Friday, May 22, 2015

The Way to Spiritual Wholeness

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 (NIV)

               “If we confess our sins. . .” The apostle John lays the groundwork for what we have to do to find forgiveness of our sins. It is very simple. In five words, he spells out the process which we all have to do in order to be on a road to spiritual wholeness.

               As a child, when I was in trouble, my parents would ask me if what I told them was the truth. Looking back, I remember them telling me it would go easier if I did tell the truth. 

               “he is faithful and just. . .” Sometimes we wonder why a person can do or say certain things. John tells us that Jesus is the faithful one and the only just one in the world. As we progress along the path Jesus has laid out for us, we learn that He can do all things because of His faithfulness and because His Father is a just being.

               “and will forgive us our sins,” Jesus does this for us. He’s the only one who can. He does this out of His grace-his vast love for us.

               One time I did tell my mom how something got broken. It was an accident. What made it so bad was I had initially tried to cover it up.

               “and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When Jesus forgives us of our sins, He forgets they ever existed. I have always heard He tosses our sin into the sea of forgetfulness. He cleanses us of all sin-past and present. He does this and restores our righteousness.

               When a friend of ours pointed out it was an accident, my parents choose not to discipline me. Instead they kept the item in our home for several years to remind me of the importance of admitting my mistakes.

               God, in the same way, will take our sins from us, cleansing our hearts. But, unlike our earthly parents, He will wipe away any reminder of our transgression.

Dear Lord Jesus: Thank You for cleansing our hearts from sin. Thank You for removing our transgressions from Your memory. All glory belongs to You. In the Name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Righteous Add to their Learning

“Teach a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”
Proverbs 9:9 (NIV)

               I found the reference to this verse on a sign board at a restaurant we regularly patronize. It spoke to me.

               The words of Solomon speak to us. He gives his readers two scenarios, each with a positive outcome.

               If we instruct someone who listens and learns from what we tell them, we consider them wise. Solomon shows us that our time is not wasted in the process of our attempt to impart knowledge to another person. As children, we have to learn to listen to those who are our elders. I had an uncle who lived with us during my growing up years; I would have never thought of not doing as he told me. Yes, sometimes he was in charge of me.

               My son once told a daughter of a babysitter that he didn’t have to do as she said. The issue was the mother had told the girl she was to watch him for her. They greeted me almost at the front door and told me what had happened. I got my son’s attention and told him, in front of them when the mother told whoever of her teenage children to watch over him and tell him to do something, he was to do it.

               The second part of this saying speaks of another kind of individual—one who lives very close to God. This person will receive what he or she learns and applies it to their heart and to their lives and learns from the lesson. During the time I havebeen
down with a broken rib, I kept up with my devotional reading. I learned that God does allow difficulties into our lives to teach us what is important in His sight. He teaches us to view events with His eyes. Some of the prayer needs on my list look different since I learned this lesson.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Righteous Receive Soul Nourishment

“The LORD does not allow the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.”
Proverbs 10:3 (NIV)

               God provides nourishment for our souls through His Word. He also provides succor to our bodies through the food His fields produce.

               As a child, I went with my mother to a vegetable stand on the east side of the county to get fresh vegetables. As an adult, I have watched my hubby grow fresh tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, and at one time, corn.

               In years past, we have traveled to the area where Hubby grew up and brought back fresh water melons, cantaloupes, and quantities of sweet corn.
               But, not once did I realize that God provided such an abundance of food for those who rely upon Him and His Word. He does this because He is faithful and loves each of His children.
               Right now, I am thankful for strawberries and whipped cream and a husband who fixes them for me.

               These thoughts are just some of the musings I had as I patiently wait my injury from my fall to heal.

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 ...