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Author Archives: Jill Richard

About Jill Richard

My name is Jill Richard. I'm a life long Christian. Trying to live my life for my Lord everyday. I've been working in internet marketing since 2003. I want people to look at me and think - What an amazing God she believes in! I want all of my actions to point back to my Lord. They don't always, and for that I am grateful for the Grace of my Lord Jesus Christ.

My God is…able to guard what I have entrusted to Him 2 Timothy 1:11-14

2 Timothy 1:11-14 – For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason Iarmor-guard suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

I know the one in whom I have put my trust

Who do you trust? I have a few people I feel like I can trust. I have my husband, my parents, my sister and some really good friends that I feel I can trust to have my back and to always have the best intentions for everything they do in regard to me. I know that they are sinners though, so the amount of trust I truly give them is still limited. Not so with God. God is trustworthy. He is the one we can count on to always have our best interests at heart. He knows better than I do what I need and when. I know, like Paul who wrote 2nd Timothy, in whom I put my trust, my full and utter trust.

I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him

I love the witness that Paul is being. He says, even though he had suffered much and was still suffering on behalf of the gospel, that he knows he can trust God to follow through and keep guard over Paul spiritually and physically. Paul went through so much, but we can learn to be encouraged through the faith in God he is displaying here. He says he is sure that God will guard His faith and trust until the day Paul meets God in heaven.

Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus

Paul encourages those reading his letter (at the time and now) to believe what he is saying and trust him as he trusts in God. They can hold to the teachings he has given them, because they are based on the scriptures and teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus is who he trusts, and because He uses scripture and Jesus’ own words, Paul is telling us that we can trust the teachings he has put forth. We must always check what we believe against the scriptures so that we are not mislead.

Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

As we go forward in our lives, we need to guard our faith. We need to keep away from situations that nick at our faith and try to tear it down. Maybe you need to stay away from a friend who berates you for your faith. We all could spend more time in scripture. The more we are in the word of God, the stronger we are to keep the faith. It is one of the way we guard our faith. We also need to surround ourselves with others who believe as we do. We need to reach out to those who know more than us about our Lord and to continue to grow in our faith so that it does not wither and starve like one who is not fed. The Holy Spirit is within us, and throughout your day, you may feel the Holy Spirit calling you toward things that bolster your faith and away from things that could harm your faith or lead you astray. Please hold dear the teachings of the Holy Spirit. Don’t ignore His promptings. How do you know it is from God? I don’t know for sure, but I do know it’s not from God if it contradicts the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. How do we learn what is from the Holy Spirit? Spend more time in the word. Protect yourself from the devil and his minions. Put on the full armor of God:

Ephesians 6:10-18  The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[a] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these,[b] take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

 

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My God is…Listening Psalm 66:16

Psalm 66:16-20

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.praying
I cried aloud to him,and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened; he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me.

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.

All you who fear God, that’s an interesting caveat to put on a phrase. Why was the Psalmist wanting to talk to those who fear God, and not others? David was about to witness to them about what the Lord had done for him. That isn’t something that those who don’t trust God readily accept, encourage or understand. They see the work of the Lord’s hand as coincidence or fate. But as Christians, we are free to share, called to witness to the mighty acts of God and give Him the glory in our lives. Usually telling someone about God would come before talking about what He’s done for you. Though sometimes your story might be so compelling that it makes the perfect opportunity to start the conversation about who God is and that He came to save all who would believe in Him.

I cried aloud to him, and he was extolled with my tongue.

David cried out to God. What did he say? The second half of that sentence says he extolled God with his tongue. Do you know what extolled means (I looked it up just to be sure)? It means “to praise highly”. Here David is giving us a good example of how to pray. I know many people who say they don’t know how to pray, so here is a tip from David. Praise God for who He is. Basically that’s what I’m trying to do with this blog. I focus on one attribute of God and I praise Him for who He is. In this post it is that I have a God who listens. My prayer may start like this “Dear God, I praise you for being a God who listens, who hears me when I call.”

