pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Thanks

Reading: Psalm 100

Verse Five: For the Lord is good and His love endures forever.

In my Bible, the subtitle to Psalm 100 is: “A Psalm.  For giving thanks”.  After reading through the Psalm it is certainly a fitting subtitle!  The psalmist begins by calling us to shout for joy and to worship with gladness and then he gives us the why: know that the Lord is God.  He goes on to remind us that God made each of us and therefore “we are his people, we are the sheep of his pasture”.  It is a good reminder for us.

Sometimes life can get crazy and the busyness can feel overwhelming.  We can almost feel as if we are so busy we are moving near paralysis.  Our minds get consumed by the worries and pressures to the point of feeling we are near to collapse.  It is in these moments that the Psalm is an excellent reminder.  It calls us to slow down for a time, to step back from life, and to step into God’s presence.  The words remind us of the bigger picture – we are his people – and this lessens the importance of the things of this world.  In our craziness may we remember to slow down and to connect to God.

The second stanza again picks up the call to praise God, to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise”.  Being thankful is essential to being content.  And being content holds the world and it’s craziness at bay.  Part of my morning routine is my little ‘thank book’s.  I write out five to eight things from the day before that I am thankful for and then I pray through each one.  In giving thanks I can see God’s faithfulness and love for me.

The ending of the Psalm echoes this idea: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever”.  God was and is and always will be.  No matter what this world brings or has in store for us, God and his love are forever.  Thanks be to God.


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“Crazy” Promises?

Reading: Genesis 15: 1-18

In Genesis 15 we hear one of God’s “crazy” promises.  He again tells Abram that he will have an heir after all these long years.  You see, Abram had heard this promise before – first at age 75 when God also told him to move to a foreign land and again years later after Abram had moved to Canaan.  At age 99, almost 25 years after first hearing the promise, God tells Abram that is will soon occur.  God renames him Abraham and at 100 an heir is borne to him by his wife Sarah.  It is true that 100 then is not what 100 is now – his father Terah lived to 205 after all.  Abraham remained faithful to God’s promise and, in the end, the promise came true.  This should not surprise us – it is God making the promise.

I imagine it was hard for Abraham to wait all of those years without doubting, without starting to question the promise.  At least a little.  In my times of uncertainty, it can be really hard to keep faithful and to fully trust in God.  It can be all to easy to worry and fret and to become lost in the midst of the uncertainty.  It can be hard to remember His promise to us: “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Yet this ancient promise still rings true for each of us.  In faith we can face whatever uncertainty we may have.  Maybe life seems to be heading in a direction like Abraham’s.  The questions of “Do what?” and “Now?” may be ringing loudly in our heads.  But quietly, underneath these noises, is the quiet and sure voice of God.  It is steady and unchanging.  He reminds us that He created us just as He intended so that we could fulfill just the purpose He has for our lives.  The road may be rocky at times and fear may rise up from the uncertainty, but God has it.  He will carry us when we need carried; He will strengthen us when we falter.  He reminds us that He has given us the skills and talents for the task at hand.  In faith, we step forward into God’s plans, fully knowing He is in control.