Category Archives: Meditations on God’s Word

IN AWE OF MY CREATOR

 

Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

(John 1:3)

             **********************************************************************

Looking outside my window at the accumulating snow falling from the sky and the formed icicles decorating my deck rails like tinsel, my mind wanders back to a time when I looked forward to these days. Living behind the high school, there were always mountains of snow pushed up at the ends of the parking lot during the winter months. When school was closed, my brother and I, along with the neighborhood kids, loved playing in the winter wonderland of Michigan. Heavily bundled by our moms to endure the cold, we trudged off to the mountains to play out our imaginative stories of adventure.

Do my weathered eyes view this scene the same today? I am not one who engages outside in winter freely now due to health concerns. However, the beauty of God’s changing seasons always amazes me. In Michigan, it is never static, always changing, seasons within seasons intermingling, intertwining. God is an artist, Creator of snowflakes differing in form and shape; Creator of you and me differing in form and shape; Creator of individualized and unique patterns, differing in form and shape—all bearing the same label: Made by God.

Imaginative stories of adventure on mountains of snow are in my memory. The present view from my window reveals to me the beautiful reality of creation. With absolute awe of my God who can and does continue to amaze me, I am blessed to behold the falling snow draping the trees, resplendent; the forming icicles, glistening wet; the unadulterated blanket on the ground– pure and untouched beauty just for you and me.

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for You created all things,
    and by Your will they existed and were created.

(Revelation 4:11)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/01/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

Blessed by God–Beyond Human Understanding

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;

give thanks to Him and praise His name. (Psalm 100:4)

AMEN! AND AMEN! AND AMEN!

Gratitude, appreciation, obligation, indebtedness, thanks…

How can what we express ever be enough for what God gives to us.

Love beyond our capability: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)

Gifts beyond our asking: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  (James 1:17)

Peace beyond our conception: 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. (John 14:27)

Strength beyond our capacity: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Forgiveness beyond our expectation: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ( 1 John 1:9)

Salvation beyond our understanding: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Grace beyond our worth: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Ephesians 2:8)

Eternal life beyond our mortal grasp: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

Thanksgiving and Praise to Our Lord, Our Savior, Our Father:

I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness;

I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

                                             Let us daily remember to Whom we owe                                                                                           our thanks and praise for the blessings we have.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/24/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

         

 

 

REMEMBRANCE SECURED WITHIN OUR HEARTS

 

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. (Philippians 1:3)

It will be the tenth anniversary of my mother’s passing on the 21st of November 2019. I do thank my God in all my remembrance of her. She was a special lady who, in many ways, was the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. Her impact on my life, my brother’s life, and my father’s life was profound. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (Proverbs 31:28) This verse is what I cited at her memorial service, and we did stand for her.

 What remembrance have we, as individuals and as the Lord’s church in my city/in your city, left with others? In the church, what memory and impact have we left with those who visit us; with those who were members and moved on to a career opportunity; with those young people who left for college or trade school, the military or the work force; with those who got married and left home to start their own families?

REMEMBRANCE

An excerpt of Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-11)

Can it be said, individually and in my church and in your church, that we began a “good work” and “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ?” Will the “good work” dwell in the hearts of those who move to a new location that they, too, “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ?”

REMEMBRANCE

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1: 3-8)

12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body,[d] to arouse you by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 And I will see to it that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. (2 Peter 1: 12-15)

We need reminders to keep us focused on our purpose of serving Christ and serving others through Him. Many aspects of our life today draw us away from remembrance of how we must live and work for the Lord. The television in our living room, the movie posters outside the theater, the purposeful placement of items for sale at stores, the magazines at the checkout aisle, the language we hear around us, the internet posts, and more all test our remembrance of how we should act, speak, think, and live.

Who will be the remembrance of Him? We must show Christ to the world, to our neighbors, to our families and friends, and to our brothers and sisters in Him through our lives. In us, He lives as we follow the Word and show that Word to those we encounter, that they will remember and follow through in their own lives, showing Christ to those they encounter.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that we need to pray for each other. Peter’s letter reminds us that we must hold ourselves to “faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.” The reminders of remembrance are crucial to helping us sustain our commitment to Christ.

******************************************************************

REMEMBRANCE

My mother developed Alzheimer’s in the latter years of her life. During those twelve years, she had a progressive loss of memory to the point of not even recognizing herself in the mirror. One day, as she looked into the mirror, she offered a friendly, gracious invite to that person she saw in the reflection to come into the room, welcoming her with a smile, a gesture, and the greeting “You can come in.” The remembrance of the identity, personality, and essence of my mother was still present within and that came through outwardly in that moment and many others. She still touched lives around her at church, in the mobile park, in the nursing home—and yet today and still tomorrow.

I believe what we place securely in our hearts will not be lost. What we develop within ourselves will come through outwardly in our actions and words and how we live. If Christ is within us by our need and desire for Him to be there, He will not be moved, even by a memory disease like Alzheimer’s.

The remembrance will remain.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/17/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

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-

********************************
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

***************************************

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.

******************

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

I

N

G

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)

***************************************************************

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

****************************************************************

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)

*************************************************

“A word fitly spoken”

Must the speaker be–

Articulate?

Eloquent?

Expressive?

Fluent?

Grammatically perfect?

************************************************

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.

****************************************************

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