Unchanging God

Malachi 6 and 7, Berean Study Bible says, Because I, the LORD, do not change, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers, you have turned away from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Hosts. “But you ask, ‘How can we return?’…

“It’s a new season,” we hear every few months. Or, “Change is in the air.” Sometimes we’re uncomfortable with that, especially if we don’t know what to expect. But when we know God–that He is faithful, even when we are not; that He gives us every breath and every good thing; that Jesus died and rose again to give us amazing Zoe life (John 3:16, John 10:10); that He is monitoring every moment of our lives and working through His Spirit and His angels to bring about the very best for our lives, because He loves us–then we rest. We rejoice. We release our child-like faith and trust in our Darling Daddy God, and expect His best!

For He never changes. Praise Him, or we–in our weak, carnal human flesh–would all be destroyed by His Glory, His truly awesome Power, the very Essence of Him, the Divine!

God is good, and all good, forever. That will never change! His plans for us are good and all good, forever (Jer. 29:11). Blessed be the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever! (I Chron. 16:34).

He’s Got Your Back

Psalm 66:9 (TPT), “There’s no doubt about it; God holds our lives safely in his hands. He’s the one who keeps us faithfully following him.”

Psalm 12:6, (TPT), For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.”

Psalm 37:3 (TPT), Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness.”

Psalm 69:13 (TPT), “But I keep calling out to you, Yahweh! I know you will bend down to listen to me, for now is the season of favor. Because of your faithfullove for me, your answer to my prayer will be my sure salvation.”

There is a God, and He is real, and awesome, and good! He is forever faithful, and that’s why we each have life. That’s why the world keeps turning. That’s why there is beauty. He gives us every breath.

And while He protects us from so much every day–things that would try to destroy us that we don’t even see–our choices also affect things. But He is a good Father that teaches us what is best, if we will just listen to Him. He loves us so much He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, so we would go free and have an amazing, prosperous life (John 3:15-17, John 10:10)!

But you don’t have to believe me. Get a Bible and ask the LORD if He’s real. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will! And then, you’ll be in for the most exciting adventure you’ve ever known!

The Christmas Surprise

James 5:16 : Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)

I had planned a very quiet Christmas, with just my Beloved and myself, sleeping in, exchanging gifts, and having time to rest and do other things I wanted to do today.

But the enemy had other plans. He loves to try to steal our joy and interrupt our peace. Clayton and I were dreaming deeply last night when there was a loud pounding on our door. My darling daughter had stopped by to tell me my dear mom, a widow less than two years ago, who’d suffered many afflictions, was once again in the hospital. Somehow we’d been unable to hear the phone.

Mom had fallen and fractured her hip and pelvis, even though a caretaker was with her 24/7. Bless her heart! The ambulance had rushed her on Christmas Eve to the hospital, and there she lay. So I was up at different times during the night checking on her.

However, God is never taken by surprise! What the enemy means for evil, the LORD Who knows all things always works for good for us who love Him and are the called according to His Plan.

This morning, I rose and made her some delicious peanut butter balls that she likes, determined to go bring her some cheer on this Christmas Day.  As the LORD often does, I figured He might have other things in mind too, and I knew there were hurting people everywhere at the hospital. So I took a Christian magazine, some Jesus’ Christmas Tree bookmarks (JCT bookmark_TKTaylor ), and an invitation to our church New Year’s Eve service. I asked Him to show me whom to sow them to.

Mom let me pray for her but was hurting too much to read the magazine and even had me take her treats back home till later. I spent some time helping her, then felt led to visit the ICU floor, where my Dad had died less than two years before, and where I’d spent a long month with Mom before that.

As I entered the ICU waiting room, there was one man there, asleep. I quietly left the materials, then went to the bathroom across the hall. The LORD impressed me to ask the man if he needed prayer. He woke and said, ‘Sure!” I told him my husband and I were lay ministers and he said he was a local pastor too, and was there for his mom. He gave me details of her afflictions and he and I prayed together.  I told him at the end that I expect a good report, even if I don’t know about it till Heaven!

Then I handed him theinvitation to our church’s NYE service, which is the 29th this year. Perhaps he and his family will come. Anyway, I know this was the LORD–and it was His surprise gift to me. Later that day, I received some delightful and very thoughtful gifts from my Beloved husband. However, the gift of the LORD directing me to be a vessel through whom the LORD ministered to my dear mom and the pastor and his family was the very best gift of all!

Ask the LORD how you can receive more of the priceless gift of being a vessel through whom He works to bless others this Season that we celebrate the living Christ!

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Choose Joy

22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge]. —Gal. 5:22-23, (AMPC)

“It’s joy!” I said, and laughed gently some more, watching my sweet fourth grade students giggle and look around at each other, delightfully confused. They had just come into my afternoon  class, and some started laughing for no apparent reason.  I could tell that they were not trying to be disruptive, nor were they scorning one another–I just let the LORD have His wonderful way!

Happy tears  came to my eyes also, and they noticed. “Look at Mrs. Taylor! Her face is red!”

Indeed it was, and I my heart felt so good. I could not stop smiling, and the kids smiled back.

As I’ve told them, we feel better when we smile. We get more oxygen, and it’s just so much better than a frown!

Part of my joy was thankfulness;  it is so wonderful to have the Presence of God with us always!

Many of us laughed gently a few minutes, then they started to settle down.

“What is joy?”one asked.

I love it when Daddy opens doors like this!

“It’s part of God,” I said. “A fruit of the Spirit!”

“Oh!” he said, and smiled. A few had not laughed, and my heart ached for them to experience the freedom and lightness that comes when the true Spirit of Joy, the LORD Jesus Christ, rises among us.

Truly, this Season, we have so much to be joyful about. Let us sing for joy to the One Who is faithful forever, for He died so we could live with joy!

Sing for joy, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion upon His afflicted.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yes, sing praises!