Obedience and Blessings

ObedienceAndBlessings

I am blessed to use several devotionals throughout my day and week. One of my sources of inspirational reading is the blogs I read from YOU! I so appreciate your interpretation of and encouragement in God’s Word.

Another that I read and study daily is Quiet Walk’s Walk Through the Bible daily devotional, found here: http://www.walkthru.org/qw-daily-devotional

Today’s readings inspired me to go off on some tangents about obedience (one of my favorite topics). It starts with a Bible passage I love, where Hezekiah spreads Sennacherib’s letter before his Lord, in the temple. The discussion pointed out that, “God is not reluctant to bless us. But we must be sure we are eligible by being faithful to Him.”

God is a God of faithfulness! He loves to shower His blessings upon us. But we must position ourselves to be eligible to receive His blessings.

How?

By being obedient.

How to be obedient?

READ GOD’S WORD!

Without God’s Word, it is easy to assume and visualize in our minds how we can be obedient to God. We can (and do) make up anything we want to push ourselves into believing we are pleasing Him, while in reality we are conniving to please ourselves.

God is our plumb line, our source of Truth, of reality. Everything we do or say or think or feel must be aligned with the Truth He gives us in His Word.

Mind you, blessing does not always mean a lovely life filled with roses and lemonade. Blessings come in all forms. Sometimes a blessing looks like a face of anger or a scary situation or a blocked road or even death, to turn us to the direction God wants for us. If we are in tune with God, if we know Him, His Word, His Spirit of Truth, then He WILL guide us.

None of us is always obedient. We try, and God forgives. The devotional this morning continued with this passage from Joel 2.12, 13: Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Sometimes we are afraid to be obedient to God, fearing we won’t get what we want. God knows our hearts. If we will but surrender to Him, He gives us joys we cannot imagine – even better than what we thought we wanted!

Pray with me:

Lord, I praise You. I worship Who You are, and I bow before Your throne of glory. I acknowledge my weakness and my sin. I come before You, knowing You love me, You welcome me, and You want Your best for me. Increase my faith in Your goodness. Guide me to read more of Your Word, instruct me in the way I should go. Give me a heart that yearns for You, a heart that desires above all else to know You and please You. Give me eyes and a heart to see the beauty and peace and joy of Your Ways. Amen.

Are You Ready to Soar?

Today’s post is taken entirely from today’s Daily Living for Seniors, found at   https://www.oneplace.com/devotionals/daily-living-for-seniors/are-you-ready-to-soar-senior-living-october-10-11781108.html

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

If you ever get a glimpse inside the nest of an eagle, you’ll see something fascinating. A mother eagle starts building with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. Then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs.

By the time the growing birds reach flying age, they don’t want to leave because of the comfort of the soft nest. So the mother eagle begins pulling up the soft carpet, baring the sharp rocks and branches. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. This encourages them to leave their home and move on to more mature behavior.

In order to move forward, the young eagles must be made uncomfortable. And in order for us to move forward into spiritual maturity, sometimes God does the same thing: He gets you out of your comfort zone and puts you in a place where you have to jump out and trust Him to help you soar!

Wherever God is pushing you from being comfortable today, see it as a chance to develop a deeper trust in Him and soar on the wings of faith He’s given you.

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would show you where He wants you to jump out and trust Him to bring you to a new level in your spiritual journey.

Questions for Thought:

Think of a time when you were pushed out of your comfort zone. How did it make you feel?

Where do you believe God may be ‘baring the rocks’ in your life to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone?

In Whom We Trust

In Whom We Trust

Disillusionment and distrust of the government has always existed among fringe groups, but in the 1930s, ‘40s, and most of the ‘50s, the majority of Americans trusted their government. Many still do.

But in the 1960s, things changed. It started in the late ‘50s, with new and daring music, pulling at teens who were already pulling away from parents. In the ‘60s, the Vietnam War was the breaking point. Draft-aged young men and their families had a notion that this war was somehow not right – nothing they could put their finger on, snippets from here and there we couldn’t quite put together; but the notion was spreading like wildfire. We now know the government lied to the American people for the sake of saving their own faces and for power.

The government had long been split over the issue of treatment of people of color. God says that He created us as equals. Our very Constitution states that we are equal. But too many in leadership worked to soften the edges, for fear of the people. Few stood up to do the right thing, fearing re-election time.

The disillusionment of authority and government wracked the youth. Who could they turn to, if all their authorities lied to them, could not be trusted?

This instability has grown and tilted. We question everything. No one can tell us what to do. Right and Wrong is in the eye of the beholder: the people do what is right in their own eyes. Daily we hear of yet another politician or celebrity or religious leader (or group) who has been lying to us all along, keeping secret sins.

“My God,” people say, “If we can’t trust the government, who can we trust? They control everything – they control our lives, in one form or another.”

The answer is in that very question: My God.

Sadly, many people think that what they see of God, what they sense in the people around them, is who God really is; the Catholic Church, who has been abusing children, and protecting themselves; the Bible-toting old auntie who scolds harshly for running in with muddy feet; the pastor daddy who beats them; the never-miss-a-Sunday momma who keeps her vodka in the locked cupboard. The list is endless, of course, because all of us, even the most devoted followers, are a sinful people.

No wonder we as a nation, a culture, a world, have turned away from whatever calls itself an authority. We learn we must make our own rules, follow what’s best for us, cut ties to anything perceived as unhealthy or not nurturing. We huddle together with like-minded friends until they, too, betray us.

But God.

In God we trust. In God we can trust. In God we must trust.

No one else can be a final authority. No one else has the power to determine the destiny of a person, a community, a nation, a world. No other entity is perfect, perfectly loving, and perfectly just.

It is God who allows or disallows a government. It is God who puts us in families, Who determines who our father and mother will be. It is God Who is the authority and Who establishes authority.

Proverbs 21.1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Matthew 22.21 Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Titus 3.1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work

Romans 13.1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God

And it is God Who loves us.

Psalm 86.15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

And it is God Who provides a remnant. There is always a remnant. That’s us, you know – you and me, my friends. Let us be the ones to show others Who God is, what He wants for us all.

Joel 2.13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

2 Chronicles 7.14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.