God is watching…

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Heb 4:13 ESV

Gulp! At first reading this verse elicits a cringe response in me. It immediately follows an oft’ memorized one about the  living and active  Word of God, but is NOT often read or memorized along with that more well-known one.  Why is that?  Am I right to cringe?

Though it is true that God carefully watches the way people live; he sees everything they do.” (Job 34:21), for those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation coming (Rom.8:1).  Our sins have been covered.  All God’s watching is for my good, to steer me from the sin that destroys and to call me to Himself. This I have been reminded of this morning.

David got this.

O God, you know how fooish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you…But I keep right on praying to you, LORD…In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. Ps.69:5,13

Hagar also, having been sent off alone into the wilderness, presumably to die, found relief in God’s watchcare.

The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. … Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”  Gen 16:7, 13 NLT

Do I view God primarily as harsh Judge or merciful Redeemer?  This will depend on whether I have run to Him for rescue or hidden from Him, when overtaken in sin.

In the course of a day, do I think I am ‘grown up’ enough to take care of myself and mature enough to give God a break?  Do I think I can get on quite nicely without His superintending? Or have I learned to count on His nearness and watchfulness?

My two verses in focus this week as I inch my way through Psalm 116 are these:

“What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.”

This would hardly be a way of thanking my neighbor for all their help–here I am again, can you help me with one more thing–but in fact this is exactly the response that honors God!  It brings Him glory when we as His best-loved creatures look to Him in faith all the live-long day, when we count on and cherish His watchful eye.

He has designed me to need Him, always.  To come to Him for everything.  To turn to Him at all times.  This may be seen as undesirable weakness by the self-help crowd, but it is precious in God’s sight.  He delights to have His children looking to Him with eager expectation and trust.  This creature-Creator relationship is to His great glory and ours as well.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. II Chron. 16:9 ESV

Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless–a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Job 1:8 NLT

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Heb 10:35-39 ESV




Praying the prayers of Scripture–comfort and strength

I love the blessings of Scripture, whether in the prophetic fashion of Moses (Numbers 6:22-27) or the Spirit-fueled prayers of Paul.  They always point back to God as the original Blesser and the One on whom we are dependent for every good thing. But they do not appear in a vacuum applicable to all the world regardless of belief.  Their contexts often presume submission to God’s revealed truth.

Paul’s prayer for the believers in Thessalonica is no exception:

May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loved us and in his special favour gave us everlasting comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do and say. II Thess.2:16,17

Paul’s blessing is prefaced by instruction about the great deception that will precede Christ’s coming. These believers are already suffering persecution for their faith in Jesus and they’re only too ready for His return. Some have become idle busybodies thinking Jesus’ coming imminent.  Paul writes to steady them and inform them of the events that will precede Christ’s coming so that they will stand firm in what they have believed and continue to speak and act as faithful stewards of God’s grace until He returns.

The comfort he speaks of is not that of a mother cuddling her infant in his fleecy blankie, but a ‘coming alongside’ as Advocate and Intercessor and Helper. It is the same function as that of the promised Spirit:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Jn. 14:16 KJV

This is the Comfort of an all-wise God who comes alongside us to guide us and guard us in all our troubles in order to make us worthy of our high calling. It includes exhortation, entreaty, instruction, admonishment, and beseeching…all those old-fashioned functions of true Love, that do us infinitely more good than a cuddly blankie can.

When Paul prays that they be given strength, he is asking that they be firmly established in what is true, that they be set resolutely in the right direction, that they be planted firmly in what is right.  They don’t need designer ab’s.  They need resolve to hang on to what they’ve been taught already, so that no lie will displace the truth they’ve been given!

And that is my prayer today for myself,  and for fellow pilgrims who suffer and hope and wait for relief, and for wayfarers I notice testing the waters of false teaching…it’s a prayer that God is pleased to answer because of His great love for all the saints!



Have you checked your oil levels lately?

Command the people of Israel to provide you with pure olive oil for the lampstand, so it can be kept burning continually…have the lamps tended continually, from evening until morning, before the LORD. —Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope—Do not quench the Spirit.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption—And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty… Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place–until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!—Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. 

Lev.24:2,3 NLT; Lk. 12:35-36 ESV; I Thess. 5:19 ESV; Rom. 15:13 ESV; Eph 4:30 ESV; Rom. 8:23-25 ESV; II Pet. 1:16,19 ESV/NLT; Rev 22:20 ESV; Gal 5:25 NIV; Mt.25:13 NET

Keeping the lamp burning is a beautiful picture of the shining hope that is ours through the indwelling Spirit.  As we walk day-by-day with Him He keeps us in hope—pointing us to Jesus, making us aware of sins that dim the flame, and giving us the joy of an assured identity, a steady love, and a sure future.  We are people of hope.  Let’s check our oil levels, trim our wicks and shine! till Jesus comes.


God’s Way is Perfect!

Then the LORD did exactly what he had promised…It all happened at the time God had said it would…And Sarah declared…“who would have dreamed that I would ever have a baby?”—Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true. 

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. —That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 

God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. 

For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in [Jesus Christ]. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. 


We wait to see what God will do and HOW?!  We wait, judging Him to be slow about managing our crises…slow about reclaiming the wanderer…slow about making all things right…but His Word assures us (and illustrates repeatedly!!) that God is not slow at all.  His timing is perfect.  His agenda far exceeds our small thinking.  The One who gave us Jesus to meet our deepest needs, will He not perfect everything else that concerns us? We can rest, knowing His ways are the best.


Amazed–Phillips Craig & Dean

Gen.21:1-2,6-7 NLT; Josh. 21:45 NLT; Eph. 3:20-21 NKJV; I Cor.2:9-10 NLT;
II Sam.22:31 NLT; II Cor.1:20 CSB

First the suffering, then the GLORY

Jesus’ final prayer before His betrayal and arrest is replete with talk of GLORY, but also acknowledgment that before glory comes suffering, because the world we inhabit is hostile to the God we adore.  In being made one with Jesus we are made enemies of the prince of this world.  The very Word that keeps us from falling for Satan’s deceptions puts us at odds with those who have not believed it.  Being discipled ourselves by this Word is  how we bring the Father glory.  Proclaiming what we have learned is bound to bring us trouble, but making it known is God’s way of inviting the world to change its allegiance, believe the good news, and live!   As you set about doing what God has called you to do today, consider these passages.  And take joy in the glory we have yet to fully see!

Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you….I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do, and now glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.  Jn.17:4 ESV

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. —Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 

Heb 2:10 NIV; II Tim.3:12 NKJV; II Tim.4:6-8 ESV;   Rom. 8:16-18 ESV; Rom.10:14 ESV