Tag Archives: redemption

No Matter How the World Dresses up Sin – Dirt is dirt

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. ~ Romans 24-25

I’m pretty sure I have the best teen group in the nation. If you’re a teen leader, you probably think so too… or you should. They stretch me with my idealistic notions of what faith looks like, by granting me the new generations perspective. Just when I think I have it all figured out, we get into a deep (or sometimes shallow) theological discussion and I have one of those “You are not as smart as you thought you were, Shari,” moments. They are really quite frequent if I’m honest.

But last night’s ill prepared teen lesson was on “restoration” of the body of Christ. We skimmed the tops of scriptures about Peter, David, Saul and others whose failures sometimes lead to renpentance and sometimes not. But God’s love of broken people is evident from Genesis to Revelation.

The one glaring fact that comes from muddy pink boots, is that no matter how the world dresses up sin, dirt is still dirt. It aint pretty. The lesson that I learned from my diverse group of thinkers in the teen group last night was, children, (like God) are so quick to forgive the people they care about. And so quick to move on from mistakes understanding that they’re learning! I’m not so quick to move on. I sometimes put my pretty muddy pink boots in the corner as a reminder about that time I didn’t go around the mud, but walked right through it. I walk by my failed attempt at life and kick myself. I try buying a new pair of boots, but they’re not fun to wear, because i really want to wear the pink ones.

I know that’s a very odd parable. But what I hope you learn is what I did: Restoration also has to be done within. Especially if we’re not apt to share the fact that our boots are muddy to start with. Christians seldom want anyone else to know what they struggle with for fear of being seen as “less godly.” Well let me tell, I am for certain less godly. And I struggle with lots of “stuff.” I have a tender heart willing to forgive everyone but me. God is showing me through the youth who love me faults and all, that He does too.

I need to clean off those pink books and get back to walking.

How about you? Do you struggle with self degradation and unforgiveness. Maybe your boots are another color, but they’ll clean up just as nicely if you’ll spray them down with the water of the Word.

Oh How He Loves You and Me

Hosea 3:2

So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley and an half homer of barley:

Have you ever wondered why God puts up with you? I certainly do. Most every day I’m asking myself that question. I have a feeling that nobody asked that question any more than Gomer, the wife of the prophet Hosea.

The story of Hosea’s prostitute wife was not that of the ordinary man of God. God had instructed him to marry a prostitute. That is what I would all an extreme sermon illustration! Once they were married, Gomer’s infidelity and abandonment meant that Hosea had to buy her back out of prostitution, in a very public way and then tell the children of Israel how his wife’s infidelity was no different than theirs was to the Lord; which would bring great judgment upon themselves.  

Praise God for grace… but Gomer’s life story still rings my bell. I long for a relationship of deeper proportion with the Lord, but I stay so busy and scattered about with various things that the Lord more often than not, gets scooted over to make a seat for some vain desire. Thinking I’ll get back to Him later. What? Even writing that makes my stomach roll over to think that I would treat the Creator of all the earth in such a manner.

It’s why I can identify with Gomer. Hosea married her and made an honorable woman out of her, but she refused to stay away from the world from which she came out of. She had children, and she even abandoned them to go back.

Infidelity has a much broader meaning when it comes to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He’s not asking us to turn our backs on family, forget about hobbies or favorite pass times, He merely wants included. And yet, even I, who the world around me knows me as the Jesus Chick, will not bring Him into a conversation for fear of it being an unwanted conversation sometimes. Or I’ll get distracted by some worldly television show or social media and my day has dwindled away and I’m left wondering why I feel like a dirt dog at the end of the day.

It’s the equivalency of not showering! The Word of God is a spiritual wash cloth as one of my favorite preachers use to say.

My relationship with Christ cannot possibly get to a deeper place, if I’m not willing to wade out into the water where He is.

It reminds me of those times that He and the disciples would get away from the rest of the world for some ministry training and rest and it would be in a quiet place, or in the midst of the sea. It wasn’t in a crowded room, dusty street, or in front of a blaring television with idiotic commercials every 3 minutes.

So today in an attempt to understand why God tolerates me I looked into the eyes of Hosea through the eyes of Gomer. I realized it was for no other reason than He loves me. Thank God, I am redeemed. Bought back with the blood of Jesus Christ after I went astray.

He loves you too you know…

The Old Man is Dead!

