pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Assurances and Promises

Reading: Genesis 12: 1-4

At the age of 75, God asks Abram to move.  Abram has been living in Haran with his wife Sarai, his father Terah, and with Terah’s grandson Lot.  Over the course of his time there, Abram and his family have established themselves, accumulating land and livestock.  They are comfortable and secure.  In addition, at this time people were not mobile.  Almost everyone was born, lived, and died in a small geographic area.  Labor was manual, many hands were required, and land was passed down from one generation to the next.  It would be very odd and very hard for someone to just pack up and head off to someplace.  For Abram, it would have been a tough concept for him to wrap his head around.

God’s request comes with some promises to Abram.  God will bless Abram and make him into a great nation.  God will bless those who Abram blessed and will curse those he curses.  God will bless all the people of the earth through him.  This is quite a list of promises.  There is much for Abram to ponder.  Perhaps.  Maybe Abram would have gone simply because God asked.  Maybe God did not need to offer the promised.  Maybe Abram’s trust and faith in God was sufficient to follow the request.  Maybe the hope of a better future enabled Abram to follow God’s direction.

If I were Abram, I too would want assurances and promises if God asked me to do something that required so much trust and faith.  I want them each day as I simply journey through life.  When God leads or the Holy Spirit nudges or whispers, there is a moment of choice.  Do I follow and respond or do I deny and refuse?  Often there is an unknown to God’s requests.  But we too have promised to rely on.  We also have experiences where we have trusted God and had faith in His lead, times when we have been blessed because God was at work through us.  These assurances and promises enable us to boldly step forward as God leads and directs.  May it be so today.


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Good News

Reading: Acts 9: 1-9

Saul had quite the dramatic encounter with the risen Jesus.  Ever since Jesus’ death and resurrection, Saul had been persecuting and often killing followers of “the Way” – those who followed Jesus and His teachings.  ‘Zealous’ is the word often used to describe Saul’s pursuit of Christians.  The mention of his name brought fear and caused Christians to slip into the shadows and to go into hiding.  Saul was one who needed a dramatic encounter with the Light.

In our lives, we often have encounters with the truth and light as well. In general they are nothing like Saul’s – but at times they can be.  For the most part, our encounters come as gentle nudges and soft whispers as we are guided back to the path God calls us to and away from the path of the world.  On occasion the nudge is more like a shove as we strayed a little too far away and something stronger is needed to bring our life back into alignment with Christ’s desires for us.

For some the encounter is much like Saul’s.  We have been wandering far and wide and God must also bring us to our knees.  It usually comes in the form of hitting rock bottom.  It comes at the end of a long road of addiction or a trail of dishonesty and lies that leaves us wondering how in the world we ended up ‘here’.  One little step after one little step has added up to a journey into the wilderness.  Amazing thing about God though – He can call us back just as quickly from a long detour as He can from a temptation to a much lesser evil.

The great gift is a love from God that never ends, a mercy that never stops, and a grace that always is given.  Saul became Paul and we too will always be rescued, always brought back into a righteous relationship with Him.  No matter where we are or who we are, God wants to use us just like Paul – to go forth and share the good news of Jesus Christ with others on their own detours.  Only one way leads to eternal life.  May we share this news today!!


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Good Newd

Reading: Acts 9: 1-9

Saul had quite the dramatic encounter with the risen Jesus.  Ever since Jesus’ death and resurrection, Saul had been persecuting and often killing followers of “the Way” – those who followed Jesus and His teachings.  ‘Zealous’ is the word often used to describe Saul’s pursuit of Christians.  The mention of his name brought fear and caused Christians to slip into the shadows and to go into hiding.  Saul was one who needed a dramatic encounter with the Light.

In our lives, we often have encounters with the truth and light as well. In general they are nothing like Saul’s – but at times they can be.  For the most part, our encounters come as gentle nudges and soft whispers as we are guided back to the path God calls us to and away from the path of the world.  On occasion the nudge is more like a shove as we strayed a little too far away and something stronger is needed to bring our life back into alignment with Christ’s desires for us.

For some the encounter is much like Saul’s.  We have been wandering far and wide and God must also bring us to our knees.  It usually comes in the form of hitting rock bottom.  It comes at the end of a long road of addiction or a trail of dishonesty and lies that leaves us wondering how in the world we ended up ‘here’.  One little step after one little step has added up to a journey into the wilderness.  Amazing thing about God though – He can call us back just as quickly from a long detour as He can from a temptation to a much lesser evil.

The great gift is a love from God that never ends, a mercy that never stops, and a grace that always is given.  Saul became Paul and we too will always be rescued, always brought back into a righteous relationship with Him.  No matter where we are or who we are, God wants to use us just like Paul – to go forth and share the good news of Jesus Christ with others on their own detours.  Only one way leads to eternal life.  May we share this news today!!