Yesterday, I was preparing to write this week’s update about LIFT’s upcoming theme for the next weeks called “Unwrapping Christmas” in reminding all of us what the real reason for the CHRISTmas season is all about, but got caught up with some things and didn’t get a chance to finish it and send it out.
Today, I am “prompted” to share a completely different word about how the Lord works in great and mighty and very real ways, even within the realms of mobile phone technology! A friend of mine had an intense last couple of days and after some time yesterday of mutually sharing our burdens and encouragement together, I was reminded of how strong and loving our God is, just before going to bed last night, when I saw God’s Word in Psalms posted near our refrigerator (no, I wasn’t having a late snack, but just thirsty)! This little typed passage that my wife posted reads:
Psalms 62:11-12 One thing God has spoken,two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Being that it was too late to call my friend back, I waited until this morning and sent it via an SMS (text message) with my mobile phone. This is where the Holy Spirit part comes in and I was clearly “prompted” to go broader and send it to several others as well. It was as if the Spirit said, “This is God’s Word, not yours, sent it to the rest of the men in your phone”! So I did, with prayer attached. Moments later I received an SMS reply from my friend with God’s Word; Ps 25:4-5 “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Then a few really cool things happened that made it very clear that God moves beyond what we can imagine. First, I read a devotional that I get weekly that was all about God using SMS’s/texting (the full version is at the bottom of this e-mail), so I was encouraged by what I had already been prompted to do. Then after 3 or 4 replies back from some men saying thanks for the encouragement, I got the following e-mail reply from Ron S*. I hope you are blessed by what you read!
This morning you sent me PS 62:11 “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard. that you O God are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving”. This came in the morning while I was in the bus on my way to work.
As I was reading my daily devotional that comes via e-mail, the following was today’s verse “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. – Psalm 143:8
Sometimes this just “freaks me out”. But it is also comforting to know that he cares for each and every one of us, and shows this in a very personal way. I have been struggling with “the way I should go”, though your SMS, he assures me that “His love is unfailing” and asks me to “put my trust in Him”. How can I not respond to Him in obedience and wait patiently for the Lord?
PS – you can share this with others if you like. If your were prompted to send the message this morning, I just wanted for you to know what it did.
Yes, I was “prompted” this morning! In this case it is so clear that the Holy Spirit used the Word of God via mobile phones and e-mail to touch several of us in ways that God’s strength and love can only do!
Looking forward to wrapping up 1st Timothy this Sunday with co-sharing the message with Ken and also looking forward to unwrapping Christmas these next weeks as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord!
In His grip and grace,
PS- A great SMS (Texting) read below from Dare 2 Share:
God is Txting (by Greg Stier of Dare2Share Ministries International)
?4U…did you even think four or five years ago that text-o-mania would hit the world and radically change the way we communicate? From brb to bff to bfn, there are enough abbreviations being bounced off satellites to fill the universe and then some – imho anyway – based on the stat I read that indicated an average of 1 BILLION text messages are sent every week – which means that every six weeks or so there are more text messages floating around than there are people on the planet!
Of course I’m not telling anything you didn’t already know. In fact, I bet you’re texting right now – aren’t you? I know this because I’ve seen the incredible multi-task-text-with-my-eyes-closed skill of teenagers first hand. The scariest is when they are driving and texting at the same time. That’s when the most common message is this:
O no! I’m abt2 reck!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you. In fact, I txt n drv farly ofn – dnt evn need 2 lok @ the phn!
So all this texting got me thinking. What if you and I could send a message to God? What would you ask or say to Him? Would He answer, or would He just ROFL?
Personally, I don’t think he would laugh at us for trying to communicate. God is a person, and he is absolutely crazy in love with His creation. Think about a time when you got a text from someone you really like or love…you got back as soon as you could, right? Same with Jehovah God. In fact, He has already sent us a ‘text message’ that has 774,746 words and would take you 70 hours to read out loud.
Of course I’m talking about the Bible, and because it’s not exactly a short message, I’d like to take a moment and throw in my two cents on what I think would be common text questions people might send to God, and what He would say in return.
Dear God – do u love me?
Iv e nvr quit luv’n u & nvr wil l. xpct luv, luv, &more luv! (Jeremiah 31:3)
Dear God – will u ever leave me?
Ill nvr leav e u or abandon u (Hebrews 13:5)
Dear God – do you care about my future?
4 IK the plnz I have 4 u,” sez the Lord. ” Theyre plnz 4 good not 4 dzastr, 2 give u a future & a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Dear God – I feel so guilty all the time – can u help?
If you confess ur sins 2 me, im faithful & just 2 4give ur sins & 2 cleanse u from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)
Dear God – do u ever think about me?
My thoughts about u r rare and beautiful! u’ll nevr comprehend em! U couldn’t even bgin 2 count em – anymore than u could count the s& of the sea. (Psalm 139: 16-18)
Dear God – I’m worried and sometimes scared…can u help?
Im leavin u w/ a gift- peace of mind & heart, & the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t b troubled r afraid. (John 14:27)
See what I mean? The God of the universe loves you more than you could possibly imagine, and the best part is that He is in complete charge of the universe and knows everything about you. He’s a heavenly Daddy who is always ready and willing to listen to your cries, answer your prayers, and applaud your victories. He has a picture of you on the screen of His phone, and He waits with delight for the incredible moments when you look up to Him in faith with a message.
The next time you text, remember the ultimate communication called the Bible, written by the hand of God Himself. I promise it will be d gr8st msg u evr read!
Head: What you need to know about this truth
God is a Person who longs to communicate with His children that he loves us, will never leave us, has a plan for us, has forgiven us, always thinks about us, and gives us peace in the midst of trouble
Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
As one of God’s children, feel unique, cherished, loved, and taken care of by the God of the universe!
Hands: What you need to do about this truth
Write a response to some or all of the ‘text messages’ sent from God. Also, let other people know about the good news that God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them through Jesus Christ.