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

David is giving another example of what we should do in prayer, confession. When we pray, it’s important to get everything that will distract you from God out-of-the-way. Everything that is blocking your relationship with Him should be confessed (don’t worry you don’t have to list them all by name). In my prayers, the next thing I would do is say something like, “Lord, please forgive me for being self-focused and not putting you first while loving others as I love myself.” If you have specific sins you want to confess, of course the Lord wants you to bring those to Him so that He can forgive you so you no longer have to be distracted when you talk with Him. He doesn’t want you thinking about that when you and He have so much more to talk about.

But truly God has listened; he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

What a beautiful thing to be able to approach our God with our prayers. We are able to talk to the one in charge of everything. We went to Washington D.C., and when we got back the other kids asked my boys if they got to meet the president. Of course we didn’t. But we have something even better. We’re able to talk to the creator of the universe, the one who truly holds my life in His hands, our Lord and Savior. In my prayers, after I praise God and confess my sins, I talk to Him about what is on my mind. Sometimes I focus on a specific verse, but other times I just tell Him what’s troubling me or doesn’t seem to be going the way I think it should. It might sound something like this, “Lord, I’m really struggling with my relationships right now. I know that because it is in more than one relationship it likely has to do with me. Lord help me to see where I need to make changes and how I can be a blessing to those you have put in my life.”

Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me.

David has given us such a great example of prayer here, and I don’t think he’s even praying (though he may have used his poetry and songs as prayers). After praising God, Confessing my sins and making supplication (asking Him for His aid in my life or someone else’s), I try to thank God for answered prayers, blessings etc. Here David Thanks God for not rejecting his prayer and for continuing to love him no matter what David had done (and if you think your sins are bad, you should read about David in 1 and 2 Samuel). For me this part of the prayer might sound like this, “Thank you Lord for all you have done for me and my family. Thank you for providing my boys with opportunities for education and development of their faith life. Thank you for continually providing for our needs even when it seems impossible. Amen.”

God is not rejecting your prayer

Sometimes people think they’ll pray wrong. While I told you that I often like to include Praise, confession, requests and thanks, I just as often leave out parts (maybe everything but my requests). God doesn’t reject our prayers. When we come to Him trusting Him in all things, He will be listening. He will hear your prayer, and He will never remove His steadfast love for you.

 

 

 

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My God is…our instructor Matthew 23:10

Matthew 23:10 – Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.

They can't put it on the internet if it isn't true

They can’t put it on the internet if it isn’t true

Definition of INSTRUCT

1: to give knowledge to : teachtrain
2: to provide with authoritative information or advice <the judge instructed the jury>
3: to give an order or command to : direct

To give knowledge to : teachtrain
There is a lot of information out there that people want to instruct you on. There are books on nearly every topic known to man. Ever heard the phrase – “Everyone’s an expert”? The thought is that everyone knows a lot about something. Knowledge is a very important thing for us. We need information to work, live and provide for our families. We educate ourselves in numerous ways (computer, school, reading, tv and more). In the verse above, Jesus is reading the pharisees the riot act. He’s giving them a piece of His mind.

He’s giving them a piece of His mind. 
Jesus was warning the disciples and the people listening that the teachings of the Pharisees was true, but that their actions didn’t match what they taught. People looked up to them and followed how they were leading. Check out the preceding verses:
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

A lot of what we’re taught is true, but not all of the actions of those teaching us are right. Many of the books we read, the schools we attend, and the self help books we read speak some truths. Some of the information is useful and necessary, but often they draw our focus away from what we’re really supposed to learn. It reminds me of classic parenting phrase, “Do what I say, not what I do.” Obviously that’s not a fantastic way to parent, instruct or teach. Just because someone calls themselves a guru, doesn’t make them one.

Bonjour

Have you seen this commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DZbSlkFoSU? It’s the commercial from State farm where the man is showing the girl some apps, and she says she didn’t think State Farm had apps? She says she read it on the internet. Then she says she’s meeting her date – a french model – a man (clearly not a french model) walks up and says “Bonjour”. She says in the commercial, “they can’t put it on the internet if it isn’t true”. We are bombarded with untruths all around us. It is sometimes hard for us to discern fact from fiction, but for the Christian, there is hope.  

