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Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

Unless the LORD of hosts Had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah. – Isaiah 1:9

God rebukes us for good reason.

Rebellion.

Disobedience.

Idolatry.

We could go on for a while, you know.

The point is not that we are rebuked or the reasons for our rebuke.  The point is that we can respond to the rebuke rightly.

Reminder

Our rebuke should remind us that God is a righteous judge.  We are reminded that our purpose here on earth is to please God.  His rebuke reminds us to get our lives in line with His purpose for us.

Reflection

Usually, rebuke from God is based on His supreme authority.  Such rebuke should help us reflect on who God is and how He is to us.

Relationship

Focus on your relationship with God.  God redeemed us for us to have a relationship with Him.  Above all else, we need to maintain that relationship with God through constant communication and continual communion with God.

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“A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.” – D.L. Moody

If you have faith, it should show somehow.

Your faith should be evident by what you do.  Otherwise, it is not faith.  It is rhetoric.

You have faith to lean and depend upon God.  You trust God when you have faith.  There should be something that you do that shows others that you trust God.  It should come out through what you do for the Lord.

“The whole being of any Christian is faith and love. Faith brings the person to God, love brings the person to people.” – Martin Luther

 

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Wizzley

“I pray, expecting an answer.” – Andrew Murray

 

The LORD has heard my supplication, The LORD receives my prayer. – Psalm 6:9

“Pray and let God worry.” – Martin Luther

You have some issues.  I mean, after all, your issues may require some serious attention.  To be honest, they may require more than you can offer.

Why not give God a chance?

He’s almighty.  He’s able.  He’s all-powerful.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, – Jude 1:24

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Just give in.  Just go on and give Him a chance.

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God wants something for you.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

God definitely wants something for you.

He does not want you to feel down and hopeless.  He has plans for you.  He wants you filled with hope.  He wants you positioned to prosper.  He has a future in mind for you.

It’s yours.  It’s yours for the taking if you will call upon the name of the Lord.  It’s yours if you will come and pray to the Lord.  It’s all yours if you will seek the Lord.

You can have what God wants for you, but you have to come on God’s terms.

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We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.

They are the people he called, because that was his plan.

– Romans 8:28 (New Century Version)

It is all due to His plan.  he has a plan and things work out in accordance with His plan.  Anything outside of His plan is outside of His will.  That’s how it works out with God.

God wants something, though.  He desires it both from us and for us.  In essence, God wants something for us and from us.  God wants us to be a blessing and to be blessed.  God wants us blessed, and God wants us blessing others.  God wants us getting all that He has to offer us.  God wants us giving all that He gives to us to offer to others.

Maybe you are having a problem getting what God wants for you because you refuse to give what God wants from you.  I know it sounds cold, but it’s a reality.  You cannot get what you need or want because you have not released what God has told you to give up or give away.  Maybe you need to make a change for the better and get back with God’s plan that it in His will.  That would get you back to the point where all things work together for good.

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God is Real

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;

 there is no one who does good.

– Psalm 53:1 (NIV)

The believer should know that God is alive and present.  True believers understand that God is, as an anonymous psalmist stated, ” a great God and a great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:3).  In fact, it is the believer who is full of faith who can honestly put his or her trust in the Lord with all of his or her heart and not rely upon on his or her own understanding.

The psalmist says that it is the fool who says that “there is no God.” It is not the person who is full of faith who is the fool spoken of here.  It is the person who is faithless.  Naturally, by the world’s standards, we are the fools for believing in the unseen.  However, by what we regard as holy, the world is foolish for not accepting God as the Almighty.

God is real.  India Arie sang it into reality for listeners on “Voyage to India.”  Joan Osbourne sang, asking if God was one of us.  Singers and songwriters share it just like psalmists.  After all, a psalm is just a poem set to music.  Sounds a lot like soul music to me.  Maybe if we add the Funk Brothers folks might feel more appreciative of the presence of God with a Motown flavor.  Needless to say, God is still the Almighty and that’s all by Himself.

After all, it is the fool who says that there is no god.  That’s with or without any background music.

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Do yourself a favor and read this Bible passage below both before and after you read this post, then try to keep it in mind as you go through your day.  May God ever show His presence in your life today. 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

2 Corinthians 4:8-12  (NIV)

Have you ever been down? You know what I mean.  You’re here in every sense of being present physically, but your mind and heart are wrapped up in so much other stuff that neither one of them is really into where you stand.  You have things on your mind and bogging you down.  Your heart is heavy with grief or misery, even some other feeling that you just cannot seem to explain.

You are down.  Yet, there is good news still.  You are not defeated.

Paul was trying to share that with the believers at Corinth.  He wrote it so eloquently when he penned the words: We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  This life may become a drag at times, to paraphrase him, but we have more life in the death of Jesus that should be springing forth out of our every move and action that we cannot afford to become consumed with this life.

Yes, we do get down.  We do feel depressed at times.  It’s part of the ups and downs of this life.  We just have to remember that we are not defeated.

