Just In Case You Wondered

God is Big. I mean REALLY Big. He doesn’t slumber, or grow tired, or even grow weary. He understands where you are, because He is understanding. He can wisely guide you, because He is wisdom. He will give you strength for weariness, because He is strength.  He will give you power for weakness, because He is All Power. He will show you mercy and grace, because He is so gracious and kind. He will give you love, because He is love. He is the Creator of all things and the Creator of you very soul. 

He’s the only One, True God, and He’s absolutely crazy about YOU! If you don’t know Him today, just check Him out. Just say His Name, “Jesus.” … You might just be surprised at what, or Who, you find. ūüėČ

Always There

As I walk down the halls of the hospital and enter through the ICU doors, I am reminded one more time how precious and how unpredictable life can be. When the storms rage, we hit our knees, crying out to our God, begging for mercy and grace.

Yet, sometimes, I wonder why we do not call on His name before that moment. Is it because of self-reliance? A strong will? Stubbornness? A rebellious heart? Or just a simple determination to make it on our own until we realize that thought doesn’t work as well as we thought it would? If we could actually see His great love for us before the storm, I wonder if we might turn our hearts toward Him before the rains came. 

He is always there, from the moment we take our first breath to the time we breathe our last. He is there in the midst of our celebrations, and He is there in the depths of our despair. Often, we do not see Him, because we are blinded by our own fleshly nature or our own hidden pain. 

Our blindness does not change His presence nor His ability to hear and see us. He is there, awaiting our call, at every moment of every day, all we have to do is call on His name. He will answer. Every. Single. Time. 

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GO!

I look at so many religions in this world and watch how they fervently make disciples of their beliefs. They go door to door. They call special meetings. They infiltrate and consume college campuses and schools, all to create more followers if their particular system. Yet, I see time and again, Christians hold back from sharing Christ’s story. They allow someone else to take the center stage of testimony. They allow the cares of this world to consume every minute of the day that the busyness chokes the Living Word right out of their lives. They allow the fear of ridicule to silence their stand. 

I know this to be true, because the same has happened in my own life. I haven’t shared this Good News as much as I should, as much as I am truly able. I fall so short in the area of “making disciples.” I often keep silent when I should just open my mouth to speak. It’s sometimes easier to “just keep to ourselves” rather than to possibly be counted with “those crazy charismatics of the cross.”

Yet, sharing His love isn’t that hard. It’s not that lengthy in time, and it’s not complicated. Just share your story. Just talk about Him. He will always show up, and He will take care of the rest. ūüėČ

It is time to speak up! It is time to speak out!  He is a good God. He is a gracious and merciful King. He is a loving Father. He is a living Savior. He is the one true God. Let us GO and tell all the world!

Challenge of Praise

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I’d like to challenge you today with this scripture…

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;

Praise Him in the heights!

Praise Him, all His angels;

Praise Him, all His hosts!

Praise Him, sun and moon;

Praise Him, all you stars of light!

Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,

And you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

For He commanded and they were created.

He also established them forever and ever;

He made a decree which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,

You great sea creatures and all the depths;

Fire and hail, snow and clouds;

Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

Mountains and all hills;

Fruitful trees and all cedars;

Beasts and all cattle;

Creeping things and flying fowl;

Kings of the earth and all peoples;

Princes and all judges of the earth;

Both young men and maidens;

Old men and children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

For His name alone is exalted;

His glory is above the earth and heaven.

And He has exalted the horn of His people,

The praise of all His saints‚ÄĒ

Of the children of Israel,

A people near to Him.

Praise the Lord!

He is so very good. He deserves our praise!

What Holds You Back?

What holds you back from loving Jesus?

Is it 

SIN…

DISBELIEF… 

FEAR…

LIES…

APATHY…

NEGLIGENCE…? 

Whatever it is, these things are not worth it. He loves you, and He waits for you to come to Him. He waits patiently, and He waits lovingly. He waits wth anxious anticipation to show you all He has. 


