Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Pawns in the Game of Life" - ‎01/31/13 - Job 40:6-42:17

 “Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?
Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint?" (40:8)

God is talking to Job. 

Yes, I know that He has spoken the same words to me numerous times throughout my life.  I have experienced the problem of serving self, trying to make myself god, instead of serving Him.  It's during those times that I try to "sugar coat" sin.  To observe it through "rose colored glasses".  That way I can convince myself God is in error - I know that my vision is accurate - I can determine what is a sin.

That way - I become the "saint". 

And there have been times He has rescued me from the consequences of my sins.  And then there are the times that I have had to endure the consequences.  Thankfully, I am given His grace and mercy through my Christ.  Thankfully, His Word has/is transforming my heart to desire to serve Him more often than self.  Still I struggle, still I fail, but I know I am doing better than yesterday because of Him. 

When I first began to read Job, it was a book I dreaded to go through.  I felt that God was using him as a pawn in a game with satan.  It didn't seem right that the God I loved and served was about using a person to a point of allowing them to be hurt.  Hurt in every way possible - except death.  Job shares that there were many times he wished he was dead, which I sometimes thought would have been a blessing to him. 

And then I discovered that I was looking at Job through my own narrow, incorrect vision.  What I was thinking was wrong about God - wasn't. 

He opened my eyes to the honor and blessing Job received to be the man God told satan to pick.  God knew that Job was a "mighty warrior" - a "mighty warrior" in Him.  It was then I realized that is why sometimes, I face consequences of my sins.  It is why sometimes, I face consequences of others sins or the unfairness of life.  He views me as His "mighty warrior".   That through the lessons of Job - I am then able to stand firm in Him during the games of satan.

Looking back through the years of my life, I see now that when I thought what was best - it really didn't even come close to the better I have today.  The blessings that I receive from the experience of enduring a battle together with my husband, I know we are a team for Him.  To see that we are finally evenly yoked in Him.  The freedom and joy to submit to his Spiritual Leadership of our family.  The times when our sons were young and so enjoyed, although I miss those years, I love the relationship we share now.  To be able to see them enjoying seasons we have lived through.  How selfish of me to want them to never grow up, to not experience the gift of marriage, of children, of grandchildren - of living life. 

I used to struggle in accepting the death of Job's children and everything else he went through.  That those children could never be "replaced" with the ones God blessed him with later on.  And we also have lost two children, who are now in heaven with Him.  Our sons can not "replace" them, but because of the losses I treasure our sons even more. 

He has shown me that through my losses come what I treasure today. 

 "God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life." (42:12)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

‎"Storms of Life" - 01/30/13 - Job 38:1-40:5

And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. (38:1)

The storms of life.  We all have to walk through them.  It is our choice to walk through them with Him or by our self.  And sometimes, we feel we are following Him and He leaves us in the midst of one.  Or perhaps we are running after Him and a storm comes out of nowhere, surrounding us, and we tremble in fear.  Or anger.  Believing the lie that He has forsaken us and left us to endure the storm alone.  Or that we have to endure a storm at all.

Then we make the choice to wallow in the mud puddles left behind.  The mud puddles of "self pity".  Or we begin to run on our own course, thinking we'll escape the storm - our way - and land in quicksand.  And then we find ourselves sinking.  And sometimes we do nothing - except give up.  We lose faith that He is bigger than the storm and we make the choice to just sit.   Pretending that we will wait it out, when really we are becoming full of self pride, stubbornness - and hatred seeps in.  Or we lose our trust in Him and stand frozen in time - not able to move at all. 

“Why do you confuse the issue?
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!
Up on your feet! Stand tall! (38:2-3)

He tells us that there will be trials and tribulations.  That life isn't fair and we will have storms to walk through.  We begin to put our spin on things, taking His ways and trying to make them our own.  We come along and "confuse the issue".  We make the storms - all about us.  When really just like in Job - it's about the spiritual warfare.  We forget that He is in control of all and has prepared us for battle of storms.  We need to "pull ourselves together, get up on our feet and stand tall".  In Him.  Our Commander in Chief.

The darkness of a storm slowly coming across the sky, blocking out the sun.  So like the darkness of evil as it slowly creeps over the people.  With the art of deceit, and grace of seductiveness, false beauty of manipulation, it wraps its fingers around the souls of those who are being flung about in the winds of the storm.  Tolerance is its rain, media is the winds that blow throughout the land - causing damage to all in its path. 

And at times, we forget. 

That He is bigger than any storm. 

As the sun brings everything to light,
brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—
they’re caught in the very act! (38:14-15)

He is the Son of God.  The one who overcame death, who gave His all for my sins.  He brings everything to light.  Everything.  Bringing out the colors and shapes that have been covered in sin.  He cleanses everyone who is in Him.  He brings to light those who are wicked.  No where can they hide.  Their guilt is there for all to see - The Son has conquered the storms.

How thankful I am that He reminds me over and over again. 

He is bigger than any storm.

“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
I’m ready to shut up and listen.” (40:4-5)

To follow His way through the storms.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"What is my Focus" - ‎01/29/13 - Job 35:1-37:24

 “Take a long, hard look. See how great He is—infinite,
greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!"  (38:26)

My steps.  How often do they stop long enough to stop for more than a moment.  To stop and "take a long, hard look".  How often do I stop to "see how great He is - infinite, greater than anything I could ever imagine or figure out!"

Thankfully, I can say - often. 

I am in a season when I can breath.  I am able to stop and "smell the roses".  My mornings are spent studying His Word, digging in and becoming more intimate with my Abba.  My Daddy.  Because of that, I am focusing on His face, seeing Him wherever my steps take me. 


Thankfully, my line of work has me outside in His nature.  What a blessing that is.  To be working and stop.  To sit and look out across the horizon at His beauty - His greatness.  Be it the sky, the clouds, the animals, even His rocks.  His nature takes my breath away. 

But, even though I am able to stop - how often do I take all He has created for granted.  Do I treat His most treasured creation, man, without the honor He has commanded?  How often do I look past my brother or sister and focus on His nature?  Why is it that the formations of the clouds can take my breath away, but not the beauty of man?  How is it my heart will be moved by the sight of an animal with its young, but not the sight of man who walks outside of Him?  Or how a storm coming in that I will stand with my face into the winds, but I turn from the sight of man who is in a violent storm of life? 

Why at times do I find the greatness of His nature greater than His creation of man?   Why do I sometimes not even see man, when looking past them to give Him worship for His nature?

"Man" who is made in His image. 

"His" image.

We have been created to reflect the likeness of Him.

I must stop - and focus on Him, to be transformed into a vessel by Him to reach my fellow man who are lost.  To lead them to Him so they too may stop and know His greatness.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Transformed Heart" - ‎01/28/13 - Job 32:1-34:37

“He has His eyes on every man and woman.
He doesn’t miss a trick." (34:21)

“So why don’t you simply confess to God?
Say, ‘I sinned, but I’ll sin no more.
Teach me to see what I still don’t see.
Whatever evil I’ve done, I’ll do it no more." (34:31)


He knows my heart - there is not anything I can hide from Him.  You can not trick God. 

I am a sinner - who wishes to not sin anymore.  I have sinned and will continue to throughout my life - that's what being human does for you.  Through my sinning, I have damaged my heart in which only He can transform and repair.  And although I am forgiven for my past and future sins, I am not taking the act of repenting lightly.  It is my hearts desire to be a vessel for Him, to allow Him to shine through me. 

One of the areas I have failed is my tongue and my fingers.  In speaking/writing of things, although truthful, they were not words that glorified Him.  I was trying to "trick" the situation into my favor, thinking that by speaking the ugly truth, I would gain power, sympathy, revenge. 

"Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift."  (Ephesians 4:29)

In other words, I failed the above greatly in regard to those who have disrespected me, rejected me, pushed my buttons, or hurt me.  God has held me accountable to this sin and I am changing.  Haven't quite figured out how you speak the truth about a situation if it's the "ugly truth".  Do you not say anything and let God take care of it?  That would be stepping out in faith as He wants us to do.  To rely on Him to take care of us, not self.  Not our own words, but His Words. 

Borrowing words He spoke through my dear sister, Dana, in her blog regarding "Jonah":

"God has showed me great mercy and abundant grace just in finding Jonah to teach me that things are never what they seem according to our earthly expectations. His ways are greater then my own. He's telling me and He is telling you through Jonah that He is listening, that He cares for us, that He never misleads His children. If a message is from Him it will undoubtedly bear true."

"Teach me to see what I still don’t see.
Whatever evil I’ve done, I’ll do it no more." (34:31)

He has taught me my sin.  The evil I have done.  He has opened my eyes.

"But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ." (Ephesians 4:15) 

By not speaking in love, the words were breaking down, not building up.  I fall before Him humbled.  How I have hurt Him with my words in the state of my unloving heart.  I have thanked Him for His forgiveness and asked it from whom I offended.  And even though this person rejected it, because I did it for Him, for my relationship with Him, I am okay.  He brings to mind words I read recently, "One of the most Christlike ways we can be is to forgive someone that doesn't forgive you or ask you to forgive them".  It is without any trickery I am doing this.  I desire to please Him, to become more like Him, to be His vessel.

Because of His great love.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way."  (Psalm 139:23,24)

He allowed me to find my Jonah so I may continue on in "our" journey -

talking and walking in love.

less of me - more of Him............

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"His Voice" - ‎01/27/13 - Job 30:1-31:40

“I shout for help, God, and get nothing, no answer! (30:20)

How very, very thankful I am that even when I whisper His name, He is there.  That I can hear His voice, even through the noise of the world.  I couldn't make it without Him, without His voice, without His Word.  Wouldn't even want to try.

I so pray that I will continue to grow forward in Him when I find myself in situations that I come up against.  That instead of self preservation - I will grab onto His Hand knowing He won't let go.  That the moments when I struggle between writing someone off or loving them as Christ does - His way will prevail. 

It is only through Him that I am able to succeed at this.  He is transforming my heart.  I really don't respond as I used to.  I don't feel the anger or defensiveness I once did.  Instead, I feel an incredible sadness - I weep because sin makes Him weep.  He opens my eyes to evil, and I find myself hating the sin.  Not wanting to be a part of it.  Things that once tempted me - repulse me.  Places I wanted to belong to no longer hold that charm. 

Even more so, I am thankful I know His voice.  That when He speaks, I listen, I trust, I strive to obey.  I yearn to hear His voice, I desire to have Him direct me.  I grow from His encouragement, I am secure and safe in His Words of love. 

  He has rescued me. 

"Blueprint for Living" - ‎01/26/13 - Job 26:1-29:25

"He focused on Wisdom,
made sure it was all set and tested and ready.
Then He addressed the human race: ‘Here it is!
Fear-of-the-Lord—that’s Wisdom,
and Insight means shunning evil.’” (28:27-28)

Our building plan the blueprint for living In Him.  The same Wisdom He uses to run the world is ours too!  All set, tested, and ready. 

"Here it is!  Fear-of-the- Lord - that's Wisdom."

It is as simple as that.  No card stuck up the sleeve, quarter behind the ear, no carrot dangling just outside our reach. 

Here - here before you.  Here - with you.  Here - within you. 

Our investment?  Entering into the Covenant with Him.  Taking Christ as our Savior, giving up self, putting Him before us.  And in return for obedience to His call of baptism - the gift of The Holy Spirit as our Helper.

