12 November 2005
In Genesis 22 God tells us a story about His testing of Abraham’s faith -- and what a test it was! God wanted to see if Abraham was as committed to Him as he said he was. And as Abraham and his son Isaac walked up Mt. Moriah, Isaac asked, “Dad, I see that we have the wood and the fire, but where's the lamb for the sacrifice?” (paraphrased)
Today I hear Isaac's question coming to you and to me as God asks, “I see your zeal, your spiritual gifts and your 24/7 life. But what are you willing to sacrifice for Me? Will you lay your very lives on the altar and give Me all of who you are?”
In the Old Testament God asked His friend Jeremiah to write a letter to a group of exiled Jews living in Babylon. Out of a desire to remind thesediscouraged folks that even in difficult times God’s love for them remained, Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 29 ... “For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In these days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me (NLT).”
Today I hear Jeremiah's hope-filled words coming to you and to me as God asks, “I see all your plans and dreams. I see all your hopes and purposes. I see all your goals and desires. Will you invite Me into these precious parts of who you are? Will you allow Me to mold them around My heart and My will?”
In Joshua 1, as Joshua was about to lead the nation of Israel out of the Negev Desert and into the promised land of Canaan, God spoke some incredible words of challenge and focus meant to strengthen Joshua with his power ...
Be strong and very courageous. Obey all
the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away
from them, and you will be successful in
everything you do. Study the Book of the Law
continually. Meditate on it day and night so
you may be sure to obey all that is written in it.
I command you – be strong and courageous! Do
not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your
God is with you wherever you go (NLT).
Today I hear God's words to Joshua coming to you and to me saying, “Proceed without fear! I do not call the equipped, I equip the called. Are you willing to let your callings be born out of your relationship with Me? Are you hungry to discover My heart for you as revealed in the Bible? Are you ready to uncover My love for you in godly relationships and in the nurturing strength of a faith community? Press into Me and you will find success in your life.”
In John 1, while reading about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, we Him traveling from His home in Nazareth out into the wilderness, to where His cousin John was challenging everyone who would listen to him to give up their own way, so they could be joined to God in His way.
Signifying Jesus’ willingness to submit to the plans God the Father had for his life, Jesus asked John to baptize Him. And as John saw Jesus coming toward him he yelled out for everyone to hear, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (NIV).”
Today, keenly aware of how God has gifted us, called us, and filled us with hopes and dreams, I hear God asking, “My Son Jesus came and demonstrated My love for you. Through his life, death, and resurrection he has made a way for you to come near to me. Will you give Him your plans from this day forward? Will you invite His righteousness to be your standard and your guide?”
Father God, thank You for loving me with
an everlasting love. With passionate resolve,
I say that I choose to love You.
Jesus, thank You for dying for me. I know
that apart from You I can do no good thing,
and that through You I can do above what I
can ask for or imagine. With a heart set on
holiness, I say that I willing choose to be
yoked to You, to stay close to You, to follow
Holy Spirit, God’s revealer, and my empowerer,
thank You for equipping me to live a life that will
honor You and further the Kingdom of God.
With an obedience that is one half discernment
and half courage I say to you today that I choose
to be obedient to You all the days of my life.