In Him, you will find unconditional love and unending grace. You will find unmerited favor and undeserving mercy. You will find rest. You will find peace. You will find strength, and you will find HOPE. Without hope, our hearts grow weary and our lives grow dim. Without hope, we all persish. 

Be Still

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

“He says, ‚ÄúBe still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.‚ÄĚ

Can you hear Him today? He is whispering to your heart. Take minute to listen…

Hope is Here

This world needs hope. There is nothing more strengthening, nothing more encouraging, and nothing more unifying than HOPE.

Hope is not found in politicians, and it’s not found in world events. It cannot be found in personal agendas, and it can’t be found in people. These things might bring temporary hope, but this isn’t the hope to which I’m referring.

I’m talking about a Hope that can bring peace, a Hope that can bring love, a Hope that can bring healing. This is a Hope that can bring Light to a darkened and desolate world.

This Hope is Jesus Christ. He wasn’t just a man who roamed the earth. He wasn’t just a good prophet who had some nice things to say, and He certainly is a God who died and is still buried in a tomb.

No, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the God who was and is and is to come. He is our Prince of Peace.

His Hope does not have to be earned. His grace does come with a price. His love is unconditional and free for all who ask and believe.

He is standing with His arms open wide. Just come to Him today. Let His love wash over you and redeem you. He longs to give you the Hope of Who He Is.

rhondaerb.com

Hope for the Nations

This world seems to be losing its mind. It seems there is more deceit, more destruction, more hatred and more death than ever before.

If you consume your days with the news and the happenings of current affairs, it feels overwhelming, almost suffocating. Quite frequently, I have to step back, away from it all, or it’s tempting to just let fear, grief and even anger and disgust overshadow my heart.

Yet, the Psalmist reminds us, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) Through all the turmoil and amidst all the evil, we need not fear. We need not be consumed with worry for our God is with us!

 

He has promised to remain, and He gives us hope in Romans, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” We have nothing and no one to fear.

For we have something this world does not possess, and it is the very thing this world so desperately needs: HOPE! Hope for change. Hope for peace.  Hope for light in the darkness.  This Hope can only come through Jesus Christ.

Jesus said “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). We must give this light, this Hope to this world. We must be this Light in tangible, human flesh to all those around us. If we call ourselves Christians, it is our calling. It is our purpose. It should be our passion and our desire to reach them for Him! Let’s give HOPE away today…

 

