Why Would You Need God’s Mercy?

Why? Because no one is above falling down. Everyone sins. (Eccl. 7:20) There are no exceptions – including King David, whom God had called ‘a man after His own heart.’ (1 Sam. 13:14)

God had helped establish David’s throne in Jerusalem, uniting all of Israel under his rule. He covered him with His favor, granting David an eternal dynasty:

…the LORD will make you a house…And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. 2 Sam. 7:11 & 16. ESV

(There is no physical house or throne that will last forever. God is referring to the eternal kingdom of Christ, whose incarnate body would later come from King David’s lineage.)

The favor of God continued to follow David until one warm spring night when he decided to cool off on the roof of his house. From his vantage point, King David saw a woman bathing on her rooftop nearby. He was smitten. (Note that he was also married at this time.)

The king did a little detective work and found out that the woman’s name was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah – one of his handpicked soldiers. David suppressed his spiritual self and gave into the flesh. He had Bathsheba brought to him for an adulterous tryst that left her with child. Subsequently, our heretofore virtuous king had Uriah sent to the front lines of a battlefield where his death was all but guaranteed.

When Bathsheba’s prescribed mourning period was over, David took her as wife and she bore him a son. Foolishly, they thought they had pulled one over on everyone. Uh-oh:

But the thing that David had done [with Bathsheba] was evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 Sam. 11:27 AMP

You can’t pull the wool over God’s eyes. He sent His prophet Nathan to King David to deliver His judgment:

“Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD to do evil in His sight?’ “ 2 Sam. 12:7 – 9. NKJV

David is standing before his Creator’s representative, accused of adultery and murder – both punishable by death according to Mosaic Law. Yet God exercised His mercy, and through Nathan, laid upon David a lesser sentence, telling him that his house would be troubled for the rest of his days and that his sins (that he had hoped to keep hidden), would be replayed in the public eye.

(Indeed, David’s first child by Bathsheba dies, one of his subsequent sons rapes his half-sister, the half-sister’s brother exacts revenge by killing the perpetrator and goes on to publicly commit adultery with David’s wives and plots a violent coup of the king’s rule but is killed during the attempt.)

David wholeheartedly confesses and repents of his sins and God answers his repentance through Nathan:

“The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.” 1 Sam. 12:13 NASB

Our God is such a loving and forgiving God. However, though He blots out our sin, we are still left to deal with the consequences caused by them. Sin is so destructive – it hurts God, the victim and the perpetrator. Yet there must be consequences; otherwise, everyone would just cavalierly continue in their sinful ways.

God tells us that sin (disobedience) brings a curse (Dt. 30:19, 20.) that carries the consequences of breakage – in both life and the relationships contained within. Yet praise be to God that He forgives:

…you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love… Neh. 9:17 ESV

Why? Because it is the only way the you can be healed from your sin. If you don’t have faith in God’s forgiveness, you will not forgive yourself. And the subsequent guilt and shame you heap upon yourself causes you to hate that person in the mirror, which severs your love-connection with God.

God loves you so much that He never wants to you to be disconnected from Him, as well as He does not want to be detached from your love:

I, I am he, who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Is. 43:25 ESV

For His sake – so that love circle remains intact. Thus, He guarantees His forgiveness:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7:14 NKJV

And just like King David, we ‘turn from our wicked ways’ through confession and repentance:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 1 Jn. 1:9 AMP

God forgives and so should we. We are to model Him, and that includes His mercy. In fact, we must exercise our mercy first, if we hold a grudge against anyone, before we go before our Father to receive His:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mt. 6:14, 15. ESV

Forgiveness begins in the mirror, so that we can break down any barriers that we’ve erected between God and ourselves. Furthermore, when we extend that forgiveness outwards (Eph. 4:32), it completes our relationship with God and all others – ultimately completing our relationship with ourselves.

Forgiving is the highest act of giving – where we give our love away, regardless of whether we think the object of our love deserves it or not. After all, who doesn’t deserve love?

