Thursday, 30 October 2008

What do you give a God who's got everything?

Well, what? 

Do you fast? Do you serve on a church committee?... Do you sell all your worldly possessions?... Do you flatter Him? Do you confess your sins day and night? 

Just what do you give God? 

For it is written:

You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand. You don't require burnt offerings or sin offerings 
Psalm 40:6

He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since He is Lord of heaven and earth, He doesn't live in man-made temples, and human hands can't serve His needs- for He has no needs. He Himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need there is.
Acts 17:24-25

 "O my people, listen as I speak.Here are my charges against you, O Israel: I am God, your God.  I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly offer. But I do not need the bulls from your barnsor the goats from your pens. For all the animals of the forest are mine,and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it. Do I eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats? Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you,and you will give me glory."
Psalm 50:7-15
Ah, a clue! A clue! Thankfulness!

Worship.  Love.  Friendship. 

What is the greatest command?

Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself." 
Matthew 22:37-39

You must love. 

*Scripture references taken from the New Living Translation

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Obedience to God

Today I sure read a lot of verses about obedience. Now that may have been because I was reading in Deuteronomy ! ...but I think with our emphasis on God's grace through Jesus, we just never think about obedience.

But Jesus said:
“All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
John 14:23
And He wasn't just all talk either...
Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
Hebrews 5:8
Obedience: Let's meditate on this topic together.
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22

*All scripture references are from the New Living Translation

Friday, 03 October 2008

More beautiful to you

These lyrics I've posted below just wowed me today..

More beautiful to you
Than the songs of angels and gifts of kings
More beautiful to you are
What empty hands can bring
And what desperate tongues can sing
And when broken hearts cling to you
~Excerpt from the lyrics of Hear it from Me - written by Bebo Norman

Thursday, 02 October 2008

Are you in a "real" relationship with God?

I've been studying some material on hiding from God by Ameerah Lewis. The following piece is based on it, but with my own interpretations and bible verses added.


Put yourself in the shoes of Adam and Eve… They've just eaten of the forbidden fruit. They hear God approaching. And up until now they've had a close relationship with God. So why did they feel they had to hide from God after they sinned? Why not just tell Him what they've done?

Genesis 3:7-8 (NLT)
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees.

So we have areas of ourselves, of our lives, of who were are that we try to hide from God. But can we hide from God? We know we can't! God sees all. He knows what we do, what we think, what we feel. And He loves us anyway. AND He wants us to come to Him anyway. But WE come to him with masks, not being real, not being honest about what we think, about what we feel, about who we are, about what we've done. Have you been in a relationship like that? When you know the other person isn't being "real" with you? And how does that feel? Not very intimate, huh? And you just wish the other person would 'fess up and be done with it

Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Matthew 15:8 (NLT)
'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

So did God depart from Adam and Eve and leave them to their shame at their nakedness? No….

Genesis 3:21 (NLT)
And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

And today, does God expect us to feel the guilt and shame of our sin forever, never to be accepted by Him again? No….

Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Hebrews 10:19-22 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters,we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

God knows we are human. He knows that as humans we can never be perfect. In fact, he became human himself. So really, he understands!

Hebrews 2:14
Because God's children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.

Hebrews 2:17-18
Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

So let's drop the masks, and come to God just as we are.

I'd like to end with this cute little story that is circulating on the emails:

The devil and the duck

A little boy was visiting his grandparents on their farm.
He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.
He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target
Getting a little discouraged, he headed back home for dinner.
As he was walking back when he saw Grandma's pet duck.
Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.
He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching!
Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes."
But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen."
Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?"
So Johnny did the dishes.
Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper."
Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help."
She whispered again, "Remember the duck?"
So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer
He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.
Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know.
You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you.
I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."
Thought for the day and every day hereafter . . .
Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done . . .
and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face . . .
(lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) . . .

Whatever it is, you need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing
He has seen your whole life.
He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.
He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.
The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets.
It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved.