God’s Autobiography

Shared from Joni and Friends.

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“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
 John 1:1

Novelist Robertson Davies once wrote, “To ask an author . . . if his work is autobiographical is like asking a spider where he buys his thread.” No author ever weaves words from someone else’s being. They are always his words, reflecting his soul.

God reveals His soul to man through the Bible in a way that no other book is able. The Bible is history, wisdom, and poetry. It is unparalleled as a compendium of theology, philosophy, and ethics. It is a gospel tract, distilling the essence of man’s relationship to Him but it is also an epic, introducing us to the immensity of an eternal God. 

Though the Bible contains all these things, it is at its heart, an autobiography. The Bible is all about God. Through even the most twisted and unlikely narratives, some even tawdry, we see God’s soul reflected to us. God is revealed as Jacob grasps after that which is rightfully his. God is showcased through the remorse over Ai, the complaint of Job, the anguish of Jeremiah. God is the voice behind the peoples’ shouting and singing over the new temple of Solomon; He is the echo behind the weeping over the rebuilt one of Ezra. God is the silence of the four centuries before Christ and the exultant glory in the night sky of Bethlehem.

Every word speaks something to us of His soul. It is not just from the prophets’ mouths that we hear His lament over Israel. We hear it in the very telling of the captivity itself. It is not just from John’s apocalyptic pen that we learn of God’s coming judgment. We can see God’s wrath reflected in the agony of His Son on the cross. It is not just from Jesus’ mouth that we learn of God’s love. We know from His daily walk with sinners like you and me.

Treasure His word today. In everything you read you will come to know the Soul of God, He who is the lover of your soul.

Father, write your words on my heart today that I might be your story written to a lost and dying world.

Blessings, Joni and Friends

Davies, Robertson. The Merry Heart, (New York: Penguin Group), 1996, p 27.


Copyright © 1998. More Precious Than Silver, by Joni Eareckson Tada. Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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Giants Tower; Grasshoppers Cower

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“ ’The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw are of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them’ ” (Numbers 13:32-33)

Giants Tower; Grasshoppers Cower

By Patricia Knight

After four centuries living in servitude to the Egyptians, God chose Moses to lead the nation into the Promised Land, where they would be free to own and govern their own land rich in natural resources.

Egypt’s Pharaoh was vehemently opposed to the loss of an entire nation of slave labor. To convince Pharaoh, God targeted the Egyptians with ten ghastly plagues that dreadfully impacted their health and lifestyle. Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened until the ultimate plague, when God slaughtered all firstborn males, both men and beast. The Lord protected Israel from each plague, leading the entire nation out of Egypt during the night of Passover. In his anguish, Pharaoh finally let God’s people go. He could not compete with the power of God, who “was majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders” (Exodus 15:11).

About a million Israelites with droves of livestock marched across the desert until they reached an impasse at the Red Sea. There God divided the waters, driving two walls up each side, creating a path for the Israelites to walk through on the dry sea floor. Pharaoh, who had changed his mind about releasing his slave work force, followed close behind with his massive militia.

God threw the Egyptian army into confusion, causing the wheels to fall off their chariots to slow them during the chase. When the last Israelite crossed the sea, the Lord restored the two columns of water to the sea basin, swallowing the men, chariots, and horses, eliminating the entire Egyptian militia. “That day the Lord saved Israel from the Egyptians and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore” (Exodus 14:30).

The Lord commanded His people to occupy the Promised Land, His generous gift of 300,000 acres. God had already surveyed the land and pronounced it good. Then He promised, “I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you” (Exodus 23:31, KJV). God’s people refused to trust Him, and instead, requested a scouting party. For the team that would secretly research the Promised Land, one man was selected from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

When the twelve spies returned from investigating the Promised Land, there was unanimous agreement concerning the cities, people, and produce available, but there no was consensus as to whether they could seize the land, even though God promised to prepare the way and fight for them to conquer pockets of resistance.

Ten of the twelve spies were fixated on the giants found living in Canaan. “ ’The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw are of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them’ ” (Numbers 13:32-33). The ten spies instilled fear among the general populace by exaggerating reports about their exploration, convinced they couldn’t defeat the inhabitants of the Promised Land.

Such frightening words of the faithless spies led to mourning by the entire community, which ultimately incited rebellion against God.