Goodnight and God bless.

What’s in Your Heart?

A God song; and He loves to hear you sing it:

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Ps. 95:1, 2. ESV

God loves to hear your praises because it shows your love and your desire to stay in relationship with Him. It assures God that you want to belong to Him and steep in HIs goodness and mercy:

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name! For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. Ps. 100 NKJV

The Bible tells us that ‘the LORD is good, and His mercy is everlasting’ 126 times! I think that God wants that truth firmly implanted in our hearts. The word ‘mercy’ is translated from the Hebrew racham, which may also be rendered as ‘compassion’ or ‘lovingkindness.’ This is the kind of love that has covered you since your conception:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. Ps. 139:13, 14. NKJV

Moreover, God surrounds you with that love for all your days:

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there where none of them. Ps. 139:16 NASB

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me… Ps. 138:8 NKJV

You have a special place in God’s uni-verse (His ‘one song’). And you have a special verse to sing, which you’ll find when you plan your life around Him. What ensues is a life of joy as He walks along side of you:

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock… Ps. 92:12 – 15. NKJV

What does that ‘flourishing’ look like?

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Ps. 103:1 – 5. ESV

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God…who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. Ps. 146:5 – 8. ESV

God loves you, extends His grace over you and is filled with compassion for you. But remember, it’s up to you to invite God into a relationship and to do your best to follow the plan He has laid out for all of us in His word, in order to reap a life that makes you want to sing:

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain that you rise up early an go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Ps. 127:1, 2. ESV

It’s all about sticking to the plan:

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. Ps. 119:165 NKJV

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105 ESV

Yet, we all fall away from the plan from time to time. But because God loves us so much, He will use the consequences of our choices to teach us how to return home:

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. Ps. 119:71 NKJV

God’s plan is the only plan for your heart:

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. Ps. 119:9 ESV

The great part is that God’s plan is not only temporal, it leads you into eternal life with Him as well:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. Ps. 116:15 NKJV

So, are you ready to sing your verse? It’s planted in your heart…

Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Ps. 149:5 NASB

Goodnight and God bless.

Does God Need Love?

God is Love:

…God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] 1 Jn. 4:8 AMP

As we also know, God created the entire universe through Christ, and through whom He also holds it all together. Thus, God is complete within Himself, the end all and be all. So, in our logical way of thinking, God wouldn’t need anything.

Humans were made in the image of God; and we possess most of His attributes, albeit a bit flawed, perfected when we receive our salvation through Christ.

For us, it is not enough to just send love outwards. We need to receive it as well.  Loving for the sake of loving is a great altruistic state to aspire to. Yet I think that because our love penetrates the hearts of those we to whom we send it, (whether they are consciously aware of it or not), the recipient’s heart cannot help but radiate its own love back to the sender. And that’s what motivates us to send love in the first place.

I believe we are modeled after our Creator in that way; and I may be going out on a limb here, but I feel that God also needs love. Even though He is love, God has repeatedly expressed His desire for love from His children.

Love exists to give. It’s part of a grand cycle – whereby it gives of itself, receives back from whomever it has visited and then sends itself back out again to nourish yet another heart. That’s the way it can work for all of us. We receive the love of God [because He first loved us (Jn. 4:19)] and we marinate in that love for a while, adding a measure of our love. Then we send this new love bundle back to Him and out into the world as well.

When we love, we resonate with God, practicing His original purpose for us:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 Jn. 4:7 NASB

Jesus said that we love God by obeying His word (Jn. 15:10). Thus, part of showing God our love, is by loving each other.

Another way to demonstrate our love to God is through praise and worship; and God gave us the blueprints for doing just that – contained within the psalms that He inspired in King David.

This is not about some selfish God in heaven saying, “You must love Me.” Instead, it’s about a God who loves you so much that He wants to shower you with all He’s got. But, God knows that you must first make the connection with Him through the expression of your love to keep this heavenly ‘love-loop’ alive. When you do that, your life will blossom to its fullest. So, part of God’s strategy in the psalms is to show you the reasons why you should love Him – i.e. to motivate you to connect.

