Small Things

More great quotes from my journals.  All the small things mentioned below seem small, but end up being very big and powerful–wisdom, sleep, prayer, love, worship.  Mountains look tiny until you get up close enough to climb them.  It all depends upon your perspective.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.  She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.  Proverbs 3:13-15 (ESV)

Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God…I conclude that God made sleep as a continual reminder that we should not be anxious but should rest in Him.  — John Piper

The restraint of God’s discipline (Eph. 6:4), the demonstration of God’s love (Col. 3:21), and the power of prayer (Job 1:5), God has ordained, regularly and normally, to work through these means for the salvation of the children of believers.  For this Chris died.  Christian parents honor the blood of Jesus when they follow His ways for the sake of their children.  — John Piper

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  — Mother Teresa

Worship is the act of magnifying God.  Enlarging our vision of Him.  Stepping into the cockpit to see where He sits and observe how He works.  Of course, His size doesn’t change, but our perception of Him does.  As we draw nearer, He seems larger.  Isn’t that what we need?  A big view of God?  — Max Lucado, Grace for the Moment

 

 

 

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Casting Lots

Here is another interesting quote using the word “Cast” from one of my favorite authors, Jerry Bridges:

Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”  The practice of casting lots was often used to determine important matters of state.  Officials were chosen, tasks determined, dates selected, and disputes were settled by casting lots (see I Chronicles 24:5; Esther 3:7; Proverbs 18:18; Luke 1:9).  The King of Babylon determined military strategy by casting lots (see Ezekiel 21:18-22).  Solomon tells us that every decision from casting lots was from God, that is, God controlled the decision that kings and government officials made through this method.  –Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, pg. 85

When my children were in grade school teachers were chosen by a sort of “casting lots” method.  The names of the children were drawn out of a hat and connected with teachers.  However, many Christian parents would request the teacher they felt their child should have.  I wanted so badly to choose the teachers for my kids, but felt it would compromise my trust in the Lord to make the decision.  One time (and one time only) I suggested one teacher not be my child’s teacher (only because I didn’t know her at all).  When they went to draw names, I was told later, that was the first name chosen for my child.  They put the names back in the hat and drew again with the same result and told me we needed to stay with that draw.  I accepted it, and I’m glad I did, because she ended up being the best teacher ever for my child.  It really is safe and wise to trust the Lord (rather than yourself), especially for such important decisions.

Four Questions

Today’s post is a devotion from Compassion’s book, One in Spirit, called “Four Questions God Asks Us.”  It was written by Samuel Wambugu, a partnership facilitator for Compassion Kenya.  It is dated June 14 and  can also be viewed here.

 Charles Blondin was a 19th-century acrobat famed for heart-stopping stunts. He was known for crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope, 335 meters long, 50 meters above the water. He accomplished this first on June 30, 1859.

He did it a number of times in a number of different ways: blindfolded, in a sack, pushing a wheelbarrow, on stilts, even carrying his manager on his back.

One day he asked one of the spectators, “Do you think I can take a man across?” The spectator agreed, but he and several others wouldn’t dare entrust their lives into the hands of this proven acrobat.

This example helps us think about how much we trust Christ as we walk with Him and serve in this ministry. Today, a proven and trustworthy God is asking us four questions from Proverbs 3:5–6:

Will you get into my wheelbarrow? (“Trust in the LORD with all your heart.”)
Will you ensure that you don’t get out and try to push it by yourself? (“And lean not on your own understanding.”)
Will you make sure you are fully in? (“In all your ways submit to Him.”)
Will you be ready to go where and how I take you? (“And he will make your paths straight.”)
This ministry is God’s business. We can trust that He knows what, how, and when to do what needs to be done to get across the “falls” — even on a tight rope — toward the fulfillment of our mission and vision.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5–6, NIV

Prayer: Dear God, we pray that we will not lean on our own understanding as we do Your work, but that we will trust in You with all our heart and submit to You in all our ways. Amen.

 

 

Palms

I have engraved you on the palms of my hands
Who said this?  Do you know Him?

Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has cupped the wind in the palms of His hands?
Who has wrapped up all the waters in His cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His son’s name?
Surely you know!

Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Palm leaves held high by children of all ages
Jesus sees the needs of every single one.

Who raises palms of hands to the Lord?
Only the vulnerable, the needy, those who seek.

They laid palms on the ground before Him.
He laid His palms on the cross before us.

Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes!