For you have one instructor, the Messiah
We don’t have to look to others to see what is true and good. The Messiah, Jesus Christ is the Truth. When we compare the things of this world to what we’re taught by Jesus through His word, we can find truth. This world cleverly disguises truth, but we know the source of all truth. When we’re able to keep our focus on our Lord, spending time in His word each day, we’re less likely to end up with a french model we met on the internet. There are some useful things in this world that are outside the Bible. I’m not saying that the Lord has not blessed some with true wisdom, but as Christians we need to check it against the Truth of Jesus Christ. If it flies blatantly in the face of that Truth, we need to consider ignoring that advice, that instruction. In the end we have one instructor: The Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 

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My God is…Washing John 13:7-9

John 13:7-9 – Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter Regular or Decaf Coffeesaid to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 

Story of my life! Have you ever felt that way? That you don’t know what God is doing, but in retrospect you can see His hand at every turn? Some of you might still be waiting for later to arrive. Waiting can be hard. Even when God explains it to us, sometimes we still don’t get it. Kind of like Peter in these verses.

You will never wash my feet

At first Peter didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet. He felt it wasn’t Jesus’ place. Being the most honored guest, someone should have offered to wash Jesus’ feet. Peter was sort of saying, “I’m good, I don’t need you to do that for me Jesus.” Peter’s intentions were good (not wanting to put Jesus out and all), but Peter wasn’t quite getting the point. Sometimes we’re put in situations like that too, aren’t we. We think we know what is the good and proper thing to do. We don’t like it when people rock the boat. Imagine sitting at restaurant, and you’ve been seated near the waiting staff’s station. Your waiter or waitress is swamped and hasn’t been able to refill your cup. Someone at your table gets up and grabs the coffee pot and pours some into the first cup. You might say, “I’m good”, because you don’t like how the normal way of doing things has been changed up. We don’t like when things go differently than we expect or is “normal”. We’re not always willing to “go with the flow” as my mother would say.

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”

I know my coffee analogy has some holes, but work with me for a minute. Suppose you’ve just refused the cup of coffee poured by your friend. Your friend says to you, “Unless you let me serve you this coffee, you won’t get any.” That’s sort of what Jesus was saying to Peter. If you don’t let me serve you (not just coffee, but offering up His life), you’re not going to share in this salvation. If we want to do things the “normal” way or “our” way, we may find that we’ve missed the whole point. What is the point? To give glory to God. If we keep trying to do things the same way over and over again, we’re going to get the same results. When we trust God, we can be sure to be pushed out of our comfort zone, but we will also be enriched by a life spent focused on the Lord, and bask in the glory of our promised eternal life.

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

So your friend with the coffee said you might not get another chance to get more coffee. If we responded like Peter, we might get out our thermos and say, “not only in the cup, but fill up my thermos too”. Again, not a perfect analogy, but hopefully you get what I’m trying to say. Peter was vacillating between not wanting God to do anything and not believing what God was going to do was enough. At first Peter didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet, but to prove how much he was part of Jesus, he wanted Jesus to wash all of him. What God does for us is enough. Sometimes we try to augment our salvation, what Jesus did for us on the cross. We think yeah, that’s good and all, but I’m pretty sure it comes down to me being a good person too. We don’t like it when things don’t go the way we’re used to. In the world, it does often come down to being a good person. But fortunately for us our salvation is not based on that. We don’t have to do more to earn our salvation. Jesus died on the cross, and that was enough. Even the martyrs who gave up their life to tell people about Jesus didn’t up their chances of being saved by their immense sacrifice. It was only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that has provided us with our sharing in His kingdom.

Sometimes we just go over the top.

 

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My God is…Cheering me up Psalm 94:18-19

Psalm 94:18-19 – When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”Jesushuggingcryinggirl
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.

