God Our Refuge-2 Samuel 22

What a relief it is to have God as our refuge. I have had many days where I simply wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. I was fearful, depressed and feeling alone—But, in those dark hours, He was the rock, he was the refuge.  He is a fortress in which we can bury ourselves.  He does not always respond in the way we desire—but, he always responds according to his plan.  We can be assured, though that he is always with us and desires to provide an abundant life on this amazing journey. 

When weSilver+Refinery read these promises, though, it is also important to remember the authors typically penned them when their circumstances were abysmal. David was fleeing from his King and father in law.  Paul was a prisoner in Rome.  We have to remember in the times of difficulty we are refined. The seeming minor impurities within us float to the top as the heat is applied. Only as he draws off the impurities will we properly reflect his image in our lives.  Help me, Lord to humbly allow you to refine me and make me a reflection of you.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
from violent people you save me.

4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and have been saved from my enemies.
5 The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
6 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

God IS Majestic

We are often drawn to the softer side of God.  We dwell on the lambs and the beauty and his loving kindness—But 1st and foremost, God is GOD! He is awesome and majestic. He is Glorious and the epitome of power. His name is above all names.  He spoke and there was light.  He spoke and there was a universe.  He spoke and that which was  lost—you and me, became family. He breathed Life into the world, he set the sun to just the right distance to support our lives.  He made creatures that were adaptable to their circumstances.  He is amazing.

Still such force and brilliance could make us lowly and humble creatures Our Lord. Despite his majesty—he wants nothing more than to be in fellowship with us his children. This God that moves galaxies considers nothing more enjoyable than his time with us.  What’s more, he accepts us as we are! He is not surprised by our pasts, he is not dumfounded by our life events and he is not offended by our frailty. He created us, cared for us, died for us and daily waits for us to follow and fellowship with him.

What an Awesome God We Serve

God Bless You

Job 37

22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor;
God comes in awesome majesty.

Cross references:

  1. Job 37:22 : Ps 19:5
  2. Job 37:22 : Ex 24:17

Psalm 93

1 The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.

Cross references:

  1. Psalm 93:1 : S 1Ch 16:31; S Ps 97:1
  2. Psalm 93:1 : S Job 40:10; S Ps 21:5
  3. Psalm 93:1 : S Ps 65:6
  4. Psalm 93:1 : Ps 24:2; 78:69; 119:90
  5. Psalm 93:1 : 1Ch 16:30; Ps 96:10

Psalm 104

1 Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

Cross references:

  1. Psalm 104:1 : S Ps 103:22
  2. Psalm 104:1 : S Job 40:10

Psalm 145

5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[a]

Psalm 145

12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Cross references:

  1. Psalm 145:12 : S Ps 75:1; 105:1
  2. Psalm 145:12 : ver 11; Ps      103:19; Isa 2:10, 19, 21

Isaiah 2:10

10 Go into the rocks, hide in the ground
from the fearful presence of the Lord
and the splendor of his majesty!

What does God Look Like–Colossians 1

What does God look Like?  What is God’s personality like? God knew we had those questions—so he provided the answer in the person of Jesus.  Most are willing to consider Christ as a sacrifice for our sins.  They are willing to consider him a wise teacher.  But, the plain fact is That Jesus was GOD in the flesh.  He thought like God, He acted like God, He loved like God—because He was God.  He is the Supreme master of the universe—its creator, sustainer and designer. 

Yet, on earth he showed just how loving and personal he was.  He healed the sick fed the hungry, raised the dead and redeemed the castaways.  He took those who were rejected by most ad made them the standard bearers for a movement that has persisted for two thousand years.  Still, today, he wants us to know him.  He wants us to see him as he is.  He wants our relationship to be personal.  If one is willing to surrender, he wants us to be free.  He loves us and laid hos authority as God to the side and even laid down his life—so that we could know him and send eternity with Him.  Thank You Lord—for revealing yourself to us so that you can have a relationship with us!

God Bless You

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

 

The Word–John 1 part 1

In the season of Christmas, I am excited to study about the Lord Jesus.  Who He is and why he came.  What better way to begin than to look at John 1-In the beginning was the Word.  The Word is a bold phrase.  As God touches me this morning, I am reminded that He said, “Let there be light and there was light.” He spoke creation into existence.  He breathed life into men and provided for them the greatest collection of life and beauty imaginable.  He gave them free choice to live and to love.  His heart broke when they totally missed what made him God.  They wanted knowledge and power—when he offered peace and immortality. So he was faced with the difficult choice every father makes for his children—what can I do to protect and redeem the ones I love.  So God—The Word—became flesh and became a piercing light in the darkness.  His light draws many, but it also repels those who live comfortably in the dark. He came to overcome the darkness and redeem the lost—Thank you, God for your coming!

God Bless You

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

Thanksgiving Week-Psalms 95

As it is the week of Thanksgiving, it is a great time to reflect on the many reasons we should be thankful.  Over the last several years many of us have experienced loss. Jobs, health , family or some other precious things in our lives have been taken.  As that has happened, it becomes more difficult to focus upon all he has provided.  Shelter, food, friends and family that remain—financial provision often from the hand of God all are things we are to be thankful for.  God has been kind to our family this year.  We have seen great loss but even greater provision from the hand of the Lord. We are truly thankful for all he has done.  We thank you Lord—for your mercy and provision for our lives.

