LOVING GOD

February 14, 2013

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5.

What does it really mean to love God with that level of commitment and intensity? The Apostle Paul’s description of love in 1st Corinthians 13 might give us some insight. Let’s read that famous essay on love with a focus on loving God. It might look something like this:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but don’t love God, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but don’t love God, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but don’t love God, it profits me nothing.

If I love God, I am patient and kind.
If I love God, I do not envy.
If I love God, I do not parade myself; I’m not puffed up;
I do not behave rudely; I don’t seek my own benefit,
I am not provoked, I think no evil.
If I love God, I do not rejoice in iniquity, but I rejoice in the truth.
If I love God, I bear all things, I believe all things, I hope all things, I endure all things.
God’s love to me never fails…how much do I love Him?

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SURRENDERING TO GOD’S TIMETABLE

January 29, 2011

God doesn’t flaunt His sovereignty, doing whatever He wants to on a whim. NO! Just as He has a perfect plan that is unfolding (on a universal level as well as in our own lives), He has a timetable for every step and every detail of that plan. People call it “chance” or “coincidence”, but as we look into God’s word, we see it’s His plan at work, according to His timing. The wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon, wrote that God has “made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) The prophet Isaiah taught that God works according to His timetable (Isaiah 60:22). The apostle Paul wrote about Christ’s having been born “when the fullness of the time had come” (Galatians 4:4). Jesus, speaking of His impending death, surrendered to God’s timetable when He declared “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” (John 12:23)

God is working according to His timetable in every detail of our lives to fulfill His plan. Everything is right on course. It always was, and always will be. He won’t delay anything one second longer than planned. When we can’t figure it out, we need to remember that He is perfect and won’t mess up the plan just because we’re in a hurry. Surrendering to His timetable, we don’t have to have the schedule of events. He has it, and we can trust Him to do what He knows to be best, when He sees that it should happen.  God give us grace to surrender to His timetable!


I WILL PRAISE THE LORD ACCORDING TO…..

November 28, 2010

….ACCORDING TO WHAT?

…how I feel at the moment? If I feel good, I’ll praise Him. The problem is that I don’t always feel good.
…how my day is going? Not a good idea. Some days Murphy’s Law rules.
…the prayers I get answered? Hummm. Sometimes I don’t want the answer I get. Other prayers are still on hold.
…how I’m being treated? That doesn’t work. Some people are downright rude.
…my physical health? That can fail any minute. Then what?
…how my plans are working out? Things don’t always go my way. What happens then?
…my righteousness? Are you kidding???

I will praise the Lord NOT according to any of these variables, but according to who HE is. He is the righteous, unchangeable I AM. No matter what I’m going through, He is worthy to be praised, always, forever, and eternally! The Psalmist wrote: “I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” (Psalm 7:17) I can praise Him for His righteousness! Not only is He righteous, but He considers me righteous in Christ. The apostle Paul explained it this way: “For He (God) made Him who knew no sin (Christ) to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2nd Corinthians 5:21) And that’s reason enough to praise Him no matter what my circumstances…according to His righteousness!


INTERVIEWS FROM THE PAST: “One Thing” (Part 3)

October 4, 2010

For the last interview, our reporter chose a very interesting gentleman. One of the most religiously correct and well-educated people of his day, Saul of Tarsis dedicated his life to persecuting the true believers in Jesus Christ. He was passionate about the wrong things. He mistakenly thought that his goodness depended on his religiosity, on who he was…until he had an amazing encounter with Jesus, who turned his life around (even changed his name to Paul) and empowered him to become one of the most famous evangelists in history and the author of much of the New Testament. Paul was a very focused man. I can imagine the interview going something like this:

REPORTER: “Paul, how can you explain the dramatic change in your life? You formerly persecuted the followers of Jesus, and now you’ve dedicated your entire life to teaching others about Him. What happened?”

PAUL: “That same Jesus met me when I was on a mission to turn His followers in to the authorities. Blinded by a tremendous light that surrounded me, I fell to the ground. In complete surrender to Him, I asked Him what He wanted me to do.”

REPORTER: “How amazing! What did He tell you?”

PAUL: “He simply said to get up and go into the city that it would be told me what to do. From that moment on, I realized that all my religion, my self-righteousness, my accomplishments were nothing compared to the love that Jesus has for me. He gave everything up, and even though He was sinless, He died to pay for the sins of the whole world – and more importantly, of MY sins! That realization gave my life a brand new meaning, and new direction!”

REPORTER: “Doesn’t your past plague you? You were religious and sincere, but wrong. You mentioned at one point that you were the “chief of sinners.” What is the ONE THING you do to keep on going with that kind of past now that you’ve changed?

PAUL: “The ONE THING I do?… “Forgetting the past, I keep focused on the goal: The prize at the end of the race. I keep going forward with faith in Christ, in His strength, and trusting in His righteousness, not my own.” (Philippians 3)

REPORTER: “You mentioned the prize. What is that prize?”

PAUL: “To become like Christ!”

REPORTER: “Hummmmm…..”


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