Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jim Reimann’

“Isn’t it glorious to know that no matter how unjust something may be, even when it seems to have come from Satan himself, by the time it reaches us it is God’s will for us and will ultimately work to our good?” (1)

 

How would your life change if you assumed everything that happened to you was God’s will for you?

 

Everything?  

 

Yes, everything!

 

It’s a question that gives me long pause and few words.

 

Anytime someone glibly says, “It is God’s will” in the face of tragedy or disaster, I cringe.  

 

When bad things happen, questions flood my heart: 

Would God? 

Could God? 

Did God? 

Why God?

 

If it was God’s will and He would, could, and did, how would your life change?

 

I’d turn to God.

 

I’d cry out to Him?  

 

I’d stand with Habakkuk and wait for God to answer me. (See Habakkuk 1:1-2:4)

 

I’d cling to these scriptures:

“Even 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.” 

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” 

 

“We know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” 

 

“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.” (2)

 

On the other hand, how would your life change if you assumed everything that happened to you was NOT God’s will for you?

 

In the center of the circle of the will of God I stand: 

There can come no second causes, all must come from His dear hand.

God is Love, and God is faithful, so in perfect Peace I rest. (1)

 

+ + +

  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, L. B. E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 311). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Psalm 23:4, John 3:16, Romans 8:28, and Romans 8:38-39.
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Oh, how slow grief is to come to understanding! 

Grief is ignorant and does not even care to learn. (1)

.

Grief is 100% pure emotion!

There is nothing in grief which is rational.

Grief can only be felt!

There are no words which can soothe and comfort the heart aching in grief.

Grief will not be denied!

.

Parents ask me, “How do I explain this to the kids?”

My answer is, “You can’t, so don’t!  Just love them.  Be with them in their grieving!”

They then ask, “Isn’t there something in the Bible I can tell them?”

.

In Psalm 23, David says,

“God was with me when I walked through the valley of the shadow of death … His presence comforted me!” (2)

In Matthew, Jesus says,

“Come to me all you who are overburdened …you will find rest for your souls … I am with you always!” (3)

.

God and Jesus are short on words, but long on presence and compassion.

They do not offer an explanation.

Instead they offer their hearts.

They know what they are doing.

Thanks be to God!

+ + +

  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 169). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  2. Psalm 23:4
  3. Matthew 11:28 and 29 and 20:28

Read Full Post »

How often we choose labor when He says “Rest”

There is a blessed resting in lying still, 

in letting His hand mold us. (1)

Selah!

If you read the Psalms regularly, you have seen this word frequently.

Selah!

It is a musical term which means rest, pause, break.

Frequently, either in between sections of a psalm or at the end of a psalm, we are instructed to selah.  It is a time to rest and take a deep breath.

Singers and public speakers know they must take a rest, a deep breath, to refill their lungs, before they can sing or speak further.  The failure to take adequate pauses and a deep breath robs your voice of power and narrows the range of tone.

Selah provides a blessing for the listener as well.

The brief respite from noise, sound, words, or music allows the listener to soak in what they have just heard.  Without pauses the words, notes, and lyrics begin to back-up in the brain like rush hour traffic.  Without pauses, the listener becomes so overwhelmed, he stops listening.

Without pauses we lose our voice and our ears.

In ministry, my life is a marathon from Labor Day to Memorial Day.  However, from Thanksgiving to Easter it is a sprint.  When I get to Noon on Easter Sunday, I am spent.  I need to pause.

If you are a daily reader of my devotionals, you have noticed that I have posted by devotionals later and later each day, instead of them being ready when you rise in the morning.  My internal warning signs have been flashing in front of me Selah, Selah, Selah!

This morning, I finally took the pause I desperately needed.  In fact I plan to Selah the rest of the day, piddling around the house and yard letting my mind and heart wander as I ramble through the day completing inconsequential tasks.

I will be unproductive, while my spirit reproduces.

As I read my morning devotions (I read through 12 each day) over half of them said, SELAH!!  The words were different, but God’s message was clear.

I feel better already.

If the voices and tasks in your life are beginning to look like a train wreck during rush hour, I encourage you to selah!

It’s a “Be still and know I am God day” for me!”

If you need one of these take it, even if you have to play tag-team parenting with your spouse.

+ + +

  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 154). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Read Full Post »

It is better to walk in the dark with God 

than to walk alone in the light. (1)

.

How can you be in the dark with God when Jesus said, “I am the light of the world and whoever follows with me walks in the light.”  (John 8:12)

God’s light dispels the darkness of the world!  The world’s light seems bright when it stands alone, yet it is a nothing more than a dim shadow at dusk when compared to God’s light.

Light and dark are antonymic symbols representative of goodness and evil, hope and despair, God and godlessness.

To walk in darkness means we are living in despair, trepidation, and fear in the presence of  evil.  We have all lived through seasons of darkness frightened and alone longing for God’s companionship.

To cope we often will flea the presence of God under the false impression that living in the dim light of the world’s way and wisdom if the better place to be.

The world’s wisdom is a false-positive.  It looks like the answer.  Others will tout its powers to us as the way of truth and light.  Yet, in time the world’s way only leas us into deeper darkness.

The world’s light is temporal and leads us downward into greater darkness, rather than upwards to Him who is the light of the world.

