Friday, September 21, 2012

God Guides the Ones Who Obey



“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” Psalm 73:23, 24 (NIV)

This is a psalm of Asaph, a Gershonite Levite choir leader. Twelve of the Psalms have been assigned to him. Gershon was a son of Levi. Asaph had gotten discouraged by the wicked people always prospering. As he enters God’s sanctuary, he repents of his ‘attitude’ and makes the statement that is our focus passage.

“. . . I am always with you. . . “Asaph was truly committed to God. Can we say the same thing?

” . . . you hold me by my right hand.” When young people are dating, they sometimes hold hands. When an older person is unsteady on their feet, a companion will hold their hand while walking. God holds us by our hand as we go through difficult circumstances of life. When we follow God’s direction through the valleys of life, we gain wisdom and strength.

. . . afterward you will take me into glory.” This is Asaph’s statement of faith. He knows God will do as He has said.  As 21st Century disciples, we need to remember that our final destination is with God in heaven.

You guide me with your counsel. . .” God speaks to Asaph and imparts wisdom to him. With Asaph being a worker in the house of the Lord, I believe he and God had many occasions in which God talked and Asaph listened. Even today, we have times where we seek his counsel and, in order to hear what God tells us, we have to listen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What the Lord Asks



“And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and to observe the LORD’S command and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.?” Deut. 10:12-13 (NIV)

 Have you ever wondered what you were supposed to do when faced with a dire situation? I have several times in my life.
One time, I chose to follow the WWJD way of dealing with a sticky situation only to get burned by two tenants in one of the rental units I was managing because my dad was in a nursing home. Had I been able to talk to them early on, I may have handled the issue better. For a while, the action I took with dealing with these women was one of my regrets.

 I found this scripture as I looked for another one. It spoke to my heart. I re-learned some of the basic concepts of Christianity from what this passage says.

“Fear the LORD your God . . . . “ We are to respect God. Revere His word. Hold Him in high esteem.
 “. . . to walk in all his ways. . . “Whatever we do, we are to do as if He were beside us-because He is. Brother Andrew wrote of this exercise in his book, Practicing the Presence of God. I remember hearing and then seeing this pithy statement on a church signboard: “Do you feel away from God? Guess who moved?”

” . . . to love him. . . .” When we love another person we try to be patient with them. We try to understand his or her position with certain issues. When we love God we adore Him, obey His commands.
” . . . to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. . . “We are to be His hands and feet, consider the other person’s viewpoint, their loss, or their circumstance. We are to put our complete selves into the service of the LORD.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Remain in His Love



“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s command and remain in his love.” John 15:10 (NIV)

As small children, we may have been guilty of telling an adult, “I don’t have to do that, you aren’t my mom or dad.” I remember coming home from work and going into a babysitter’s home to pick up my son. She’d had an incident with him. She had told one of her older girls to watch him. The older girl corrected him on something and he told her he didn’t have to mind her.  When I heard what he had said, I got his attention and let him know that if the lady told one of her girls to watch over him that he was to do as he was told. I never came home to a problem again. Had I not dealt with the issue as I did, I believe to this day I would have lost a babysitter.

When we obey another person’s wishes, things are more pleasant, less strained for all involved. When we follow God’s guidance, we don’t have as many regrets, ‘what if’ thoughts, or ‘why didn’t I’ notions. God loves us, even when we wander away from following His direction. His love for us is more evident when we obey His word.

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 ...