A Portion For the Son

 A Portion For The SonRGB72_Nazarene'sPrice

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong …”

Isaiah 53:12a, KJV

Wednesday’s post, My Portion, highlighted the inheritance every follower of Christ has as a result of the Lord’s suffering the death all people are doomed to receive apart from him.

In the song, How Great The Father’s Love For Us, written by Stuart Townsend, the writer poses the question of why the Father would want a wretch for his treasure. Another line, wonders why we wretches should receive gain from the Son’s reward. What we gain equals our portion, our inheritance. But what about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, what is his reward, his portion for the agony he experienced?

First the price Jesus paid: It goes beyond anything we can imagine and began with his becoming like us. Stop for a moment. God the Son, holy, full of grace and glory, the creator of all things seen and unseen. He doesn’t stop being God but steps out of his glorious existence into the flesh and blood of a man. Paul writes it like this about Jesus our Lord—

“Who, being in the form of God,

thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation,

and took upon him the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.”

Philippians 2:6-8, KJV

When we examine David’s and Isaiah’s writings, we find these descriptions in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 of the price the Savior paid—

Forsaken, poured out like water,

all my bones out of joint, heart is like wax;

it is melted in the midst of my bowels,

strength … dried up, my tongue cleaveth to my jaws;

brought me into the dust of death …

deliver my soul, save me

So marred more than any man,

despised, rejected, man of sorrows,

acquainted with grief, wounded for our transgressions,

bruised for our iniquities, chastisement of our peace,

with his stripes we are healed,

laid on him the iniquity of us all, oppressed, afflicted,

brought as a lamb to the slaughter,

cut off out of the land of the living,

for … transgression … stricken

All of this to gain an inheritance—a kingdom. But what is a kingdom with out people? We are the inheritance, his portion.

“He shall see of the travail of his soul,

and shall be satisfied:

by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;

for he shall bear their iniquities …

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father …

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number,

of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,

stood before the throne, and before the Lamb,

clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

And cried with a loud voice, saying,



And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,




Isaiah 53:11; Philippians 4:11; Revelation 7: 9-10; 11:15, KJV

With the onset of Lent, we are reminded of the season that’s upon us. We will hear familiar scriptures and celebrate other traditions along the way to keep our minds and hearts focused on why we celebrate. I, unashamedly, ask you to consider using my novel, The Nazarene’s Price, as an addition to your traditions leading up to the Passion week. It is fictional, set in the days of Christ. It is one man’s search for the truth concerning death, life, and the Nazarene. At the end of the book there is a series of questions for personal reflection or to be used with a group. You may want to invite an unsaved friend or neighbor to join you, using The Nazarene’s Price IMG_3799as a witnessing tool. Be creative.

You can order a copy from Amazon or Barnes and Noble—currently at a reduced price but I am not sure for how long. In the search bar, type the title and my name, Donna K. Stearns. Once you’ve finished the book, please consider leaving a review with Amazon, Goodreads, & Bookbub. Thank you.

What activities/traditions do you practice to celebrate the upcoming Easter season?


With The Whole Heart

The Whole Hearted Life

“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea,

I shall observe it with my whole heart.”

Psalm 119:34, KJV

The law kept with the whole heart not only obeys it, but does so, believing the worth of the law.

  • The whole heart genuinely trusts the one making the law.
  • A heart wholly devoted to the Lord rests in peace.
  • Anything less than the whole results in uncertainty and eventually falters.

“And if a house be divided against itself,

that house cannot stand”—

nor can a heart.

(Scripture from Mark 3:25, KJV; The last four words are my thought.)

A divided heart is motivated by half an effort, half a conviction, and half the passion. It  ends in an empty result.

  • A work done half-heartedly … Is a work not done.
  • A word spoken half-heartedly … Should remain unspoken.
  • A half-hearted love … is no love at all.

The Lord commands and deserves our whole hearted service.

“Now therefore fear the LORD,

and serve him in sincerity and in truth:

and put away the gods which your fathers

served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt;

and serve ye the LORD.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,

choose you this day whom ye will serve,

whether the gods which your fathers served  …

but as for me and my house,

we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua 24:14, 15, KJV

The whole heart serves the Lord—

  • in sincerity and in truth;
  • and the Lord alone, no others.
  • He fills the heart with all that fills his heart;
  • with a committed choice.

