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A Friend of God, Always!

Lorna Nichols - Sunday, February 12, 2012

As Christians, we know that God is everywhere, always present and continually working things out for our good. Yet, during times of trouble and uncertainty, God can seem far away.  We begin to wonder when God is going to show up. As time passes, we begin to question whether or not God will show up.  When things appear to be getting worst instead of better, we allow fear to set in; and before you know it, we’re taking things into our own hands rather than waiting on God. It’s a very human response to trouble.

In Scripture, Abraham is commended as a man of great faith. God told Abram whose name would later be changed to Abraham to leave his father’s house and go to a land the Lord would show him. Abram faithfully obeyed. Yet when a famine occurred in Canaan, the land God had given Abram, he allowed fear to set in. Abram packed up his family and moved to Egypt to escape the famine.  When he arrived in Egypt, more fear set in. Fearful that the Egyptians would kill him and take his very beautiful wife, Sarai whose name would later be changed to Sarah, Abram resorted to deception.  Abram told the Egyptians that Sarai was his sister and not his wife so they would be good to him and spare his life.   

Sure enough, the Egyptians found Sarai to be very beautiful.  The Egyptian Pharaoh added Sarai to his harem and allowed Abram to live because he believed Sarai was Abram’s sister and not her husband. God became angry with the Egyptian Pharaoh and sent a plague to his household.  When Pharaoh realized the plague was because of Sarai, he gave her back to Abram and sent them away. Sometime later, Abram allowed fear to set in again and deceived again in the very same way.  Abram took things into his own hands resorting to deception twice instead of depending on God for protection. You can read about this in Genesis 12 and Genesis 20.

What are we to learn from this part of Abram’s story? Was Abram no longer a man of faith because he deceived rather than trusting God for protection? No! After Abram’s deception, Scripture tells us in Genesis 15:6, “Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of is faith.”  Did Abram fall from God’s grace? No!  Scripture tells us much later in James 2:23, “Abraham was even called the friend of God.”  After Abraham deceived twice, he was still a friend of God. So what are we to learn? Well, this is what I learned: I am a friend of God because of my faith, simply because I believe in God. This doesn’t mean I will never make a mistake. As a matter of fact, I have made a lot of mistakes and will continue making mistakes because of my humanness. However, I am a friend of God even when I make a mistake. I am a friend of God, always. Phew! Thank God!! 

I don’t know about you, but this is great news to me. We serve a loving, forgiving, merciful God who calls us His friend even when we begin to question, even when we begin to wonder, even when we become fearful, even when we decide to take things into our own hands. With all our faults, God is our friend always which means He is still working things out for our ultimate good.

 What did you learn from Abram’s story? I’d like to hear from you!

 

Written by,

Lorna Daniels Nichols

Website: www.bigpictureofthebible.com

 

After God's Own Heart!

Lorna Nichols - Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Samuel went looking for God’s chosen one,

And found him to be, David, Jesse’s youngest son.

David tended to the sheep day and night,

Watching over them with all of his might.

He was a musician, warrior, very wise,

Knew how to speak and was easy on the eyes.

King Saul needed his help in a spiritual bout.

David’s music on his harp moved evil spirits out.

During a battle David went against Goliath,

 who laughed in his face.

David had the Lord on his side and was full of grace.

 A slingshot and stone showed off his skill.

And Goliath, the Philistine, he was able to kill.

 The Lord had a plan for David from the start.

 God knew that David was a man after His own heart.

 King Saul became jealous of David’s life,

And sought to fill his days with fear and strife.

 But it was Saul’s own son, Jonathan,

 who stood by David’s side.

He made sure David had places to hide.

 David reigned over Israel forty years.

Through many heartaches and many tears.

He encouraged himself in the Lord,

And we can too,

As we meditate on God's Words,

All the day through.

Written by,

Barbara Hodges

 

For more writings by Barb, visit her blog at: http://www.purplepen-barbsmusings.blogspot.com

 

 

Making Godly Choices!

Lorna Nichols - Saturday, February 04, 2012

Scripture tells us that God placed the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve,  in the Garden of Eden and said they could eat fruit from all the trees in the garden except one—the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God warned, “If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die” (Genesis 2:17).

 One day, Eve was walking through the Garden minding her own business—or was she. I say this because for some reason, I tend to picture Eve regularly hanging out near the forbidden Tree and eyeing its fruit long before the serpent came along. Have you ever thought about this? Now, the Bible does not support my theory, but I believe Eve had been eye-balling that fruit for a long time. She was probably gazing at the forbidden fruit and wondering why God said not to eat it. What’s the big deal with this fruit?  

 Have you ever noticed that this is how we get in trouble today? It starts quite innocently. We happen to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people.  Experience has taught me that being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people, quite often leads to bad choices, wrong decisions, and deep trouble.    

