|Need to Turn?|
“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,” 1 Thess. 1:9
The apostle Paul is talking to and about people from long ago, but what about you and me? Are you serving the idols of this world, or are you serving the living and true God? Are you serving the Lord Jesus Christ?
Friend, serving the Lord involves a genuine turning. From the world’s ways to the Lord’s ways. From self to Christ. From sin to righteousness. From the wickedness of this life to the Lord.
Oh, sure, we can say we believe in Jesus. We can even say we love Jesus. But true faith in and love for Christ involves a turning. To Jesus.
Need to do some turning? Turn, turn, turn to the Lord! And, should you find you have turned away once again, turn, turn, turn to the Lord. To the Lord must we turn!
Why God Why?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Have you ever wondered WHY? Why God why? Why He wants you to do this? Or that? Why He allowed one thing in your life? Why He wouldn’t answer your cries the way you wanted? Why He is testing you the way He is testing you? Why you can never seem to come up for air before the next trial comes? Why He didn’t give you the life you wanted? Why so-and-so died in your estimate far too soon? Why good things seem to happen to them but not to you? Why He is calling you to go to a place you absolutely don’t want to go when you figure your idea is so much better? Why God why? Have you asked this? Wondered this? Thrown a pity-party about this? A temper tantrum? Turned your back on God because of this? Been raging angry? Why God why?
God doesn’t have to answer, friend. He can reveal to you why if He desires. But He may not. Or He may show you only further down the road. God is God. Lord of Lords. King of Kings. Savior forever. He knows what is best ALL THE TIME. WITHOUT EXCEPTION. And He has a purpose in all things. He doesn’t have to explain Himself to us.
So what should we do? Trust Him. Love Him. Obey Him. Follow Him. Forever. We should humble ourselves before Him and exalt Him as Lord forevermore! And praise and worship Him as we go forth BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST IS LORD FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN!
|Don’t Provoke Me!|
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not [easily per the KJV version]provoked, thinks no evil;” 1 Cor. 13:4-5
Wouldn’t it be something if we could just tell the world, “Don’t provoke me!” The world would listen, of course. The world wouldn’t provoke us to be irritable, angry, hurt, offended, bitter, envious, vengeful, prideful, scared, etc. The world wouldn’t do anything whatsoever to cause us to be upset, to want to react, to retaliate, to lash out, to withdraw, well, anything at all for that matter. We would never be provoked to fall into any kind of sin in our hearts, out of our mouths, or in our actions. We would always feel good and be comfortable and secure, of course, because the world would never provoke us. Not ever.
Please take a look at the scripture above. It does NOT say love is not easily provoked because the world around us does everything we want it to do! It simply says love is not easily provoked. And we who follow Jesus are to walk in His love – and to not be easily provoked! Is this possible? Seems impossible, doesn’t it? But it’s not! Because Jesus will help and enable us to do what He calls us to do. What do we need to not be easily provoked besides lots of practice along the way? We need JESUS! We need HIS LOVE! And we need to be committed to learn how to not be easily provoked.
His Beautiful Apology
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
One day a man in ministry with whom I had crossed paths for a short while wrote me an incredible apology for something he had done. The apology was so very beautiful and struck me for two simple and powerful reasons. First, it was so heartfelt, so honest, so raw, and so humble and kind. That in itself, in this day and age, was so unbelievably refreshing. The second reason is this. I have been hurt many times through the years, and most of the people who have hurt me, Christians included, have not acknowledged that they hurt me and most assuredly not apologized.
The Lord commands us to love one another, and in loving one another, we need to seek the forgiveness of one another when we do wrong and forgive one another with the love of Christ. We all do wrong at one time or another, none of us is immune from being hurt nor immune from causing hurt. We live in a fallen world, and hurt is inevitable. It takes humility to admit our wrongdoing. Assuredly we are to seek the forgiveness of Christ. And, when He so leads us, we should also seek the forgiveness of others.
When was the last time you asked someone for forgiveness? Is a beautiful apology in order?
|TOTAL Obedience – LOVE!|
I talk and write about this all the time, but have you really stopped to think about it? God’s GREATEST commands are to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves. Plain and simple. Clear as day.
If we are loving the Lord but not loving people, are we in total obedience to Jesus? NO! If we’re loving people and not loving the Lord with all our hearts, are we in total obedience to Jesus?
Total obedience? When we love the Lord with all our hearts AND love others as ourselves.
Where do you stand with both of these, friend? Let’s obey Him in all things – beginning with faith in Him and LOVE. Hallelujah! Amen!
“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:29-31