Sight Unseen

052012_47JBWould you buy a house sight unseen?  Probably not.  On the other hand, have things or people always been as they appear?  Most likely no.  So why is seeing so important?  Why is one state, I traveled through today, called the “Show me state”?  We put so much infaces on seeing before believing, that when it comes to God we want the same thing.

I asked a coworker some years ago this question, “What would it take for you to believe God was real?”  He thought long and hard and finally could not give me an answer.  Possibly in his mind anything God would do for him, would still trigger doubt, and disbelief.  Knowing how He made us, I think that is why God asks us to accept Him by “faith”.  Faith, is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

It can be difficult, somethimes, to believe in God.  Especially when life is tough, but given the chance, and time God has proven Himself to me over and over.  He also promises to prepare a home for me in heaven.  I’ll accept that home, “sight unseen”!

Boxed In?

20170708_220718One thing that makes moving successful is having enough, and right size boxes for your stuff.  Moving works best when you have the time to put the right things in the right size boxes and number them, and then keep a running list of what is in each one.

When it comes to moving spiritually, what size box do you try to put God in?  Do you cram Him in a small one, because He is only a “small” part of your life?  Or does the God you serve fit in a refrigerator box?  How do you list the contents of the box you put God in?  That probably depends on what you think of God and His power.  Maybe it is limited by your experience with Him so far.

We’re human.  Our mind has limits, but when it comes to God we shouldn’t limit Him at all.  We should never put Him, and His abilities in a box.  Instead of saying, “Why can’t God…?” we should say, “My God can…”  When you start living with this kind of thinking about God you will begin to find your life outside the box.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Good Words

Max LucadoI recently read this devotion by Max Lucado, and was moved by the truth and power of the words.  I decided the best thing to do was to share it with others.

Quarry the Deep Qualities of God

Don’t equate the presence of God with a good mood or a pleasant temperament. God is near whether you’re happy or not. But do quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God, and press them to your heart. My list reads like this:

  • ·  He is still sovereign.
  • ·  He still knows my name.
  • ·  Angels still respond to His call.
  • ·  God is still faithful.
  • ·  He is not caught off guard.
  • ·  He uses everything for His glory and my ultimate good.

Lay hold of the unchanging character of God. Pray your pain out. Pound the table. Even Jesus offered up prayers with what Hebrews 5:7 describes as “loud cries and tears.” Your family may be gone. Your supporters may have left. But God has not budged! His promise still stands, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

To read more from Max, or to sign up for his devotions click on the link below:

Max Lucado

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

How Satan Gets In

SieveJesus warned Peter (Simon) Satan wanted to get inside him and tempt him.  Satan wanted to see if Peter’s life was rattled, shaken would his belief in God remain.

Luke 22:31 “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.” (MSG)

So how does Satan get inside our hearts in the first place?

Perhaps when a family member hurts us. – Resentment
Maybe when a neighbor gets a new car. – Jealousy
Could be when difficult financial times fall upon us. – Fear
When your boss rides you, even though you work very hard. – Hatred
It could be after the loss of a loved one. – Grief, or sorrow
Through a battle with a serious illness. – Desperation
If a child goes astray with their life, or departs from God – Hopelessness
You feel there is no one out there who really loves you, understands you. – Loneliness
A situation or person ticks you off – Anger

These are only a few examples of how our lives can be shaken, sifted.  If this is happening to you will God remain?  I hope so.  One way to make sure is to do an evaluation of what is in your heart.  Clean it out and then keep the door to your heart and soul SHUT!  And it wouldn’t hurt to lock it either.

Recognize quickly when Satan tries to sneak into your heart, because he will, even if the door is barely cracked.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

“In God We Trust”

US coinOur founding fathers didn’t declare this, but congress did in 1956.  They could have declared a lot of things when they were deciding what to inscribe on our currency.  Something that would be used around the world.  I’m sure after a lot of thought, it became obvious, the only thing to say was who they trusted in.  Those men knew God and His word.  After all, men came to this land for the “pursuit of religious freedom.”  It just makes cents!

2Sa 22:31   As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried. He is a Shield to all those who trust and take refuge in Him.  (AMP)

There is an old hymn my church sang when I was young, that had the following line; “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way.”  I know, it’s hard to do.  You can’t see God, but if you trust Him, you might just see His hand move about your life.  You might hear His voice calm you in the midst of life’s storms.  By the way, you can’t see the wind either, but what fool would dare deny its existence?

Whats inscribed upon your heart?  What do you declare to the world to trust or believe in?

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

God?

It would be so much easier if you could see God, touch Him, and hear Him audibly.  But if all that was possible don’t you think it would cheapen your faith?  I mean faith’s value goes through the roof when you chose to believe in who you can’t see, touch, or hear, and yet the things you have been talking to God about, happen.

If you asked God for His will for your life and the next morning you found an email in your inbox from God telling you to do something that you didn’t like you probably would label it as “Spam”.  Or, you might be tempted to click on “unsubscribe”.  You see God has a way of taking His desires for our lives and developing them in us to the point we start asking Him for the same thing.  Thinking it was our idea.Steering wheel isolated on a white background

One thing about God’s will is the timing.  Maybe you do know His will, but do you know His timing?  A good way to discover His timing is by moving.  It’s hard to steer a car when it is parked.  When you are moving in the direction you think is God’s will He can steer you, but you have to prayerfully watch the road signs.  It’s like this, just because someone offers you a job out of the blue, doesn’t mean it is God’s will for you to work there.

Another way to find His will and timing is to talk to mature Christians who have been there and have done that.  They can counsel you in the ways of God, and also be praying with you.  Remember this verse:  Isa 55:9  “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” (MSG)  Trusting, believing, and obeying provides you the greatest adventures you will ever have and the most rewarding, and satisfied life.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

You Want Me to do What?

Trust Obey.jpgWhat would you do, if one day God asked you to do something, well, crazy?  Would you say, “Let me pray about that.”?  Or would you obey, no questions asked?  I am reading from the book of Hosea, in the Old Testament.  God asked him to marry a prostitute.  Can you imagine?

Some time ago a friend asked me to take her to have an abortion.  She hadn’t even told her husband she was pregnant.  Can you imagine a “pro-life” believer in an abortion clinic?  But I felt if I said, “No.” she would try to drive home after the procedure by herself.  I told her I would take her, but then I started praying like crazy.  I asked God what to do.  I sensed His Spirit whisper, “Humanize the baby.”  After some thought, I understood, and I did.  I started asking her, “You want a boy or a girl?”  “What would you name her?”  A few days later she called.  “Mark, I heard the baby’s heart today.  I can’t kill the baby.”  I cried, and gave thanks to God.

The point here is being obedient.  You may not be asked to do something crazy, but every day God is asking you to reflect Him, His nature, His love, His grace and mercy.  Also to share His plan to forgive sin with those around you.  That’s what God is asking you to do.

Mat 28:19  Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Mat 28:20  Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (MSG)

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Greatest Plan…Ever!

gods-planThe greatest love story.  The greatest gift.  The greatest promise…kept.

Who, but God could have come up with a plan to place his son Jesus, in a young virgin.  Very few looked there.  The politicians didn’t, the religious leaders didn’t, and most of the people didn’t either.

God, through his word, told what He was planning on doing, so it wasn’t a secret, but people have a tendency of not knowing God, or his word.  This causes them to take God’s plans and play them out as they understand, or worse, want.

How all of this life on earth ends is also part of God’s plan.  It’s not a secret, or mystery.  Yet people still do not get to know God, and believe how they want to.  Read God’s word.  All of it.  Even Revelation.  Though you may not understand, believe it will happen…according to God’s plan.  So far, God’s plan has worked out perfectly.  Remember this, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)  Faith…use it.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Wisdom from God’s Word

Work is tough.  Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and He told them that work would be hard, it has been just that.  I grew up believing in the American dream.  That a person could find employment doing something they enjoyed.  At first I did, but over the years things have changed.  Now, work is hard and it isn’t enjoyable at all.  There are good moments, but mainly those moments are on a personal level.

In these current times we, who try our best to be Godly, are often thrown under the bus, lied about, ridiculed, and mistreated even though some of the treatment goes against the business code of conduct.rev-1

If I had things my way I would be living in an RV, traveling across America, writing.  I want this kind of life.  I desire this life with everything in my heart.  Then I read Proverbs 16:9:

We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it.

My faith in God requires that I believe this from God’s word.  More importantly, I live it.  The worst thing I could do is try to make the life I so desperately want happen.  I yield to the truth that if God wants it to happen, then it will, but in His timing, and in His way.  Hopefully doing so will help me to be wise.