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Category Archives: Characteristics of God

Jill Richard’s Musings on the Characteristics of God based on verses in the Bible

My God is…abiding in me 1 John 4:13-21

Jesushuggingcryinggirl1 John 4:13-21 – By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.

What does it mean to abide? In my mind, it meant to live in, take up residence. Let’s look at the definition for a minute:

Definition of ABIDE

intransitive verb
1:  to remain stable or fixed in a state
2:  to continue in a place :  sojourn
Ok, so if God is remaining stable in us and we, who confess that Jesus, is the Son of God remain stable in God, let’s get a clearer idea of what it means to be stable.

Definition of STABLE

1a :  firmly established :  fixedsteadfast <stable opinions>
 :  not changing or fluctuating :  unvarying <in stablecondition>
 :  permanentenduring <stable civilizations>
2a :  steady in purpose :  firm in resolution
 :  not subject to insecurity or emotional illness :  sane,rational <a stable personality>
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

Looking at this portion of the verse helps me to see how God abiding in me in love casts out fear. We don’t have to be insecure because God abides in us. He loves us. We’re not afraid of God’s punishment, but when we abide in Him in love, we’re empowered to do His will and more than we ever thought possible. Now I know that on this side of heaven I will never perfect the art of being fear-free, but as I live in God’s love, spending time getting to know Him better through prayers, reading scripture and meditating, I become less fearful. I know that it is not I who am in charge of the results, but God. I don’t have to fear because God is in control. I’m not afraid of punishment because Jesus already took my punishment for me. Now I live in the freedom from fear that is given to me in the love God showed by sending Jesus.

We love because he first loved us.

What are you most afraid of? For me it’s rejection, but I know that there is one who will never reject me. God abides in me. He’s always with me, never rejecting me. Because of that love, I no longer have to fear rejection of others, because I know that He is in me. He abides in me. I can love freely because of the unconditional, eternal love of my Father in Heaven. I don’t have to be insecure anymore. I have the security of God in me; God abiding in me; God remaining faithfully in me. I have to remember whose I am. I belong to the one who is in me, my God.

Where are you abiding? 

Sometimes we unwittingly separate ourselves from God. We spend time doing other things rather than reading His word, going to church or talking with Him. We don’t always remain faithful. We don’t always show love to others. We don’t always do the right thing. Why don’t we? Because we’re not abiding in God. We’re putting ourselves in God’s place. We’re focusing on the wrong things; money, success, beauty, ourselves. All of these things are good, but not when they get in the way of our relationship with God. If you find yourself in denial of God (by your words or actions), I beg you to reinvest yourself in God. Dig into the scriptures, pray or go to church. Surround yourself with others who are focused on Christ. To abide is a verb. It’s an action. Live as one redeemed. Abide in Him!

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in 1 John, my god is abiding in me

 

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My God is…My Maker Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared inchisel-sculptor-tools advance for us to do.

