Better To Know

Reading through Luke, I came upon these verses, (17-21) where Jesus warns the disciples about spiritual pride.  The disciples were very excited about the power they had over sickness and evil spirits.  Demons had to flee when they rebuked them in Jesus’ name. They had seen great results as they ministered in Jesus’ name.  Jesus warned them to be careful about being too prideful. They needed to be more excited that their names were written down in heaven. Satan was also very prideful and it went to his head, he rebelled and was cast out of heaven because of his pride and desire to be like God. Jesus said in verse 18 “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”  He goes on to tell them that He has given them authority and power to perform the miracles they were doing.” (verse19) They could do nothing on their own if He had not given them the power they could not do the miracles that they were doing.

 

These verses also point us once again to the Sovereignty of God. Unless God enables us to do the kingdom work we cannot do it effectively. He by the Holy Spirit enables us to do great this for his name. This removes any sense of pride we should feel at anything we do for him. Heaven is not just for the elite, the smart ones, the prettiest or most handsome, God’s word is for everyone. We come with only our wretched selves to God. No great work here on earth can gain us entrance into heaven. We must be born-again. We trust solely in God’s grace to get us into the Kingdom, our works are nothing.

 

We all have equal access to God. The mega pastor on TV has not got a better spot in heaven or a great work they have done that has marked their spot in the Kingdom, as a matter of fact, so many of them are so caught up in self and how great they are they may find themselves hearing these words, “depart from me I never knew you.”  Scary isn’t it. To think that people walk around supposedly doing the work of God, yet their hearts are far from God.

 

We go on to read in verse 22 these words; “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son (chooses) to reveal him.” Wow, that takes out any sense of pride that “you” decided to follow Jesus. You would not have decided to follow had he not already started the work of regeneration inside of you. You did not call yourself, you did not save yourself and you cannot keep yourself saved. No amount of good works will get you into the Kingdom of God.

 

If you find yourself giving yourself a big oh “that a boy/girl,” you may want to take time to rethink the pride you are feeling and repent. Jesus warned his disciples about their pride if he thought it important to warn them than we need to take notice and check our motives. It truly is better that your name is written down in heaven than any great miracle or work you may be able to do.

 

If you are chosen to be the conduit by which God heals another or even drives out evil, or spreads the word of God in ministry, thank him that he has chosen you to be a child of God, walk humbly through the “mine field” and “mind field” of pride and do not let yourself think too highly for it is by His power alone that you have been enabled to do such.

Our Responsibility

As Christians, we have one responsibility. What is it? We are to obey Christ. It is our duty as believers to obey all that Jesus told us to do.

In Luke 17:7-10 we read this story. “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that, you may eat and drink? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”

 

When we as Christians obey God, we should not expect to get a big pat on the back for simply doing what we are supposed to do. Are we expecting to receive some sort of extra credit because we have done our duty? We should not go around with a spiritual pride that says look at me and what I have done. God is not saying we will not receive a reward for our labor for him, he is not saying that it does not matter; Kingdom work always matters to God, but it needs to be done with the right attitude.

 

We should consider it a privilege to work for God. Anything we get to do for the Lord is important and humbling. If he calls you to the seemingly small tasks for his kingdom than do it with all your might! When we do what we are called to do for God, “our duty” it removes all pride from our efforts.

 

So many Christians only want to do the “BIG” things for God. But daily walking with him, reading his word, praying and living our talk all matter. When he gives you that extra something to do, maybe witness one on one, work in the church, sing, speak and so on, do not consider yourself better or higher than anyone else, it is your duty as a follower of Christ, everything we do for Christ matters. He looks at our hearts and rewards us accordingly.

 

So, what is our duty? To obey everything the Lord has told us in his word to do. It sounds easy right, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it requires more of us than we want to give, in some countries it costs people their very lives. I don’t know if my being a Christian will ever require me to give up my life for Christ, I can only hope and pray that if it does I stand firm, knowing that when I leave this earth I am transported immediately to heaven with my Lord, my faith will be sight and I will live forever with my Lord and Savior.

 

 

So, while we await his return or our eyes close in death, spend your time living for Jesus, doing what we are called to do, obey him in all he said for us to do or not do and know that God keeps good records, your reward is sure and walk out your faith free from spiritual pride and arrogance. Surrender your need to be “all that,” and be “all that” he said to be!

 

Blessings to you my friends as you live, move and breathe the life of Christ!

