PRESENT

Week Forty-Four, 2022

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

— Joshua 1:5

It happened to the best. Moses had just died, and now Joshua was selected by God to lead the Israelites finishing the journey to the long-awaited Promised Land. “Are you sure Lord? Me? To replace Moses? No way!!”

Joshua knew he wasn’t capable. He had seen God present throughout the journey out of Egypt, through the desert and crossing the Red Sea. But now, well, Joshua wondered if God would still be there to guide and direct him as He had guided and directed Moses.

It happens to the best of the rest of us, too. Wondering at times if God is there. Didn’t you feel that way the other day? The unexpected hit, and you felt all alone. Inadequate to do what was needed at that moment. But here you are today.

Funny, how many times on the journey when life hits, we feel that God’s not there. Yet in our quiet moments of reflection before those unexpected moments, we remember all the times He showed up. Always!

But then, well, life hits and things change. And reflection ends. A relationship pegs a zero on the “will it last” meter. Now what? Any thoughts, God? You get word that you need to start looking for another job. Now.

Any thoughts, Lord? The person who hung the moon for you is diagnosed with a terminal illness. And you wonder aloud…..“God, where are you?” What’s going on?

But then we remember that He was there to save and prepare Joseph, son of Jacob, to later save his people after his brothers sold him into slavery. He was there helping Noah navigate the flood waters to a new day. David hung on tightly to Him as he hid in caves and ran for his life from King Saul, after Saul learned that God had selected David to replace him as the king.

He was with the Apostle Paul though all of his trials and heartaches, leaving us with thirteen letters in the New Testament written by Paul in his walk with God. And He was there as His Son hung on the cross for you and for me, and then laid in the tomb, only to be lifted to life by His Father—who was with Him all the time.

God’s always there. In the sunshine, and in the storms. In the triumphs and tragedies. When everything around you go silent—He is there. When the light turns to darkness—He is there.

“Joshua, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He was with Moses, Joshua, Joseph, Noah, David, Paul and His Son, and more, He will be with you. God will never leave you or abandon you.

In our stillness and noise, in our ups and downs, our mountaintops and valleys, daylight and dark nights—He is, and will always be there. God’s got us.

So just remember to always mark God—Present.

— Scott Whitaker

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SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES

If liar’s pants did catch on fire, watching the evening news would be a lot more fun.

— o —

In his book simply entitled, Preaching, G. Campbell Morgan relates a story about the 19th century English actor William Charles Macready and an eminent preacher of that day.

“I wish you would explain to me something,” said the preacher.

“Well, what is it?” Macready responded. “I don’t know that I can explain anything to a preacher.”

“What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all.”

“This is quite simple,” Macready retorted, “I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.”

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QUOTES YOU CAN USE

With two ears and only one mouth, God designed us to listen twice as much as we speak. Dwight Short

I have lived to thank God that all my prayers have not been answered. Jean Ingelow

A goal is a dream with a deadline. Napoleon Hill

Why is it that if you give your life for the service of your country you are called a hero, but if you give your life for the service of Christ, you are called a fool? Dan Shock

If you find fear often grips you when you visit certain places, including your job or your school, remember that there is no safer place than where God calls you to be. Dwight Short

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. Benjamin Franklin

Our lives are bombarded by sin on a daily basis. Florida Marketplace Ministries

You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be. Abraham Lincoln

It’s funny to me how when you start thinking about praising God, even in the midst of the junk of life, you start seeing things that remind you about it everywhere. Marty Stubblefield

If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content. Leo Tolstoy

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. Leo Buscaglia

The measure of a man is what he does with power. Plato