God’s Saving Presence

It was a hot day in Kansas when one of the large howitzer tanks lost communications and I went to look for a loose wire, bad splice, or cut in the wire. Or maybe I had to replace the phone entirely.

So in my sweaty fatigue clothes and black boots I stepped up on the side of the tank’s track wheels at the port opening of the tank where I knew the phone should be — only to hear the lieutenant give a voice command to fire.

I had completely missed him standing back in the middle of the battery of tanks giving orders.

So the charge ignited the projectile with a thundering boom which rocked the tank backwards — and me off to the side about ten yards onto a muddy area that was laced with tank track grooves and smashed weeds.

I lay there for the longest time and couldn’t hear anything for awhile.

But I knew God was present.

Consider the dangers in life and how small we can be — but that despite any disability God is still present to give us love and mercy.

The Bible states we are formed for his purpose (Isaiah 43: &). No, not for the devil’s purpose but God to give witness and praise – for the extension of his kingdom.

If you don’t know God, consider visiting a church, pastor, or reading God’s word to become familiar with him. It may be in times of trouble, that God will hear your plea for help and grant you comfort such as I received that day on the field.

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The Garden Court

The first trial for people on earth came in the Garden of Eden where four parties were present and written about in Genesis Chapter Three: Adam, Eve, a serpent (the devil), and God.

The evidence presented was the tree of knowledge of good and evil and some fruit.

And then there were some questions from God had to establish the presence of the parties and venue (place of the crime).

Then were more questions to find out the truth about why Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s order to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2: 17).

It was a pithy scene with Adam covering himself and Eve despising the serpent, and with God as prosecutor — as Judgment was pronounced, an order was given, and there was an invitation to receive the tree of life – if a person gets by a flaming sword (test of faith) that guards the tree of life.

Consider this trial of sin and God’s presence.

Trials come along in life that test our faith, correct our transgressions, and give us direction, but consider also Jesus the Son of God, who faced trial on earth only to be condemned and rise into heaven on the third day,

Where earthly trials don’t always provide relief, God‘s tree of life through Jesus gives us salvation and grace upon confession of sin and acceptance of Jesus.

In the midst of conflict, Jesus is always here for intercession and a hope for something better.

The tree of life was in the beginning of the Bible but also in Jesus in Revelation 2: 7:

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Abraham’s Place Near God

Abraham’s place was to be near God, and nothing is more evident of that then when Abraham prayed about a wicked situation in the city of Sodom in the 18th and 19th chapter of Genesis.

Abraham approached God and said, “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” (Genesis 18: 23).

As the story goes, fire and brimstone rained upon Sodom, Abraham’s nephew was saved from the destruction, and God got his desire fulfilled on the town.

But Abraham did not get physically involved in the destruction of Sodom, or at least the scriptures make no mention of it.

Instead, he looked upon the destruction from his place.

Consider how God used Abraham in this drama and how Abraham walked with two angels towards Sodom yet returned unto “his place.”

And that place was being near God. That’s where we need to be.

Abraham didn’t stay around the area long after the destruction of Sodom, for the scripture says he moved on to the region of Negev. So he must have fulfilled the mission gave him.

But God protected Abraham by telling him what was going to happen in Sodom before it happened (Genesis 18: 17).

God often warns us about such situations. And then it’s up to us to be obedient and follow through on whatever God proposes: and many times it is to clear out evil and restore righteousness.

Know also Jesus, the Son of God, whom God gave as a redeemer for sin upon confession and belief.

His place is our place in any event God chooses to proclaim His glory.

(My devotions are printed weekly by the Loris Scene https://www.myhorrynews.com/  . They want to sign up for an account but you can usually just google my name and bible study at Loris Scene to get there.

Here’s one you may enjoy:( When God passes By.)

God’s Saving Presence

It was a hot day in Kansas when one of the large howitzer tanks lost communications and I went to look for a loose wire, bad splice, or cut in the wire. Or maybe I had to replace the phone entirely.

