GOD HEARS AND ANSWERS

Life in this world does not stand still.  The world is constantly changing at a pace we feel we cannot cope with at times.  For example, bring home a new computer, unwrap it, set it up and begin to know how it works while another, newer, faster, sleeker, product is on its way to Best Buy from production.  There is always a newer, better product on the way to solve all the problems advertisers convince us we have.  In the tech world, you must keep inventing and racing your product to the shelves before your competitors to merely stay alive in business.

Family situations are always changing.  Our children do not stay the same.  They are constantly growing, learning, maturing in thought and following the examples to live from those around them.  They are influenced by who they watch on media.  Influenced by people important to them, they live their lives patterned closely to who they see in front of them.  Children grow up and marry someone else that changes the family dynamic.  Along come grandchildren who grow up similarly to their parents but have minds of their own.  They marry and the changes multiply.  That’s life—constantly changing. 

The way we work is surely changing daily!  Many creatively work and teach from home in a pandemic or go masked to work to protectively serve others in order to stop the spread of a virus that can kill.  We have been forced to be proactive, preemptive and preventative in a constantly changing world.  Commercials are constantly telling us to wash our hands…who wasn’t doing this before the pandemic?  This was taught in first grade, friends.  Okay, as a teacher, I had to say it out loud.

The way we relate to each other is changing because of the confusing times we are coping with today.  We want life as it was and we are already, only seven months since the quarantine began, glorifying the “good old days” before the pandemic.  Were those days that good?  We did everything at a rapid pace, constantly moving toward the next best thing, leaving our loved ones in the dust of our lofty aspirations.  Then a virus shut us down and told us to stay home with our beloved.  Character traits good and bad showed their true colors.  We had time to examine our hearts and found we were falling short in some areas of our lives.

We need answers.  Many stopped blaming everyone else for the disruption in their lives and looked up to God for answers for the real pandemic of sin and all that it was costing their lives. The found answers from the God who hears us when we cry out to Him with humbled, repentant hearts.

God hears.  God answers. 

Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs

Psalm 17, The Message

A David Prayer

1-2 Listen while I build my case, God,
    the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
Show the world I’m innocent—
    in your heart you know I am.

4-5 I’m not trying to get my way
    in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
    your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
    I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
    I’m not giving up.

Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
    surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
    My words don’t run loose.

6-7 I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
    So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
    take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
    straight to you.

8-9 Keep your eye on me;
    hide me under your cool wing feathers
From the wicked who are out to get me,
    from mortal enemies closing in.

10-14 Their hearts are hard as nails,
    their mouths blast hot air.
They are after me, nipping my heels,
    determined to bring me down,
Lions ready to rip me apart,
    young lions poised to pounce.
Up, God: beard them! break them!
    By your sword, free me from their clutches;
Barehanded, God, break these mortals,
    these flat-earth people who can’t think beyond today.

I’d like to see their bellies
    swollen with famine food,
The weeds they’ve sown
    harvested and baked into famine bread,
With second helpings for their children
    and crusts for their babies to chew on.

15 And me? I plan on looking
    you full in the face. When I get up,
I’ll see your full stature
    and live heaven on earth.

TRUTH:  “I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.”  No matter what we are doing or have done, no matter who we are or where we have been, those who call on the name of the Lord will be heard.  God answers the prayers of those whose hearts are completely His, whose minds are focused on His Ways, whose hearts are full of gratitude for all He has provided and whose souls long for Him daily to fill them with His daily manna of wisdom and truth. 

Look up.  Know God.  Love God.  Love Others. Leave the world behind.

Proverb 11, The Message

Without Good Direction, People Lose Their Way

God hates cheating in the marketplace;
    he loves it when business is aboveboard.

The stuck-up fall flat on their faces,
    but down-to-earth people stand firm.

The integrity of the honest keeps them on track;
    the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin.

A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart,
    but a principled life can stand up to the worst.

Moral character makes for smooth traveling;
    an evil life is a hard life.

Good character is the best insurance;
    crooks get trapped in their sinful lust.

When the wicked die, that’s it—
    the story’s over, end of hope.

A good person is saved from much trouble;
    a bad person runs straight into it.

The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction;
    the common sense of the godly preserves them.

12 Mean-spirited slander is heartless;
    quiet discretion accompanies good sense.

10 When it goes well for good people, the whole town cheers;
    when it goes badly for bad people, the town celebrates.

11 When right-living people bless the city, it flourishes;
    evil talk turns it into a ghost town in no time.

13 A gadabout gossip can’t be trusted with a secret,
    but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence.

14 Without good direction, people lose their way;
    the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

15 Whoever makes deals with strangers is sure to get burned;
    if you keep a cool head, you’ll avoid rash bargains.

16 A woman of gentle grace gets respect,
    but men of rough violence grab for loot.

WISDOM: “…a principled life can stand up to the worst.”  Be men and women of integrity, do the right thing even if no one is watching from a habitual lifestyle of living God’s ways.  Be people of God who keep a cool head, avoid gossip, and standing firm in the ways of God.  “Good character is the best insurance” in troubled times in a constantly and rapidly changing world.  Good character, moral thinking and behaving, living a grateful, humble life that is full of God’s grace never goes out of style.  God is unchanging in His character.  We should stand firm in His unchanging love and righteousness.

“Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.”  Proverb 11:14

“And me? I plan on looking you full in the face. When I get up, I’ll see your full stature and live heaven on earth.”  Psalm 17:15

In Jesus Name, By His Power working in me, Amen.  I believe.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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