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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…Received John 1:12-13

John 1:12-13 – But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

receiving-departmentBut to all who received him, who believed in his name

When Jesus came into the world, the world He created, He was not received or believed in by many of the people to whom He actually was promised. The same is true today. Jesus Christ, true man and true God, came to earth, lived perfectly, died and rose again, so that I would be able to have eternal life with Him in Heaven. Many people hear that as rubbish. They have heard, yet they don’t believe. They haven’t received Him.

Definition of RECEIVE

transitive verb
1: to come into possession of : acquire <receive a gift>
2

: to act as a receptacle or container for <the cistern receives water from the roof>

   b : to assimilate through the mind or senses <receive new ideas>
3

: to permit to enter : admit

   b : welcomegreet
   c : to react to in a specified manner
4: to accept as authoritative, true, or accurate : believe
5

: to support the weight or pressure of : bear

    b : to take (a mark or impression) from the weight of something <some clay receives clear impressions>
    c : acquireexperience <received his early schooling at home>
    d : to suffer the hurt or injury of <received a broken nose>
Did you receive the message? 
So many times in this technology driven world, we find ourselves out of sync with others. We go the wrong place, bring the wrong thing or forget an appointment all together. Often we hear our friends, family and coworkers say, “Didn’t you get my text?” The information was out there, but either I wasn’t paying attention, ignored it, silenced my phone or left my phone at home. I didn’t receive the information I truly needed. Many people are the same way with the Word of God. They aren’t paying attention, they’re ignoring it, silencing those who want to tell them about it or are truly out of tune with the Spirit all together. They’ve missed the message.
He gave power to become children of God
Those who have gotten the message, who received Jesus and believed are promised that they become children of God. Not because of anything anyone did (themselves or those around them), but through God’s will. Through His Holy Spirit He changes hearts, minds and souls, so they might receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
(looking at the definition of receive)
Receiving God
When you receive God, you will come into possession of His Holy Spirit and become part of the family. You only have to open yourself up and

act as a receptacle for God’s Spirit. As you grow to know God more, you will change and

assimilate or become more like Him through your mind and senses. Because you receive Jesus’ Spirit, you are 

permitted to enter heaven, you gain admittance. The Lord will be there to greet you, He will meet you where you are. You may

 react to in a specified manner, full of power as part of God’s family. When you receive God into your life you accept His Word as authoritative, true, or accurate. You believe in Him.You may have bear some hardships because of your faith. As God makes an impression on your life, you will have a whole new experience. He suffered and died for you so that you may receive all He has for you.

Did you get the message?
 

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My God is…My keeper Psalm 121

Psalm 121 – 

I lift up my eyes to the hills—security
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.

Definition of KEEPER

1: one that keeps: as
    : protector
    : gamekeeper
    c : warden
    d : custodian
    chiefly British : curator
2: any of various devices for keeping something in position
3  a : one suitable for or worth keeping: as (1) : a fruit or vegetable that keeps well (2) : a fish large enough to be legally caught and kept (3) : one having genuine or lasting merit <their new album is a keeper>
    : a domestic animal considered with respect to how easy it is to care for <an easy keeper>
5: an offensive football play in which the quarterback runs with the ball

No sleeping on the job

Looking at the definition of keeper, you quickly see the list of jobs that are considered keepers. Keepers are people who protect something important. There is something of value which someone else would want to take away. If you’re a good keeper you don’t go to sleep on the job. Often in movies we see security guards who are hired to be keepers of a building, safe, or anything else of importance falling asleep on the job. I pray it’s not as common as it is shown in movies, but I fear it probably is true. As humans it’s hard for us to be vigilant all the time. For God though, we are assured in this Psalm that “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” God is not going to be falling asleep on the job. He’s vigilant on your behalf.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

It’s like the Lord is our Secret Service. He’s aware of everything that is going on around us. He’s protecting us from the evil one at all times. Like the secret service, He can see threats we can’t see. He knows that the seemingly innocent drink with the interesting stranger might not be what it seems. He knows that those who act like your friends aren’t always true friends. The devil is constantly working to lead us off course. God is constantly working to keep us. He never sleeps. If the devil and God were the only two involved, God would always win, but sadly we’re part of the equation. We often think we know better than God. We think that drinks with the handsome man from work is fine, because he’s only a friend. But the Lord knows our heart. He knows if you’re truly tempted by that person (or if they are with you). We put ourselves in situations that can get us into trouble.

You’re a keeper

You are super important to God. If it weren’t so, why would He be your keeper? By definition, the one keeping something is highly valuing the thing they’re keeping. God wants to protect you from the devil. In this sinful world, the devil still has some power, and he can throw a wrench into things. He stirs up trouble. Most of which we could avoid. When a president is being kept by the secret service, the president is briefed about how they’re all going to behave at certain events. The secret service has briefed the president on the safest way to behave. Sometimes a president will go rogue. He’ll decide he knows better than the secret service. He’ll go into a crowd where it is harder to protect him. The president might turn a different direction where there isn’t any proper protection. We’re the same way. God has shown us the way, through His Son Jesus, in scripture. Many of us know it well. Scripture tells us all sorts of things, for example the ten commandments, that would help us to remain safe. God wants us to be safe, and the closer we are to Him, the safer we are. Ultimately God is not as concerned with our physical safety as our spiritual safety. In fact sometimes He uses an injury or an ailment (that one might see as God not protecting us) as His way of ensuring our faith and securing our relationship with Him.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

The Lord is protecting your life, your eternal life. He has done everything necessary for your eternal life. He has prepared you. He has paid the price with His own son’s blood on the cross to make sure that you would be able to live forever with Him. Don’t go into a crowd where you are taken away from safety. Don’t ignore the calls of your Lord to stay close to Him. When we ignore the call He has placed on our lives to be believers, we are putting ourselves in danger of losing our eternal lives with Him. He will never stop protecting us, but if we ignore His truth, His keeping, we put our very souls at risk.

God keeps you, therefore you are of value. You are a keeper.

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Psalm, Uncategorized

 

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My God is…ransoming my soul Psalm 49:13-15

Psalm 49:13-15 – Such is the fate of the foolhardy,ransom-note
the end of those who are pleased with their lot. Selah
 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
straight to the grave they descend, 
and their form shall waste away;
Sheol shall be their home. 
 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me.

Such is the fate of the foolhardy

What happens to those who choose not to believe in Christ as their Savior? They have the fate of the foolhardy. The act foolishly, and are bold and adventurous. They ignore what they hear about the Lord, because they do not want to live by what the Lord says. They don’t want to have to change their ways. They use every excuse to ignore the tug and pull of the Holy Spirit on their hearts. Those who are content and pleased with how life is going without God are in the worst position. Those who have much often figure out that no matter how much they get they are not satisfied. It is those who have just enough that are really doomed. They don’t think they need the Lord. They think that they’re doing fine on their own and that even if it’s true (the whole God thing), they don’t need Him. But this is foolishness.

Death shall be their shepherd; straight to the grave they descend, and their form shall waste away

Their future is bleak. They are doomed to death. There is no hope for a future for them. Sheol is their future. The place of the dead. Their bodies will decay. Some say that’s just the natural order of things. There is nothing beyond death, and because they believe that, for them there is truth in that statement. But for those of us who do believe, we have hope. We have the joy in knowing there is more to life after death.

But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me

I am not doomed for a life in the place of the dead. I am going to the land of the living where my God will be waiting to receive me. How am I getting there? How do I rate such an upgrade? Not because of anything I did, but because Jesus Christ ransomed me from my doom. He paid the ultimate sacrifice to make sure that I could one day live with Him in heaven. That I would not spend eternity apart from Him, but that He would receive me. That He would meet me at the gate and treat me like one of His own. I have a hope and a future, beyond tomorrow, but forever.

Do you have hope?

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Psalm, Uncategorized

 

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My God is…Filling Colossians 1:9-14

Colossians 1:9-14 – For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.water-pour We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,  and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.  For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We continually ask God to fill you

Do you ever feel empty? You have amazing wonderful things going on in your world, yet you feel like you’re missing something? Or maybe you’re going through something really tough and you feel like you’re all alone. Maybe you worked really hard to lose weight, but when you did you realized it didn’t change your relationship with your husband the way you thought it would. We all get disappointed. Why? We see the answer in our verse above.

The knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives

What is the answer? The answer is knowing God’s will for us through wisdom and understanding from the Spirit. Some of you might say, “How do I get that?”, well, one way the spirit comes to us is through Baptism, another is through scripture, and thirdly from prayer. I know some of you pretty well by now, and someone is going to email me and say – “Really? Is that all there is for me?” I know as humans we want to DO SOMETHING! But the truth is the thing we really need to do is spend time with God. Put Him first above everything else. Spend time with Him. You say you’ve tried reading scripture and praying, do it more. Maybe hear some scripture through some Christian music. Get engaged in a Bible study, by yourself or with others.

So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way:

  • bearing fruit in every good work
  • growing in the knowledge of God
  • being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
  • you may have great endurance and patience
  • giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light

God wants these things for us so we can live a life that God has planned for us, because it brings Him pleasure for us to live with Him in our lives. When we do that, we are going to bear more fruit. We’re going to grow in our relationship with Him. You know the friends you’ve spent a lot of time with pretty well, don’t you. Spend that kind of time with the Lord and watch what happens. Some of you have been going through some really tough things lately, we’ve been praying for many of you, and this next part made me think of you. If you’re in relationship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit, you will be strengthened with all power. Not a little power, you will be strengthened with all power. God parted the Red Sea, saved Daniel from the Lion’s Den and Rose Jesus from the dead, I think He can strengthen and preserve you too. He can handle what you’re going through. What’s another benefit of walking with the Lord? You will have endurance, you will be able to get through the tough times and miracle of miracles you will gain patience (I always seem to need more patience). All of this He does for us so that we might bring Him glory, showing His greatness to the world. In these tough experiences, we are developing the testimonies that the Holy Spirit could use to encourage others to come to faith. To God be the Glory.

 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. AMEN!!!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My God is…My Bridegroom Isaiah 62:5

Isaiah 62:5 – As a young man marries a young womanWedding Groom Waits
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride

Like most women, I love a good wedding. Yes, I love the beautiful dresses, the make up, the rings, the flowers, and the reception. I love it all. It’s a blessed thing to be able to join a couple at their wedding and rejoice with them in their future together. But, one of my all time favorite parts of a wedding is watching the groom. I love to see him as he squirms around trying to catch the first glimpse of his bride. He shifts his weight. Leaning right, then leaning left, he waits to see her enter the doorway. But the most glorious moment? When he sees her for the first time on the day they’re becoming husband and wife. His face beams. Those watching him can feel the love he has for his bride beaming off of him like hot sun rays in summer. My heart warms, my eyes water. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a truly amazing thing when you’re the bride.

So will your God rejoice over you

Our God rejoices over us just like the bridegroom waiting for his bride. Imagine, there He stands. Waiting for a glimpse of the one He loves so much. He sees all that you’ve gone through. There is no one who knows you better. He’s your soul mate. He’s waiting for you. He’s leaning left and right just to catch sight of your face. He sees you and His face lights up. He’s beaming. Everyone around can tell that you love Him, and He loves you. He’s going to be with you forever. Never leaving you. Never forsaking you. He delights in you and rejoices over you. Everything else is inconsequential when you have His love. His love sees you through, set you free to be you and allows you to have eternal life with Him in Heaven.

I understand that if you’re a man reading this, it might be harder for you to put yourself in the place of the bride, but I think you can understand the feeling of seeing the one you love, and that person lighting up your life and being the only one who can bring you true happiness, joy and peace. God rejoices in you. He sees you and He gets who you are and what you want to become. He delights in you.

Who Rejoices over you?

 

 

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