Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our Guide to the End

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Follow Me - I will make you fishers of men
Psalm 48:14 NIV84

14 For this God 
is our God 
for ever and ever;
   he will be 
our guide 
even to the end.

We live in uncertain times, and it is easy to sense the growing concern as people face a very difficult economy. I heard a report recently that this is the greatest number of children being raised in poverty in America since the great depression. More and more families are loosing their jobs and are faced loosing their homes. They find themselves living with relatives, or in run down motels or even in their cars to try and stay together.  I know that the homeless and poor population in my city is getting larger. We are surrounded by organizations that are also in the inner city to help, who like us are finding their funding has dropped. In a time when there is an ever increasing need there is less and less available in funding.

In difficult times it is easy to become engrossed in the surrounding panic. In Proverbs 1:33 it says "but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." Not only are people concerned about the economy there are also holes in the ozone, solar flares, the decreasing of the polar ice caps and dwindling natural resources.  There are threats to national security from terrorists with access to nuclear and biological warfare. There are plenty of conspiracy theories out there with some compelling concerns.  There are natural disasters from volcanic eruptions, earth quakes, floods, fires, and un-usual weather. It is no wonder people are feeling fearful.

Our verse today says that God will be our guide to the end. I have found that in the face of difficulties it is important not to loose sight of Jesus. He is still the King of Kings, The Lord of LORDS, the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the hills for that matter.

One of the verses I have stood upon during difficult times is Psalm 27:13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Then there is Job 40 and 41 for those days when you loose sight of how all powerful our God is.   He thunders in verse 40: Do you have and arm like God's and can your voice thunder like this? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Job replies in chapter 42 I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
I read such verses and I am reminded that God is not surprised by the things going on in the world today. He is not caught off guard by the circumstances of my life that catch me in a spin cycle of worry, doubt and fear. I have to catch myself in those time and remember where my center is. I have to remember like Woody the cowboy,  in the Toy Story movies, who's name is written on my boot. I belong to Jesus. My life is His. His purpose is for me to become more and more Christ like. He will use the circumstances of my life, good or bad to shape and mold me more and more to His character.
I read this quote the other day.  
Accomplishing our destiny is less a measure 
of being in the right spot at the right time 
than it is to draw near to God, to grow up into the measure 
of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  ~Tony Stoltzfus 

It is easy to get caught up in the "if only's" and think that God's plans and purposes are some how delayed or thwarted by our screw ups and failures or the condition of our world. He takes us right where we are today and every day and will use whatever we are willing to yield to him.

Dear Lord,
Help me to yield to you today in the midst of my life today. Help me to bloom for your glory where you have planted me. I choose not to get caught up by the fearfulness of the times we are living in and will instead look to you. You are indeed my guide to the end and I choose to walk with you each and every day. 

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