Trusting God

One of my favorite Bible verses is: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

I heard a few weeks ago that General Motors is firing 15 per cent of their workforce in Detroit, MI and other locations in the United States and Canada. Ford Motor Company may not be far behind.

I don’t live near these cities, and none of our acquaintances work in the automobile production industry. Yet, I feel compassion for those being let go. Some people in America don’t save money for emergencies.

We received a gift from a relative which allows us to see local television for the first time in many years. I got used to programs without commercials. The advertising costs an incredible amount of money to lure customers to purchase stuff. I looked away from the appealing pictures of new cars, cruises in warm weather ports, diamond rings equated to love, and lots of beer commercials during the football games.

All of those things may deplete an emergency savings account, if one ever got started. None of those things count as needs. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter 4, verses l0-13 it says in the New King James Version, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.

 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

When people in America lose their homes from unemployment, mud slides, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, etc. I pray for their physical needs, their emotional and spiritual condition.

In First Peter 5:7 in the NKJV, Peter tells us, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,” happens after we’ve humbled ourselves under the mighty hand of God. When God sees humility towards Him and others, He’ll exalt us in due time.

Our lives are meant to bring glory to God in good times and in bad. The Bible is our life manual for every aspect of life. If you’re suffering, God sees you.

He understands your choices. He promises to take care of all your physical and eternal needs if you’ll seek the kingdom of God first in your life. Food, clothing and housing: Jesus said God knows your requirements for life.

As earthly possessions slide out of our grasp, the eternal stays with us forever.

May God bless you!

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Remember Who You Are

Our Wednesday morning Bible study had a lady attending who belonged to another church. She used to be a member at our church many years ago and then left. Part of her heart is still with us, so she attended Wednesday mornings for years. This year near the end of the year she backed out because her sister got a life threatening disease and she’s spending more time with her. I miss her because she’s a likable person and she added to the group.

Unfortunately, as Christians we may be well aware of our sins and shortcomings and spend more time on them than God may want us to. In the psalms, we are told that God loves us and forgives us.

Psalm 103:11, (ESV):  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psa 103:12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Psa 103:13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Once we truly repent, He does not expect us to continually beat ourselves up. He expects us to love ourselves in a healthy way, not a narcissistic way. These verses show God’s high regard for us loving Him and loving ourselves and loving others.

Mark 12:28, (ESV)  And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Mar 12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mar 12:31  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.

Mar 12:33  And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Mar 12:34  And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

So, as I was saying, this lady attended our group and if we got down on ourselves, she would nicely tell us to remember who we are in Christ. We are forgiven. God calls us righteous in His sight because of the shed blood of Jesus for our sins. He took on the payment of our sins so when we stand before God at judgment day, we can claim that Jesus covered our debt or He wiped our slate clean so there’s no mark against us.

We must continue to seek God, despite distractions, despite our flesh crying out for entertainment or more money or whatever it is that keeps us from opening the Word of God. Thursday and today I intended to read the Word early in the day. Today it was almost one thirty in the afternoon. I’d done laundry, finished a writer’s magazine, did dishes, got myself ready for the day, called people, etc. My husband and I needed to be somewhere around four and I had to prepare some things before getting there. Plus, I needed to go to the store.

I made myself sit down and focus on the Lord. I remember doing that when the children were little. Putting all else aside for a short period of time and concentrating on the Lord. I told them to behave and to be quiet while I spent time with God and they did. When I don’t give time to the Lord the cares of this world press down on me, I feel lonely inside, I may become fearful over things. All those things are alleviated by spending time in God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12, (ESV)  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Heb 4:13  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Heb 4:14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Heb 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Heb 4:16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When the lady at Bible study reminds us that we belong to God by our own choosing, and that He makes us righteous, it always brings a smile to my face and to the others. She hasn’t had to say it a lot, but more than once.

We’re praying for her sister to recover and be perfectly whole.

May God bless you and yours.

Moving Along

As an aside, Amazon.com sells MP3 versions of children’s songs, and this cover goes with  the song,”He’s Still Working on Me.”He's Still Working On Me

I got a letter in the mail today. I work part time for a company with multiple sites on occasion. I always answer their survey, willing to work at a few different addresses and then I choose the ones closest to home. I really prefer the location I’ve always worked at, but I sincerely am willing to try other places. When I got the new location for my next assignment, I almost panicked. I thought, What’s up with this feeling?