When Joshua presented Israel with the two choices, the people vowed to serve the Lord and him alone. But when they watched their neighbors, their hearts became divided. They spoke before searching their hearts. They spoke out of emotion not a heart wholly given to the Lord. Joshua told them as much. (See Joshua 24:14-28)

The whole hearted servant of the Lord speaks from the heart not just the lips.

“Be not rash with thy mouth,

and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God:

for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:

therefore let thy words be few…

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow,

than that thou shouldest vow and not pay …




Ecclesiastes 5:2,5;Matthew 15:8, KJV

The Lord does not accept a half-hearted work, a half-hearted commitment, nor a half-hearted love. We are:

  • to offer our— “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1b, KJV

Salvation, justification, sanctification, glorification is a whole hearted work of the living Word of God born our of his whole hearted love for us.

“We love him, because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19, KJV

It’s time to praise the Lord with our sacrifice of praise offered from a heart wholly devoted to him in love.

“I will praise thee, O LORD,

with my whole heart;

I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee:

I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.”

Psalm 9: 1-2, KJV

 There really is no half a heart. Let’s make our choice—all or nothing. Which will it be?

Teach Me

Teach MeIMG_3740

“Teach me, O LORD,

the way of thy statutes;

and I shall keep it unto the end.”

Psalm 119:33

Do you have a favorite teacher in your past? Three instantly come to my mind, each from a different stage of learning.

  • Mrs. Brewer taught first grade through fourth grade in our one room classroom divided into two by folding doors. Mrs. Brewer was my only teacher through those years, but that’s not why she was my favorite. She taught me penmanship in the third grade. I got to use an old fashion ink pen that had to be dipped in a jar of ink. Mrs. Brewer taught my class how to write with our arm rather than our fingers. We filled our lined primary paper with a connected spring of the letter o and a connected row of lines similar to an uncrossed t. It was fun, and I learned from this grandmotherly teacher.
  • In seventh grade, *Miss Claus taught me how to diagram sentences, which meant I learned the parts of speech and how to use them. Miss Claus always smiled, even when she finished correcting a student.
  • High school introduced me to *Mrs. Paddington, my bookkeeping teacher. She taught me to stay away from bookkeeping as a career.

Each of these ladies and a parade of others, including those who faithfully taught me the word of God, added new dimensions to my life. I thank God for all of them. He used each to teach and prepare me to live for his glory.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,

do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Colossians 3:17, KJV

The Lord continues to be my greatest teacher in all of life, and he can be in yours.

“It is written in the prophets,


Every man therefore that hath heard,

and hath learned of the Father,

cometh unto me …

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,

whom the Father will send in my name,

he shall teach you all things,

and bring all things to your remembrance,

whatsoever I have said unto you.”

John 6:45; 14:26, KJV

I enjoy learning, not for knowledge sake alone, but for growth as a person. The Lord still gives me those I’m learning from—*Lena, Ellen, Lily, Rhoda, and Richard—to name but a few. These are all at least ninety years old. Some would say they have lived their purpose, but no. Lena, Ellen and Lily live in the joy of the Lord as their strength. Rhoda hosts a bible study in her home, and has a heart for the lost. Richard faithfully waits on the Lord in his many trials and always has a smile.

All are living out God’s purpose:

  • teaching me God’s faithfulness in every age.
  • They are examples of how to live in any age with joy.
  • I want to be like them when I grow up.

To accomplish that, my desire is to continue growing in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, until the day he takes me home to be with him. To him be the glory.

“Teach me, O LORD,

the way of thy statutes;

and I shall keep it unto the end.”

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? If still living, today would be a good day to tell him/her.

*Names have been changed.

The Writer’s Heart: Friends, New & Old

The Writer’s Heart: FriendsIMG_4396

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:

and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24, KJV

Old friends aren’t necessarily old in age. They are those who have proven themselves through their stick-to-itiveness, honesty, encouragement, and their sharing of knowledge and wisdom. We may not see these old friends often, but we find ways of keeping in touch and sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. We continue to learn from each other.

