Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Voice of Truth

1 John 4:18
Amplified Bible

18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

I am going to try to keep it short and simple.  We all grow up hearing a lot of voices.  Whether it be parental, religious, or of the world - we hear them all.  Some are good, some are not.  But altogether, they form the things we listen to in our own heads. 

As we become adults, sometimes it is hard to sort through all the voices and hear truth. 

The truth is, God is love.  The truth is He is full of mercy.  The truth is He is kind.  The truth is He looks at us differently than we look at ourselves.  The truth is He looks at us differently then the person next to us.  The truth is if we are living in fear of people, God, etc., then we do not understand God's love for us. 

Listen to the voice of truth.  Turn it up and let it drown out all the other voices.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Stay on the Path

Proverbs 3:5-6
New Living Translation

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.
 
Another passage of Scripture that most of us know by heart.  To the point where we spout it off like it's so easy to do.  Like there's no need to worry about a thing, because God is going to direct our path...
 
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, although most who read this post will most likely relate - it's not easy.  Even as we trust in God and submit to His will...the "path" of life can have a lot of bumps, ruts, weeds, blind corners, boulders, and any other description of things that makes it hard to traverse. 
 
In meditating on this a little, I realized that when I have thought about how I try to follow the advice of these scriptures, I kind of make the assumption that it's going to make my life easier, and the obstacles smaller.  Then I thought about how that does not always seem to happen, I still face the obstacles and things that seem to hinder my progress - even though I am trusting God with my life!  What?
 
Then God reminded me of how my own personal growth has almost always come out of the hard times in life.  Aren't those the times we hit our knees and draw closer to God?  So, when we are traveling our path, the one shown to us by God, and it's bumpy and rough, and we wonder if we can make it though - don't try to find the easier way - find God, and let him draw you closer.  If we do that, that is when the growth in ourselves happens, and the boulders become pebbles, the weeds bloom, and the blind corners get straightened out. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

It's Messy

Isaiah 53:5
New Century Version

But he was wounded for the wrong we did;
    he was crushed for the evil we did.
The punishment, which made us well, was given to him,
    and we are healed because of his wounds.
 
Forgiveness.  It is such a gargantuan word at times.  I have sometimes wondered why it can be so hard to do and feel!  In the archives of this blog, I have more than once expressed my struggle with forgiving and loving those whom I have felt hurt by.  It goes against the grain (aka human nature) to forgive.  It really doesn't make a lot of sense most of the time. 
 
I would say that our innate desire to protect and preserve ourselves is the reason forgiveness can be so hard, sometimes seeming completely impossible.  It takes humility to forgive, because it means we have to let go of our justified feelings or perspective.  And that can hurt like crazy - I know!
 
When Jesus came to earth, gave Himself on the cross because of our sins, when He took the punishment we deserved, He was extended to all of us forgiveness, in anticipation that we would need it!  Now, rewind in your mind to the cross itself.  This is where He did what He needed to do so that we can at any time, any place, any reason, ask Him to forgive us.  The cross was messy.  He had to humble Himself.  It was a bloody, gory, painful, uncomfortable, an "against the grain" thing to do.  Yet He did it because He was looking way ahead in time, even at me, and saw that I would need it, and He wanted a relationship with me - and you.  So, He paid the cost.  He thought it was worth it.
 
When we forgive, it can be painful.  It is ultimately the laying down of our own selves - our feelings, our rights, our perspective - hurts just thinking about it, right?  We may not have to experience the cross in order to forgive, but we can understand that forgiveness comes with cost.  It's messy.  But it's worth it.