Friday, February 3, 2017

Fear, Love, and Serve the Lord

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February- The Love of God, the Love of Christ 



            “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 with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” Deuteronomy. 10:12-13 (NIV)

“fear the Lord your God,”
Once I had a disturbing conversation with a friend. She related that her husband had told a co-worker he didn’t fear God. All I could tell her was the Biblical thought of fearing Him was we were to have very deep respect for God.  Job spoke of the fear of the Lord as being wisdom and when we shun evil that is understanding. (Job 28:28, NIV)

“to walk in all his ways,”
It seems we are to follow God and live as He directs. Sometimes we venture out on our own in doing things. When we do this, we find ourselves having difficult times. We have to pray before we act. 

“to love him,”
When we love another person, we choose to spend time with that person. We converse often with them. We respect them. This is all God asks of us. We love him by following His word, reflecting Him in all we do, and lifting our needs to him.

“to serve the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul,”
An interesting word, serve. We take it to mean to work for someone. Jacob served Laban for 14 years. We have men and women who serve in our armed forces. We have others who work in restaurants who serve food to those who go out to eat. But, what does it mean to serve the Lord? God calls some of His children to work for Him full-time, in the pulpits or in foreign lands on the missionary fields. Some of those in foreign lands are there in other capacities due to certain countries being closed to the Gospel. Whether these people serve God at home or in foreign lands, we need to pray for them.

“to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees,”
God gave us laws and rules he expects us to obey. He gave the Israelite people certain holy days and Sabbath years to observe. We have evidence in His Word that the Sabbath years were not observed. He taught them a lesson about neglecting the observances. The Israelite people spent 70 years in exile because they disobeyed God and didn’t observe the Sabbath year rests for the land.
           
“that I am giving you today for your own good?”
                Everything God told His people, all He gave them was for their own good. Adam and Eve had paradise until Eve allowed the serpent to beguile her and Adam couldn’t say no to her about that forbidden fruit. God told the Israelites, as they came into the Promised Land, to rid the land of all those who lived there. They didn’t do as God told them. The people chose not to observe the Sabbath year rests, even when they had been told what would happen if they chose not to obey this command.

            God always has the best interests of His children in mind. He wants us to choose to obey Him. He gave us Free Will so that the act of our obeying Him is our choice and not His mandate.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

For God So Loved the World

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February- The Love of God, the Love of Christ

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into this world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)

In the past, Christians taught the children the first part of this focus passage. I learned it in King James Version.

For the purposes of this blog post, we will look at one or two phrases, “God loved. . .” and “he gave.” Then, we’ll look at His purpose. Have you wondered what God’s motive was to love Jesus, r any of us?

“For God so loved. . . “

            God created His Son, as He made us.  This is His motive for loving Jesus and even the worst of us. A friend of mine has taught children in Sunday school and Wednesday night classes for many years. Several years ago, she taught children that Jesus loves even those who do dreadful things to others because God made them as He made those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord. Think on that thought for a minute.

“. . . .he gave his one and only Son,”

            Because of God’s love for those He created, He gave Jesus to us. Actually, His plan was to loan His Son to us. It was in God’s plan to recall His Son to heaven when His intended purpose was fulfilled.

God’s Purpose

            What was God’s purpose in giving Jesus to the world? He saw the state of the world He had created and wanted to make it right. He chose not to cast aspersions on His people for their sins. Instead, God chose to save the world through His Son, Jesus Christ.


            Do we know of anyone who is in danger of departing this world without a relationship with Jesus Christ? I have several friends who would benefit from having or renewing a relationship with Jesus. We need to remember to pray for them. Our motive to do this is “For God so loved the world. . .”

Monday, January 30, 2017

Here’s What’s Going on in My Life

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
Matthew 11:28 (KJV)


   Blog Breaks are Worthwhile:

Late last year, I read on Jennifer Brown Banks blog, Pen and Prosper that we needed to take scheduled breaks from our blogs. Here is her thought. It's item number eight. 

            I preliminarily scheduled some for 2017. But, first, I decided to do a trial break. I chose the week of this past Christmas and included New Year’s Day. I rested and planned while I was on this ‘vacation’. I found myself rested, refreshed and ready to get back to blogging and writing.

            The rest was because of having been ill with an infection that traveled from throat to head to lungs (bronchitis) to my ears. Our son was home for Christmas weekend. His birthday was earlier this month but he didn’t want to come home again because of the bad weather we could have had (and did have.)

            The planning part of my break was to refine the process I work in order to write and post these blogs. I also have returned to my meditation collection writing project.

            Since My Break:

Last weekend, I experimented with Publisher and some of the pictures I have taken to make memes. I believe I will incorporate some into my writing project. I also emailed another blogger who had published a book last fall. I loved her photos and asked her if they were her own or did she get them online. She responded quickly and suggested a site I had not heard of.

            Lessons Learned

            When my computer crashed, I lost e-mail addresses of most of my online contacts and my passwords for most of the sites I visited. I have learned a great lesson through this.


            When I purchased my new laptop, I added an external hard drive to house the majority of my documents and files. Our son purchased one for himself when he lived with us and shared my computer. At that time I thought, “Why?” Now, I know the answer. 

   

            Great News- I Think

            On January 18, I finished my manuscript I started in 2016.  It presently has a word count of 13,557 and encompasses 125 pages. I have to do some tweaking on it. But I felt good when I typed that last section.:

             Added News:

              A group of us at church started working on a Good Friday drama. I am assisting the director in what he needs me to do. Right now, I get to write up a message for the newsletter and write a "teaser skit" to be given to stir up interest among the congregation. April 14th will be here before we know it. 



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