One reason is that God is the Source of all your joy:

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God my God. Ps. 43:4 NKJV

‘Joy’ is translated from the Hebrew simchah, meaning ‘exceeding gladness.’ It transcends happiness. If you remain with God, your joy will be continuous – made obvious by the gratitude that spreads itself across your countenance.

The greatest way that we can show that gratitude to God, is to make known our Source of joy to everyone around us:

In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Ps. 44:8 ESV

There is no wrong way to love God. He is moved by your love, and He remembers your ‘love efforts’ forever:

I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are continually before Me. Ps. 50:8 NKJV

Conversely, it’s never appropriate to be ungrateful to God. Because He loves us and does so much for us, our gratitude should shine like the sun – whether we are riding on a peak of our life’s experience or experiencing one of its valleys:

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other… Eccl. 7:14 ESV

God uses every situation that you’re in to expand who you are – to mold you further into His resemblance and bring you closer to Him:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2 – 4. ESV

For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined…we went through fire and water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment. Ps. 66:10 & 12. NKJV

It doesn’t matter what your outward situation looks like. God is always sending you His love:

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Ps. 68:19 NKJV

And let us not forget that because God loves you, He will deliver you from your valleys – lifting you up to yet another peak, even to the highest peak of all, when it’s time for your eternal transition:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in the darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Ps. 91:1-7, 9 – 12. NKJV

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” Ps. 91:14 – 16. NASB

Isn’t it astonishing to see how much God loves you, and wants to keep you close and care for you now and for eternity? But remember, you need to establish your love-connection with Him first, before He can do it…

Good night and God bless.

Why We Can Place Our Trust in God

It takes more effort to build our trust in God because unlike trusting people, we cannot directly depend upon our five senses to validate that trust connection. Having a relationship with God requires both faith and trust, both in Him and His love.

God doesn’t overlook that. He loves us so much that He inspired particular psalms in the Bible to empower us in building up that faith and trust:

…he who trusts in and relies on the LORD shall be surrounded with compassion and lovingkindness. Ps. 32:10. AMP

If we hand over the reins to God and allow Him to guide our ways, we’ll be assured of His continual love over every aspect of our lives. He even asks us to test Him on this promise:

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Ps. 34:8 NKJV

Reach out for Him and your life will be inundated with His abundance:

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life: in your light do wee see light. Ps. 36:7 – 9. ESV

But what happens if (when) we fall away from our walk with God? How does He respond?

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the LORD upholds him with His hand. Ps. 37:24 NKJV

So, we can thank God for His boundless mercy; we can count on it. When we return to Him, He will open His heart and shower us with His magnanimity:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Ps. 37:23 NKJV

Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Ps. 37:3, 4. NKJV

“Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Ps. 35:27 NKJV

How is God going to get that pleasure unless you are prosperous? Because He guarantees your prosperity:

Those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. Ps. 34:10 NKJV

When we meditate upon how God’s love accompanies his saints even beyond this earthly life, we can build that trust muscle even more:

The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. Ps. 34:33 AMP

For the LORD delights in justice and does not abandon His saints (faithful ones); they are preserved forever… Ps. 37:28 AMP

God also demonstrates His trustworthiness by showing up for you during your trials and tribulations:

The LORD is near the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Ps. 34:18, 19. NASB

So, when is God with you? All the time. And how many problems does God deliver you from? That’s right – all of them.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him [with awe-inspired reverence and worship Him with obedience], and He rescues [each of] them. Ps. 34:7 AMP

I don’t see a downside here. God is available in every moment. All it takes on your part is a little trust:

…the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked and save them, because they trust in Him. Ps. 37:39, 40. NKJV

Finally, how long can you put your trust in God?

The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Ps. 33:11 NKJV

Forever…

Goodnight and God bless.

Endless Symphony of Love

Life, with God in it, is like an endless symphony of love. Look at how much He loves you:

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet… Ps. 8:1 & 3 – 6. ESV

Of all the miraculous wonders that God created in this universe, He chose you to be His crown of creation. He granted the entire earth to His children and keeps His focus upon their well-being. That is some really big love.

How many ways does God’s love show up for you?

God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect…You have also given me the shield of your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me; so my feet did not slip. 2 Sam. 22:33, 36 & 37. NKJV

It is God who empowers you to live your highest and best life. He takes your best efforts (and your slip-ups) and transcends them – transforming you into complete righteousness, wrapping you up in His gentle saving love for all of eternity.

Even at your lowest points, God will lift you up; and it’s His pleasure to do so:

“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.” Ps. 12:5 NKJV

He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy…He rescued me because He delighted in me. Ps. 18:16, 17 & 19. NASB

O LORD my God, I cried out to You for help, and you healed me. Ps. 30:2 NKJ

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing… Ps. 30:11 NKJV

In addition to taking you out of the valleys of your life, He sets you upon the peaks:

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me. Ps. 13:6 AMP

Moreover, God whispers His wise counsel into your heart so that you can remain within His largesse:

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel…because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Ps. 16:5 – 8. ESV

I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Ps. 32:8 ESV

So, if God holds you up as His most favored creation, cares for you, showers you with peace and abundance, lifts you out of spiritual darkness, floods you with His love and plants the wisdom in your hearts that you need to live on the highest spiritual plane, what is your symphony of love going to look like?

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Ps. 23 NKJV

Indescribable love…

Goodnight and God bless.

How Do You Worship God?

A psalm is a sacred song used for worshiping God – a love song designed to help us connect with Him so that we may share our innermost thoughts and concerns.

King David was God’s master psalm writer. In fact, he wrote most of the psalms in the Bible. Here’s a part of one that he wrote for the daily services in the sanctuary of the Temple:

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Ps. 105:1 – 3. NKJV

We see then that worship both glorifies God and shows our gratitude to Him for His providence.

God so loves it when you sing to Him:

Oh, come let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise with songs of praise!…Oh come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Ps. 95:1, 2, 6, 7. ESV

How you worship is your own personal affair. Some worship in private, some in church. Some sing, others may play music or dance. If you’re not trying to appear pious, God loves to see you express your worship in the presence of others as well. It’s yet another way that you can help Him connect His love to more people for the sake of their salvation, when they see the love pouring out of you. It advances the kingdom of God:

Sing to the LORD, all the earth Sing to the LORD, bless His name, proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all the peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised. Ps. 96:1 – 4. NKJV

Even our (godly) behavior can be a form of worship. After all, Christ told us that the way we love God is by living by His word:

…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Rm. 12:1 ESV

So, how often are we to worship?

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth. Ps. 34:1

As we are doing that, we are continually loving God and being bathed in His love simultaneously. Because God’s love is boundless, we can afford to let His love flow out of us to the people around us so that they might get a taste of Him as well.

When we bless God with our love and obedience, He blesses us back:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the paths of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper. Ps. 1:1 – 3. NKJV

In fact, God will surround us with Himself…

…let all rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield. Ps. 5;11, 12. NKJV

Goodnight and God bless.

Where Can You Find the Truth?

Many people wake up from slumber and tell themselves they’re hungry. Is that the truth? Of course. A mother or father may gaze upon their child and tell them that they love them. Is that true? Yes. On some level, every parent loves their children.

But what about the weightier things of life – such as the truth regarding right vs. wrong, life and death, or how to achieve your highest and best life? If you’ve been living on this planet for any appreciable time, you know that there are a plethora of opinions regarding these. Some people will tell you that to know the truth is impossible because the truth is relative. (Remember Pilate when He answered Jesus in frustration from his dilemma regarding what to do with Him, saying, “What is truth?” Jn. 18:38).

Is the truth relative? Absolutely not! People only use this ‘untruth’ to justify their aberrant behavior. The ultimate truth is only found in one place – the word of God.