I love this article by Tassos Kioulachoglou: 

The fear of the Lord

I would like to start this article with a different way than usual and instead of saying anything else to give some of the multitude of the Scriptures that refer to the fear of the Lord and the promises of God that are connected with it. Please read carefully:

Psalms 34:9"Oh fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him"
Psalms 34:7"Angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them"
Psalms 112:1-2"Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth;"
Psalms 25:12"Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that he should choose.
Psalms 25:14"The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant"
Psalms 31:19"Oh, how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you, which you have prepared for those who trust in you in the presence of the sons of men!"
Psalms 33:18"Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy"
Psalms 85:9"Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land"
Psalms 103:11"For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;"
Psalms 103:13"As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him"
Psalms 103:17"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children."
Psalms 111:4-5"He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant."
Psalms 115:13"He will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great"
Psalms 128:1-4"Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house; Your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord."
Psalms 145:19"He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them."
Proverbs 10:27"The fear of the Lord prolongs days"
Proverbs 14:26"In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge"
Proverbs 14:27"The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death."
Proverbs 15:33"The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility."
Proverbs 16:6"In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil."
Proverbs 19:23"The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil."
Proverbs 22:4"By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life."
Proverbs 23:17"Be in the fear of the Lord all the day"
Ecclesiastes 8:12-13"Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God."
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all."
I believe it is obvious from the above that we are dealing here with a very important subject. What is the fear of the Lord that all that have it are subject of the so many promises we read? What does it mean “fear the Lord”? Does it mean to be afraid, terrorized, in the idea of God? Could it be that this subject of the “fear of the Lord” is a kind of not valid today as today we are children of God? Furthermore doesn’t I John tell us that there is no fear in love? Could it be then that this “fear of the Lord” is something for the Old Testament only? The purpose of this article is to answer these questions.

1. The fear of the Lord: it is not a simple respect but it is not a terror either

Depending on somebody’s background, there are those that understand the fear of the Lord as a kind of terror, of being afraid of God. Others again they understand it like a simple respect, like the respect for example they show to their colleagues or… they do not understand it at all as they consider it not relevant for the present age of grace. I don’t think that any of these views is correct. Starting with the simple respect: the respect that may exist between equals is not the same with the respect towards the Most High One. In a kingdom a subject does not respect his king the same way he respects his colleagues. Even if he has full boldness before the throne, as we, through the blood of Christ, have before the throne of God, even if he is a child of the King, as we are through faith, he continues to also be a subject before the King. And as to every King, let alone to the King of kings, deep respect is due. In other words, the fact that we are children of the King does not annul the fear, the deep respect that is due to the King, to the Most High One, nor does it convert it to a simple respect, like the respect due to co-equals.
On the other hand, a son of the king would indeed not approach the king the same way a stranger would approach him. A son would approach the king not with terror but with boldness and confidence, knowing that the one he is speaking to is His loving Father. At the same time and as we already said above he would also approach Him with deep respect recognizing that he does not approach a colleague but His Father, who at the same time is the Most High, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. In other words, the fact that we are children of King it also means that the fear of the Lord should not be understood like a terror, like being afraid, of the King. Instead it should rather be understood like the very deep, the highest respect that is due from kids to the most loving Father, who at the same time is the Creator of everything, the Most High One.
Having clarified the above let’s see some passages that show the majesty of God and are associated with the fear of God. I use these passages as an indication of the majesty and highness of God and not to say that Christians should be afraid, terrified, of God. As we already said and as we will see later fearing God does not mean being afraid of God. I believe in our age, where Jesus Christ has bridged the gap between God and man, fearing God means approaching Him both as a Father (with boldness and without being afraid of Him) and as the Most High One (with the deepest respect). Turning now to the passages we mentioned, let’s start with Jeremiah 10:6-7:
Jeremiah 10:6-7"Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord. You are great, and Your name is great in might. Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?"
and Revelation 15:4
"Who shall not fear You, O Lord and glorify Your name?"
and Jeremiah 5:22-24
"Do you not fear Me? Says the Lord. Will you not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it. But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; They have revolted and departed. They do not say in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest."
Psalms 33:6-9"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast."
GOD MADE US AND THE WHOLE UNIVERSE. EVERYTHING, SEEN OR UNSEEN, WAS MADE BY HIS OWN HAND. He is our Father and our Lord. He is the Most High One. Knowledge of the Scriptures without fear, deep respect of the majesty of God is just head knowledge that will definitely lead to pride (I Corinthians 8:1). As Proverbs tells us:
Proverbs 2:1-5"My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; THEN you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."
Only if the Word of God is stored within us, only if it becomes part of our heart will we understand the fear of the Lord. If we therefore don’t have deep respect for the Most High, then any knowledge of the Scripture that we may have is just head knowledge which, unless we store it in our hearts instead of our heads, will not give fruit and will eventually lead to pride.

2. Boldness and the fear of the Lord in the New Testament

A view that some, implicitly or explicitly, hold about the fear of God is that it has somehow been ceased by the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. But I don’t think that this is correct. Here are some New Testament passages that speak about the fear of God:
Acts 9:31"Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the holy spirit, they were multiplied."
I Peter 2:17"Honor all. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. "
II Corinthians 7:1"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord."
Colossians 3:22"Bond servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, FEARING GOD."
Cornelious, the first Gentile at whose home the gospel was preached, was a man that feared God. As Acts 10:1-2 tells us:
Acts 10:1-2"There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one WHO FEARED GOD with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always."
and as Peter said in Acts 10:34-35
Acts 10:34-35"Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. BUT IN EVERY NATION WHOEVER FEARS HIM AND WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS ACCEPTED BY HIM""
As we see the fear of the Lord is present in the New Testament too. At the same time I do think - and I have already mentioned it - that there is a vast difference between Old Testament and New Testament. This is due to the fact that there is now available, due to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, a very different kind of relationship with God. This different kind of relationship should also be taken into consideration when we try to understand what fearing God means. Using the example mentioned before, there is a vast difference between citizens of a kingdom that are just outsiders and citizens that are children of the King. The outsiders and the children do not approach the king in the same way. The outsiders are approaching the king perhaps in terror due to His majesty and due to lack of any relationship with Him other than that of a subject. But this is not valid for the children. The children approach the Father with boldness, without being afraid of Him, like kids approach their loving Father. This is also how the Scripture tells us to approach the throne:
Hebrews 4:14-16„Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
To the throne of grace we come boldly. This is not because of us but because of the Lord Jesus Christ, who bridged the gap between us and God and made it possible to those that believe that He is the Son of God to become children of God (I John 5:1). As also I John 4:17-19 tells us:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.
If we love God we will not be afraid of Him for fear and love do not go together. At the same time I repeat this does not mean that it is right to approach God the same way we are approaching equals, with some perhaps simple respect and without realizing the Highness of the one we are approaching. But again this is not a terror nor are we to be afraid of Him. If it is a terror then we don’t really love Him as we should, as there is no fear in love. Instead, as we said: fearing God means approaching Him both as a Father (with boldness and without being afraid of Him) and as the Most High One (with the deepest respect).

3. Fearing God: doing His will

Taking the above one step further, I really don’t see how can somebody walk in the will of the Lord if He does not have this fear of God and how can somebody fear God if He does not do the will of God. Fearing God means then doing His will. It means to take a step of faith on what God has told us even if we don’t understand how everything is going to work and have not seen the whole picture. Those that fear God will want to do the will of God. Whatever the Father says has for them the greatest value and it is non-negotiable for it came out of the mouth of the Father. The fear of the Lord, the deep respect for the Lord and His will, and obedience to the Lord and His will go then hand by hand. For really imagine kids that are disobedient. Would you say that these kids respect their father? Perhaps they approach the Father to get things from Him but they do not really love Him or respect Him. Had they loved Him they would treasure His will in their hearts and they would do this will. Unfortunately there are some Christians that are like this: they go to God only when they have a great need and the remaining time they live exactly like the world. This will obviously have to change. Instead of approaching God like this we should deepen our relationship, seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added to us (Matthew 6:33). As Philippians 2:5-11 says about our example, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Philippians 2:5-11Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Let the same mind be in us, says the Scripture, that was in the Lord Jesus Christ. What was this mind? It was the mind of obedience, even unto death. It was the mind of “not mine will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).
What I want to say with the above is that we cannot really say that we fear the Lord if we don’t do His will. It is in fact the same as with loving the Lord. As He said:

John 14:23-24
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.”
We cannot say that we love the Lord if we don’t do what He says. Similarly, I believe we cannot say that we fear the Lord if we don’t do what we know it is His will.
To conclude therefore this section, fear of the Lord means also obedience to the Lord. It means treasuring God and His will no matter what. It means in one phrase: holding God and His will to the highest esteem.

4. Conclusion

We started this article showing the source of blessings the fear of the Lord is. Really it is difficult to find another subject in the Scripture that contains so many promises: long-liveness, prosperity, deliverance and many other promises accompany those that fear the Lord.
We then tried to define the fear of the Lord making clear that this is neither a simple respect, like the respect equals show to each other, nor does this mean to be afraid of God or in terror of Him. In contrast the fear of the Lord is the very deep respect that is due to the Father, to GOD, to the LORD, to the CREATOR OF EVERYTHING.
Finally we made clear that there is no fear of God without doing the will of God. In other words whoever fears the Lord does also His will and whoever does not fear Him, but want to satisfy his flesh, does not do it or he does it whenever he likes it, depending on the circumstances.
Closing this article let us listen carefully this instruction from Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all."



Saturday, January 26, 2013

"The Other Side" - 01/25/13 - Job 22:1-25:6

 “But He is singular and sovereign. Who can argue with Him?
He does what he wants, when He wants to.
He’ll complete in detail what He’s decided about me,
and whatever else He determines to do.
Is it any wonder that I dread meeting Him?
Whenever I think about it, I get scared all over again.
God makes my heart sink!
God Almighty gives me the shudders!
I’m completely in the dark,
I can’t see my hand in front of my face.” (23:13-17)

How thankful I am that He placed me on the other side of the cross - to be in the New Covenant.  I acknowledge that God is singular and sovereign.  That He is in control.

"To do what He wants, when He wants to" - not really.

We serve a God of love.  When He created man, it wasn't with the intent of destroying them.  It was because He desired them to be with Him.  He gave us free choice - so we wouldn't be His puppets on strings.  That we would love Him because we want to - not by force - which isn't love. 

His Word allows us to know Him intimately and I find no place in scripture that He enjoys the killing of people who sin.  That is why Christ hasn't come back - so we may win as many to Him - before it is too late. 

He knows the choices I will make - the consequences of those choices I will have to live through.  As His daughter - I live under His umbrella of protection.  Not from everything, but much like Job did.  He lived in the world  - as I do - and will have to suffer from the sin that surrounds us here.  But God protected Job's soul - like He does mine.  Nothing - except my rejection of Him - can separate my soul from Him.

Is it any wonder that I dread meeting Him?
Whenever I think about it, I get scared all over again.
God makes my heart sink!
God Almighty gives me the shudders!
I’m completely in the dark,
I can’t see my hand in front of my face.”

These verses so break my heart.  I am so in love with my Daddy!  I know that at any time I may climb up into His lap.  That He holds me in the palm of His hand.  He has the hairs on my head numbered, my tears are in a bottle, He delights in me. 

He is my bestest friend. 

I live in His light.  My heart breaks for those who do not know Him - intimately.  Those who are "completely in the dark" during their journey through this world, as I once walked. 

"God Almighty gives me the shudders!"

