December 17 Remembering We’re Remembered

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Nahum 1:1-3:19;  Revelation 8:1-13;  Psalm 136:1-26;  Proverbs 30:7-9

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,

for His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,

for His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

for His steadfast love endures forever.

“It is He who remembered us in our low estate,

for His love endures forever;

and rescued us from our foes,

for His love endures forever;

He gives food to all flesh,

for His love endures forever.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven

for His steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:1-3, 23-26

* * * *

Feeling forgotten?

Cut off?

Cut out?

Cut away

from the fabric of family fellowship?

Hurtful words,

harsh judgements,

harassment and harangue.

Sin rears its ugly head

in our words and actions

and separates us from

those we love,

separates us from our God as well,

till it seems that there is little hope,

little chance of peace.

In this Advent season,

this waiting time,

this quiet time

remember Him

who remembered us

and didn’t turn His back.

Remember His enduring love,

wonders He performed.

Healed the blind,

made well the sick,

even raised the dead.

He Himself remembered us

when mocked and flogged

before Pilate stood

remembering why

His body hurt

and why He was headed

to the Cross.

His love endures forever!

He remembers us,

reminds us now


He loves.

He forgives.

He heals.

He brings peace.

Jesus IS our peace.

He remembers us!

Lord God, what amazing love–you remembered us though there was nothing in us to draw us to you–no dazzling merit, no shining works, nothing.  Thank you for remembering us, for saving us, for redeeming us from all our foes.  Keep us safe in You as we wait for your coming again into the world to claim us as your own.  May we remember you and give you all our thanks and praise!  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

December 17 Nuts Or Bolts?

Nahum 1:1-3:19;  Revelation 8:1-13;  Psalm 136:1-26;  Proverbs 30:7-9

Have you seen the car commercial that raises the question– “nuts or bolts” when constructing a swimming pool?  Having just used bolts the  homeowners/would-be car buyers  answer “And is best!” after their project falls apart.  Nuts AND bolts are needed to hold together the pool.  A nice illustration for driving home the point that  ‘good gas mileage AND a great ride’ are desired in their choice of a car.

The Old Testament prophet Nahum presents two pictures of God.  Which is the right picture of God?

“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;  the Lord is avenging and wrathful…The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty…His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.”  Nahum 1:2-3, 6


“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble;  he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:7

Vengeful or Merciful?

Angry or Forgiving?

On this side of the Cross–AFTER the Resurrection we come to the same conclusion as the would-be car owners–“AND is best.”  God can be described as all of those things, but because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross–all who believe in Him will definitely experience NOT WRATH but Salvation:

“God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1Thessalonians 5:9

God’s wrath will consume those who have rejected Him as Lord and Savior AND His grace will lead us who believe in Him–home.  It’s who God is.  That’s the nuts AND bolts of it.

Lord God, you look down from Heaven and see the deeds of man.  For all who believe on the name of your son, Jesus Christ, you see not our sins, but the blood of Him who gave His life for all.  You see His holy life in us and your wrath no longer stands between us and You.  Thank you for your great gift of Salvation!  We pray that we may be faithful in telling others the whole story about you–nuts AND bolts–the whole Gospel story–that You’ve come to save them from everlasting ire, too.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

“Behold upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace.”  Nahum 1:15

“to the One who remembered us in our low estate…and freed us from our enemies…and who gives food to every creature…give thanks to the God of heaven–His love endures forever.”  Psalm 136:23-26


June 18 Do the Next Thing


1 Kings 19:1-21;  Acts 12:1-23;  Psalm 136:1-26;  Proverbs 17:14-15

The Prophet Elijah was “spent”, worn out from death threats, tired of hiding, “wasted” from running for his life.  He felt all “used up” like he had nothing left to give.

Elijah told God so, too:  “I have been very zealous for the Lord Almighty.  The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword.  I am the only one left, an now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:14

Have you ever felt like Elijah?  Weary from your efforts to bring God’s truth, live God’s truth in this day and age?  I know that I have.  And I marvel at God’s gracious approach to my weariness, my lamenting, my complaining.  He does not chastise me, just like He did not chastise or make light of Elijah’s weakness.  He gave Elijah a task to do–He gave him the “next thing to do” and the strength to carry it out.

God puts us into action and helps us in our weakness.

A poem I learned from Elizabeth Eliot helps me keep my eyes on Him and the encouragement to “Do The Next Thing”.

From an old English parsonage,

Down by the sea

There came in the twilight

A message to me,

Teaching from Heaven.

And on through the hours

The quiet words ring

Like a low inspiration–



Many a questioning, many a fear,

Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.

Moment by moment

Let down from Heaven,

Time, opportunity,

Guidance are given,

Fear not tomorrows,

Child of the King,

Trust them with Jesus,



Do it immediately;

Do it with prayer;

Do it reliantly, casting all care;

Do it with reverence,

Tracing His Hand

Who placed it before thee with

Earnest command.

Stayed on omnipotence,

Safe ‘neath His wing

Leave all resultings



Looking to Jesus, ever serener

(Working or suffering)

Be thy demeanor

In His dear presence

The rest of His calm,

The light of His countenance

Be thy psalm,

Strong in His faithfulness,

Praise and sing,

Then as He beckons thee,


                                               –author unknown

Lord God, help us this day to do the next thing with your strength, your guidance, your love.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

“Give thanks to the Lord, for

He is good.  His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

His love endures forever.”  Psalm 136:1-3