God Signs, Seals and Delivers His Private Messages

My favorite pass time is working puzzles.

One day last week, while seated at my puzzle table in the lobby of my 55+ apartment building where I reside, a fellow resident approached the table and haphazardly said to me, “Did you know there is only one place in the Bible where God personally wrote down something?”.  I looked up  from my puzzling activity and nonchalantly replied, ‘Are you sure about that?’.  “Yep! It’s that time when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments,” he continued.  ‘Oh, I don’t think you are right about that, my friend.  But let’s talk about it later,’ I replied and returned to my puzzle project.  So, my friend shuffled his weight from one foot to the other, shook his head in disbelief, shrugged his shoulders, mumbled something under his breath about ‘his knowing the Bible’, and moved on.

The reckoning…

About a week later, I was again alone in the lobby at my puzzling activities when along came my ole friend.  We exchanged greetings, then I asked him how many fingers was I holding up.  He replied four.  “That’s right,” I confirmed.  “And that’s because there are actually four times that it is recorded in the Bible that God wrote down something for a person.”  With disbelief on his face, my friend pulled up a chair and sat down, looking quizzically at me.

“Now, what I am about to say will depend on your level of faith.  Who do you say that Jesus is?” I asked him.  “I believe in John Chapter One,” my friend said.  “Yes, but do you believe that Jesus is God incarnate?” “Yes he replied.  “Well, was there any time in scripture where Jesus kneeled down and wrote something?” I continued.  “Oh, yes!  When He challenged those guys that brought a prostitute to Him.”

“Okay.  That’s one.  Now what about Daniel?  What character traits do you recall about him?  “That’s right!” my friend exclaimed.  There’s a story about something being written on the palace wall of King Belshazzar where a banquet was being held, and that only Daniel could interpret.”  “Right!  And that’s number two,” I said.  “And don’t forget, the Ten Commandments were written down for Moses…twice!” I continued in an amplified voice.  “That makes four times in all that God wrote something down for people!” I concluded.

Moral of the story…

While Christians are on this earth, they will no doubt have numerous opportunities to witness or testify to others about their perceived knowledge of the written Word.  May I suggest that you guard against being too hasty or dogmatic about your perceived knowledge.  Always tread lightly when recalling absolute Truths.  And when correcting someone who thinks of themselves as being an ‘expert’ in biblical knowledge, wisdom and understanding of God’s holy word, tread with caution…pray first and foremost.

I am glad to report that my additional information to my friend was well received and the exchange of information has truly drawn us closer together.  Who knows, there may be additional times in the Bible where God wrote something down that I, too, missed.  Please send me a head’s up if I did.  I would love to receive your comments. For I am an approachable vessel of godly messages that I receive from other sisters and brothers in Christ.

My Prayer for you…

Precious Jesus,  I thank You for sending my way so many opportunities for new bits of insight that is in fact given to me as my trials that make it possible for me to be a more powerful witness for You.  It is my earnest desire that You help me to show others through my positive responses and thoughtful ways just how much I love You and Your holy Word.  Amen.  

Scripture Lesson “Each one should use whatever gift he (or she) has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. So that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.” I Peter 4:10-11

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God Used Covid-19 To Prepare My Daughter For Her New Job

Covid-19 Victim Who Has Lost His Sense Of Smell

Did you know that a majority of medical professionals and scientists, as well as The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention listed the loss of taste and smell as the most common symptoms effecting victims who contracted the COVID-19 pandemic virus?

Earlier this year, my daughter, her husband and their 2 young children experienced a bout with Covid that lasted about a month. Thank God they all recovered with little or no lasting effects…all, that is, except my daughter. More than once she has said to me that one of the prolonged debilitating effects of Covid-19 is that she has not regained her sense of smell.

Now the medical term for the loss of the sense of smell is called Anosmia. And some researchers believe that this condition, while not permanent, may last for an extended period of time. At times, my daughter has seen her condition as a blessing and other times as a curse. For example, last week she accidentally burned up the cookies because she forgot to set the stove timer and could not smell them burning. But this week, she scored ‘browny points’ on her new job all because she could not smell the operation of the plant she had been assigned to audit.

Let me explain…

My daughter is a vegetarian and has not eaten nor cooked red meat for a number of years. In fact the very smell of her husband cooking or barbecuing any meat makes her sick. Last week, her work assignment was to audit a meat packing plant that prepares meat and vegetable toppings for pizza companies. She accompanied several plant managers throughout the plant and observed the preparation of these products. Her host company kept asking her how did she feel. Was she becoming nauseous or experiencing an upset stomach? It was explained to her that prior auditors have had to cut their visits short because of the strong smells of cooked foods in the various areas of the plant. But seemingly, these odors did not effect my daughter and they wondered why.

An opportunity to witness…

As my daughter explained her work situation with me, all I could think of was what a wonderful opportunity for me to witness to her about the role our Lord and Savior had played in this incident. I was thinking how negligent my immediate family had become since the pandemic hit and we had not had as many opportunities to discuss church activities and services like we used to.