So in my sweaty fatigue clothes and black boots I stepped up on the side of the tank’s track wheels at the port opening of the tank where I knew the phone should be — only to hear the lieutenant give a voice command to fire.

I had completely missed him standing back in the middle of the battery of tanks giving orders.

So the charge ignited the projectile with a thundering boom which rocked the tank backwards — and me off to the side about ten yards onto a muddy area that was laced with tank track grooves and smashed weeds.

I lay there for the longest time and couldn’t hear anything for awhile.

But I knew God was present.

Consider the dangers in life and how small we can be — but that despite any disability God is still present to give us love and mercy.

The Bible states we are formed for his purpose (Isaiah 43: &). No, not for the devil’s purpose but God to give witness and praise – for the extension of his kingdom.

If you don’t know God, consider visiting a church, pastor, or reading God’s word to become familiar with him. It may be in times of trouble, that God will hear your plea for help and grant you comfort such as I received that day on the field.

God’s Authority over All

God is usually thought of as a good God but He also can produces evil, such as when he sent an evil spirit upon the arrogant man King Saul (Read 1 Samuel 15-16).

Saul had gotten in trouble with God when he failed to destroy the goods of the Amalekites, (who had showed no mercy to the Hebrew children when they were tired and marching to the God’s land of promise) — after God had instructed Saul to leave nothing of their livestock, goods, and people.

From that day of disobedience, Saul’s kingship was doomed and the young man David would take over.

David was able to quell the evil spirit somewhat by playing music but the movement had already begun to replace Saul as king.

Consider this authority of God, the creator of man, that he also repented of his choice to make Saul king.

And who are we to reject God’s will whether it be good or bad considering he has power over life and death?

But obviously it is better to do good — rather than be consumed by jealousy such as Saul, who wasted a good part of his life thinking about and chasing David.

Now we have Jesus who has broken the curse of God (Galatians 3: 13-14) to put us on the right path for a good purpose.

Yes, Jesus is our redeemer, but God is still on the throne to requite vengeance to his adversaries and yet love to his people

Prayer for Old Age: Psalm 71

The fire was intense, but locust wood burns like that – hot — I thought as I looked at the flickering flames and sparks flying off in the wood stove.

But it would still need an oak log to make it thorough this cold winter damp night.

So I rose up from my crouch, exited the pine boarded door and stepped out onto a snow dusted ground to gather a couple logs from under the wood pile cover and hurriedly went back to the cabin to escape a wind now beginning to howl — threw the log in quickly, closed the stove door and turned the draft screws in slightly for a slow burn overnight.

Everyone was gone. The kids were grown and gone. No laughter, no one to have to fix breakfast for, and a half-moon became visible through the log cracks.

This was my thought in the middle of winter of 1994 yet I’d be blessed with a little food, money, and some humble native friends with family young and old who loved the Lord. It doesn’t take much to be happy.

But consider the brevity of life. The Book of James says it is as a vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes (James 4: 14). The years pass quickly.

Fortunately God has provided the Bible for a guide to life.

Psalms 71 is a prayer for old age, For thou art my hope, O Lord, God, thou art my trust from my youth (Psalms 71: 5).

If you don’t know God’s peace, consider reading some scripture or visiting a local church.

Your happiness is only a prayer in Christ.

Job’s Three Friends

( I send a devotion to the newspaper in town  every week but occasionally put them here on the blog also if anyone wants to read them.)

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are long known as “miserable comforters” to their friend Job, who suffered loss of family, livestock, farm, and his health after being attacked by the devil.

But Job’s friends weren’t too miserable, because each of them after hearing of Job’s problem left his home, sat down with Job on the ground (for seven days, wept, tore their clothing ( a sign of penitence), and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven (Job 2: 12).

They saw that Job’s grief was great, and none spoke a word (Job 2: 13).

Looking upon senseless destruction of property and people leaves one speechless. A tragedy has happened, there is a loss of goods, an emptiness of friendships, and a hopeless feeling that nothing can be replaced.

Unless you know God.