Lately, I’ve been visiting some old friends of the writing world, Bodie and Brock Thoene, by rereading their work, specifically, the A. D. Chronicles. Other favorites from them  are the three connected series of The Zion Covenant, The Zion Chronicles, and the Zion Legacy. The historical setting of these three transport the reader into the period just before, during, and following World War II. Warning: If you start reading one, you won’t quit until you finish them all.

The Thoenes have never heard of me, but they became my old friends. Their writing introduced me to my favorite fictional genres—biblical and historical. They have taught me much simply by reading their work. I could say I aspire to write like them, but that would be wrong.

The Thoenes have their place in the writing world. They have stayed true to their style, to the historical information they share, the encouragement included in each book. They have successfully shared their knowledge, wisdom, and talent with a multitude of readers. Their example encourages me to strive to do the same. But I will never be them. I’ve learned from them what good writing is, and I do aspire to follow their example. I must remember my writing has a purpose defined by God, even as their writing does.

I don’t know what God’s plan for my writing includes. As I follow him, he will bring it to completion, and it will bring him glory. Hopefully, along the way I will make more new friends who turn into old friends.

My next read from the Thoenes is a nonfiction title, Writer to Writer. I didn’t know it existed. Being written in 1990, I expect it to be a little dated as far as technology, but not according to the actual craft of writing.

Before I close—my favorite old friend is still the Word of God. It is filled with instruction, examples, truth, writing prompts, and themes galore. It also includes the best teacher sent to us by our best friend.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,

whom the Father will send in my name,

he shall teach you all things,

and bring all things to your remembrance,

whatsoever I have said unto you.”

John 14:26, KJV

God, the greatest author of the number one best seller for hundreds of years, continues to be my greatest inspiration. He sticks with me, guides me, and encourages me in this journey. He has called me his friend.

“but I have called you friends:

for all things that I have heard of my Father

I have known unto you.”

John 15:15b

He makes known to me what I need to know through his word, his example, the Holy Spirit, and others who have made this journey. I’m thankful for the old friends God has put in my path and the new ones who are teaching and encouraging me now. I do hope I can do the same for others.

Who has influenced your writing journey?

God’s Bounty (2)

God’s Bounty (2)DSCF4224

“Deal bountifully with thy servant,

that I may live, and keep thy word.”

Psalm 119:17,KJV

How do you wake up each day—with a song? a sigh? What is your morning routine—a pillow over your head and ask for just 15 more minutes? ready to hop out of bed and greet the sunshine?

How might our lives change if we started our day with a praise, a prayer, and thanksgiving—with our focus on things above rather than things on the earth?

Sometime through the day, David, the shepherd king of Israel, gave us a psalm to offer to the Lord, anytime. He wrote,

“Bless the LORD,

O my soul:

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits:”

103:1-2, KJV

This psalm extols the bounty of the Lord toward us—

  • forgiveness,
  • healing,
  • redemption,
  • lovingkindness,
  • tender mercies,
  • good things,
  • and renewed strength.

These are found in just the first few verses. Next David rehearses what the Lord does and what he is—

  • does righteous judgement,
  • makes his ways known to us,
  • is merciful,
  • gracious,
  • slow to anger,
  • he remembers we are but human.

David’s response:

“Bless the LORD,

all his works in all places of his dominion:

bless the LORD, O my soul.”

103:22, KJV

The Psalms don’t stop there. In Psalm 104, the psalmist exalts the God of creation, the One who brought life and light out of chaos and darkness.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, O LORD my God,

thou art very great;

thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment:

who streachest out the heavens like a curtain:”


After rehearsing the bounty found in God’s creation work, his power, wisdom, and provision, this author can do only one thing. He says—

“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live:

I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

My meditation of him shall be sweet:

I will be glad in the LORD.” (33-34)

In these Psalms we discover our bountiful God, who he is and the bounty he has shown us. We gain understanding of why we should bless the Lord, bring him pleasure. It is what he created us for and he is worthy.

Our Response:

  • “O give thanks unto the LORD;
  • call upon his name:
  • make known his deeds among the people.
  • Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:
  • talk ye of all his wondrous works.
  • Glory ye in his holy name:
  • let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
  • Seek the LORD, and his strength;
  • seek his face evermore.” (105:1-4, KJV)

When we make time in our day, whether morning, noon, or night, to spend time praising our God for the abundant bountiful life he deals to his servants,

  • we find our day is filled with worship.
  • Blessing the Lord, bringing him pleasure, becomes a way of life
  • and ends our days in thanksgiving.
  • We would see our days filled with hope—not despair; joy—not depression; peace—not chaos; love—not hate; faith—not fear.

“Praise ye the LORD,

O give thanks unto the LORD;

for he is good:

for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Psalm 106:1, KJV

What is your response to the Lord’s bounty in your life? Share one way you will bring blessing to him. It’s a good start to seeing your day blessed of the Lord.


The Gifts of Grace, Favor, & Faith

blog wildernessphoto-1505925119181-3537e71dbc72
picture courtesy of unsplash.com, taken by Trevor Cole

Far from the commonly traveled paths of merchants and their camels packed with wares, sat Nazareth nestled between green hills salted with white stones. *One young lady in the small village caught the attention of the Lord. Mary busily prepared for the day she and Joseph would fulfill their engagement vows. Yet, her mind wandered to the promise of Messiah. Could she begin to hope the Lord would choose her to be the mother of Messiah?

Mary shook her head. Everybody knows nothing good comes from Nazareth.

What was that? Mary turned. Her heart threatened to jump out of her chest. Who was this—man? What did he want? She looked for a way of escape. None. And no one was near to hear her screams should she need help. Mary did the only thing she knew to do and bowed on her knees with her face to the dirt floor.

The man entered the house. “I am Gabriel, an angel of the Lord. The Lord gives you great favor. Rejoice for the Lord is with you. You are blessed among all women.”

Mary raised her head. This is the strangest greeting I’ve ever heard. I don’t understand.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid …”

Then Gabriel proceeded to tell Mary she would give birth to the Messiah through the power of God. When the message was completed—

“Mary said,

Behold the handmaid of the Lord;

be it unto me according to thy word.

And the angel departed from her.”

With this gift of all gifts, Mary received faith to trust the Lord would do what was said. She didn’t understand where this road would take her, nor how it would come to be. Mary did know and was completely convinced God’s word to be true.

Like Mary, we each are given a measure of faith—first to believe we have a need for a Savior. Then enough faith to receive Jesus as the one sent to be our Savior. A wonderful relationship with the Father begins here—with his gift of faith given in measure to exercise faith in the other gifts he gives for his glory.

“For I say,

through the grace given unto me,

to every man that is among you,

not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;

but to think soberly,

according as God hath dealt to every man

the measure of faith.”

Romans 12:3, KJV

The Lord poured out his grace upon Mary. Upon hearing the word of the Lord, her mind and heart could have filled with thoughts of self-importance. Scripture shows this did not happen. She had done nothing to deserve being the mother of the Son of God. God the Father chose her for this once-in-the-world event. That’s his grace. He imparted to her the gift of faith to fulfill the work.

None of us will ever receive this measure of faith—for that work is done. But the Lord has given to each of us first that measure of faith to be saved. When we act upon that gift, the measure of the gift is increased to perform the work of ministry the Lord has ordained for each of his children.

Wrapped inside faith’s package are the gifts of strength and obedience to surrender to the word and work of the Lord, even as Mary surrendered and Paul wrote about.

“And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV

Faith is convinced the power of Christ in us is our strength to obey his word and perform the work. Faith knows and is convinced God—

“is able to do exceeding abundantly above

all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us …”

For thereby—

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus

throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Ephesians 3: 20,21, KJV

God chose Mary to carry his glory within her and reflect it to others. We, too, have been chosen to house the glory of God in us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, to reflect his glory to the world. We are highly favored.

*Taken from Luke 1 where you can find the actual account.

For a more detailed account of this part of Mary’s life check out :



The Eyes of God

The Eyes Of GodDSCF0026

“Does He not see my ways, And number all my steps?”

