Thursday, September 29, 2011

As Long As You Are Glorified

I know I've posted this before, and I know this is supposed to be 'Thoughtful Thursday'. But, I heard this song today and I remembered how much I love it. The words are so perfect! Be blessed...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday-- Grab Hold

Being productive makes me happy. 

Being overwhelmed with lot's of things to accomplish does not. 

But the feeling of accomplishing something, getting things checked off the list inspires me to do more. 

It's like what I picture rock-climbing to be like. You look for a hand-hold or a foot-hold, grab on, pull up and start looking for another. Eventually, you make your way to the top, thanks to all the little cracks and ledges you found on the way up.

But what's the top? I'm not sure. It's not perfection or anything like that. I guess 'the top' would just be a life well-lived. A life in which a person did the best they could with what they had. Not everyone finds good hand-holds on their climb. This makes me think of the Parable of the Talents.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Law of the Lord is Perfect

I think I could camp out on this Psalm for quite a while....

Psalms 19  
The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday--A Reason for Trials

Nahum 1:2--"The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies."

Your Lord is very jealous of your love, O believer. Did He choose you? 
He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did He buy you with His 
own blood? He cannot endure that you should think that you are your 
own, or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love 
that He would not stop in heaven without you; He would sooner die than 
you should perish, and He cannot endure that anything should stand 
between your heart's love and Himself. He is very jealous of your 
trust. He will not permit you to trust in an arm of flesh. He cannot 
bear that you should hew out broken cisterns, when the overflowing 
fountain is always free to you. When we lean upon Him, He is glad, but 
when we transfer our dependence to another, when we rely upon our own 
wisdom, or the wisdom of a friend--worst of all, when we trust in any 
works of our own, He is displeased, and will chasten us that He may 
bring us to Himself. He is also very jealous of our company. There 
should be no one with whom we converse so much as with Jesus. To abide 
in Him only, this is true love; but to commune with the world, to find 
sufficient solace in our carnal comforts, to prefer even the society of 
our fellow Christians to secret intercourse with Him, this is grievous 
to our jealous Lord. He would fain have us abide in Him, and enjoy 
constant fellowship with Himself; and many of the trials which He sends 
us are for the purpose of weaning our hearts from the creature, and 
fixing them more closely upon Himself. Let this jealousy which would 
keep us near to Christ be also a comfort to us, for if He loves us so 
much as to care thus about our love we may be sure that He will suffer 
nothing to harm us, and will protect us from all our enemies. Oh that 
we may have grace this day to keep our hearts in sacred chastity for 
our Beloved alone, with sacred jealousy shutting our eyes to all the 
fascinations of the world!

I read the September 12th 'Morning and Evening' devotional (by Spurgeon) on Tuesday and it just pierced me to the heart. This subject of spending time alone with God is one that He keeps bringing me back around to. And not being distracted by things that don't matter. He's like, "Okay, you didn't quite get it last time. Let's try this again." 

This is essential to being a Christian and that's probably why it's such a hard thing to learn. Also, I'm lazy. I enjoy my own company. I could spend a whole day alone and be quite content. But, what joys am I missing out on? My precious Redeemer is with me always and I can speak with Him about anything, everything.

To read this verse alone, it sounds rather unpleasant. But it's important to notice that the Lord is avenging and wrathful toward his enemies. If we belong to Him, that statement should be one of the most comforting in the Bible. If someone is jealous of you, you know it's because they love you.

The Creator and Savior of our souls loves us and desires that we love Him with All our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday--What's my wall?

What's my wall?

What does that mean?

It comes from the book of Nehemiah and is a creative way of asking, "What has God called me to do?"

I went to a Bible study last night and this was one of the questions asked from the Pulpit. The Pastor began with an overview of the book of Nehemiah. 

How he was called by God to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah repents and prays for the restoration of the people of Israel. He goes to the King(whom he serves as a cupbearer) and requests that he be allowed to go and do this. The King grants his request and sends men to protect and assist him. When Nehemiah enters the land, these two men are angry that he has come. The two adversaries grow into more and they try to get Nehemiah away from the wall so that they can do away with him. That doesn't work. They send messengers, claiming that there are rumors about Nehemiah planning to rule Jerusalem. They even hire prophets to speak to him and who try to get him to go to the temple.

Nehemiah doesn't heed any of these tactics. He knew what God had called him to do and he was sticking to it.

How does this apply?

Well, when God calls us to something, whatever it may be, small or big, and we go about doing it, the Adversary gets to work as well. The Adversary is Satan. He doesn't want us to accomplish anything God calls us to. The Pastor last night even went so far as to say that the devil would be happy for us to have service from sun up to sun down every day of the week, if that meant we never went out into the world and shared about Him. I never thought about it that way. 

The Adversary has some predictable tactics, but sometimes they're delivered in sneaky ways.

First, he tries, in different ways, to isolate you. To pull you away from the work God's given you. To make you feel alone. He does this--

--Second-- to whisper falsehoods or accusations to you. To cause you to doubt God's word.

Third, he might even imitate God's voice. Now that's just downright dirty. We really have to know our Shepherd's voice, don't we?

I've experienced all three of these schemes at different times and at one time with a vengeance. Praise God, He stepped in on my behalf. 

So back to the original question. What has God called me to do? As an individual? I believe He has called me to faithfully serve my family. To be a help to my parents, to be an example to my siblings, and to minister to others from my home base. Do I do well at this all the time? Uh-uh. No. But, as I'm in this rock-tumbler of sanctification, I'm learning how to be like Jesus to my family and others. And someday, hopefully, to a family of my own.

So learn to recognize the Adversary's methods and keep building that wall!