Forgiven Much

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Luke 7:36-50

Have you been forgiven much? What is the measuring stick for our sins as children of God? Is it a list of do’s and don’ts? Are we guided by our feelings, whether something is right or wrong? How does God’s Word describe “sin”? Chuck Swindoll gives us some clues.

“Any and all sin is enough to separate us from God and invoke His wrath—even eating fruit (Genesis 3:6)! All sin is equal in the sense that all sin breaks God’s law and falls short of His perfect standards. The Bible portrays sin as straying from God’s paths, opposing Him, and rebelling against Him. Whether it’s the sin of stealing a small item, telling a lie, or murder, all sin transgresses the law of God. So yes, in that sense all sin is the same in God’s eyes.”

When God calls us to do something and we do not do it, is that sin? In order to appreciate God’s forgiving spirit we need to understand what offends Him. He saves us to be useful, to further His Kingdom here on earth. In our reading today Luke signifies the importance of glorifying God through our actions. A woman worshiped Jesus. Is that enough?

Reading on, we find that Jesus declares this woman’s sins are forgiven (:48). Is there anything more important in this life than to know our sins are forgiven? The reality is we keep on sinning, in small ways or in big. We all yield to temptation from time to time so are blessed to know that “He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). There is one condition. “If”….If and when we recognize our thoughts, our words, or our behaviour have offended God, we must confess our sins. Then and then only will God forgive us and cleanses us.

How did the woman in our scripture reading demonstrate a repentant attitude? Tears and kisses? I believe it was the way she bowed at Jesus’ feet. In an act of subservience, she acknowledged His supremacy. She didn’t care what people thought, or what they said about her. In fact, to this day she remains nameless. Only her actions testify to her faith. Jesus knows our hearts, just as He knew hers. “Your faith has saved you” (:50). WOW! He knew what this wordless demonstration of love meant.

Apparently my love is conditioned by my awareness of my own personal sin, according to this woman’s example. Jesus leaves us with a thought for further consideration: “He/she who has been forgiven little, loves little” (:47). For those of us who have known the exquisite joy of being forgiven, our gratitude is never-ending. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!! Listen to the Psalmist: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees. The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:71).


God knows all about us. Are your sins and mine many or few? This woman was apparently a great sinner. Listen to Jesus publicly declaring: “Her many sins have been forgiven”. Whether you and I have been great sinners according to the standards of this world, nothing is too great for God to forgive (Psalm 86:5). How often are we Christ-like towards others who still struggle with temptation? (Ephesians 4:32) How kind are we to ourselves when we need to confess we blew it once again? God’s Holy Word is full of encouragement! He opens the door for us to express our great love to Him, by declaring us to be forgiven much!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


Having All Knowledge

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1 Corinthians 13

Today education has become a discussion point for children around the world, particularly for girls. Knowledge is thought to be the key to a better life, and therefore is to be pursued. Actually it is God’s will for us to grow in knowledge. He gifted us with brains and curiosity; language enables us to learn from one another.

According to scripture, wisdom and knowledge go together. The wisest man known on earth wrote “The wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6). Does that include time in a pandemic which has hearts failing out of fear? As we look at our world today do we really reverence the God who knows all things (Psalm 139:4)?

Solomon also wrote “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Job acknowledge his need of the One who “can do all things”. This God whom Job worshiped listened to Job as he talked about things he didn’t understand, “things too wonderful for me to know” (42:2-3). How often do we make observations about things we do not fully understand?

With these few thoughts in mind us turn to the scripture reading. God is revealing His will for His children; they are to emulate the Father by their love. Often we read this chapter as a challenge for the way we live, and truly it is that. But let us consider it as a revelation of who God is.

In the midst of a multitude of good things we find a small phrase embedded, beginning with the word “If”. If you or I have the gift that enables us to fathom all knowledge….. (:2). Think of it – we would understand why this pandemic has taken over the world. We would know how the stars came into being. Recently astrophysicists have sent equipment into space that is supposed to enlighten us on that topic. If we could understand what makes people tick we could solve the world’s relational problems, and the list goes on!

The Apostle Paul had been given some specific knowledge that enabled him to finish the “if” in all these verses. If we could speak all earthly and heavenly languages, if we could prophesy, if our faith was strong enough to move mountains, if we were magnanimous in our charitable giving and even sacrificed our lives as martyrs to our faith, what good would it do IF one key ingredient was missing.

