Streams of Water

Jeremiah 31: 9

I will make them walk by streams of waters, on a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel.

I say it often but for those who are new to the Word of the Day, fill in your name in place of Israel. I actually take a pencil and line through Israel in my Bible and fill in Ivey. You can too.

I have this passage outlined in my Bible. I really was not going to send another verse out of Jeremiah today, but I just couldn’t help it. I can’t get away from this one. The reason why it is sticking with me so strongly is because of the loving nature of this entire passage. Of course, the first phrase puts me in remembrance of Psalm 23, “He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul,” (v. 2-3). We learn why he leads us by streams of waters. It is to restore us. He also leads us on paths that are straight and level so that we will not trip and fall. What so you think of that?

The God of the Old Testament gets a bad rap. He is often accused of being wrathful and angry. And, to be honest, there are some passages that make you hold your breath. He was sorely tested but that fact that there is humanity remaining on the planet is proof that he is not a vengeful, hateful God. While humans were stumbling around making idols of wood, metal and clay, He was planning how and when He would send His son to earth to sacrifice himself so that we could come into unhindered fellowship with God. How is that for an angry God? You see, just because you get angry does not mean you have to act on it. “Be angry, and yet do not sin,” (Ephesians 4: 26).

God identifies Himself as a Father. That is His mental self-image. We could ask ourselves what image of the Father we hold in our hearts. Do we see an angry deity who, at the drop of a hat, can fly into a rage? Or, do we see a tender parent, loving and kind? Did you know that the image you hold onto of God is what you will allow to manifest in your life? If all you want from God is punishment, then you will find verses that support your abasement. However, if you will allow God to be who He truly is, you will overflow with love because love is His ultimate manifestation.

Perhaps today you can allow Him to lead you by streams of water where you will find refreshing and restoration. Today is a good day to allow Him to straighten your road. Enjoy the kindness of the Father.

Fear Fueled

Ephesians 4: 26

Be angry, and yet do not sin.

Fear is like anger because it has the potential to engulf you in sin and self-destruction. That is why I have chosen this verse to talk about fear. Fear is a horrible contagion; it contaminates all it touches. If you give fear any place in your life, it will seek to invade all your life. All of Job’s troubles came about because of his fear. He said, “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me,” (Job 3: 25). Fortunately, he learned this important lesson about fear.

One of the keys in not sinning when you feel angry is to keep your mouth shut. This same key is super important when it comes to fear too. I want you not to be in fear, but the truth is that there are moments which seize the heart. As you work your way out of that fear, you need to very carefully guard your mouth. When it comes to anger, one of the biggest ways we sin is in what we say. When it comes to fear, we set things in motion with our words.

What you think about often is what you draw to you. If you are ruminating on fear-based ideas, you will begin to create a habitat for them. Then, before you know it, you begin to speak fear-based language. That is the proverbial straw which breaks the camels back. Don’t give voice to those fears because you will solidify them. Instead, go to your Bible and find scriptures which instill confidence and faith. Speak them, meditate on them. Go over them until they go down into your spirit and battle the fear at its root. Only faith can flush out fear and faith comes by the Word of God. It is a pretty simple formula actually, but you know how fear can paralyze a person. Don’t let fear get a firm hold on you. Fight it with the Word of God. Let the words of your mouth be the Word of God instead of those frightful thoughts that are running through your mind.

Take the fearful thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. They have no part with you. Fear is not faith and you are a person of faith. Don’t be critical or judgmental, though, if you feel some fear. That is called being normal. Just don’t marinate your spirit in that stuff. Find the way out by calling on the Word of God. And, whatever you do, don’t give fear life by speaking it out. It is fine to talk with your Father and tell Him what you are feeling. He can help with that. But, don’t talk about all the things that can go wrong. Don’t speak out what you are afraid might happen. Say what God’s Word says. Your heart will feel much better and you will stand on safer ground.


Micah 7: 18

Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.

I pray this revelation will fill the earth, and the church. God isn’t angry. He does not retain His anger but rather lets it go in favor of unchanging love. Yahoo! And just consider that this is a passage out of the Old Testament. Frankly, there are lots of New Testament believers who think God is angry now. Some folks are willing to concede that God is now a God of love but they think He was an angry God before. The truth is that God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13: 8). If we take a position that God was angry, revengeful, and wrathful our hearts convict us. We cannot truly believe in a God who is love and live in that love if we believe this same “person” is the one who tortures us and is angry with us. We have to choose – is God an angry deity or is He love?

So do you want another little bite of truth? God sent Jesus to the earth in the Old Covenant, not the New. Even the New Testament begins with Jesus’ birth, yes? So, that means that when God sent him, it was still the Old Testament. Are you following along with me? That would mean that this vengeful, evil, mean, wrathful GOD sent His beloved son to die for us. That makes absolutely no sense at all. Look at today’s Old Testament verse. God chose way back in the day to pardon iniquity and to pass over our rebellious acts. What is that about? Then He chose not to be angry because His very nature is love. He chose to love us rather than to hold onto His anger. He has chosen to put His love for us above our sin.

Here is the bottom line. God chose love over sin. He chose to focus on His love for us rather than on our stinking iniquity. His love has overcome our sin. He put sin under the mercy seat and under the blood. He isn’t writing your name in a book and inscribing beside it every sin you have ever committed. No, your name only has one word written beside it, “Forgiven” and it is written in crimson. You’ve just got to get happy about that. You are forgiven.
Just one side point. I like that God takes His own advice. He has told us not to hold onto our anger. In fact, He said to let not the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4: 26). It’s good to see that He has let go of His anger too.