Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Gift of Memory

                           The Gift of Memory

                          Lamentations 3:21 KJV
            "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope."

Our memory can sometimes be servants to hopelessness and despair. When we are faced with circumstances beyond our control, our mind can think up dark and despairing predicaments from   past situations. It can be like a dark cloud hanging over us raining down unwanted thoughts. When this happens we are at times unable to, “cast down imaginations...bringing every thought into captivity” ( 2 Corinthians 10:5).

The same memory that brought Jeremiah to despair brought him life and comfort again when he, remembered where he found true hope. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; for they are new every day. There is no need for one to live in a state of despair, for truth can transform bad memories into His divine comfort. The memory that may have brought so many dismal and gloomy things into a believer’s life can be trained to carry a wealth of hopeful thoughts and replace them with joy and peace.

Consider where we would be without Christ and how dreary our lives would be without His mercies that fail not. Jeremiah reminds us that there are mercies that continue, “they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23), to delight the soul day after day. When our mind is fixed on the gospel of Christ and not on the memories stained with sin, we can with great assurance stand before Him with no condemnation, having absolute peace with God.

The gift of memory can keep our hearts from complaining when the circumstances of life are not at all comfortable. When we’ve lost much but we haven’t lost our God, remember, that is when He becomes our all in all. Our sufficiency is from God in knowing He is enough and His gift of memory gives hope to sustain us through every remembrance good or bad.

Lord, may I remember that You are my hope, my expectation in troublesome times, as well as in the best of times.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Because of Love, I Am Loved

          Because of Love, I Am Loved

                                      Psalm 37:4

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

   All My Desire
 The desire, “Come taste the Lord with me,”
 Has been My constant prayer,
 Needing the Lord to answer me

 And knowing that He’s there.

He showed me you are my hearts desire
And I know God has given me, you.
It is with this desire, I long to serve Him
In all that I say and do.

Sharing my life with God’s man–
How wonderful that will be,
Giving myself to only him and him, to only me.

“Come taste the Lord with me,”
A longing only He can fulfill.
What joy to know the love we share
Is truly in God’s will.

                                                                                      by Dianna Moffitt Carroll

       Because of Love, I Am Loved

My husband was the pastor of our church for eighteen delightful years. What a marvelous life we shared together while serving the Lord. On June 12, 2002, after twenty-five years of marriage, he went home to be with the Lord. I never thought I could or would love again. Then God, in His infinite wisdom, brought a loving, godly man into my life. In the autumn years of our lives, we began afresh and joined our hearts together as husband and wife. Not only has it been a privilege to serve Christ with the husband of my youth, but in the mature years of my life, He has honored me once more.

To delight oneself in the Lord is to take pleasure in the things of God. Because He loved me, I am loved by God’s incredible man. Because He loves me, I possess the riches of His glory and am entitled to the greatest inheritance of all time, Heaven’s eternal home. What greater love is there, than when a Man lays down His life for the ones He loves (John 15:13)? There is none! To be loved by man is a tremendous pleasure and for most in this world none would want to avoid. But, to be loved by God goes beyond any human comparison we could with words afford to provide. Far more reaching than the human tongue could describe there appears the immense depth of  love shown in the exchange of His life for those He loved so deeply. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

In Times of Distress

                 In Times of Distress

                                      Esther 4:1-8

In a crisis situation, how would you say you typically respond? Do you become hysterical, pray, seek counsel, try to run away, or react in some other way? Why do you think you respond in this way? Have you had to make some decisions that required great courage, humility and trust? Esther, the queen of Persia, and her cousin, Mordecai are in an overwhelming crisis in their lives. They must make a life or death decision regarding the Jewish people in the land––along with Esther the queen.

Mordecai realized that his nationality had been publicly announced and this brought him tremendous grief. The Queen learned about the decree that had been published throughout the land and she became concerned for Mordecai in his time of mourning. There was a law against wearing sackcloth in the king’s gate which was not surprising in  light of the shallowness of spiritual life in the royal court. Esther sent clothes for Mordecai to put on but he, in his anguish and torment, refused them. The betrayal of the people was oppressive and too perplexing to bear. Mordecai knew that Esther was exposed too, and that she must go before the king to humbly beg for the lives of her people and herself.

Communication between Mordecai and Esther had to be done through mediators to protect her during this national crisis. Hathach, a trusted eunuch in the kings palace and one who attended to Queen Esther’s specific needs, had been given special instructions to help Mordecai. Hathach’s trustworthiness was significant and admirable, which made him a man of high moral character.

When you’re at a crossroads in your life and a crucial decision must be made, to whom do you look to for insight and help? All of us need someone we can trust during times of trouble. We know that there is only One who holds the highest reputation of having perfect wisdom, as well as being the most trustworthy friend, the Lord Himself.

Lord, in times of hardship and despair may I trust in You.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

When Things Look Impossible

             When Things Look Impossible
                                             Esther 8:1-8

"...Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews..."

According to the law of the land, the property of Haman would be given to Esther as a compensation for all that she had suffered. Mordecai was presented to the king as Esther’s guardian and cousin and was given the signet ring that Haman had once worn with all it’s prestige and authority. The day of annihilation, by an irreversible decree, was still going forward as Esther falls upon the king’s feet begging him to stop what Haman had started. The Medo-Persian law states that no decree may be revoked once the order has been given not even the king himself could reverse the edit.

King Ahasuerus  gave Esther and Mordecai the power and privilege of drafting their own decree and  allowing them to send it out under the king’s seal. The king could send out a counter decree which would achieve the ending result of God’s will being done. Psalm 37 says, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers... For they shall soon be cut down like the grass...Trust in the LORD, and do good...Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. ”

The divine hand of God changed the heart of King Ahasuerus, “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD ... he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). When we begin to think that God is not in control of all things and fret over the course of evildoers, we choose to live in doubt and fear missing the blessing of receiving the desires of our hearts. God does move in the hearts of people to accomplish His purpose. Our response should be one of trust, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Lord, may I trust in You when things seem impossible.