Throughout scripture we see the heart of God; the essence of His uniqueness which makes Him worthy of all our worship, is LOVE. He has all knowledge. He knows you and me because He made us; He knows what makes us tick, He knows our every need. But without the love that reached down to earth in the person of His Son Jesus, all that knowledge is nothing. His love poured out on the cross revealed that knowledge alone is not enough. We need both head and heart to be engaged, if ever we hope to serve this great God!


It is a solemn thing to consider that without love God considers our lives to be worthless. Three small words say it all “I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). All our strivings, all our learning, all our fame and fortune are useless without the spirit of the living God motivating us. Our greatest hope is also found in this chapter. “Love never fails” (:8). God does not leave us to flounder alone, but puts His very Spirit within us to lead us into true love. So much masquerades as love today that has nothing of that quality which God knows is truly love. We have been given the gift of the knowledge of that love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


Make Disciples

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Colossians 1:15-19

Sadly lacking in the modern church is the concept of discipling. The emphasis on evangelism in bygone years brought people to a point of decision, but having then birthed a new baby, the child was often abandoned to fend for itself.

What did Jesus mean when he said “Go and make disciples of all nations”? (Matthew 28:19) This commandment – and it is a command, was given just prior to His ascending into heaven. If each believer is part of a “royal priesthood” as Peter tells us (1 Peter 2:9), then they need some training. The purpose of a priest was to minister God’s words to the people.

How does anyone know the will of God for their lives? The Bible is a great source of information regarding the character and works of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our faith is nourished by recognizing and getting to know this amazing God we worship! How thrilling it is to have a real relationship with the invisible God. This God, we read is Sovereign of the universe. Do we believe what we read?

One needs to have faith in the inerrancy of scripture. This comes from the ministry of the Holy Spirit to our spirits. After all, in the beginning we are dead in our sin nature (Ephesians 2:1). But God raised us up! Ephesians 2:4 gives us a glorious hope! “Because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions!” Once we understand this with our minds and hearts, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit who continues the process of sanctification….making us pure, setting us aside for ministry, shielding us from temptation, leading and guiding us into all truth, as we study God’s Word.

Then there is the matter of conversation with God. Prayers have been written that express what we want to say in such a beautiful manner – the Psalms being a favourite of many people. But when we fall on our faces before God to confess our sins, there is no formula to follow; just the transparency of an open heart. “Father I have sinned”! 1 John 1:9 is a good verse to memorize. Prayer is sometimes very misunderstood. If we have trouble praying for 3 minutes every morning how will we ever grasp the joy of being in prayer at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? That prayerful spirit testifies to the reality of God being ever-present in us!

As we already noted, the primary purpose of discipling new believers is to increase their knowledge of God. Their personal interaction with Him equips them to share the joy of the Lord with others. Often it is the testimony of someone who has seen Jesus for the first time that grips the hearts of non-believers. Just as a young man who has fallen in love for the first time cannot stop talking about his lady-love, so a new believer’s conversation overflows from their love relationship with Jesus Christ.


Discipleship requires thoughtful, prayerful commitment to pour into another’s life what God has been teaching us. Are we willing to devote ourselves to such a task? If not, might we justly question our own commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? We must never lose sight of the reason for our covenant relationship with God which makes us servants of the most High God (Acts 16:17). Nowhere does the Bible tell us to make Christians, by simply saying a prayer; Jesus commands that His followers make more followers. This is how Christianity has impacted the nations down through millennia of time.

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)



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Reflections on Job

“Why” is a little three-lettered word that sometimes gets us into trouble. Children sometimes exasperate their elders as they use it to learn about the world around them. If we question the established order of things, as adults, we may irritate others. Sometimes it is a word used when we fall into desperate circumstances. Often we question God with “Why?” when things are hard to understand, such as natural disasters, or the death of a loved one or a pandemic!

God understands our query more than we know. He too might ask “Why” questions. As His people wandered away from His goodness, His will and His ways, we might wonder why? However, an omniscient God knows all. He knows the end from the beginning. Why? Because He is God. Look at God’s declaration to Isaiah:

“I am God and there is no other [god]!

I am God and there is none like Me!

I make known the end from the beginning!

I say: My purpose will stand! And

I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

Why then does God allow trouble and violence and death? Job is the Bible character outstanding for his suffering. Yet he was a man described by God Himself, as blameless. From this we learn that trouble does not always perform as a punishment in our lives. Yes – there are consequences for our poor choices, but what did this blameless man learn from his woeful experience?

He did ask “Why” questions: “Why have You made me Your target?” (Job 7:20).

“Why did You bring me out of my mother’s womb?” (Job 10:18).

It seems Job’s faith passed the test because he concludes:

“I could only plead with my Judge for mercy” (Job 9:15).

“Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since He judges even the highest?” (Job 21:22).

“In His hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10).

“To God belong wisdom and power, counsel and understanding are His…..He pours contempt of the nobles and disarms the mighty…..He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason” (Job 12:13, 21, 24).


These reflections may not be encouraging, but Job gives us some very beautiful and up-lifting reasons to trust in God. “He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 32:10).

“The fear [reverence] of the Lord – that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).

Job longed for those days “When I was in my prime…God’s intimate friendship blessed my house!” (Job 29:4). However, Job also looks to the future “I know that my Redeemer lives…and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God!…How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).

Does your knowledge of God, your experience of His mercy and His loving faithfulness prompt this same response when you face sorrow and struggles, when you ask “Why?”

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


Isaiah Talks About Moab

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Isaiah 15,16

Moab in ancient days was a kingdom east of Israel, in the Transjordan highlands. The nation arose from Lot’s incestuous child by his eldest daughter, named Moab (Genesis 19:38). They were often at war with their Israelite neighbours to the west. However events recorded in the book of Ruth testify to occasions of friendly interaction between the two nations, from time to time at least between Bethlehem and Moab.

Perhaps because he descended from Ruth, a Moabite, we know David also had friendly relations. He committed his parents to the protection of the Moabite King when pursued by King Saul (1 Samuel 22:3-4). However, once David became king he made the Moabites a tributary, while placing them under the rule of a governor. That was the end of all friendly relations.

One small incident remains to be told. When the Israelites were returning to the Promised Land from Egypt, the Moabites denied them passage through their land, causing them a long detour around, heaping God’s judgment upon themselves (Judges 11:17-18). In His judgment on them, God referred to Moab as His “washpot”, a place of accumulated filth (Psalm 60:8).

Israel suffered political upheaval under King Rehoboam. Under him the Moabites may have been absorbed into the northern kingdom of Israel, where they continued in vassalage until the death of Ahab. Eventually they refused to pay tribute, asserting their independence and making war on Israel. Later they assisted Nebuchadnezzar in his aggression against King Jehoiakim in Israel.

Isaiah and Jeremiah both refer to the burden that Moab had become (Isaiah 15-16, Jeremiah 48:42). Isaiah identifies their pride as an abomination to God, as well as their utter contempt for Israel.

At the time of Ruth we believe child sacrifices were still offered to one of their many deities. Chemosh was their chief god (2 Kings 23:13). Their religious influence reached as far into history as Solomon, who erected a “High place” for Chemosh (1 Kings 11:7). Sadly this was not destroyed until the reign of Josiah.

Isaiah is given denunciations by God against other nations, Moab included. Some hold no hope…certain nations will be cut off forever, once God’s judgment falls. However, Isaiah records a couple of very interesting phrases regarding Moab. God says “My heart cries out over Moab.” (Isaiah 15:5). “My heart laments for Moab (Isaiah 16:11).


What is it about this particular nation of Moab, that created angst in the heart of God? (Jeremiah 48:36)

What is it about any of us that generates His great love?

Let us remember that the essence of God’s character is love. His heart is pained when He has to declare judgment, because His intention is for His people to walk with Him in paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake! (Psalm 23).

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


When God Withdraws

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Romans 1

In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul begins with some Biblical truth, in order to ground the Roman Church. He includes truths revealed in scripture about God, Himself. Now that Paul has described God’s character to us, he turns to compare it with man’s. What a disappointment humankind must be to our Creator. He gets little glory or appreciation for all that He has done for us! In fact it is quite the opposite. Man, giving in to the folly of pride, started creating his own gods. ”…their foolish hearts were darkened” (:22).

