Showing posts with the label Time With God

Confucius say...

But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living. (James 3:17-18) Right living is not always what we see modeled around us, is it? At times, we observe others and know their actions are going to create havoc. There are even times we can feel ourselves 'winding up' and know very well that the outcome of that 'wind up' will not fare well for us! Confucius once said, "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." We often revert to imitation because it is the easiest, but I also know from my own personal growth, experience has played a big part in how I view and r

Overwhelmed by God

I’m overjoyed at your word, like someone who finds great treasure. (Psalm 119:162) We all have those things in life that just bring us joy. I love petting a sweet kitten, or fluffy puppy. I get all giddy when I reel in the catch of the day. My heart swells when I see something one of my grandboys has made. What brings you joy in life? How is it that you experience joy? There are many today who equate happiness with joy - if I am happy, then I will be joyful. Joy comes when you have experienced a "deep delight" in something which you have found pleasurable. Something exceptionally good or satisfying has been experienced and we find extreme pleasure in it - lasting, deep, and meaningful pleasure. A silly joke makes us happy, while the experience of the birth of our firstborn may make us joyful. One carries the idea of the emotional "response" to the situation, while the other describes the condition of the heart and soul as a result of what one has experienced. Happin

Invade my space

If I had not found joy in your teachings, my suffering would have destroyed me. I will never forget your commands, because through them you gave me new life. I am yours, so save me! I have done my best to know your instructions. The wicked tried to destroy me, but your rules made me wise. Everything has its limits, except your commands. (Psalm 119:92-96) The remedy for life's challenges is to lean hard into God's promises and commands - to find direction, solace, and strength within the instruction laid out there. Find joy in God's teachings and you will find the "remedy" which sustains you even when there seems to be no deliverance or end. It is more than memory of scripture (although there is merit to hiding God's Word within our minds). It is more than frequent time in the Word (although we cannot learn from God's Word without the sacrifice of time). It is more than a Bible-reading plan for the year (although it might focus us a little). It is the

Spent as he sees fit

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. (Amos 5:14-15) We all face the enemy, but he doesn't always use the same attack for each of us. His attacks are all aimed at the same thing - getting us to turn our backs on righteousness. James 4:7 reminds us to "...humble ourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from us." Amos tells us to actually run from evil - either way, we are supposed to put some distance between us and our enemy! It is this 'distance' that can give us the time to regain right perspective in the midst of the battle. Without the 'distance', we could be overcome by the chaos of the attack! How do we 'create distance' in our lives? If we are always livi

Ready to do life?

 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (Ephesians 5:15-17) How do we begin to make the most of the opportunities in front of us? It might just begin the moment we take time to think through our decisions. We all make flash decisions, but that should not be our primary way of living. We need the time to bring our day before the Lord and listen to what he says to us. In the church, this is called our quiet time, but in my life, I call it my planning time. Why? It is when I take my day to him, gaining his perspective on what should have priority and what should not. It includes time in his Word and sufficient time to actually think upon it. It involves prayer - discussion with God. Maybe the most important thing is the time I take to listen, so I don't go off my own way and do things without reason or outside of his tim

Tripping and Falling?

But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. (Isaiah 40:31a) I did not bring the full verse into our study this morning because I wanted to know if anyone else actually read these words and took them to heart. The rest of the verse is: "They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired." The thing I wanted all of us to realize is that God's people get weak, weary, and 'wasted' by life at times! We need to 'become strong again' - strength being sapped from us by what life sends our way. We've talked about this before - the 'but' is very important. It means there was something that came before - a condition that was met. Here it is: "He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak. Even children become tired and need to rest, and young people trip and fall." (vs. 29-30) The condition - we all get tired, and we lose our power to

Go ahead, sit a while

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. (St. Augustine) God’s eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together. We’re depending on God; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got—that’s what we’re depending on. (Psalm 33:18-22) If we are to ask God to love us with all he's got, wouldn't it be reasonable for him to ask us to do the same toward him? We look for his love - do you ever wonder if he looks for yours, as well? I imagine he sits there, attentive for our knock, and eager to just have us sit with him a while. We've already received the invitation - we don't need to await another. What's more - the invitation isn't 'generic' - it is ours. How do we show God love? We revere him - trust his ways, listen attentively to his v

A million other things

My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be. (Psalm 62:7) May I ask what 'absolutely' means to you? If you ask me if I want to go fishing, my reply will be 'absolutely'! If you ask me if I want to paint a few walls, my expression of interest or intent will be way different! The first expresses the idea of being without any reservation - I am completely, wholly, and intently interested in going fishing. The thing you might hear from me when you ask me to paint a few walls may be 'okay', but my heart isn't 'absolutely' committed to the project! There is going to be some reservation because I know how insanely hard it is to paint and do a good job at it. There is all that prep time, then you have to roll the paint in this direction and that so you get even coverage, and all that cutting in...I am just getting tired thinking that one th