At the time of Last Supper Jesus announced: The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born. Matthew 26:24
Judas walked with Jesus. He talked with Jesus. He witnessed the miracles of Jesus. He was chosen by Jesus. Yet he betrayed Jesus and ran off in shame. In trying to undo what he had done, he turned away from God’s grace in Jesus and punished himself.
Peter walked with Jesus. He talked with Jesus, He witnessed miracles by Jesus He was chosen by Jesus. Yet he betrayed Jesus 3 times and ran off in shame. In time, Peter humbly turned from his failure to receive God’s grace in Jesus.
The difference between them is Peter chose to humble himself, and Judas chose to punish himself.
Woe to those who refuse to admit their need. Ignoring the cross, where Christ did bleed. Bemoaning their failure, counting their dross. Too proud to bow before the cross. This eulogy of the forlorn… Better off to had never been born.
There is something more terrible than all your shame, and that is trying to live with it.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Waiting is very hard for me. In fact it borders on the impossible. But in Psalm 18:35 it says that God stoops down to make me great. Now that changes things and to my surprise, waiting becomes an encounter with God.
My day is as good as the amount I let God into it.
There were times that the fog became so thick you could barely see the road, let alone knowing which way to go.
We have all had times when we wished we had taken a different direction. Looking back we can see how a right choice would have been so much better, but we just could not see far enough ahead.
Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. Psalm 119:1-3
God is all about helping us choose the right direction. We just have to ask.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13
What we receive is not only help in making the right choices going forward, but forgiveness for all our past wrong choices.
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18
When I have no clear vision of God then my thoughts begin to drift.
Worries about what the future holds draw me further away.
In my fear I hoard and build embattlements.
I imagine everyone is coming to take what’s mine.
Then I see this flower and am reminded,
If God clothes the grass like this, how much more will he care for me.
I release my anxious thoughts and grab hold of my makers hand.
Something beautiful happens as I walk with Jesus,
I begin to see his goodness blossom in me.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:25-30
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
When I praise God, I begin to review all he has done for me.
He has forgiven me, and removed my shame.
He has redeemed my life from sorrow and death.
He satisfies all my desires.
He leads me into goodness and guards me on the way.
His love for me knows no bounds, and he will not let anything come between us.
He shares himself with me, and gives me his name that I should call upon him.
Even the flowers of the field praise the Lord.
What a blessing it is to praise God
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
This scene only came to my attention when I stopped…and sat…and waited. Initially I was bored and saw nothing. Finally, I asked God to open my eyes and allow me to see. Slowly I began to sense the deeper rhythms of the stream. I heard the churning of the water against the rocks, then the call of birds overhead, followed by a chattering squirrel upset by my presence. Breathing in I noticed the fragrance of cedar boughs, and finally became entranced by the branches playing in the fast moving water perpetually dancing before the Lord. The joy in that moment returns even now, looking upon this scene I give thanks.
Prayer is like that. It is only when I stop and wait that I begin to perceive what God has for me. To read and meditate upon the Bible letting the Holy Spirit slowly direct my thoughts. It becomes wonderful dance of me with my creator. Unfortunately, as the day progresses my mind gets sidetracked, fretting about so many things. I must restart the process again, waiting on the Lord trying to catch His rhythm. Thankfully God never tires of waiting for me.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Psalm 37:7-9
Wildflowers along the Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier NP
The smallest trouble is like a tiny blister on your foot,
With walking it will soon grow to unbearable proportions.
But I can put up with the most difficult circumstance if I have hope.
For hope is like wildflowers along the trail, they take my mind and heart to heavenly places.
Remember Your word to Your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3
Each snow flake is a unique wonder of God’s creation, no two are alike. Yet, often when we see them float down it starts us thinking about having to shovel snow, or worry about icy roads. Life is like that, we receive many blessings each day, yet our minds are preoccupied by problems and struggles. It is not to say we should not think about difficult issues, it’s just we should not let them be all we think about. For when we fail to praise God for His “snowflakes,” we miss the beauty and wonder in each day.
Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! Psalm 147:1
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:4-5
If you like me have difficulty getting past the troubles of each day, then let Psalm 145 through Psalm 150 guide you in praise.
My hope is that it speaks to your heart of God’s glory. That you hear echoes of His love for us. That it reminds you of God’s perfection that He wants to share with us.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world…. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19