart from his mouth. God instructs Joshua to meditate on it day and night and do according to all that is written in it “for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”

Knowing God’s word helps us to know His will. And doing His will helps keep us close to Him. And when we are close to Him, we have no need to tremble or be dismayed. I pray that you will have a good week. I pray that you will be able to spend time with the Lord in His word and that you will know His will. And as you carry out His will I pray that you will be assured that He is with you. I pray that you will be strong and courageous.

Posted in Christianity, Church, Don't give up, faith, God, God's Strength, Joshua 1:9, Joshua takes over for Moses, prayer, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Heart of God

Some people know the word of God but not the heart of God.

I was thinking the other day how that would be a good phrase to just put on Facebook and leave for contemplation. Eh, not my style. It is great to know God’s word. It tells us of God’s nature and our nature. It tells us how we have separated ourselves from a holy God by our sin but how a holy God is also merciful and in His love has offered us forgiveness and redemption through His Son Jesus Christ. His word instructs us on all these things and tells us how we can live with Him for eternity and how we should live for Him now.

We are to reflect God’s heart of God and His love should be present in all of our interactions. The Bible says in 1 John 4:20 “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”

Yes, God’s word tells us to walk in love. Period. No need to try and qualify it. We are to walk in love when we minister, when we work and when we play; whenever we do anything. Walking in love does not mean we have to walk in compromise; it simply means we walk in kindness and compassion even when we disagree. “By this will all men know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”

We can do our best to follow God’s word and do many things in His name but Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 if we don’t have love “it profits nothing.” And there are things that God has for all of us to do. There are callings He has placed on our lives no matter what our different vocations may be. There is a manner in which He desires for us to live. And certainly He wants us to know His word and live by His word to the best of our ability. And most certainly He wants us to walk in love because that reflects His heart. It just seems to me that knowing His word and knowing His heart should always go hand in hand.

Posted in 1 Corinthians 13:3, 1 John 4:20, Christianity, Church, faith, God, God's Love, God's Word, Just God, Love your brother, religion, Walk in Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tuned Up and Tuned In

I have been practicing the guitar now for a couple of years. I don’t know that I am at the point yet where I would say that “I am playing it” but I play at it and I practice regularly. The dogs no longer leave the room when they see me pick one up. I think that’s a good sign. I bought a new one recently. It is a classical style with nylon strings because I have wanted to learn some finger picking and other types of songs. Practice is going pretty well. Every time I get ready to practice, no matter which guitar it is, I always tune the strings. Some days they don’t need any tuning, some days they need just a little, and still others they seem to be off quite a bit. It really depends on the environment and the temperature. The other day when I was tuning one of the guitars, it reminded me how I need tuned up and tuned in the Lord every day. I got to thinking about David’s words in Psalm 119:

Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.

God’s word is the best way for me to stay tuned in to God’s will. It is the best way for me to walk in His ways and to line myself up time and time again with a standard that is pleasing to Him. And though there are some days when I am a little more off-key than others, I find that I need to be in tune with God’s thoughts and standards every day. Staying tuned up and tuned in helps me to work like I am designed to work and sound like I was created to sound. Now, if I could only master barre chords.

Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, God's Standards, God's Word, good advice, Psalm 119:9, reading the Bible, Walking with God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Out and Coming In

I was at work the other day and someone from another department came by looking for a coworker who had been in a meeting all morning. “I think he’s still in that meeting,” someone said. Another person piped up, “I never knew he left.” And still another added, “I never knew he came back!” No one knew where he was, when he left or came back. The exchange reminded me of the Psalm 121:8:

Psalm 121:8 The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

Our locations can change pretty quickly sometimes. And other times, not so much. Sometimes we find ourselves in meetings that seem like they will never end. And sometimes others may lose track of where we are. Sometimes even we may not know where we are. But the Lord is always aware of our location. He never loses track. He is aware of our going out in and our coming in. Not just now but forever.

Posted in Christianity, Church, Coming In, faith, God, God Knows, Going Out, Psalm 121:8, religion, The Lord Knows our Location | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment