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My God is…abounding in steadfast love Numbers 14:18

JesushuggingcryinggirlNumbers 14:18 – ‘The Lord is slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
forgiving iniquity and transgression,
but by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
to the third and the fourth generation.’

Definition of ABOUND

1: to be present in large numbers or in great quantity : be prevalent
2: to be copiously supplied —used with in or with <life abounded in mysteries — Norman Mailer> <institutions abound with evidence of his success — Johns Hopkins Magazine>
What do you abound in? 
Time for a little reflection. What do you abound in? Can you make a list? They can be good or bad – we’re not looking to bash ourselves, just take an honest look.
Jill abounds in:
  • empathy
  • sarcastic remarks
  • bad language
  • encouragement
  • laziness
  • forgiveness
  • flexibility

God is abounding in steadfast love. God has steadfast love, and he has a lot of it. He is abounding in it. He has large amounts of it. He has more than He could need. Some might say He’s dripping or oozing steadfast love. He abounds so much that whoever He touches with His steadfast love are able to share that steadfast love with others. We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  Most of the verses in the Bible that use the word abounding are in reference to God’s steadfast love. I think that speaks to the immensity of it. He has tons of it to give, and will never run out. His love endures forever. 

Definition of STEADFAST

1 a : firmly fixed in place : immovable

   b : not subject to change <the steadfast doctrine of original sin — Ellen Glasgow>
2: firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal <her followers have remained steadfast>
Not subject to change
God isn’t going to stop loving you. Even if you stop loving Him. He will go right on loving you. He is abounding, oozing, dripping with steadfast love. Unchanging love. His love never ends. How comforting is it to know that God will always love you. You can’t do anything to earn that love or to lose that love. His steadfast love has more to do with Him than with you. He can’t help himself. He’s got so much love. He loves you know matter the condition of your heart, the guilt that you feel, the job that you have, the friends that you make (or don’t) and the bathroom that you clean (or don’t). God’s love is never going to change. It is firmly fixed. Just like the word abounding in the Bible seems to be significantly connected to steadfast love, when you’re talking about steadfast in the Bible it almost always has to do with God’s love. God’s love for you is so immense, so vast that it will never change. It is steadfast.
What are you abounding in?
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My God is…Jealous Exodus 20:4-6

Exodus 20:4-6 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven golden-calfabove, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image…You shall not bow down to them or serve them

I’m guessing that if you’re anything like me you haven’t done much carving since the soap carving you did in 2nd grade. So maybe you feel like this verse is old-fashioned or irrelevant. But the truth is though we don’t carve our idols, but we do put other things ahead of God. Maybe it’s a person or a car that your obsessed with and think about more than God.

For I the Lord your God am a jealous God

We are called to keep our focus on God. He is the one who has created us, provided for us and delights in us. He wants the glory in our lives. So many things can keep us off track. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers, and I’m very focused, but I know in the past I have kind of gotten obsessed when I’m dieting. I’m trying not to make this about that, but to keep God at the center of all that I’m doing.

Isn’t Jealousy Wrong? 
1 a : intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness

   b : disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness
2: hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage
3: vigilant in guarding a possession <new colonies were jealous of their new independence — Scott Buchanan>
Intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness
When you look at the definitions of Jealous, it helps us to understand how our perfect and Holy God could be something that we usually think is bad. But not tolerating unfaithfulness is something every husband, wife or friend can understand. If your best friend you’ve had for 20 years sleeps with your husband, you might find yourself intolerant of the unfaithfulness, and no one would think you were wrong for feeling that way. It is understandable, pure and holy to have that emotion of jealousy. I think the second part of the first definition doesn’t apply to God, because He doesn’t have to suspect someone – He knows if you have been unfaithful. As our God, He is in the most intimate relationship with us. He knows everything about us and wants to keep us close to Him, not because He wants to keep us away from others, but because He loves us.
Hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage
Yes God can be hostile toward a rival. God doesn’t like the devil. The devil is constantly looking for a way to get our attention off of our one true love, God. He is jealous too, but not out of piety or care for his relationship with us. His motives are purely evil. He wants nothing less than to pull us into sin, distraction and dismay. God doesn’t stand for that kind of behavior from the devil. He is hostile toward Him, and wants the devil to have no power over the Lord’s beloved, you.
Vigilant in guarding a possession
We belong to the Lord, and the Lord is vigilant in protecting us. We are His people, and He is our God. Isn’t the guarding protection of the Lord something we want? Jealousy like this would be welcomed by me.
Are you jealous? 
What difference in your life would it make if you acted towards the Lord the way He acted toward you. Are you as protective of your relationship with Him as He? Do you protect His name? Do you keep His word close to your heart? Do you think of Him first?
Showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments
He loves us, He really loves us. He knows that this side of heaven we’re not going to keep His commandments perfectly (that’s why He sent Jesus to save us). But He loves that we want to keep them, that we want to keep Him at the center of our lives. As we practice keeping our eyes fixed on Him, we’ll find it easier and quicker to come back and remain even more steadfast. It’s a discipline. A discipline of jealousy.
Are you jealous?
 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in My God is Jealous

 

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