I thought, “My foot is slipping”

Have you ever wondered how you ended up where you are? How could things have gotten this bad? Sinning can be a slippery slope. Sometimes one sin can lead to another which leads to another. That happens pretty regularly with lying. If you lie, you may find yourself lying over and over to cover your past lies. I’ve never been very good at lying for that very reason. It took too much work to cover each one up. I’d rather face the consequences of the first one then get tangled in the web of deceit. Our emotions can be a slippery slope too. We can start feeling bad, and then we start keeping track of all the bad that goes on in our lives. We like to compare the list with others so we can prove our day is going worse than theirs. But that slippery slope has another side. The side that goes away from sadness, away from sin. God is the way to get away from the slippery slope.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up

When we start to slip, or even to lean over the edge, God is there with His steadfast love to help us stand strong with Him. He can help us turn back from our sin. He can help us to come out from under our dark cloud. He can heal us from our infirmities. He can comfort us.

When the cares of my heart are many

I have a tendency to feel overwhelmed, especially emotionally. I think too much and my internal dialogue can go crazy if I’m given time to think too much. I am sure I know what everyone else is thinking, how they feel about me, how every conversation will go and whether or not it will end up poorly or well. This can lead to a lot of anxiety. I can imagine all sorts of things. Given that, social situations can become scary. I’m the same way about finances and work. If I think of something in the middle of the night, there is almost no way for me to get back to sleep. Why? Because I’m über focused on myself and my problems.

Your consolations cheer my soul
Definition of CONSOLE: to alleviate the grief, sense of loss, or trouble of : comfort

Trusting in God. Believing in His consolations. These are the things I (we) need to focus on when things start getting out of control. God is bigger than our problems, and He can find amazingly creative ways for what we’re sure will happen to change. God wants to cheer our soul. He has given us promises to look forward to, and mercies we can remember. God has the power to change things, but too often we’re holding on so tight that we won’t hand it over to Him and truly trust that He’s got this. He’s got our problems in His hand and is going to help us through these tough situations. He’s going to comfort and console us. He’s going to help alleviate the grief, and heal our sense of loss. When we change our focus from how things are affecting us, and instead focus on God (getting into His word, spending time in worship etc), we are reminded of all the Lord has done for us and we can learn to turn all our cares over to Him so that we might enjoy a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). The promise of eternal life with God is something to cheer us and console us. God sacrificing His own Son so that we might live eternally, He loves us that much. That comforts me.

Do you need cheering up?

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in My God is Cheering me up, Psalm

 

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My God is…Yearned for Isaiah 26:8-9

Isaiah 26:8-9 – In the path of your judgments,Want, need and must have
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and your renown
are the soul’s desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Definition of YEARN

1: to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly <yearns to make a difference>
2: to feel tenderness or compassion
To long persistently, wistfully, or sadly
Have you ever yearned for something? Think back on that feeling. Maybe you know that feeling really well and have been yearning for something for a long time with no satisfaction. Truthfully, there is only one thing that we can yearn for that will satisfy us and that is the Lord. God is the only one who can fill all of our needs. He can meet our physical, spiritual and mental needs. God is the only yearning that can be truly satisfied.
I yearn to be loved
I don’t know how many times I thought that to myself. I wanted some young man to fix the pains I had inside. I wanted someone to love me and accept me as I was. That for me meant testing that love with every ounce of my being – and then inferring the question, “Do you love me now?”. I was looking for a love that I couldn’t get from other people. I wanted the love only God could give. The kind of peace, inner peace that can only come from God. Only when I started to see myself as God sees me (His beloved one), I began to yearn less for the acceptance of boys and was able to have a true loving relationship with my now husband. Not because of a need to be accepted, but out of true real love for each other and God.
I yearn to be beautiful
Almost every young woman in America (and probably most other countries) has had this yearning at one time or another. My prideful self still struggles with it some days. Being beautiful, like being loved, is presented as the answer to many problems in this world. We might think that the beautiful people have it easier. They are liked more, given more and treated better than those of us of average looks. The world does value beauty, but in the end, I’m not sure most beautiful people would say they are more satisfied with life. Beauty comes from the Lord. When our hearts are changed and sanctified by Him, we become more beautiful as a result. We change, because to know God and not change is nearly impossible. As we get to know Him more we get to know ourselves more too. We see the way He created us uniquely to serve Him and others. It is in our ability to reflect God’s beauty, His love and His compassion that we truly become beautiful. I can’t say that I’m always beautiful in this way, but I think that the Lord has made me more beautiful than I ever thought possible. It is His work in me that has changed who I am and made me be able to look to Him for my satisfaction more readily.
My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you
The world wants us to yearn for the things they’re selling us. They want us to yearn for their products, their promises, their services. But God wants us to yearn for Him. In everything we do we should be seeking Him. We should be yearning for Him. We should long for Him with an ache in our heart. Yearning to know Him more, Yearning to be closer to Him, yearning to live more like Him. God is the only thing that will satisfy our yearnings. We need to be seeking Him with all our might.
Lord, I yearn for you, help me to yearn for you more.
What do you yearn for?
 
