Step 1 – Desiring What God Desires
What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
A: Discovering the Truth
Many envision God as He appears to be depicted in the Old Testament as a God of wrath and judgment. In contrast, others tend to have an impression of God from the New Testament as one of compassion and grace. But God does not have Continue reading “Desiring What God Desires”
God Equips The Called
Exodus 4:10-12 – Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant, I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you to speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – It’s been said that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called. If we felt we were up to the tasks that God calls us to do, perhaps we would be arrogant and too self-sufficient in carrying out the task. And after the task was done, too proud in what we had accomplished.
My Advice – Do not be reluctant to follow the clear calling of God. He will never call you to something that He is not prepared to equip you to carry out. And once you have done it (even as you are doing it), give Him the credit and the praise.
God Intends It For Good
Genesis 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – It is often hard to understand some things that happen in our lives. When they are happening, we see only the negative and despair because of it. But God has a plan for our lives, and even the “bad” things that come into our lives will be used by God for some good that will outweigh the bad.
My Advice – Bad things happen to all of us. You do not have to be happy about them. But you can be assured that God will somehow use it for a greater good, whether it is developing our character, being a witness for others, or something else. Sometimes the good that comes (and we may never know about it in this life) could not have come about any other way.
Genesis 40:20 – Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – God never deserts us. We may not feel His presence, because of the circumstances, but He is there. And as bad as it might seem, the burden is less than it might have been because He is helping us bear the burden.
My Advice – Whatever situation you find yourself in, be encouraged that God is right there with you. Try focusing on that eternal truth, rather than on the temporary circumstances. You will be surprised to find how much it helps your attitude and your ability to bear up until, when the time is right, God delivers you.
Genesis 32:7, 9 – In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people. Then Jacob prayed. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – How typical of us when we encounter danger or difficulties. Our first reaction, Like Jacob, is to take matters into our hands, by planning and taking action to solve the problem or get out of the situation. Then, almost as an afterthought we bring God into it and ask Him to deliver us. At the very least, this is backwards.
My Advice – Always make it your first priority to seek out God in prayer whenever you face a problem or danger. Do what you can that seems prudent and consistent with God’s Word in the situation, but do not be afraid to wait on God for a solution before taking action. Because sometimes, our actions make matters worse rather than better.
I Got This One God
Genesis 15:6, 8 – Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. But Abram said, “O, Sovereign Lord, how can I know?” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Abram believed that God could do the “impossible” (give him countless offspring when he was so old), but doubted He would deliver on the easy things (give him possession of the land). God is a God of the possible and the impossible, we should not doubt Him.
My Advice – Do not be reluctant to take both your hard and easy problems to God. We sometimes have a tendency to “do it ourselves” on the small stuff, reserving the big stuff for God. Often, the small things turn into big things that might have been avoided if we went to God at the outset.
A Dad’s Advice To His Son
When I was a kid we subscribed to the Chicago Daily News, a newspaper (like so many others) that no longer exists. On Sundays, my two brothers (and dad) and I could hardly wait for our turn at the Sunday comics. I’ve since grown-up (kind of) and have outlived many of those childhood comic strips. But I still enjoy a bit of “comic relief” now and then. Given that bit of nostalgia, I’ve decided that Sundays will be when I share my “amusings.” My first one relates to “A Dad’s Devotions.”
Below is an Arlo and Janis (one of my current favorites) comic that I included with “A Dad’s Devotions.” It is a stereotype of how a father’s advice is often viewed by young sons – ignoring it. In Joel’s case, unlike Gene, he has always been pretty good about seeking out and following his mom’s advice or mine. Following the strip is my introduction to the devotions.
Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson
June 14, 1996
Things Joel might think or say about his Dad…
At 4 years old: My Daddy can do anything.
At 7 years old: My Dad knows a lot, a whole lot.
At 8 years old: My Father doesn’t quite know everything.
At 12 years old: Oh well, naturally Father doesn’t know it all.
At 14 years old: Father? Hopelessly old fashioned.
At 21 years old: Whoa, is that man out of date. What did you expect?
At 25 years old: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
At 30 years old: It’s amazing how wise he got in the last few years.
At 35 years old: We need to find out what Dad thinks about it.
At 50 years old: What would Dad have thought about it?
At 60 years old: My Dad knew everything.
At 65 years old: I wish I could talk it over with Dad one more time.
These devotions are for that day.
• My hope: that you will not wait for that day to read these pages to learn what I think. Hope does not disappoint.
• My wish: that the advice will be a reminder of things you were taught and not a new revelation. Wishes can come true.
• My fear: that you will find that I am better at giving advice than I have been at following it. Forgive me. Perfect love drives out fear.
• My faith: that you will accept and follow the advice that is given and that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. Faith is being sure of what we hope for.
Congratulations on your College graduation (May 12, 2007).
Love and devotion,