Saturday, May 12, 2018

Psalms 1- Blessings of God

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord , and on his law he meditates day and night."
Psalms 1:1‭-‬2 ESV

I love reading through the book of Psalms. Although it is the longest book of the bible, it is the one book that when I don't know what to read, I flip open my bible, land on a Psalm and go from there. I love that throughout the book, David reassures us that in every situation, God has a plan and it is our job to praise him in the midst of it. It's very cool how David lays everything out right from the beginning. Walk with God and your life will be blessed. Of course we know that it will not always be financially blessed, but spiritually blessed. Blessed with eternity with the Father in Heaven forever. Blessed in security in Him even when everything around us is falling apart. Just look at these great aspects of God's blessings over our lives.

"My God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my Salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-from violent people you save me. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies."- 2 Samuel 22:3-4

"And God is able to bless you abundantly , so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."- 2 Corinthians 9:8

These and many more verses like those are the kind of blessings that I want from God. The ones that come when I am planted next to the Father in everything I do, that as I journey through life, He is there, guiding my every step, Just look at the next verse from Psalms chapter 1. "That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers."- vs 3.

I believe it is time to get back to a place of planting ourselves next to the waters of God again and believing that the Father loves to bless his children when they do as he desires. I want to have a heart that trusts him with everything and knows without a doubt that he will always come through for me, even if it doesn't happen as I think it should or in the timeline I think it should happen. Everything I have ever needed or will ever need is found in the Father and when I need it, God will provide. And he will do it ways I never could have thought or imagined.

Adam Semple- A Young Man planting himself by the waters of God

*photo credit- harvestcotn.wordpress.com



Saturday, April 21, 2018

Called Twice

"But the angel of the Lord called out to him from Heaven, 'Abraham, Abraham.' 'Here I am', he replied."- Genesis 22:11

And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said,"Jacob, Jacob!" Here I am," he replied.- Genesis 46:2

When He saw that he had gone over to look, He called from within the bush,"Moses, Moses." And Moses said,"Here I am."- Exodus 3:4

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel, Samuel!" Then Samuel said,"Speak, for your servant is listening."- 1 Samuel 3:10

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one.- Luke 10:41-42

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you all as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."- Luke 22:31-32

"My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?"- Matthew 27:46 (Psalm 22)

"Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me?" "Who are you Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do"- Acts 9:5-6

You may be asking what all these verses have to do with each other. Perhaps you have recognized a pattern between all of them. In case you missed it, here it is. These 8 verses are the only times characters from scripture are called by God one after another. Although it is true that throughout all of scripture we see instances when God calls multiple individuals, these times are given to us in scripture as a learning tool, as the Bible is designed to be. So, lets discuss the lessons learned in these occurrences. Naturally, we'll start with Abraham, Father of many nations. This verse is right after Abraham takes his son, Isaac up to the mountain top in order to sacrifice him to God. Isaac is tied to the altar, everything is in place and Abraham raises his blade to complete the sacrifice. Here, we see God stopping him the blade makes contact. Abraham was promised this child, despite his old age, then he is asked to kill his son. The Bible doesn't give us any thoughts about what was going through Abraham's head, but I can only imagine he did not discuss this with his wife before they left for this "outing". All we see is that despite Isaac being God's promise of a fruitful seed, Abraham agrees to do what God says, because he has walked with God long enough to know that God knows what he is doing. God calls Abraham's name here twice, in order to get his attention, as any parent would when a kid doesn't hear you the first time. There had to have been a huge sigh of relief from Abraham as a ram showed up in the thickets and he didn't have to go home empty-handed. not only is this scenario prophetic to what Jesus would later do on the cross thousands of years later, it was also, simply, a test of obedience. lucky for us, Abraham was obedient or else half of the earth's population probably would not be here right now. 

Next, we have Jacob. Jacob is one in a small handful of individuals who has a life altering experience and therefore receives a new name, some of which include people like Abraham(Abram), Peter(Simon) and Paul(Saul).  Now, Jacob had his share of ups and downs throughout his life. From deceiving his brother for his birthright and father's blessing to work several years for his wives and livestock and then being told his favorite son, Joseph, had been killed, when in actuality, just sold into slavery. When Jacob is called twice by God, it is after Joseph has revealed himself to his brothers in Egypt and has sent a caravan to bring Jacob and his whole family down to Goshen. God appears to him in a vision and tells him that even in Egypt, Israel will still become a great nation and God will continually be with them. I feel as if this circumstance is a reiteration of promise. Like God's way of saying," Those things I promised your grandfather, don't worry, I have not forgotten them. Everything that has lead to this point has happened for a reason so that through it my power will resonate with the people around you. Relax bro, I've got you." 

Following Jacob and his people's journey to Egypt, God seems to be silent for a little while, 400 years to be precise. So, the third time God calls an individual twice probably came with great surprise. Moses, a Hebrew child raised in an Egyptian household has just fled for his life from his granddaddy, the Pharaoh, and spent roughly 4 decades in the desert. Tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, he comes upon this bush that appears to be on fire, yet is not being consumed by the flames. With the help of a little curiosity, Moses gets a little closer to the phenomenon and once God sees he has peaked his interest, He calls out to him, this time as a call into leadership. It is at this event that God reveals his plan to Moses and tells him that he is going to be used by God to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian oppression. Like most of us, unfortunately, when we are given an assignment by God, Moses tried to set back God with every excuse he could thing of. " I am just a man. I don't talk well and have a stuttering problem. Gee, God that sounds too hard for me." But God in his infinite wisdom and power lays out a battle plan and shows Moses that everything he needs, he has already been given. Finally, through many trials and tribulations, Moses is used to free the Israelites from slavery. 

Now we get to the last "twice called Individual" from the Old Testament. A little altar boy by the name of Samuel. Samuel was the first child of Elkanah son of Elihu of the tribe of Ephraim and his wife Hannah. After many years of a barren womb, Hannah decides to pray until something happens. So, when the time came for them to go down to the temple to offer sacrifices, Hannah prayed so hard that the Priest who was serving at the time, Eli, assumed her to be drunk and tried to kick her out of the temple. After she assures Eli that she was in earnest prayer, Eli tells her to go in peace and may God grant her this thing which she asked for. Because of her prayer, God opened her womb and she brought forth Samuel. In the proper time, she dedicated him to the temple to serve under Eli and the priests. After years of waiting for a son, the only logical solution in her mind was to give her son back to the Lord. So Samuel grew in the Lord and one night, He called for him. Thinking it was the priest, the boy ran to him quickly, but was sent back to bed until finally, Eli realized it was indeed the Lord calling him. This calling is one of prophecy and after that night, Samuel became of the most well known prophet in all of scripture. 

I love that in these first four instances, the individuals response was, " Here I Am, Lord". It is as if they recognized the voice of God despite all the voices they had heard throughout their lifetime. When God called, they responded and their lives and the lives of those around them were forever changed.

"When God calls you name twice, it is probably wise to listen to what He has to say"- Pastor Mike Holt. 

Adam Semple- A Young Man diving into God's Word

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Structure and Sequence

The entire bible is written out in different styles and techniques based on the author and the time period. You have books of law, poetry, prophecy, history, genealogy, parable and proverbial, just to name a few. Take the books of the the Pentateuch for instance. Genesis through Deuteronomy were all written by one guy, Moses, yet they very in the way they are written. The book of Genesis is structure very chronologically, laying out the details from Creation to Joseph's death. This is followed by the Book of Exodus, or sometimes known as the Book of the Exodus,where God's people exit the clutches of Egyptian captivity and spend 40 years out in the middle of nowhere. During this period, Moses lays out the law as given to him by God on Mount Sinai. This of course is the book of the Law, Leviticus. From there, we find the book of Numbers which is designed as a continuation of the law while giving a wide scope of how big the people of Israel had already become, then it ends with the book of Deuteronomy explaining how to live with the laws and practices that have been set in place. I like the fact that through the first 5 books of the bible, God uses one author to write in several different ways. One life, many styles. It is like God is showing Moses that though he is one man, he is not limited to one gifting or purpose. In the same way, we are not just a worker in one place, but we are people who have many different gifts and calling in each of us. We are not limited to one way to live, but rather over time, God pulls out different techniques of getting through life that have always been in us, we just didn't know they were there because we did not need them in that season. Moses could not have written how to follow the Law if he had not first been given to the Law. The Israelites could not have become as numerous as the sand if their lineage had not been previously established long beforehand. God knows how are life will play out and what gifts and talents we will need when we hit different checkpoints in our journey. Don't limit yourself to one style of living when God has called you to so much more. Trust his path and wait with anticipation for his future for you.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

*photo credit- helloworldciv.com

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Lord will Provide

Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”- Genesis 22:13-14

In the midst of troubling times, The Lord will always provide for every situation and dilemma that arises around us. In the book of Genesis, Abraham is asked to offer up his only son Isaac to God as a test of his obedience. Abraham doesn't question God's plan and begins making the preparations. After his son is tied to the altar and Abraham's knife is in his hand ready to plunge it into the heart of his son, God stops him and reveals a ram that had become stuck in the thickets just out of view. Abraham then calls the place of the altar, Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Will Provide. We see God being referred this way in one of the most well known psalms, Psalms 23- The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul, He leads me in the path of righteousness for his names sake. Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely, your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. When we see God as our ultimate provider, we can rest assured knowing that he will never leave us without. He will never leave us with almost enough, and he will never give us something we don't need. It is encouraging to know that when God calls us to go somewhere or do something, He will put things in place ahead of time so that when we get there, we have all we need. People that have been placed in a spot waiting patiently for you and I to get to where God has for us. Provisions of things we didn't even know we needed until the moment arrives where the things we thought we needed fade away. It is usually these things that we realize were what we needed all along. Many of us are afraid to move forward with God because we have not been able to trust him with the details. It is time to believe that if God is calling you, he is also equipping you to go and do what he desires. Let us have obedience as Abraham did and go even when the provisions are not all in hand. 


Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Okay, Here I Go

"Jesus created us to be untamed, to be wild, to be undomesticated for the cause of the King and His Kingdom, but we get into the cage of religion and we start to assume this certain persona. We become safe, nice and domesticated.” And then I heard Jesus tell me, "I did not give my life and rise again from the dead just so that you can live a nice, little, safe, comfortable, complacent, ordinary life. I called you to live a faith adventure. Your latter days can be greater than your former days, and the best is yet to come!" Jesus Christ is calling me and YOU onward to a faith-filled adventure!"- Christine Caine, 30 days to greater faith.

Well, it is a new year once again.The old year is behind us and the new year is upon. We have made our resolutions and we might actually keep one of them at least until March. But then what? Come February, the gyms become empty, the cigarettes fly of the shelf and that promise to God becomes just a passing memory full of regrets and maybe somedays. With the start of a new season, how do we truly commit to our desire to grow deeper in God? We have to start by stepping outside of our selves and look to God as our only anchor. The problem with "new year resolutions" is we are usually not willing to step out of our comfort zone because it is usually scary. I have spent the majority of my life in the shadows. I have always been "one of the crew", and it becomes very easy to just get comfortable holding up other people. But at some point, I know that I needed to go on a God adventure without my family around me in order to truly grow into the person that God has planned for me. Don't get me wrong, my family is awesome. Even though God has blessed me with a great family, this year I will try to push out of safety and walk into whatever God has for me. Wherever He leads me and whatever he instructs. I hope as you go into this year, you evaluate your walk with the Lord and ask him what areas of you life that need stretching and growing. I hope you journey with me as I pursue God's calling on my life. 

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Elohim- God and His Ever-growing Family

Throughout all of Scripture, God is called by many names. Some are used for a specific time, while others are more widespread and used more commonly. From the very beginning, we get the very first name of God, Elohim. We see this in Genesis 1:1- In the beginning,{Elohim} created the Heavens and the Earth. This name for God is the most common and is used over 2500 times in the Old Testament according to gotquestions.org. Here is how gotquestions.org defines this- "The basic meaning behind the name Elohim is one of strength or power of effect. Elohim is the infinite, all-powerful God who shows by his works that he is the creator, sustainer, and supreme judge of the world. 'Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure--you, the righteous [Elohim] who probes minds and hearts' (Psalm 7:9)" 

I love that right from the start, God lays out his divine power and authority. Even before the creation of the world, God is in control and able to do great and powerful things.  

All the way through the old and new testament, Elohim describes God as one family, one kingdom, one God. According to bibletools.org, with every person who is saved, they become one with God's family, therefore Elohim is constantly expanding, continually growing. We go from being lost and orphaned to become found and Children of God. I think that is pretty cool.

Adam Semple- A You

Saturday, October 7, 2017

This Verse Really Speaks to Me.

Ever hear someone talk about their "life verse?" You know, the verse that they can quote at the drop of a hat and aren't afraid to tell you how it applies to their life? There are a couple verses that I feel are like this for me, but one tends to stand our above the rest. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if you were working for the Lord, not for man"- Colossians 3:23. If any of you know me personally, you know I strive to follow this verse. I feel blessed that in my life, I have tried to always be a good, hard worker. I strive to be dependable and keep a good work ethic. But can I be honest for a minute? Keeping a positive outlook when I am in a job that I don't enjoy anymore. It's one thing to be excited to go to work when you are in your dream job and everyone of your coworkers like having you around and the world is fine and dandy. But what if it's not? What if you are just in a job that brings zero satisfaction and you work with people who barely tolerate you? How could you possibly continue to work as for the Lord when you've got complaining customers in one ear and a pool of coworkers who don't want to be there either? Not going to lie, some days are harder than others. What gets me through the day is remembering this verse. I make it my goal to still work my hardest no matter the circumstance. I realize that for whatever reason, God has put me where I am for a reason. He gave me this job, and when he is ready for me to move on, he will open the doors that carry me to the next place. No matter how bad the job may be, God has a purpose for you to be there. Whether it is a bagger at the local grocery store or the CEO of a major company, our job is our mission field and we are precisely placed to reach a specific people group. Perhaps that coworker is always cold to you is the very person God wants you to share his son with. Maybe your boss needs to see how you work and respond to situations to know what it means to be a good worker. We might never know the impact we have by being where we are, but when we are obedient and giving it our all every day, God will show you glimpses, some big and some small, of why he put you here. So I have to ask. What is a verse that God has places on your heart that could be the copy you need to push through everyday? Because, let's be honest with ourselves for a moment. Even when we are in the perfect job, there will still be hard days and frustrating customers, but despite these circumstances, God wants us to continue to be his light and a beacon of good in a world that doesn't see that all to often.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission from God, working for God as best as I can