Job 31:4, NASB

Each week our family gathered around the television to the theme song of, “Walker, Texas Ranger,” to watch Chuck Norris bring justice and peace into a villainous situation. The opening showed the ranger of justice standing tall against the sky while the lyrics, “The eyes of the ranger are upon you,” heralded a warning to perpetrators of evil. Job’s poetic lyrics herald a similar sentiment about his Almighty God—our God.

Not only do the words of Job serve as a warning of justice coming to the wicked, but also a motivation to the righteous.

The Warning: To the one a warning of judgment, to the other a motivation to walk in the fear of the Lord.

“For what is the hope of the godless when he is cut off,

When God requires his life …

  • He lies down rich, but never again;
  • He opens his eyes, and it is no more.
  • Terrors overtake him like a flood;
  • A tempest steals him away in the night.” Job 27: 8,19-20, NASB

The Motivation:

“For He looks to the ends of the earth, And sees everything under the heavens … And to man He said,

‘Behold, the fear of the Lord,

that is wisdom;

And to depart from evil is understanding’”

Job 28:24,28, NASB

Throughout scripture the Lord contrasts the life and the end of life for the righteous and the unrighteous (evildoers/wicked).

“The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous,

And His ears are open to their cry …

The face of the LORD is against evildoers,

To cut off the memory of them from the earth.” Psalm 34:15-16, NASB

“For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,

And He watches all his paths.

  • His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
  • And he will be held with the cords of his sin.
  • He will die for lack of instruction,
  • And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.” Proverbs 5:21-23, NASB

“The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him:

but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” Proverbs 10:24, KJV; “

As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more:

but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.” 10:25

“The way of the LORD is strength to the upright:

but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.”10:29  

“The righteous shall never be removed:

but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” 10:30

Walker, Texas Ranger, meted out justice to the evildoers without mercy. The Almighty does not sit on his throne seeking evildoers to punish. He searches for the righteous who need help. We are told—

“the eyes of the LORD run to and fro

throughout the whole earth,

to shew himself strong in the behalf of them

whose heart is perfect toward him …”

2 Chronicles 16:9a, KJV

The Almighty watches over his own to give them his strength. At the same time, the Lord does seek those who do not have a heart for him—

“For the Son of man is come to

seek and to save that which was lost.”

Luke 19:10, KJV

Because our Lord God is holy, he has to judge sin. The judgement is death. Jesus, the holy Son of God, took our judgment upon himself. As Jesus hung on the cross, I can hear the Father crying out to all humanity, including you and me—

“As I live!” declares the Lord GOD,

‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked,

but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.

Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!

Why then will you die …”

Ezekiel 33:11b, NASB

God’s justice married mercy on the day Jesus died for our sin. Three days later new life was born in the Lord’s resurrection. No one ever has to face the Almighty’s judgment again—unless they choose to refuse God’s mercy.

One final question from Job:

“Behold, all of you have seen it;

Why then do you act foolishly?”

Job 27:12, NASB


Sticky Friends

IMG_4396Sticky Friends

“My kinsfolk have failed,

and my familiar friends have forgotten me …

All my inward friends abhorred me:

and they whom I loved are turned against me.”

Job 19:14,19, KJV

Exhausted, covered in boils and oozing sores Job sat in a heap of ashes. He wanted someone to extend the comfort his three friends had lacked to do. The nineteenth chapter reveals the close friends and kinsfolk Job had before tragedy struck, were no where to be found when he needed them most.

Tragedy such as Job experienced leaves a person vulnerable to more loss and pain when no one appears to help carry the load. We see it in nursing homes when the elderly sit each day waiting for a friendly face to appear. Death often leaves a person empty and needing a friend, as does those who go through divorce. Betrayal of friends or a marriage partner stabs a person’s heart. Many who once were a part of one’s life—disappear. It is the faithful friend knocking at the door that reminds us—

“A friend loveth at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity …

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:

And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 17:17; 18:24, KJV

When we are friendly to others they respond in like manner most of the time and are a joy to be around. Many of the friendly fill our lives. But it is the friend loving at all times, we carry in our hearts. It’s a friendship that works both ways. If we have one- loves-all-the-time friend we are blessed. I am blessed to have such a friend. The Lord has also made us sisters. When adversity dropped into our lives, we stuck together like gum to the bottom of our shoes. At times the gum stretched tight, but it never let go.

