FAITH BLOG

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GROWING IN THE WORD

Prov. 22:17-19   Growing in the Word

17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;  apply your heart to what I teach, 18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart  and have all of them ready on your lips. 19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,  I teach you today, even you.

We all want to be more of something. Some want to be taller or shorter, some want to be thinner or more athletic, others want to just be smarter or in my case just less forgetful. I personally have always wanted to be a really good guitar player, but have not YET achieved it. Some of those things are within our control and some are not, but the one thing that EVERYONE can control is their personal growth in Christ.

You know, the best thing we could ever do in our lives is to read God’s Word – the Bible. We can’t have the Word “ready on your lips, and “in your heart” as this proverb teaches us unless we take the time to learn God’s Word for ourselves. It’s filled with life-giving words of wisdom, discipline, strength, hope, and victory to help us become the people we are called to be. Proverbs 22:17-19 talks about how important meditating on God’s Word is for our daily lives; verse 17 even says “it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart”. As we prepare to start another Awana year at Church I always get excited about fresh starts.  Seeing God use His Word in lives of our kids and leaders and seeing their desire each week to grow in their knowledge of the Savior by memorizing God’s Word through Awana always gives me hope for the generation coming behind us.

Another one of my favorite verses is Hebrews 4:12, it says, “For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” It’s amazing how, when we really get in God’s Word (and not just skim a chapter per day), it really changes us for the better and prepares us for the challenges ahead.

Pray First Focus: Father, help me to learn to love Your Word and live to make Jesus known in my life today. Please make and grow me into the person that You created me to be through your life- changing Word.  Help us create a love for the Scriptures as we encourage kids and parents to be faithful in hiding God’s Word in their hearts this year in Awana.  We can’t use the Word in our lives unless we take the time to memorize, study and hide God’s Word in our hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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HE IS LORD OF EVERY STORM - HE IS LORD OF YOUR STORM

In Psalm 29, we see the power of the Lord, the power of poetry, and most of all, the confident assurance that God is in control. The psalmist calls upon the great and mighty to give thanks unto God, and to worship him in the beauty of holiness, on account of a tempest that had taken place, vs. 1-2. He shouts the wonders produced by a thunderstorm, which he calls the voice of God, vs. 3-9, and speaks of the majesty of God, vs. 10.  He then points out the good He will do to His people in vs.11.

There is no storm over which He is not Lord. I don’t know about you but I kind of have a love-hate relationship with storms. One part of me loves to watch and stand in awe and another part of me is gripped with fear and awe.  Storms have a way getting your attention and perhaps that’s part of the point of the psalm.

Almost the entire psalm is talking about how God is powerful over all the earth. He conquers the trees, the mountains, the deserts, and the weather. Specifically, these are the things that we cannot conquer and that, typically, are intimidating and threatening to us. We see God crushing all these things that can crush us. Then, at the very end, we see this powerful God turn and deal with us with such kindness, imparting His own strength and peace to us.  

We all experience storms in life. They sometimes change our lives forever and yet we can’t control them … This Psalm talks about His voice being in the storm. Storms have a way of getting our attention and sometimes redirecting our steps.  They often change our plans but often I miss hearing his voice in the storm offering His peace. Let this last verse of Psalm 29 wash over you and give you peace in the midst of whatever storm you may be facing.  

11 “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.”

As I sit here watching a brief rain storm from my porch at family camp and gaze at the Rocky Mountain National Park, it seems unfathomable to me that the God who made all this, and speaks everything into existence cares for us and desires to give us peace in the midst of what we perceive to be big storms. He could crush us much easier than crushing a mountain or a giant tree, and yet he doesn’t. He lifts us up, closer to him.

We see in this Psalm that it’s by His voice alone that he can accomplish all this. He need not even lift a finger. It calls us back to Genesis where he speaks everything into being—and here we see His voice calling much of it away.  One of my favorite storms in the New Testament is where Jesus is in the boat on the Sea of Galilee.  Remember the story? He falls asleep and the disciples go into panic mode when the storm hits.  Jesus, leans over the boat and speaks to the storm and all is still. Can you imagine the peace in that moment as all of creation obeys his voice? Jesus is in the boat when you and I have storms come up, and He has all the power to just speak the word and bring peace. 

HE IS LORD OF EVERY STORM -  HE IS LORD OF YOUR STORM

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