LONGING FOR GOD’S PEACE

 1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
(Psalm 42:1-

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P resent with Him.
E ngaged with Him.
A ttuned to Him.
C lose to Him.
E nduring with Him.
Amid chaos, the world in which we live,
there is a place of refuge.
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (Psalm 46:1-3)
He is that refuge, Provider of the peace
for which we thirst, hunger, seek, and need.
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7)
To live in His refuge of peace daily,
we must practice these things in our lives:
 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in Me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
P resent with Him.
E ngaged with Him.
A ttuned to Him.
C lose to Him.
E nduring with Him.

DWELLING IN GOD’S PEACE

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/10/19)  teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

OUR UNCHANGING GOD

OUR UNCHANGING GOD

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THE EVER-CHANGING NATURE OF MAN THROUGH TIME

Unlike the Creator, the creation man is a being of change, more like a chameleon, changing with society or a time period, trying to blend in while possibly taking the risk of losing the distinct identity God has given each one of us. With some hubris mixed in, we even attempt to alter the time frame that God has set in motion. In Michigan, we “gain extra time” in November 3rd by turning the clocks back one hour. Daylight Savings Time—the human attempt to make better use of God’s natural light.

God doesn’t think in terms of one day, one hour, one minute, or one second like we do. Yet, He does expect us to make good use of our time here on earth.

 We must work the works of Him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. (John 9:4)

 5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one. (Colossians 4:5-6)

 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)

 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain”; 14 whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

We say we will change the time “tomorrow” by one hour, granting ourselves an extra sixty minutes of time. Yet, tomorrow is not guaranteed. It is today that we have to do the work of the Lord. It is today that we have to make a difference in the lives of those we encounter. It is today that we have to work, to pray, to be grateful.

Yet, we are going forth with this time change of one hour tomorrow. If another day is given to us by the Lord, what will we do with this extra hour?

–Will we stay up later the night before, so we don’t lose any sleep from our usual routine?

–Will we just sleep in one hour later?

–Will we arise earlier to get work done around the house?

–Will we use the extra time to spend with our families?

–Will we use the time to go into work earlier for overtime?

–Will we make use of the hour to pray and commune with our Lord?

–Will we help a friend in need?

–Will we gift a random act of kindness to a stranger?

–Will we read His Word?

What will we do with the extra hour we intend to give ourselves?

8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

 We must remember to always keep in mind that God is in control, not us. Our time is given by Him and taken by Him. What we do with this time must be for Him.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/02/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

COMMUNICATION WITH GOD–UNBROKEN

The brief Messenger “talk”, a Snapchat moment, an abbreviated text, the selected”like” or “love” click on Facebook , an appropriate emoji—such is, often, the essence of our connections with each other today.

In contrast, we have lengthy books and letters in God’s Word. The communication is deeper, personal, and involving. The “reaching out” from God through His Word is a “reaching in” to our thoughts, where we can respond back to Him and converse with Him:

God’s Word to us,

Through scripture

Inspired by Him,

Penned by men,

Speaking through ages.

 

The written Word

Communicated–

To those who hear,

To those who read,

To those who hunger,

To those who thirst.

 

Those who believe,

Our prayers to Him

Sent to be heard,

Sent in petition,

Sent for response,

Sent to communicate.

 

Reaching out to God

Who first spoke to us;

Yearning for contact,

Spoken and unspoken

Communication

With our Creator.

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In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John 1:14)

 13 I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence which we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him.                              (I John 5:13-15)

Our communication with the Father, through His Son, becomes an enduring relationship through all time when we deeply engage with Him in prayer and the study of His Word.

Spoken and unspoken communion with our God– unbroken.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/27/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

THE LORD WAITS FOR ME

 

 

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before You
    and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)

 W

A

I

T

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Why do I have to wait, Lord?

Anxious during this wait,

I fret more and think more;

Trying to reason out the answer,

I become more focused inward,

Never understanding the why as . . .

God, You are waiting for me.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Waiting for answers to requests we ask before the Lord are sometimes trying and difficult. The difficulty lies within you and within me, however. We need more hope, more faith, more trust in Him. We truly cannot see or understand what God sees and knows ahead and beyond anything we can comprehend.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.

(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Lord, help us to wait patiently with the faith that You are always with us. Help us to fully trust in Your goodness and wisdom to direct our paths in this life.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/20/19) teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

THE AROMA OF CHRIST IN US

 

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  (Ephesians 5:1-2)

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NOTICED: “Domino’s Pizza in Australia posted a job for ‘chief garlic bread taste tester.’” 1

 Any applicant of a job like this must be willing to deal with the consequences of “garlic breath,” which is “pungent, sharp, spicy, and strong. Bad breath or halitosis is associated with “garlic breath.” 2

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Most of us would not regard this position as a desirable career choice or even want it as a temporary job. We would, likely, need to rinse repeatedly with mouthwash and chew a lot of gum to try and dispel the “aroma” as we engaged with friends and family. Yet, that scent would remain with us beyond opening our mouths. Daily, repeated encounters with garlic would permeate our clothes and our very bodies. We would never be able to fully rid ourselves of that odor.

The metaphor of this situation is applicable to the person whose words and presence do not exude a “fragrant smell” to those he or she encounters.  The smell of garlic breath might be associated with works of the flesh in this comparison: 19 Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5: 19-21)

As a Christian, we are to have Christ in us through our words, actions, deeds, and mind. What comes forth from us to others should be a “sweet smell,” one that is recognizable as the “fruit of the spirit”: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5: 22-25) 

In our world today, “garlic breath” seems to be overwhelmingly prevalent. We can “smell it” from the internet and all forms of the media. We can “smell it” while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, in the hallways of our schools, at the sports events of our children, in our workplaces, while waiting at the stoplight, in the restaurants where we eat, as we walk down the main street of our towns and cities, in the houses of friends and relatives, and maybe in our own homes and even in our own church buildings.

The world needs the sweet aroma of Christ through us to be the ever-abiding fragrance, to permeate all walks of life and to dispel the foul odor of the “works of the flesh.”

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.                 (2 Corinthians 2: 14-17)

Let us, “in the sight of God,” Who is ever-present, “speak in Christ”

and “{spread}the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.

 

1Time Magazine. Source: ABC, Reuters. UPI. October 14, 2019. “For the Record.”

2 The Smell of Garlic. Google.com

(Sharon G. Tate 10/13/19 blog) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

Words “Fitly Spoken”

 

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

(Psalm 25:11)

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“A word fitly spoken”

Must the speaker be–

Articulate?

Eloquent?

Expressive?

Fluent?

Grammatically perfect?

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I received a thank you letter from my granddaughter, who just started first grade.

Words not “fitly spoken” in this letter?

Numerous errors in spelling.

Omission of punctuation.

Lacking in articulate fluency.

Incorrect letter format.

Yet, to me, every word in this letter was

 “fitly spoken”

and beautiful,

“like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Her words were expressive, impassioned, moving, meaningful, touching, heartfelt—

and, thus, “fitly spoken” and precious.

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To God, our words might seem like the wording of a child, like my granddaughter’s in this letter. We cannot speak with His authority, His eloquence, His wisdom, His perfection.

HOWEVER,

We can speak as His children,

 Whom He loves.

The words we offer to Him,

 In thanks and praise,

 Will be beautiful to Him,

As we speak with the openness,

 Honesty and love of a child–

His child,

With words from our heart,

“Fitly spoken.”

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/06/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Coming to the Place of Healing: Seeking the Great Physician

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” 1

The man on the gurney, immobilized by straps across all limbs;

A woman in a wheelchair, pain grimacing through her face;

The toddler coughing and wheezing in his mother’s weary arms;

A man at the door, eyes widened with fear and uncertainty.

The Hospital ER Waiting Room

 

A man sitting in the back pew, held back by unseen bonds;

The woman in the middle pew, struggling with inner pain;

A toddler, tired and whining, cradled by a weary mother;

The man in a front pew, uncertainty and fear behind his eyes.