Chick new

Romans 6:6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

I may not recall the first time I heard the song, “The Old Man Is Dead,” but I can recall that every time I hear it my soul is deeply stirred within. It’s a powerful message for the believer when they understand that their guilt is buried deep in the grave of the past, never to be remembered by the Savior. David said in Psalm 103:12 ~ As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  And yet I see so many children of God living in defeat day after day. I’m not talking the occasional “oops” that can happen to any of us at the drop of a hat, but I’m talking about a continual drifting away from God until He is so far removed the conviction is nigh on gone… but not quite.

There’s something about the scars of a crucifixion that run deep. And even though ours is a spiritual crucifixion, not a literal one as Christ bore, the scars are still there. That day of salvation when reminisced upon cannot help but bring with it a desire to be that clean again. For those who have gotten themselves away from Christ, and are back out in the world of sin it’s like the zombie apocalypse in your own life! The old man was dead and you resurrected him (or her as the case may be.) Now you’re walking around with your sins hanging out all over for all the world to see. They can’t be in you, because the Holy Spirit dwells there, you’re forgiven! But because you’ve chosen to go back into the world you have  this dead junk hanging all over you, dragging you down day after day, bringing no pleasure whatsoever but you’re stuck. You know the world sees you as a sinner, not as a saint; and if you go back to church they’ll see you as a hypocrite. So Satan has you where he wants you, hanging out with zombies.

So what’s the answer?

There is only one answer to getting rid of the zombie crowd and that’s the blood of Jesus Christ. It miraculously will wash away the sin of alcohol, sex, drugs, and any other immoral act you could have possibly committed when the zombies reigned. But don’t try to go it alone. You knew it was coming… you need church! There’s a reason Christians hung out together in the Bible and they still hang together today, because there’s safety and encouragement in numbers, and you’re in need of both. You’ll need the safety of their prayers and the encouragement of their company.

I pray you’ll hear the message today whether you stumbled upon this blog, or if someone sent it to you because they know you’ve been hanging with zombies. Have you distanced yourself from God, but you can still hear His faint cry… come home. Or perhaps you’ve never gotten rid of the old man at all, and you’ve got sin inside and out. Christ has got that covered too. When He was crucified He went to Zombieville and took the keys to death, hell and the grave. All that junk and heartache you’ve been carrying around will just fall off when you speak the name of Jesus, and ask Him to save your soul and come into your life. It’s true!

Tell the old man to get packin’… you’ve got new friends!

It began and ended in the Garden

chick garden

It was formed at creation; a place of splendor and beauty that we cannot possibly fathom. As beautiful as creation is now it still has thorns, mud and dying foliage, but that was not the case in the first garden. It had not rained so there would not have been mud, only perfect conditions for which to run and frolic in delight in that perfectly wonderful place… until we botched it through sin.  My stomach twists and turns as I think about Satan slithering his way through God’s exquisite creation to make his way to Eve, where his pleas would not fall on deaf ears but rather his wicked seeds of doubt would take root in her soul and forever change the garden.

Genesis 2:8, Genesis 2:9

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Eve traded Paradise for misguided perception.

The scripture says that Jesus and His disciples often resorted to a garden with His disciples. There is no doubt that He knew the garden of Creation and Gathsemane at the time it was created, long before sin had taken its effect on the land and before Satan’s ways had slithered into the heart of every man.

John 18:1-2

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

Another betrayal in the garden. In a place where Jesus had sought to find rest with His friends, and was perhaps a place where He had expounded the truth to His disciples many times, including Judas; it would be that place Judas would seal the deal with the Devil. Another poor choice by the creation that God loved. It was in this garden that Christ cried out to His Father to let the cup pass if there would be any other way, but there was not. The coming days would be filled with betrayal to the extreme when the world would turn their back on Him, He Who created them… loved them… and died for them.

But then the final garden in the story.

John 19:40-42

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

As only Christ can do, it would come full circle in the garden! What Satan had intended to steal in the first garden, he was sure he had finally accomplished it in the third. But in the third garden, on the third day Jesus would prove victorious and in a twist of irony He was mistaken as the gardener by the women at the tomb.

John 20:15

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

The original Gardener. He Who had sown every seed in that glorious Garden of Eden, Who was there betrayed, had conquered every sin from the original to the end. Glory Hallelujah! Our Messiah. I’m so grateful for the Master Gardener… were it not for that empty tomb I would not stand redeemed and have peace in my soul that it so needful in this world of woe.

