It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

What Route Will You Choose?

When a person walks closely with the Lord, and THEN DOUBTS what HE tells them, the Lord takes that to heart, as God wants HIS children to believe HIM.

Zacharias doubted what the Lord had said.  Consequences immediately followed.  We can choose our sin, but not the consequences.

Can you imagine having your mouth shut tightly for 9 months as Zacharias did when HE doubted what God said would happen?

Have you ever wondered “just what all” Zacharias had to say and talk about after 9 months of a closed mouth?

Do you know what it’s like to have a thought while someone is speaking to you, yet rather than interrupt, you keep it to yourself and wait for your turn to talk?  Then when the other person has quit talking, you’ve forgotten what you wanted to say?  I wonder how many times that happened to him?

I wonder what he pondered and learned about the Lord during that time?

Was it quiet in his house?

Did he and Elisabeth work harder at communicating?

How do you think this affected his role as a priest in the community?

What did he tell people why his mouth had been shut?

How many “believed” God as a result of this incident?

Read the story:  Luke 1:5-25

Would that (9 months) be enough time for you to “think about” things?  Once Zacharias believed God as a result of this consequence, his mouth was opened.  Luke 1:57-67

The Lord does have a sense of humor . . . and WILL fulfill HIS purpose, regardless of what route HE choses!

Just yesterday I visited with my children and a few friends about the Bible – God’s Holy and infallible Word.  We either believe it . . . . OR WE DON’T.  We cannot believe just part of it.  If we choose to believe the Bible is 100% true, then no matter the circumstance or difficulty, we KNOW that HE can be trusted, in spite of any emotion we are experiencing!

Will you choose to obey or doubt what God says?

When God closed his mouth, it grew Zacharias’s faith and taught him to BELIEVE GOD!

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Self Discipline

Discipline is not easy, but it’s better than regret.  We need to wait . . . yet the culture is conditioned for the “instant”!

It takes a patient man to sow good seed, even when you’re not seeing a good harvest:

Noah was the butt of jokes for 120 years

Abraham was promised a baby after he was 100 years old

Moses got put into the wilderness for 40 years

David went through trials before he ever wore a crown

Joseph went from a shepherd, to the 2nd most powerful man in the world

The disciples first commission was to “wait”!

Every chapter of life you are in, requires patience.  How many times do we compromise JUST BEFORE the harvest?  God’s best is always better than the alternative.

It’s better to want something you DON’T have . . . than to HAVE something you DON’T WANT!

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Glory Days

“I’m bored,” complained my oldest son.  “I don’t have anything to do.” Normally, those words created images of countless tasks to give my son during our homeschool day.  However, today I sensed the Lord asking me to teach a lesson from His Word instead.

“Mountaintop experiences don’t happen every day,” I said.  “You’ll find that life is usually 80% ordinary and 20% extraordinary.  Most of your life will involve being faithful in the normal everyday routine, but when God chooses, He will give something that changes your life forever.”

Exciting experiences can be bought in this life, but the life-changing moments that give true satisfaction and fulfillment come only through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who faithfully lived a quiet life until the angel Gabriel told her she would give birth to the Savior.  Joseph became ruler over Egypt after years of suffering and separation from his family.  Moses met God through a burning bush after 40 years of isolated living as a shepherd.

Looking back on your life, how many extraordinary moments have you had? Faithfully serving God in the ordinary makes you a candidate to serve God in the extraordinary.  “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Father, help me remember that You have a special plan and purpose for my life. May I be found faithful in the everyday things, so I am ready for the extraordinary moments when they come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Face – To – Face

Exodus 33:11 is a picture of intimacy.  When something comes between two friends, it is awkward to be face-to-face.

A wife can describe a disagreement she has with her husband that results in laying down at night turning her face to the wall and her back towards her husband.  It doesn’t take a therapist to know there’s a problem in that relationship.  The intimacy has been broken.

You may have seen the same principle at work in children.  When your child does something wrong.  Where is the last place in the world he wants to look?  IN YOUR EYES.  Holding his little face in your hands, you say sternly, “Look in Mommy’s eyes!”  But he avoids looking in your face.  Why?  Because something has come between the two of you, and the fellowship has been broken.

If you have walked with God for any length of time, you know what it is to have a breach in the relationship — to find it difficult to look HIM “in the eyes”.  Get back into HIS presence, to find out what has caused the breach, and to reestablish fellowship.  Then you can once again look into HIS face without shame or fear.

Moses was a man who yearned for a deeper, more intimate fellowship with God.  In one of his intimate conversations with God, Moses pled, “If You are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know You.”  Exodus 33:13  Moses didn’t just want to know more ABOUT God.  He wanted to KNOW God.

Do you find yourself in any of these places?  Find your way back to intimacy with God.


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The Fragile Rattlesnake

John 3:14  “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up…”

The rattlesnake is a dangerous creature, but surprisingly vulnerable.  Believe it or not, rodents, rather than being easy victims of the rattlesnake, are one of the rattlesnake’s greatest enemies.  Ground squirrels will sometimes attack rattlers, lunging at and biting them.  Ground squirrels can inflict wounds that become infected and cause the snakes death.  They often get away with this because their reflexes are so much faster than the snake’s.

Those who handle rattlesnakes must be careful of their bite.  But they must be equally careful about how they pick the snake up, because its neck is easily broken.  If a rattler is trapped for only 20 minutes in the noonday sun, it can go into convulsions.  And if it is placed on ground with too steep an incline, its heart, unable to pump uphill, may fail.  In fact, simply handling a rattler may cause it to starve itself to death.

Scripture refers to the devil as the “serpent” many times.  However, just as the rattlesnake is truly deadly but also vulnerable, so, too, is the devil — truly deadly but vulnerable.  All who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior from sin, death and the devil have that victory through Christ, even though the devil would like us to forget that he is a beaten foe.

**While I know in this life I will still have to contend with the devil, may the Lord always keep me mindful of how HE has beaten him for me!


Who Are You Trusting?

Do you rejoice and have confidence that God’s plan for your life is the very BEST thing?  God has a plan for our lives, but doesn’t always tell us what that looks like, just like God didn’t give Moses all the “particulars” at one time.  Trust God that HE knows best . . . no matter what it may look like right now.  Many times God is using the fires and dark valleys to refine you and prepare you for what is ahead in HIS plan!  Don’t trust in “self”, who will ALWAYS mess it up, yet trust in the ONE who created you and wants the very best for you.

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