Tag Archives: promise

Altars on The Way #adventbookclub – Day 9

4-5 Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.

When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time, but the Lord appeared to Abram and promised, “I will give this land to your family forever.” Abram then built an altar there for the Lord.

Abram traveled to the hill country east of Bethel and camped between Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and worshiped the Lord. Later, Abram started out toward the Southern Desert.

Is it here?
Is this the place?
Is this where you are calling me to?
Is this the person I am to become?

This is a journey.
There are important stages on the way,
but they are not the destination.
Perhaps junctions,
maybe places to wait for a connection.
important places on their own,
but not The Place.

Somewhere to pause,
think,
pray.
An opportunity to check the map,
the timetable,
or ask in the information office,
but not a forever place.

But The Now place.
the place we are,
the place God is

And so we worship

And then we journey onwards
As God leads

Guide Me

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

I Will Help You #adventbookclub

The Lord’s Chosen Servant

Israel, you are my servant.
I chose you,
the family
    of my friend Abraham.
From far across the earth 2013-05-19 10.13.52
    I brought you here and said,
“You are my chosen servant.
    I haven’t forgotten you.”

10 Don’t be afraid. I am with you.
Don’t tremble with fear.
    I am your God.
I will make you strong,
as I protect you with my arm
    and give you victories.
11 Everyone who hates you
    will be terribly disgraced;
those who attack
    will vanish into thin air.
12 You will look around
    for those brutal enemies,
but you won’t find them
    because they will be gone.

13 I am the Lord your God.
I am holding your hand,
    so don’t be afraid.
I am here to help you.

14 People of Israel, don’t worry,
though others may say,
    “Israel is only a worm!”
I am the holy God of Israel,
    who saves and protects you.
15 I will let you be like a log
    covered with sharp spikes.
You will grind and crush
every mountain and hill
    until they turn to dust.
16 A strong wind will scatter them
    in all directions.
Then you will celebrate
and praise me, your Lord,
    the holy God of Israel.

The Lord Helps the Poor

17 When the poor and needy
are dying of thirst
    and cannot find water,
I, the Lord God of Israel,
will come to their rescue.
    I won’t forget them.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA18 I will make rivers flow
    on mountain peaks.
I will send streams
    to fill the valleys.
Dry and barren land
will flow with springs
    and become a lake.
19 I will fill the desert
    with all kinds of trees—
cedars, acacias, and myrtles;
olive and cypress trees;
    fir trees and pines.

20 Everyone will see this
    and know that I,
the holy Lord God of Israel,
    created it all.

However dry the deserts, however far away, however frightened – God has not forgotten us, protects us, holds us and is here to help us.

The new life brought by fresh water will come, barren lands will be refreshed, deserts will be filled again with life.  God will come to help us.

God’s promises through his servant, the one who comes.

As Water to the Thirsty

Faith

George Michael told us all we “gotta have faith…”  Depeche Mode told us to “reach out and touch faith” (you can take a girl out of the 80s, but you can’t take the 80s out of the girl!)  If only it were that simple.

Faith is confidence or trust.  It is not believing the ridiculous, it is stepping out with God.  Faith is what helps us to live God’s ways, to respond to his call.

Hebrews 11:29-12:2

29 Because of their faith, the people walked through the Red Sea on dry land. But when the Egyptians tried to do it, they were drowned.

30 God’s people had faith, and when they had walked around the city of Jericho for seven days, its walls fell down.

31 Rahab had been a prostitute, but she had faith and welcomed the spies. So she wasn’t killed with the people who disobeyed.

32 What else can I say? There isn’t enough time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33 Their faith helped them conquer kingdoms, and because they did right, God made promises to them. They closed the jaws of lions 34 and put out raging fires and escaped from the swords of their enemies. Although they were weak, they were given the strength and power to chase foreign armies away.

35 Some women received their loved ones back from death. Many of these people were tortured, but they refused to be released. They were sure that they would get a better reward when the dead are raised to life. 36 Others were made fun of and beaten with whips, and some were chained in jail. 37 Still others were stoned to death or sawed in two or killed with swords. Some had nothing but sheep skins or goat skins to wear. They were poor, mistreated, and tortured. 38 The world did not deserve these good people, who had to wander in deserts and on mountains and had to live in caves and holes in the ground.

39 All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised. 40 This was because God had something better in store for us. And he did not want them to reach the goal of their faith without us.

A Large Crowd of Witnesses

12 Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne!

This passage also reminds us that having faith does not always make for an easy life, or that things will go, what may be termed “well”.  It doesn’t say, “Have faith and breeze through life”, it reminds us that even the most faithful had their trials.

That is a comfort.  It’s not just me, something I’ve done, or not done;  I’m not being singled out for a hard time; I’m not being “got at”.  That is how life, until God returns in all his glory, is.  Faith may help us live with life, it doesn’t get rid of the difficult parts.  And if we feel we are suffering, despite our faith, we are in good company.

Lord,
I don’t understand
why,
however faithful people seem,
despite the good things they do,
life still throws up it’s difficulties.

But I thank you,
that it is not because of anything
we have,
or haven’t,
done wrong,
but human life
in all it’s facets.

Thank you especially
for your promise
that you have something better in store.

I pray
for the time when that will be,
when suffering, hardship and pain
will be gone
and what you have in store for us all
will be here

Can I have the same song again?  I can can’t I, it’s my blog.  This really is the most awesome, beautiful, helpful and truthful song.  It means so much to me and has kept me going on some of the worst days.  God promises are not imagined, they are real and will be realised one day, way beyond our expectations.  To be able to trace the rainbow through the rain… Read it’s story here