Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Great Is the Love

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a NIV

I keep hearing songs. I cannot get them out of my mind. But why should I try? The messages in the content of the verses and choruses are so encouraging. They remind me of God’s love.

“Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so…Yes, Jesus loves me.”

These words from the song “Jesus Loves Me,” which I learned as a child, encourage me. When life is rough, I know I am important to someone just as I am. “Just As I Am” is another one. Yes it is usually sung as an invitation to accept Jesus as your Savior at the end of a church service. But the words often bring me comfort when I am facing challenges or have just made a sinful error. It reminds me that Jesus loves me even in my imperfection.

“Just as I am though tossed about with many a conflict , many a doubt…Just as I am thou wilt receive-- wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve…Just as I am, Thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down.”

The songs I learned as a child keep coming to mind. They have so much depth—so much richness—so much truth. My heart yearns to be closer to Jesus. I made that plea to God as I prayed this morning through the words of another song learned long ago—“Just a Closer Walk With Thee.”

“I am weak, but Thou art strong. Jesus, keep me from all wrong. I’ll be satisfied as long as I walk, let me walk, close to Thee. Just a closer walk with Thee. Grant it, Jesus, is my plea. Daily walking close to Thee. Let it be, dear Lord. Let it be.”

Another song I find inspiring, which is not quite as well known but has been coursing through my mind, is “O Victory in Jesus”.

“O victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever. He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood; He loved me ‘ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.”

So, check out the words of your favorite hymns or praise songs. Verify the words for biblical accuracy then let God speak to you through his music.

Lord, thank you for your songs. Through them you have shown me your love this week. How you could love me as you have demonstrated you do is unbelievably amazing. I praise your love. I thank you that you love me. Now, Lord, draw me to you that you may use me to demonstrate your love to others.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Attitude Should Be

What should my attitude be? I have been struggling with one area of my life. God has been so good to me in so many ways, and he continues to bless me. How can I complain? God has given me a fantastic husband (I may get irritated sometimes, but he is truly amazing.), a loving family, a comfortable home, a dependable car, decent clothing, plenty of food (Okay so I abuse this blessing and eat too much!), good health, the right to worship him openly, and many Christian friends. No complaint should come from my mouth or be entertained in my thoughts. Yet I fail in this area. I have been complaining because it has become clear to me that God is requiring me to give up my cherished Bible study class. Why is he taking this away? It feeds me. It nourishes me. Why?

The answer is I do not know, and it should not matter. My God loves me as evidenced by the many blessings he has heaped on me. It would be massive unbelief in his power and love if I asked for another sign by demanding to know why before I obediently respond. I must trust that God is in control and knows better than me what is best.

“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

So what is my response to this new frustration? I am beginning to release my disappointment and turn to him in praise.

“In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.’" Isaiah 12:4-6 NIV

Lord, forgive my unbelief. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, use me daily to praise you and sing for joy about your many blessings.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It is a word that applies to my writing during this season of my life. If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that when I am not posting each day, something out of the ordinary is happening in my life. If you do not see something posted for several days, generally that means there has been a change in the condition of my mother-in-law. That is my current situation. She has had hospital stays and is experiencing declining health. Hopefully, things will level out a bit in the next few days so I can get back to sharing with you what God has revealed to me in my quiet time about how to live an exemplary Christian life. Not that I do. But that is my aim. My desire is to grow closer to God and therefore to please him as I go through my earthly life.

I am not complaining about any challenge God has placed in my life at this time for that would be an egregious sin. It would be like thumbing my nose at a God who has given me so much and continues to bless me even now. I think about Job and how God allowed sadness and difficulty to test Job’s devotion to him. I have been reading the last five chapters of Job where God speaks to Job. It is four chapters of God reminding Job who he is before finally, in the last chapter, Job truly recognizes God is in control of all things.

“Then Job replied to the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.’” Job 42:1-2 NIV

Job then goes on to admit he had a knowledge about God before God’s instruction, but finally Job truly believed in him. Job recognized his position as a sinful man and repented. It wasn’t a surface, for the moment, repentance. It was a change of life experience. Job now understood who God is and placed God first in his life.

“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6 NIV

So I challenge you to read Job 38-42. See God for who he is.

Lord, thank you for the many precious moments you give me during the storm of challenges this life presents. I ask that you continue to show yourself to me. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, give me the insight, knowledge and strength to place you in your proper position in my life—FIRST.