1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

PSALMS - Specks of Matter

My husband and I love to go camping in the desert.

And one of my favorite things to do is sit by the campfire and look at the sky.

It's fun to scan the sky at dusk, and try to find the first few *stars* that appear. Before you know it, the sky is FILLED with them – they are EVERYWHERE! You can even see the Milky Way – it looks like a wispy cloud that stretches from horizon to horizon.

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to study and learn about was astronomy– it still is!

One of the amazing facts I learned about stars is this – the distances are mind-boggling!

Ready for our lesson? (Don't worry – there won't be a pop quiz!)

Besides the Sun, the nearest star to Earth is called Alpha Centauri. It lies 4.21 light years away from earth. That means if something could travel at the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles EVERY SECOND, it would take 4.21 years to reach this closest star.

Think of it this way – the spacecraft that holds the record for the fastest ever space travel would take a STAGGERING 19,000 years to reach this star!

So, needless to say, sitting under that beautiful canopy of stars in the desert is an absolutely spectacular, awe-inspiring experience.

And quite humbling, I might add.

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is a perfect reminder:

"When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?" (Psalm 8:3, 4)

You know, it's true.

Staring at the infinite majesty of the skies, it is easy to think that we are nothing to an Almighty God.

And yet, Psalm 147:4 makes this amazing statement: "[God] counts the stars and knows them by name."

In light of His awesome power, we seem so small and insignificant.

We seem like nothing more than "specks of matter."

And yet, our God DOES indeed think of us… more often than we can even know.

Listen to the words of Psalm 139:17, 18: "How precious are your thoughts about ME, O God. They CANNOT BE NUMBERED! I can’t even count them…"

Our God, the One who knows the stars by name, also knows my name, and YOUR name, each one of you.

And He thinks about us all the time.

We are "specks of matter"…that matter!

Yes, my friends, God not only THINKS about us – HE LOVES US!

Let these wonderful words from the book of Psalms wash over you:

"The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love…He does not punish us for our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as GREAT AS THE HEIGHT OF THE HEAVENS ABOVE EARTH…For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust…the love of the LORD remains FOREVER with those who love him."

Yes, looking at the stars in the desert sky gives me new insights about God. The work of His creation in the heavens is awe-inspiring, and it can make us feel insignificant.

However, the same God who paints the sky with stars, is also the One who came to die for us!

He gave His life for us – just because He LOVES us.

And you know what the best news is?

This love is ours FOREVER!

"NO power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, NOTHING in all creation will EVER be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord!" (Romans 8:39)

I will never look at the stars without thinking about God’s love, His FOREVER love.

And my hope for you today is this – that you will ALWAYS know His deep love within your own heart, and that you will draw closer to the majestic God of the heavens, the Master of the skies, the One who knows the stars by name…

…the "Living One who sees YOU" – and knows YOUR name.

(Linked today with Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays, and Peggy at Soaking On SONday. Please feel free to hop on over to my other blog during the week - Sharon Sharing God)

"When in doubt, search God out!"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

EPHESIANS - A Tribute to My Dad

In honor of this special day, I'm sharing a poem I wrote about my dad.


When I was small
I used to walk around
in his big shoes,
clumping through the house,
Playing, yes
but also proud of my daddy.
Strong and sure
Always there
to protect me -
Now that I have grown
It seems
that I have spent my life
Trying to follow
in his footsteps...
They are big shoes
to fill.
But he left a path behind
A character road
of intelligence,
and fairness.
In following him
I have learned to be
a leader,
I have learned to be
a better person.
Through the years
some things have changed,
most have not.
I am still proud of my daddy
Strong and sure
Always there
To protect me -
And though his steps
are slowing,
They are still
worth following
And I do -
For I will always be
a young girl
Walking around
in his big shoes...

© Sharon Kirby,
June 15, 2007


Know that I have always loved you, and I always will!

***Wishing all you wonderful fathers a very Happy Father's Day!***

"Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, 'things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.'" (Ephesians 6:2-3)

(Linked today with Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays, and Peggy at Soaking On SONday. Please feel free to hop on over to my other blog during the week - Sharon Sharing God)

"When in doubt, search God out!"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

JEREMIAH - God Defines Success

I do not have a newspaper subscription.

It's too depressing.

However, every time I log onto AOL to get my emails, I am confronted with little *news bites* all over the page.