Quite the opposite - My Daddy gives me joy - strength - hope - blessings - peace - understanding - delight - security - so much more.

"So Christians in a state of grace need not fear God's wrath. I St. John 4:17-18 says "In this way love is perfected among us, so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love". Those who are perfected in love will have humble confidence on Judgement Day and always. Perfect love drives out all fear of divine punishment."

On the other side of the cross - My Daddy - He gives me LIFE.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Still" - ‎01/24/13 - Job 19:1-21:34

"Still, I know that God lives."  (19:24)

STILL -  Only a five letter word - with so many definitions. Read them - slowly - thinking about our Lord, our Savior, The Holy Spirit. His Word. So many that apply to Job.

And I wonder - to me.

To you......

adjective, stiller-er, still-est
1. remaining in place or at rest; motionless; stationary:  to stand still.
2. free from sound or noise, as a place or persons; silent:  to keep still about a matter.
3. subdued or low in sound; hushed:  a still, small voice.
4. free from turbulence or commotion; peaceful; tranquil; calm:  the still air.
5. without waves or perceptible current; not flowing, as water.

6. stillness or silence:  the still of the night.
7. Photography.  a single photographic print, as one of the frames of a motion-picture film.

8. at this or that time; as previously:  Are you still here?
9. up to this time or that time; as yet:  A day before departure we were still lacking an itinerary.
10. in the future as in the past:  Objections will still be made.
11. even; in addition; yet (used to emphasize a comparative):  still more complaints; still greater riches.
12. even then; yet; nevertheless:  to be rich and still crave more.
13. without sound or movement; quietly:  Sit still!
14. at or to a greater distance or degree.
15. Archaic. steadily; constantly; always.

16. and yet; but yet; nevertheless:  It was futile, still they fought.

verb (used with object)
17. to silence or hush (sounds, voices, etc.).
18. to calm, appease, or allay:  to still a craving.
19. to quiet, subdue, or cause to subside (waves, winds, commotion, tumult, passion, pain. etc.).
verb (used without object)
22. to become still or quiet.
23. still and all, nonetheless; even with everything considered:  Even though you dislike us, still and all you should be polite.
 "Still, I know that God lives." (19:24)

This verse is where I fell in love with Job.

After all the pain, suffering, abandonment he was going through - "Still" - he believed.

In my life as I come across the elements of living, be it the joy of the rainbow during a rain storm, the bone chilling wind that sweeps across my path during a time when I am trying to keep my balance on the slippery ice.  My parched, dry throat while I wander through the desert, or the softness of the grass against my skin, as I lay down beside the still waters.  The way my eyes strain to see the end of the horizon, the end of the universe through the stars, as I stand on the mountain tops.  The way I feel when I am running through the meadow of life with Him, dancing with the butterflies, dipping our toes into the cool stream of water.  Swinging over and letting go of the rope as we fall into the deep, blue green waters.  The sounds of laughter as it tickles my ears.  The cleansing of my soul as tears fall from my eyes.

Do I "still" in all of living believe? 

He desires and commands us in many ways to be "still".  By being "still In Him", then -  only then -are we are able to truly love as He loves - unconditionally and without expectations.  To have our feet firmly planted in His "still" foundation.  True living for Him only works when we are completely "Still" in Him.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

‎"Forks" - 01/23/13 - Job 15:1-18:21

"They have sex with sin and give birth to evil.
Their lives are wombs for breeding deceit.” (15:35)

Looking back at the forks in the road, I know without a doubt - it is only because of Him I made it to where and who I am today. 

I lived my life "having sex with sin" for many, many years.  It is only because of Him that my heart remained soft and did not harden with the life I was living.  So many of my choices "gave birth to evil" - how very lost I was.  How thankful I am that I kept stumbling on looking for something to fill my void. 

That unknowingly I was searching for Him and He was always there.

Looking back, I think about the "could have beens" and offer up a prayer of thanksgiving.  As early as 16, I could have became pregnant.  It is a wonder I never did.  Thinking of some of the men I was with, they would never have been there for me or our child.  How very blessed I am that God gave me Curt to father our sons.  There have been many mistakes we made throughout the years, but He is bigger!  Only because of Him did they turn out to be men of God.  Looking back at all the choices I made - my life being a womb to breed deceit - I shouldn't have the blessing I do. 

But I am - blessed. 

Because I serve a God who is all about love.  Who, as soon as I received Christ as my Savior, forgave me and drew me to Him.  He has done nothing but lavish love upon me.  Even after all the many choices I made, which did nothing but make Him weep.  Choices that lead others away from Him and not to Him.

His love - His love - blows. me. away.

He has blessed me with Adam.  A young man who continues to attend church regularly, while living on his own.  Who reads His Word and prays to Him.  Who looks to Him for leadership, comfort, companionship.  A man who loves our God.

He has blessed me with Nichalas.  A young man who takes the spiritual leadership role and makes it a priority in his marriage.  Who also reads His Word, attends church, listens to sermons throughout the day.  Who digs in and discusses His Word with me.

Two brothers who have been best friends  beginning when Nichalas was still in the womb.   Who are silly, serious, have each others backs at all times.  Who I can not recall throughout the years, ever fighting with each other.  They talk on the phone numerous times during the week.  They really enjoy each others company - as well as ours. 

It is neat to see how they have grown up and how our relationships have changed - in a good way.  I love that we are parents and friends.  That living great distances apart has not caused distance within our family.  That even though I am their mom, they offer me Godly advice when I come up against a situation.  We pray together regularly.  They have become at times my Christian brothers.   I know without a doubt that our family will be together in Heaven with Him.  That in itself - is a blessing too much for words. 

I am so thankful that I took the fork in the road that led to Him.