They forgot the miracles God performed previously in Egypt, doubting His power. The Israelites preferred death, expressed in their lament: “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us die by the sword?” (Numbers 14:12)

The ten fearful spies seduced the crowd with their personal opinions, espousing the view that it would be impossible to conquer the enemy. Their defeatist attitude arose from depending on their human strength alone. The people displayed fear that suffocates trust. We must never dispute how God will accomplish what He promises; He is always faithful to His Word.

Two other spies, Caleb and Joshua, were convinced that victory was possible by relying on God’s promises. They attempted to encourage the Israelites with positive reports, minimizing any temporary obstacles in the future, and trusting God to lead them  to victory. “ ‘If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them’ ” (Numbers 14:8-9).

As the Israelites soon learned, there is no future in saying no to God. The current generation was assigned to wander in circles in the desert. There they would die as God’s punishment for disobedience and unbelief. No one involved in the rebellion would enter the Promised Land. The ten spies were immediately struck down with a plague and died. Only Caleb and Joshua survived.

How could the presence and power of God vanish from the memory of the Israelite people so quickly after they witnessed the miracles God performed to save them from the Egyptians? The ten spies sabotaged their own people’s hopes and dreams about claiming the Promised Land. They believed tall men and fortified cities were a greater threat than God’s mighty wrath. What shallow thinking, to underestimate the power of God!

Do you have giants that loom large in your vision, deceiving you to think that God’s promises aren’t sufficient? Perhaps illness, family problems, or emotional obstacles dominate your life. God assures you that He is omnipotent and able to subjugate any problem posing as a giant.

Are we far too willing to opt out of a challenge God places in our path? Is it easier to admit a job is impossible with our limited knowledge or ability, than to ask Almighty God for help? The Lord is still parting the waters of improbability to accomplish the miraculous in our lives.

We have the tendency to reduce our faith to the diminutive size of a grasshopper, annoying those around us with the relentless chirping of doubts and complaints. Faith is silenced by the constant cacophony of grasshoppers. Let us focus on the belief that even a small amount of faith creates the occasion for a giant work of God . “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

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God Never Makes Mistakes

God Never Makes Mistakes

By Billy Graham

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
—2 Corinthians 12:9

God is especially close to us when we are lying on a sickbed. God will make the bed soft and will freshen it with His presence and with His tender care. He makes the bed comfortable and wipes away our tears. He ministers to us with special tenderness at such a time and reveals His great love for us. Tell me why the gardener trims and prunes his rosebushes, sometimes cutting away productive branches, and I will tell you why God’s people are afflicted. God’s hand never slips. He never makes a mistake. His every move is for our own good and for our ultimate good. Oftentimes He must deform us and mutilate our own image. Deformity sometimes precedes conformity.

Prayer for the Day

When times of tribulation come, help me, dear Lord, to glory in them for Your sake.


From Day to Day with Billy Graham Devotional, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information, please visit: www.billygraham.org.

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Quell Life’s Storms

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Quell Life’s Storms

By Patricia Knight

As a child, I secretly yearned for my name to be assigned to a hurricane. Recently the Weather Channel flashed devastating scenes on TV of Hurricane Patricia, a category V storm. My anticipated childhood glee was replaced by an adult reaction of horror that my name was associated with massive destruction, death, and human suffering on all levels.

Hurricane Patricia gained landfall in Mexico, ripped down mountainsides and pulled whole chunks of earth along with trees into an escalating mudslide that tore through sparsely populated, remote villages.

In Texas and adjoining states, phenomenal amounts of raging rain and wind buried vehicles in rising street floods. People, young and old, tenaciously clung to rooftops and tall trees, awaiting rescue. Vehement currents snagged possessions, swirling them downstream, caught in the fast-rushing, turbulent waters, to deposit them miles away.

Dependency, confidence, and hope all contribute toward building trust. Victims who perilously hover between life and death are more willing to compromise objects of trust. As an example, normally a person who wouldn’t consider parachuting a recreational sport, would decline participating when the opportunity is offered. During an emergency when the same person’s life is threatened by rising flood waters, he is eager to escape drowning suspended in a safety harness from a rescue helicopter.

Someone who has suffered a memorable bout of seasickness would likely refuse a ride in any watercraft. When the only option of surviving a flood is transport by boat to dry land, accepting the temporary seasickness of a boat ride over the permanence of death is instinctive. During such trials, doubt and fear evolve into hesitant trust. Stretched to the maximum and modified for self-preservation, trust is often redefined to accommodate catastrophes.