God Bless You

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

God’s True Nature–Genesis 50

How willing are we to believe that our journey is God’s to direct.  Joseph’s Brothers committed some pretty horrific actions that left Joseph a slave and separated from his dad for most of his life.  Joseph’s dad now dead—left Joseph and his brothers to contemplate the past acts and decide what happens in the future.  Joseph had grown up trusting God and as a result had led Egypt and the World through the worst Famine ever.  The Brothers, lived their lives on their own and were less trusting of God and his plan.  Joseph had long ago forgiven them and moved to make their lives better—that was not going to change—the Brothers, like the world simply could not comprehend the unconditional nature of the love and forgiveness they were being shown.

In our lives, we have to realize God does love us as unconditionally.  We are not perfect, we make mistakes and do things that are simply sin.  But as God forgives us, we are called to forgive others.  As we do, we are demonstrating the very nature of the Father and his impact on our lives.  We are also demonstrating our faith in him by trusting his plan is always right. We will find a greater freedom than we could ever build for ourselves—when we fully rely upon God!

God Bless You

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

The Blessing–Genesis 49

As Jacob reached the end of his life, God showed the nature of his sons and a vision of their future.  Of his children, Judah was God’s choice to bring the Savior.  His Life demonstrated leadership and his lineage would as well.  The royal line would come from Judah, the Lord came from Judah.  Once again, God’s plan, God’s way.

We seek him with our lives and follow him even though the plan seems impossible.  In exchange we find peace in his word and follow knowing that we will be with him for eternity.  In the meanwhile, through the circumstances of life, we see his plan threaded through and we are grateful for his provision and protection.  We simply hope he allows us to see his hand as we journey.  God does not answer the question why, but he does answer the question of who has our best interest at heart.  Help me Lord to realize your plan is best.

 God Bless You

“Judah your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.[e]

Genesis 48–God’s Mysterious Way

God blesses those He chooses to bless in the way he chooses to bless and in the timeframe that suits Him.  We will never understand His ways because we can only see from our very limited and tainted perspective.  Amazingly, the more we study his word and seek his face, we begin to catch glimpses of His plan and grow thrilled that we can see His hand.  Joseph caught glimpses of God’s greatness, but even as his sons were given their own title to national heritage, he could have never imagined how great God’s plan for their lives would be.

The same holds true to our lives.  We may catch glimpses, but we can never outguess His plan or His blessing in our lives.  We can only walk humbly in His love, seeking his face and walking according to his word.  Trials, temptation and travesty line the path we call this amazing journey, but He promises to lead, guide and direct us to a life of eternity where He is God and we are not.  Our desire is to allow Him to occupy the throne and sit back to watch the wonder of His plan to unfold.  Help me, Lord to humbly bow before You.

God Bless you 

3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty[a] appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’

5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7 As I was returning from Paddan,[b] to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”

The Power to Bless–Genesis 47

Simply having the power to control others lives does not mean one has to take advantage.  Joseph had the world and Egypt at his mercy.  Their money, possessions and land seemed inconsequential compared to the need for food.  Many have abused such power when given the opportunity  Not Joseph.  He took a nation that was in the midst of absolute destruction and held it together while treating the people with dignity and respect. In the end, people were able to rebuild their lives and retain their dignity and livelihood and Pharaoh still grew extremely wealthy.  In our modern culture, we sometimes forget that people are allowed to prosper.  When folks do well, we are a bit jealous and wonder if they are going to crush the less fortunate—just because they can.

It happens, but that is not how God responds. He prospers folks that often assist others in the adventure of prospering as well. They assist, but do not enable. They move folks forward, but do not carry them.  That is what Joseph did.  At the end of the famine, people kept their dignity and desire to build their lives.  When we see people that have the gift of giving, who truly attempt to assist, we need to be thrilled that they have been able to help and rejoice as they rejoice.  No jealousy, no gossip—simply grateful hearts that God uses them in the lives of others.

Thank You Lord for those that make a difference, quietly and without any desire for recognition. Please continue to bless them and use them to do what no Government will ever be able to—restore lives!

God Bless You

 

13 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[c] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

The Plan Complete–Genesis 46 final

God’s preparation for our life purpose is complete and detailed.  God Gave Israel the faith and hope to remain alive to see Joseph.  When he saw his son,  years of pain and loss disappeared.  In addition, God prepared the sons to be the shepherds for Pharaoh.  God also prepared Joseph to forgive and welcome his family.  All the preparation was difficult, painful and often seemingly unbearable.  The result was God sparing Israel and beginning the preparation to be his chosen nation.

Since that time, God has worked through life and circumstance to prepare each of us in our lives to complete the mission he sets before us.  We have to embrace his plan, despite our frustration and fear and read his word, pray and serve him with our lives.  There is no way to enjoy the blessing from God without seeking him in the word and prayer.  We walk daily with him and see his hand in our lives. Read, pray and serve and then experience God’s faithfulness.  Help me Lord to faithfully follow you.

God Bless You 

28 Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father[h] and wept for a long time.

30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”

31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”