Written by Clare Chapman
I asked God, “What are you trying to do in my life?”
He answered…“Make you understand that the answer is Me. When you search for meaning and direction I Am your answer. Seek Me with all your heart. You chase after meaningless things. Your affections should be on Me. I Am the one who truly loves you. You go, go, go…when are you going to STOP for Me? Wake up and come to Me. Don’t sleep through life. I Am pure joy and the answer to all you are looking for. I Am the real deal, not your busy life. Slow down and get with Me. You do need refreshing. I Am a well of living water.”
God help me. Give me a burning desire for your Word and intimate time with You. Help me to put my relationship with You above all my other relationships. If I spend time with You, I can be a refreshment to many. I can trust You.
Written by Donna Butler
Why do we doubt God? Why don’t we trust what He says and actually take it as “the gospel truth”? The world uses that phrase as an idiom, but it is based on what is known to be true. The Gospel is THE Truth. The Word of God, His promises, His declarations have been established through the blood covenant with Jesus Christ. So why are we second guessing the very words that He staked the sacrifice of His one and only Son on? Since the beginning, God has continued to create, renew, restore, and uphold us in His promises! So, is it really God that we doubt, mistrust, and second guess? Or, is it our own selves we don’t have enough confidence in?
We doubt our own worth to God, even though He calls us the “apple of His eye” (Psalm 17:8) or that His thoughts of us are more than the grains of sand (Psalm 139:18). And if that’s not enough, we often skip over the very beginning of one of the most quoted verses, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world…”. Let’s just park right there for a minute. God loved (welcomed, to be fond of, to be well pleased, to be contented with) even with all the sin already established before us! He loved! He loved what? The world! All of it! From His very creation and arrangement to the inhabitants which Strong’s defines as “the ungodly multitude”. From the world's affairs to the earthly goods that often draw us away from Him. Yet, He loved us enough to send His Son as a payment for what we so freely take for granted.
We also do not trust that we are who He says that we are. Yet, God created us in His image (Genesis 1:27). In 1 Corinthians 2:16, it says that we have the mind of Christ. God trusts us so much that He calls us His temple and sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Would you give a part of yourself to a person that you do not trust?
We second guess something that we know in our hearts to be true. We just don’t want to believe or accept that it is actually for us and not just for someone else more deserving. Or we are talking ourselves out of something because of the cost or sacrifice of commitment. Either way, James 1:8 says that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Therefore, if we can’t make up our minds, should we expect God to do it for us? And, if He did, would we honor Him for it or rebel like a toddler being told no? This is why God lays it all out before us and allows us to make that choice.
So, what is holding back? Regardless of what we’ve been through or going through, God has not and will not change (Psalm 33:11). He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He is our Shepherd, our fortress, our Deliverer, and we also have Jesus as our advocate (John 17:15). He is faithful, loving, gentle, patient, and kind. He is a good, good Father. Let’s take Him at His Word.
Written by Susan Stedman
Sigmund Freud is the founder of psychoanalysis and a famous Austrian neurologist. He regarded God as an illusion and believed that religion should be set aside in favor of reason and science. He noted the likeness between faith and neurotic obsession and called the belief in God a “collective neurosis”.
Most people will look at you in a weird way if you even mention hearing voices because in our society today, that is taken as a sure sign of mental illness. Imagine Paul telling his therapist, “And I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of the earth!’” Would anyone have taken him seriously in our culture? I have seen street preachers doing the same kind of thing. Do you ever wonder if we’ve missed something important because of the jaded way we think of experiences like this?
Many civilizations – past and present – especially the less civilized ones - consider these people holy, not crazy. They were viewed as more aware, closer to the divine, or even touched by the gods. The Lakota Sioux have a word for that kind of holy contrary – heyoka. Their role is to make people see things differently, challenging the norms.
It always made me wonder, do these people live in delusional states or could they be experiencing things that are beyond the capacity of normal people? Think about people born with Down’s Syndrome. They are almost always the happiest, most loving, sweetest people you could ever hope to meet. They treat everyone equally with kindness and never think badly about anyone they know. They exude enthusiasm and always trust in the best. Isn’t this the way God has called us all to be? He also says we must be as little children to enter the kingdom. So, does that make them closer to Him?
Their obvious difference from us lies in their brains. Because of diminished cerebral functions, they don’t notice all the distractions around them the way we do. They don’t get stuck on “what if’s” because all they perceive is what’s happening “now”. They don’t focus on themselves or their feelings which means they don’t remember wrongs done to them or hold grudges. They don’t ascribe malicious motives to people whom we “normal” people can clearly see as malicious. They show love to all. This is something we could learn lessons from…it’s the epitome of “The Love Chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13.
Researchers who look at how our brains process religious beliefs fall into one of two categories. They either hope their findings will help convince people of the validity of their faith, or they are trying to explain away what they call “an embarrassing relic of our past.”
Many of the most well-known scientists believed in God, or at least in an intelligent design. In 1956, Albert Einstein stated, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
In 1979, Freeman Dyson, the English American theoretical physicist said, “I believe in the ancient covenant. It is true that we emerged in the universe by chance, but the idea of chance is itself only a cover for our ignorance. I do not feel like an alien in this universe. The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe, in some sense, must have known that we were coming.”
Werner Heisenberg, who is considered the father of Quantum Physics, said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass, God is waiting for you.”
Isaac Newton had no doubts. “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.” At one time, he believed that gravity was caused by the will and spirit of God, not by any material cause.
There is one modern physicist who has made a bold statement, standing out from his peers. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and string theory pioneer, is quoted as, “I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me, it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20)
But we are safe. Psalm 25:1 tells us plainly, "No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame."
Written by Brenda Johnson
In our bedroom are darkening curtains. The curtains do a great job at keeping the light from coming in. Even in midday we can completely darken our room. It’s great because I love to sleep late, so I miss awakening in the early morning light. When I want to nap in the afternoon, I can shut off all light by closing the drapes.
As familiar as I am with the layout of my room, once in a while I will get up only to hit my knee against the bedpost. Instead of picking up my feet as I walk, I will on occasionally trip on the throw rug. Worse yet, sometimes on a trip to the bathroom I will reach for the door but find no knob because I am a few feet away from the door and am reaching on the wall.
This reminds me that like my darkened bedroom, we live in a world full of darkness. We become used to it and quite familiar with the way things are. Still, we stumble, stub a toe, or fall. Sometimes I reach for my cell phone which I keep near me and use the flashlight app to guide me to the door. We, in our familiarity with this world we live in, forget to use the Light to guide us through while we are here.
Jesus is the Light of the world shining in the Darkness (John 12:46). He illuminates the way for us. We are reminded in John 1:4-5 (NIV) “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
No matter how comfortable or knowledgeable we become with this world we live in, life will be difficult to navigate. Furthermore, we will never, without the Light of Jesus in our lives, overcome this dreary and menacing darkness.
Jesus is the true Light available to everyone (John 1:12-13). When we believe and receive Him, we become children of God and our path is made clear. No obstacles can change the course for us. He is our “flashlight.” Do not wander through the darkness without the Light. When we do we stumble, stub our toes, go the wrong direction, open the wrong doors, and fall.
Let Jesus show you the way from darkness into the Light. Use your “Light App” today.
About Rays of Light:
Whereas most blogs are from one writer, these posts are from a variety of authors and styles. These scribes all attend our Kingdom Writers group. We pray our passion to share God's love through writing will encourage you today!
Our writers group meets every 4th Tuesday Night at 7PM in person and/or via zoom. Let us know if you would like to join us.