“This will not hurt your dog. Using these steps, you can keep her safe.” said Joe as he described his dog obedience techniques. He also said something curious: “I can tell she loves you, but she doesn’t respect you. Respect is how you’re going to keep her safe.”
Anyone who’s met my labrador retriever, Annie can attest to her… energy. I say we misnamed her: Godzilla would’ve been more appropriate. Anyways, what Joe said made sense. She didn’t respect me and that could lead to her getting hurt or worse, killed.
It’s the same with God: the only way He can keep us safe is if we respect Him. If we do not listen to his commands, we are putting ourselves in harm’s way. Just as much as I would never want anything bad to happen to my dog, God only wants to take care of us. If only we would settle down and listen for once!
He’s not trying to limit us, He’s trying to set us free!
The Human condition leaves many people feeling disconnected, isolated and forgotten. “Who cares about me? What does any of this mean?” A.W. Tozer called it “cosmic orphanage*.”
This feeling couldn’t be further from the truth. John 1:12 tells us that anyone who “even believes in His (Jesus) name” is now a Child of The King! God gives you that right!
To be a child is to join in the inheritance of the Father. We are co-heirs with Christ! (Romans 8:17) Not just conquerors, but MORE than conquerors! Romans 8:37)
So forget this disconnected, isolated and forgotten nonsense. You are no longer outside the Father’s house in the cold, alone and naked. The Father welcomes you in. Take that human condition and kick it out the door. Claim your right! God bless!
Twice Jesus said that He desired mercy over sacrifice (Matt. 9:13 & 12:7). Telling us something once is enough, but twice? He really must’ve wanted us to get it! So what does it mean to desire mercy over sacrifice?
Jesus was quoting from Hosea 6:6. The Israelites were offering sacrifices to God because it was their duty not because they desired to please Him. Their hearts were not close to God. There was no relationship.
Jesus is saying He desires that we genuinely love him. He desires that we follow His will because we truly want to. He doesn’t want us coldly following rules like the Pharisees.
God sees the heart and no amount of rule following can replace a heart that isn’t true. Mercy wins over sacrifice, everytime. God bless!
Even I know if a=b and b=c, then a=c. My wife, the Mathlete, however informed me that it is called: the Transitive Property of Equality. I love Brittany and her math-brain! She was telling me how by applying I Cor. 13:4-8 to the Transitive Property, we can learn about the character of God.
Anyone who’s ever been to a wedding is familar with 1 Cor. 13:4-8. It is the whole “love is patient, love is kind” spiel that softens even the most stubborn of hearts. John tells us in 1 John 4:8, that GOD IS LOVE. Therefore, we can insert God for “love” in 1 Cor. 13 and get a closer insight into who God is.
God is patient. God is kind. God does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. God does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.
Take a minute in your busy schedule today to meditate on this and to thank God for all His astounding attributes! God bless!
*Thanks to Brittany for my math lesson for the day.
Are you a happy witness? That may sound like a childish question, but I would like for you to take a few seconds to meditate on it. Am I happy in my Christian walk?
Everyone loves a camp fire. Camp fires put out a lot of heat and light. But if you don’t keep your eye on it, the fire will die down. Ever notice how cold it seems AFTER a fire burns out? It didn’t seem that cold before you started! It also seems so much darker AFTER a fire. Your body got used to the warmth. Your eyes got used to the light.
To keep the fire going you have to keep stoking the flames. You have to put more logs on the fire. You have to keep your eye on it. David prayed, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,” (Psa. 51:12).
Only Jesus can restore your joy. Only He can sustain you. It is through His salvation that all things have their luminance. It is through His salvation that all things have their warmth. Renew your relationship with Jesus and then you will rekindle your happiness in your Christian walk.
Anyone ever ask you to pray for them? Sounds… almost… peaceful, doesn’t it? In reality they are asking you to engage in warfare. Intercession is throwing yourself into the spiritual battle raging all around us (Eph. 6:12).
How do I pray for someone? Charles Stanley mentioned this once and it always stuck with me: Pray Eph. 1:17-19. This scripture is the perfect intercessory prayer to get you started.
Take comfort that you are not alone in this fight. As you intercede, Jesus intercedes for you (Heb. 7:25). As sons and daughters of God, we have a direct line to go boldly to the Throne (Heb. 4:16).
So, the next time someone asks you to pray for them, roll up your sleeves, arm yourself with Eph. 1 and get ready to fight! God bless!