Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Ways of God are Supreme

 Several years ago I did a Bible Study called "The Ways of God" by Henry Blackaby & Roy Edgemon. In reviewing my notes, I underlined and highlighted so much of the book that really I just recommend you read it for yourself, but here (and in the next few posts) I will share some of my favorite quotes and insights on understanding the ways of God.

"We are flesh and blood, created by God to serve God, and placed in the context of time by God."(9)
"When God speaks, He is already in the process of doing what He says." (13)
"Faith is the confident expectation that God will do what He has said He will do." (14)
"Holiness is the moral excellence of God." (17)
"Unbelief is significant. Do not treat lightly what God treats seriously. God alone is truth. What God says is always true-with no exceptions." (19)
"God's ways measure only our obedience or disobedience in doing His will. The ways of God do not accommodate substitutes. Substitutes are the reasoning of the world." (26)

 My (former) Ways:                                                 Obeying God's Ways:
1. Complain about extra work/feel overwhelmed      1. Accept challenges to bring glory to God
2. Daydream about a different life                            2. Be thankful for family who care about me
3. Expect credit for accomplished goals                   3. Humbly let others receive recognition
4. Be grumpy because it didn't go my way               4. Praise God for His perfect plan & timing
5. Gossip & grudges toward people I don't like       5.  Show appreciation to everyone

Quotes from: Blackaby, Henry T. & Roy T. Edgemon, The Ways of God. (Nashville, TN: LifeWay, Church Resources, 2001.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Ways of God - Following the Narrow Path

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

I once was a little girl with dreams
I hoped would come true someday
Of being a ballerina
Or the princess in a parade
Maybe I'd be the president
Or just mayor of my town
I would be a teacher
Or a doctor with a cure to be found
But as I grew up my dreams began to change
The things I once thought possible
Are now completely out of range
God had something else in mind
A place for me in His will
If I seek after Him with all my heart
My desires He will fill
The world is more complicated
Than I ever thought that it could be
But thanks to God's eternal plan
His ways are higher than me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Psalm 32 Love through Forgiveness

The weight of sin (v.3-4)
When I kept silent about my sin:
 -my body wasted away
-for day & night Thy hand was heavy upon me
-my vitality was drained away
Freedom of Forgiveness with Confession (v. 5-7)
I acknowledged my sin to Thee:
-Thou forgave the guilt of my sin
-Thou art my hiding place - preserve me from trouble
-Surround me with songs of deliverance

 Through Christ's sacrifice, I've already been forgiven of past, present & future sin:
-I feel freedom through confession to God
-I grow in Christ through lifestyle change (repentance: turn away from sin, turn to Christ)
-Christ's blood has atoned me, His resurrection gives me eternal life: so live like it!!

Longing for Passion: Psalm 42

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God...why are you in despair, O my soul? and why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help for His presence... (v.1,2,5)

If I truly want to experience the joy of my salvation & passion for life in Christ I have to:
let go of the past, my sin, worry, doubt, confusion, frustration & impatience.

God give me passion for: YOU, Scripture, my family, caring for my home, building friendships, serving in church.

God, please fill me with LOVE for: YOU, my husband, my children, my friends, my church, my community. Let my focus be on showing humility, grace and kindness to others so I don't have time for pity parties.

God's Love for Me

John  3:16 - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Proverbs 3:12 - For whom the Lord loves, He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom He delights.

John 15:12-13 - This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I John 4:16-19 - ...God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us...there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear... we love because He first loved us.

God's love, real love is nothing like the culture portrays it. It is not based on emotions or feelings - those are always changing. It is not listening to our heart or gut or even head. God's love is constant, never changing, never ending and nothing can separate us from it. Based on His Word, because of God's love, He will save us from our sin through the death & resurrection of His son, Jesus. He promises to correct/discipline us to make us more like Jesus, and to abide in us so we have the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to know how to show real love. We are only capable of love, because He first loved us. If we want to know real love, it can only be found in the one who made us and takes care of us.