Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘security’

What Happened to Solomon?

Did you know that God gave a list of laws for kings?  Even more amazing is that one of the most famous kings of Israel broke every one of them!  (Deuteronomy 17:14-20)

DO NOT ACQUIRE MANY
War horses, especially from Egypt.  These were the armaments of that day, important for national security.
RATHER, strength and security are to be found in God alone.

Wives, source of pleasure and delight.
RATHER, the heart’s delight is to be found in God alone who gives His good gifts.

Wealth.
RATHER, God Himself is to be our treasure.  We look to Him for provision and honor.

DO
–Make a personal copy of the Scripture and read it every day!  In here we find all those things
Security:  You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. (Psalm 119:114)
Pleasure:  How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.  (Psalm 119:103)
Treasure:  Your teachings are worth more to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver. (Psalm 119:72)

So what happened to Solomon when he amassed warhorses from Egypt, collected 1000 wives & concubines from many foreign nations, and accumulated stupendous wealth?  You can read his sobering story in 1 Kings 10-11.

And after all these thousands of year, what person or nation hasn’t sought security, pleasure, and wealth?  But why be taken in by the fakes which go sour, don’t last, and just disappoint?  The real thing is found in only one place:  God.

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
I’d rather be His than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land,
Yes, I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

Chorus:
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than worldly applause,
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom,
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb.
He’s all my hungering spirit needs
I’d rather have Jesus and let him lead.
(by George Beverly Shea)

Listen to the song here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u62uYEssk7o

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Resting

Resting in my husband’s arms–

I feel his heartbeat
I feel his breath on me
I am surrounded by his love.

Resting in the embrace of God my Father–

I hear His heartbeat and long to be a woman after His own heart
I feel the breath of His Spirit, calming me, empowering me
I am secure in His love.

Off the Foundation

Notch off foundations

 

Several years ago, a flash flood lifted a huge building in our neighborhood off its foundations so that it would never be usable again.  It had to be dismantled.  At that time, it was discovered that the building had never actually been secured to the foundation.  The builders must have assumed that its weight would keep it there. (In the photo, you can see the pieces of metal sticking up from the square foundations where the building had originally rested.)

It reminds me of the children’s song based on Jesus’ parable in Luke 6:46-49: “The wise man built his house upon a rock…and the foolish man built his house upon the sand,” Whether there is a foundation or not, the building is not secure unless it’s fastened to it. 

Jesus’ concern wasn’t architecture but the stability of a life.  If our security is in our youth, beauty, health, wealth, talent, intellect, or popularity—those things don’t last.  Our health fails, the economy flounders, crowds are fickle, and our world fizzles. If our security is in our friends and family, their loyalty may fail and sooner or later they will die. 

Only one thing will serve as a strong, certain, secure foundation for our lives: Jesus Christ.  Are you fastened to Him, trusting in His death for your sins?  This is our only hope, and what a glorious hope it is!

Here’s Fernando Ortega singing “How Firm a Foundation.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvM1Cl4t1ZE

Without Christ…

Today I want to share with you some choice thoughts from the Puritan writer John Owens, as quoted by Tim Challies on his blog. Note the startling implications following each positive statement.

A list of seven things that Christ is:

  1. He is the Way; men without him are Cains, wanderers, vagabonds:—
  2. He is the Truth; men without him are liars, like the devil, who was so of old:—
  3. He is the Life; without him men are dead, dead in trespasses and sins :—
  4. He is the Light; without him men are in darkness, and go they know not whither:—
  5. He is the Vine; those that are not grafted in him are withered branches, prepared for the fire:—
  6. He is the Rock; men not built on him are carried away with a flood:—
  7. He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the author and the ender, the founder and the finisher of our salvation.

It reminds me of an old song from the ‘70s:

Men are trying to find the answers to the questions that never cease
They find in life there’s something missing; they are looking for release
And the way to peace.
    He is the way; without Him there’s no going
    He is the truth; without Him there’s no knowing
    He is the life now and eternally
    He satisfies the searching heart and fills men with His love so rich and free!

Freedom vs. “Security”

I’ve just finished reading Madeleine L’Engle’s book, “The Young Unicorns”  (copyright1968)—my first venture into her writings but definitely not the last.

Toward the end of this book, a man who is trying to take over the city by force says, “People don’t want freedom.  Don’t you realize that?  Can you not tell?  People want serenity, safety. Freedom is too dangerous.  You don’t want freedom, Robert….My trusty young followers have found something better than freedom, have you not, my lads?

“Young people today in applying for jobs are not looking for challenge….What the young man or woman applying for a job today is looking for is fringe benefits, a secure retirement policy… adequate, nay more than adequate hospital and medical insurance…

“Man is not capable of freedom.  If we are given freedom we will destroy ourselves…The only way we can be freed from the slavery of freedom is by relinquishing freedom…in a reasonable and pleasurable way.”

Does this sound familiar?

Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus!

Staying True

This morning I read the very short book of Jude in a new Bible.   When I looked back on the verses I’d marked, all of them were on the same theme!  See if you can identify that theme in these verses:

v 1:  I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.

v 20-21:  But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

v 24:  Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.  (Answer at the bottom in small type)

Now look once more at each of these verses to see who it is that is responsible for this.  Here is a wonderful interplay of God’s sovereign power and my responsibility to stay close to him, safe from the pitfalls described at length in verses 4-19.

 

(Answer:   keeping us safe)

When All Else Fails

Night is falling and the power is off, but I can draft a blog post as long as the computer battery holds up. And last week the water was off for a couple of days .  At times like these I give thanks for things I normally take for granted, including also Internet, food, air, health, freedom, and the list goes on.

I can manage without some of these things for a short time, especially when it’s temporary.  I’ve been very blessed to have lived in security and freedom, unlike so many who see no end to daily suffering from physical pain, deprivation, or oppression.

But—here’s the part I hate to think about, much less put in writing—how will I handle it if the time comes when it’s me in that position?  Jesus warned us of coming suffering and persecution, and why should I be exempt?  When that time comes, will I fall apart, or will I live in calm trust in the One who controls all?  The words of this song challenge me:

Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own his cause or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease
While others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?

Sure I must fight if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy word.

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