Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Need to Praise

The Lord is compassionate and gracious;

slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse;

nor will he harbor his anger forever.

He does not treat us as our sins deserve

or repay us according to our iniquities.

Psalm 103: 8-10

Our God treats us lovingly. David tells us that the Father chooses not to display His anger as some of us are inclined to do. He takes a lot of heartache before He reaches His limit. The shepherd king further tells us that our Creator doesn’t hold grudges once we ask for His forgiveness, He erases our slate and looks on us “just-as-if-I’d” not sinned. That is something we all should praise the Lord for.

I penned the above words in the middle of this summer. My goal was to study passages on praise and thanksgiving and to post my thoughts during November the month we usually focus on thanksgiving. But I need to give praise to the Lord and thank Him now.

I praise God for leading me to Him. Without my knowing Him, I couldn’t have made it through the travails that came into my life.

I praise God for working in the life of my family. I thank Him for saving my husband from his former destructive habit.

I thank God for my friends. While I have been dealing with my husband’s latest health issue, they stood by me and loved us. My two closest friends are each facing health issues of a family member. I know God is with them, as He was with me.

I praise God for His providence. He provided us with jobs so we could have shelter and food.

I praise God for His grace and mercy. He gives me things I don’t deserve (grace) and He doesn’t give me what I do deserve (mercy). Looking back on my life, I see things I did that were not nice. One time I felt led to write a note of apology to a neighbor of a friend. When I met this neighbor, I didn’t recognize her. A short time later her dad died. When I read her name in the obituary, my heart broke. I sent the note. When she received it, she called me. She accepted my apology and said something like, “If you said that, you probably had reason.” But she didn’t remember my saying anything inappropriate.

I praise God for his handiwork and creativity. He allows his world to display His beauty. We are advancing into the part of the year that can display the brightest colors of His palette. I have no favorite season of the year. I like the colors and the scents of autumn. I enjoy the seasons of summer the short times the different vegetables and fruits are plentiful. I watch with expectation as the grass regains its color and the flowering trees bloom through the spring. I can even enjoy the sight of fresh fallen snow on an open area at our nearby city park or in our side yard. It’s all His creation for us to enjoy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What Will He Find?

Read Luke 18:18

I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.

However, when the Son of Man comes,

will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8 (NIV)

Jesus speaks to His disciples here. He tells them a parable to let them see the need to always pray and not give up. The story He selects is one of an unfair judge who is confronted by a widow on a regular basis. After a while the judge relents and gives the woman what she asked for.

Jesus asks the disciples to reflect on what the unjust judge does and then says. Then, He asks three rhetorical questions to make the disciples think. “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones who keep crying out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?” His answer tells us that God will provide what we deserve quickly.

It is the next question our Lord asks that makes me ponder the ways of mankind. Will Jesus, when He returns, find faith on our earth?

We see greed, vanity, and pride now. I wonder, will Christ see these attitudes in places we don’t realize?

How can we, as people who love the Lord, show Him that we do believe in and trust Him? Simply put, we may need to get serious about our relationship with Jesus. We should read our Bibles more, pray more, and worship God with a whole heart.

Only the Father knows how much time we have to repent as a people for our sinful ways.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...