First of all man’s intellect became his god. What he thought, what he believed, what he chose to worship, became of primary importance. Where did that take him? God first gave man over to sinful desires. His thinking was infected with self-righteousness.

Second, God gave them over to shameful lusts, through which any sexual behaviour became appropriate. The heart of man became suspect, as his feelings led his head. This was not the Creator’s intention. He had revealed Himself repeatedly, through acts of mercy, through scripture, through our Lord Jesus Christ. However, Paul writes – “Although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

Third God gave them over to a depraved mind. The mind of mankind, originally created with all the potential of Godly decision-making, became filled with every kind of evil, greed and depravity resulting in a whole list of godless activities (Romans 1:29-31). Today our society, if not condoning these, will excuse murders, insolence, mistreatment of parents, hating God, in a spirit of senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless living. The final line is drawn when they decide to approve of everyone doing such things (Romans 1:32); seen in the freedom of man’s wisdom running loose.

Note that three times Paul says “God gave them over”. Leaving man to decide his own fate, God withdrew. His character did not change. He is always, eternally, a God of love and truth and holiness. However, sin and holiness are like oil and water – they do not mix.

How is the faith community to respond? We are to love our enemies – the person, not the sin. That is very hard to do. Out of fear we want to see these evils corrected. We fear for the salvation of our loved ones, for the infection of sin which is spreading throughout society, pandemically. But we are a community of faith and our faith is put into practice by doing what Jesus would do. What would Jesus do if He walked through North America today, for example?

Is it possible to bridge the gap between right and wrong? No! Jesus already has done that with His life, and death, yet people still reject His remedy for the sickness of sin. The best we can hope for is that His joy and peace, demonstrated in a spirit of love, will create a yearning in hearts darkened by an error that is spreading like wild-fire in our hedonistic society today. We know that God has already gone to the nth degree to correct these evils, but His love is everlasting!

So we pray that the Light will still provide Life, drawing men and women out of the pit they are digging for themselves. Let us all remember at the dawn of a New Year, that positive change always begins with “me”. Furthermore, I am the only person over whom I can really have any control. With God the Holy Spirit’s help I can exercise that required control which will temper my mind and heart, and my reactions to things others do to irk me.


Which is the greatest sin of our day? Is one worse than another? Do we not all continue to sin in small ways or large? How dangerous is prejudice? Is this why Jesus commanded us not to judge others?

The Psalmist prayed that God would search his heart (Psalm 139:23).

Let us pray: “Create in me a new heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit in me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, or take Your Holy Spirit from me, Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and grant a willing spirit to sustain me.” Amen (Psalm 51:10-12).

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)



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Matthew 16:24-26

The long awaited Christ [Messiah] came to earth as a baby. Lost in the tinsel and twinkle of earthly celebrations today, the majesty of all that Christ is from eternity past, is often lost. That baby embodied all that is God – infinitude, wisdom and power. Yet as we sing “O come let us adore Him” what is it that we really mean? Do we envision the baby Jesus as “Christ the Lord”? What honour do we give to His Sovereignty? As we come face to face with Jesus do we surrender control of our lives to truly make Him “Lord” over all we are and have?

When we think about the baby in the manger, it is hard to comprehend that all the characteristics of the Godhead were wrapped up in that tiny bundle, so loved by Mary and Joseph. There lay the Creator of all things (John 1:3); yet He humbled Himself, scripture records. His humility cost. As a man, Jesus died on the cross, obedient to His Father’s plan to save you and me from the jaws of hell (Philippians 2:8).

Here’s a thought…..Jesus gave up His glory and majesty to become like you and me. We might reflect on how important our status is, in our family, community or church in comparison to His. However, He lived a life like no other recorded down through history. Born into humble circumstances Jesus was kind, caring, and forgiving. He encouraging goodness in others; His example is the mission of every believer. During His earthly sojourn He was Godly, connected intimately with His Father in heaven. They were never separated until that awful moment on the cross when sin, yours and mine, dragged Him out of the Father’s presence (Matthew 27:46).

