Five promises from God to you

Written by: Tim Wood

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

There are five wonderful promises in this verse:

1)  God is with you. No matter where you are, no matter how you are feeling, God is in your midst. He’s near. Note the personal possessive pronoun "your!" If Scripture did not say God was our God, we would not dare even hope for such a thing! And yet Jehovah is our God, because of our covenant relationship with His Son.

2) God is mighty. He will deliver us. He will save us. Nothing is impossible with him and nothing is too difficult for him. God is able. Whatever you are facing right now, God is able to deliver you.

3) God rejoices over you with gladness. Those two words “over you” are incomprehensible. How can a holy, righteous God rejoice over an imperfect person like me? The only possible answer is that my life is hidden in His Son Jesus Christ. God sees His Son in me and He rejoices over me.

4) God will quiet me with his love. God’s love is eternal. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is vast. Nothing can separate me from God’s love. When I set my mind on the love of God it has a quieting effect on my soul. The word “quiet” can also be translated renew. Contemplating God’s love brings renewal to me.

5) God rejoices over me with loud singing.  Do you realize that God is a singing God? Think about this. The same God who spoke the cosmos into existence sings over us.  God’s spoken word is powerfully productive. What does his song produce in us?

 Five awesome promises from God to you. Will you stand on his promises today?

Are you prepared to receive God's Word?

Written by: Tim Wood

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  (James 1:19-21 ESV)

 Pretend you’re a gardener. And you plant the same tomato seed in three different places.  In one spot you get giant tomatoes. In another spot you get tiny tomatoes. In the third spot you get no tomatoes.  What’s the difference? It’s the soil. The soil must be prepared for the seed.

The same is true when you read God’s Word. If your mind is distracted, if you are anxious or hurried, the seed of the Word will not produce the right fruit. It’s the same if you’re listening to the Word of God in church. If you get up late or if the kids are giving you fits on the way to church, your mind is not prepared to receive the Word of God. This is why two people can go to the same church and hear the same message and one will walk away feeling blessed and the other nothing. One person had a prepared heart and the other did not.

So how can we prepare our heart to receive the Word of God? Our Scripture reading in James gives us some great counsel.

First, be quick to hear and slow to speak.  You can’t hear God if your feelings are doing all the talking. You must have the mindset that I am going to listen and receive a word from God.

Second, take the trash out. If you need to repent of a bad attitude; do it. If you need to say you are sorry to your spouse or kids; do it. “Put away all filthiness” so you can receive the implanted word of God.

Third, be humble. Be ready to do whatever God’s word instructs you to do. Don’t be prideful. Sometimes we read or hear the Word of God and we think, “I wish my friend could hear this.”  The truth of the matter is I need to hear this. I need to receive the Word of God with humility.  A prideful attitude won’t work.

The Word of God will save our souls but our heart needs to be prepared to receive it. Is your heart ready to receive God’s life giving word?


God is doing a new thing

Written by: Tim Wood

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

 Isaiah 43:18-19 in the Message - “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”

 These are inspiring words to begin a new year. God is doing something brand new. New for us, not for Him. God desires to bless us with new thinking, new direction, new power, a new attitude, new healing; God is doing a new thing!

The question before us is this, will you embrace the new thing God is doing? These verses give us detailed instruction how we can join God in something brand new for our lives.

1) Don’t be driven by the former things.  Don’t get stuck in your past.

2) Don’t live in condemnation over past sins and mistakes. Don’t consider the things of old. That means quit dwelling on it. Followers of Jesus have a past but our past is passed!

3) Believe in the God of newness. Behold Him. Believe and behold that God is giving you another chance. It’s a new thing.

4) Perceive the God of newness. Isaiah asked a great question – don’t you perceive it? Our eyes, ears and hearts should be wide open to sensing God’s presence and moving in our lives in a new way.

5) Follow God. Obey Him. God makes a way when we find ourselves in the wilderness. God will provide a pathway but we must walk it. We must take a step toward Him.

6) Embrace the Holy Spirit’s guidance. God provides rivers for us in desert places. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Now this he said about the Spirit… (John 7:38-39).

Will you believe and embrace the new thing God is doing for you in 2019? If so, we will have a new song to sing and a new voice to praise Him. It’s going to be a great year all for the glory of God.

 

Things your can sure of in 2019

Written by: Tim Wood

Psalm 23: 6 - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 Psalm 85: 9 - Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.

 Psalm 140: 13 - Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

 Proverbs 23:18 - Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

 Isaiah 45:14 - Surely God is in you, and there is no other, no god besides him.

 2 Corinthians 1:18 - As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No.

 1 Thessalonians 5:24 - He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

 Hebrews 6:14 - Surely I will bless you and multiply you.

 Revelation 22:20 - He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

 Father God, thank you for giving us confidence. We can live in Your hope, grace, truth and peace in 2019 because you are always with us and you will never leave us. We believe and receive your sure Word in Jesus Name.  AMEN.

 

The Gift of Jesus

Written by: Tim Wood

The Apostle Paul said this about Jesus, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). Certainly, the Gift of Jesus is inexpressible. But consider some of these great biblical statements about Jesus.

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

To Mary, the angel of God said this about Jesus, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end’” (Luke 1:30-33).

To Joseph, the angel of God said this about Jesus, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).

 “For in him (Christ) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

“In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Those are amazing statements about Jesus. He is so much more than a great teacher or leader. Jesus Christ is the literal entrance of Almighty God into the human race. What an indescribable, inexpressible, inexhaustible Gift!  Like the wise men, may we live to worship the greatest Gift of all.