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Job's Repentance

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.  Job 42:5-6 NIV

After a barrage of questioning by God, Job finally got it.  He finally saw God.  Did Job physically see God?  No.  But his eyes were opened in faith to who God really was in all of His power and majesty.  Being forced to consider all of God's questions about creation and control of creation surely shed light on Job's view of himself in relation to God.  In that, he finally "saw" God.  He finally showed God some true humility, unlike his friends whom God chastised in the last chapter of the book of Job.

A verse in Psalms keeps running through my mind of late that coincides with how Job was probably feeling when he uttered his words of repentance to God.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4 NIV)

Who am I that God would care about every hair on my head?  Who am I that God would need me to do anything for Him? What can we give to God that He doesn't already have?

Believe it or not, there is one thing we can give to God that He might not already have.  We can give to Him our love and our lives in complete surrender to Him.  That's what we can give to God.  The only thing He doesn't have, not because He can't have it but because He chose to give it to us, is our free will.  God gave us the power of choice to follow Him or not.

God is mindful of us, not because we are great people and have so much to offer Him, but because He loves us, just as He loved the people of Israel.

The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.  But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  (Deut 7:7-8 NIV)

God chose the people of Israel.  God chose you and God chose me.  Because He loved us all.  We've just celebrated the pinnacle of His love with the Easter holiday.  With that fresh in our memories, how are we going to love Him back?

To think about:

1) How often do I praise God and meditate on His greatness?

2) With how much of my heart am I really serving Him?

3) How am I going to serve my Savior today?


Once Again...The Son Is Risen!

He is not here; he has risen!  Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' Then they remembered his words. (Luke 24:6-8 NIV)

As I looked out my east window this morning and saw the sun rising up into the sky like it does every morning, I couldn't help but think of this day and the fact that Christians all across the world will be celebrating the ultimate "Son Rise". The glory of the sun as it makes its way back onto our horizon with yellows and oranges and sometimes just a white brightness as it pierces through the morning haze, is such a wonderful picture of our risen Jesus, isn't it?   Jesus rose from the dead triumphantly, conquering sin and death for all of mankind. The tomb was found empty.

Today, as you think upon God's sacrifice for you, as you wonder at God's gift of life, won't you think about what you are giving back to Him each day?  I can't help but think about it as I sing the lyrics to "Once Again" by Matt Redman.   Even though Jesus Christ is now exalted to the highest place at the right hand of God, I am still humbled by God's mercy, and thankful for that cross where He died for me.  Happy Resurrection Day!

ONCE AGAIN - by Matt Redman

Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice
You became nothing, poured out to death
Many times I've wondered at Your gift of life
And I'm in that place once again
I'm in that place once again

And once again I look upon the cross where You died
I'm humbled by Your mercy and I'm broken inside
Once again I thank You
Once again I pour out my life

Now You are exalted to the highest place
King of the heavens where one day I'll bow
But for now, I marvel at Your saving grace
And I'm full of praise once again
I'm full of praise once again

Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross, my Friend

The Power of the Cross

As I think about today, Good Friday, I can't help but think about a song we sang at last night's church service.  I can't help but reflect on God's love for me as He sent His Son Jesus to a death on the cross.  This was the darkest day.  However, it preceded the brightest day where Jesus Christ rose triumphantly from the dead!   

Today, won't you reflect on the lyrics of this song, "The Power of the Cross", with me?

"The Power of the Cross"
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend 
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev'ry bitter thought,
Ev'ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the vict'ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Think You've "Arrived?"

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.  He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?  Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me." (Job 38:1-3 NIV)

I had a friend say to me recently "You'll have 'arrived' when you order a double-tall caramel macchiatto".  :)  To give you a little background, I have within the last several months been trying to drink some form of coffee so I can be "cool" if I socialize at Starbucks or any other local coffeehouse of choice.  And yes, I have finally "arrived".  :)  If only "arriving" in a spiritual or even worldly sense would have been so easy!

But we never "arrive" in life spiritually or physically do we?  Life is a process.  I've found that the more I know, the more I know how much I don't know.  And as I read the words found in Job 38:1-3 above, I cringe when I think about what I would do if all of a sudden God spoke to me in the same manner as He addressed Job.  God had been silent through all of Job's complaining and all of the counselors' speeches as if waiting for just the right moment to come onto the scene.  I think I've heard from God a few times say to me "Janna, who do you think you are?"  Have you heard God in this way?  If you haven't, maybe you've been too busy talking and not been doing enough listening.

In the 38th Chapter of Job, when God finally speaks out of the whirlwind, He asks 49 questions of Job before Job responds. Without listing each question, I'll just say that each one of them would put any of us in our lowly place in a heartbeat.  Check them out if you need a dose of humility this morning and pretend that God is asking them of you!  But brace yourself! 

After these first 49 questions, God pauses to give Job another chance to speak:

The LORD said to Job: "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?  Let him who accuses God answer him!

Then Job answered the LORD: "I am unworthy - how can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth.  I spoke once, but I have no answer - twice, but I will say no more.

(Job 40:1-5 NIV)

I wouldn't want to be Job.  God wasn't yet finished with the lecture, and apparently wasn't yet satisified with Job's response as God once again told Job to brace himself and be ready to respond.  I can't help but put myself in Job's place here.  Ouch.  I'd be shakin' in my sandals.   How would you respond?

