Obeying a Loving God is a Joy.

1 Samuel 28:11-20 tells the story of the end of Saul’s reign and the foreshadowing of David’s rule.  When I read verses 17 & 18 concerning Saul “…for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to David: Because thou obeyed not the voice of the Lord, nor executed his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.” I fear for all that God might take away from me for not being obedient.

A friend sent me this sermon, I received it just after reading these verses.

In this video Derek Prince talks about the difference of living by the law vs. living by grace.  It’s a great perspective that would be worth listening to.

As I listened to the message I thought about David.  Did David obey God?  David slept with a married woman and had her husband killed to hide the pregnancy.  2 Sam. 11.  David didn’t correctly address sin in his own family, for example when his son rapes his daughter in 2 Sam. 13.  To be sure, there were consequences for David’s sins, but David died a king.  God did not take his kingdom away from him for being disobedience.  What’s the difference between Saul and David?

In his online article called 10 Reasons David is Called a Man After God’s Own Heart, Ron Edmonson states the following examples: He is humble, reverent, respectful, trusting, loving, devoted, gives recognition, is faithful, obedient and repentant.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/ron-edmondson/10-reasons-david-is-called-a-man-after-god-s-own-heart.html

David depended on God.  David was in constant relationship with God, even when he sinned.  He lamented to God when he was in trouble. He turned to God when he was depressed. Whatever he went through, He went through it with God by His side.  In reference to walking by the law vs. by grace.  If we try to walk through life in our own power, fulfilling the law, we will fail, we will feel like a failure. Romans 3 states the following:

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.
 Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery,  and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18

So, if we can’t walk in victory by living by the law, what are we called to do? Live by grace:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 

Derek Prince, in the video above describes it as if we were slaves, potential buyers were coming into a room where we stood naked on display, they were poking and prodding to see if we were healthy, we wore shame and were destined for slavery.  But then all of a sudden the door opens and a mighty prince enters the room and says, I will buy them.  He sets us free, he doesn’t use us to be slaves, he makes us co-heirs with Him in His kingdom.  Wouldn’t you fall in love with Him? Want to be near Him? Want to spend the rest of your days showing Him how much you appreciate what He did for you?  That’s how David felt towards His God.

The day that Samuel came to anoint him as King (1 Sam. 16) Davids was out tending sheep.  When Samuel asked to see Jesse’s sons, Jesse didn’t even think about David!  David wasn’t considered king material by his earthly father.  Finally when Samuel asks if there is another son, Jesse calls David in from the fields.  Do you feel like you don’t have anything to offer? Do you feel unworthy and that God doesn’t have a call for you life?  Do you understand that God has not forgotten you!?  He will NEVER forget you.  He calls you in from wherever you are and He places you right where He wants you.

David got a revelation that day that God chose Him and had a plan for his life.  It’s what gave him the courage to fight Goliath in  1 Samuel 17.  He didn’t rely on His own strength, he had a full revelation that with God, he could do all things, Luke 1:37.  It was His faith in God that brought the grace of God into his life and established him as a man after God’s own heart.

When I get concerned that I’m going to get in trouble for not obeying God’s laws, I know that I am not connected with my heart to God.  When my heart is connected to God, I know that God only wants the very best for my life.  When I’m disconnected, it feels like He is trying to keep me from what I want.  He’s a beautiful savior, not a harsh tyrant.  I know this.

I have two friends in my life right now that have areas of specialty that I would like to learn.  When we have the time for them to teach me what they know, I am going to be all ears.  I am going to want to listen and follow each of their instructions because they know what they are talking about.  They are going to teach me to do what they do, which will bring value, fun, enjoyment etc. to my life.  The instructions they give me may not make sense to me. They may seem hard to follow.  But I am going to listen because I want to be able to do what they do.  It’s the same with God.  I start by knowing that He’s the expert.  I appreciate what He has to teach me.  I know that by following His instructions, my life is going to be better and I’m going to be able to do what He does.

“God, I want to be a woman after your heart.  Help me to not be distracted.  Help me to stay connected to your heart.  Your heart is good for me. Life with you is sweet and full and rich.  Help keep my head lifted, looking up to you, and not cast down on things here on this Earth.  Help me to walk by the Spirit.  Help me to have open eyes and ears.  Help me to renew my love for you every morning. Thank you for your grace that enables me to obey you out of a heart of love. You are my joy and my strength. Amen.”

 

 

 

He Will Be Your…

xThinkstockPhotos-494064784-640x213.jpg,qv=1487803996.pagespeed.ic.owx4rNXi-9Exodus 4:10-12 “And Moses said unto the Lord, Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, …but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.  And the Lord said unto him , Who hath made man’s mouth?  or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

Do you know that you have a purpose here on Earth?  God says in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  He was speaking to Jeremiah.  Romans 2:11 says “For there is no respect of persons with God.”  Therefore, if God had a plan for Jeremiah, when he was a baby in his mother’s womb, He also had a plan for you before you were born.  1 Cor. 12:7 says “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”  To EACH one.  You have spiritual gifts.  If you’ve never taken a spiritual gifts assessment, I found a wonderful one online:

http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts-online-assessment

You can answer 21 questions and find out which spiritual gifts you are the strongest in.  It also gives you the description of each gift.

