RSS

Tag Archives: Lord

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?
Advertisements
 

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

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?

 
 

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

My God is…examining humankind Psalm 11:4

Psalm 11:4 – The Lord is in his holy temple;

Excuse me, Your God is Showing.

Excuse me, Your God is Showing.

the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.

It always feels like…somebody’s watching me

Unlike the creepiness expressed in Rockwell’s song, “Somebody’s Watching me“, this verse was David talking about the confidence he found in knowing his God knew what was going on. David was being encouraged by some to go on the move, because the enemy was close at hand. They wanted him to move away from the trouble instead of facing it head on.

I’ll be moving, I won’t be able to

When I was living in Missouri, I learned about Stephen Ministry, a group that trains to be a sort of peer counselor for those who need someone to talk to no matter what the reason. I had heard about Stephen Ministry long ago, because my Grandma Goldie was one once. When I learned more about it at my church, I thought that was something I might be interested in doing. You had to do 52 hours of training, and commit to a year of service as a Stephen Minister if you were going to sign up to be one. I thought perfect, we’ll be moving for my husband’s internship next year, maybe they would let me do the training even if I couldn’t serve. They graciously agreed. I did the training, and even started into the next year, knowing they wouldn’t assign anyone to me, because I would be moving soon. In the classes we had learned about closure. I was asked how I dealt with ending relationships that were not healthy or had run their course. I said, “I move”. My husband was in the Air Force, and we always knew when the next move was going to happen. We always had an end date for living somewhere. My husband was now out of the military, and he didn’t get placed in an internship that year. We had to stay another year. That meant I had to serve. I had one plan, but God had another. He knew what was going on, and how I needed to grow. He had been watching me.

His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind

God looks on us from His throne, and knows what is going on in your life. He knows if you’re addicted to pills, food or alcohol. He knows if you verbally abuse your children when you’re alone with them. He knows if you’re struggling to get out of an abusive relationship. He knows if you’re working hard to turn your life around. He knows if you’re struggling with an illness. He knows if you’ve had a huge success at work. He knows, and He cares. He’s watching. He’s paying attention to what goes on in your life.

In our verses above, David tells those encouraging him to run that God’s eyes behold. David knew that the enemies he faced were not getting away with anything the Father in Heaven didn’t know about. God could see what was going on, and David was sure he didn’t need to turn around and run, because He had the Lord on his side. He had the one who could conquer the enemy on his side, and because God was already watching, examining what was going on, David was assured the Lord would work good on His behalf.

God is watching you, not in a big brother kind of way, but in a caring and concerned way. He knows what’s going on in your life. He wants you to be like David and trust Him to take care of it. Know that He’s got your back. He’s on your side. He knows what’s going on and is going to work it for good.

 

 
 

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: , , , , , , , ,

My God is…the One who sustains me Psalm 54

Psalm 54 – Relationship-conflict

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
 Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth.

Arrogant foes are attacking me;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
people without regard for God.

Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
in your faithfulness destroy them.

I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
You have delivered me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

Arrogant foes are attacking me; ruthless people are trying to kill me—people without regard for God.

That’s never happened to you, right? You’ve never had anyone talk bad about you or tell people something that wasn’t true, have you? I’m guessing there are many who are reading this saying, “It has happened to me, and it’s happening right now!” Maybe it’s someone at work who is trying to make themselves look better than you. Maybe your friend is cutting you down to make herself look more important. Maybe someone is straight up lying about you. Does it sometimes seem that people are lying in wait to trip you up? They sometimes seem well-intentioned, but then “whammo” they complain about you to your peers or superiors. Or maybe you feel someone is trying to isolate you, and remove others from your life so that you’re dependent on them. These kind of attacks are really hard to take, aren’t they.

They may not be out to kill you, but they’re killing your spirit, because being misrepresented, lied about and manipulated is not good for the soul. These actions are often sadly performed by those professing to be Christians (full disclosure – I’m one of these people. I know that I have fallen short of treating others the way the Lord would treat them). But as painful as it is for me to admit I’m one of these people it’s even harder to hear that what I am doing shows disregard for God. And those who do this to you are disregarding God as well. They’re not following His command to love others as yourself. It’s all to easy to look out for “Numero Uno”. Oh wait. I guess that might be the problem, God should be “Numero Uno” in our lives, and when we replace Him with our own desires, we always get off track.

