Our Value to God = PRICELESS!

Our Value to God = PRICELESS!
"Allow God to place His own values." - A.W. Tozer

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finding The Good

How can God create something positive out of something negative?

A man was shipwrecked on an island. Fortunately for him, there were lots of fruit available so he did not go hungry. What did get to him, though, was the fact that it rained a lot and he frequently had to spend long period of time being cold, wet and miserable. He started building a hut to protect himself from the elements using wood and vines that he gathered from the woods.

Finally, after weeks of struggle, he managed to complete his 'dream' house. A few days later, a violent thunderstorm broke out. e took shelter inside his hut, safe from the rain. Lightning cracked at regular intervals and the rain poured down but he was content - his shelter was holding up. Then, unexpectedly, his hut was struck by a lightning bolt. This set his hut on fire. Huge black columns of smoke rose into the air.

Naturally the man was downcast. Not only was he wet again but his hut, that he had worked on for so long, was burning to the ground. He pondered his fate - how could God allow this to happen to him? Why did he have to loose the most important thing in his life?

Then, suddenly, a ship appeared on the horison. Soon a small boat landed on the beach and a man approached him. "Hi there", he said, "I saw the smoke in the sky and I wondered where it was coming from, so I decided to investigate". The man was duly saved and returned to his home.

So often, things goes well in our lifes, only for bad luck to strike. We then also question God as to why it happened. But, as with this man, the bad situation (smoke) is sometimes required so that someone else can come to our aid. And often we end up being better off due to the experience. God can and will come to our aid in times of distress when He gets our signal (prayer) that all is not well.

Trust in Him, talk to Him, He IS faithful.

I wanted to send out this analogy that I found, because it is such a great reminder to look for the good things in every situation and to trust that God is in control! The other morning on my way to work I was listening to a sermon by James MacDonald and he said something very cool – “God never says, ‘Where was I when that decision was made?’” This is so true! He is not surprised by our circumstances! We just need to keep trusting in His goodness and faithfulness! 

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Apologize” – 33 Miles

Friday, May 14, 2010

Forgetting the God of Things

Forgetting the God of Things

Recently I have been feeling God tell me that I am doing too much “stuff,” rather than just spending time with Him. Just like any relationship, we can do nice things for each other, but often it means the most to others when we just sit and spend some quality time with them. Today I came across a neat analogy that explains this well, so I have included it below:

Did you give God enough building material?
A woman died and went to heaven. As she was walking the streets with God, she pointed at a beautiful house and asked: 'Whose house is that?". God replied that it was the house of a woman who had attended church with her. She again pointed at another, even bigger, more beautiful house and asked whose house that was. God replied that it belonged to their servant who had passed away a couple of years before. A little later they came across a beautiful, but very small house. "Whose house is that?", the woman asked. "It is yours", God replied. The woman then said that there must be a mistake. She had served on various church bodies, belonged to various charities, gave to the poor, read Bible, went to church, basically being a "good" Christian. How come then was her house so small compared to the servant's house. God said that, while the woman was so busy to work in the world, doing the right things, her servant was busy praising God, talking to Him constantly - whether she was on her knees scrubbing the floor, or making food or cleaning the toilet - she would never stop talking to God. "So", God said, "She gave me a lot of building material to work with."
Are we so busy in this world doing the right things that we forget the Person for Whom we are doing these things? Are we so busy with the things of God that we forget about the God of things?

These questions really challenged me!! I have been finding a lot new Christian books, movies, and music to check out lately and I have had a number of conversations ABOUT God, but I have failed to spend much quality time with Him. I pray this devotional encourages you to examine your heart and spur you to meet with your Heavenly Father today as this analogy has done for me!

Blessings to all!
<3 Shannon

“Moving Forward” – Free Chapel

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Time of Silence

The other day I read a neat devotional that talked about how when we find God silent, it is a great opportunity for us to learn discipline. But before I expand on this idea, I want to encourage you to think about how much faith you have in God to fulfill His promises in your life. For me, personally, I know I sometimes find myself saying I trust God to come through for me in tough situations, but my anxious heart tells me something different.

Yesterday when I was pondering this thought I came to the conclusion that I believe greater miracles happened in Biblical times, because they had greater faith! The people in Jesus’ time waited for years before any visible signs of God answering their prayers, yet they stood firm and had confidence that He would come through for them. They used their time of silence as a time for discipline as they waited in anticipation. Isn’t that humbling, yet also encouraging for us?! I often feel that a week of silence (or no signs of God answering my prayers) is a long time! Can you imagine a year? 10 years?

To give you a better idea, here are just a few examples from the Bible:
-Abraham persevered through 13 years of silence before God fulfilled His promise to him. (Genesis 15)

Abraham trusted God to do what seemed the impossible: make Abraham’s descendants into a great nation. God fulfilled this promise in the birth of Isaac and then later Jacob, through whom the twelve tribes of Israel were born. Abraham’s descendants did indeed become great nations. More importantly, however, God promised Abraham that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Through the birth of Christ—direct descendant of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, and Judah—God fulfilled this promise as well. In this way Abraham’s “seed” has indeed blessed all the nations of the earth!

-Abraham’s son, Isaac, waited 23 years for Rebecca to have children. (Genesis 25:21)
-Moses stood 40 years of silence before his vision of delivering his people from Egypt was carried out. (Exodus 3:7-10)

Today I pray that we will re-assess our trust in the Lord and I encourage us all to take a leap of faith so that God can work some great miracles in our lives! And I also pray that we will learn to turn our season of waiting into a time of discipline where we learn perseverance and, as a result, increase our faith!

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Our God” – Chris Tomlin
I just recently heard this song and can’t stop listening to it. It’s pretty powerful!! :)