That my life became a womb which bore men of God. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

‎"What are your Answers?" - 01/22/13 - Job 12:1-14:22

“True wisdom and real power belong to God;
from Him we learn how to live,
and also what to live for." (12:13)

Our source to live - to get through this place we call earth - to bring along as many as we can, through Him, as we journey to Heaven. 

Too often we go to a source that flows with the motion, changing with the tides, and causing death rather than living.  It is only His Word that is total Truth, Alive, Proven.  It is only through His Word we learn True Wisdom and real power which belongs to God. 

"We learn how to live." 

You can get up Monday thru Friday, going to the same job, doing the same tasks.  Each weekend you can set back and spend your free time as you wish.  Unless your heart is in it, you really are doing nothing more than going through the motions.  You aren't living.

The same applies to your relationship with God.  How is it?  Are you totally "in love" with Him?  Is He your "bestest friend".  Do you find yourself reacting to Him as you would a crush?  Is He all you think about?  Do you await hearing from Him with bated breath?  Are you looking, acting your best for Him?  In case you run into Him unexpectedly?  Hoping to run into Him everywhere you step?

Or are you just doing lip service?  Are you a pew sitter - not part of the church family?  As they say, sitting in a garage doesn't make you a car.  Are you who He designed you to be - His love, His desire, His reason for sacrificing His Son! 

Are you getting this? 

Is His Word part of your daily life?  Is it chewed on and filling your heart so much that it completely transforms it?  Are you drinking Him in? 

Are you living? 

"Also", have you found out from Him what you are living for?  Are your steps leading to Him?  Leading others to Him?  Is He the reason you draw a breath?  Is He what you hold more dear than anything else? 

Is He your whole life? 

“True wisdom and real power belong to God;
from Him we learn how to live,
and also what to live for."

You have this promise, this gift, just sitting there - waiting for the taking. 

Why would you resist and settle on just going through the motions? 

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Prepared" - ‎01/21/13 - Job 8:1-11:20

“Still, if you set your heart on God
and reach out to Him,
If you scrub your hands of sin
and refuse to entertain evil in your home,
You’ll be able to face the world unashamed
and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless." (11:13,14)

Last night, after spending the day with g'ma, we arrived home around midnight.  There was a red, flashing light letting us know that we had a new message.  After pressing the button to listen, I was taken aback by the voice.  It was a person, who I probably haven't had a conversation with for almost ten years and in the last five at least, spoken at all.  They were extending an invite for dinner.
I just looked at Curt and we both knew that we had some praying to do.  If asked, I really can not tell you why we haven't a relationship.  There was a time I prayed for them regularly.  One day, God told me to send a card.  After much delay, I finally did.  In it I was led to write, "I am praying for you".  That was it.  And I never heard anything about it, which didn't matter because by then I was doing for God.  Their not responding didn't affect me.  "Our" problems had become "my" problems in the relationship I shared with God.  I was bringing in the elements of unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, jealousy, revenge.  A whole garbage bag full of satan/self tools of destruction. 

God has helped to remove these emotions and replaced them with His love.  I have turned my life over to Him, set my heart on Him and reached out to Him.  I have scrubbed my hands and heart clean - my home, my temple, no longer entertains evil.  He has prepared me for this time - I let go and let God.  His verse wasn't by happen chance to be in my reading today.  All the other Words He has given me are promises that I stand on.  His love, His instructions, knowing I am safe and do not have to be a scapegoat or doormat.  That I can stand firm In Him.

I hate confrontation.  It used to be able to produce fear and anxiety.  No longer do I feel that way.  All this time I have been standing on His Truth.  I prayed and followed His commands.  When I think about dinner with them, I don't have any negative emotions.  I am very surprised that I don't feel defensive or that I have to prepare to war.  So, I could hold onto pride and not go - satan loves division.  That isn't even an urge.  My heart is becoming so "set on Him" that I am eagerly watching to where He will use me. 

But the bottom line is I am doing this for God.  This situation is making Him weep. So we will pray and go.  I am not obsessing about this (that is the biggest surprise), nor am I anxious.  The way that I am feeling about this is the Fruits of the Spirit.  I know that no matter the outcome, good or bad, He is in control.  I am His.  I pray we stay and break bread and not leave, that His hedge of protection is about us all. 

He has prepared me.  Prepared Curt and me.  Not only for this instance, but for all those that we come up against in our journey.  It is the continuing spiritual battle that we must engage in. 

"You’ll be able to face the world unashamed
and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless."

"guiltless and fearless."

"More of Velva" - ‎01/20/13 - Job 5:1-7:21

"When a cloud evaporates, it’s gone for good;
those who go to the grave never come back.
They don’t return to visit their families;
never again will friends drop in for coffee." (7:9-10)

Part of my roots.  Velva Mittermeyer Jones.  She is 94 years old.  Weighs dripping wet - maybe 100 pounds.  Stands all of 5'2".  Her hair has been white for most of my life.  She has eyes as blue as a robins egg.  Her heart has always been gentle and full of love.  Family is the most important part of life for her. 

mom, g'ma, Adam, me
From my earliest memories to today - she fills so many of them.  Often told by her, that being her first grandchild, I have held a very special place in her heart.  A little bit more love has flowed from that precious heart of hers to me, all my life.  We often laugh and smile at some unspoken thought that flows between us, knowing that we are very much alike.  It amazes me how many things, both large and small, that are the same in each other.  My hands, wrists, arms take after hers.  We share the same smile and shape of eyes - that I see God has passed down to our sons.  Their hands that take after their dad, are attached to wrists that look like hers, mine.  I love looking among my family and seeing what has been passed down throughout the generations.  To see that a distant cousin and my sons share the same wrists or eyes.  The mouth that turns up into a smile which can be seen in faded photographs.  To look into the mirror and catch a glimpse of someone in my cheekbones.  To see that connection.

