Thirsty For the Word

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“I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.” Psalm 119:130

Remember the last time you were desperate for a drink of water? Maybe you were so busy you had forgotten to hydrate or couldn’t grab an opportunity for a good, long drink. Or maybe you had been working or exercising outside when the need for a drink could no longer be ignored. For whatever reason, you got dehydrated and your mouth turned to cotton. All of a sudden, you couldn’t think of anything besides quenching your thirst.

We can get dehydrated spiritually as well, and while water quenches our physical thirst, our souls and spirits need to drink from God’s Word to stay alive and thrive. God has the words of life we need. In speaking of God’s words, Moses said to the Israelites, “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.” (Deuteronomy 32:27a)

The Psalmist said, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2) Friends, we can meet with God anytime. And one of the places we can meet him is in his Word. Yes, his word can quench our thirst.

So the question is do we long for the Word of God? As daily demands and trials of life come our way and sap our strength, do we turn to God and his Word to be refreshed and rejuvenated? Where do we go when we find ourselves spiritually dehydrated? Do we pant for the Word and set others things aside so we can go and drink from it?  

Unfortunately, we sometimes neglect God’s Word. We allow the daily demands of life—as well as our desires—to squeeze out the time desperately needed to refresh our spirits and nourish our souls in the Word of God. Other times we neglect turning to the Bible because it might shine a light on the sin we don’t want to forsake. We stay away from the conviction and correction God might speak to our hearts through it.

Also, because God’s Word is so readily available to us here in our nation, we may even take it for granted. We don’t realize the awesome privilege we have of freely drinking from it whenever we want to.

Eventually, if we neglect the Word long enough, we may lose our thirst for it as we allow other things to become substitutes that ease our thirst temporarily but never really satisfy our souls and spirits completely the way God’s Word does.

There is hope, though, if we find we’ve let our thirst and longing for the Word wane. We need only open its pages again and begin drinking. As the Word of God touches those dry and needy places in us again, our thirst for more of it will grow. We will find ourselves panting for the Word of God each day. We will eagerly drink and quench our thirst with God’s words—the words that are life to us.

So how about it? Let’s thrive with the Word of God. Let’s live!

“ . . . ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68

*How thirsty are you for God’s Word today?

*Flickr photo by Vicki Francis/Department for International Development, Creative Commons License

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Midweek Morsel: Christmas for Easter

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*Hope you enjoy this encore presentation this holiday weekend!

Easter is fast approaching — the time to celebrate our risen Lord and our hope of heaven in Him. My heart cries out, “Joy to the World!”, and my voice soon follows. That’s right. A little Christmas for Easter fits right in.

After all, “the Lord is come”, “the Savior reigns”,  and “He rules the world with truth and grace”! Why shouldn’t we sing and pray “Let earth receive her King”, “every heart prepare Him room”, and “heav’n and nature sing”? If our hearts want to carol when we remember His resurrection, let’s add a little Christmas to our Easter worship. “O come let us adore Him” in every way!

Just think about it. We wouldn’t be celebrating Easter if Christmas hadn’t come first. On the other hand, the birth of Christ would be nothing to celebrate if He had not become our Savior, if He had not paid for our sins with His very life and gained victory over death by His resurrection. The fact is when we worship our Lord, we celebrate both holidays.

So as you celebrate our risen Lord over the next few days, I encourage you to add a little Christmas to your Easter worship. “Repeat the sounding joy”!

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14 KJV

Happy Easter to you and yours!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Flickr photo by jurvetson, Creative Commons License
“Joy to the World!” lyrics by Isaac Watts

Learning About Grief

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As most of you know, I lost my mom unexpectedly last October. I don’t know if I’ve gone through all the “official” stages of grief, but I’ve learned a bit about grief since that day my family had to say our unexpected goodbyes. I won’t try to speak for everyone who’s ever experienced grief. I’ll just share what I’ve learned after a period of a few months now.