After Joshua had led the Israelites into the Promised Land and divided it amongst the tribes, he addressed them with the Holy Spirit-inspired word of God for the last time:

“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you.” Josh. 23:14 ESV

If none of God’s words fail, it means they can be totally relied upon, thus meaning that they are the truth:

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Num. 23:19 ESV

God’s word is an extension of Himself. Therefore, God is truth. And as we’ve seen, if the word is truth, it does not change, and neither does God:

The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. Ps. 119:160 ESV

For I am the LORD, I do not change. Mal. 3:6 NKJV

For His mercy and lovingkindness are great toward us, and the truth and faithfulness of the Lord endure forever. Ps. 117:2 AMP

God is truth. His word is truth. Truth does not change. It’s the same as it was yesterday, as it is today, and it will be the same for all tomorrows. God wants you to have the truth. Why?

Behold You delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Ps. 51:86 ESV

…God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Tim. 2:3, 4. ESV

Thus, God plants the truth within those who seek Him so that they can walk His walk for laying hold of their salvation, which grants them eternity with Him.

God began making His truth crystal clear with Moses, continued doing so with the prophets, and culminated the telling of it through His Son:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jn. 14:6 NKJV

Moreover, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to His apostles (just like He does to His present-day followers) to give them a greater understanding of the truth and of all the benefits that are accorded to those who possess it:

“If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].” Jn. 8:31, 32. AMP

So, truth frees us from death, liberates us from the corruption that is festering in the world, sets us loose to love and be loved, and opens our heart to hear the voice of God:

“Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Jn. 18:37 NKJV

Finally, let us not forget that God is love (1 Jn. 4:8); therefore, truth must be a requisite part of love:

Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and sincerity). 1 Jn. 3:18 AMP

All truth ultimately lies within Love…

Goodnight and God bless.

God Does Wondrous Things Through Our Spirit

Provided that we connect with Him; and to do that, we must turn a deaf ear to the desires of the flesh:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rm. 8:5 – 8. ESV

When we do that, we can connect to Him and His love 100%.

One of the wondrous things God does through our spirit is to use it as a channel to get to know us at our most intimate levels:

The spirit of the man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inner depths of his heart. Pr. 20:27 NKJV

How much God loves us! And because He does, He takes special care of that spiritual connection and uses it to guide us in life as well:

You have granted me life and lovingkindness, and Your care has preserved my spirit. Job NASB

You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them… Neh. 9:20 NKJV

…and admonished them by your Spirit through your prophets… Neh. 9:30 NASB

The only way to get to know and understand God is by living a spiritual life:

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14 ESV

God never said life would be easy. Sometimes, this world overwhelms us in its continual onslaught against our spirit; yet, that’s the time we need to turn to God to plug into the strength and love of His Spirit:

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps. 34:18 NASB

Never forget that we live in a spiritual battleground. We must continually exercise our spiritual discernment to be sure to align with those spirits that are in alliance with God:

Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and strategies and deceits of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Eph. 6:11, 12. AMP

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. 1 Jn. 4:1 – 3. ESV

Another wondrous thing that God does with your spirit is that He connects the Holy Spirit to it. Why is that?

But the Helper the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you in all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Jn. 14:26 ESV

Thus, the Holy Spirit connects to keep you Christ-centered, keeping you God-centered by guiding you in the ways of walking in the spirit – transforming you daily to be more like God, so that you are ready to enter the gates of heaven:

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is is the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18 ESV

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Gal. 6:8 NKJV

How do we sow to the Spirit? We do it by listening to Him and acting upon His unction. How do we know it is the righteous spirit we listen to? It’s the One that reminds you how much God and Christ love you. It opens your eyes to deeper meanings in scripture, always looks out for your welfare, and never belittles you in any way.

It’s a love-filled voice speaking into your heart, loving you with a love you’ve never thought possible…

Goodnight and God bless.

What Makes the Children of God Special?