Moses doubted what God was calling him to do.  He was so hung up on his issue of stuttering and what he couldn’t do, that he didn’t see he could accomplish, with God. Many of us have self-doubt that keeps us immobilized.  We look at our weaknesses and say, I could never…  But Phil. 4:13 says  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  and 2 Cor. 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  It’s not us, it’s us cooperating and walking in agreement with God that helps us do what He has called us to do.

God created Adam for fellowship.  He wanted to walk with him in the garden, He wanted a family.  He still wants fellowship with us.  He doesn’t expect or want us to fulfill our purpose on our own.  He wants to be our best friend, our empowering force, our partner.  What has God called you to do?  What problem are you supposed to solve?  Who are you supposed to reach? How are you supposed to make the world a better place?  Don’t let fear keep you from moving out.  Trust in God to carry you through anything. Live your very best life!  You won’t be fulfilled by doing what everyone else is doing.  You must find what it is that you are supposed to do, with God, and do it.

As God said to Moses, He says now to you “Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

 

Enough for Every Brother.

Image result for bread

He Gives Us Our Daily Bread

Jacob, convinced his brother Esau to sign away his birthright for a bowl of stew! Jacob must of been one heck of a cook!  Either that, or Esau didn’t care too much about it.  Or maybe he was so hungry for something that he wanted, that he gave it away without even considering the cost.

Our souls can be demanding.  When the soul wants something, it’s hard to talk it out of it, unless it’s submitted to the spirit man.  The Bible says that Esau had just come in out of the fields and was famished.  Jacob, seeing an opportunity wouldn’t serve him until he had signed away his birthright, Gen. 25:19-34.

It wasn’t the only time that Jacob took something that belonged to his brother. In Genesis 27 you can read all about how Jacob’s mother helped him to get his Father’s blessing as well!

Years later, in Genesis 33, Jacob learns that Esau is coming after him.  When Jacob sees him, he sees that he’s coming along with 400 men!  Sure that his brother is coming to retaliate against him he divides his family into three groups and sends them ahead of him. But he gets a grand surprise when, in verse 4 “Esau ran to meet him, and embrace him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.”  Esau asks why Jacob had sent gifts ahead of him?  Jacob explains that he has been blessed and that he wants his brother to have the gifts.  Esau tells him he has enough, but Jacob insists he take them.

Here is a picture of true redemption.  In their flesh, they fought over the blessing.  But now, realizing the plan God has for each of their lives, the brothers are fighting over blessing one another!

We have an abundantly rich and extravagant God that has given each of us a purpose on Earth. If we achieve that purpose, He also has wonderful rewards both here on Earth, and in heaven.  We NEVER have to steal from others or compare ourselves to others.  God provides us “daily bread” Mathew 6:11, enough for us to accomplish all that He has for us to do.  When we flow in the blessings He intends for us to have, we will overflow with blessings for those around us!

Mr. Perfect

Image result for jesus holding meThere are times when I feel Jesus is very close.  In church, during worship, I imagine him standing in front of me, his hands on either side of my face looking into my eyes, shutting out the noise and distractions, turning my focus to Him.  Then I feel peace.  Last Sunday, I imagined He was standing behind me, arms around me, His face next to mine, as we swayed to the worship music. I felt cared for and loved.

Other times and more often than not, I feel a distance between us.  How can I relate to a perfect man?  A serious man? I wrote a song once called “Jesus Smiles.”  It was about Jesus laughing with His disciples, enjoying His life.  I wrote it, because in general, I don’t picture Him smiling.  I see a serious, perfect man that I can’t relate to.

I’m reading a book lately (Driven by Eternity, John Bevere) that is describing Heaven in a way I haven’t thought much about, a new world with different cities and people that live in particular parts of the world depending on how they served God on Earth. I found myself being ok with the idea of living on the outskirts of Heaven, not necessarily living and working near Jesus.  Why!?

I want my motivation for serving Christ to be spending an eternity with Him, not just staying out of Hell and having all my prayers answered.  If I’m not connected to Jesus, I will be deceived.  When I’m connected to Him, He shows me the way to go, tells me what to do.  He renews my mind and I can then make corrections in my thinking and actions.

I’m going to commit to seeking more of those close-to-Jesus moments.  I need to nurture my relationship with Him.  I have to allow His purity and perfection to cover my sins and imperfections, that is the point…we are sinners, in need of a Savior.  The Enemy distort the character of Jesus to us,  because keeping us from Jesus, keeps us from living the way He commands us to live.  The truth is that Jesus LOVES us. Here are just a few attributes of Jesus that tell the truth about who He is….He is our Mr. Perfect, in the very best way.

When He walked the earth He covered sinners, He did not condemn them.

John 8:7
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

 

He died For us.

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He touched the untouchables.

Matthew 9:20–22

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

He ate with people society looked down on.

Luke 19:1-10

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-figtree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

He showed mercy to sinners, even in His own suffering

Luke 23:32-43, (NAS95) 32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him. 33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”