–Poem by Juli Jarvis, March 2013
–Scriptures taken from Isaiah 49:16, Proverbs 30:4

Taking Refuge

Last year I took “Refuge” for my Word of the Year.  And what a year it was, studying this word and seeing it everywhere I looked.  My notebook is full of examples from scripture, books, magazines, e-mails, TV and other sources.  It’s amazing how often a word pops up when you’re focused on it for one year.  It’s even more amazing to experience the way God can use it in a life — instructing, comforting, revealing truth.  When I chose the word, I had no idea God would illustrate it in such a vivid way immediately, but that is just how He teaches and works with me (He gave me the word “refuge” ahead of time, knowing that it would make sense to me within days, as I watched a loved one struggle with the real-life experience of living in a refuge).

Here are some more examples of this word from my notebook (for previous examples click here and here.

In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.  –Proverbs 14:26

Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  –Proverbs 30:5

Islands of Refuge.  Compassion child development centers have long been islands of refuge for the children they serve.  –Compassion Magazine, Summer 2012

The Lord of history is a “stronghold” for “those who take refuge in Him.”  He can handle any and all problems in their individual lives.  –Study notes on Nahum 1:7 from the ESV Study Bible, pg. 1710

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.  –Nahum 1:7

They set out to go down to Egypt without asking my advice, in order to seek shelter under Pharaoh’s protection and take refuge in Egypt’s shadow.  But Pharaoh’s protection will become your shame, and refuge in Egypt’s shadow your disgrace.–Isaiah 30:2-3

They were dominated by proudly exultant ones, complacent, wealthy people who, in being haughty, thought they were self-sufficient, needing nothing from God…God will especially provide a place for the humble and lowly who, unlike the arrogant, know that they are in need.  They not only call on God’s name but also seek refuge in His name.  –Study notes on Zephaniah 3:11-12 from the ESV Study Bible, pg. 1738

For you have become a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy person in his distress, a refuge from the rain, a shade from the heat.  –Isaiah 25:4

More Trust

I have many more quotes to share with you from my Word of the Year Trust.

I knew God was big enough to handle our questions, and he wasn’t afraid of our anger.  I hoped they [his family] could eventually move past the anger to trust in God’s goodness, despite this tragedy.  — Dan Woolley, Haiti earthquake survivor and Compassion International employee, Unshaken, pg. 80

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own understanding.  In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.  — Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)

Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

And the reality is, two thousand years later the power of Jesus’ name is still great.  The question for us, then, is whether we trust in his power.  And the problem for us is that in our culture we are tempted at every turn to trust in our own power instead.  So the challenge for us is to live in such a way that we are radically dependent on and desperate for the power that only God can provide.  — David Platt, Radical, pg. 45

Once again, I heard God’s calming voice in my mind:  “Worship me.”  Right now?  Really?  Typically I worshiped through prayer and song, but I didn’t feel like I could do either right now.  But I decided to try.  While I wasn’t ready to trust God for everything, I could trust him with this request.  — Dan Woolley, Unshaken, pg. 155

[It was] like I was hearing the final note of our worship time, like the sustained resonance that lingers in the air after the ringing of a bell.  Trust me, with everything.  And so, finally, I did.  I trusted God with my crisis.  I trusted him with my death.  I trusted him with my family after I died…My questions were resolved.  My fears were gone…My Father would make this situation work out for the good.  Guaranteed…Thank you, Father, for showing me that you can be trusted completely!  I trust you.  Let your will be done in this situation — whatever that may be.  — Dan Woolley, Unshaken, Pg. 158

Trust Update

My Word of the Year for 2011 is “Trust,” and I’ve continued to write down uses of this word in my notebook.  Here are some of the latest entries:

In that day people will proclaim, “This is our God!  We trusted in him, and he saved us!  This is the LORD, whom we trusted.  Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”  Isaiah 25:9 (NIV)

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.  Proverbs 16:20 (NIV)

Trust in love where you can, and where you cannot trust, risk.  There is something that has seen you thus far, and its goodness is worth risking.  In risking, trust grows.  In trusting, faith is given.  In faith, all things are possible — more than we could ever hope or imagine.  — Michelle Tolentino (formerly sponsored Compassion child), Facebook status

Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in me.  — John 14:1 (NIV)

[We] can experience the sweetness of God for all eternity by trusting in Christ.  — Voices of the Faithful, 5/29

Salvation is not a matter of emotions; it is whole-heartedly putting our trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  — One Year Book of Christian History, 5/26

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  — Psalm 143:8 (NIV)

Those who make them [idols] have become just like them, have become just like the gods they trust…You who fear GOD, trust in GOD!  — trust your Helper!  — trust your Ruler!  — Psalm 115:8, 11 (MSG)