I'm going to close here with some questions.  Don't worry, there won't be more than a few, unlike God's barrage to Job.  In my next post, we'll finish up Job and take a look at Job's final answer.

Questions for a proper perspective:

1) How often do I question God's plans for me?  Do I have a right to?

2) How often do I really sit and ponder how awesome and powerful God really is?

3) How often do I think I have things "all figured out"?

The Last Word

"Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders.
Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge?" (Elihu, in Job 37:14-16 NIV)

Waiting in the wings while Job's three friends dialogued with Job over whether or not Job was in sin, wickedness and the like, was a younger man named Elihu. 

He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.  Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he.  But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused. (Job 32:3-5 NIV)

I suppose Elihu finally had enough of all of the nonsense and could hold his tongue no longer, huh?  Have you ever been in the same situation?  I know I have.  I can relate to Elihu as I think about how many times I've sat in business or ministry meetings listening and gathering information before I offer my two cents.  I always find myself being the one to synthesize all of the information and come up with what could be the underlying problem rather than just a symptom of the real problem.  But, I digress.  Let's just say, I relate to Elihu.  :) 

Elihu attempted to address what the other friends did not (see Job 32-37).  He attempted to rightly rebuke Job for his attitude while reminding us of the nature of God's sovereignty and majesty - and he also managed to show us of his own humility as well. I wonder if that is why God did not chastise him at the end of the book like he did the others (Job 42:7-9).  Whether or not, Elihu was accurate in his accusations of Job, I took away three applications from Elihu's presence.  I close with these:

1) Discernment is Desirable. Elihu had the discernment to wait until the right moment to speak his mind.  He waited on his elders and maybe waited for Job to be ready to hear. 

How often do I wait before I speak?

2) Rebuke is Risky.  Elihu felt that he needed to speak out.  Should he have?  Perhaps.  His words definitely put him at risk for attack about his own character.  The bottom line is that if we feel that God is calling us to speak out, we must not hold our tongues. 

When God calls, how do I respond?

3) Humility is Honorable.  Elihu at least put himself down some to Job's level in his speeches, unlike some of the other friends.  He recognized his place as an imperfect person as he exalted God.

Do I respond to others with a prideful spirit or a humble spirit?

Life application principles abound in God's Word, don't they?  In my next post we'll see what God had to say about all of that talking going on.

She Thinks I Think Too Much

Today as I read through my daily blog reads I happened to notice a little post by Carol over at She Lives.   Lo and behold, I saw my name mentioned or "tagged" in a new blog meme/award called the Thinking Blogger Award.

Thinkingblogger First, I say "Thank You, Carol" for your kind words and for letting me know that I make people think.  That is the goal of my blog, after all.  I love to pass on to everyone else what God has caused me to think about so I don't feel all alone! :)  My hope is that I make people think not because I don't make sense, but because God has pricked their hearts to become a little more like Him.

As a part of this "award", I am to pass this on, or tag, five other blogs who make me think.  Thank you, Ladies, for making me think.  Consider yourselves "tagged":

  1. Kim at
  2. Vicki at Windows to My Soul
  3. Keziah at A Woman Who Fears the Lord
  4. Ann at Holy Experience of Listening
  5. The Ladies at Laced With Grace

To participate, just grab the picture, link it to its original website and tag your five! 

Just Do It

Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established. - Proverbs 16:3 NKJV

"I don't want to go.  Do I have to? The regular pastor isn't preaching anyway."

"No one will miss me there. After all, I have no responsibilities.  And my husband isn't going today."

There were the thoughts in my head this morning as I was getting ready to go to church.  I didn't want to go.  I didn't really know why, but I didn't.  Then again, maybe I do know why.  I miss the days when I felt a part of my church of 10 years - before I decided it was time to move on.  Gotta love times of transition.  I didn't want to go, and the lack of incentive didn't help matters.  But I know that sometimes we just have to keep doing what is right just because it is right, no matter what our feelings are at the time.  As the verse above says "commit your works to the Lord."

I went to church anyway because I knew God wouldn't let me rest if I didn't and plus, deep down I knew I would feel better once the music started playing and the pastor started preaching.  God once again came through.  First, I was blessed by the children's "Joyful Noise Choir" as they sang songs specifically dedicated to Palm Sunday.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I heard them sing the words

Heaven smiles when children give Him praise.

Oh, to have back that child-like innocence that makes God smile.  Heaven does smile when His children, even His adult ones, give Him praise.  I got swept up in the sermon as the pastor asked the question "Who is this king?" as he told us the story of Palm Sunday when King Jesus humbly rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey's colt. 

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:

"'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!' Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

(Luke 19:37-38 NKJV)

Even the rocks would have cried out in praise had Jesus told them to be silent as the Pharisee had asked!  Yes, I was blessed by the sermon too.  And I didn't even want to go.  Needless to say, I'm glad I went to hear the story of how my Savior entered Jerusalem as the King of Glory the week before He was sent to His death.  Because I commited my "work" to God, He established my thoughts.  Because I was obedient in spite of my feelings, I will now be able to enjoy this beautiful spring day.  And yes, I'm going golfing.  :)

To think about:

1) What are you not doing in your life that you should be doing, just because you don't "feel like it"?

2) Have you commited God's word to your memory to help you live by His truth and not by your feelings?

3) What is God asking you right now to "just do"?