Sunday Worship from the Pew

 

The struggling, the hurting, the innocent, the fearful;

Coming to this place for a remedy, a respite, a release;

Seeking a physician to heal hurts within, pains without;

Finding him in the Man of Sorrows, who died, yet lives.

Golgotha, at the Cross

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 2

 

His promise, our need, our action to “Come.”

We are the hurting, the desperate in ER;

We are the struggling, the bound in the pews;

We are the ones who need His healing touch.

           Arriving at the Place of Healing

 

The struggle ended, fear dispelled, bonds broken;

Hearts open to receive healing from within;

Mercy and Grace beyond our comprehension;

Love enduring, joy unending, hope fulfilled.

      Reaching the Place of Restoration 

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 3

1 Isaiah 41:102

2 Matthew 11:28

3 Revelations 21:4

(Sharon G. Tate 09/28/19 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

BE THE ONE WHO ACTS FOR THE LORD

 

  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.                It’s not.” 1

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have. 2

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NOBODY

10 “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”  (Exodus 3:10-11)

 Do we feel like “nobody” at times when we are aware of an important job that should be done for the Lord, but start questioning our abilities, our talents, our enthusiasm, our time, our responsibilities–and even our want to?

WHO? ME?

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12)

Our questioning and so-called “reasoning” fall short every time, because God always promises to be with us. We are never alone as the “nobody” or the “somebody” or the “anybody” in the task.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

 (Isaiah 41:10)

 Unfortunately, even when God makes this promise to us, we, like Moses, often still question.

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:  I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

 And God answers all our “supposes” too. To Moses, He said,Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.” (Exodus 3:16)

 To us, He, also, says, “Go.”

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 29:19-20)

And He watches over us and is with us

As we go forth to do His work.

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 09/22/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

1 https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/dr_seuss_

2 https://www.lollydaskal.com/leadership/story

 

GOD BREATHED INTO MAN THE BREATH OF LIFE

 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7)

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BREATH

OF
LIFE

BREATHED

INTO

MAN

FROM

THE

LIVING

GOD.

 Have we truly tried to envision this picture of God breathing the breath of life into the man that He formed from the dust of the ground, so this new creation could become a living being? Do we feel, with awe, the intimacy between God and His creation captured in this moment when the life of man began?

 The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

(Job 33:4)

Without this breath of life, we are as dust again. God’s breath inside us maintains the life within. Yet, what we do with the Word of God, “breathed out by God,” creates the living being we each become in this life. Are we a living example of His Word– or are we just living beings?

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 We are living beings with a choice.  God never breathed into us His Word as robotic obedience. He offers us the best way to live through His Word, “equipped for every good work,” the way He hopes we will live in order to return to Him when our bodies do become as dust once more.

What have we inhaled from His Word?

What do we exhale to those around us?

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/15/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

 

 

Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord is Peace

 

11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

When reading the headlines in the newspaper or hearing the day’s events as presented by the nightly news anchor, we might question, “WHERE IS THE PEACE, LORD?”

Jesus clearly answers us: 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John14:27) 

The world outside may be a raging storm, our inner world may be a tempest–but He gives us peace from it all, if we are willing to let Him into our hearts. The Lord gives us this promise when winds blow, lightning strikes, hail falls, floods rise, inner thoughts assail in our moments of uncertainty and fear: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)  Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) who gives us refuge from the storms of life.

10 Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

(Isaiah 54:10)

The only way we are removed from this peace is by our own doing– when our faith is weak, when we fear a sinful society seems beyond redemption, when our internal thoughts become ridden with doubt. Through all of this, we limit God, and His peace cannot reach us. The giving end from God is always powerful and strong; the faulty transmission comes at the point of reception– you and me.

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

PEACE! PEACE! BE STILL.1

1 “Master, the Tempest is Raging” lyrics by Mary Ann Baker 1874, music by Horatio R. Palmer 1874. hymntime.com

(Sharon G. Tate 09/08/19 blog )  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word