 In Eve’s case, Satan conveniently showed up disguised as a serpent. He told Eve she wouldn’t die if she ate the fruit, but rather she’d be like God, knowing good and evil. Eve saw how good the fruit looked and then ate the forbidden fruit. Her husband, Adam, ate it also. How did the serpent convince Eve to disobey God and eat the fruit?  He appealed to her human desire for power, possessions, and pleasure by questioning God’s Word, distorting God’s Word, and misinterpreting God’s Word.   

 Now, you might be thinking that a piece of fruit wouldn’t have tempted you. So, let’s change the scenario. Instead of fruit, it was chocolate! Now, what do you think you would’ve done? Can’t you just hear Satan saying, “Chocolate is good for you. It’s rich in antioxidants which promotes good health. Chocolate prevents depression and gives you that extra burst of energy you need to make it through the day. Come on! You deserve it.”

 When that internal voice in your head serves up bad choices, recognize it for what it is. It’s Satan appealing to your desire for power, possessions, or pleasure. When in doubt, ask yourself, “Does this agree with God’s Word?” –Or ask—“What would Jesus do?” Either way, to make Godly choices, you have to know God’s Word. If you want to more fully understand God’s Word, visit our website at www.bigpictureofthebible.com.

 

Written by,

Lorna Daniels Nichols

Website: www.bigpictureofthebible.com

 

 

You Are God's Highly Valued Masterpiece!

Lorna Nichols - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scripture tells us that on the first day of Creation, God created the light of day and dark of night.  On the second day, the sky and atmosphere were created. On the third day, God created the earth, seas, and vegetation.  On the fourth day, the sun, moon, and stars were created.  Sea life and birds came into being on the fifth day. On the sixth day, God created land animals.  Everything God created on each of these days was good. 

After creating land animals, God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us’” (Genesis 1:26).  What does it mean to be made in the image of God? We know that we are not exactly like God because God is a Spirit with no physical body. We also know that God created us, which means He is Superior to us. So, being made in the image of God most probably means that we were made to display God’s righteous character.  God gave us some of His attributes. He gave us the ability to think and to reason, to communicate, to love, to forgive, to show kindness, and so on.  

Just think!  We were created in the very image of God to display His righteous character.  Before creating human beings, God had already created everything else in the world and said it was good. But, when God created us humans, Genesis 1:31 says, “God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!”   In other words, we are more than just good to God. We are very good to God. We were made in the image of God and He highly values each and every one of us! 

In Isaiah 43:7, God tells us why He created us. God says, “Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory.”  We were created for God’s glory. Our purpose is to glorify our Creator through our words—the things we say; and our actions—the things we do.  Apostle Paul says it like this in Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” In other words, you’re valuable to God and He has a purpose and a plan for your life!!  As you go throughout your day, repeat this thought to yourself over and over again: I’m valuable to God and He has a purpose and a plan for my life!! 

Written by,

Lorna Daniels Nichols

Website: www.bigpictureofthebible.com

 

The Blessings of Knowing God as Creator!!

Lorna Nichols - Monday, January 30, 2012

Genesis opens with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis describes the beginning of the universe, not the beginning of God.   God has always existed and always will.  In the beginning, God created our world from nothing.   Before time began, the earth had no shape or form and was totally dark and lifeless.  There was no sun, no moon, no stars, no trees, no birds, no people, no worries, and no problems.  

Suddenly, The Holy Spirit began hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2).  God spoke and by His Word the world came into being.  God’s Word caused the action that created the world and everything in it.           

 What does this tell us about God? It tells us that God existed before the heavens and the earth were formed, and then at some point, years ago in the distant past, God created the world.  It tells us that God is our Creator.  The Hebrew word “Elohim” is the primary name of God in the Old Testament for God as Creator.  It means “mighty,” “strong,” or “all-powerful.”  The world didn’t come into existence by itself as a result of a series of random events, but rather our mighty, strong, all-powerful God created it.  As Creator, our God is not a hands-off God who sits back watching random events; but rather, our God is a hands-on God who is active and in control.

 I don’t know about you, but knowing God as Creator has greatly blessed me.  No—it’s more than greatly blessed me.  It’s exceedingly blessed me in an awesomely incredible way. I say this because knowing God as Creator gives me hope. When I’m troubled, I don’t depend on random events to uplift my spirits. When I’m sick, I don’t look to random events for my healing. When I need help deciding which way to go—OR— handling the stresses of life’s ups and downs—OR—remembering God’s promises in Scripture—OR—even recalling answers on tests, I don’t wait for a series of random events to happen at the right time. Instead, I call on God, our Creator, Elohim in prayer, for I know He is still in control.  Scripture tells us, God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).  

 When you need hope—OR—comfort—Or—protection—Or strength—Or guidance—Or revelation—Or revival—Or renewal—Or restoration, you don’t have to just sit back and hope a series of random events will make things better. You can call on God, our Creator, and know things will get better because God is working everything out for your good.

 

Written by,

Lorna Daniels Nichols

Website: www.bigpictureofthebible.com