Deeply Moved

(John 11:1-35 The story of Lazarus’s death and resurrection.)

 

When life is seeming to run you over with all the things that happen to us from illness to deaths, disasters and failures and many more things it can feel as though God does not care.  Our prayers seem to fall on deaf ears and our troubles abound. Then I read these words in John 11:33 &35 &38- 33 “he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled,” 35 “Jesus wept,” 38 “Jesus, once more deeply moved.”

 

Does this sound like a God who does not care, who is deaf to our cries for help?

 

The Greeks had this idea that was popular that God had no emotions and did not want to be involved in the messiness of our lives. Humans were not of concern for him.  Yet these three simple statements alone show us that they had a flawed concept of who God is and how very much he loves and cares for his own. Jesus feels compassion and sorrow. We already know that if one lost sheep is worth looking for and rescuing, he cares. (Matthew 18:12-14) & (Luke 15:3-7)

 

God’s love abounds to us, his care for us is tender and good. We may not be able to understand today the (why) of it all, but you can rest assured that a compassionate, loving God is heading it all up. He is sustaining you in ways that you do not even understand and know. He did not allow Lazarus to die to hurt Mary and Martha, he loved them, he loved Lazarus; he did it so that they would believe.

(John 11:14-15) “So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,

15 and for your sake, I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

 

In the story of Lazarus, Jesus purposely stayed away when he heard that Lazarus was ill. He heard upon his arrival of his death, although we know He already knew, nothing happens to us or for us without his stamp of approval. Jesus was not bothered by his death, he already knew what he would do, and even knowing he was moved with compassion for the pain of his friends. His love for them caused him to feel compassion. So, understand, he knew Lazarus was dead, had allowed it to happen, already knew he would raise him to life and still hurt for his friends. His plan unfolding… Their broken and confused heart broke his. Is that not beautiful?

 

We serve a God who hangs the stars out at night, created all we see, died and rose again, plans our steps, our hurts, our pains, our joys, and journey, yet still feels for us when we hurt, when we bow our heads and ask the hard questions, maybe even accusingly.  I love this. Knowing that my Lord and Savior feels my pain. It helps me to be raw and honest before him. It causes me to lean in close and wait to see what he will do, it makes me excited that after the storm has passed the sun will shine again in my life and yours. He will not waste the time in the valley and he will get us to another mountain top at some point all the while growing our faith as we traverse this barren land.

 

This event I am sure marked a turning point for not only them but all those who were watching that day. Can you imagine the scene?  I would love to look back in time and watch it unfold. To look into pain-filled eyes and see joy shining back at me. I would love to see the tears my Lord shed for those he loves, just thinking about it makes my heart and mind smile. It causes me to sit back and wait, to rest in his goodness and compassion, knowing that when I hurt he cares. When I cry God takes notice.

 

Rest assured my friends, the same Jesus that walked into that death scene is already in yours. The sad music may be playing and the pain may be mounting, but God sees, God is moved and God can and will sustain you.  And as he works in and around you your faith is made stronger even in the middle of whatever is causing the pain right now.

Wheat and Weeds

I am sitting on my screened porch as the breeze moves about me, the sounds of fall are in the air, my wind chime is singing a song and birds are chirping, now and then the sound of rain. It is a refreshing place to be even when everything else is coming apart, quite literally my house : ) so rather than focus on what I cannot control due to unforeseen circumstances that caused many problems, I will focus on the One who holds it all, and write about Him, because He makes my heart glad and the worries of this life easier to handle.

 

In Matthew 13:24-30 and Matthew 37-43 we read the parable about the wheat and the weeds and what exactly that means. 

All too often we walk around worried about the people who seem to be infiltrating our kingdom space. They seem genuine and yet we cannot shake the feeling that something is amiss. The words they use seem right enough, but their actions do not. What are we to do? 

 

All true believers God has chosen, set aside and preparing for heaven, all non-believers belong to the enemy of our souls the devil, and will one day find themselves in hell for all eternity. Often, they come to church, do churchy things and walk along with other believers, yet their hearts are far from God. Their master is the devil. Sometimes we can watch them on TV, they speak scripture, but to a true believer it sounds off. Are we to take matters into our own hands and trash these people on social media or in other ways? God knows their hearts and minds, and when the final call is given here on earth the separation will take place. Those who belong to Christ will indeed be raised from the dead, or if you are alive you will be caught up into the air to meet with him. The un-believers (weeds) will be separated at that time. 