It’s not because we are better than anyone else. God loves all people equally:

For God shows no partiality [no arbitrary favoritism; with Him one person is not more important than another.] Rm. 2:11 AMP

Every human being that has ever existed or that ever will, starts out as a child of God. You’re created that way because God loves you so much. However, there will come a time in your life (if someone exposes you to who God is and you are mature enough to process that information), when you will have to make a choice whether to actively seek God if you want to remain His child.

Why? It’s because when you become aware of God’s salvation, the generational sin-taint that Adam and Eve brought upon themselves and passed it down to all generations, manifests in you as well, and it must be removed by the atoning blood of Christ.

Your choice to seek after God and subsequently receive His salvation through His Son has eternal consequences. You must accept God while you still draw breath in this life. Given that no one knows when that last breath will come, it is imperative that you make that choice today. You may not have a ‘tomorrow;’ and then the chance of being a child of God is lost to you forever.

Everyone has the potential to become a child of God, but they must first establish a relationship with Him to receive that mantle – by confessing their sins, repenting, entering into a salvation relationship with Christ by faith and do their best to live by His word. Then and only then, will they be transformed from a human being back into your original lineage as a child of God.

Does that make you better than someone who does not make that choice? No. What making the choice for God and Jesus does, is that it removes any barriers that prevent God’s love from reaching you. That makes you ‘special’ in His eyes because of the new ‘love reciprocity’ in your holy relationship with Him.

God chooses those who choose Him, not for their special qualities, but simply because they loved Him back – just like He did for His children in the desert with Moses:

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you… Dt. 7:6 – 8. ESV

God accepts us not because we are superior, but because we make an ongoing choice to be holy:

Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments… Dt. 7:9 NKJV

Being a child of God has its advantages:

And because you listen to these rules and keep them and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you…You shall be blessed above all peoples. Dt. 7:12 – 14. ESV

We get to live a blessed life! Look at how God blessed His ‘first children’ during their exit to the Promised Land:

And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he…fed you with manna…that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but lives why every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Dt. 8:2 – 4. ESV

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land…in which you will lack nothing. Dt. 8;7, 9. ESV

God steers you on a path that leads you to your greatest good. With God, it’s always about the love. He provides you with your best life when you partner with Him – letting nothing stand in His way of giving it to you:

Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours…No man shall be able to stand against you. Dt. 11:24, 25. NKJV

And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the LORD your God has blessed you. Dt. 12:7 ESV

Finally, a child of God not only enjoys a blessed life, but he or she is also guaranteed an eternal life of complete love – gathered up at the end of time by Jesus Himself:

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:’ Mt. 25:34 NKJV

Choose to be a child again…

Goodnight and God bless.

God’s Rules for Living

“…what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command today for your good?” Dt. 10:12, 13. NKJV

Yes, God set down rules (laws, commandments, statutes) to live by; and as you can see, He did it for your own good. These laws began with the Ten Commandments. Let’s look at how they help you.

1. You shall have no other gods before Me. Ex. 20:3 NKJV

God is love (1 Jn. 4:8), making this a commandment of love. All love comes from God; even if others love you, it is God loving you through them. If you make a god out of anything other than Jehovah, you are cutting off the Source of love.

If you give in to pride, you make a god out of yourself. If your focus is on sensuality, you’ve made a god of your flesh. Anytime we shift our glory from God and / or our dependency upon him onto someone or something else, we’ve made it or them a god.

If we stick with God, we remain immersed in His love.

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or on the earth beneath, or in the water or under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I the LORD your God, am a jealous God… Ex. 20:4, 5. NASB

All man-made representations of Him limit His glory and they dishonor Him.

