Psalm 107:2 Tell Your Story

Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story–those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, Psalm 107:2

Looking at a person who is successful and appears to have made it, looks like he had made it with no challenges or problems. It just appears that he was in the right place at the right time. The truth of the matter is, that every person who is successful, had to go through a lot of hard times to get there.

This includes those in the world and believers in Jesus.

After going through an extremely difficult time, most people want to forget about it. They want to put it in the past and leave it there. Thinking about that difficult time usually bring up bad feelings. Blaming others and God for that situation often occurs.

Hearing about a person’s difficult time and how God brought them through it, can be encouraging to others. Success stories are always something that most people like to hear about. It gives a person encouragement that he can make it or be successful.

In this world, the stories of people who have made it rag-to-riches are stories people like to hear about.

As a believer, you also have a rag-to-riches story to be told. You were captured by the enemy, bound up in sin, unable to rescue  yourself. Then Jesus came along and broke the chains that bound you and set you free. He bought you back from the enemy. Today you are a child of the King.

You have a story to tell about how that happened. Your story is different from every other person’s story on this earth. No two people have the exact same story as to what God has done in them and for them.

Think about the people in the Bible, Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, John, Peter, Paul and many others. Each one has a different story, but all of them have the part that God redeemed them.

Your story is that God has redeemed you. Encourage someone today and tell the story of what you have been through and how God had saved you. Tell about how God had met some of your needs in your life. Do not forget your story of God working in your life. It can and will be an encouragement to someone else.

Tell your story today.

I pray today that you will see what God has done for you; that you will tell others what God has done for you; that others will see what God has done for you; and that many will seek God because of your story.

 

 

Job 27:11 Teaching About God

I will teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal. Job 27:11

Job is maintaining that he has not done anything wrong that is causing all of the suffering he is going through. He refuses to agree with his friends that he guilty of some great sin in his life. Although he does not agree with them, he is still willing to teach them what he knows about the power and ways of God.

If a person looks online, he can find thousands of people willing to teach about whatever subject he is interested in. It does not matter what it is about, whether, cooking something, making something, dealing with someone, relationships, or politics, there is always someone who has an opinion about it and willing to teach what is known.

The reality is that most people only have very little to no experience in some fields that they are willing to talk about and teach. Look at how people talk about how a politician should do something. Many have not really looked into all of the aspects of an issue before giving their own teaching on the subject. The important thing is that they are willing to talk about what they do know. They are willing to share the knowledge they do have, whether good or bad.

As a believer, you may not know everything about God. There is no way you can know all about the power and ways of God. You do know what you have experienced in your own personal life with God’s power and ways of working.

It is these things that you are to be a witness about. You have to be willing to teach others about what you know about God.

Many believers feel that what they know about God is a private affair and not to be shared. It is their own personal belief that they do not want to “push” on others. They are trying to be politically correct.

When Jesus left the earth, He told the disciples to go and preach all that they have been taught by Him. You are to do the same thing. Do not stop teaching others about God. Some will listen, while some will reject it. It is not up to you to decide who will do what, share with everyone and give them a chance to accept it.

I pray today that you tell others about Jesus; that you will see God’s power in your life; that you will know God’s ways for your life; and that you will not fear what others think or do.

God’s Amazing Provision

My oldest daughter, Brittany (age 22), has a story of God’s miraculous provision in an amazing way. I want everyone to be encouraged that God still does miracles and is a faithful provider today. Here is her testimony:

May 26, 2016 was a day I will not soon forget. I am a house cleaner, and have been for the last 5 years. I love getting to be with families. This day, however, the house I was cleaning started flooding from a severe storm going through the area. Water was pouring, and we had been bailing water for an hour or so. I went out to go get a sub pump to help rid the house of water.

We knew the roads were bad some places, but had been told it was fine in our area. I went out, careful to watch around me how the roads were behaving. At one intersection, I saw it would be too bad for me to go through, so I turned around. In the middle of my turning around, a flash flood came from the left and swept me and my van forward a few hundred feet. I was then stuck in a middle of a flooded street with the water up over my tires.

I immediately realized I was in trouble, so I turned off the car, and called the police. A fire truck came and saved me, and we picked up my car later. A few mechanic friends looked at it, and said it looked to be a goner. Our last option was taking it to our regular mechanic. He called me after a day and told me it was totaled. The repairs would be far more than the car was worth.

I knew then that God was going to have to do something BIG. Living in a family of 10, being in ministry, and working full time demanded a car. I started saving, and wondering how God was going to work everything out. I had decided years ago to not incur any debt, on anything. Which sounds crazy, but I knew it’s what God called me to do.

Below the surface, in my prayer closet, and to a few friends, I shared how deeply I wanted the Lord to provide a car. I, personally, have chosen to not go into debt, especially for a car.

I can’t tell you the countless people who told me it was impossible. How I needed to sign a note, and that’s just the way it was. Emails, calls, private face to face “chats” encouraging me to do the normal thing and get a payment. It was wearing on my heart, for sure. But, I KNEW without a doubt what God wanted me to do.

Thankfully, a few loyal souls encouraged me to continue saving and waiting on the Lord. Their faith bolstered mine, and we prayed for God to come through. In December of last year, I had made a financial plan to be able to save and buy a $3-$5k car. In January, I wrote down a dream that the Lord would provide a car, and I put it up in my war room (prayer closet)

A couple weeks ago, God told me to write down a list with specific things I wanted in a car. What were my desires, the things I honestly had not told ANYONE else, the things just for His ears and His hands to work on? So, I wrote them out, itemized in my prayer journal.

Did I feel silly? A little, yes. I told the Lord that hope deferred could kill me (Proverbs 13:12) He told me to wait and TRUST Him, because He is good. Period.

I have been standing on the truth of Psalm 31:19 all year. Like it’s my lifeline, the one thing keeping me sane. “How abundant are the good things that You have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You.”

Over, and over, and over again I have quoted that verse. To walls, to the van I was borrowing, to myself in the dead of night when everything told me my prayer was impossible, when I was crying, when I was laughing, when I was with friends, everywhere I quoted it.

One day I received a call from someone, and the person wanted to know if I had a car yet. After some time, this person told that someone had a car picked out for me and I needed to go sign some papers and pick up my new (to me) $10,000 car. This person had a check ready to pay for it in full, no debt on either side. Within two hours I received the call, and drove my car off the lot.

Yes, you can read over that sentence as much as you want. It’s still sinking in for me as well.

God made a way where there was NO way. There was NO WAY I could have worked out this deal. NO WAY that I could have made everything work out. THAT was HIM. My bullet points in my journal were checked off, because He knew what I wanted and what I needed.

My word for 2016, which was decided last December, is Praise. I have been looking at Hebrew words, and there are 7 different ones for praise. Each serves a unique purpose. Halah is the one that the Lord imprinted on my heart yesterday. It means to be clamorously foolish before the Lord, to rave upon the Lord. It’s loud, it’s unorthodox, it doesn’t fit into the American boxes we tend to force “polite praise” into. For the things of God are foolishness to the world (I Cor. 1:18-25).

Halah is the name for my car. I didn’t think I was going to name it. But, honestly, it’s not mine, it’s the Lord’s car, and that’s what He wanted.

Thank you to those who uplifted me when I was down. A month ago, I wasn’t sure what God was going to do. But, you helped me see past the circumstances to see glimpses of His glory.

To those who told me it was impossible, thank you. That now tells me how BIG God is. I hope that everyone sees this and realizes that MY GOD, can do ANYTHING He wants to. He isn’t zippered in by proper behavior, and an agenda that everyone can read and follow. He is FREE, and invites us into that freedom.

To those who are going through a difficult time, let me share some advice. There is no secret sauce to receive blessing. There isn’t a formula to receive His attention. It takes 100% surrender to Him to receive blessing. IT WON’T BE EASY. There are STILL difficulties in life. But, wow, He takes care of His children. Their SOULS prosper because He is a good, good Father.

If you don’t know Him and His goodness, I pray for you. That you would see this car as a miraculous sign that there is a God and He cares for you. He sees every broken piece of your heart, and He longs to have a relationship with you. It’s simple, you confess your sins, accept Him as Lord, and invite Him to walk with you DAILY as Lord. Let Him be your light and hope in dark times. I promise, He will take care of you.

Romans 11:36 “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To HIM be glory forever. Amen.”

Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

God’s Provision

The last week and a half has been a great trial for my family. It seemed like if something could go wrong it did.

It started with one of the hinges on the back door broke, so the door was hanging by one hinge. The hinge cannot be replaced in itself, the whole frame has to be replaced. Amazingly God is keeping the door still attached till we can get a different frame and door. We have one, but with the rain and business of life, I have not been able to install it yet. God is providing for our needs.

A little over a week ago our main vehicle, a suburban, broke down. We had no idea as to what was wrong for sure. It is about 10 years old, with 325,000 miles on it. I was nervous that it would be down for good. Besides that, I have no extra money to pay for the repairs. I have a large family and need large vehicles to transport them. It takes the suburban and another vehicle to go anywhere as a family.

We had it towed to a shop and was told there that it would be nearly $2,000 worth of repairs. There was nothing we could do about it. It sat there while we prayed and tried to figure out what to do next.

A couple of days later, my van then broke down. It was in some extreme heavy rain storm. My wife and one son was with me. My little baby was home, waiting to be fed. The serpentine belt fell off the pulleys somehow.

Amazingly, a friend was in the area that is a mechanic. He came by and after a few minutes and getting soaked, he was able to put the belt back on and we drove home.

The following day a friend heard about our suburban and had it towed to a different mechanic. That mechanic was able to do the repairs in less than half the other price. Along with that, our friend provided the money for the repairs and we were able to get our suburban back.

Through all of this our needs have been met. God is providing in miraculous ways! I do not understand why these things are happening, I just know who is in control.

I pray that you will trust God in whatever your situation is in your life. I hope that this little testimony of God’s provision for my family will encourage you today. God is faithful and He promised to meet all of our needs. He is doing that for me, and I know He will do it for you.

1 John 1:3 What We Proclaim

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3

John starts out this letter with talking about what he is going to tell you. He is going to talk about what he and the other disciples had seen and heard concerning Jesus.

Just before this verse John describes Jesus as the Word of Life. Remember in Genesis that God had spoken everything into existence. Everything was created by the Word of God. Now that Jesus has come He is described as the Word of Life. God’s Word is the only thing that can bring about life. Jesus came to bring life. Every person on earth is dead in sins until Jesus brings life to him. He is the giver of life.

Now imagine how many things the disciples must have seen when walking and talking with Jesus. It is stated that if everything that Jesus said and did were to be written down, there would not be enough books in the world to contain all that information. That is a lot of information. The Gospels only contain a small part of what He said and did.

The value in his telling what Jesus said and did is that it shows you today who Jesus was and what He was like. Since Jesus is God, He does not change, He is the same today as He was 2,000 years ago and will continue to be that way.

What does that have to do with you today? Each believer has his own personal experience with God. He sees and knows God in the methods God has chosen to reveal Himself. Each person is unique. You have your own unique story about your experience with Jesus. No one else has the exact same story as you. This story is your testimony about your walk with God in this life.

Today, just like John, you need to pass on the information you know about Jesus. Jesus, who is the Word of Life, has given you new life. Tell others what Jesus has done for you. Tell others what Jesus means to you. Tell others how Jesus has changed your life. Allow others to share in the fellowship you have with the Father and with Jesus His Son. This will make your joy even more complete.

I pray that today God will help you to remember all He has done for you; that God will give you the boldness to tell others what He has done for you; that God will give you the words to speak; and that God will draw others to Jesus through your testimony.