 

We are to walk on this earth with the light of Christ shining out from us. We should be peacemakers to the best of our abilities and we need to leave the deciding on who is and who isn’t a child of God to God himself! Often when people are not true believers they simply go by the wayside, they get bored with the churchy stuff and the churchy people and move on to other places and people who are more likeminded. But if they do not, we need not worry. Our churches need to be open to everyone. Because everyone needs to hear the gospel. If sinners cannot come in and sit among the saints (we have a problem Houston.) Sinners need to come and sit and hear and observe. We are not told to hide our light but to send it out into all the world. (Mark 16:15) “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

(Luke 14:23) “Then the master said to the servant. ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.’

 

Who is and who isn’t saved is God’s business! We are to love one another, live in peace with one another and let God do the separating when he chooses. I can assure you, HE’S GOT THIS! 

He is not worried or wringing his hands that one of His children will be duped by the enemy, He saves us, He keeps us and He will get us to heaven. Instead of worrying and trying to find fault, just pray for whoever these people may or may not be. You be salt and light, you be an example, You love anyway and stop running your mouth. 

 

It is sad when Christians get on a bandwagon and try to cause uproar where there should be none. Let God be God, you be the best you for Him you can be and when all is said and done, the Harvest will come in, the weeds will be removed and thrown into the fire and all God’s children will be safe and sound enjoying eternity with him. 

 

I will leave you with this scripture: (Matthew 22:37-39) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first commandment. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

 

Blessings as you let your light shine…until He comes!

 

No More Grave-Clothes

John 11:38:44 “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believeyou would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazaruscome out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

 

This bible story is one of those that overwhelm my soul. I often think about how it must have been for Mary and Martha and the others to see this miracle take place. To have their weeping turned to shouts of joy and amazement. Can you imagine the electricity that must have been palatable in the air? I mean how often does a dead body that has been dead for four days come to life? In our ordinary mundane lives do you read of this happening? I certainly have not. We read in different areas of the bible where the sleeping/dead were brought back to life. Once where a widow was in the funeral procession and the body of her son was being carried out of the city and Jesus felt her pain and he brought her son to life. (Luke 7:12-15), there are several other instances as well of his raising the dead, look them up, they will grow your faith. 

 

Here is the really exciting part I have heard about it and I am a recipient of it and if you are a born-again child of God, you too are a recipient of this miracle. Before we came to Christ we were all dead in our trespasses and sin. We were bound up in grave clothes and bound for hell and a future without God. Our destination was eternal damnation, separation from God. We did not realize we were wearing grave clothes. The enemy of our souls had so captivated us with the lusts of the flesh and the so-called delights of this world that we did not notice the bindings that held us. But when Jesus called our name, suddenly we were made new. The bindings of grave-clothes were loosed and we walked out of the grave into the light of his glory and his eternal presence with us! 

 

The stench of death no longer clings to us, we have been resurrected into a marvelous realm of glory with Christ Jesus. Our bodies may “fall asleep”, but our souls will live on with Jesus. We will one day “fall asleep” in Jesus and step from this life into heaven our real home. We no longer have any evidence that we were once dead. All of that has been wiped clean. We stand before God in white robes with the righteousness of Christ Jesus and the blood of the lamb all over us. When God looks at us He sees only his son and the shed blood of the spotless Lamb of God. We no longer stand accused, our debt of sin was paid for and we are free in Christ! 

 

If that does not cause you to shout “Hallelujah” I do not know what will. Every time a sinner is saved all of heaven takes note of it, the angels stand in awe of it. It is a really big deal shouldn’t it be for us. If we walk daily in the realization of what God has done for us, it changes everything. The chains of this world no longer bind us, we walk about free, not weighed down by what life brings to the table. We see life through our faith and Jesus. He has already promised us that we are “more than conquerors” and overcomers.” (Romans 8:37) (1 John 5:4-5)

 

No one likes death when someone we love dies it rocks us to our core especially if we know that person died in their sins. That is why we need to tell everyone about Jesus, we need to live our lives in such a way that others see him even if we do not say a word.  

Be the light in the darkness that you are called to be, do not blend in so well with the world that your light is dim. 

 

There is a song we sing called “Glorious Day”- Kristian Stanfill/Passion, these words are spoken, ” You called my name, and I ran out of that grave!”  His mercy saved us and His mercy made us knew, celebrate it, let that knowledge be the holy electricity that fills your day! No more grave-clothes…free in Christ all our shame and shackles gone, are you overwhelmed yet? I am: )

 

Sharpen Your View

Mark 4:24-25 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you-even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what has will be taken away from him.”

