Time with God can keep you on the right path.

                                    2 Chronicles 7:11-22      

Solomon finishes the temple and challenges Israel to turn from their wicked ways and return to God. A couple weeks ago, Isaiah was saying almost the same thing. Through their obedience to God, Solomon shares God will consecrate the temple and listen to their prayers. If they seek their own ways and other gods, God would uproot Israel from the land He had given them. He would bring disaster on Israel and make them a ridicule among other nations.

Verse 14 tells us to turn toward Him with humility, and prayer and to seek Him. Humility means admitting He is sovereign, and we need to be selfless in our own lives. Prayer is talking to God on a regular basis to help us in our turn to Him. Seeking Him is making a defined return to Him and shows Him we are able to come before Him in humility. As kids grow up, they finally figure out the world does not revolve around them. When they are young, they want it all. One day, my seven-year old grandson, Brayden, left his stuffed dog, Chase, from Paw Patrol in the car. When I picked him up after school, he hopped in the car, and said,” Chase, I missed you today?” I said, “What about me?” He replied, “BooPa, you have to learn it is not always about you.” My grandsons call me BooPa. Have to love it. At an early age he could not say GrandPa, so he started with BooPa and the name stuck.

Seeking Him is spending time in His Word to better know him. Spend some time in reflection this week to help slow your mind down from the daily grind, rut, routine and rat race – and begin to turn to Him today and every day. See Psalm 46:10 and spend a couple minutes listening and in silence instead of starting with your prayer requests.

Dale Hansen 04/07/2021 

I do not Like or Want Trials

James 1:2

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

The key word in this verse is “whenever”. God does not promise us an easy life as a Christian. What gives us the right to ask for an easy life. We will see trials of many kinds, and He wants us to consider them joyful. The fact is that we grow and learn more in trials and whereas we tend to pull away from Him when all is going well. We consistently need to work on our relationship with God. I have a relationship with my doctor, but I usually only see him when I am sick. My relationship with God should be more than a help number to call. We should seek Him in the midst of all situations. I continually strive to turn a situation over to Him earlier rather than later and trust He will bring me through it. Yet even after decades of walking with the Lord, there are still times when I want to handle things my way. God is not finished with me yet!

After Rochester, God moved us to Joliet, IL, about 45 miles outside of Chicago. We have now lived here for 26 years and have made this our home. Our daughters, sons-in-law and grandkids are here, so we will not be moving anytime soon. My wife and I have an awesome marriage, but we also have had our seasons of struggles. We have worked through infertility issues, breast cancer twice, prostate cancer once, kidney stones and unknown rashes.

I am not trying to suggest this is a heavier or lighter load compared to anyone else’s struggles. We all have different challenges come our way as we live our lives. Each of us will also handle them differently. I hope and pray this will encourage you in all of life’s trials, challenges and opportunities.

God has this!!

FOCUS:  4:7:  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

For this week, we hear Paul in 2 Timothy stressing we must we need to be grounded in God’s Word.  This will keep us growing and connected to God with sound doctrine, and will give us the strength and endurance too continue our race. In verse 4:7, Paul tells us what his life has been focused on in order to obtain eternal life. 

Paul focused on seeking God’s perspective as we seek eternal life through God.  This can be easily missed when we get caught up in the daily issues and routines.  Toward this crown of righteousness, Paul challenges us in verse 7. 

  • fought:  Paul states God was always by his side. 
  • finish:  He has finished and completed God’s purpose and plan for his life. 
  • faith:  Paul kept the faith.

In our lives we may not always understand or see God’s big plan or purpose.  We get lost in the craziness of our daily living.  Our craziness has just been disrupted recently with the Covid-19 virus that has kept us isolated at home for a number of weeks.  Everyone’s routine is off, kids are home, spouses may all be home, initial toilet paper hoardings and many were very nervous. God is never surprised. He has this, and He still has us and is with us. God sees the big picture and is in control even when we may not understand. As Paul kept His faith through His many trials, he is a great example of someone who fought, finished and remained faithful to God. His faith remained strong. Spend some time in prayer this week.  Pray about some current trial you are in and remember that God has the bigger perspective, and He is still in control.  What current trial has you feeling down?

Dale Hansen

3/24/1021

Simply to Obey Him

Joshua 1:1-18           

After Moses death (Deuteronomy 34:9-12), Joshua took over the leadership of the Israelites as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. Joshua passed God’s instructions on to the people including that God demands obedience, He will always be with them and be strong and courageous (1: 6,9,12). Actually, God commands us to be strong and courageous and He repeats this phrase three times. What does strong and courageous look like? Maybe like Jason’s phrase in the movie Galaxy Quest: “never give up never surrender”. God is in control.

God’s Word is our tool for being strong and courageous. In verse 8, God gives us the following three challenges:

  • study His word continually
  • meditate on His Word day and night
  • obey all that is written in it and your way will be successful

Our way will be successful because the more we study God and His Word, the closer our desires will match His desires for our lives. We will be working with Him for His purpose in our lives and not our purpose.

During this week, pray and meditate through verses 8 and 9. Time in God’s Word and meditating on specific verses will help you grow in your relationship with God. Add these two verses to your verse reference list. I have a pack of about 90 verses that I have listed on small cards over the years that I can refer to. Once in a while, my time with God may be to go over my verse list. Grow your verses list. As you know Him more, just simply obey.