Faith, God, Uncategorized

He Named the Stars

stars
Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

 

According to NASA, our sun is one of about 200 billion stars in our galaxy.¹ That’s more than any of us can see with our eyes. I am overwhelmed by the few stars I can see at night. The most stars I’ve seen at once was at the Grand Canyon. I wish I could have captured that beautiful view. It’s forever in my memory, until I lose my memory. Hahaha!

We can never reach any of the stars, besides our sun. Proxima Centauri, our closest star, is approximately 4.24 light years away. A light year is 5.88 trillion miles.² Yeah, we’re never going to get up close to a single star. And we are not supposed to. Each star is exactly where it is meant to be, far, far, away.

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. Genesis 1:16, NIV 

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a God when I look at the night sky. But when I think about the fact that God named the stars, my mind is officially blown. Only God, who made billions of stars, also named them. 

He determines the number of the stars

and calls them each by name. Psalm 147:4, NIV 

 

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:

    Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one

    and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

    not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26, NIV

God made and named each and every star. Not one star is missing or out of place. 

God is in the details of the universe and the details of our lives. 

Do you feel like He has forgotten about you? Do you ever wonder if He sees you and what you’re going through? Does God really care about me? Yes, God really cares about every heartache, trial, and pain you experience.

God made every single part of the universe and He made you. He knows everything about you. He even numbered the hairs on your head. He doesn’t just count how many individual hairs you’ve got. God numbered your hair. Reach up and touch a piece of hair on your head. Maybe that’s number 1000 or 50. Who knows? God does. 

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30, NIV 

God has intimate knowledge of us. He is not a far-off, too busy for us, God. The God who made us also deeply loves us, and deeply cares about our needs and sorrows. He is in the details. 

Whatever you are going through today, or tomorrow, He cares. God cares so much that He wants you to trust Him, to talk to Him, and give Him all your concerns. He will take care of you. It may not be your way, or your time, but He will provide. 

As for God, his way is perfect:

    The Lord’s word is flawless;

    He shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30, NIV

The God who named the stars, and numbered your hair, loves you. Trust Him. Cry out to Him. Praise Him, and thank Him. Spend some time with Him. He loves hearing from you.

 

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

¹ https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/other-solar-systems/en/

² https://www.britannica.com/story/how-do-we-know-how-far-away-the-stars-are

Faith, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Love God, Love Everybody

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It’s just so simple. Love God with all you’ve got, and love others like yourself. Well, that was easy. Please go back to your normal routine, and enjoy the picture of the Nevada desert. Hahaha! I wish just reading those words made loving God and loving others effortless.

What’s the greatest commandment according to Jesus?

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39, NIV

I think about these verses every day. For me, it all boils down to this. The greatest commandment is the umbrella under which all other commandments fall. Love God with all I’ve got and love my neighbors, which is my family and every person, the same way I love myself.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” does not mean to love myself first, before I can love others. It just means in the same way we care for ourselves and our burdens, we show that same level of care and concern for others. Our neighbor is everyone and anyone. Your family, friends, and actual neighbors are your “neighbors”. We don’t get to pick and choose who we love. Though we try, we are called to something different.

Luke 10:30-37 tells the story of the Good Samaritan. Read this story for yourself. It gives a great example of how to be a good neighbor, and to show real love.

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10-36-37, NIV 

We are to love all people. Every single person was made in the image of God.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27, NIV

We need to ask God to help us see people the way He does. If I look at people with my own judgements and opinions then I’m not going to love them very well. If I look at others according to God’s view and that He made them, I can see their hearts much easier.

Loving others is really hard. Loving difficult people is nearly impossible. We don’t have to be best friends with everyone, or hang out with everyone, but we are told to love. We cannot love based on our own feelings or perceptions. Our love for others is based on the love Jesus has placed in our hearts. I cannot properly show love without God. He is love.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4:8, NIV

Jesus loved me first before I ever knew Him or loved Him.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19, NIV

Love is so much bigger than like. The love Jesus gives us is beyond anything we will experience from another person. Jesus gave His life for us because He loves us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, NIV

How do we love God with every part of us? It means we don’t hold anything back from God. Loving God is a natural response from a genuine relationship with Him. The more you know God, the more you will love Him. He gave us full access to Him because of Jesus.