Yesterday, we spent the day with her.  She is at the place in life that she is wanting to give things away.  Anytime I would make a comment about something, she would try to send it home with me.  I explained that I wasn't trying to get something from her, just sharing a memory that came from my past, because of the object.  She then told me, that if there was anything I wanted, to just ask.  She wanted to give it to me.  She wanted me to have it. 

I stood looking at this little lady who holds such a large part of my heart, sitting so tiny in the chair across from me, as we worked on a jigsaw puzzle.  I went over and easily fit into the chair beside her, wrapped my arms about her, and whispered in her ear.  "You know what I want?  I want Velva.  I want Velva forever.  I don't want the stuff.  I want you."   It is so hard not to hug her thin, fragile body too tight.  It is so hard not to cling onto her and let her go. 

It is so hard not to be selfish.

She said she knew how I felt.  It was the same thing she wanted - more of me.  But, her time was coming and it was okay.  It was how things are. 

Job's words remind me that life goes by too fast, too soon.  There are days when my heart physically hurts from wanting to spend time with my other grandparents.  That never again here on earth, may I "drop in for coffee".  How thankful I am that I have had the blessings of my grandparents throughout my adult life.  That Curt, who never had grandparents, was taken in and had this experience too.  That my children's lives were touched also by them for many years.  That the art of grandparenting was one I could learn from firsthand. 

His Words remind me again, what in life is really important.  It isn't about working 24/7 - 365 days.  It isn't about making the big dollar.  It is about those He has placed into your lives.  It is to take every moment and drink it in - make it count.  It isn't about filling someones life with more stuff.  It is about giving them what they so treasure - time.  Time spent with them. 

It is about spending the day putting a jigsaw puzzle together with a piece of your heart.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"High Priest = Bridgebuilder" - ‎01/19/13 - Job 1:1-4:21

But shouldn’t your devout life give you confidence now?
Shouldn’t your exemplary life give you hope? (4:6)

“‘How can mere mortals be more righteous than God?
How can humans be purer than their Creator? (4:17)

Good, kind, sweet, all you want - it isn't the "Golden Ticket" for entry.

It is only through Christ we gain entry into heaven - we will fail on our own.

Self-confidence is just that - confidence in self.  Why would any one want to put their total stake into themselves?  A mere human - one who is nothing without Him.  One who is ever changing with the tides.  One who isn't able to do it all on their own - regardless of the situation.  God made us to need Him and to need each other. 

A sin is a sin - there isn't any greater or lesser levels - all sin separates us from God.  All sin.  And as a human - we will/do sin.  No matter how hard we strive not to - we will fail.  No matter how committed you are to Him, devout of a life you lead.  Even if you can stand and say you have an "exemplary life" - it is not enough. 

We are mere mortals - never shall we be more righteous than God. 


We are unable to be purer than our Creator. 

It is only through our Savior that we are saved.  He is who we have to have our confidence and hope in.  He is the only way that our sins are covered.  Wiped away.  Joining us back to God.  Through Christ - God sees us pure and holy.  Outside of Christ - we are sin.  Because God is Holy and Pure - He can not be a part of sin. 

Only through and in Christ are we able to obtain the "Golden Ticket" to heaven.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Me - Forgive Me" - ‎01/18/13 - Genesis 47:28-50:26

"After burying his father, Joseph went back to Egypt. All his brothers who had come with him to bury his father returned with him. After the funeral, Joseph’s brothers talked among themselves: “What if Joseph is carrying a grudge and decides to pay us back for all the wrong we did him?”
 So they sent Joseph a message, “Before his death, your father gave this command: Tell Joseph, ‘Forgive your brothers’ sin—all that wrongdoing. They did treat you very badly.’ Will you do it? Will you forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God?”
When Joseph received their message, he wept.
 Then the brothers went in person to him, threw themselves on the ground before him and said, “We’ll be your slaves.”
 Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart." (50:14-21)

Fear - how it can be one of satan's strongest tools.  How we can allow fear to distort our vision, our minds and run.  Run without seeing, react without thinking things through.  How we can resort to manipulation, lying, deceit, in attempt to save ourselves from what we fear. 

Joseph had already forgiven his brothers.  He had shown them forgiveness many times over and still they didn't believe or accept that gift.  It wasn't because of something Joseph did or didn't do - it was because of themselves.  Just as God has forgiven us - it isn't His lacking - it is us.

They hadn't forgiven themselves for their sinful acts - just as we don't forgive ourselves. 

How often am I also guilty of this?  How often do I put myself above God and decide that I can not forgive me?  How long do I carry that burden around and allow it to be poked and prodded with fear?  How often do I resort to being unChristlike in attempt to cover my sins? 

God promises that when I accepted Christ as my Savior, I am saved.  My sins are forgiven because of Christ blood.  Even sins that I have yet to commit.  It states in scripture that I will be judged - for how my time and talents were spent - not my sins.  I have the greatest defense lawyer in the world!  He is standing at the ready, on my day in God's courts, to step in and say - "Sins Covered.  Sins Erased".
There isn't going to be a movie screen with "Sins of Deby" playing - Christ erased them.  He has made me pure as white snow.  There aren't any sins to film. 

I am forgiven.

Through Christ, my Savior, His blood. 

I am forgiven. 

He has forgiven me. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 


So how is it that I think that I have the right to not forgive myself?  Why is it that I have the right to replay all my sins, over and over, while God has no memory of them?  Who am I to nail myself upon a cross, thinking that will cover my sins? 

Each time I do -  I am taking His greatest gift and shoving it back into His face.  I am not taking in faith what His sacrifice has covered.  I am saying God's sacrifice of His Only Beloved Son - didn't cover "my" sins.  Each time I put me before God - I cause Him to weep.

