“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.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
We implement and change laws daily, but until hearts are changed we will be stuck in this horrific and senseless rut. Unfortunately, It seems to be a part of human nature – either biological or socially ingrained- to seek people, cultures and ideologies to hate. Here’s a fact some obviously have not comprehended: you can feel good about yourself without hating someone else. One doesn’t have to project his or her conflicted personal issues upon anyone else to feel acceptance or vindication. Go against the grain today. When you find yourself having negative thoughts about others or yourselves, replace those thoughts with love and encouragement. Speak peace to yourselves so you may freely give it to others. Think you don’t have anything to be encouraged about? You woke up today. That is a gift many people did not receive this morning. And it is start. A start for you to make the changes within yourself that will prevent future mass murders, be they in a gay nightclub in Orlando, a church in South Carolina, a movie theater in Aurora, CO, outside an abortion clinic in Colorado Springs, CO or during an office party in San Bernardino, CA.
“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.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
I was listening to a morning radio program yesterday as the hosts interviewed a young, Christian rapper. He was asked his opinion of several currents events, including his thoughts of drinking alcohol, the controversial new reality series “Preachers of LA” and other topics. The hosts, who readily admitted to not regularly studying the Bible, brought up the seven deadly sins and wanted to know what they were. The young rapper quickly dismissed the question and stated he didn’t think that was listed anywhere in the Bible and that it was a “cultural thing”. Not exactly.
Proverbs 6:16-19 lists six things the Lord hates; seven that are detestable to Him.” The detestable acts aren’t titled “The 7 Deadly Sins” and they are not named as the world has been taught to remember, but they are provided in the Word. The young rapper had a brilliant opportunity to educate an audience that desperately needed it and missed it. I don’t know if his missed opportunity stemmed from ignorance of the Word or his excitement of promoting his new record, but it was a golden moment to introduce the Lord to listeners who didn’t know Him for themselves. Paul further delves into these things as well as the fruit of Spirit in Galatians 5:19-23.
This is a wordy post, but I felt it worthy because it provides a real-life example of why it is important to not just read your Bible and memorize Scripture, but to study it for understanding.
Have a blessed day!
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. and He relents from sending calamity.” Joel 2:13
Outward displays of penitence can never replace true inward repentance. Make sure your attitude towards God is sincere.
Have a wonderful and 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.
Covenant: the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 12-15, NIV