His Delight

Over my lifetime, I’ve heard so many people talk about how God is our Father…that He’s really like our “Daddy.” He’s the one who delights in us. He’s the one who thinks we are precious; we are the apple of His eye; we are simply like a treasured child in His sight. He loves us that much.
I am precious in my Daddy’s sight
This analogy is great… unless you never had a Dad who delighted in who you were as a child. This is a¬†wonderful illustration for those of understanding; however, for those of us who grew up without a¬†dad present, without a father who showered¬†us with hugs and smiles, without a Daddy who daily convinced us of His love, this picture of a loving¬†Father just doesn’t quite make sense. It doesn’t quite bring the measure of comfort and peace that those who propagate it may wish to convey.
So, how do we translate this kind of love to those with whom a father’s love is foreign? How do we¬†paint¬†a picture of¬†“Daddy’s little girl” or¬†“Dad’s little buddy”¬†to that one whose own¬†father was abusive, neglective or even absent all together? How in the world do we portray this image of a wonderfully, loving father who enjoys seeing His children happy and full of life? The only way I have found to communicate it is by learning about it myself and sharing my life experiences with those whom I encounter.
…He delights in me…
Sometimes, it’s revealed to me by a surprise, tangible blessing like what happened last year on two different occassions: I was on a mad-dash Easter dress hunt the night before Easter. At the very ¬†last minute, I decided I was just going to drop by a store and see if I could find something new. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I had a little prayer conversation with God. I said, “It sure would be nice if I could just walk right in and¬†just a¬†cute pink jacket to go with my pants. I know, I don’t have to have it, and I’m okay with not. I can always wear that¬†old suit I have. I just don’t feel comfortable in it, but it’s really ok, not a big deal.” I¬†went in, looked at one rack, went to next, and there it was. Right size. Right fit. Perfect. Two weeks later, we were at a ladies retreat, and they had a white jacket on display that I just loved! I thought it was so cute. At the end of the retreat, I mentioned¬†this to the lady who owned it, and she handed it right to me. She said, “You enjoy it!”
…I am His precious child…
Sometimes, His delight is shown to me by what others share with me. A widowed friend of mine told me one day,¬†“I am spoiled.¬†I asked Him to help me see Him, and He has. I see the little things He does all around me, the little blessings He does for me everyday, and I feel treasured by my Father. I am cherished by Him.” Another friend was¬†recovering from major surgery. Someone brought her a¬†quilt the very day she returned home, and the person didn’t even know she had had surgery. The quilt was made with scriptures on every square. She said she felt blanketed in The Word while she recovered,¬†and it was a reminder her of God’s love for her. She said, “It was as if in that moment, I could feel Him saying “I love you, you’re my precious child.”
…I am the apple of His eye…
Sometimes, I am simply reassured of His delight in His love for me in nontangible ways…a prayer unanswered, a wound healed, a moment of protection, a feeling of peace through the storm, or¬†a simple reminder of His faithfulness even when I am not.¬†He loves us, and He delights in us, His children. No matter what type of earthly father you may have had during this lifetime, you can be certain that your Heavenly Father loves you more than you could ever imagine! You ARE the apple of His eye. You are His delight!
 
deut32.10apple.eye

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¬†“In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.”
Deuteronomuy32:10-12

The Pursuant

Reading Jonah 2, it becomes clear to me that God is a God of pursuant love. His love is not stagnant. He doesn’t just “sit around” and wait on us to seek Him. He places things all around us to turn our hearts toward Him. He allows things to happen in our lives that would cause us to look to Him once again.

He pursues us with His love. He longs for us to be with Him. He yearns to have a conversation with us, a moment of communion, a friendship. He sent His Holy Spirit to be with us when He ascended to heaven that He might draw our hearts back to Him when we stray from Him.

It makes me wonder, how much do we pursue Him in this way? Do we only think about Him when it comes church time and prayer time over the meal? Do we only think of Him when we are in trouble and in distress, because, after all, He is a ‘God of answers’ and a ‘God of help?’

He longs for so much more from us. He pursues us, because He wants our hearts as well as our hands. He can catch our hands so easily. It’s easy to catch your child’s hand when they’re young, when they need help after a tumble, and when you need to stop them from running in the street.

However, it’s harder to catch the heart of your teen when they desperately long for independence and have so many new avenues to find that freedom. It’s even harder to win the heart of your grown child if you didn’t quite master the task in their younger years, and now they’ve grown beyond their need for what you have to offer. You have to get more creative, and they have to be willing to come back to you. They, also, have to realize time spent with you is more valuable than they once imagined it might be.

I believe we have this same tendency toward our Heavenly Father. When we first get saved, He is all we think about, all we talk about. We pursue a relationship with Him. Yet, as life moves forward, the responsibilities pull on us, and the priorities of this world knock down our door, we set Him aside for brighter, easier days. We forget about that relationship we once had when we daily communed with Him. We set Him to the side as we pursue the approval of man and the kind words of a friend. We, now, wait till we are in distress to call on His name.

But oh, the sweetness of walking with Him day by day. Oh the joy we miss when we put Him aside. What countless burdens we carry when we do not share them with Him. What needless turmoil we invite when we don’t allow Him in.

He’s still there where you left Him. Seek Him out today. You will find Him. He promised that when you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him.

 

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