“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Romans 5:3
What is righteousness? Morally right. Well God is always morally right. It is taking God at his word.and believing him. Believe what he says he will do. His promises are true and we can count on them every time. When he tells you to do something, even when it might not make sense to our finite minds, God is faithful and always right. He has never steered me wrong. He loves you and will always do what is best for you. Following his commands and doing the right and loving things even when it’s not easy. God will always help you to do the right thing. When you step out to do the right thing you will always have free will to do as you please. Our world is full of wickedness because people choose to do their will, not God’s will. Satan wants to destroy everyone because God made us and loves us. You may have troubles but God will lead you through them as you trust and listen to him. We have the troubles usually because we listened to Satan and he convinced us to do what we want. If we pray unceasingly God will show just what to do to get out of troubles. The more time you spend with him the more his presence leads you to the right path. We can want to do the right things all we want but we need his help to do the right things. None of us are righteous, no not one. Only God can make us righteous. Nobody say’s, “I think today I will have fun sinning.” It just happens because it is our natural nature. Sometimes bad things happen but they can really be used for good by God. Look how Joseph was able to save thousands of people from perishing because he knew the drought was coming. His family had tried to get rid of him but it put him in the right place at the right time. My stroke saved my life, even if my body is broken and far from perfect my mind and spirit are more alive now than ever. I am more alive and at peace but I was living a destructive life before the stroke. God will use evil every day to cause good. To see him turn evil into good just makes me praise him more from day to day. I love to see God’s Glory. He will also give us peace right in the middle of our storms. It makes no sense but I can remain calm during turbulent times. The situation doesn’t even have to change. It’s just amazing. Yep, God is just amazing!
“he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name sake.” Psalm 23:3
Oh how wonderful is my good shepherd. I can be just as simple as a sheep and not worry about things because the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords loves me. Just the way I am right now. He leads me in the right way that is best for me because he cares so much about my life. He does know more than I do and he will never steer me in the wrong direction. He knows that the world needs him and he is willing to use a simple sheep to show this world his love. As he guides me I will be more and more like him and my light will shine bright in a dark world to change others. This will bring God glory and that is why I’m alive. “News Flash”, I’m not here to please only myself. I am here on a mission for God. My only responsibility is to work with him. To pray, talk to God, and always to get to know him better and better. Read his words so I know the truth and strengthen my mind. To worship him and praise him for all he has done for me and given to me. To attend church regularly and fellowship with other Christians, so we can lift each other up and encourage them to obey his commands. The hard part is up to him. But he has given me everything I will need to do it all. His spirit lives inside of me and gives me the wisdom and strength to do it and he never gives up on me or gets tired of my mistakes. Each morning he has endless grace and mercy for the new day ahead. Children can be quite challenging and frustrating at times but I am his child and he will never stop loving me. He will keep loving me all the way home to living with him forever. That’s how much he cares.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! We’re I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I am awake, I am still with you.” Psalms 139:17-18 NIV
God delights in us, his love for us will never fail. He made us on purpose for greatness and he thinks about us continually. When you have someone like that on your side you have hope. This is a difficult life we live. We need someone who loves us unconditionally that will always be there for us. Even though we won’t always be there for ourselves. We are not perfect like God. We can get mad at ourselves, put ourselves down and even lie to ourselves. God will not. You can not be happy until you know this unconditional love that God gives. I see so much anger and complaining from people. People can be very selfish thinking first and foremost about themselves. They even expect others to fulfill them. of course they cannot and that angers them even more. There is something inside of us from the time we are born that is searching for unconditional love. Even if we find that for a time with a loved one, the day will come when they let you down and you realize they aren’t perfect. Someone can love you but it’s not their job to make you happy. Only a perfect God can do that. And he wants to do that. But we do have to come to him first. Until you are finally loved unconditionally by God, following him, doing his will, his way, can you be truly happy. Until you are it’s going to be hard to get along with others, who are like yourself, imperfect. I am a happy person and care very much about my interactions with others. I always try to be pleasant and helpful to others. But I wasn’t always that way. Things could easily bother me and upset me. I knew God all my life but I didn’t really know him. I made it real personal in 2013 when I began searching for the Lord with my whole heart. The more I read of God’s word and just spent time talking to him the more I got to know him and how much he loved me. For the last year I have been reading a devotional called, “Letters From God” by Ivan Tait. I love this book because it tells me so many thoughts God has for me that are empowering. Knowing how God sees you and all he has for you can fill you. The more love I get from God, the more love I can give to others. When you love God and yourself, you can’t help but love others. God says to love others as you love yourself. But what if you can’t love yourself? Until you are unconditionally loved you can’t. You will be trying to earn that love and nobody but God gives it.
Do you know just how much God loves you?
