RSS

Tag Archives: god

My God is…Served 1 Samuel 12:20-24

I Samuel 12:20-24 – And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save, for they are useless. For the Lord will not cast away his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.

Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil

“Forget this; I’ve already messed up so badly, why bother?” Have you ever felt that way? You’ve sinned, you feel bad about it, but you don’t turn away from the sin. Sometimes our shame from our sin is exactly what helps to keep us in our sin. Maybe this hasn’t happened to you, and I hope it hasn’t, but it has happened to me. I have sinned and then said, well I crossed that line, now what’s the difference. What does it matter if I change my ways, people will always know me for that sin. These are lies by the way. The devil wants us to hold on to our sin. Satan will use whatever he can to keep us from standing in the grace of God. When we act like this, whether it is a brush with the law, drinking, sex, drugs or using profanity, we do not have to remain in the sin. You and I have not gone beyond God’s grace. We can’t. We can never go so far that God cannot redeem us. His mercy and grace are waiting for us. We don’t have to fear the wrath of God or the judgement of people, because when we repent and turn from our sin, God is faithful with His mercy and grace.

Do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart

heart-love

We need to keep our focus on the Lord. When we’re tempted to say we’re a hopeless case, our focus is on ourselves. We’re saying we’re too far gone, we’ve made too big of mistakes, but as Christians, we don’t need to fear how far gone we are or how big our mistakes are, because God, who is capable of all things is bigger than our mistakes. He can forgive us and give us mercy beyond any of our failures. So what are we to do when we realize we are in the midst of sin? We need to serve the Lord with all our heart. We need to refocus. We need to keep our eyes on God. It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who feel the same way about God. We need to have Christian friends and acquaintances who will hold us accountable and point us back towards God when we go astray. The Lord can use our friends to redirect us back to Him when the sins and pleasures of this world distract us from God.

Do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save, for they are useless

Our world is very focused on ourselves. We talk about what we have achieved for ourselves. What we want. What we deserve. But outside of God, everything else is useless. With God, all things have more meaning. It isn’t wrong to be successful, but if it distracts us from our Lord and His saving grace it is. It isn’t wrong to be in love with someone, but if it distracts us from God, it is wrong. The good in this world is only good as long as we are focused on God. It is only good because of what God has done for us. Without the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, all our works are like dirty rags. Our accomplishments, our money, our legacies are nothing without them being centered on Jesus Christ. Only with God at the center of our actions can anything be “good”. God is the source of all goodness.

Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.

God has done so much for us. We need to put God at the top of our list and serve Him. Put Him at the center of your life and things will change. You can be sure of that. Some people won’t like it. Some people will disown you. Some people will ridicule you, but we can stand strong, because the Lord is good and will bring us through all trouble and we will be able to enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven. God has made sure, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, that we will be blessed for all eternity. He is not going to get rid of those who love Him, who put Him first in their lives. He loves us, and because He loves us, we are free to serve Him in everything we do. Because of His love, we are free to turn from our sin, not become a hopeless case. He can turn our lives around. When we put Him first, changes will be made in our lives. By His strength and mercy, we no longer have to give in to things that are destructive. We can live free of the burden of our sin, and stand strong in the grace and forgiveness provided by our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand free. Stand Strong. Turn from Sin. Cling to Him.

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 16, 2013 in 1 Samuel, My God is Served

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My God is…desiring mercy, not sacrifices Matthew 9:10-13

Matthew 9:10-13 – And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were mercy sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

Jesus is hanging with the “wrong crowd”

In this verse, we meet up with Jesus as He is eating with the tax collectors and sinners. He has just called Matthew to follow Him, and Matthew did. Now the Pharisees were freaking out because of the company Jesus was keeping. They didn’t like the idea that someone who spoke with such authority, who was teaching and leading people would spend His time with people who clearly had not been living well. They thought they should be getting a nod for their good behavior. Hadn’t they always tried to do what is right? Hadn’t they always given what they should to the Lord? Hadn’t they always gone and worshiped when it was required, and even when it wasn’t? Why would Jesus, if He was such an important religious figure hang out with people who were known to rip people off? People who had cheated on their spouses? People who hadn’t made it to the synagogue in quite a while? They asked His disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

What the pharisees didn’t get was that God came to save the lost. He came to help those who are helpless. He came to save the sinner from their sin. That each of us (because we all have fallen short of the Glory of God), each sinner, might be forgiven for their sins, and instead of spending an eternity in hell, we would be forgiven and be able to have everlasting life with Him in Heaven.

Here’s the crux of the problem. The Pharisees didn’t think they needed a savior. They felt they had done enough to secure their fate with God. After all, they had done all that was expected of them. They went to church, gave to the church, supported their family, stayed away from drugs and alcohol, didn’t have wandering eyes. Basically they were stand up guys. They weren’t used to having their self-worth questioned. So what was the problem? What was standing between them and God?

Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’

Jesus quotes His Father (Hosea 6:6). God was telling the people of Judah and Ephraim that He desired mercy, not sacrifice. The people of that time had been constantly distracted from their relationship with God. They were concerned about themselves and nothing else. They ignored the warning signs God had given them through prophets. They ignored God’s wishes. They would attack people, murder and other sins. They completely disregarded God. The pharisees in Jesus day would have known these stories well. They had done a lot of study of the Bible. They were the one’s teaching everyone else what the words of scripture meant. For Jesus to tell them to go and learn what is meant by “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”, means they clearly weren’t demonstrating it’s meaning. The pharisees were concerned with fulfilling the letter of the law, but not the intent behind it. God’s intent was not about the law, but that the people He loved (and loves) would be able to have the best relationship with Him as possible. His laws were intended to keep people safe, point them back to Him and to bless them. They weren’t intended as check boxes to be marked off. They have value, but when they are used to measure one’s salvation, they are misused.

For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners

The truth is we are all sinners. Should we be striving to be more like Christ? Yes, of course. The problem is, many of us think that what we do is what is going to get us into heaven. We think that our good has to outweigh our bad and then we’re set. I have heard many people say, “I’m a good person, I’m sure I’ll get into heaven.” Sadly that’s not going to work. Being a good person is not a requirement. Believing that Jesus died to save us from not being a good person is what is required. Faith in Jesus’ saving grace is the only way to get into heaven. It’s not only unbelievers who cling to this idea, those who profess to believe in Jesus also struggle (just like the pharisees). They are working themselves to death, trying to do the “right thing”. They help at church, give a lot of money to charities, sit on boards they hate, why? Often it’s because they feel it’s their duty. God isn’t interested in our duty. He only wants us to do these good things (very good things) if the reason we’re doing them is because we are so grateful for what He’s done for us. We’re not supposed to do them in some misguided attempt to earn our way to heaven. God has done everything necessary for us to get to heaven. We need only believe in Him and trust that He’s got us covered in His redemptive blood. So don’t worry if you make mistakes. God knows you. Instead of putting your faith in your actions, put your faith in Him.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Matthew, not sacrifices

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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?

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , ,

My God is…our judge Isaiah 33:22

Isaiah 33:22 – For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,gavel
the Lord is our king; he will save us.

He will save us
We don’t have to worry how other people judge us. The Lord is our judge. We don’t have to live our lives for the approval of those around us. We live our lives for Jesus. God is our judge. He is the one who decides our value, our worth and our destiny. Other people base our worth on our looks, work, friends, status or car. God has a different way of judging us. It’s not about who we are, but whose we are. We can trust Him with our life and our future. He will save us!

Definition of JUDGE

transitive verb
1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
2: to sit in judgment on : try
3: to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
4: governrule —used of a Hebrew tribal leader
5: to form an estimate or evaluation of; especially : to form a negative opinion about <shouldn’t judge him because of his accent>
6: to hold as an opinion : guessthink <I judge she knew what she was doing>
For the Lord is our judge
“The Lord is our judge”, is a statement that can bring fear to the heart, but fear is not what it should conjure up. Why not? We all know we’ve done bad things, we have not always put God first, pretty much we’re falling short (sinning) a lot everyday. Since God knows everything we do, it could be scary to think about the God who knows all about us measuring our rights and wrongs, but it doesn’t have to be. God is going to form an opinion about you and your life. He’s going to look at all that’s gone on in your life and will make known His opinion. He will evaluate your situation and form an opinion. 
Here’s the good news! 
When He is judging our lives, He is listening to the evidence from Jesus. He will be speaking on our behalf, telling God of our faith and our trust in Him as our Lord and Savior. He’s telling God that we are part of His family and we belong to Him. We don’t have to worry, because we have the best Lawyer (Jesus) and the fairest Judge (God the Father). We’re in good hands, and the merit to live in heaven is not based on our goodness or ability to keep the laws of God. It is based on whose we are, that we belong and believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that He died and rose again so we could go on living and knowing Him more. 
 
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Isaiah, My God is our judge

 

Tags: , , , , ,

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?
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My God is…proving His love for us Romans 5:7

Romans 5:7 – But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.magnifying-glass

Prove it!

Have you ever said those words to someone? It’s often said after someone has said something unbelievable. We don’t think something is true, and we are willing to bet the person telling us can’t prove what they are saying. Sometimes we say “Prove it” to those who claim to love us. Maybe their actions aren’t lining up with their words. In our house, we prove a lot of things by looking them up on the internet (everything’s true on the internet, right?).

Definition of PROVE

transitive verb
1archaic : to learn or find out by experience
2a : to test the truth, validity, or genuineness of <the exception proves the rule> <prove a will at probate>
 : to test the worth or quality of; specifically : to compare against a standard —sometimes used with up or out
 : to check the correctness of (as an arithmetic result)
3a : to establish the existence, truth, or validity of (as by evidence or logic) <prove a theorem> <the charges were never proved in court>
 : to demonstrate as having a particular quality or worth<the vaccine has been proven effective after years of tests><proved herself a great actress>
4: to show (oneself) to be worthy or capable <eager to prove myself in the new job>
The definition above that really hits the mark for the verse we’re looking at is 3a, “to establish the existence, truth, or validity of”. How do we know that God loves us? This verse tells us straight up why.
But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
The whole of scripture is testimony and proof of God’s love, but here, St. Paul is urging us to look at the proof of Gods love that is Jesus Christ. Sending His own Son, God was willing to sacrifice the most important things that we might have eternal life. That we might be able to live with Him in eternity.
While we still were sinners
Not only is the proof in the fact that God the Father would give up His Son Jesus or that Jesus gave up His own life for us, but the real kicker, the part that really speaks to me is that God did that while we were still sinners. We hadn’t gotten our act together. We weren’t some big shot. We weren’t some important religious leader. We weren’t overly devout. We weren’t faithful to God, our spouses or families. That’s when He loved us. While we were still sinners. Before we recognized Him as our savior God loved us. He didn’t require anything of us when He loves us. He loves us no matter the condition of our heart. He knows our hearts better than we know it ourselves. He knows we’re still sinners, but He wanted to provide a way that all sinners would be able to have a future of holiness in heaven with Him. That we would forever be able to be glorifying Him in all we do. This side of heaven we are truly blessed if we are able to glorify God in any way. In heaven, it will be like breathing.
Are you looking for proof?
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

My God is…the protector of widows Psalm 68:4-5

Psalm 68:4-5 – 

Sing to God, sing praises to his name; a-grandma-looking-at-ocean
lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds
his name is the Lord –
be exultant before him.

Father of orphans and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.

I have a 50/50 chance

I have a 50/50 chance of becoming a widow. Actually it’s probably more than that, because my husband is 7 1/2 years my elder (any statisticians out there want to give me my odds?). With the probability being relatively high that I may one day become a widow, this verse means a lot to me.

Who loves me more than my husband?

I can’t think of anyone who would be quicker than my husband to come to my rescue. If I were in danger, if I were in pain, if my car broke down, my husband would be there (or make a true effort at least). He would be concerned about me. When you’re in a good strong marriage, you can rest assured that someone’s got your back. You and your spouse are a unit. You work together for your common good (in a perfect world). So what happens when your spouse isn’t able to help you?

If my husband had been there

When I had my initial MS attack, my husband was in the Middle East. It was a very scary time for me, but my husband wasn’t able to be the guy I lean on. So who did I lean on (besides my friend Kara)? I leaned on God. Not right away though. First I yelled at Him for being so inconsiderate as giving me a disease that can debilitate a person. I was frustrated and scared. But then I had a sort of “coming to Jesus moment”. I was crying in my kitchen over my newly diagnosed condition, and I prayed to God. I prayed something like, why did you do this to me? At first my prayer was gilded with anger, then acceptance, “Lord if I’m going to have this, make me strong so I can be a witness. If I need a walker, it’s going to be the most blinged out walker, a cheerful walker.” Then my prayer turned to peace. I felt as if God said to me directly, don’t worry about your earthly body. It’s temporary. One day you’ll be with me in heaven, and none of this will matter. Now of course I didn’t hear His voice, but I felt His answer. If my husband had been around, I may have relied on him instead of God, and I never would have experienced the peace I felt that day.

She’s got to have a man in her life

My grandma was an amazing woman of faith. She loved the Lord above all else. Her husband died when he was about 70. She was around 62. She died when she was 96. Sadly my grandma didn’t feel good as a widow. She always felt better if she had a man in her life. Someone to lean on. She craved the companionship a relationship brings. I don’t know if it was the era in which she was raised or the family in which she was raised, but I believe she felt her calling was to be a wife, a partner…a companion. I’m a lot like her. Since my dating years, I have not been out of a relationship for long. I often found approval through relationships.  I’m grateful I have the best husband now, but I pray that if one day I become a widow, that I will crave companionship with the Lord more than that of men. That I won’t feel that I need them, when I know who protects me.

Father of orphans and protector of widows

God protects those who can’t protect themselves. He protects the vulnerable. He looks out for the little guy. So whether you’re a widow or orphan right now, or someone who is emotionally or physically vulnerable, the Lord is your protector. Turn to Him. Trust Him. He loves you and will fill the gaps that you feel in your life. Read scripture and hear his words for you. Know that you have a Father in heaven who has your best interest at heart. Cling to His promises (like I cling to the promise of eternal life when I think about the debilitation that could come from MS). Know that in the end you will be with Him in heaven. He has your back, and will see you through to the end. Trust in Him.

Are you an orphan or a widow?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,