It was nice to find the gardens this morning in His word. I pray you find a little of your own to steal away and spend time with the Savior, be it in the garden, a coffee shop or a front porch swing.

But Now… Stop your worryin’

CHICK NO WORRIES

Child of God or no, there are very few people that I’ve ever met that didn’t worry. If any really? Some call it “concern” and in the spiritual sense I get that. We know that God has this world under control and that nothing occurs without first having His stamp of approval on it. But when you’re in the thick of heartache and trouble, serious “concern” has a way of creeping up on you.

Isaiah 43 is looking at the release of the Jews out of their captivity and looking even further than that to the redemption of them and us through the Lord Jesus Christ. Verses 1 through 7 are filled with great promises for us to cling to when Satan is whispering in your ear… “you’re  goin’ down.”

7  Promises in Isaiah 43

1 – 1But now thus saith the Lord that created thee,

If God can speak the universe into existence, is there anything He cannot do? Yes… lie.

O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for 2 – I have redeemed thee,

On the cross of Calvary Jesus redeemed us, purchased every child of God with His very own blood sacrifice. As the teens and I studied the “Crazy Love” of Jesus Christ in our Wednesday night service a little girl came to know His saving grace. It was one of those nights where you could feel the Spirit moving and had absolutely nothing to do with me. God had shown up and anointed that class room with His presence before I ever opened my mouth. Two thousand years ago He redeemed little Theresa and planned it out so I could be there the day she came to understand.

3 – I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

There’s something awesome in knowing that God owns me. I belong to the Creator of all the universe and He has plans for me. He called me for a purpose. It’s like having the CEO of the universe ring your number today and say, “Hey, I have a little something for you to do.” How cool is that!

When thou passest through the waters, 4 – I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

No matter the troubles we face, we’re going through. They cannot consume us for we are eternal beings in the hand of God. Many days I’d just rather not go through. I’d much rather go around. But I have yet to go through a trial where I didn’t see the purpose when I arrived on the other side. Every heartache and trial I’ve endured has allowed me to glorify God to someone later. It’s not fun, but if we didn’t have the bad times, we NEVER  appreciate the good times.

For 5 – I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

When the children of Israel went through the plagues prior to leaving Egpyt, a great many Egyptians died. God didn’t take that lightly. He did not want those people to suffer, and He didn’t want the Israelites to forget that their freedom came with a high price and ours with an even higher price, His Son. The Egyptians were rebellious and refused to heed God’s request. Jesus willingly went to the cross with no sin of His own to pay our debt, because those whom He creatare precious in his sight.

6  – Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

7 – Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

He’s with us now and He’s going to bring all His children together someday soon. Oh glory!!!! That’s a promise that I love holding on to.

Whether or not they believe…

BELIEVE 2

John 10

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Dedicated to Religion

Always a scary thought for me. The Jews were celebrating the miraculous victory and deliverance from the Greco-Syrian control. A time when the Greco-Syrian king took control of the Temple in Jerusalem and forced the Jewish people to abandon their worship of God, their holy customs and reading of the Torah. He made them bow down to the Greek gods and according to the records, this King Antiochus IV defiled the Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and spilling its blood on the holy scrolls of Scripture.

As a result of the severe persecution and pagan oppression, a group of four Jewish brothers, led by Judah Maccabee, decided to raise up an army of religious freedom fighters. These men of fierce faith and loyalty to God became known as the Maccabees. The small band of warriors fought for three years with “strength from heaven” until achieving a miraculous victory and deliverance from the Greco-Syrian control. The Feast of Dedication is also known as Hanukah.

The Jewish leaders loved history and tradition, but it was the new non-traditional ideas that they had an issue with; like the fact that God had a new plan and it didn’t involve religion, but rather relationship. The Jews had regained possession of the temple, but lost possession of God’s purpose.

Deviated to Reception

The Jews swerved away from the notion that there would be a new way.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Jesus had come to give a freedom that would remove the Jewish Priests control over the relationship with God and His children. No longer would there be a need to have multiple intercessors on earth, but through Christ Jesus we would have direct communication to the throne room of Heaven; this doesn’t sit well with religion or anyone else who likes complete control of the circumstances of life.

The victory and restoration of the temple began when four Jewish brothers had had enough. I see a little Greco-Syrian tactics going on in our own government today when at every turn they are removing Christian rights and allowing pagan rights to rule. It seems that Christ is no more welcome on Capitol Hill than He was in the temple that day. The Jewish leaders tolerated Him, but they really would just rather have Him gone so that they could once again have full control over the people. The religious leaders didn’t win their battle any more than those who try to thwart Christianity today will succeed.

Destined to Redemption

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

We may have to fight a few battles of our own before Christ comes to claim the church and take us home. But whether or not Capitol Hill believes on Christ, they cannot control the relationship that God has with His people. Glory Hallelujah for that!

What attitude are you bringing into the relationship?

ruthlarge

Ruth 4:6

And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

I love the story of Ruth. I have yet to see a movie that could top the truth in God’s word. There’s intrigue, love and war, suspense, but here in the book of Ruth we have the story of my redemption. Unworthy to have been redeemed by God and accepted into the family as an adopted child, an heir to Heaven’s riches. Ruth was a poor Gentile, she brought nothing into the relationship except a good attitude. I hope I have brought a good attitude into my relationship with God because that’s all I have to offer.

Ruth’s kinsman had the right to marry her before Boaz, but because she was a poor woman, and he would possibly have children by her who would take away from his own children’s inheritance he opted out. Praise God my Savior did not opt out on me. Boaz, who loved Ruth, had to have been giddy inside when the man turned her down; Boaz could see the treasure within the woman of Ruth.

She had an attitude of Allegiance

How loyal a woman was she to have stayed with Naomi after their husbands had died. She was facing the worst poverty one could imagine, she was willing to accept by faith that Naomi’s God would see them through. The allegiance in relationships of today is nigh gone, is it not? Marriages begin with an attitude of separation potential, parents turn their backs on children and visa versa, loyalty to the church of God is dependent upon how much attention one gets and the value of your opinion. Oh to have the allegiance of Ruth to say in Ruth 1:16 ~  Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

An attitude of Affection

Ruth simply loved. There was no accolades for what she was doing, she didn’t go into it with attitude she would surely be rewarded, yet that’s what happened. She just loved… she loved Naomi enough to leave her only family. She loved Boaz… In Ruth 3:7-9 we find love.

And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

She truly cared about Boaz and was ready to be his servant. She was following God’s providential guidance that would lead to her care, but she didn’t know that. At this point she was a willing servant. That’s the heart I desire, to to love and serve without knowledge of the end result but wisdom and discernment to understand that God is in it. That’s enough!

I pray God is made a part of your day and mine from start to finish. Thanks for spending time with the Lord and I for this little bit.

 

He’s Singin’ Our Song!

Isaiah 49:1-6
The Servants Song – a Holy Week Message

 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.  And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

He’s Singin’ our Song!

When Jesus sings you a song, you really should come to the concert! This is the second of four servant songs in the book of Isaiah. You’ll find the others in 42:1–950:4–1152:13–53:12). It struck a chord in my heart because it’s sung to me specifically. “Listen, O isles” refers to the Gentiles. That’s us! We were called the isles of the gentiles in Genesis 10:5 ~  By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. So here in the book of Isaiah we find God singing us a song of redemption because even then He knew that the Jews, His chosen, would reject Him (Then I said, I have laboured in vain,). How heart wrenching a statement if that were the end of the story. But the end of the story didn’t come until Calvary when He became a light to the Gentiles and His servant’s song is continually sung through the Church that we now serve.

He Saved us to Serve

Here we are in the midst of Holy Week, the week that changed the world forever and I see so many unchanged. I’m even guilty myself. We’re called to be the light of Christ for the world but deed there are times that I don’t feel much brighter than a small candle flame in a dark house. I fail God daily and most churches are far from lighting the path to Calvary, but rather they illuminate the rights of Christians, focusing far more on the fact that our sins are covered than on Whose blood it was that covered our sins. We’ve also forgotten that we’re called to serve.

From the womb Jesus knew He was God, and the purpose for which He was being born was to die in our place. And I fully believe that in the recesses of our minds is our own calling from the time we are conceived. Jeremiah 1:5 (one of my favorite verses) says ~ Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

You can choose to ignore Jesus’ song and His reminder that you’re called to serve, or you can experience the greatest opportunity in life which is to light the pathway for souls to Heaven. Have a blessed week!

A Millisecond Between Redemption and Rejection

So this morning’s worship service attendance is two; myself and Sammy the Jack Russell. I opened up with a song (that is the Baptist way you know) on my guitar singing “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” I’m glad no one was here trying to sing with me as I stumbled through the chord changes, but I believe God appreciated my effort. On my mind not long after my eyes opened this morning was the scripture in Luke 21:28 ~  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

I think a lot about the return of Jesus, mostly out of concern for family and friends who do not know Him and live each day as if they’re guaranteed another and we’re just not. The reality is there will be a millisecond of time between redemption and rejection. That sobering thought makes my stomach roll over.