God is benevolently jealous for your love. He knows what’s best for you, which is why He wants you to stay on His channel. God recognizes that you suffer when you don’t, and that breaks His heart. Our Father has far better things in mind for you. (Jer. 29:11)

3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Ex. 20:7 NKJV

God is love and all that is holy, and deserves reverence for all that He does for us. When you use His name in petty oaths that you don’t keep or when you couple that name with profanity, you are using God’s name in vain – demeaning His character. Subsequently, you are severing your love-connection with Him and you will have to answer for it. Keep the commandment, keep the love.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do not work… Ex. 20:8 – 10. NKJV

God set this example for us when He created the universe, resting on the seventh day. In our case, we are living in the world for 6 days, but should dedicate the 7th to God. It’s His intent to have a day to bond with you – giving you both physical and spiritual refreshment and covering you with His love. The Sabbath was made for you. (Mk. 2:27)

5. Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the LORD our God gives you. Ex. 20:12 AMP

Regardless of who your birth parents may be, God saw fit in His grand design to use their unique combination of gene pools to create the one-of-a-kind special person that you are. Even if you don’t know your birth parents, you can still love and honor whoever stepped into that role for you.

Some parents are swayed by the ways of the world and become unsafe to be around. Pray for them and love them (from a distance), for who God intended them to be.

Notice too, that this commandment is the only one of the 10 that adds a blessing to it.

6. You shall not murder. Ex. 20:13 NKJV

‘Murder’ is defined as ‘the unlawful premeditated killing of a human being,’ or ‘the premeditated shedding of innocent blood.’ God alone is the Lord of life. He chooses when it begins and ends. If one purposely snuffs out a life, they are cutting the flow of God’s love off of that victim and the part he or she was to play in God’s plan of spreading His love.

7. You shall not commit adultery. Ex. 20:14 NKJV

God created the sacrosanct institution of marriage as the only place where a man and woman become one – to nurture love between spouses and between spouses and their children.

One of Satan’s desires is to destroy marriage; and one of the best tools for doing that, is to convince one of the partners to commit adultery. Moreover, it usually distances one or more of the family members from God. Adultery is the antithesis of love.

8. You shall not steal.

Personally, I feel that when one steals, they are denying the love of God by renouncing their faith in His promise to meet their every need if they seek His kingdom first. (Mt. 6:33)

9. You shall not testify falsely [that is, lie withhold, or manipulate the truth] against your neighbor (any person).  Ex. 20:16 AMP

People only lie when they’re afraid – either of looking bad, trying to protect themselves from the judgment of others, or they are trying to make others look bad, which is a projection of their self-judgment. Whatever the reason, if you lie, you are not expressing the unconditional love for yourself that God gives you, which hurts you and everyone around you.

Love always tells the truth. (1 Cor. 13:6)

10. You shall not covet…anything that is your neighbor’s. Ex. 20:17 NKJV

Covetous behavior is rooted in jealous and envy, both of which are forms of the fear of scarcity, concomitant with lust and hatred – all of which result from a lack of faith in God’s largesse. These behaviors are anti-love. (1 Cor. 13:4)

Many people believe that ‘Old Testament’ laws are no longer applicable. Jesus denies this outright:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass away from the Law until all is accomplished.” Mt. 5:17, 18. ESV

Moreover, Jesus evolved the Law into its final state:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Mt. 22:37 – 40. ESV

So, everything that God has ever commanded regarding righteous behavior is distilled down to these two commandments: that when you practice love for God (by way of being obedient to Him), it will also show in your love for yourself and your neighbor – acting as a loving person would.

Does that negate the Ten Commandments? No! It is the final fulfillment of them. Jesus’ first commandment embodies the first four, i.e. if you’re loving God you would be walking in those statutes. As far as Jesus’ second commandment is concerned, if you really loved someone, would you dishonor or kill them, commit adultery against them, steal from them, lie to them, or want what is rightly theirs? Of course not.

What is Christ teaching? He is revealing that all of God’s laws are ways to keep the love flowing, to keep you from harm’s way, by helping you to be more like Him so that your gateway to eternity remains open. (Ps. 19:7, 8; Jn. 12:50.)

Lastly, you know you’re going to break some of them. You’re only human; but God knows that. That’s where your confession, repentance and faith in God’s merciful forgiveness comes in. (Dt. 4:30, 32.)

It’s always about the love…

Goodnight and God bless.