As Job’s friends failed him during his need, we are reminded that humans are weak. We may love but not perfectly. I would never intentionally hurt or disappoint my friend, nor would she me—but we do fail at times. We understand the human principle. Which means we need a friend who can be with us at all times—and there is only One who fits that description. As Job says,

“And as for me,

I know that my Redeemer lives …”

Job 19:25a, NASB

In scripture one who filled the role of redeemer had to be a near kinsman … a brother would do and would step up in time of adversity. Jesus became our brother to bear our adversity, our trouble.

“Therefore, he had to be made

like His brethren in all things,

that He might become

a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,

to make propitiation for the sins of the people,

For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered,

He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

Hebrews 2;17-18, NASB

As children, no one would have thought my brother and I would ever be friends, but we are. With that in mind, it is not hard for me to accept that Jesus is my brother for the bad times, and my friend always. Jesus, my brother, came to my rescue proving his friendship—

“Greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Ye are my friends,

if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants;

for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth;

but I have called you friends;

for all things that I have heard of my Father

I have made known unto you.”

John 15:13-15, KJV

Jesus’s friendship is offered to all but is exclusive.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses,

know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world

is the enemy of God.”

James 4:4, KJV
We have a choice to make—to be friends with the world that will one day pass away or friends with God whom we will see even as Job states he will see.

“Even after my skin is destroyed,

Yet from my flesh I shall see God;”

Job 19;26, NASB

The Lord is a sticky friend who carries us through life to death to eternal life.

“And I give unto them eternal life;

and they shall never perish,

neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all;

and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

John 10:28-29, KJV

Which friend will you stick to?

Taking It Easy

Taking It Easyblog kermit

No, taking it easy isn’t why I didn’t get my post up yesterday, but that’s another story for another day.

‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” Luke 12:19, NASB

A Parable:

The old man ran his fingers through his thinning salt and pepper shaded hair. He glanced at the hospital bed swallowing the petite figure of his wife and caressed the back of her slender hand with his thumb. No movement. Beeps and whirrs of machines filled the otherwise silent room. Life betrayed him—and the love he and his faithful companion of forty-five years had planned. The past year stole their dreams of the ease in the golden years. Their last days would be spent in the sights, smells, and sounds of a hospital room.

Job most certainly understood what the man in my parable felt when Job said,

“I was at ease,

but He shattered me,

And He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces;

He has also set me up as His target.”

Job 16:12, NASB

Like Job, the man in Jesus’s parable, in Luke and my parable, had amassed great treasure. They all enjoyed the ease of plenty until their ease was shattered.

The two were overtaken by—

“The thief

cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and destroy …”

Job lost the ease of temporary things, as did the others, but didn’t lose his faith. He clung to the good shepherd that was to come.

“I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

John 10:10-11, KJV

Job enjoyed the prosperity of life and family while the Lord blessed him with it. But when ease was stripped from him and anguish filled his body and spirit, Job still had ease found in the knowledge of the Almighty. He asks the questions,

“Where now is my hope? And who regards my hope?”

(Job 17:15)

His friends offered him no hope. His circumstances offered him no hope. But his faith in the Lord God’s character gave hope to Job when found in a hopeless situation. He believed death would bring him to his final hope.

“Even after my skin is destroyed,

Yet from my flesh I shall see God;

Whom I myself shall behold,

And whom my eyes shall see and not another.”

(19;26,27, NASB)

Job, troubled in body and spirit, found relief when he remembered to set his mind on truth. When we set our life’s ease on temporary possessions,

  • We put ourselves in danger of becoming self-sufficient, forgetting the Lord is our sufficiency in all things—

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves

to think any thing as of ourselves;

but our sufficiency is of God;”

2 Corinthians 3:5, KJV

  • We become sluggish in guarding our hearts so as not to follow the Lord’s directives to—

“Watch and pray,

that ye enter not into temptation:

the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26:41, KJV

  • When trials rob us of our temporary ease, we lack strength in the battle, for we haven’t been diligent in keeping watch over our hearts and praying often.