To love God with all my heart, soul, and mind means I put Him first in my life. I give Him everything. I praise Him. Read His word. Pray. Ask Him to fill my mind with His thoughts. It is a daily choice to love God with every part of me. Though I will never love Him perfectly, I will make a choice to let my heart be loyal to Him first and foremost.

The Spurgeon Study Bible says:

“‘With all your heart’ means intensely. ‘With all your soul’ means sincerely, most lovingly. ‘And with all your strength’ means with all our energy, with every faculty, with every possibility of our nature.”

The greatest commandment to love God with every ounce of me and to love people is impossible. If I rely on myself to accomplish these acts, then it’s a failure every time. When I rely on Jesus, I can love the way He loves.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Jon 15:5, NIV 

Loving God and loving everybody is how we shine our lights in this dark world. We have the awesome responsibility to be Jesus’ hands and feet to every person we encounter. We were never meant to do it in our own ability. Otherwise we’d never need Jesus. We need Jesus every moment, of every hour, of every day.

Let’s love our awesome God with everything we’ve got. Let’s love His kids well.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Father God,

Thank you for your perfect love. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus to save us. Help us God, to love you and love others greatly. We cannot properly love people without You. Show us others, the way you see them. Let us see hearts and souls. Help us to see the hurting, lost, and broken. Use us, imperfect vessels, to love people. Thank you for the privilege we get to show Your love. We praise you!

Amen

 

Faith, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Live for Today

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Today you have been given a gift. The gift of time. There are 1440 minutes in your gift. You and I get this precious gift of time, each and every day.

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.        Psalm 118:24, ESV 

God made our days and He numbered them.

Lord, reveal to me the end of my life
and the number of my days.
Let me know how short-lived I am.
 You, indeed, have made my days short in length,
and my life span as nothing in Your sight.
Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.Selah    Psalm 39:4-5, HCSB

How much time do we waste each day? I don’t believe the goal is to fill every single minute with non-stop activity. We’ve all got necassary day-to-day duties that are unavoidable. Sleep takes up a certain amount of our hours. Work. Other daily responsibilities like cooking, errands, caring for our families, and a long list of daily tasks fill our routines. And yes, there should be a little down time each day, to recharge your batteries.

    A person’s days are determined;
    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed.   Job 14:5, NIV

So, if God ordained our days, and He ordained our lives, then He knows we have normal routine stuff that needs to take place. He also has ordained big and small events in our lives every day; that give us opportunities to make a difference for His Kingdom.

This is not the Carpe Diem trendy thinking of our culture. Seize the day is associated with self. Go for it. Take everything you can from each day. This type of thinking says the day is yours. As Christians, each day is a gift from the Lord that He made, and it’s not all ours for the taking.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10, NIV

God has Kingdom work for us to accomplish. And we need Him to do what He’s called us to. Maybe you don’t know your specific calling yet. Start asking God what He has you here for. Each of us has a unique purpose. In the meantime, look for daily small moments to share the love of Jesus. Working hard to provide for your family matters. Cooking a meal for your family is loving. Going to the grocery store and getting food and other essentials is important. We’re human and we need food. Being kind to the checker at the store. Helping an elderly shopper with reaching an item. (Maybe after the covid19 6 feet away craziness is over.)

There are moments each day that we can make a difference. Praying for someone, sharing the Gospel, helping a neighbor. Giving a friend a ride. Listening to your children’s ideas and hopes. Encouraging your spouse. Forgiving that person you’ve been holding a grudge against. Love God. Love your family. Love strangers you cross paths with. Love your annoying neighbor.

These are not easy on our own. They are impossible in our own abilities. We need filled up before we can overflow with the love of Christ.

Yesterday is the past. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34, NIV

We are all very aware we’ve got enough to deal with today. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. We are supposed to live in today. We can still make plans, and pray about future events, and circumstances. But, we are to leave those at Jesus feet and get on with our day. I know, that’s super difficult. At least for me it is.

Give each day the care it deserves. It may not be flashy but it is a gift from the Lord. Every day is not some thrill ride. Many days can be mundane and quite ordinary, but God ordained them. Thank Him for each day.

Thank God on the good days.

Thank God on the awful days.

Thank God every single day. He made it just for you.

Is Jesus Christ your Savior? Today would be a great day to accept His free gift of salvation. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Go to my contact page and email me if you need prayer.

 

Bible, Faith, God, Obedience, Uncategorized

A Talking Donkey

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This amazing mule takes people up and down the steep, winding trails of the Grand Canyon. On an early morning walk during our vacation, I came across the mules getting ready to make their trek for the day. They are lovely. I can’t help but admire and respect what they do. Mules are the unsung heroes of the animal world. I have to believe that animals go to heaven, especially all the ones that have helped us humans.

A mule is the result of a male donkey and female horse. Mules are tough, sure-footed, intelligent, and instinctively cautious. Those traits come from their donkey DNA. They have been around for centuries and haul everything from people to supplies. Both mules and donkeys are mentioned in the Bible.

There’s an unusual event recorded in Numbers where a donkey speaks.

The Israelites camped along the Jordan River. The Moabites were terrified because of what the Israelites had done to the Amorites, and there were many Israelites. (That’s a lot of “ites”) The king of Moab, Balak, sends for Balaam to curse the Israelites. (Numbers 22:1-5)

“A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.” (Numbers 22:5b-6, NIV)

At first, God tells Balaam not to curse the Israelites because they are blessed. Balak sends princes with a very attractive offer for Balaam that he will be rewarded handsomely, and the king will do whatever he says. God finally gives Balaam the OK to go. (Numbers 22:7-20)

But God was really angry with Balaam. (V. 22)

Balaam is riding his donkey to Moab when an Angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. The donkey sees the angel with a sword drawn and turns off the road into a field. Balaam beats the donkey. The Angel of the Lord appears again on a narrow part of the path with two walls. The donkey pressed against the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot. He beats her a second time. The Angel of the Lord appeared a third time on the path, that was narrow, with no room to turn. The donkey lay down under Balaam and he beat her again. (v. 22-27)

28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.  (Numbers 22:28-25, NIV)

What’s the point, right? Is this just one of those odd stories in the Old Testament? No, it’s not. Yes, the circumstances are strange. A talking donkey is not ordinary. It wasn’t normal then, it’s not normal today.

Balaam was foolish and prideful. He didn’t even pay attention to his own donkey that knew to stop. Balaam was driven by greed. He was tempted.

“Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God. 19 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the Lord will tell me.” (Numbers 22:18-19, NIV)

Balaam says he won’t go outside of what the Lord wants, but he makes sure the princes of Moab stay for the night.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you ignored all the warning signs that God gave you? I have.

Balaam beat his donkey and forced her back on the path three times. Have you ever forced something to happen, that in your heart you knew was out of God’s will? I have.

God allowed Balaam to go on the path to Moab, yet warned him three times to stop. God knew Balaams heart. God knows our hearts too. Sometimes God allows us to feel the sting of our bad choices.

The hero in this story is the donkey. A simple creature that saw the Angel of the Lord and responded appropriately.

God can speak to us any way He chooses. Are we listening? God spoke through a donkey to Balaam. God speaks through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, people, circumstances, nature. I see no limit to how God speaks. He will never compromise His Word, the Bible, when He speaks to us.

I pray that I am more like the donkey, a willing servant of the Lord.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

 

Faith, God, Uncategorized

God Loves You

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I will never forget the day I finally understood that God really loved me. I was 18, and always knew in my head that I was loved by God. Deep down though, I questioned that love. There was no way God loved me. It couldn’t be that simple. I was not worthy of such love. That perfect love was for the perfect people, the perfect Christians, not me.

The truth is, God’s perfect unconditional love is for all of us.

The moment I fully accepted the love my Heavenly Father had for me, I was changed. It’s a personal love, for He calls me by name. My name is written on the palms of His mighty hands.

“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16a, NLT)

God calls us sons and daughters. That means He is my Father.

“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18, NKJV)

God calls us His children.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 John 3:1, NKJV) 

God loves us with an everlasting love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3b, HCSB)

God’s love is faithful and true.

“But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth.” (Psalm 86:15, HCSB)

God’s love will not end.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.’ (Deuteronomy 7:9, NIV)

God loved us first.

“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, ESV)

God loves us so much that He gave us Jesus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NKJV)

God rejoices over you with singing.

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV)

Nothing can seperate us from God’s love

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39, ESV)

Do you know how much God loves you? Maybe you’re like I was. You think it in your head, but it’s not in your heart. I pray today that changes for you. May you experience the love of God like never before. Let Him fill up your heart with the knowledge of His amazing love.

It is mind boggling to think about, and accept the love of a perfect God. Bask in it. Recieve this beautiful love from God, and praise Him for it. God loves you!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com