I’ve learned that grief lingers. Yes, life does indeed go on, and I slipped back into my normal routines fairly quickly. But those normal routines felt anything but normal at first. In the beginning my sisters and I asked each other if we’d ever feel normal again. Like so many others who’ve gone through grief, we’ve had to adjust to a new normal. The one without Mom.

Even now, almost six months later, grief lingers. All it takes is one thought of Mom, one remembrance, one glance at a photo, and my heart aches with loss. Granted, the pain is not as sharp as it was in those first weeks, but the ache is still there. Always just below the surface.

I’ve also learned that grief longs. When those thoughts of Mom come, not only does my heart ache, it also longs to see her again. To hear her voice. To talk things over with her. To show her how much she was—and is—loved. I long for the day I’ll see her again in heaven, along with other loved ones who’ve already left us.

Grief also longs to turn back time, to do some things differently. I wish I’d said I love you more. And even though I got to see and talk to Mom fairly regularly, I wish I’d done it even more.

I’ve also learned that grief leans. In the aftermath of our great loss, my dad and sisters and I have leaned on one another as never before. We feel a kinship in our loss and can offer comfort to one another because we understand like no one else just exactly what we lost when we lost Mom.

And above all—for believers—grief leans on the Lord. The comfort found in him and in knowing that Mom is in his presence can’t be matched. To be able to say to him, Please tell Mom I love her, please tell her I miss her helps so much. Just knowing that the Lord walks with me each day as my ever-present Companion and Help brings peace and comfort for every situation, grief-related or not.

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned about grief as the months have passed. Much more could be said. But my prayer is that something mentioned here today will help a hurting heart somewhere. Will help someone to feel understood. Or help others understand what grieving friends are going through. After all, we’re all learners in this life of ours.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

*What have you learned about grief?

*My photo

Midweek Morsel: Who Does God Want?

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“ . . . God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3b-4

Some people think God could never want them. They don’t think he could ever love them. They can’t believe that God could ever forgive the things they’ve done. They’re sure they’ve failed too badly. Others have been told for so long that they’re worthless they feel worthless in God’s sight as well.

But history itself—truth—tells a different story. As we head into Passion Week next week, the story of the cross tells us that God wants us all. We are worth so much to God that he paid the ultimate price—the life of his one and only Son—to bring us into his family.

He continues to call out to those who have not yet accepted his love and forgiveness. If you are among that group, hear his heart’s longing for you: “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9b)

God wants you. He wants me. He wants us all. Let’s believe him. Let’s accept his love and forgiveness.

“‘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

*Have you believed God yet? If not, what’s holding you back? If you already believe, when did you first realize that God loved you? When did you place your faith in Jesus?

If you would like to say yes to Jesus and place your faith in him, here’s a prayer you can pray: Lord, thank you for loving me. I believe you died to pay for my sins and you were raised from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive my sins and come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. Help me to follow you. Amen.

*Flickr photo by dany13, Creative Commons License

A God Overflow

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If you’re like me, I bet your heart overflows at times with all the things God is to you. Often that overflow comes pouring out during moments of personal worship. I love to list to God all the wonderful things he is to me. I never get tired of telling him. And I bet he never gets tired of hearing them either.

May my words of praise lead you in your own time of worship today!

Lord, You Are

O Lord, you are everything
I’ve ever needed and more.

Thank you for being
my Father, my Friend,
my Leader, my Guide,
my strong Tower, my Rock, my Refuge
You are my Fortress and my Deliverer.

Lord, thank you for being
my Redeemer and Savior,
my Hope, my Joy, my Peace,
my Provider and my Protector.
You are my Comfort and my Song.

Lord, thank you for being
the Lover of my soul,
my Light, my Sustainer, my King,
my Source of all wisdom and love.
You, Lord, are my past, my present, my future.

O Lord, you are all of this and more.
How I love you,
How I worship and adore you!

“O God, you are my God . . .” Psalm 63:1a

*What has God been to you most recently?

*Flickr photo by Leshaines123, Creative Commons License