WARNING ALERTS FROM GOD: DO WE LISTEN AND HEED?

 

Warning beeps! My new vehicle gave me these safety alert beeps whenever I “trespassed” over a line without using my lane signals. A sudden tug on the steering wheel pulled me back when I veered over on the side of possible oncoming traffic. After driving this way for many miles due to the road conditions of patchy snow with underlying ice, an image appeared before me on the screen behind the steering wheel—a cup of steaming coffee followed by the words, “Please take a break.”

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had warning beeps whenever we swerved into possible danger lanes in life and had a tug pulling us back whenever we did? And yet, God has given us these warnings and tugs through His Word:

 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. (Psalm 146:3

Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to His disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9-10)

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil. . . (Romans 2:8-9

29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30)

 3 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. . . (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

TAKE A BREAK! Reflect and Pray.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:17-18)

As we travel this road of life, the warnings are there before us. His Word looms large in our mental vision if we have studied, reflected, prayed, and believed. He pulls us back at times when we don’t even realize we are in danger, directing our path onto another route, one which we may question and even rant about. Yet, He is the driver, not us. He knows the path ahead, not us. When we take over the steering wheel from Him, He may tug and pull us back. If we persist in taking control, however, then we risk confronting forewarned dangers, distresses, and even eternal separation from Him.

Let us each pray that we will heed the warnings from His Word. Let us each ask God to direct our paths always and pull us back when we stray off course. Let us each release our grip on the steering wheel and allow God to take control, so that our final stop on this earthly road will be at the entrance to eternity with Him.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/31/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR GOD’S PURPOSE?

 

Spring was on the calendar. The robin arrived—and alighted on top of the snow-covered ground. This couldn’t be right. Where was the ground? No grass in sight. Didn’t the bird have some internal direction from the Creator to come? Was there a miscommunication? The robin took one last look around the perimeter and flew away.

Do we, sometimes, feel so led by an internal guidance that we follow it—only to be confused and disappointed at the circumstances we find ourselves in? Surely, the inner calling was to lead us to a destination that would be fruitful ground ready to grow what we could plant, a worthy task. But what if it is barren and parched or cold and frozen? Do we take one last look around the perimeter and walk away?

What if we are the ones meant to work and prepare the ground to make it ready for someone coming after us? What if we are the ones meant to toil, to prepare, and maybe not see the growth? The grass is covered in snow. But underneath, we need to remember that growth is still there, waiting.

1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah{40:3}: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’” (Matthew 3:1-3)

 John the Baptist knew his work was to prepare for Christ, the One who would supersede him and anyone that would come after:

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” (Matthew 3:11)

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” (Matthew 3:13-14)

 The world tells us the ones who are great are known in some manner for their celebrity through fortune, a name, a talent or skill, a title. Not the servant. Not the one in the background, behind the scenes of the main story. Not the one with the part that doesn’t get the top billing on the billboard. Yet, that person is needed and necessary. In God’s Kingdom, the servant is the one exalted.

11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12)

 Even the One who is above all others, the One whom John the Baptist prepared the way, is the servant to everyone who has lived, now lives, and will live:

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Maybe what we think is not the right place or circumstance for us is exactly where we should be for God’s purpose. Instead of a superficial look around the perimeter, a closer view through prayer is needed to find the opportunity God has placed before us—to serve Him.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/24/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

SEEING GOD THROUGH THE SIGHT OF HOPE AND FAITH

 22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When He had spit on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25 Once more Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”  (Mark 8:22-26)

Seeing

Internally

God’s

Hope

Today

External sight. A sense we want to keep intact. Without it, some independence is lost. And dependency is a state most of us do not really seek. From the time we are two, we are promoting our independence: “Me can do it.” We seem to maintain that attitude of not needing or wanting assistance as we continue to age. Dependency might mean, “I owe you something.” It might mean, “I am showing I am too weak to handle it myself.” Usually, it suggests some degree of personal pride or assertion of self.

This blind man had friends/neighbors who were looking out for him. They begged Jesus to just “touch him.” They knew of His healings and His power. The blind man could not look upon Jesus. He could not have seen His miracles. Yet, he allowed Jesus to lead him away from these neighbors, outside the village. The blind man had already learned dependence and reliance on others. He had to trust others

This man allowed Jesus to proceed. It is not recorded that he questioned the means Jesus was using to achieve the result. There was an element of faith—sight unseen—that the blind man exhibited. He “saw” inside, through a hope given by his friends, that this man Jesus could help him. Thus, he trusted to be led away by Him, to allow Him to spit on his eyes, and to put His hands on him twice. Seeing internally with hope and trust, the blind man gained his physical sight.