When we look at the baby who gave Himself so that you and I might live (John 10:18), we celebrate the reality of Christmas. Recently a pastor proclaimed “Christmas is not all about family because it is all about Jesus”. Within this reality there is both a call and a cost. We, who claim Jesus to be our Saviour, are called to represent Christ here on earth, if we say we follow Him – if we declare ourselves to be “Christian”. Do we look and act and talk like the Lord Jesus Christ? (John 13:35).

Here on earth Jesus entered into every aspect of life along with His fellowman. He met folks at weddings and worshiped according to Jewish law, in the synagogue. Jesus began at a very early age to be “about My Father’s business” – found teaching in the temple at the tender age of 12 (Luke 2:49). He continued traveling throughout Israel, teaching, eating, praying, fishing, serving on His Father’s business.


What is God calling us to do, since we say we know Jesus? Do we fear the cost of His call? Do we find ourselves changed by the indwelling Holy Spirit, becoming more Christlike as we look at others? Are we accepting, forgiving, loving our neighbours as ourselves? What are we willing to sacrifice in order to serve our Lord, to be “the only Jesus” another might ever see? Are we becoming hardened to the needs within our world today – physical, material, emotional, as well as spiritual needs?

I sometimes wonder: What would Christ be doing about the environment, the pandemic, the anger, fear, hostility and abuse to be found in every corner of our globe? Derived from His loving character, Jesus laid down His very life for others, including you and me. Might this be written on our tomb stones?

“Here lies the most Christlike person who ever lived”.



The Three “E”s

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Romans 16:25-27

The challenges of parenting can be overwhelming. Environment makes a subtle impact on the senses of our little children, even in babyhood. Science provides an awareness of how important it is for us to sing and talk to a baby in the womb, since the sound of voices can be recognized at that early stage; subliminally tones of the human voice are being interpreted. Environment entails those delightful fragrances that so often stir a hidden nostalgia in the adult heart. Tenderness or otherwise is conveyed by touch. How many parents have gently rocked their child to sleep? How many little children are battered?

Toddlers are so cute! They begin to enjoy a stage that lasts a life-time. “Why?” One of their favourite questions can drive a parent mad, but it is the beginning of learning. Education can be fun! Make a game of learning Bible verses. Sing songs about little chores. How important to learn to “like what you do”, not just to “do what you like” as my father used to advise. Learning comes from asking questions, from facing one’s inadequacies and dealing with them constructively.

Perhaps more than anything Experience teaches us the most. In our environment our greatest education is received through experience as people model to us the truths of ethical standards and behaviour, right thinking as well as wrong feelings. We ourselves learn through trial and failure as much as we do from success.

Now what does any of this have to do with faith? A very great deal! God places each person in a particular environment. Why? We do not know. “Why?” is a question adults often ask when trouble comes, but do we ever wonder why we have been so blessed? God has taught me some painful lessons through life, but my life has been enriched by an environment filled with His presence, throughout them all! (Psalm 23:4). Marvellous!

Those of us who hold God’s Word in our hands have the greatest educational advantage! Here is all the information we will ever need to know for peace and prosperity in relationships! Our primary relationship is with God and here is the guide book. God wants us to know Him (1 John 5:13). The purpose of education is to teach us learning skills and to describe the road to maturity, isn’t it? Maturity is where the heart and mind meet in balance, permitting the joy of interdependence with others!

There are three other “E’s” in the Bible that help to impact the meaning of our lives. When we encourage one another to endure we are established, grounded, stable. Our scripture reading is a benediction. May the encouragement of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless your life today and forevermore.


Experience? Does your experience teach you to trust in God? Have you ever put Him to the test? I have been blessed by His faithfulness, His forgiveness, His freedom and so much more. What would life be without trusting His plan for my life, the meaning that His love gives to every day? Thankfully my environment, education and experience taught me at an early age that the Lord God Almighty is truly the lover of my soul! He has never failed to live up to all that promises.

What is it about your environment, education and experience that equips you to react to problems the way you do?

How easy is it for you to let go of those little hurts that niggle in the back of your mind?

Are you feeling secure in the love of Christ and how does that play out in your life? What do others see?

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


The Sacrifice of Praise

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Psalm 100

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name” (Hebrews 13:11)

The Apostle Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prior to that Jeremiah had also written about praise which he called “sounds of joy and gladness….thank offerings” to be brought into the house of the Lord. Kirk Dearman based a well loved chorus on Jeremiah 33:11:

“We bring the sacrifice of praise

Into the house of the Lord.