I reminded myself that I am flexible, I like meeting new people, it’ll be fine. James said that we shouldn’t say we’re going to be here or there, but to say, if it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll be in a certain place or make a particular purchase. I’m paraphrasing Jas 4:13, (ESV): Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—

Jas 4:14  yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Jas 4:15  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

Jas 4:16  As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Jas 4:17  So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

I’ve been telling different people, I’ll see you there when I work again. I told a little girl, “I’ll be working with your grandmother pretty soon.”

Oops!

Another thing I reminded myself of is that Jesus said to be anxious for nothing. In Phil. 4:6,7 the (ESV) says: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So, when things don’t go the way I expect them to, I turn to prayer and do my best to hand things over to God. I whisper or speak aloud, “I trust You, God.”

Then I remember the good things God has done over the years in my life. Last night I got thinking about my earthly dad. I told a young man that I waited on in the library that I never went hungry unless I wanted to, growing up. I know that is a blessing. My dad worked hard to provide for his family. King David wrote in Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread, (ESV).

Jesus said in Matthew 6 that if we seek Him first, and His kingdom and righteousness all these things will be added unto us. He’d been talking about clothing and food. Then in the following verse, Matt. 6:34, (NASB), He said, “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

So, I choose to move along with Jesus, asking Him to help me not to be anxious when changes come. Change is a part of life. I know that, it’s just that I don’t always relax and go with the flow. “God’s still working on me,” as I’ve heard children sing many years ago on a tape of songs collected for other kids to sing along with them.

I used to love the high energy of songs on a “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” tape I bought for my little ones. In searching for the “God’s Still Working On Me” tape I noticed that the “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” have been digitally re-mastered from the originals from back in the day.Bullfrogs & Butterflies: God Is My Friend CD This is from  Christian  Book Distributors.

May God bless you!

Escapism

 

I went to the library today to return the Imposter book by Davis Bunn and I picked up another novel from the new purchases section. It’s not an author I’m familiar with, but it sounds good.

When I finished the Imposter I told my husband I hated to see it end. It’s almost like I lived there for part of my days.

That’s a throwback to my childhood. I grew up in a neighborhood going through social changes and the library was a haven. Yesterday, my husband and I got asked to meet with a lady and we listened to her for three hours.

It threw my day off. Even as a daydreamer, three hours hit my brain – the time was irretrievably gone. Whether it was of any help to her, only God in heaven knows.

I’ve discovered lately that getting lost in books or movies or puzzles gives a false sense of peace, really it’s just escapism. Reading the Word, taking time to think, prayer – these things revitalize. The other things numb the emotions for a short time.

That must be one more reason God tells us to seek Him while He may be found, (Isaiah 55:6a). He knows what’s best for His creatures. In Deuteronomy_4:29,(KJV), it says, “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”

David, whom God called a man after His own heart, had Asaph and his brothers sing this song unto the Lord: 1Chronicles 16:8, (KJV) “Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!

1Ch 16:9  Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!

1Ch 16:10  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! (I added emphasis here.)

1Ch 16:11  Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

1Ch 16:12  Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered,

1Ch 16:13  O offspring of Israel his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

1Ch 16:14  He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

1Ch 16:15  Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

1Ch 16:16  the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,

1Ch 16:17  which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

1Ch 16:18  saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance.’

1Ch 16:19  When you were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it,

1Ch 16:20  wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,

1Ch 16:21  he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account,

1Ch 16:22  saying, ‘Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!’

1Ch 16:23  Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.

1Ch 16:24  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

1Ch 16:25  For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.

1Ch 16:26  For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.

1Ch 16:27  Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.

1Ch 16:28  Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!

1Ch 16:29  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;

1Ch 16:30  tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

1Ch 16:31  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns!’

1Ch 16:32  Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!

1Ch 16:33  Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

1Ch 16:34  Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

1Ch 16:35  Say also: ‘Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.

1Ch 16:36  Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!’” Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.

 

What an incredible song to God.

I hope you are enjoying the life you’ve been given. I am, even when my patience is being stretched or when I’m concerned for others. I thank God that He helps me when I’m weak or weary.

I remember trying to manage my life on my own. I felt like a girl on a ten speed bicycle with flat tires trying to go uphill on a muddy track. Then I handed my life over to Jesus and now I have help when I cry out to Him. My sister, Mary told me that she and her sister-in-law were in a car heading for another car on a snowy day, an imminent collision seemingly the only possibility. She cried out the name of Jesus and it was as if they got lifted in the air and turned about. Our sister-in-law couldn’t confirm it. Yet, over the years, Mary never retracted the story or added to it.

 

In John 12:36, (KJV)it says: “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.

Joh 12:37  Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,

Joh 12:38  so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Joh 12:39  Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

Joh 12:40  “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

Joh 12:41  Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

Joh 12:42  Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;

Joh 12:43  for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

 

Some things are hard to understand. I know I heard the gospel many times and pondered long and hard before it finally made sense to me. I felt like I was wrestling with God trying to figure it out.

 

May God bless you!

Reasoning

Yesterday I wrote about trusting in the Lord with all our heart and not leaning on our own understanding from Proverbs 3:5.

 

I thought how God asks us in Isaiah 1:18 (KJV), to “Come, let us reason together,” saith the Lord, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be white as wool.”

 

God encourages people to get to know Him. Proverbs is filled with references from Solomon to his sons to seek Wisdom – one of God’s attributes.

 

In Proverbs 16:16, (KJV) it says, “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”

 

In Matthew 6:33, (KJV), Jesus says: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 

He’s telling His followers not to worry about food and clothing. God will provide. Jesus also told believers in Luke 6:38, (KJV),  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

 

That’s why believers have a faith walk. God’s directions contradict the world’s directions. When I’ve tested God’s Word, it’s been true.

 

My newborn son many years ago contracted Echo Virus, which destroyed 90 % of his liver. The infection specialist at a major university hospital told us the virus could move and destroy his heart or other major organs.

 

My husband and I didn’t break down crying or behave like we were in the middle of a crisis. She said, “Do you hear what I’m telling you?”

 

We assured her that we heard her clearly. We told her we were praying for our son and trusting in God. She shook her head and walked away.

 

It took thirty days before God healed our son and our faith and our emotions hit highs and lows. When my faith climbed the summit, his faith might be at rock bottom, and vice-versa.

 

Even our nine year old daughter prayed when I couldn’t believe for an IV to be removed from the baby’s scalp. The Lord answered her prayer!

 

Reading in Psalm 34:8, (KJV), I found, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

 

It’s our choice.

 

God bless.

 

 

 

Beatitudes Continued

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

I love how Jesus spoke in the Beatitudes. We are blessed when we hunger and thirst after righteousness. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get less hungry and less thirsty for God and then I wonder: “What am I filling up with that has nothing to do with God?” Sometimes the flesh rises up and gets in the way of the Spirit. Or the enemy causes distractions and confusion.

We have to be on our guard. 1Peter_5:8 (KJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The idea of wanting to be righteous or in right standing with God goes against my selfish grain in the first place. I feel like I can’t do a thing without God, even be interested in Him, unless I ask for His help. I know that’s Scriptural, but sometimes it doesn’t hit me unless I really think about it.

Paul tells the Greeks in the book of Acts: Act 17:24 (TLV) The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands.
Act 17:25 Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things.
Act 17:26 From one He made every nation of men to live on the face of the earth, having set appointed times and the boundaries of their territory.
Act 17:27 They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us,
Act 17:28 for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’
Act 17:29 Since we are His offspring, we ought not to suppose the Deity is like gold or silver or stone, an engraved image of human art and imagination.
Act 17:30 Although God overlooked the periods of ignorance, now He commands everyone everywhere to repent.
Act 17:31 For He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed. He has brought forth evidence of this to all men, by raising Him from the dead.”

Such heavy stuff in the Word of God. I ask God to teach me from His Word because there is so much to it! These last verses remind me of Jesus’ crucifixion and Him being raised from the dead, which we’ll celebrate in America on Sunday in many churches.

I don ‘t seem to get very far with  the Beatitudes. Just one at a time in these blogs.

The verse saying to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto us,” is in Matt. 6:33. That refers to physical necessities.

That corresponds with Jesus saying we’ll be filled if we hunger and thirst after righteousness in Matt. 5:6. Although I’ve always thought here it means we’ll be filled with His Spirit so we don’t feel empty inside.

Of course, God cares about the whole person, not just fragmented parts. Be blessed as you seek God and His righteousness. If you’re not sure what hungering and thirsting for righteousness actually means, ask God to show you. He waits to interact with us, according to Revelation 3:20.

Rev 3:20 (TLV) :Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Be Blessed!