So at an opportune time during our conversation, I gently said to my daughter, ‘You know, sweetheart, sometimes during an illness, God uses that situation to purify our infirmities like allergies. And He uses them for His purposes. Of course, the Old Testament story about Job found that out the hard way. Job had lived a pure life in every way, yet he needed to learn (through the words of Elihu) that God can use anybody He chooses…whether that person is an enemy or friend of God.

But you found out that what you believed to be a ‘thorn in your side’ after Covid-19 was actually a ‘blessing’ in disguise. Didn’t you say that the managers that you met with told you that they would surely request that your company send you out to conduct future audits because of the professional mannerism in which you performed your tasks?’

My prayer for you and others is this…

“Dear Heavenly Father, I realize that You speak to Your flock in various ways. And during my daughter’s abstention from red meat, she had no clue that her phobia would serve as an opportunity for her to give You thanks and glory. For there is no doubt, that the good report that those managers will send back to her employer, will serve her well in the future. Please help all of us, Dear Jesus, to realize that we must become good listeners in order to point the way to other believers that there are numerous opportunities to turn hearts towards heaven even during sickness and hard times. Yes, this dreadful pandemic called Covid-19 gives us so many avenues to explore and expand our faith in the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.”

Scripture Lesson: “God does speak — now one way, now another– though man may not perceive it. Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones. Job 33:14, 19

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God Let Go Of My Hand

When God leaves you all alone…

Who would have thought that there could come a time when God would let go of your hand?

Think about it!  Sure…there are plenty of times when YOU let go of God’s hand.  But how many times has God let go of YOUR hand?

Let me refresh your memory.

What about that time when you had just experienced a triumphant moment of receiving accolades from your employer, classmates or family and friends.  Or shortly thereafter, you were guest of honor at a scrumptious birthday dinner.  Or better than anything else, you discovered that you were the heir of a large inheritance from a deceased wealthy relative.  Oh, how the praises went up as those blessings came down!  Or just maybe, it happened just when you were going through a debilitating sickness!  WOW! That hurts…

Then it happened…CRASH BAM…THANK YOU MAMAM!  For shortly after that, the Lord left you!  He actually took His presence away and let go of your hand!

God’s M.O.

God operates like that sometimes.  Scripture tells us that God did just that to King Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32:31.

“And so, in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to try him and to know all that was in his heart.”

Now the Chronicler who wrote 1st and 2nd Chronicles does not give us the full narrative of exactly how King Hezekiah reacted (or what was in his heart concerning this matter), you have to read Isaiah Chapter 38 to get a fuller picture.  There you will discover that the Prophet Isaiah had just warned the king that God had numbered his days and that Hezekiah was about to die.  Hezekiah’s response was to turn his face to the wall and pray.  He reminded God of how faithful he had been in carrying out God’s commands and re-establishing kingdom worship and righteously serving God’s people.  God relented after hearing King Hezekiah’s prayer and healed him.

Hezekiah express his gratitude for his promised healing by requesting a divine sign from heaven sealing the promise that God would do what he said he would do.  So, God responded by causing the sun to miraculously stand still for a number of hours.  After all of this happened, however, an envoy of Babylonian princes came to visit King Hezekiah to learn more about the sun miracle and to congratulate him on his healing.  So, during all this time, “God had left him (Hezekiah) to himself, in order to try him and to know all that was in his heart.”

Lessons learned…

For me, I have learned when I am faced with the most serious adversities in life and feel as though the Lord has truly abandoned me, I find myself unable to pray earnestly to Him.  I begin to operate in my own strength until I cannot go any further.  Sometimes reluctantly, or in shame, I call on the Lord to rescue me.  In retrospect, I should be more like King Hezekiah and just turn my face to the wall and recall in my spirit all the times God has brought me out of trouble.  But unlike the king, my list of services might not be as long and as worthy as his. My flesh causes me to erroneously think that God operates on merit and not by his Spirit.

What about you?  Do you always remember the goodness of the Lord when you are faced with dilemmas in life?  Can you recite a list of godly services you have performed for the sake of others.  Do you remember how gracious and merciful our Lord is.  Do you remember that it is not by power or by might, but by My spirit says the Lord?  Do you believe that some adversities, bad news and illnesses can be in fact beneficial?  Not only for kings and people in high places, but for me and you.

My prayer for you…

“My Precious Lord Jesus, We definitely realize now that sometimes you leave us, yes, you actually let go our hands, so that You can examine our hearts.  Therefore, we thank You for the trials and difficulties that cause us to draw closer and nearer to You.  We praise you for not entirely forsaking us. This sincere prayer is offered in the matchless Name of Jesus.” Amen

Remember, Easter Sunday is within a few days, so why not concentrate on the last 7 words (phrases) of Christ. You might also see within these scriptures that God actually let go of his Son’s hand for a little while. Be blessed!

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43b
“Women, here is your son.” John 19:26b

“Here is your mother.” John 19:27

“I am thirsty.” John 19:28b
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (Which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  Luke 23:46b

Jesus died for you and for me.

Scripture Lesson: “We who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body.” 2 Corinthians 4:11

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manger…Me!