Job began his trial with a strong faith, a solid relationship with the Almighty. We see it in his offering of sacrifices for his children. We hear it when he defends himself before his friends.

“I am a joke to my friends.

The one who called on God, and He answered him;

The just and blameless man is a joke ….

Job then states another problem with finding our ease in circumstances.

  • We think, “It can’t happen to us,” for it only happens to bad people.

“He who is at ease holds calamity in contempt,

As prepared for those whose feet slip.”


Job’s strength came from the Lord God who he knew before calamity came. Out of his pain, he honestly declared his lack of understanding, and his feelings of abandonment—but by God’s grace, he tenaciously held to the only hope of ease he had. The only real hope we have.

“But I will hope continually,

and will yet praise thee more and more.

My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness

and thy salvation all the day;

for I know not the numbers thereof.

I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD:

I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.”

Psalm 71:14-16, KJV

Where now is your hope? Will it carry you through life’s trials? There is one hope that will—his name is Jesus Christ.

Hearing From God

Hearing From God

IMG_0621“Oh that I had one to hear me!

Behold, here is my signature;

Let the Almighty answer me …

Indeed God speaks once, Or twice,

yet no one notices it.”

Job 31:35a;33:14, NASB

Job reached the end of his patience. His three friends sat opposite him with their ears plugged with their own words. At this point, Job wanted answers from the Almighty, who he felt no longer listened to him.

Then a fourth friend, Elihu, not mentioned until the thirty-second chapter, commands attention and says, “Oh but God has spoken, not once but twice. But you all were too full of your own sounds you didn’t even notice.” (This is my paraphrase.)

When we find ourselves in long trials, we, like Job, easily succumb to his attitude—God is not hearing our cries and definitely is not answering our questions, giving us understanding. First of all, God is not obligated to give us full understanding of all his ways. He has obligated himself to hearing and answering when we cry. Ours is to have ears to hear his voice.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see;

and your ears, because they hear.

For truly I say to you,

that many prophets and righteous men

desired to see what you see, and did not see it;

and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Matthew 13:16,17, NASB

Many believe the only way the Lord speaks  today is through the Scriptures. But Scripture itself tells us—

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8, NASB

Granted, the Lord brings new ways of giving us understanding, but who He is does not change. And because He brings changing ways of speaking doesn’t mean He will never again speak as He has spoken. Whatever way God chooses to speak will always agree with Scripture.

Elihu reveals four ways God spoke in the Old Testament.

“Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it.

In a dream, a vison of the night,

When sound sleep falls on men …

Then He opens the ears of men …

Man is also chastened with pain on his bed …

If there is an angel as mediator for him …”

(From Job 33:14-16; 19; 23, NASB)

God speaks

  • in an audible voice as He did with Abraham, a still small voice as He did with Elijah, or as the voice of a prophet as with Nathan to David.
  • through dreams as with Joseph of the Old Testament and Joseph of the New Testament,
  • as well as in visions, such as—Isaiah and the prophets, Peter and Paul in the New Testament.
  • He speaks through our pain and suffering—King Asa, Jeremiah, all of his apostles.
  • He speaks through a mediator—which could be a trusted friend, but is found fully in Jesus Christ.

“For there is one God, and one mediator

also between God and men,

the man Christ Jesus,

who gave Himself as a ransom for all,

the testimony borne at the proper time.”

1Timothy 2:5-6, NASB

The Lord speaks bringing us deliverance from sin’s curse and taking us from darkness into His light. Elihu spoke of the mediator and what he does.

  • “Then let him be gracious to him, and say,
  • ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit,
  • I have found a ransom;
  • Let his flesh become fresher than in youth, Let him return to the days of his youthful vigor;
  • Then he will pray to God, and He will accept him,
  • That he may see His face with joy,
  • And He may restore His righteousness to man …
  • He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit,
  • and my life shall see the light.’” Job 33:24-26,28, NASB

The Lord still speaks to people through the same means He has always used, including the Spirit of Christ in His children and the written word.

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers

in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

in these last days has spoken to us

in His Son,

whom He appointed heir of all things

through whom also He made the world.”

Hebrews 1:1-2.

Two questions remain: Do we have ears to hear what the Spirit says? Or are our ears filled with the roaring of the world?