God Will Protect You

Bibliology

“The eternal God is thy refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms”
(Deuteronomy 33:27).

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
(Psalm 91:1).

“Who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?” (1 Peter 3:13).

Most of my life I was comforted by scriptures like Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 91:1; and 1 Peter 3:13 because they taught that we were sheltered in the arms of God. But recently I ran into an anonymous statement variously rendered “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you” … “sustain you” … “protect you.” After chewing on it a bit, Continue reading

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God Will Sustain You

Bibliology

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God … for God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:6, 19).

Perhaps you do not watch nature programs as I do. I enjoy some of them because they tell me about my Father’s world. What we call general revelation. One thing I’ve learned is that penguins in Antarctica, and grizzly bears in Alaska, will care for their young at expense to themselves. They will do without, almost to the point of starvation, so that their young can do with. Continue reading

God Can

Women’s History Month: March
Christology

“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight” (Isaiah 45:2).

Generally speaking, “that which is crooked cannot be made straight” (Ecclesiastes 1:15), but under the mighty hand of God nothing is impossible: “the crooked shall be made straight” (Isaiah 40:4; 45:2 Luke 3:5). God can take any situation and turn it around for good. What a consolation to lives that have been bent out of shape! that have erred and gotten off-track! “God can draw straight with crooked lines.” Continue reading

Silver and Gold: Abraham

Consider the Lilies

Silver and gold, silver and gold
Ev’ryone wishes for silver and gold
How do you measure its worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth
– “Silver and Gold” [lyrics by Johnny Marks]

I have fond memories of this Burl Ives song, from the Christmas cartoon Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). Yet silver and gold won’t help Rudolph lead Santa’s sleigh or help Santa’s misfit toys leave their island prison. Without love and friendship, they’re useless. Silver and gold can’t buy friendships with people who “comfort” and “edify one another” either (1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11).[1] Nor can they give us eternal joy. So why do we want to be rich?

business-money-piggy-bankJesus tells us not to store “treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal” (Matthew 6:19). He also warns that we can’t “serve God and mammon” (6:24). After the rich…

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Righteous Judgment*

Consider the Lilies

“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” – John 7:24[1]

esau-bible jacob-bible esau-sells-his-birthrightCain was a farmer, Abel a shepherd (Genesis 4:2). Esau was a “skillful hunter” (25:27). Jacob, a “mild” man, preferred to live in tents (25:27). King Saul was “handsome” and “taller” than the rest of the men of Israel (1 Samuel 9:2). Although “ruddy … and good-looking,” his successor David was the youngest in his family and a shepherd (16:11-12). Family members, friends, and even strangers must have looked at Cain, Esau, and Saul and thought that they were divinely blessed. They might have glanced at Abel, Jacob, and David and then passed them by.

Judging the “outward appearance,” onlookers couldn’t have been more wrong in their spiritual assessments of these six men (1 Samuel 16:7). They refused to judge the heart, revealed through words and deeds (Matthew 7:15-27, 12:33-35). If these people could have…

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A Great Deliverance*

Consider the Lilies

“God sent me before you … to save your lives by a great deliverance.” – Genesis 45:7[1]

joseph-and-his-brothersJoseph spoke these words to his brothers after he revealed his identity to them. Having lived twenty-two years in Egypt, with five years of famine remaining, Joseph knew that “it was not you who sent me here but God” (Genesis 45:6, 8). Seventeen years later, after Jacob had died and been buried, Joseph told his brothers yet again, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good … to save many people alive” (50:20).

Seeing the goodness of God in men’s evil deeds takes wisdom. But in order to deliver his family – so that God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob could be fulfilled – Joseph himself had to be delivered. This “great deliverance” came not from Joseph’s request to the chief butler but from God (Genesis 40:14-15, 23…

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