Internal sight, with hope and faith, is the kind we need to really “see” Jesus. It is the sight that leads us to Him, and the sight that allows us to fully trust Him to lead us.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

 Faith is how we see Jesus in our lives, daily guiding us, opening our internal eyes to His abiding Presence.

“Thank you, God, for closing doors I’m not strong enough to close-and opening new doors I’m not strong enough to open.” 1 We cannot do it alone. Dependence on Jesus is crucial. With a hope and a faith that give us internal sight, we will beg Him to spit on our eyes and touch us with His hands more than once, so we can see less dimly in this world, that we will see, more clearly, who He is and that we need Him always.

1 pinterest.com. The Soul Doctor

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/17/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

GPS: God’s Providential Steering

 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

 White, blowing mist. It’s all I can see. White flakes of snow swirling before me, behind me,beside me. Then two dimmed lights peer at me on the other side of the road, moving through the mist. Blurred back lights are suddenly in front of me from the car ahead in the whiteout. Slow down. Take the drive more cautiously. Hold onto the wheel tightly. I don’t know what is ahead, and it’s even hard to discern what is behind or at my side. I stop to clear my windshield wipers and try to catch the swirling snowflakes within my hand, but they cannot be captured, vanishing quickly beyond my grasp.

Life. The mist we abide in. The mist that we are. Here, we see dimly.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (I Corinthians 3:12)

 Along this road we travel called life, we cannot see what is ahead. Our side vision may be distorted from different outside influences as well as inside perspectives. Behind us, our memories may be dimmed or lost in a haze of what we thought was there versus what the reality really was at the time. We keep driving down the road, trying to map out our journey with predictions of the turns ahead, the places to avoid, the places to stay a while, the time to pick up and leave again to face the mist ahead where we cannot discern our path clearly, unable to grasp the swirling flakes and hold onto them. Life cannot be held in time. We are unable to fast forward one hour or fall back another hour as we do with man-made timepieces. The road we travel on in life is ahead, and we are on it.

But maybe we have forgotten Who is really driving. God knows the path through our mist. His vision is clear. Are we looking for answers from a GPS global positioning system from man or from God’s providential steering? He is the only dependable guidance through a life that is unsure and not visibly clear, where danger and uncertainty are ahead on the road, hidden by curves, detours, obstacles, the unseen.

White, blowing mist. It’s all we can see in this life when we try to travel alone and hold tightly onto the wheel to control our own course. We must give God the steering wheel and trust in His direction on this life path that we travel for but a little while. We see dimly, unsure but seeking that final stop on our life road, as our own time slips away, and we become the mist in a form that can no longer hold us here.

God’s providential steering is through Christ. We can only end where we began on our life journey if we travel with Him. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Our life on this earthly road is temporary, and our journey is only meaningful and purposeful when we release our grip on the wheel to God. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8) From the beginning to the end of our life, God’s providential steering is the only guidance system we need to direct us and bring us home.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/10/19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

SOLITUDE WITH GOD

 

 

In these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)

Seeking quietly

Our Father

Loving God

In communication

Time alone talks

Unforgettable

Dialogue shared

Eternal longing.

SOLITUDE WITH GOD

Time alone with God. It is the most important part of our day. Peace is not what we seeon the news, in the movies, on television, on the streets. It is only grasped when we commune with God in solitude. Strength to continue and endure through trials and heartaches is only found with Him by our side in time alone talks.

Jesus went to His Father on many occasions alone.

–And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone . . . (Matthew 14:23

–And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35)

15 But now even more the report about Him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray. (Luke 5:15-16)

–And after He had taken leave of them, He went up on the mountain to pray. (Mark 6:46)

12 In these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, He called His disciples and chose from them twelve, whom He named apostles . . . (Luke 6:12-13)

 His alone time with God was a deliberate choice, a definite need, and an act of obedience.  Jesus is our example.

 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:5-7)

As Jesus needed time away from others’ needs and wants to commune with God, we, also, require this important prayer time with our Father. The cares, stresses, and needs of this world are like “great crowds” that gather around us, disrupting our calm and peace, depleting our energy and stamina, and affecting our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Time alone talks with God should be our deliberate choice, definite need, and act of obedience.

When Jesus spoke to God, it was not in “empty phrases.” He went to the Father to receive help and strength from Him to complete what He was sent to do and be able to say, It is finished.” (John 19:30) Yet, Jesus had prayed for some other way. “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) His time alone talks with God were personal, intimate, emotional, honest, loving, and obedient.

Jesus is our example in prayer to God. He went to Him often in solitude for precious time alone with His Father. We, too, need this time alone in communication with God.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from Him. (Psalm 62:5)

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/03/19)  teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word