Full Definition of HANDIWORK

1 a :  work done by the hands
   :  work is done personally <recognized her handiwork>
2:  the product of handiwork
For we are God’s handiwork
The word handiwork is interesting to me. We sometimes use it negatively, “That mess is the handiwork of the boys.” but usually, handiwork is a good thing. It is a project that was done by hand. It doesn’t happen automatically. It’s not machine-made. Handiwork has to be made by hand. If we are God’s handiwork, what does that mean about us? I’m currently in a Bible Study called, “Unglued” by Lysa Terkeurst. In it, this week she talked about us being God’s handiwork (or workmanship). She suggests that we should, “Let God Chisel”. Comparing us to the statue of David, she explains that God sees who we are meant to be, even when that shape hasn’t fully formed yet. I love the idea that God is continuing to shape me, especially at times when I am reminded I have so far to go.
Work done by the hands 
One of the things that separate handiwork from other products or creations is the attention to detail. When you are making something, whether it’s a cake, a painting or a craft, you’re intimately involved in the process. You have an idea of how you want that project to end up. You know what your vision is for that item. God is the same with us. He sees us in our present state, but He knows there is so much more we could be. He has a vision for us. He has a plan for us, a plan to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:10-12). Sometimes we’re stuck. We don’t want to change, and the Lord has to chisel away to get rid of what is holding us back from being all he imagined for us.
 Work was done personally – Created in Christ Jesus
We have the opportunity to be what God envisions, because of Christ Jesus. Left on our own, we would be hopeless slabs of marble. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross allows us to be chiseled by God, transformed into His image, continually changing to be more like Him. When you see a painting or sculpture by an artist, you may be able to tell who made it, just by looking at it. The same can be said in architecture, writing, and even cooking. When something is created personally, crafted into something new, there is a mark of the one who made it. There is a signature (sometimes literally) that lets you know who was the creator of this masterpiece. As we are transformed to be more like Christ, we too should be clearly visible as His masterpiece. People should be able to tell that we are Christians. The way we love, the way we argue, the way we serve, in everything we do, by the grace of Jesus Christ, we are able to reflect our Lord, giving Him the glory for all we achieve and all the changes He makes in our life. As we become who He has envisioned, we will become a clearer piece of His handiwork. May we so blessed as to have people say – “Well, you know she’s a Christian, right?” I pray that people can tell that I am the handiwork of the Lord.
The product of handiwork – To do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
So what are we – the handiwork – supposed to do? How will people be able to tell that we are God’s creation, His masterpiece? The product of His handiwork, us, is to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. He has a purpose for your life. He has a plan. You are more than a work of art for people to look at up on the wall, you’re a living exhibit. You’re an interactive display of Christ on earth. As a Christian, each and every action/reaction we have is a reflection on our Lord. He may still be chiseling away, working on us, but we too should try to be cooperative mediums from which He can create. May we be pliable to the changes the Lord has in store so that we may live as a good reflection of the Artist who created us – God.
 

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My God is…Drawing me up from a desolate pit Psalm 40:1-3

Left December 2010 - Right October 2013

Left December 2010 – Right October 2013

Psalm 40:1-3 – I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

I waited patiently for the Lord

Three years ago I was talking to my friend and reflexologist, Lynn, and told her that I thought 2013 was going to be a good year for me. I just had a feeling that something was going to change in 2013. I didn’t know what it was going to be, but I really felt it was going to be good and a big change. I think I thought it was going to have something to do with my blog. Would I be discovered? Would I actually work toward my goal of being an author/speaker? That wasn’t it (although there are a few months left!). I waited patiently to find out what kind of change would be coming my way.

He inclined to me and heard my cry

For most of my life I have been insecure. I have thought that I don’t quite measure up. I struggled with self-worth and still have a tendency to talk poorly about myself. I am the butt of my own jokes. I minimize my accomplishments and maximize my failures. I have always had a strong relationship with the Lord, but things have been changing for me. When we made our move to Oregon, I packed on the pounds. This was no surprise. It was a sort of cycle I had. Whenever we moved I would lose weight before the move and put it on as the stress of moving, meeting new people and such would become overwhelming. This move was different. It was the first time we were moving someplace with no end date. We didn’t know when or if we would ever move again. I think I felt settled for the first time in a long time. It didn’t happen right away, but as I gained friends and became comfortable in my surroundings, I was finally in a position to work on getting past some things I’d been holding on to for too long.

He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, 

Even now, thinking about the pain and sadness I felt almost everyday brings tears to my eyes. There were a lot of things that had to change. God led me to a counselor. She was amazing, and just what I needed. I confessed more of my life to her than I had revealed to anyone. God shed the baggage from me. God taught me to forgive fully and allow those who love me to love me without me doubting their truthfulness. God also supplied me with a doctor and we worked on balancing my hormones and getting me healthy. God gave me the opportunity to reduce my hours for work. God allowed me to connect more with my family, friends and those who needed my support.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

For years (37 or so) I was not enjoying all the Lord had given me. I probably still don’t have it down totally, but God is still working me towards righteousness. So what was so big about 2013? What changed? So many things changed that led up to 2013, but in 2013. Starting in January I began the quest with my friend Carol to take care of ourselves and lose weight. I have lost almost 50 lbs (49.7 to be accurate). People ask me how, and sadly my response is a lot of exercise and Weight Watchers, but the truth is without God I could not have done it. It is all those things He changed in my heart that led up to this place. I didn’t think I could ever weigh this weight again. I don’t think I’ve been this weight since my sophomore year in college.

Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Full confession. When I was writing this blog post, most of it was full of “I” did this or “I” did that, and suddenly I realized I was not praising God. I was praising myself. The truth is I don’t believe it was me alone. I believe the Lord has been with me each and every step from counselor to weight loss. God is the source of all that is good in my life. I pray that my life does bring glory to God. That people will see the work the Lord is doing in my life. They will see the transformation and know that God is the reason and maybe, by the grace of God they will put their trust in Him. Oh that I should be so blessed as to know the Lord had used me in that way. That really does make me cry (in a good way).

 

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My God is…Forgotten Isaiah 51:12-13

Isaiah 51:12-13 – I, I am he who comforts you;bow
why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
a human being who fades like grass?
You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
But where is the fury of the oppressor?

 

You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker

I know that there are times that I have forgotten the Lord. Not that I had fully turned my back on Him, but that I forgot Him as demonstrated in these verses. In this passage, the Lord is speaking to the people of the day, but I believe He is also talking to us. There are circumstances in our lives when we forget about God. Maybe we’re distracted, busy climbing the social or professional ladder. Maybe we’re control freaks and try to control everything. We forget Him.

I, I am he who comforts you

Sometimes I wish that I could hear God’s tone of voice. I’m guessing He doesn’t sound as sarcastic or perturbed as I hear Him in my head. In my mind this part of the verse sounds a little more like this: “Helllllloooooo! Seriously! It’s me. I’m the one who comforts you.” The next part that follows also has a tone, “how can you be afraid of your coworker? your sibling? your neighbor? They’re only people. I’m God, I got your back.”

You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth

When we’re going through our life, we can forget all that the Lord has done. God is reminding us in these verses that He has authority over all the earth. He made the heavens, the earth and everything in it. I guess that’s why I feel the tone in the verses above, because that’s how I feel about the fact that I forget God. Hellloooo Jill! Seriously you’re going to try to be in control when you have had so many examples of how the Lord has had your back. I look at my life, and no matter how bad it gets, I have a longer list of blessings. Lately my friend and I have been working hard at reminding each other to trust God. We trust Him in the little things (making it on time in bad traffic or making it not a problem if we’re late) or the big things (our health, marriages and friendships). We have not been disappointed. God has shown up every time. I have so much evidence of the Lord being an active participant in my life, it’s crazy to me that I actually try to do some things on my own. When will I learn! I pray today is the day I learn. I pray with practice I will surrender myself to the Lord on a moment to moment basis. I pray I do not forget the Lord.

This whole chapter in Isaiah is amazing. I’m going to post it here for you to ponder.

Isaiah 51

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Blessings in Store for God’s People

51 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
you that seek the Lord.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the Lord will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.

4 Listen to me, my people,
and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
my salvation has gone out
and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
and for my arm they hope.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and those who live on it will die like gnats;[a]
but my salvation will be forever,
and my deliverance will never be ended.

7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
you people who have my teaching in your hearts;
do not fear the reproach of others,
and do not be dismayed when they revile you.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool;
but my deliverance will be forever,
and my salvation to all generations.

9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep;
who made the depths of the sea a way
for the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

12 I, I am he who comforts you;
why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
a human being who fades like grass?
13 You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
But where is the fury of the oppressor?
14 The oppressed shall speedily be released;
they shall not die and go down to the Pit,
nor shall they lack bread.
15 For I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord of hosts is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth,
and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,
stretching out[b] the heavens
and laying the foundations of the earth,
and saying to Zion, “You are my people.”

17 Rouse yourself, rouse yourself!
Stand up, O Jerusalem,
you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord
the cup of his wrath,
who have drunk to the dregs
the bowl of staggering.
18 There is no one to guide her
among all the children she has borne;
there is no one to take her by the hand
among all the children she has brought up.
19 These two things have befallen you
—who will grieve with you?—
devastation and destruction, famine and sword—
who will comfort you?[c]
20 Your children have fainted,
they lie at the head of every street
like an antelope in a net;
they are full of the wrath of the Lord,
the rebuke of your God.

21 Therefore hear this, you who are wounded,[d]
who are drunk, but not with wine:
22 Thus says your Sovereign, the Lord,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
you shall drink no more
from the bowl of my wrath.
23 And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
who have said to you,
“Bow down, that we may walk on you”;
and you have made your back like the ground
and like the street for them to walk on.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Isaiah, My God is forgotten

 

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My God is…Opening the eyes of the blind Psalm 146:8

Psalm 146:8a – The Lord opens the eyes of the blind

Have you ever been blind?white-cane

I have MS, and often times people ask me if I went blind in one eye (Optic Neuritis) as one of my symptoms. I didn’t. Over 55% of people with MS experience blindness from Optic Neuritis and often as their first symptom, but I didn’t have that at all. And I’m grateful. I think not being able to see with my eyes would be a major adjustment and extremely scary.

Full Definition of BLIND

1 a (1) :  sightless (2) :  having less than 110 of normal vision in the more efficient eye when refractive defects are fully corrected by lenses
   :  of or relating to sightless persons
2 a :  unable or unwilling to discern or judge <blind to a lover’s faults>
   :  unquestioning <blind loyalty>
3 a :  having no regard to rational discrimination, guidance, or restriction <blind choice>
   :  lacking a directing or controlling consciousness <blind chance>
   :  drunk 1a
4 a :  made or done without sight of certain objects or knowledge of certain facts that could serve for guidance or cause bias <a blind taste test> — compare double-blind,single-blind
   :  having no knowledge of information that may cause bias during the course of an experiment or test <physicians blind to whether the test drug is administered>
5:  defective: as
 :  lacking a growing point or producing leaves instead of flowers
 :  lacking a complete or legible address <blind mail>
6 a :  difficult to discern, make out, or discover
   :  hidden from sight :  covered <blind seam>
7:  having but one opening or outlet <blind sockets>
8:  having no opening for light or passage :  blank <blind wall>
God opens the eyes of the blind
In the New Testament, we can find many instances where Jesus heals the blind. In those days to be blind meant you were at great risk. Everywhere you turned there were dangers. Even in your own house you would be in danger of touching an open flame. Jesus knew that being blind was an awful thing for these people. He had compassion on them and healed them. Those healed were grateful. They couldn’t help themselves from telling people they met. A lot of times the blind were also beggars at the gate of the city, so many would even recognize them and marvel at their healing.
Blind Bart
I enjoy reading about the healing of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). Bartimaeus was not going to let Jesus pass by the gate without healing him. Bartimaeus was so sure that Jesus was who He said He was, that he was positive Jesus could and would heal him. He yelled out. He made a scene. He even got scolded, the scriptures even say “sternly”. He was so persistent and unwilling to be ignored or passed by that Jesus turned and told His disciples to call Bartimaeus over. I love what happens next. Bartimaeus throws off his coat and runs to where Jesus is. He can’t wait to see Jesus. Bartimaeus asks Jesus to make him see again. Jesus says to Bartimaeus that his faith had made him well, and Bartimaeus could see. But this story doesn’t end there. There is one more line in his story. When Bartimaeus was healed, he followed Jesus.
Unable or unwilling to discern or judge
Even though the closest I have come to being blind was being blindfolded, I do understand the second definition to blind. Sometimes we’re blind to the truth. We are unable or unwilling to discern or judge what is right in a certain situation. Sometimes our stubborn is because we are unable to see (blind) to the other persons situation. Is there someone you can’t or won’t try to see their perspective. It’s hard to fight this kind of blindness. It’s hard to get past old pain. God can heal this blindness too, and then our relationships have a chance to heal (even if you’re not in them anymore).
Having no opening for light or passage
There is an even more dangerous kind of blindness. Many people are blind to the love of the Lord. They can’t or won’t receive God’s love for what it is. They can’t see the light. They won’t let in the Holy Spirit and even try hard to keep all things about God far from them. Sometimes we allow things to blind us from the relationship the Lord wants to have with us. We allow our busy lives, self-centered ways and laziness pull us away from the Lord. We know that if we are in relationship with the Lord. If we open our eyes and see Jesus, our lives will change. Change can be scary. But Bartimaeus gives us a great example of how we should respond to the opening of our eyes. We need to run to Jesus and follow Him.
Ask God to heal your blindness
 Dear Lord, Open our eyes Lord. We want to see Jesus. Help us to see Him in our lives and grow our relationship with Him. Help us to not get distracted, blinded by the insignificant things of this world that occupy our minds. Help us instead, with clear eyes, to look on you and know you as our Lord and Savior. Help us to throw off our coats and follow you. Amen
Are you blind to God?
 

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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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