Growing up in a dysfunctional home does not make me an expert as to what love looks like. Through trial and error, and many more errors, I began my journey to being relatively healthy except when it comes to conflict with those I would call my superiors in the workplace. They have not modelled love very well and to this day I still struggle with what that looks like. For those I lead, I try to be the one who loves through conflict. From the testimonies I have collected, I would say I am doing a fairly good job. In marriage I have not had that much success when it comes to speaking the truth in love. In my relationship with God, I have excelled. We have loved each other with a major intensity. He has called me out on many issues and has demanded a more closer walk with Him.
Let the righteous one strike me—
it is an act of faithful love;
let him rebuke me—
it is oil for my head;
let me[a] not refuse it.
Even now my prayer is against
the evil acts of the wicked. – Psalm 141:5 HCSB
King David learned to love rebuke too. Somehow, when God rebukes, He does not shame, He causes me to sing.
They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb:
Great and awe-inspiring are Your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the Nations. – Revelation 15:2-3 HCSB
The principle I learn is this – there is a perfect harmony in the retributive acts of God in dealing with this world and the highest conception of His love and mercy which the gospel brings. God’s dealings with me are meant to manifest His character that I may know and love Him. The motive is His own love, the end is the glory of His Name, in the love and knowledge of those like me whose life and blessedness depend on my knowing and loving Him.
God’s demand for my supreme love – is it just? That would depend on two things:
- Whether I have the power of loving any one supremely
- Whether God has attributes adapted to awaken this love within me
I think it is found in everyone to love some object supremely. My choice is quite easily understood then – I make a choice to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
Father, thank you for calling my name in the darkest moments of my life. I am so thankful that You allowed me to hear Your voice. Every time You spoke You imparted Your love in an incredibly meaningful way. Your love mattered more than life itself. Thank You.
Filed under 5 day reading plan, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Revelation, Uncategorized
Tagged as l learn, looks, looks like, loving any one, my life, rebuke, strike, supreme, supremely, the Lamb, within me, Your works
He clears away any mystery–he wants my heart, all of it. It is simple. It is rich. It is the most valuable thing I can give him. It holds my trust, my obedience, my hope, my love, my joy. And he offers me what I think I’ve always craved–his love, his delight, his approval.
When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 30:1-10, NIV)
People are fickle and change their desires as it serves them. But he whispers to me, “11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14, NIV, emphasis added)
He will not waffle in his ways. He will not keep me running for a bait he holds out of my reach.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, NIV, emphasis added)
Good Father. My God. My life.
Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan
Tagged as 66 books, 66 books in a year, Bible in a year, Bible reading plan, chosen, delight, Good Father, life, love, my God, my life, obedience, promises, trust, truth
I found this prayer filled with expectation and promise – how much of the character of God is revealed here – I marvel at His leading and guiding and blessing.
So now, Lord, I pray, show us your power and do what you promised when you said, ‘I, the Lord, am not easily angered, and I show great love and faithfulness and forgive sin and rebellion. Yet I will not fail to punish children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their parents.’ And now, Lord, according to the greatness of your unchanging love, forgive, I pray, the sin of these people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.” But because my servant Caleb has a different attitude and has remained loyal to me, I will bring him into the land which he explored, and his descendants will possess the land. – Numbers 14:17-19, 24 GNT
I am invited to pray, to engage God, to ask Him to be part of my life and all that is in it.
Call to me when trouble comes;
I will save you,
and you will praise me. – Psalm 50:15 GNT
I pray that I might acknowledge my absolute dependence on God for it matters to Him.
No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him. – Hebrews 11:6 GNT
Why do I pray? My faith says, “God wants to talk with me.” I will continue in prayer because of my faith. What do I believe when I approach God in prayer? I hope it shows Him how much I trust Him.
Father, I am amazed at just how personal You want to be in my life. You want to show Your power and You want to fulfill Your promises. You want me to enjoy and look forward to the blessings You have in store for me. You desire that I come to You with my sin for You want to reveal Your willingness to forgive. Lord, when it comes to sin, I find myself in trouble everyday and yet, it gives me cause to come to You and be faithful in meeting with You. Thank you for saving me, thank you for allowing me the opportunity of praising You. I know that without the help of the Holy Spirit I could not have the faith I need to walk this walk with You. I can feel His presence inviting me to seek You and follow You. I am so glad You will never leave me. Amen.
Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized
Tagged as expectation and promise, I pray, matters, my life, promised, to pray, trouble comes, without
I have thought of God as my lucky charm a few times in my life. It was no surprise for me to see King Zedekiah turning in his chips to claim the lucky charm from God when the Babylonians were approaching.
“Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.” – Jeremiah 21:2 ESV
While it did not work for King Zedekiah, and unfortunately, his sin made the people of Israel suffer, God made a promise and it is a promise that I have taken for myself. My key promise of them all – God’s eyes will be on me and so His favour also.
I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. – Jeremiah 24:6-7 ESV
Today, I read that a promise is an obedience to the instructions that God gives. In this case He is telling King Zedekiah to humble himself and take the yoke of the Babylonians for that is the only way the people of Israel will be able to stay and keep the land that God had given them. So the promise was – take the yoke and live.
But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand. – Jeremiah 27:8 ESV
At times I am called to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and when I do, God will walk with me – that is a promise I can live with.
Father, I thank You that Your eyes are on me with favour. I thank You that You have a purpose for my life. As I walk this life, I can count on Your promise to walk with me always. I love that You have given promises that You have always kept. Thank you.
Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, Old Testament, Uncategorized
Tagged as Babylon, favour, for good, for us, gives, my life, of death, Zedekiah
When God loves me, He expresses it through so many different ways. He cares for me, protects me and keeps me safe. Here is the simple story told through the eyes of Ezra and King David.
Beside the Ahava River, I asked the people to go without eatingand to pray. We humbled ourselves and asked God to bring us and our children safely to Jerusalem with all of our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the king to send soldiers and cavalry to protect us against enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king that our God takes care of everyone who truly worships him, but that he gets very angry and punishes anyone who refuses to obey. So we went without food and asked God himself to protect us, and he answered our prayers. We are slaves, but you have never turned your back on us. You love us, and because of you, the kings of Persia have helped us. It’s as though you have given us new life! You let us rebuild your temple and live safely in Judah and Jerusalem. – Ezra 8:21-23;9:9
Love the Lord
and hate evil!
God protects his loyal people
and rescues them
from violence. – Psalm 97:10 CEV
I know it sounds too simple but it is. I mean every day of my life I enter into it knowing that I am loved this way. It does something to me each morning as a learn a new character trait of who God is and how He thinks. But this simple story, the one of care, protection and safety do not grow old on me. I find that when Revelations describes worship, I fit right in.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord,
the all-powerful God,
who was and is
and is coming!”
“Our Lord and God,
you are worthy
to receive glory,
honor, and power.
You created all things,
and by your decision they are
and were created.”
Revelation 4:8,11 CEV
Father, You know more than anything on how much I want to honour You and Your purposes in my life. Even though I cannot wait to join so many others in worshipping You in Your Kingdom, I can wait for such a time once my work is done here on earth. In the meantime, I know I walk with You and in Your care, protection and guiding eye. I am so thankful and am enjoying all the attention You are giving me. I love You.
Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezra, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized
Tagged as all powerful, hate evil, me, my life, receive, simple, to pray