Where shall I Go

By Alan Smith

Psalm 139:7-12 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

 

If verses 1-6 help describe the Omniscience of God, verses 7-12 describe the Omnipresence of God. Where can we go to get away from the presence of God?

Nowhere!

David begins by asking several rhetorical questions. The first two play off of each other. Where can go or walk or travel that would allow me to be away from the Spirit of God? Or can you flee or run or escape from His very presence?

The assumed answer from the question is you can’t. You cannot get away from the presence of God. His Spirit is ever present. We cannot escape the omnipresence of the eternally present God.

I could go to heaven or to the grave, and God is there. I could go as far east or west, and God is there. No matter the direction, the duration, the finality, or the cause, nothing can separate us from the presence of God.

His Presence Brings Confidence

So if God is everywhere. If I cannot escape His presence.

Combining the loving knowledge of God about me with his inescapable presence, David recognizes that God is there to lead him, to guide him, to be his strong and mighty hand.

God’s presence brings a complete sense of comfort and assurance. There is no place, no thing, no reality that can keep the omniscient God from being omnipresent. He will lead and support as His presence is with us.

Take Away

God is With Me

The reality is that God is always with me. When times are good, He is with me. When times are “bad,” He is with me. When I sin, He is with me.

An omnipresent God is in all places at the same time and it is impossible for me to escape his presence. God is with me!

When I consider the ever loving God, who knows me so personally, is not turned aside by my sin and fault, I am overwhelmed by his presence. I cannot be separated from Him.

 

 

Wade’s Wednesday

ReasonableRomans 12:1

MASKED ROBBERS enter a bank. Guns zip out a stream of bullets, and a security guard is hit twice as he shields an innocent customer in the line of fire. The customer escapes unharmed, but the guard dies on the way to the hospital.

A young child trying to cross a flood-swollen river falls in the swift current. A passing motorist plunges into the river and pulls the victim to safety. Exhausted from the ordeal, she is swept away and drowned.

It’s “the ultimate sacrifice,” laying down your life to let another live. These sto­ries resemble the most heroic rescue of all time-the one that spared you from death. Because no one is holy like God, we all face judgment -death and eternal separation from our Creator. But Jesus became a man and died the death that all sinners deserve so we could live.

Here’s the wild part. God turns around in Romans 12:1 and calls you to do the same thing: to sacrifice your body-with one key change. He’s looking for a living sacrifice. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it-one of those figures of speech that ties together contradictory terms, like “pretty ugly” or “virtual reality” or “long-sleeved T-shirt”? “Living” and “sacrifice” don’t seem to fit together. After all, “sacri­fice” usually means something dies.

Someday you might get the chance to be a hero. But in the meantime, God in­vites you to sacrifice your body and live to tell about it -and to do it again and again. One way to sacrifice your body without dying is by serving God and others with your abilities, time, and resources. It might look like this:

helping an elderly neighbor by doing yard work

giving some of your money to a missions project

using your singing ability by serving on a worship team

spending a couple hours each week visiting patients at a nursing home

volunteering to help your parents clean the garage or attic

spending the summer on a short-term missions trip, etc.

Sound like a lot of work? Paul must have anticipated his readers might think that way. In the second part of Romans 12:1, he wrote, “Your reasonable service” When you think of what [God] has done for you, is this too much to ask? Your daily, living sacrifices are acts of worship to the one who sacrificed everything for you.

REFLECT: What changes do you want to make in order to offer your life as a living sacrifice?

Josh Mcdowell

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Pour Out Thy Grace, Lord

Pour out Thy grace, Lord, keep me in your strong hand,

Help me to always trust your loving command;

Lord, you know every event before it takes place,

I’m asking you to pour out your abundant grace!

Pour out Thy grace, Lord, so I can have divine peace,

Circumstances are coming, causing worry in me;

My heart should never be troubled or perplexed,

As long as I trust you in all that’s coming next!

Pour out Thy grace, Lord, in this fearful heart of mine,

Help me on you lean, knowing you make things fine;

Lead each step I take in each path I walk along,

When you do, Lord, I’ll be right where I belong!

Pour out Thy grace, Lord, my heart will see sweet rest,

It’s by your grace, my life is abundantly blessed;

Oh how I love you, as my matchless Lord & Saviour,

Thank you for listening when my heart needs a favor!

 

Thoughts

Don’t let your worries get the best of you; Remember, Moses  started out as basket case.

Some people are  kind, polite, and sweet-spirited

Until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God,

But only  as advisers.

It is easier to preach ten  sermons

Than it is to live one.

The  good Lord didn’t create anything without purpose,

But mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wit’s end,

You’ll  find God lives there.

People are funny;  they want the front of the bus,

Middle of the road,

And back of the  church.

Opportunity may knock once,

But  temptation bangs on the front door forever.

Quit griping about your church;

If it  was perfect, you couldn’t belong.

If  church wants better pastor,

It only needs to pray for the one it has.

We’re called to be witnesses, not lawyers  or judges.

God Himself doesn’t propose to  judge man until

he is dead. So why should you?

Some minds are like concrete

Thoroughly  mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts  with smile.

I don’t know why some people  change churches;

What difference does it make which one you stay home from?

Be ye fishers of men. You catch ’em – He’ll  clean ’em.

 

Build Bridges

from Our Daily Bread

James Michener’s Centennial is a fictional account of the history and settlement of the American West. Through the eyes of a French-Canadian trader named Pasquinel, Michener converges the stories of the Arapaho of the Great Plains and the European-based community of St. Louis. As this rugged adventurer moves between the growing clutter of the city and the wide-open spaces of the plains, he becomes a bridge between two drastically different worlds.

Followers of Christ also have the opportunity to build bridges between two very different worlds—those who know and follow Jesus and those who do not know Him. Early Christians in Thessalonica had been building bridges to their idol-worshiping culture, so Paul said of them, “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place” (1 Thess. 1:8). The bridge they were building had two components: the “word of the Lord” and the example of their faith. It was clear to everyone that they had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (v.9).

As God declares Himself to those around us by His Word and through our lives, we can become a bridge to those who do not yet know the love of Christ.

 

In Vain

By Ricky Smith

Galatians 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Have you ever been frustrated in your work?  Have you ever wanted to give it all up?  Have you ever sat down at your desk and started writing your resignation letter, only to throw it in the trashcan?  Have you ever felt like all of the energy you’ve spent was a waste?  If so, then you may have some idea of how the Apostle Paul felt, in Galatians 4:11.

Paul had invested enormous energy and time into the people of Galatia.  His work and ministry has seen fruit produced, as they responded to Christ.  His frustration is evident as he watches this church begin to slip back into their old tendencies.  As the Jewish traditions begin to be adopted by the Gentile church, Paul expresses deep frustration and fear.

This verse gives us a glimpse into the heart and emotion of Paul.  His passion for God’s mission consumed his life.  As one, involved in ministering to students for nearly twenty years, I can relate.  In ministry, those moments will come when we feel frustrated and ineffective.  We must remember that our battle is spiritual.  We must trust the Holy Spirit to change lives.  We must be faithful to preach the Gospel!

 

Friday Funnies

Funny Lawn Mower Jokes
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
Why are husbands like lawn mowers?
They are difficult to get started, and then they don’t work half the time.
There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbour’s. Clyde Moore
Will – Why do you water your lawn with whisky?
Guy – So that it comes up half-cut.
My neighbour Bill asked if he could use my lawnmower. I told him of course he could, so long as he didn’t take it out of my garden.
What do you call someone who used to like tractors?
An extractor fan.
What do you call a cow who works for a gardener?
A lawn moo-er.

Blodwen’s Lawn Mower
Mrs Blodwen Roberts was looking out of her front window one Sunday when she saw her neighbour coming up the drive dressed in his gardening clothes.

‘He must be coming to borrow our lawn-mower,’ Blodwen remarked to Mr Roberts indignantly, ‘And on Sunday too. The very idea. Shameful. I won’t let him have it. I’ll tell him we haven’t got one.’

Rich Diet?
One afternoon a rich man was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, ‘Why are you eating grass?’
‘We don’t have any money for food,’ the poor man replied. ‘We have to eat grass.’

‘Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,’ the rich man said.
‘But, sir, I have a wife and two children.’Bring them along,’ the rich man replied. Turning to the other poor man he announced, ‘You come with us, also.’
The second man, in a pitiful voice then said, ‘But sir, I also have a wife and six children with me.’
‘Bring them all, as well,’ the rich fellow answered.
They all climb in the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the rich gent and said, ‘Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.’

The rich man replied, ‘Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high.’

God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless america, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless america,
My home sweet home.

— irving berlin

Wade’s Wednesday

A Prayer for the
Frontliners

Heavenly Father, thank You for the frontliners caring for, protecting, and serving our communities, our families, and us. Thank You for these servant leaders, called to this work, trained for such a time as this, daily risking their own health and safety for others.

Please protect them from harm. Give them courage and strength. Draw close, Lord, and let them feel Your presence throughout the long hours they are working.

Father, please provide everything they need, both for the people they are serving and for their loved ones. Surround them with people who will help and support them and their families, even as they selflessly care for others.

You said we would face troubles in this world, but also that You had overcome it. Please work together with our frontliners, Lord, to ultimately bring about the best outcome possible.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday With Karen

images-1by Karen Icenhour

John 14:27..”Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

When His Peace Is Ours

When His peace is ours, our heart is calm & serene,

It’s within His peace, we know on Him to lean;

Our focus is clear, as we seek the Lord’s face,

Then He shows His glory, majesty & grace.

When His peace is ours, it lets us not worry or fret,

It takes from our mind, all things we should forget;

He reminds us we are His, now & forever more,

What a blessing we know in just serving the Lord!

When His peace is ours, our feet walk the right way,

The Holy Spirit leads us, in all we do & say;

Our testimony will shine, & the Lord is glorified,

When the Prince of Peace is displayed in our life.

When His peace is ours, our life will be rich & sweet,

Living close to Him makes us whole & complete;

His bountiful blessings on us, He freely showers,

How wonderful it is when His peace is ours!