Each time I do - I am saying His way isn't enough. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Free Choices" - ‎01/17/13 - Genesis 45:16-47:27

"Joseph took good care of them—his father and brothers and all his father’s family, right down to the smallest baby. He made sure they had plenty of everything." (47:12)

How Christlike was Joseph - which is amazing considering He didn't know Christ as we do.  As I do.  And still there are moments that I elect not to be Christlike in my walk. 

This account of Joseph and his family is such an example of how all things are used for God's glory.  How we have to live with the consequences of our choices and still God comes along and redirects our journey to Him.  I don't know if God created a famine to bring Joseph together with his brothers.  I do know that because of Joseph's heart the outcome of their joining brought glory to God.  Their coming together could have resulted in imprisonment or death - if Joseph had of not been Christlike. 

Joseph made the choice to focus on God and not himself.  He made the choice to forgive - even forgive what we would deem as the unforgivable.  As Christ did/does.  As God did/does. 

I love also how God is always present throughout the journey - even with Jacob.  "So Israel set out on the journey with everything he owned. He arrived at Beersheba and worshiped, offering sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.  God spoke to Israel in a vision that night: “Jacob! Jacob!”  “Yes?” he said. “I’m listening.”God said, “I am the God of your father. Don’t be afraid of going down to Egypt. I’m going to make you a great nation there. I’ll go with you down to Egypt; I’ll also bring you back here. And when you die, Joseph will be with you; with his own hand he’ll close your eyes.” (46:1-4)  He was reassured that the covenant God had handed down would be completed, even though he would be leaving the land that was promised. 

Joseph's Christlike heart led to a Christlike life that touched even the Pharaoh.  Choosing to not forgive breeds anger, resentment, manipulation, and selfishness (just to name a few).  We know by the reaction of Pharaoh, he trusted, loved, and honored Joseph - which he extended down to Joseph's family. "Joseph  settled his father and brothers in Egypt, made them proud owners of choice land—it was the region of Rameses (that is, Goshen)—just as Pharaoh had ordered. Joseph took good care of them—his father and brothers and all his father’s family, right down to the smallest baby. He made sure they had plenty of everything." (47:11-12)  Not renters, but owners of the land.  And through this God provided and blessed them with an abundance.  From the 70 members of Jacob's family came the 2 1/2 and 3 million in total of Israelites, that left later with Moses to return to the Promised Land. 

How many times in my life, and the times ahead, do I cause a detour because of my unChristlike way.  Hindsight is 20/20 - you would think I would learn by now.  What I most come away with in studying Joseph, is how he was able to not take things personal and focus on God.  No matter the situation.  I am thankful, and blessed, that He is making me more aware of the moments I fail - convicting and helping me to change. 

This journey of life is so much better when I walk in His steps, not my own.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Open Your Eyes to the Famine" - ‎01/16/13 - Genesis 42:1-45:15

famine (ˈfæmɪn)

1. a severe shortage of food, as through crop failure or overpopulation
2. acute shortage of anything
3. violent hunger

"God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue" (45:5)

Why?  Probably the most asked question of God.  During times that things don't make sense, when your heart is breaking over a situation you know He could have prevented, when the cards of life are stacked against you.

Going all the way back to the Garden of Eden - wondering why He created a tree that had a beautiful fruit, that couldn't be eaten from. 

Throughout the years, so many things don't make sense, don't seem to be of love, that even at times - He isn't in control. 

And we begin to ask, "Why?". 

One of the facts about not knowing all the "why's" is that we are not on His level.  Bottom line is - We. are. not. God.  Only He can see the whole paradigm.  Know all the in's and out's of a situation.  And only He is in complete control. 

It comes out when Joseph encounters his brothers, he couldn't hold his emotions in any longer.  The accounts of his weeping show us how much he missed his family, his home he grew up in.  The names of his sons are proof of this.  Their names are also proof that he accepted where God had placed him.  God blessed His faith by allowing him to see the "why". 

One of the many things I love about Joseph is his acceptance of God's "why's".  He looked upon his life as a mission from God - to go ahead of them, to save them from the famine.  He wasn't caught up in the wallowing of self-pity.  He was looking at the ways to serve - no matter the situation God had him in. 

Do I?

Or am I more caught up in the "why's"?  Am I in the middle of my self-pity party?  In some cases - yes.  Not as often as I used to be - thankfully He has grown me.  satan knows that next to God, I hold nothing more dear to me than my family.  I am so blessed that God has enabled me to see satan working and I no longer take things personal that happen.  God is helping me through this by allowing me to see the "golden nuggets" that are falling down upon me, to see that it is a blessing and honor our family is being attacked.  If it were not, then I should be very worried.

What He is enabling me to do is open my eyes to the famine. 

1. a severe shortage of food, as through crop failure or overpopulation
2. acute shortage of anything
3. violent hunger

Look at this definition in a spiritual sense.  The "food" is His Word- the crop failure is the failing of us - His family - feeding.  There is an overpopulation of the unsaved.  There is an acute shortage of Him being the foundation, the center, the essence, of too many people.  One unsaved person is too many.  And there is a violent hunger in this world.  This hunger for Him is what is destroying our world.  People who are violently hungry will do anything to be feed with what they think will fill the void in their souls.  Those that do not know Him are turning to evil for food.  And their fruits are rotten - they have the stench of death. 

We see satan everywhere in the world, among the lost, the starving, feeding on them.   Jesus didn't tell us that we are to live our life to figure out the "why's" of God,  although there are "why" questions we do need to ask ourselves. "Why do we so often stand by and let satan feed". "Why do I not do as He instructed, "save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh." (Jude1:23)

We are to live our life for Him - no matter the situation - as Joseph did.  We are to see Him in control of all - even when it doesn't make sense - as Joseph did.  We are to have faith in Him that we are blessed - even when our hearts are ripped out - as Joseph did. 

As Joseph was sent out ahead to save his people from the famine, we also have been sent out ahead, to save the people around us that are lost in the famine of not knowing Him.

"Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)