Wednesday, September 24, 2014

God IN Us

Photo from

Does God sometimes seem far away—separate and unconcerned about what is happening in our lives? According to John 14:16 the feeling is merely an illusion, for Jesus promised He would constantly be with each one of us, in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit links heaven and earth—God and each of us.

The Holy Spirit has been active among people from the beginning of creation. In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit ministered through select national leaders, prophets, priests, and kings. However, after Jesus rose from the dead, every believer is privileged to be touched and set apart for ministry by the Spirit.

Regretfully, many of us walk around unaware of this holy Power present within us. In preparing a lesson for my Senior High Sunday school class, I listed some of the ways the Holy Spirit ministers in and through us:

The Holy Spirit reveals the truth about God.
John 14: 17a

The Holy Spirit is our helper.
He teaches us.
He reminds us of Jesus' words.
John 14:26

The Holy Spirit teaches what is right and wrong
He announces God's judgment.
John 16:8

The Holy Spirit brings us messages from God.
He gives insight into future events.
John 16: 13

The Holy Spirit empowers us to minister.
He helps us be witnesses for God.
Acts 1:8

The Holy Spirit strengthens us when we are weak.
He prays for us.
Romans 8:26

The Holy Spirit gives us gifts to use in ministering.
1 Corinthians 12:4

The Holy Spirit produces spiritual fruit in us.
Galatians 5:22-23

This list is very incomplete. There is so much more that God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, does.

Personally, what struck me the most as I prepared this study is that the Holy Spirit is God present within every believer. GOD IS IN US—in you and in me . . . ALWAYS—all day, every day. Now that is an awesome thought fact!

What Scriptures would you add to this list? Out of all that you know about the Holy Spirit, what brings you the most peace and comfort?


©2014 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sweet Fragrance

photo from

“Jean was here this morning,” I commented to the church secretary as I walked into her office.

“Yes, she was! Were you looking for her?” Jennifer asked.

“No, no. I just can tell she was here,” I noted with pleasure. We shared a little smile and I went on my way.

How did I know my friend Jean had been in the church office? I could smell Jean Nate` perfume. It has been her signature fragrance for decades. Everywhere Jean goes the classy blend of spice and floral wafts on the air. A breath of it always brings a smile to my face because it immediately calls my friend to mind.

Those who sat with Jean on the school board may not associate such pleasant thoughts with Jean Nate`. My friend served on the board for many years and wasn’t one to just nod, “yes, yes” to anything and everything. She held strong opinions and had the courage to express them.

Jean's name came up at a recent group Bible study when we delved into 2 Corinthians chapter 2, verses 14-16. I love the imagery Paul's words evoke:

“God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance. For we are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost. For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life.”

Like the diverse responses created by my friend’s perfume, the message of Christ brings on a variety of reactions. Not everyone welcomes it; some are even appalled by it.

But to those who are seeking mercy, those who long for a new start, the Good News of Jesus is a like a breath of fresh air. It is invigorating and uplifting, offering hope.

God calls us to spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere. But many of us, worried about the kind of reception we will receive, are reluctant to open our mouths about our faith. How then can the sweet fragrance of grace reach others?

Let’s not keep the Good News bottled up! Pull out the stopper and allow God’s message to diffuse over hurting hearts with its life-giving hope of salvation.


©2014 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Constant Love

I have led an unusually blessed life. I can honestly say with David, “I praise God,     because he did not reject my prayer or keep back his constant love from me.” (Psalm 66:20)

The truth is, I don’t know why. I certainly don’t deserve God’s blessings. I have assuredly NOT been good enough to guarantee my prayers would be answered. I definitely have not earned God’s steadfast love for me.

Yet, I have it. (I shake my head in amazement at that fact.)

And you know what? YOU, too, are loved by God with an unending, unmerited love!

Part of the reason God’s love seems so incredible is that God’s love far exceeds limited, human love. I recently came across a list of attributes of God’s love in a devotional entitled, “I’m Amy and I Like Getting Gold Stars by Amy Carroll at Here is my edited version of Amy’s list, with a few additions of my own.

  • God’s love is constant. (Psalm 25:6)
  • God’s love is wonderful. (Psalm 31:21)
  • God’s love is better than life. (Psalm 63:3)
  • God’s love endures forever. (Psalm 118:4)
  • God’s love reaches out to sinners. (Romans 5:8)
  • God’s love is demonstrative. (Romans 5:8)
  • God’s love is patient. (I Corinthians 13:4)
  • God’s love is kind. (I Corinthians 13:4)
  • God’s love is wide and long and high and deep. (Ephesians 3:18)
  • God’s love surpasses knowledge. (Ephesians 3:19)
  • God’s love comforts. (Philippians 2:1)
  • God’s love is great. (1 John 3:1)

 Realizing God loves me with THAT kind of love stretches beyond my comprehension. And the best part is NOTHING can separate us from it—ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

“For I am certain that nothing can separate us from [God’s] love:
neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers,
neither the present nor the future, 39 neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from
the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39

Isn’t that just the greatest news you ever heard?

image from
(Doin’ the happy dance!)


©2014 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

From Sun Rays to Son Rays

Back Mountain Trail
photo by Pam Williams
Walking along the Back Mountain Trail the other day I rounded a bend and stopped abruptly as I saw several beams of sunlight that were made distinctly apparent by smoke from a nearby house. While I probably would have noticed a sunny spot along the otherwise shadowy path, the smoke dramatically unveiled the sun’s rays.

Mulling over this beautiful sight, I realized that God can make Himself known to us in a similar manner. While we may understand that Jesus is present in a general way, we mosey through life, taking little note of his light shining on our way.

Often, however, trials highlight Jesus’ sustaining and guiding presence with us. It is then that we can’t miss him! Just like the smoke made the sunbeams obvious, challenges tend to open our eyes to the Son’s rays—the invisible light of God shining even in our darkest situations.

How have past troubles given you a greater awareness of God’s presence? How has that helped you as you deal with a current testing in your life?

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called--his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.”
Ephesians 1:18

P.S. Can you see the man wearing the white t-shirt in my photo? As we walk through difficult circumstances, let us realize that we are not alone. God is there, going before us.


©2014 Pamela D. Williams