And so they waited for the appropriate time to speak – to first hear Job’s words, and as you may remember, Job began to curse the day he was born (Job 3).

Sensitive leader Eliphaz was the first to respond to Job’s complaint, and he politely asked to speak.

Without rebuke, he carried on with his message of hope in Chapter 4 and 5.

“But as for me, I would seek God,
And to God I would commit my cause;
Who does great things, and unsearchable,
Marvelous things without number (Job 5: 8-9).

Consider these three friends, much as they have been maligned, that they also were dedicated to seeking God’s will and counsel in this matter.

There is no mention of them restoring a water trough, shelter, or food grain after the assault, but they humbled themselves to be with Job and wait upon his desire.

Such friends are priceless. For In their speeches, they kept the Spirit alive through God by innocence, wisdom and humility, to which Job attained.

Maybe you are suffering like Job, but staying around God’s throne and knowing there are godly friends praying for you goes a long towards recoverlng from hardship.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15: 13).

Hope In Despair

It always amazes me that in the darkest of times of life God will suddenly manifest His presence in different ways.

Consider that a cabbage plant can easily be destroyed by insects, yet a bird will come along and eat the insect invaders; a lizard silently waits on a porch screen to quickly find a gnat or fly to consume ridding the area of nuisance insects; or how flood waters ravage a field but sunflowers bloom alongside it under cloudy skies.

Sit quietly alone and God will often visit us with a message of hope to solve a problem, give encouragement, or heal a wound. Worship other gods, and all that disappears and may even be catastrophic: we would miss communion with our Creator.

Imagine the shepherds who were watching their sheep on a moonless cold night without bread or money at home and who had no Savior or redeemer for sin – they listened for hope and heard an angel’s message of Christ’s birth (Luke 2: 8-11).

What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou visits him? Psalms 8: 4. Psalms 8 shows God’s glory over earth and its inhabitants.

Sit quietly alone and God will visit you with a message of hope. He provides it to anyone who listens, calls upon God, and accepts Jesus as Savior over life – and gives victory over fear and death.

 

The Greeting Word

Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians gives us a good example of how to greet and brother or sister: Grace to you, and peace, from God, our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1: 3).

A similar greeting was given to me every morning when I used to deliver mail to an old white boarded house with a fenced in yard where a kind old gentleman would be sitting on his front porch in a old weathered couch.

“Praise the Lord!” he would exclaim as I was putting mail in the postal box. Of course he was disabled but still praising God.

And so we began a friendship until one day he wasn’t there – he had passed onto God’s kingdom.

But I looked forward to discussing the Bible with him every morning in those brief moments and quoting scripture: it encouraged me throughout the day.

The Bible says: And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works (Hebrews 10: 24): the Apostle Paul also encourages us to admonish each other (Romans 15: 14).

Consider your greeting to another person and an opportunity to present God as a blessing.

It may be that you will find a friend who knows God, and if not, be able to present Jesus as Savior.

Mountain and Valley Worship

Far back in the Appalachians there was a small church group that met Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings in a little brick building at the foot of a mountain.

On cold mornings, the wood stove would have to be fired up with kindling, scrap bark cleaned off the floor, sidewalk cleared of snow, and towels placed inside the front entrance to catch dripping water from everyone’s shoes as they entered the door.

There might be sunlight shining through the crucifix stained glass windows if not so low in the winter and trying to find its way through a gap in the mountains, but more often than not, its ray slept far into the morning and the windows remain frosted while the parishioners exhaled steam.

Yet the sweet music from a solitary figure with a guitar filled the room as she chose to keep her talent in the church.

“The God on the Mountain is still God in the Valley . . . the God in the good times is still God in the bad times.”

And no one really cared about how cold it was when hearing Linda sing.

Consider your worship of God, whether it is on the mountain or in the valley, and whether it is in the right place, (read Deuteronomy 12).

But above all, know also that God’s Son Jesus says that God is a spirit, and we are to worship him in spirit and truth.

If you don’t know Jesus, learn about him in the Bible, and then you will be in the right place to worship as God chooses.