Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seek Him and Live

The books of Joel and Amos were written to the Israelite people as a call to repentance. They had wandered far from God and His ways. They had done everything they could to profane His name. And so He was reminding them both of His love and of His ultimate judgment. He cannot stand the presence of evil. Because of this, He can’t just bring His people into His kingdom. Repentance and atonement are needed.

“For the LORD says to the house of Israel: Seek Me and live!” (Amos 5:4, HCSB).

What words for all of us to hold on to! God holds the keys to life everlasting. We can choose to live completely in this world, or we can choose to reach out at grasp the everlasting life that He offers us. Oh how I want to Seek Him and Live every single day. Yes, in an everlasting sense, but in a daily sense as well. I want to truly live every moment of this life. I want to taste and see everything God has for me! I don’t want one day to mundanely lead to the next, no, instead I want to LIVE each moment for Christ and share His love with those around me.


Because God’s judgment is a very real thing. It’s nothing to joke about. A day will come when all of us will have to give an account, even those that deny God’s existence.

On that day, I’m so glad that my Sins will be covered by the lamb of God (Jesus Christ).

Judgment is real, my dear friends, whether you want to think about it or not.

But there is a way for your sins to be covered as well.

Then everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved” (Joel 3:32, HCSB).

Jesus Christ came to this earth and died on the cross for all of our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day, showing His Lordship. If we believe this, admit that we are nothing on our own, and call out to God for deliverance, He will save us as well.

It is never my intent to be preachy on this blog. Just the same, I wanted all of you to know how real judgment day is, and how much we are all in need of a Savior.

Will you seek Him and live today?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freely Loved

Hosea is written to a people who have wandered far from the love of God. This adulterous nation has turned their back completely on God. They are worshiping idols and committing all kinds of ugly acts. Still, he woos them back to himself. Yes, he demands justice, but he loves them just the same. While most of the book of Hosea speaks of God’s judgment of the Israelite nation, the last chapter of the book gives an ultimate promise of restoration: “I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for My anger will have turned from him” says the Lord (Hosea 14:4).

I love the phrase “freely love.” God loves his people voluntarily. He loves them because He chooses to, not because He has to. They have done little to deserve His love. In fact, they've done everything they can to deny Him, but He loves and blesses them just the same.

Everything good in their lives comes from God above: “It is I who answer and watch over him. I am like a flourishing pine tree; your fruit comes from Me” (Hosea 14: 8b, HCSB ).

And so it is with us.

As I look around me, I’m amazed at what God has done. He has given me so many things I don’t deserve, a house, a family, gifts, talents, passions. All of the things I enjoy and hold dear come from Him.

Sometimes it’s nice to look around and simply be thankful. Thankful that He’s a righteous God who demands justice, but thankful that He’s loving as well.

It’s nice to be freely loved.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You shall go out with joy

“‘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 than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands’” (Isaiah 55: 8-12 NIV).

I question, I doubt, I worry. I wonder why I would have to go through such a time as this. But God provides just the same. These verses above are so encouraging to me right now. They remind me that God has a purpose and a plan far above anything I can imagine. While the road directly in front of my may seem horribly rocky, He sees to the other side. He knows the ultimate outcome. And He will use this time to draw me closer to Him. The choice is now up to me. Will I trust in His faithfulness and love? Will I trust in His ultimate purpose? Or will I wallow in loneliness and self-pity? I chose the former. I pray that today, and everyday will be filled with joy and peace. I hold tight to the promise that He will carry me through each hard day of this journey called life, because there’s no better way to live.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Love, just love

“Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10, HCSB).

What is good? Good things build others up. They show encouragement and love. They don’t belittle or discourage. Instead they only make that person better in the long run. Sometimes it’s hard to find the good. Sometimes there’s a person out there that really gets under your skin. On Sunday, my pastor told us to “love, just love.” Love, the greatest commandment, is the best way to bring someone to a deeper knowledge of Christ. No, you don’t ignore their sins, but you love them and show them a better way of living. You don’t preach at them. You don’t make them feel bad about themselves. Instead, you “cling to what is good.” You show them the love of Christ, and leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit. You, “outdo one another” when it comes to showing respect and honor. You give that person the respect that the rest of the earth says they don’t deserve. You show them how much they matter to their Heavenly Father up above. You love them.

Who can you love today?