We bring the sacrifice of praise

Into the house of the Lord.

And we offer up to you

The sacrifices of thanksgiving;

And we offer up to you

The sacrifices of joy.”

Perhaps this is the panacea for the spirit of heaviness that pervades our world today. Can we, will we begin a habit that will stem the tide of depression? We have many Biblical examples of praise and worship which lift our spirits when we study the truths behind them.

“Shout for joy to the Lord” the Psalmist wrote. To whom does this apply? He answers “all the earth”.

“Worship the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:1-2). Do we find ourselves attending church out of a sense of obligation or duty? Has it become a tradition to meet with our friends on Sunday? Or have we gone to church anxious to offer praise? It may be a sacrifice. Perhaps we are grieving. Some of us are struggling with health issues or disappointed hopes, things that occupy the forefront of our minds. How can we think happy thoughts at such a moment?

The Apostle Paul is our great example. He sang hymns while bound in chains in a dank, dark prison cell. Perhaps he had memorized Psalm 100. “Come before Him [God] with joyful songs”. Hymns celebrate the great God we worship. Today many songs focus on “Me or I” but when we contemplate the character of our God, we are compelled to acknowledge His wisdom and majesty, His faithfulness and love. What joy to know that “our God is greater than any other god”! Yet “what a friend we have in Jesus” the One who bears all our sins and griefs!

The Psalmist warns “Know that the Lord is God” (100:4). Is there something lacking in our knowledge of God? How can we correct that? Another Psalm admits to needing God’s word – scripture memorization. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11 KJV). This is what enables us to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (100:4). After all “The Lord is good”. In a world torn by evil, hatred, fear and anger, we rejoice to know the goodness of our God, the One whose “love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations” (100:5).


It hardly seems to be a sacrifice to give praise to the God of heaven who is our personal Father, Shepherd and King. Let us sing His praises out of the abundance of joyful hearts, since we know God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


Spectator or Participant?

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Joel 1-3

Often the Old Testament is overlooked in favour of the gospels of our Lord Jesus Christ. In dialogue with my grandson recently I was thrilled to learn he has become aware of the necessity of grounding ourselves in the teachings of the Old Testament. As well as disregarding the First Covenantal book, we often attempt to distinguish which are the “important” books of scripture, failing to recognize that each book has been written for the express purpose of teaching us to know and understand the heart and mind of our great and glorious God! With this in mind let us review what Joel has to teach us.

The Jews have been chosen as God’s representatives here on earth. Sadly they failed to appreciate the privilege of participating with God in His saving purpose for all humankind. God’s patience was tried from generation to generation until promised judgment finally fell upon His chosen people (Joel 1). Great suffering resulted, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Great witnesses came and went – Elijah, Obadiah and now Joel were sent by God to purify His people. It is worth noting Joel’s description of God. In Chapter 2:11 we find Him coming as the thundering leader of a great army – numberless, mighty forces who obey His commands! His purpose? “Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God!” (2:27).

This God is described as jealous (2:18), vigilant over the nation He calls His own. Protective, pitying their weaknesses, God’s great heart of compassion can be seen; He has been slow to express His anger at their folly, demonstrating His love and grace repeatedly throughout centuries of time (2:13, 18).

How blessed we are to live in the age Joel prophesied would come when God pours out His Spirit upon all people – Jew and Gentile alike, whomever responds to His love (2:28). Paul writes about this: “For we are all baptised by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slave or free” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Apostle Peter preached from Joel’s book on the Day of Pentecost: “Repent and be baptised…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Peter concludes “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Joel reminds us that our God is determined to be our refuge, a stronghold in the day of trouble (3:16). Trouble assuredly will come, but God chooses to restore the years the locusts have eaten (2:25). This is the God we know to have been so merciful to us day by day, as we take three steps forward and two steps back! One day He will judge the nations (3:2), but in the end Sovereign God will dwell in Zion (3:21)….and there will be peace on His Holy hill, in Jerusalem (3:17).


The question Joel raises for you and me today is whether or not we have believed and received God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Will we participate in this peaceful coexistence with God, or have we just been spectators at the game of life?

“Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful!

May the fire of our devotion light the way.

May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,

And the lives, we live inspire them to obey”

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)