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you love.” 2 John 1:6
From the very beginning of time God has told us to love. Every commandment will be fulfilled when you walk in love. Just think first about the other people in your life and you will not do anything to hurt one of God’s precious children. Everyone has been lovingly made on purpose and for a purpose. And God loves them. God has given me his eyes to see others as he does. I can see hurt and pain in their eyes. Unless you have gone through everything they have gone through then you cannot judge. So very many things have contributed in their lives to who they have become. The way they think about themselves and everyone else. I have great compassion for others. Just like when Jesus walked on this earth. He did not meet someone he did not love. With his full being. He did not feel obligated to heal but he hated to see their pain. If we first show love when we meet someone evil would cease to exist. No murder, no stealing, no adultery, no covetousness, no pride and no selfish ambition. Could you ever consider putting something before God? The one who first loved us with non condemning but perfect love. He who always wants our very best. He gave us everything. Just look around you and see the beauty and intricate perfection placed in everything. Nothing was too much or too good for us. Every morning we get a new sunrise and a brand new start. Every day. Everything we need to make the rest of our lives perfect is available through him. We don’t have to remain who we once were. We weren’t made to struggle and hurt. He has told us to bring everything to him and let him help. Ask God to give you a heart of compassion and eyes to see as he sees.
“and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3
Why Lord do you cause us to suffer? This is not a perfect world. We don’t always get what we want. But we do get what God knows is best. His ways are so much beyond our own. He can take the worst situations and turn them around if we just trust him and let him work. The hardest thing had to be when his very own son willingly let himself be crucified for our trespasses. When sin entered the world God knew that he could fix things that were broken. Jesus had been with God from the beginning and he would have to be willing to become a man like us. Giving up his rights as the chosen prince. God loved and respected his precious son. He even declared that to the world. Even Jesus lost his living father to death and his cousin was be headed. His very good friend died and it grieved him to see the sisters suffering even though he knew it was only temporary. I know when I had my stroke so many people came to the hospital to check on me when they heard about my stroke. I wasn’t really coherent but I knew they were there. I’ve known women who tried for years to successfully have a child. Even Hannah cried out to God in bitter grief wanting a child of her own. Her son was very important and took time but she still gave him back to God. I know a woman who had a baby that weighed only one pound. It did not look good but he hung on. My stroke actually saved my life because a destructive behavior that was not good for me had taken over my life and the stroke woke me up when I almost died. Things can hurt but we need to trust God. We need to stop looking backwards but to the future. It is impossible to not grieve when someone you love dies. But will you let God make you better through it or bitter. It’s up to you. God will give you the strength to grow better if you just ask. He can turn things around if you let him.
“Very truly I tell you. Whoever hears my word and believes he who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24
When we hear the truth our ears are opened and there is a stirring inside of us. The more we hear, the more we seek, and the more we believe. When we believe in our hearts we know that Jesus is the son of the only true God and we want more. When we accept Jesus into our hearts and confess all of our sins, giving them to him, we are saved. We transfer from death to life. Life eternal, forever. But real life begins at that very moment. We don’t have to wait to die and go to heaven. God wants us to enjoy life now. We may be young Christian babies, just like when a mother becomes pregnant, there is a life growing. Just as alive as if it walked down the street. We were alive because of God and we mattered to him. We just didn’t know the creator until he came to live inside of us. Once we know of him we need to get to know him and his character. Read his words and promises, and spend time talking to him about everything. Just enjoy his presence. That is why attending a good church is important, because you will hear more about him and being around others who love him also is pleasant and encouraging. All of these things will make life richer. Look around you because he is everywhere. From the rising of the sun of a bright new day to the laughter of a young child , you can see his love all around you. The more I trust him and his ways, the more I do what he says and live like he lived. The more I come alive. We were not meant to hear and just walk away, forgetting what we heard. The more I hear, the more I want to hear because it brings such peace. Obedience brings so many rewards and peace can never be sweeter than when you are walking out your faith. You will become bolder and realize just how precious his words can be. I have started memorizing more of the words I read because I can speak them back to myself whenever I need them for encouragement and strength. During the day when problems pop up his word comes out of my heart. At one time I thought I knew God but I was never around him or thinking about him and I did whatever I wanted. Well that led to destruction and my near death after my stroke. That woke me up. I had to know what life really was and boy I have found it. Praise God!