Children cling to parents when they are afraid.  They instinctively know that is is better to remain with the one who loves you when in difficulty.  The one who loves you will protect you from all evil.

It is only when we remain with God during difficulties that we realize the blessed truth of Psalm 23:4-5

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil, for God is with me; 

His rod and His staff, they comfort me. 

He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

He anoints my head with oil; my cup overflows.

+ + +

  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 135). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Read Full Post »

Temptations have come in like a flood!

.

They always do!

Growing up near a river and the beach taught me a valuable lesson, water always wins!  Water invades space with the same persistent power that a weed uses to split concrete and rise up in the tiniest of all cracks.

Temptations are all the same.  They are real!  They are persistent!  They are powerful!

Anyone who under-estimates the power of temptation is foolish.

Temptation is Sin dressed up for The Inaugural Ball.  She is so beautiful as she flirts and entices the crowd.  While many may resist her charm, all she wants it just one person to swoon over her and become her publicist.  Then that person will begin to escort victim after victim into her open arms and reassuringly soft and warm caresses.

Once she has you in her arms, she turns a deaf ear to your kind-hearted pleas that she leave you.

Evil never surrenders its grasp without a tremendous fight.  Satan is not put to flight by our courteous requests. (1)

There is only one way to safely escape rising water: flee to higher ground.  Sandbags and restraining walls only hold back water that does not crest above their reach.  Many people have drowned behind a wall not built high enough.

Temptation’s twin, The Evil One, will try to convince you that a wall of self-determination will keep the rising temptation at bay.  It never happens.

This is why Jesus taught us to pray to God:

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (2)

It’s The Evil One who tells us that giving into temptation will not harm us.  He is the one who grabs your heel and holds you to the lower ground.  You need deliverance from him.

In addition to Jesus’ prayer, I have found it best to to high-tail it to higher ground when temptations are rising like a flood.

+++

  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. Streams in the Desert (p. 98). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  2. The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), Matthew 6:13.

Read Full Post »

Go into the streets and alleys of the town …

Go out to the roads and country lanes …

Like 14: 21 and 23

Linsanity is sweeping the nation.

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s has released a new ice cream flavor in honor of Jeremy Lin, the out-of-the-blue star point guard for the New York Knicks.

My advice for Jeremy Lin is to remain humble and ordinary.  He will be of greater use to God once his 15 minutes of fame has expired.

One of my dreams in to publish a book.  The fear accompanying my dream is that 3 months after the book is published no one will buy it, even after Barnes and Noble puts it on the Sidewalk Sale Table, listed at 99% off.

Do you dream about being famous, but know you never will be?

Perhaps you are very dissatisfied with yourself. You are not a genius, have no distinctive gifts, and are inconspicuous when it comes to having any special abilities. Mediocrity seems to be the measure of your existence. None of your days are noteworthy, except for their sameness and lack of zest. (1)

Do not let your lack of fame bother you.

God likes ordinary people.  No one in the Bible was every famous before God used them for His purposes.

Ordinary people are the ones who do great things for God.  Even if the world does not notice you, God does.

George Matheson had the right attitude:

“For my part, I will be satisfied not to have some great tombstone over my grave but just to know that common people will gather there once I am gone and say, ‘He was a good man, he told me about Jesus.’” (1)

It is better to stand in the shadow of Jesus, than for Jesus to stand in your shadow.

Jesus is the light of the world, let Him cast your shadow.

+++

  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 87). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Read Full Post »

There are no atheists in foxholes, the science lab, or the back pew.

There are no atheists anywhere.  Every one is a person of faith.

The scientist, the atheist, the egomaniac, and the Christian are all people of faith.  Everyone believes in something, even if that something is nothing.

Two variables distinguish people in faith

1.  The object of their faith.

2.  How their faith shows itself.

The scientist has faith in evolutionary theory, the atheist in the absence of truth, and the egomaniac in self.  None of which adequately explain the beautiful intricacies of creation, love, hate, suffering, sin, mercy, forgiveness, or ethics.  Neither do these three provide a basis for hope, which poets, philosophers, and psychologists say is essential to healthy living without the malaise of despair.

The Christian’s faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the only faith that provides a full explanation of these realities and essentials for living.

The Christian faith is solid not because of the faith of the Christian, but because of the object of that faith.  As F. B. Meyer said, “The Christian leans not so much upon the promises as upon the Promiser.” (1)

The second variable that distinguish everyone in their faith is how do they show their faith.  Is there faith:

  • A static intellectual belief?
  • A life lived from heart-felt conviction?

To believe is different than to live what you believe.  There is an inherent foolishness in not staking your whole life on what you believe.

Martin Luther wrote:

How does your faith show itself ? Faith must never be useless, deaf, dead, or in a state of decay.  But it must be a living tree that bursts forth with fruit. That’s the difference between genuine faith and false faith.  Where there is true faith, it will show itself in a person’s life. (2)

Passive faith accepts the Word as true,

But never moves. 

Active faith begins the work to do, 

And thereby proves.

Passive faith but praises in the light, 

When sun does shine.

Active faith will praise in darkest night

Which faith is thine? (3)

+++

  1. Dwight Lyman Moody, Thoughts for the Quiet Hour (Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1998).
  2. Luther, Martin; Galvin, James C. (2009-05-19). Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional (p. 52). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  3. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert (p. 86). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: