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.

The Way

Ephesians 3: 11 – 12

This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

It is almost unfortunate that we call ourselves Christians and our faith Christianity. While we owe everything to our beloved Christ, sometimes we miss the prize of his faith. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14: 6). What did he mean by “the way” and why would he mention it before revealing himself as the truth and the life. Those are two rather large concepts to follow behind, “the way.” This is what I believe we sometimes lose in our Christianity, the truth behind this statement.

Yahweh God did a mighty restoration through Jesus. He restored us to Himself. This is the main work of the Christ. We were lost. We had no connection with the Father until Jesus came and made a bridge, actually, he became the bridge. We were separated from God. Now, through faith in Jesus and his work, we are made children of the King.

I have heard many Christians confess that they love Jesus, but do not know the Father. I was there myself. I had no relationship with the Father. I called myself a Christian which seems fair because I loved Christ, but it was God who sent Jesus into the world. He did that so that His family would be restored to Him. Jesus said that no one goes to the Father but through Him. That is what he meant by saying he is the way. He is the way back to the Father. Fellowship with the Father was the goal and Jesus became our way. Now, through our faith in Jesus’ completed work, we can have bold and confident access to the Father any time. This is the purpose of our faith and Jesus’ sojourn in the earth. It was about this reconciliation. Because of what God and Jesus did, we have access to God’s presence anytime.

At the end of the day, Christianity really isn’t about Christ. It is about the family of God being reunited. Of course Jesus’ role is vitally important but we need to keep our eyes on why God sent him in the first place. We were estranged from our Father and Dad wanted us back in the family.

It is imperative that now we seek audience with God. We seek His face and His presence. We seek Him and fellowship with Him until we know Him as Father, Dad, Papa. He should be as real to you as your earthly parents, if not more so. I encourage you to get to know your Father. Walk hand in hand with Jesus along the beach to where you see Father seated on the sand. Pull up a towel and bask in His radiance. He is real. He is love and he loves you. He wants to be a Father to you. Be His child.

End the Suffering

1 Peter 5: 10         GW

God, who shows you his kindness and who has called you through Christ Jesus to his eternal glory, will restore you, strengthen you, make you strong, and support you as you suffer for a little while.

This verse is so easy to get wrong. Some translations leave you thinking that God is going to let you suffer for a while and then He is going to come to your aid. Not so. Let’s put this verse on its proper footing today.

Sometimes, though we don’t like it, sometimes you just have to go through. Not all unpleasantness is avoidable. It makes me think of daily workouts. Frankly, they are not all comfortable. Some are downright painful, but we go “through” the workouts in order to achieve the results we want. Some days I am tired before I go and I don’t want to go but I do and afterwards, I feel great and I am proud of myself but there is no way to get to that good feeling without going through. Life is like that. The key, in those times, is to start praying for Dad’s help immediately. Don’t even try to do whatever it is in your own strength. Call on the Father and lean on His great strength.

The key words to today’s verse are “who shows you his kindness.” If we first grasp that God is good, loving and kind, then the entire Bible takes on new meaning. You will find much greater understanding of God’s actions when you begin from the premises that God is love and that His loving kindness is renewed every day. He is always available to make your journey easier. Even when there is something you must go through, He is with you to support, restore, and strengthen you. He will also make the suffering last a short time. You may have to suffer a little while but there should be the sound of good news in there that it is only a short while. Some people live years in perpetual suffering because they don’t know how to invite the Father into all their life’s circumstances.

Face it, somethings are a challenge but when you go through you feel good about yourself. God is with you, showering you with His strength and lovingkindness so that the duration of the challenge is short. He will be your strong right arm throughout if you will allow Him. Learn how to lean on Him and become proficient at reaching out to Him at the inception. Pray about your projects before you begin them. Get God on board in the beginning. He will make your path straight and smooth. He is with you always willing to assist. Don’t strike out alone. Don’t bear any burden on your own. Call on the name of the Lord and end the suffering.