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” Romans 15:5
We are to live as Jesus lived if his spirit lives within us and we are his. To be a Christian you are to be changed. We need to be dying to our old ways every day. If we are not keeping his commands then do we really know him? It is not possible to do any of it without him. He gives us the strength we need every day to do all we are called to do. Endurance and encouragement are given to us so we can in turn pass them on to others. But it is very important to first encourage yourself by praying, read Gods word, meditating on it, singing praises and meeting together with other believers for church and fellowship. We need to encourage each other and pray for each other. To encourage each of to produce much fruit in their lives. The fruit we need to be showing is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, and self control. What would Jesus do? He would show patience and compassion. Think of serving others first no matter what their needs might be. If someone is angry and difficult then they are probably hurting and need your help and compassion now very much. Ask them how you can help and if you can pray for them. Those that live around you should know with out a doubt that you are different. The average person in this world thinks first about themselves and their needs. We should be the special people God created us to be. Shine the light of God that is in you everywhere you go and brighten this very dark world.
“The Lord, The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin.” Exodus 34:6-7
“Who is God like you, who pardons sin and forgives transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” Micah 7:18
This is from God’s own words not from second hand information. He wants you to know him and his character. He can not lie because it is not in his perfect nature. His promises, vows, and statements can always be counted on and what he says he will do, he does do. Even if it seems impossible to our human minds. His ways are far above our ways and very unique and different with each of his unique and different children. The first thing he is, is compassionate. He cares about everything that is important to his creation. Because he wants the very best for everyone and everything. He even notices when a single sparrow dies. His grace is new every day. We don’t deserve anything but he gives good things to everyone every day. Not just to those who love him but the sun shines also on the wicked. It takes a lot to make him angry. The Israelites were a great example. They kept screwing up and doing the same things that he had told them not to do, but he kept forgiving them over and over. But when he promises punishment he follows through. He promises curses to those who do not obey. But he will forgive you if you ask. He says he delights to show mercy. That means he wants you to ask for forgiveness and to believe that he will give it. It doesn’t matter how bad your sin was, he gives all a brand new start. Forgetting your sins though they may be many. He has so much love that we will never understand and he will never promise something that he won’t do. He can always be counted on. He created everyone on purpose and he has a purpose for everyone’s life. He loves you and you matter to him. There is nothing you could ever do that he can’t forgive. Even as he hung on that cross to make it possible for you to be forgiven, he forgave those that sought his death. Everything that was made from galaxies to elaborate single cells were well thought out in detail. For everyone to enjoy.
“Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” Revelation 2:4-5
It is so easy to take our eyes off of God and place them on problems and business. But Satan will use that to destroy you every time. The door gets left ajar and he barges right in. It starts with a thought. But those thoughts quickly become actions. Is life getting harder and more complicated? Where is your focus? God never gave up on you and he never left. But he is waiting patiently for you to call out to him. To realize that what is missing has been there a along but you have just misplaced it. Our life is so full and exciting when all we think about is our first love. Once you realize that you need someone and don’t want to live without them. You think about them all of the time. You want to know everything about them and what makes them tick. As you spend time reading God’s words to us in his word you get to know him. There are many good promises to encourage you and to give you hope. His character and love become so real to you and your love deepens. You are stronger and can handle challenges and problems so much easier. Two can handle things better together. When those challenges and problems come offer them up to the Lord and he strengthens you. The keys to peace. The ones we need to open that door are found when you spend time in his presence. This life is meant to be full, abundant and successful if you follow the path he has for you. He will never steer you wrong. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. With him by your side (and remember he doesn’t leave but we do) you are strong and ready to take on the world. And some day soon Christ will be returning for his bride, a bride without spot or wrinkle. You will want to be eagerly waiting and ready.
“So since you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16
Can you imagine the God of the whole universe saying that to you? Have you ever ordered a cup of coffee that came to you barely warm, when coffee should be hot. Arg! Look at our world, there is so much hate. People are frustrated and confused. It is not supposed to be like this. People are miserable and they are taking it out on everyone around them. I remember as a girl singing, “what the world needs now is love sweet love…” Boy is that an understatement. Rioting, shootings, looting, protests, and vandalism are rampant. There was a rally at the Washington Mall. Thousands of Christians came to pray for our country. No violence, just love and prayers. Not very news worthy since nothing was damaged. Just hearts breaking for a hurting world. I was so overwhelmed by the love. It was a beautiful day. We have learned to accept stuff that we don’t feel qualified to stop. Once good and patriotic. We watch as people get darker and darker that used to care. There is still right and wrong but if everyone’s doing it, is it ok? One week it’s one sin we condone then it’s two. But now we are sinning all the time and can’t stop. People raised in Christian homes are abandoning Christianity as unnecessary. If it gets really bad I might say a prayer. Why would God listen if it’s your last ditch effort. We need to repent to be forgiven. Our world is suffering and look where we are. I listened to people who came to America from other countries. They told how their countries used to be that way but got so bad they had to flee to asylum in America. It will get worse. God is still reaching out with love and freedom. But will we accept it. Or one day will you hear, “depart from me, I never knew you.” Will we turn from our evil practices?