When I gathered myself for worship this morning I asked God if the Holy Spirit would be my preacher today. I just wanted to hear from Him… not my thoughts. Being out of church on Sunday always messes with my day, it’s like skipping class in front of the teacher… it ain’t right, God knows where you’re at! And indeed He did know, and He’s teaching me well. Prior to this verse Jesus was teaching a few other people in the temple, mainly some smug religious folks that weren’t paying attention. There was a widow who came to church and as she put her two mites into the offering, Jesus pointed out to those in attendance that she had given her entire income, but they took no notice of her. Instead they began to discuss how good God was to give them such a great and awesome building made of beautiful stones. Jesus’ response to that was “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

They began to question Him as to when that time would come and how would they know and His answer (as it still is today) wasn’t one they likely wanted to hear. They’ll be false teachers, wars, and rumors of wars, nation shall rise against nation, persecution of Christians and the weather will be crazy! (all of that of course is paraphrased Shari style); but if you read the entire chapter it sounds like today’s headlines. And then He caps it off with that statement “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

The religious people were so impressed with the building God had provided that they had forgotten the Builder, but not the widow. She gave all she had in faith believing that the God Who provided the temple, could certainly provide her dinner. What faith! That’s the faith that’s needed to make it through hard times. The world’s a scary place but God’s warnings were not to instill fear but to allow us to be prepared.

Luke 21:34-36 ~ And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, (indulgence or gluttony) and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Don’t be afraid, be ready. And share the word of God with friends and family.

Have someone you’re concerned about, I’m concerned about them too, share my page and hopefully they’ll follow this link and be saved!

http://thejesuschick.com/the-road-to-salvation/

It’s All Apart of the Plan

Jonah 1:7 ~ And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

When Jonah refused to go to Ninevah to preach the gospel as the Lord had asked a “whale” of a story followed! But the reality of it was, how many people died outside salvation in Ninevah while Noah was rebelling against God? One was too many…

The practice of casting lots was common of the day; every decision was from the Lord and when the lot was properly used, the answer was not a matter of chance but came from God. Because we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us the lots are no longer necessary, however the answer is still not a matter of chance.

Proverbs 16:33 says “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” I have to wonder if this is not where the phrase “It just fell into my lap” came from, when in truth nothing just “falls” into your lap without the divine providence of God either directing it there, or allowing it. It is then our task to determine the direction to go.

My lap is often full of decisions. I sometimes fear a boatload of Tarshish immigrants will pass by the shores of Calhoun County and declare “Throw her overboard. The troubles we’re in are her fault! It’s a habit in my life to assume responsibility for something that was not within my control. Yes… it’s crazy, but it’s my lot.

The point I want to make here is this, “No decision is allowed to come into our lives that God’s not a part of. He either allowed it or created it, either of which was designed to send us in His direction for the answer. There are times I wish the practice of casting lots was still an option, a “yes” or “no” answer would be helpful. But what a decision requires, where it be big or small is prayer and lots of it. Reading the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister our soul.

Jonah made a mistake, it wasn’t fatal but it had a nasty repercussion. Imagine being in the belly of that great fish for three days! What would be going through your mind? Just kill me already! I’ll bet he did some serious soul searching then. It was all a part of the plan…

Matthew 12:40

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

God was not caught off guard by Jonah’s rebellion. He expected it. I’m sure God would have much preferred if upon telling Jonah to go to Ninevah, he replied, “I’ll pack by bags and be out the door in the shake of a dog’s tail.” But being that wasn’t his answer and God used that too. He used Jonah’s act of rebellion as an example of God’s ultimate redemption. He said I’ll show you that way back there in 786-746 BC that I knew you’d mess up in 2013 AD, so 2000 years ago, I died on that cross of Calvary, they placed Me in the tomb and in three days I came forth too! But not as whale puke, like Jonah. No, I came forth victorious. Satan thought he won, until I knocked on his door and said I’ve come for the keys of death, hell and the grave. Revelation 1:18

Decisions are rough. We can’t cast lots, and sometimes we’re not nearly as in tune with God as we should be, but isn’t it great to know that God’s got it all worked into the plan. He can use even our mistakes to bring glory to his name. Amen!