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Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
 – Isaiah 53:10 (NKJV)

God’s people are to live in such a way that their lives please God.  God’s people are to live to please God.

It doesn’t sound like the Christianity that many of us signed up for when we walked down the aisle of our home church and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior in our lives.  It does not resemble the only-believe sermons that echoed in tent revivals throughout Middle America during the times of Progressives prior to the Industrial Revolution of America.  No, it does not even seem to resemble any of the tenets of religious righteousness that seem to make the headlines as the Religious Right.  That doesn’t sound like the normal Christian life that many pastors, evangelists and others have spread throughout the nation and the world about prosperity, being born again, and serving to be saved. No, it doesn’t sound like any of that at all.

However, that is what the Word says.  We are to live in a way that pleases God.  We are to model our lives after the service, sacrifice and suffrage of Jesus Christ.  Isaiah’s “Suffering Savior,”  the “man of sorrows,” presents us with a humble manner of submission that we can see and reflect in our own daily lives.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. . .

Sadly, we often interpret God’s pleasure as an image of the Heavenly Father looking down and smiling upon Jesus on the cross.  That sounds far from the accurate interpretation of the matter.  God’s pleasure in the situation is the satisfied debt of sins.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross satisfied the debt of sin through the Lamb of God who was “without blemish” (1 Peter 1:19, NKJV).  Therefore, Jesus submitted to God and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  As John says, He serves as “the propitiation of our sins.” Read Hebrews 2:17 and 1 John 4:10 about His sacrifice for our sins.

He paid a debt that we could never repay on our own.  He had to serve as the propitiation of our sins in order to satisfy the debt that we could never repay ourselves.  As Paul wrote, salvation is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).  He stepped up and stood in for us, only to sacrifice all and suffer for our sakes.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:2-4 (NKJV)

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)

We need to reflect Christ’s sacrificial living.  Paul stated that we should have the mind of Christ.  Peter said that we should suffer just as Christ suffered.  James, the brother of the Lord, said that we should embrace being tested and tried.  We are to live in a manner that satisfies God.  We are to please God.

Our daily lives are to please God.  Let not Christ’s suffering and sacrifice appear to be in vain.  Do not disregard the cost of salvation.  God did not hold back.  He offered His best.  We, too, are called to offer our best.  God offered His best in Jesus Christ.  God expects us to offer our best by following the example of Jesus Christ.

Live to please God.  Live a repentant and revived life.  Live a renewed life as a new creation in Christ Jesus.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. – Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. – Psalm 147:11 (KJV)

“It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi quotes)

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 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
  -Titus 2:1 (ESV)

There is nothing that comes naturally to us in this new life.  Our rebirth as children of God leads us to enter into a new life with a blank slate.  We are to put off the old man who has lived within us for so long, so that we may put on the new man who is to be developed and nurtured within us as new creations in Christ.

Sometimes it works.  At other times, it just doesn’t work.  We fail when we fail to rely upon the Holy Spirit.  We tend to not mature as steadily when we focus more on what we will get out of it or gain from it rather than simply submitting to the will of the Spirit.  We lose out when we lose sight of the unveiled mysteries that God has revealed to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.

Paul admonishes Titus to teach what is “sound doctrine.” In doing so, he shares with Titus how to lead multiple generations in ministry.  He offers a strategy for incorporating the people by empowering his people to teach one another in the Christian life.

Titus is to “exhort and rebuke with all authority”(Titus 2:15 ESV).  He, as the pastor and spiritual leader of the church, is to lead, guide, direct and provide the means for the older men to minister and mentor the younger men as well as the older women to do the same for the younger women.  In essence, according to Paul’s instructions to Titus, everyone has a role to play within the ministry of the church, ministering to each other in unity.

Read Titus 2 in its entirety.  Read through it, then study it.  See what God asks of us as believers when it comes to ministering to one another.  Pray over it.  Subject yourself to pastoral authority for the good of all concerned.  Do not simply go along to get along.  Give of yourself, sharing your experiences and lessons learned.  Let God use you to minister to your brothers and sisters so that the entire body of Christ will be strengthened in “sound doctrine.”

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Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115;3 (NIV)

The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
– Psalm 135:6 (NIV)

God can do whatever He wants to do.  In theological terms, it is called His sovereignty.  In other words, He is God and answers to no one except Himself.  He is God alone, answering to no one.

Since God is sovereign, we can be assured that God can also use whomever He decides to use.  He used a stuttering murderer to deliver His people out of Egypt.  He used a young man to serve as His prophet to His people.  He used a shepherd boy to demonstrate how to be a man after God’s own heart.  He used a poor young woman to bring the manifestation of the Messiah into the world.  He used a religious zealot to spread the gospel to Gentiles throughout the world.

He uses whomever He chooses to use.  He can use you, too.  Don’t overlook what God can do and how He can do it to bring Himself glory.

Look at this story below to just how God can use anyone or anything.

21Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

24Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.

26Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.c 33The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.”

34Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

35The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

– Numbers 22:21-35 (NIV)

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