Tag Archives: gracious

1 Samuel 4-5; Galatians 4; Psalm 77

I have never seen this before, but didn’t the army of Israel look at the ark as a good luck charm – is that why they shouted?

As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. – 1 Samuel 4:5 ESV

So now they are untouchable, not because God walked with them but because they turned the ark into their “god.” I can recall right away movie scenes where people used the cross as their good luck charm or even the Bible and they warded off evil – only in the movies of course.

What do people see I put my trust in – my hope in – where does my joy sustain itself? I was challenged to love those I am with so that they could see God’s love for them.

My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! – Galatians 4:19 ESV

What makes my relationship with God harder than a good luck charm is that it costs me. First, that I care so much, and secondly that it means that my conversations with others are not shallow, but rather deep and meaningful. Finally, I forget the change is indeed painful. I go forward because I have learned that the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Are there doubts? Of course, why else the good luck charms? That is why Psalm 77 is so relevant as we experience change. This verse in particular grabs my attention.

Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion? – Psalm 77:9 ESV

Just like Israel, just like those I am walking with, I pray and I know God answers. Problem is solved. Then my feelings get involved and I wonder if He has received my notice because nothing seems to be changing. Then I wonder if I have sinned a sin that has blocked His favour. Too much wondering, too much worry and when I settle down and relax, rest, God speaks His love and everything goes back on track. No lucky charm required.

Father, I have learned to be patient and I have learned to trust You. From time to time, I find a way to forget, but I love the fact that when we spend time together, everything else comes together too, even my memory. Your love is powerful, fills my cup each day. I am thankful for the little resemblance I have of You and joy in others seeing You in me. Thank you. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 1 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Galatians, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

I Samuel 16, Romans 14, Lamentations 1, & Luke 21

My world. No, it’s Your world and me in it.  How do I get this confused? You would think after walking so many years in the Light of Christ that the concept of being an alien in this world would be a solid belief, yet I find myself sunk deep in the muck of my desires, permeated with the details of being involved in all that goes on around me.  I could never be a Mother Theresa.  Not because I don’t care for the disenfranchised, but where would I find electricity to plug in my hairdryer; how could I afford makeup, and there would be no need to wear sexy boots.  Don’t get me wrong; I would spend a week or even a month roughing it on a mission trip or helping a friend or family member.  I might even give up a weekend to help a stranger move or feed a crowd.

But I fear there is something missing in my DNA when it comes to full-fledged, sold out, surrendered body, soul, and mind to the things of God.  I worry that I am more like King Saul than his replacement, David.  Saul could not seem to do everything God commanded because he was self-absorbed. God finally told Saul to step aside and let another take his place.

So in my effort to prove I have a heart that beats only for God (so I can be like King David), I have swung the hammer of law to crush the liberty of others.  Just ask my daughter or my ex.  It has seemed more important to be righteous than to be gracious.  Oh, and giving grace can feel soooo very gracious.  Yuck!

Like Jeremiah in Lamentations wrote, “The yoke of my transgressions was bound; they were woven by His hand and thrust upon my neck; He made my strength fail.”  Yet, I thank Him for that.  There is this side of me that longs to be led serenely trusting Christ’s words and revelation. Though I may not have a natural ability to follow the God of my life, I am urged to keep submitting to Him.  Because of this desire, I believe His Holy Spirit spurs me on to love in the midst of external turmoil or the humiliation of internal weakness.  Christ tells us that He is coming again and that we need to rid ourselves of any hindrance to recognizing His appearance. If the destruction of my world is necessary to the salvation of my soul, then so be it.

 

Janet

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Filed under 1 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Lamentations, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans