TODAY IN HIS WORD COMES FROM
Isaiah 41:13-14 (NKJV)
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'
"Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you," says the Lord
And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
At whatever point in our lives, when we come to the cross we find Jesus there waiting for us. We find His arms opened wide to receive us, and His love and mercy ready to be poured upon us. When we come to the cross, we find strength in a God who is everything we are not. He is unshakeable, massive, and strong. When we come to the cross, we find redemption from the Holy One of Israel, who is ready to step in, and step out into our lives as only He can. When we come to the cross, we simply find God.
INSIGHT INTO GOD'S WORD:
When I think about the cross, sometimes I think about the tree it was made from. The Bible shows us there is purpose in everything God does, so is it possible the only reason that tree was created, was simply to be there when it was time for the cross to be made? That from the time the seed sprouted until the day it was finally cut down, its whole purpose was the cross? That is how it was for Jesus-- from the day He was born, His ordained destiny was the cross so that we could have forgiveness, so that we could be saved. Which means that everything about the crucifixion had a reason, and God's hand, though people might not have been able to see it at the time, was there all along.
I have always believed there was a God, I have always believed that Jesus was His son, however I did not truly come to the cross until I was in my 30's, and what I found was that God Himself was there to meet with me. What I found was the Spirit of Jesus standing there with His arms opened wide ready to receive me, and it was my undoing.
I have a tree that I like to go to when I need to pour my heart out to God, it is also where I go when I need to get away from everything, and just listen and have fellowship with Him. It is where I go when my chest is heavy and I need to breath. It is where I go when I need to turn away from everything distracting or pulling at me, and be able to "with all of me, seek God." At this tree, I find amazing things. I find the beauty of nature, that no man has made. I find a breeze that is soothing and the rustling of the trees as if to hear God say, "I am here." I find peace, and if I am really still, and will just listen, I hear the quiet soft voice of God.
Now I know that God is with me everywhere. I know that God goes before me, and is in me, and behind me, but somehow when I go to this tree, I find a deeper revelation of God, because I go specifically to seek HIM. Scripture says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive" (Jer 29:11-14 NKJV).
Years ago, I sat at another tree for a very short time one morning. I was in Tennessee on a visit, and while I was there, God was very much working in me, and as I look back at it now, I realize God was preparing me-- and preparing my heart-- for what was to come over the next year. God knew how my life was going to change, and He made sure that I was ready to receive Him completely, so that I would be anchored and deeply rooted in HIM, so I would be able to go in the direction He would lead, and be able to hear Him, and stand fast in Him, as everything that wasn't of Him came crumbling down.
I had been reading a book during this visit, and though I don't remember much of it now-- what I do remember is what I did that day. As I finished the book, it asked what did I want to leave at the cross? What difficulties, hardships, or mistakes in my life did I want to lay down. It suggested that I write it on a piece of paper and go for a walk and bury it under a tree, and let it go-- basically it said to give it to God. I laughed at the time I read this, because looking around, it would be easy for me to do this with all the trees that were there where I had been visiting. So the next morning I did. I got a piece of notebook paper and a pen, grabbed my coffee and went for a walk.
I walked down the road to this little red church, and then around and behind it. There I found a cove of massive oak trees nestled up behind this church, and it was the perfect place for me to sit down. So I did. As I sat there and drank my coffee, I thought about all the things that were bothering me at the time, I thought about the things I was angry about-- but then I started thinking about all the things in my life I would just rather forget and get past. I thought about all the mistakes I had made, and things I wished I had done differently. I thought about the hurts that I had gone through that I would love to "just give to God..." I started thinking that maybe I should have brought more paper with me, but seeing on how I only had one sheet, I decided I would have to narrow it down. So I sat there just thinking and listening. I started to write several different times, but then would stop without writing anything down. And as I sat there-- something deep down broke in me. I sat there and cried like I had never cried before. I cried from a well deep inside of me that I didn't even know was there. Something broke inside of me that morning, something I had always tried to hold together, it just crumbled like clay in my hand... only now I realize I was the clay and I was in God's hand.
I found that as I took my walk that morning, I was really walking out to the very edge of me, and then past me, and truly I was searching. What I was searching for at the time I didn't really know or even understand. But God knew. He knew what I really needed, and what I was looking for. He knew I was hungry for something I had never really had before. He knew what I didn't, and that what I was really searching for-- what I really needed and looking for was HIM. And He was ready to meet me at a place I had never been.
I love these following verses, please read them with an open heart and mind: But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day (Deut 4:20 NKJV).
And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. And there you will serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them (Deut 4:27-31 NKJV).
Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other (Deut 4:39 NASB).
As it turned out that day, I didn't need a whole sheet of notebook paper. It didn't take much room to write what I wanted to give to God. What did I take to the cross that day and let go of? What did I write down on the sheet of paper and bury? It was simple really. It didn't take a whole lot of space to write down one word-- two letters. I knew how to sum up all the that I wanted to leave with God, so I simply wrote, "ME." And the Holy One of Israel was there to meet with me, and He showed me that He was -- that He still IS GOD.
- My friend, have a blessed and Christ filled day,