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Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Isaiah, My God is Yearned for

 

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My God is…rewarding you – Proverbs 25:21-22

Proverbs 25:21-22 – If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;i-love-my-enemies
and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;
for you will heap coals of fire on their heads,
and the Lord will reward you.

If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink

Definition of enemy: “one that is antagonistic to another; especially: one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent”

Do you have any enemies? I pray that you don’t, but I would guess most of us could think of one or two people (maybe many) who would make our enemies list. You may have heard that someone was talking behind your back spreading lies. Someone may have given you the wrong time to be somewhere to thwart your day’s agenda. Someone may have given you the cold shoulder. It is really hard when someone is treating you poorly. You may feel mad, sad, hurt, insecure or dejected. Maybe you’re just tired of having to defend yourself at every turn. Feeling that way often leads us to say things and do things we would not usually do. We might even be embarrassed if someone saw how we treated those we consider enemies. Having enemies usually doesn’t bring out the best in us. But what does God want us to do?

Matthew 5:43-45 – Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven

When I was going through a situation where I felt like people were treating me wrongly (like an enemy), I did what many people would do. I talked with my mom. We talked about how I didn’t want to dislike them, be mean to them etc, but that I was hurt and frustrated that even though I was being (in my mind) kind and supportive, I was having unkind thoughts. My dear mom suggested even though it may be hard to feel unloved, I should pray for them. She said that praying for them would push out the negative thoughts about them and allow me to move towards loving them. It’s not exactly what I wanted to hear (she didn’t encourage me to go off on them or ok my coming to fisticuffs over it), She was right (yes, I said it – my mom was right).

For you will heap coals of fire on their heads
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of our verse for today is this section, “for you will heap coals of fire on their heads”. I am sure it’s probably not in the most Christian of ways either. I truly love the idea that being kind to those who don’t like you would be its own punishment for them. In most of the examples of enemies I listed, it was people wrongly attacking you, but truth be told we often have done something that is unkind as well (even unknowingly sometimes). They may feel they are the ones who are being attacked by you, and  being kind to them may lead to some sort of reconciliation or at least respite from the painful attacks. Truth is, besides heaping coals on their heads, I don’t want to detract from my God. I don’t want my petty differences to become something bigger that means people are watching to see how I’ll react to someone instead of growing in their faith or their relationships here on earth. I want them to not be surprised when I respond in love no matter what is being said. I would love for that to be the truth in my life.
The Lord will reward you
Now, I’m pretty sure that God is not going to reward me with winning the lottery for not being mean to my enemies, or even if I’m taking it all the way to being nice or loving my enemies. I think the reward for us is that we are able to reconcile with them. That we might be able to grow and learn about the forgiveness our Lord gives us. We might find we have more in common with our enemies than we would have ever imagined. If nothing else, we would get the joy of knowing that by reacting differently than the world expects, we have an opportunity to reflect the Glory of our Lord, and that is a great reward.
Are you loving your enemies?
 

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My God is…defending my cause Psalm 43:1

Psalm 43:1 – Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause Pupil being bullied in elementary school
against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
deliver me!