Snippets of what's happening in the world, in politics, in sports, in medicine, in entertainment…

I suppose it's a good thing to keep updated on things – but like I said before, I find it all a little depressing.

The human race is just so consumed with itself.

Fame, fortune, power…

These are the things that get people admired, envied, emulated –

But why?

These are not lasting things – they are things of the world. And all too often, people toss their values aside in pursuit of them.

The human race – not so different today as it was in the time of Jeremiah. Society was deteriorating economically, politically, and spiritually. Wars dominated the world scene. God's Word was deemed offensive.

Sound familiar?

God appointed Jeremiah to bring His word to "nations and kingdoms." It was Jeremiah'smission to warn all the nations of the world about God's judgment for sin. Because God looks at things in a different way…

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is what God has to say:

"This is what the LORD says: 'Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone; that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!'" (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

You see, God places a high priority on knowing Him personally. He values justice, righteousness, and love more than fame, fortune, and power.

God defines success in a different way than the world does. He considered Jeremiah a success – because he obeyed God faithfully. Regardless of opposition and personal cost, Jeremiah courageously proclaimed the word of God. He was obedient to his calling.

We, too, have a responsibility to bring God's Word to a fallen world – to tell others about the consequences of sin and the hope that God offers. We have a responsibility to live differently to define ourselves by God's values and priorities.

We must press on to know Him more and more – to obey Him faithfully.

God's approval alone should be our standard for service – and our standard for success.

As far as I'm concerned, AOL can keep its headlines – for these are not the stories of people following hard after the LORD.

On the other hand, we have a calling, my friends – are you ready to answer?

(Linked today with Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays, and Peggy at Soaking On SONday. Please feel free to hop on over to my other blog during the week - Sharon Sharing God)

"When in doubt, search God out!"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

LUKE - Giving All You've Got

I own a solid gold necklace. It is a beautiful piece of jewelry.

And it's heavy – literally!

The price of gold is currently around $1500 an ounce. So this necklace would definitely be, as they say, *worth its weight in gold!* It’s a treasureand it would be quite a gift if I gave it away, wouldn't it?

Now what if I showed you two pennies – two tarnished, beat-up pennies? They've been sitting in a dish of spare change for who knows how long. They're not worth much. In fact, in today's economy, they're probably not even worth two cents!

Back in the day, they could buy something – a piece of candy or such. But now, the penny is so worthless, we don't even like having them rattling around in our pockets. Many stores have little trays where you can "take a penny, leave a penny." If you don't want your pennies with you, leave them.

So, giving away these two pennies wouldn’t be much of a gift, would it?

Today’s "Bible Pick ‘Ems" is a story about a woman who gave something away…

"While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus said, 'this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.'" (Luke 21:1-4)

Jesus was in the area of the Temple called the Court of Women. In this area were seven boxes in which worshipers could deposit the Temple tax and six boxes for freewill offerings.It appears that Jesus continued watching the giving for some time, and He observed a number of wealthy persons making gifts.

This woman gave a freewill offering of two mites. At the time, a mite was the smallest of copper coins, normally equal to just 1/8 of a cent! Though it might seem that her offering was small, her gift was a sacrifice, for it was all that she had.

Today, I'm not going to talk about financial givingI'd like to expand the story beyond the issue of money.

The question I would like to pose is this – What are you giving to God of YOURSELF?

The issue here is not that the woman had given more as to value and substancebut that she had cast in more in proportion to what she had.

Her gift was counted as more by Christ, and more highly valued and esteemed by Him, because Jesus – the One who sees the heart, and knows all things – knew that she had given FROM HER HEART.

Yes, my friends, the Lord desires no greater gift than the gift of yourself. He is to be loved with all your powers and capabilities. He doesn't want offerings – He wants you to KNOW Him and to LOVE Him.

Mark 12:29 sums up this greatest gift: "The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength."

Jesus uses the poor widow's offering to teach an important lesson.

A gift is not to be evaluated by its size, but by a comparison of the gift with the total possessed by the giver.

In the secret, innermost part of your heart, have you laid your life on the altar? Have you presented everything you have to Him?

May God help us to be like this faithful woman as we give our hearts in His name.

(Linked today with Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays, and Peggy at Soaking On SONday. Please feel free to hop on over to my other blog during the week - Sharon Sharing God)

"When in doubt, search God out!"