In a crisis, trust communicated by helping strangers is heartfelt. The most humbling lessons can be learned from an out-stretched hand thrust in our direction, as we dangle in a precarious position. The rescuer reveals a willingness to help by direct eye contact, eager body language, and clarity of directions. The victim’s trust is then reciprocated by explicitly complying to instructions. When trust is encouraged, prejudice and fear are diminished.

Long ago, when Jesus and His disciples were deluged with long days spent teaching and healing, they retreated by boat, affording solitude on the Sea of Galilee. As the boat sailed that night toward the far shore, a rapidly progressing storm didn’t awaken Jesus, asleep in the stern. The disciples were terrified by the violent waves sloshing over the gunnels, nearly capsizing the craft, flooding their fears with thoughts of perishing.

With the boat nearly swamped,

“The disciples woke him {Jesus} and said to him,
‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves,
‘Quiet! Be still!’
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm”
(Mark 4:38-39).

Jesus’ authority over the elements of nature was confirmed when the wind and waves immediately obeyed His commands, further affirming to the disciples that He was the Son of God. The disciples were  awe-struck by their Master’s authority, with power exceeding that of the raging sea. They were shocked that Jesus silenced the storm; that the storm obeyed with immediate tranquility.

In a world where self-reliance is embraced, are you relying solely on your own meager strength? When the next storm of life reveals its wrath—a destructive hurricane, a diagnosis of cancer, a phone call delivering devastating news—do you feel adequately prepared with the emotional stamina to respond to such a major crisis? The paltry strength we amass during times of stress is quickly exhausted. Weakness fills the void.

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Almighty God is the only adequate resource of power and strength. He is willing and waiting for you to call on Him. Jesus said,

“ ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you’ ” (Matthew 7:7).

God is delighted to convert your weakness to His sovereign strength. However, God won’t crowd or coerce you. He has created each of us with self-will, and now eagerly awaits your decision to trust in His power to calm the storms that occur in your life.

Is your faith fully and firmly planted in Jesus? Do you own the conviction that, come what may, your trust will be indelibly anchored in Christ, steadfastly clinging to His power?

Don’t wait for the next emergency. Be prepared. Seek God in prayer. Develop a personal relationship with God that functions every day. Your heavenly Father has been waiting all of your life for you to call on Him; to ask Him to be your Lord and Guide. When you submit to God, there will be no limit to the power, love, forgiveness, and grace God showers upon you.

Don’t tarry in trusting God. Like the disciples of old, when the water crashed over the sides of their boat, it was difficult for them to think clearly; confusion prevailed.  Take Jesus on every excursion of life with you.  He is the only one in whom to solidly place your trust for all of the big and little problems that assail. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

To rely solely upon one’s own understanding of life generates pride and hinders trust. Humility and obedience activate God’s powerful promises. To know God is to love and obey Him.

I’ve re-evaluated my adolescent desire for name recognition, preferring to sink into obscurity from any future storm notoriety. As for impending dangers, my Lord is masterfully adept at quelling all of my storms.

You can read more of Pat’s writing here.

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The Ultimate Rags To Riches Story

Shared from GraceThruFaith.

The Ultimate Rags To Riches Story

A Feature Article by Jack Kelley

We all love this kind of story. And as much as we’re encouraged by the experience of an ordinary person who due to personal drive and perseverance rises from humble beginnings to become a leader of business or industry, we’re especially fond of stories where an absolute nobody is plucked from the faceless crowd and instantly propelled to the pinnacle of success. Great Hollywood stories have been built upon this premise, and they’ve never failed to delight us. But by far the absolute best example of this comes from the Bible and is about you.  Our story begins in the Old Testament Book of 1st Samuel with David and Jonathan.

And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:3-4)

The making of covenants was serious business because people’s lives depended them. A covenant was the strongest bond known to men, and had both business and personal applications that extended even to the descendants of the two parties involved. Here’s an example.

Read the rest here.

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God With Us

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PROPHECY:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14

FULFILLMENT:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord   had said through the prophet: “The virgin   will conceive and give birth to a son, and   they will call him Immanuel”   (which means “God with us”). —Matthew 1:22-23

From PreceptAustin:

Have you ever wondered if you should spell Immanuel with an “I” or an “E?” The answer is that both are correct! Immanuel with an “I” is a transliteration of the original Hebrew word composed of ‘Immanu (with us) and El (God), while Emmanuel with an “E” is a transliteration of the Greek “Emmanouel.” The NET Bible is one of the few translations that maintains this distinction, translating Isa 7:14-note as Immanuel and Mt 1:23-note as Emmanuel.

Read the rest here.

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