Vindicate me, O God

My last blog post was about God vindicating His people. So you might wonder why I would choose a verse from scripture that also has God vindicating me. Well, I have been inspired by a blog post I read by Sharla Fritz called, “How to be a Hero: Defend Someone“. You’ll want to take a read of that, it really got me thinking about my dad. I don’t know if I have personally ever heard my dad say something bad about someone. I know he has, because he has confessed calling an ex-boyfriend of mine a jerk, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. He’s a believer in the “If you can’t say something nice…” wait, he’s not actually. My father doesn’t just refrain from saying mean things, he has told me he works at always finding something nice to say about people when their names are brought up and they’re not present. Sharla Fritz points out in her blog,

“Defending someone when they are not around is an act of heroism.  You are rescuing their reputation, you are saving their dignity. When you stand up for another person, you are protecting their character. A true ally will shield another’s good name. There is no shortage of people who are anxious to tear others down. Be the person who turns the conversation around.”

Defend my cause against an ungodly people

God is our great defender. We can trust that God will bring any falsehoods told about us to light, and that He will arm us with the words we need by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 12:11-12

11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how[a] you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”

No matter who is accusing you, chastising or berating you, you can trust and pray for the Lord to show you the words to use. Every time people treat us badly, we’re given an opportunity to reflect God’s glory by responding differently than others might.

Being defensive

I don’t know about you, but I can be defensive. I don’t like to be wrong, and when someone points out one of my failures (or two or three), I’m more likely to point out ten of theirs. But it never pays off. Being defensive, trying to defend ourselves with human reasoning and logic deflate our argument. Say someone says you’re pig-headed, telling them five reasons you’re not, is…pig-headed. Our pride often gets in our way of being witnesses for God. When we’re able to defend others, see another’s position, humble ourselves, we’re able to show what is most important in our lives, God. Being defensive is a sure sign that your pride is involved and you can’t be putting God first, because at that moment you’re only thinking about how you’ve been wronged, misrepresented or mistreated. You’re thinking about yourself. But with humbleness and acceptance, turning to God and allowing Him to take the responsibility of defending us, we’re freed to show others love even when they don’t deserve it (do any of us ever truly deserve it?).

Lord, Help me to put my pride aside. Help me not to defend myself, but allow myself to be a witness to you in all circumstances. Help me not to put my pride first. Help me to think of Your will above my own. Help me to defend others and to only say nice things about people. Help me to refrain from being catty, unkind and boastful. Keep my thoughts pure and focused on you. Help me choose humility over pride. Forgive me when I fail. Amen.

Do you get defensive?

 
 

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My God is…Vindicating His People Psalm 135:13-14

Psalm 135:13-14 – Your name, O Lord, endures forever,Salvation
your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
For the Lord will vindicate his people,
and have compassion on his servants.


Definition of VINDICATE

obsolete : to set free : deliver
2: avenge
3 a : to free from allegation or blame
   b (1) : confirmsubstantiate (2) : to provide justification or defense for : justify
   : to protect from attack or encroachment : defend
4: to maintain a right to

To set free : deliver

The Lord sets the prisoners free (Psalm 146:8a).

As humans we are all in chains to sin, but God didn’t want that to be our future, so He sent Jesus to set us free from our prison of sin. We no longer have to be slaves to the things that have entrapped us in the past. We are free to be His and freed to be used by Him for His glory. In the short-term (the here and now) He can help us with the addictions we face, with the tumultuous relationships, with the fear of failure and all the other struggles we face as humans. When we die, we will also be set free from death and be able to take part in the promise we’ve been given of eternal life with God in heaven. God has set us free from the bondage of sin so we might enjoy freedom here on earth and eternal freedom with Him for eternity.

Avenge
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
God has your back. You don’t need to get back at those who have done you wrong. I’m sure we all have some people we know have wronged us. Truth is the devil often likes to use the frustration we feel from those relationships and wants to use them to distract us from focusing on the Lord. Instead, if we continue to focus on the Lord and not try to avenge the wrongs done to us, we will be able to find peace in the Lord. We can also rest assured that they’ll get what’s coming to them. The Lord will repay. He’s got your back and He has mine too.

To free from allegation or blame
Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.Acts 13:38-39
When we compare our lives to the law of Moses, it becomes clear quickly that we are sinners. That we fall short of what God called us to do in the old testament. We who were not able to justify ourselves by our own actions have been set free by Jesus. He has given us forgiveness of sins through His sacrifice of His life on the cross and His resurrection three days later. He took the sins on Himself, making us righteous even though we didn’t deserve it. It reminds me of Jesus’ prayer on the cross – “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” I think when I sin, it’s like He said that prayer not only for the soldiers who were casting lots, but also for me and all my sins.

