Worthy of Our Love

Authentic Christians are so in love with God that things in this world lose their appeal. As we contemplate His goodness, the memories warm our heart. We burst out in joyful songs because of His righteous treatment of us. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loving kindness. He is good to us all and all of His works are full of His tender mercy (Psalm 145:7-9).

God is the Lord of hosts of angels and His magnificence fills our hearts with respect and awe (Isaiah 8:13). As we read about His work through the ages, we realize that His thoughts and methods are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes they do not make sense to our finite, human mind; however, hindsight always gives us a glimpse of His wisdom.

We trust in God’s loyal love and rejoice in the salvation that Christ’s redemption provides for us. We sing of the benevolent and bountiful ways in which He deals with us (Psalm 13:5-6). He hears our prayers and is our shield from danger and our strength to deal with life’s unpleasant experiences. Our heart trusts in His goodness, because of the ways He always works out everything for our good (Psalm 28:6 Romans 8:28).

We cannot help but to rejoice in God’s bountiful provision and give Him continual thanks night and day for all that He does for us (Psalm 28:7). God is high and lofty above the earth and lives in a high and holy place with our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father inhabits eternity, yet cares enough to revive the spirit of the depressed and to forgive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).

Prayer:
Father God, heaven is Your throne and our earth is Your footstool. You made all of these things by Your wisdom, understanding and power, or they would never have come into existence (Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15; Isaiah 66:1-2). You are the one and only, true living god, our eternal King. The earth and nations tremble at Your righteous anger, and many come to You in repentance (Jeremiah 10:10).

Thought for the Day:
God is always nearby and never far from any one of us, even though He fills both the heaven and the earth. – Jeremiah 23:23-24

Consulting the Lord

Joshua took over the leadership of Israel from Moses. He followed in Moses’ footsteps and sought God’s direction for each decision he made and every action he took. He had no confidence in his own ability and He generally relied on God’s counsel. God promised to give Joshua every part of the land where he set his feet. God also declared that no army would stand against him (Joshua 1:3,5).

Therefore, with a few successful battles to his credit, Joshua’s fame traveled throughout Canaan (Joshua 6:27). This caused his heart to swell with pride, and He got overly confident. He started believing the praise awarded to him, rather than giving credit to the Lord. The unconventional warfare God told Joshua to use at Jericho (Joshua 6:20) puffed up his confidence. Therefore, at the next battle, in the tiny town of Ai, Joshua did not bother to consult the Lord.

He relied on his own wisdom instead. He sent up an army of about three thousand men, expecting to hear of their anticipated victory. However, God taught Joshua a lesson through this and allowed the few men of Ai to defeat Joshua’s army (Joshua 7:3-4). God humbled Joshua, and he ended up embarrassed and dejected. It happened again when the Gibeonite ambassadors tricked Joshua by their deceptive words (Joshua 9:14-22).

Joshua foolishly believed he could handle these decisions without the Lord’s direction. We do this too. We forget to pray and to seek God’s counsel when salesmen pressure us, friends and family manipulate us and those in authority over us demand things from us. True success in life only comes when we seek advice from the Lord before making a decision, and follow His advice even if it is not popular or seems not to make sense. Hindsight always proves God right.

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, we will need to make some important decisions throughout our lifetime. We have the choice of following a humanistic plan of action or of seeking Your divine direction. Remind us to trust in You with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. Help us not to be wise in our own eyes, but to consult You (Proverbs 3:5-7). That way we will not be anxious about anything, but we will pray about everything and present our requests to You (Philippians 4:6). When we lack wisdom, we can ask You, because You give it generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5).

Thought for the Day:
Consult the Lord in whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
– Proverbs 16:3

A Place of Rest for Our Soul

In the Old Testament, Believers worshipped in temples of stone and mortar. Their contact with God was from the first five books of our Bible. It is different today. We have 66 books of God’s Word to encourage and instruct us. God dwells within us in a personal, intimate relationship, not in temples made with human hands (Romans 10:9).

We are God’s “living stones”, and Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which we are centered (1 Peter 2:4-6). As God’s Temple, we have a deepening understanding of the reality of what it means for Christ to abide in us (Colossians 1:27). This truth changes our outlook on life and affects our body, soul and spirit. We enter God’s rest forever (Hebrews 4:9-10).

God rested after He created the universe. Jesus rested after carrying the burden of our sin to the cross. Now, we can rest from serving God from compulsion and serve Him from a place of love instead. The doorway to this rest is through total surrender to God’s will and to Christ in us, which is our hope of living in glory now and in eternity.

Our humanity is dead and we are a new creation with Christ living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). We decrease daily, so that He can increase (John 3:30). We cease from our human striving and follow God’s Spirit through every moment of every day (Galatians 5:16-25). However, our ultimate rest will be when we leave this sin-cursed world behind and live instead in the presence of God in glory (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Until then, we dwell in Christ as Christ abides in us. We die to sin with Christ and He raises us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Living by the faith of the Son of God, we enjoy His love and redemption (Ephesians 5:2). He directs our paths, as we seek Him in everything we think, say and do (Proverbs 3:5-6). The peace of God rules in our hearts, dispelling all of our doubt and fears (Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us not to strive in life, but to submit our will to Yours each and every day. Help us to accomplish the works, which You prepared for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Bring people our way to whom we can share Your love and give us the boldness to proclaim Your truth to them.

Thought for the Day:
Yoke up with Jesus and find rest for your soul. – Matthew 11:29