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“Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.” Eccl 12:13-14
It can be a struggle to be righteous (acting in accord with divine or moral law) in world that seems to celebrate, encourage and even reward unbecoming behavior, self-gratification and divisiveness. We must, however, remember to keep God’s commandments even if it means standing alone. The opinions of our peers, parents, bosses, or spouses should not cause us to waver from doing what is right in eyes of the Lord. To know what is right requires Bible study so that you do not fall victim to dogmatic speech presented as God’s Word but, in reality, is far from it. To keep God’s commandments requires one to reject man’s reasoning, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” 1 Cor 4:19. Unfortunately, rejecting man’s reasoning can lead to man rejecting you. That can hurt, especially if you are being rejected by your loved ones. However, the temporary sting of man’s rejection does not compare to being rejected by God for eternity. Man’s love is fickle. It changes over time. God’s love stands. And our love for Him compels us to meditate on His precepts. It moves us to live honorably. All of our works will be judged by God, the good and the bad. Let your works be good. It is better to stand alone with God than with a group poised for damnation.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is a stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?” — Psalm 27:1, NIV
When I was little girl and was paralyzed by fear, either from monsters under my bed, severe weather or riding my two-wheeler for the first time, I drew comfort and strength from being in my dad’s presence. His warm embrace and comforting words were shields that protected me in the midst of all my scary childhood trials. He didn’t prevent my trials, but he was a loving guide as I lived through them. I knew everything would be OK as long as he was by my side.
Once I became an adult, I realized I could no longer run to my dad whenever I was faced with uncertainty, fear and doubt. I had to to navigate life’s ups and down on my own. That’s the sign of a grown-up, right?
Well, not exactly.
I still have a Father I can turn to when I am afraid. The same Father that blessed my dad with the wisdom and character to be loving steward of me as a child also protects, comforts and strengthens me as an adult. Although my adult fears are greater than imaginary creatures, I take comfort in knowing my heavenly Father still walks with me. He walks with you, too. Faith will not keep life’s inevitable trials away. Faith reassures, strengthens, and protects you spiritually so you can live through them.
Have a blessed day.
“The world and its desire’s pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17
You go to church. You can quote Scripture. You tithe and you give freely to others. Externally, you are perfect in the sight of man. However, what are the desires of your heart? Do you earnestly desire to do the will of God? Or, do you crave the approval of man? Do you do in secret so that our Father may reward you (Matt 6:4) or do volunteer in full view to receive rewards from men?
Examine your actions fully. If you find yourself adjusting your thoughts, actions and speech away from God’s truth to blend in with the world and to garner its adoration then all of your efforts are in vain. The world’s approval is fickle and fleeting. Recent celebrity downfalls are a testament to that. Strive instead to please God – abide in His word and give Him the glory for your life, triumphs and successes. When the world turns its back on you, God will still be there to lift you up.
May the Lord’s blessings rain upon you today.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” 1 Corinthians 3:19
In the wake of the deadly tornadoes that decimated Moore, OK, a popular comedian and noted atheist mocked those who prayed for the tornado victims and challenged people to actually do something for the ravaged community. Many people expressed similar sentiments, questioning the usefulness and power of prayer. In their minds, why pray to an entity that allowed such a tragedy to happen in the first place? To them, it just didn’t make sense.
I’m glad I live in a country that embraces free will and the right express one’s opinion. In the spirit of exercising this basic right, I will say that, as a Christian, I find this type of thinking foolish and dangerous. To me, prayer and belief in God gives one the strength to withstand life’s inevitable storms. Belief in God does not mean you will not face worldly tragedies or disappointments. Belief in God helps you react to such circumstances with the hope, knowledge and comfort that He is with you and will see you through according to His will. That, in itself, seems to be the biggest hurdle many face in their faith- God’s will versus our will. When God’s will supersedes our will – which it always does – one’s faith can become rattled especially if there isn’t a full understanding of Scripture. Those with no faith place their hopes within themselves or upon other people. The problem with this is man’s abilities are limited; placing one’s faith in him will leave one empty. The man of faith prostrates himself before the Lord and receives the comfort and answers that give him the strength to accept and persevere. God’s power and mercies are limitless. He does not leave us, even when we are facing unspeaking hardships, pain and losses.
Praying to God is doing something. For it is during these moments that we receive instructions placed upon our hearts, not to be seen and praised by men but to please God. Doing something may be more than donating to a charitable organization. One may be prompted to also give their time, spiritual gifts or talents to help rebuild lives and communities up close rather than from afar.
That makes sense.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1
In all our accomplishments, triumphs and recognition, let us not forget to acknowledge and praise the One who made it all possible. Our blessings don’t come from our own strengths, but from the Lord. Don’t let the desire to be aceepted and adored by man deceive you into believing you and you alone are responsible for your successful endeavors. Thank and praise the Lord in your fertile seasons with the same fervor you have during your dry seasons.
May the Lord’s blessings continue to rain upon you.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
What is your greatest desire? What is the one thing for which you strive; that occupies your thoughts day and night? Do you want a better job? Do you need more money? Constantly thinking of satisfying sensual urges?
I have another question: Are you a Believer? No, not a Belieber (fan of a young pop star), but a Christian (one who accepts Christ as his Lord and Savior)? As Christians, our one true desire should be what David expressed in Psalm 27:4 – to be with the Lord all the days of our lives. We should seek a relationship with God above all things. His precepts should be at the forefront of our thoughts, they should guide us throughout the day and comfort us at night.
Striving for material possessions will produce days of disappointment and despair. Striving for a relationship with the Lord will strenthen you, give you hope and equip you with the confidence to face each day – the light, happy ones AND the dark, sad ones. The reality of living in this world is we do need need jobs and money in order sustain our physical needs. The confusion of the world is that we need more money and better jobs to live a prosperous life.
The reality of seeking of God first is realizing He will provide for you just as “the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26)… So do not worry , saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and his rightouesness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31).” The confusion of some Christians is believing that following Christ will lead to more money and prosperity based upon the world’s definition. Sadly, many shepherds lead flocks based upon these principles rather than biblical principles.
If you have food, shelter and health YOU ARE ALREADY PROSPEROUS. Desiring more is only an exercise in frustration that will ultimately lead to the disillusionment that God must not care, especially when you see others you deem as having far less “faith” than you living in a home or driving a car that you want. Those who desire mansions on Earth, fancy cars and money have their reward now and will spend their rest of their lives worrying, planning and working to keep those possessions. Those who seek the Lord receive thier reward later, but the reward lasts for eternity with no worry. What they have now is comfort, peace and the strength of the Lord to sustain them through all of life’s situations.
So, Christians, Believers, honestly ask yourselves, “What do I really want?” If being with the Lord is not at the top of your list, what is? Is it truly worth more than a relationship with God?
May the Lord be with you today and always.