Confirm, substantiate
I think this is part of why I love looking up words that are used in scripture. Not only is God freeing us from blame and avenging wrongs, He is vindicating us through His actions. Through miracles in days of old, through testimonies in scripture and those we hear now and through our personal relationships with Christ, God confirms and substantiates our faith in Him. What we believe will all be proven true on the last day. We will be vindicated on the day that these scriptures Philippians 2:9-11) are fulfilled:
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

To provide justification or defense for
Galatians 3:6-9 – Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,”  so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.”  For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.
God has provided the justification we needed by giving us faith in Him. We who believe in Him are no longer slaves to sins, but have been given a clean slate because of the faith worked in us by the Holy Spirit.

To protect from attack or encroachment
In the Old Testament, there were many attacks on the people of God. When they put their faith in God, they were never disappointed. We too can trust in God to protect us from the attacks the devil wages on us (often through those we expected to be able to trust). God has our back and will vindicate us. Keep your focus on Him that you might not lose site of all the Lord is doing for you each day.

To maintain a right to
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
Because of the love the father has given us we are able to maintain a right to call ourselves children of God. We are His children and we have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven. We have a right to it, not because of what we have done, but because of the righteousness of the one who sacrificed that we might live, Jesus Christ.

Do you want vindication?
 
 

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My God is…Knocking – Revelation 3:20

Revelation 3:20 –  Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will Knocking on the Doorcome in to you and eat with you, and you with me.

Listen! God is trying to get your attention. This is an imperative, a command from God Himself. He wants you to pay attention so you don’t miss an opportunity to connect more fully with Him. Are you looking for God in your world? I know I often talk about scripture is our trusted source for all things God, but that doesn’t diminish His awesome presence all around us. If you think back over the last two days, can you think of a way the Lord has tried to get your attention? Maybe it was through the Pastor in your church, a friend, or even your child. Maybe it was in that near miss on the highway. Maybe it was the death of a loved one. LISTEN!!!

I am standing at the door, knocking

I have to be honest, anymore when I think of someone knocking, I can’t help but think of Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory”. Whenever he goes someplace and has to knock on a door, he compulsively has to say the person’s name. Knock, knock, knock, Penny. Knock, knock, knock, Penny. Knock, knock, knock, Penny. Sheldon is persistent at knocking at someone’s door, so much so that if they’re there, they are compelled to open the door. I picture God doing that to the door to my heart and mind. Knock, knock, knock, Jill. Knock, knock, knock, Jill. Knock, knock, knock, Jill. He wants me to pay attention, and He’s willing to be annoying when He does it. God does many things to get our attention and bring us back to focusing on Him. God has something to say to us, and He’s not going away until you’ve heard it.

If you hear my voice and open the door

Some of us close the door to God. We say that He can’t be real, that He isn’t reliable, that He doesn’t love us, that He didn’t create us, that He didn’t die for us so we could be with Him. Sometimes we try to ignore what is right in front of us. We’ve had lots of opportunities. People tell us about their faith, we see a miracle happen, or maybe we just hear the knocking, but some choose to block that out. Maybe they know that when they open the door to God, things are going to change. Some people won’t support them and some people will laugh. The Lord will begin to take priority over other things, and that can be a hard change for some people. They may start to also change their behavior, as the Lord continues to work in their heart.

I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me

So what happens if we are open to what God is trying to say to us? We see it in this verse. He will come into us. He will become a part of us. He will eat with us, and we will eat with Him. Who do you eat with? If you’re at work, do you sit by yourself? Do you sit with colleagues? Maybe in school you would sit with your friends. At home you may eat with your family. In general we tend to sit and eat with those whom we have a relationship. God wants to have a relationship with us. He wants us to be close to Him and know Him. He wants to be an intimate friend of yours and mine. God is coming to your door right now, knocking. He wants you to open up and allow yourself to get to know Him better. Let Him come in, please. Who are you eating with?

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in My God is Knocking, Revelation

 

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