Friday, September 30, 2011

The Bottom Line

Psalm 116:1-2
New Century Version (NCV)

1 I love the Lord,
because he listens to my prayers for help.
2 He paid attention to me,
so I will call to him for help as long as I live.
I know that God deserves worship because He is God.  But being God, who created us, He knows our human failings.  He knows that, sure enough, sooner or later, we will be needing something. 
Now, as I have mentioned in earlier posts, He has His own way of doing things and I pretty much don't understand how He works.  But when I have a  moment or two of thinking He is not listening to me or paying attention to me, He lets me know otherwise.  Loud and clear! 
For which I am very thankful, because I have a feeling I may miss His whispers now and then. 
Anyway, yes, I will worship Him because of who He is.  But I will also love Him and call on Him for as long as I live.  Why?  Because He listens and pays attention to me.  He loves me!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

You First!

Philippians 2:3-4
Good News Translation (GNT)

3 Don't do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves.4 And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.

Anyone have this down pat?  Me, neither.  Why does it seem so hard to practice this humility and love towards someone else?  Well, I would say because of how we are born.  Selfish and proud!  (ever heard of the toddler's creed?)  Then add in a little bit of society and voila!  You have a person who is not only naturally selfish and proud but you are getting bombarded from every angle that it's not only okay, but your right! 

Because of these things it can be very hard to see our own actions or attitudes as selfish and proud.  After all, it is our nature to think of our self first.  But, how does it feel when you are the one at the other end of a selfish act or a proud attitude?  That alone should make one stop and consider their own life.  Me, too!

I do believe we should love ourselves.  We should see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus.  (He loved us enough to be the ultimate example of these scriptures.)  So, yes, love yourself, take care of yourself...we need to be the best that we can be.  If we are doing this, we will be able to follow the example of Jesus and love others...even more than our self. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gettin' It

Psalm 94:7-9
New Life Version (NLV)

7 And they say, “The Lord does not see. The God of Jacob does not care.”
8 Listen, you foolish ones among the people. You fools, when will you understand?
9 He Who made the ear, does He not hear? He Who made the eye, does He not see?

Oh, my.  Well, how do I start this post?  Honestly, I guess.  I was having a couple of rough days recently.  I even complained to a couple of patient friends that I didn't think God was listening to my prayers.  Yep, I actually said it out loud.  And I just felt like my faith and trust was wavering a little, um, a lot.  I started to attempt to convince myself that God just wasn't paying any attention to me and my situation.  So, why keep asking for something....or anything!

So, having been encouraged by my friends, and knowing that just like the apostles, I have no where to go but to the Lord, I managed to pick myself up out of the abyss of my feelings and decide, again, that yes, I will continue to trust God even when I don't see or understand His ways.

That leads me to this morning and the chapter I just "happened" to read.  As you can probably imagine, the scriptures I listed above practically jumped off the page at me.  I get it, I get it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Know It

Deuteronomy 7:9
Amplified Bible (AMP)

9Know, recognize, and understand therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations,

I noticed in this scripture that it says to know, recognize and understand who God is, what He does and will do.  If the reader is anything like me, feelings tend to play tug-o-war with the facts sometimes.  If I don't feel something, I start to wonder if I really know it. 

Well, my feelings can be all over the place. (I know you men have the same problem!)  Up one day, down the next.  Even moment to moment, once in a while.  Most people learn to regulate those emotions and deal with day to day life.

This same regulating, I believe, comes into play with our belief in God.  Since scripture says He is the same at all times, I have to accept the responsibility for any change my feelings might have on my knowledge of God. 

Back again to this scripture - I know, I recognize and I understand that God is God.  He is faithful.  He keeps His promises.  My feelings might have a grand ol' time running around, but if I love Him and obey Him all I need to do is know it.  He doesn't change. Ever.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Looking in the Mirror

Micah 6:8
New Century Version (NCV)

8 The Lord has told you, human, what is good;
he has told you what he wants from you:
to do what is right to other people,
love being kind to others,
and live humbly, obeying your God.

This pretty much wraps it all up in one sentence how we should live.  It's not always easy to set aside one's own feelings or opinion and follow these instructions.  I struggle with it along with everyone else, sometimes.  Most of the time.

To do what is right to other people?  How about treating them how we like to be treated?  When we start putting our feelings first, regardless of the affect it may have on someone, we are already off track and not doing God's will. 

To love being kind or having mercy on others?  So, basically, not only should we put others first, we have to love doing it!  Since to our human nature, this doesn't make a lot of sense, my guess is there is a spiritual reward involved here. 

Live humbly with God?  We are nothing.  Our thoughts are nothing.  Our opinions are nothing.  Our feelings are useless!  If we are not surrendering them all to God and letting Him help us with doing right and loving mercy, then it is for nothing. 

In my somewhat short life, I have noticed that many, many people have issues and problems that would be half solved if they would just quit pointing the finger at someone else and start looking in the mirror for the source of the problem.  What is amazing to me is that there are some who continue to point the finger...and then act like God is showing them the problem!  However...this attitude is contradictory with scripture.  We will never find the answer to our problems and issues by blaming someone else.  We need to look in the mirror of God's Word and recognize the true source of our problems, follow His instructions and then we can find true peace.