Surely God is my help.

How do you get through those horrible situations when people are on the attack, when the devil is on the attack and trying to distract you from your walk with God. Well, you’re not alone. God is your help. We need to lean on God in our tough situations and let Him handle them for us. Praying before we interact with those who trouble us, praying for opportunities to have healthy relationships with those who manipulate and to have the words to be firm but kind.

Definition of SUSTAIN

1: to give support or relief to
2: to supply with sustenance : nourish
4: to support the weight of : propalso : to carry or withstand (a weight or pressure)
5: to buoy up <sustained by hope>
6a : to bear up under

 b : sufferundergo <sustained heavy losses>
7a : to support as true, legal, or just
 b : to allow or admit as valid <the court sustained the motion>
8: to support by adequate proof : confirm <testimony that sustains our contention>
The Lord is the one who sustains me
Looking at the definition of sustain helps us to see the depth of the word that this scripture says God will do for us. He will give us support and relief. He will supply us with what we need to survive. He will help us persevere. When we can no longer stand under the strain, He will prop us up. He knows the truth, and testifies on our behalf. He gives us hope.
Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.
When others slander and mistreat us, we can trust in God to administer His justice. It might not be in the time we want, but He’s got it under control. He is the one who will “Give them what they deserve”. We don’t have to think about revenge and restitution. We don’t have to think about anything but God.
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
There is nothing sweeter than having these kinds of situations resolved. When people are no longer attacking us in such a direct manner, we can recognize God’s provision and protection. We praise His name for everything He has accomplished in our lives, and the way He has helped us to grow in our faith and maturity through these situations.
You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.
 

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

My God is…Kind Jeremiah 9:23-24

Jeremiah 9:23-24 – counting-fortune

This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

But let the one who boasts boast about this

I don’t know about you, but I was taught not to boast. Not that I did a lot that was worth boasting about. I never worked that hard really. I was a decent student, but I wasn’t super motivated. I can’t say that I’ve achieved a lot by the world’s standards even now. I have reduced my working hours so that I can remain at peace and have more patience with my teenage boys. It’s worked, and it’s a huge blessing, but as the world sees it, all I really did was reduce the amount of money that was coming in the door. My boys struggle with knowing that as well. Every now and then they ask if I could go back to work so we could have more money, but then I ask, “Do you want “mean mommy” back?” They quickly say no. They like it that I’m calmer now when they come home. I work from home, and often wanted them to be quiet when they came home so I could quickly finish working. So I would snap and be grumpy. Never mind they were coming into their home, not an office (as far as they were concerned).

I can boast:

Being home without a super large workload has allowed me more time for Bible study, devotions, writing my blog and spending time with people in prayer. I’m no saint. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on a lot of things, but having time to worship God on a daily basis has allowed me to get to know my Lord more.

But let the one who boasts boast about this: That they have the understanding to know me

One thing that is so amazing is how the Lord reveals Himself in scripture and through prayer. Spending even 5 minutes a day reading His word can make a difference in my outlook for the whole day. I’m excited about my faith, and the faith of others. I enjoy discovering God’s truths (sometimes for the first time, sometimes being reminded of old discoveries) with my sisters in Christ. Mostly I enjoy sharing the joy they have when they see the difference knowing the Lord is having on their reactions to unkindness, injustice and stress. As we journey with Christ through the scriptures, we’re led to know Him more and that changes a person. Knowing your creator and savior is powerful.

But let the one who boasts boast about this: that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth

So now I will boast. I boast in my Lord who loves me and who loves you. He shows us kindness through His grace, mercy and patience as we are being set free from the bondage of hate, addiction and abuse. He is patient, so that we might not be lost, but that instead we might know Him. That we would know that he is the one who exercises kindness. He’s the Lord, and He exercises justice – you can trust Him to handle the vengeance you want to take out on those who’ve hurt you. He is righteous, and is exercising righteousness through His Son Jesus Christ who gave us righteousness by dying on the cross so that we would not be left to our own failing attempts at righteousness. Instead we are free to strive for righteousness because He has already washed us clean from all our sin and failures.

Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches

All of these things are good, but we need to recognize the source of them. We can’t boast in our wisdom, because any wisdom we have is from the Lord. We can not boast in our strength, but we can boast in the Lord giving us strength. We can not boast in our riches, because they are a gift from God. These things are all temporary and do not amount to anything without faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus. With Him, these things can have purpose, meaning and value. But only in Christ to they have any value at all. Only if they point back to Him.

We can boast: in Christ.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 20, 2013 in My God is Kind

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My God is…Lord Psalm 16:2

Psalm 16:2 – I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

Excuse me, Your God is Showing.

Excuse me, Your God is Showing.

I have no good apart from you.”

Let’s take a look at the word Lord:

1lord  noun \ˈlȯrd\ definition of LORD

1: one having power and authority over others:

a: a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due

b: one of whom a fee or estate is held in feudal tenure

c: an owner of land or other real property

d obsolete: the male head of a household

e:husband

f: one that has achieved mastery or that exercises leadership or great power in some area <a drug lord

2 capitalized: god
b: jesus

3: a man of rank or high position: as

a: a feudal tenant whose right or title comes directly from the king

b: a British nobleman: as
(1): baron 2a
(2): a hereditary peer of the rank of marquess, earl, or viscount
(3): the son of a duke or a marquess or the eldest son of an earl
(4): a bishop of the Church of England

c plural capitalized: house of lords

4—used as a British title: as

a —used as part of an official title <Lord Advocate> <LordMayor>

b —used informally in place of the full title for a marquess, earl, or viscount

c —used for a baron

d —used by courtesy before the name and surname of a younger son of a duke or a marquess

5: a person chosen to preside over a festival

One having power and authority over others

My God is Lord, and He has authority over me. He is the great authority. When you think about someone being the authority on a topic, it’s someone who has worked with something a long time or is the creator or that item. God is the authority on you. He created you, He knows you better than you know yourself. But I don’t think that’s the kind of thing it’s talking about here. God has the power and authority to make things happen. He can change things, if it’s His will. He can make things happen. Nothing can become greater than it’s creator, and so it is with God. He created us and is bigger, smarter and more than we’ll ever be. He is outside of all measurement.

A man of rank or high position
God by way of being God is in the ultimate high position. There is none that outrank Him. But sometimes in our lives, we don’t act like He is Lord. That He is the one with authority in our lives or even that we treat Him with honor. We are called to give God glory in all we do, but sometimes our selfish interests get in the way. Maybe we ignore the nudge from God to get up on a Sunday morning and attend worship. Maybe we don’t give the money back when we’re given too much in change. Maybe we focus more on pleasing our spouses or significant others instead of showing God that He is truly in the highest position in our heart. To put this idea in context, I’ve heard people say, “How would you prepare for a visit from the President of the United States?” Even if you don’t like the president in power, most likely you would still show him the respect the position holds, and maybe even be proud he came to see you. Now how do you prepare your heart and home for the One of Highest Position? What efforts do you make in your relationship with the Most Important? I don’t know about you, but it makes me think about some of my choices each day. If I could actually see God as residing in my heart and my home, physically, would I be doing anything differently? I’m guessing I would. Would you?

My Lord, My Master, My Father
How blessed are we that the one who is all-powerful, of the highest rank and position and holds all authority is also the one who adopted me into His family, so that I might benefit from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I am not a slave, but a child of God, serving not out of duty, but out of love. May we be blessed with continuing faith in the God who is Lord of all.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

The second half of this verse says it all really. My value, my purpose and my spirit are nothing without the Lord. I am God’s child, and when left to my own devices, I am hopeless. I fail, I’m mean, I sin. With the Lord I am saved, purposeful, blessed, encouraging. When my focus isn’t on God, you can tell. It shows in my actions. I want my God to show. I want God to get the glory in my life. I want it to be obvious that there is something different in my life that gives my life meaning. Maybe next time I see someone doing good, I’ll say, “Your God is showing.”

Is your God showing?
 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in My God is Lord, Psalm

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,