We as Christians have the light of Christ revealed to us. The word is not longer hidden from us. The Holy Spirit gives us insight into the word of God. There are parts of it that we do not understand, we may not be able to use the truth right now, so we have not been given its understanding. As we grow and put into practice the truths found in God’s word our understanding increases. The truth of God’s word is clear, but our limited understanding oftentimes keeps us from fully understanding what God is trying to tell us or show us in his word.

As we read and understand and put into practice those things we do sees our knowledge grows. Our desire to obey grows. We sharpen our spiritual eyes to see and understand. Sometimes as I read God’s word it is as though a passage that once seemed hard for me to grasp in now crystal clear. Its meaning falls into my heart like a seed on good ground and I suddenly see what the text was talking about. Perhaps it is because up until this point I did not need that particular scripture, but as I have studied and saught to obey my mind can now grasp what the word is saying and why.

In Mark 4:26-29 we read, “He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself, the soil produces grain-first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

Our spiritual growth is slow and steady. Even when we do not realize it seeds that are planted in our hearts start to grow and before long we have a harvest of understanding. We start out as baby Christians just able to understand enough to get us started on our spiritual walk, but as we read God’s word and pray our understanding increases, our faith grows, our spiritual legs get stronger.

As a child of God, I want to read God’s word and put it into practice. I want to see his truth through clear spiritual eyes and obey what the word tells me to do. I know that as I do this my understanding increases, I have gone from being an infant in Christ to a mature follower of Christ.

We are told that God’s word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intents of man. (Hebrews 4:12)

We can grow in our walk with the Lord if we never read his word. We cannot understand what our walk of faith should look like if we never read the word. We cannot have the tools to fight the enemy if we neglect to read God’s word. If I told you that reading something would save your life…would you do it? Well, this book, the Bible, can save your life! It can give you everything you need to live in this dry and desert land that we inhabit.

We read these words in Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” The text is clear, knowing God’s word, hiding it in our hearts can keep us from sin.
If we study and commit to memory the word of God it will prick our hearts when we are about to do something which displeases God and is sin in his eyes. As a Christian do you not want to walk in a way pleasing to the one who paid the ultimate price for you?

When we have only a head knowledge of God and his word it does nothing for us. When temptation comes our way we easily dismiss the promptings of the Holy Spirit to walk away or look away. But when God’s word is in us, when we are seeking to obey it, I promise you it will come to your mind and heart. It is like being stung by a bee, suddenly what seemed like a good idea has now lost its excitement, you know that God is saying do not go there, do not look there.

If we never feed on the meat in God’s word we stay spiritually immature. When the enemy comes against us or tries to entice us we do not have what we need to fight against him. He is a smart foe, he knows our weaknesses and he will attack in the very area you think you are safe. We need to be able to speak scripture out loud for our sake and his.

Jesus used the word of God when he had been in the desert fasting and praying for 40 days. There is power in God’s word, as a believer don’t you want power in your life? Don’t you want to know what pleases the Lord and do them? Don’t you want the seed that has been dropped into the soil of your heart to produce a plant? I do!

I want to know God’s word, I have experienced first hand what knowing it and applying it can do in my life. I am eager to understand its truths and walk worthy of the calling God has placed on me.

If I can encourage you to open your Bible, start at the beginning or start in the New Testament. Ask God to open your eyes that you may see and understand. Pray and ask him to help you put into practice those things which he calls us to do when you do you will
find your understanding growing and your desire to obey increasing. You will become a mature follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have power in your efforts to ward off the enemy.

He is waiting, His word is living and active, and it does have the power to change your life! Now go read!!!img_5671

It Has a Purpose

I read in my bible this morning these words, as I have many times, but today they spoke loudly to me. Here are the verses I read:
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I ask you, does this mean that once we know Christ as Lord and Savior all our trials, weariness, hurts, etc.. go away? NO! That is not what that means. We are promised our fair share of trials and tribulations in this world. John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What this is saying is that once we come to Christ and accept him as Lord and Savior, we see things differently. We see an eternal purpose in all that is done and happens on this earth and to us. God wastes nothing. All things are working for our good according to his purpose in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:28) What we see is God uses everything. He uses it to grow us, mold us, change us, lead us, helps us die to self and so much more. Our burdens get lighter as we learn to trust God, to take him at his word. Our burdens get lighter when we pray and give them back to God, knowing he will work it all out in us and in our lives. He carries us, He gives us His peace in the midst of trials and hurts. He reveals His truth to us as we search his word and read. Our faith is made stronger as we see the faithfulness of God unfold in the lives of those who have gone before us.

And we are reminded as we read, study and pray that this is not our home. Our final destination, our zip code is found in Jesus and our eternal home. In the span of eternity, these things do not matter much. Oh they feel like they do at the moment, but if we can center our focus on the eternal, on what God has done, can do and is doing, then we can stand these moments and maybe just maybe do it with a peace and grace that is not of ourselves, but comes from God.

Jesus walked this earth as a man, he was hungry, he was bone-tired, he felt sadness, hurt, he cried. He knows what we are going through, we are experiencing nothing that is not common to man. Even our temptations and failures.(1 Corinthians 10:13) There is nothing new under the sun, just new ways to do it. Man is sinful from birth, we all need a Savior.

God gives purpose to our sufferings, our sin, our hurts, our failures, our everything. He reveals the truth to us, He leads us down the craggy paths of life. We do not have to be afraid, we do not have to feel overwhelmed, we need only to lean in and let God be God. We need only to see the greater picture, eternity. We need only to give him our burdens, hurts, disappointments, failures and see what he will do.

I know for myself that when I try to bear up and soldier on in my own strength it always ends badly. I have crashed and burned so to speak from doing that. I know I am not strong enough to handle this life without Jesus. It does not mean I do not cry, I do not wish things differently at times, it just means I know to go to my Father in heaven, to unpack all my junk and leave it on the throne room floor. It means I see a greater purpose for the things that come my way…it means my burden is made lighter, my way seems brighter and I can smile even when my heart would rather not.

People God sent his precious Holy Spirit to help us, teach us, guide us and bring peace to us, and Jesus intercedes for us every second of every day, does that not blow your mind? It does mine! Wow, just wow!

If it were not possible to live a life of peace, to not be overcome by the things that come our way, he would not have said these words.

Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things you are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Lean in, let God, be at peace, rest in his Goodness and Faithfulness, He can and will see you through!

Don’t Be a Nebuchadnezzar

We have all heard the phrase “pride goes before the fall.”

And how true that is. When we see ourselves as better than others or have been placed in a position of authority, be careful to “not let it go to your head.”

 

King Nebuchadnezzar was very powerful, and he decided to let the people he ruled over worship the god of their choice, and sometimes he too would worship their gods.  He figured they would be more obedient if he allowed them that freedom all the while stealing their lands and riches. All of this worked until he conquered the nation of Judah, and their God was exclusive. He demanded that they worship only Him, the true and living God. The God they worshiped dared the king to believe that He had made and controlled even him.

 

Nebuchadnezzar could not see that all his victories even the choice people he captured like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were all a part of God’s plan, God used them to move the king in the direction he needed to go, and into the belief, he needed to gain. God even allowed him to try to kill the three servants, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, all to prove that the king did not have any power over life and death as he supposed he did. God was using each of these to change his life.

 

God kept warning the king about the danger of his pride, but the king would not listen. God was about to show him just who He was and the power he had over everything!  Fast forward a bit, Daniel interprets a dream for the king, and twelve months later it comes to pass.  (Daniel 4:28-33) As the king is walking on the roof of the royal palace he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as a royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” (Insert GREAT PRIDE here) The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

Immediately what had been said came to pass, he was driven away from his people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

 

At the end of the time, God appointed for the king to live as an animal had passed, Nebuchadnezzar raised his eyes toward heaven, and his sanity was restored.  Then he praised God; and honored and glorified him who lives forever. (Daniel 4:34)

 

God will deal with our pride and depending on how prideful we are will determine the severity of the discipline. Pride makes us think we do not need anyone, especially God to tell us how to live, move and have our being, but God’s word says different.  We are not our own, we have been bought with a price, the very life of Jesus was given so that we could walk in freedom. God will gently warn you as you start to follow a prideful lifestyle, but he will use whatever means necessary to accomplish His will in us. He moves things, people and places around in our lives in ways we do not understand to get us where he wants us spiritually.

 

He wants us to surrender to his Lordship, to recognize that He is God, there is not another. He will not tolerate our worship being given to other things or people.  It is always for our good and his glory.  Pride is dangerous, believing we are invincible and able on our own is a recipe for disaster.

 

The king had these final words to say in (Daniel 4:37).

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

 

Remember if you have not been “humbled” by the Lord yet, it is his tender mercy and longsuffering giving you space to repent and turn from this sin, and if you do not, just know he will humble you and it could be a severy humbling.

 

Our God is loving, kind, compassionate, slow to anger, full of mercy, our helper, our redeemer, our friend, but he is God, Holy, Righteous, King, of King’s, Savior, Lord of Lord’s, All-knowing, All-powerful, Just, Mighty, Jealous…Bend the knee, cry out to God and seek forgiveness and guidance to walk humbly with your God!

Learning Your Lessons…The Right Way

Lamentations 3:27-33 “It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. 28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust– there may yet be hope. 30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. 31 For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”

As I read these verses I was reminded in my spirit of the times when I knew I was wrong and had sinned, yet when the discipline came I grumbled and was angry. After all, I wanted grace and no consequences to my actions. Isn’t that just like us, to want our own way and feel like we got away with it? But God who is just in his loving us knows when we need to receive some discipline. It does not come because he has cast us away for good and depending on what he sees we need is how severe the discipline will be. Should whining and complaining be a part of our response?
No, we need to repent of our actions, shut up, listen up, sit still and learn.

We also need to be patient as the Lord works out exactly what he sees we need. We need to reflect on what got us into the sin, to begin with. God knows we are not perfect and that there will be times we slip into a sin, yet the Holy Spirit draws us quickly back, and other times when we know we shouldn’t, but we do anyway and we hope that we are bathed in grace and cross our fingers that it will be a light reprimand.

We can be confident that the discipline we go through is filtered through loving hands. Just enough to teach us both short term and long term lessons. We need a teachable spirit. We need to lean in and listen to what God has to say. We need to accept whatever he sends and be thankful for the love that motivates him to teach us and not remove us.

Mark 4:25 “For whoever has a (teachable heart), to him more (understanding) will be given; and whoever does not have ( a yearning for the truth), even what he has will be taken away from him.”

When we refuse to listen to instruction, then we are robbing ourselves of the understanding we had to begin with. It is taken from us. We should always desire to be corrected and to lean in and learn the hard lessons of what we did, what God thinks about it and how NOT to do it again.

God knows us better than we know ourselves and he sees deep inside us to what motivates our action and our propensity to sin; it is that root he wants to cut. Sometimes it is with a very sharp blade and a swift chop, and other times it is with a gentle cutting with parts of us falling a little at a time. I have received both in my lifetime and let me just say that the more I know about the Lord and his desires for me and the more I die to self the easier it is to receive the loving correction that God sends.

I do not want a God who turns his eyes away and pretends not to see, what benefit is that to me? Just like we discipline our children and teach them through these disciplines how to do better, and grow into responsible, right living adults, our Lord and Saviour desire that his children are a good reflection of Him. He paid a steep price for my past, present and future sins, don’t you think?

Sometimes we are reprimanded by others, possible leaders in our church or fellow Christians. They see us heading down the wrong path and with a right heart desire to steer us away from where and what we are going to. We need to listen to their correction, especially if given in the right biblical way and even lean in to receive another slap so to speak. Jesus went before his accusers, granted he was innocent of everything, spotless, but he modeled for us our right response. Too often we get too easily offended and do not take to heart the correction of fellow believers. We think we know best and do not realize that there are times when God speaks through his people, our friends, and family.

I think if you are even slightly spiritual and have discernment you will know when correction comes from a sincere desire to see you made right with the Lord and one where the person is trying to make themselves look better and shame you for not measuring up. It happens!

So, in conclusion, keep your heart tender toward the Lord, when he sends correction, dig deep inside to see what needs to be changed, repent and ask him to fill you fresh and new and help you wait out the discipline, learn from your mistake and even be thankful that he chooses to discipline you in the first place. God is good, he wants all of you and he wants you to be the best you for his kingdom that you can be. Remember from my last post, He Delights in You!!! He really does and so his love moves him to discipline and chastises us. Thank you, Lord! Let me always be teachable, always be humble and always learn from my mistakes so that I might help a fellow believer in their time of need. He will not even waste your discipline if you lean in and fully surrender your right to be offended.

As always here are a few scriptures to think on:

Jeremiah 31:19 “Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that, I was instructed, I smote upon (my) thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.”

Proverbs 3:11 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction.”

Psalms 107:31 ” Oh that men would Praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to his children.”

Proverbs 3:12 “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

Psalm 7:28 “Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”