Posts Tagged ‘God


Which Will It Be?

Devotion. Allegiance. Dedication. To whom or what does your heart belong? Who or what is number one in your life? We can be devoted to different people or different things in our lives. Who or what do you love most? Jesus said it comes down to two choices. He said this in Matthew 6:24 (NIV):
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Jesus says that one thing will be your master, but it cannot be both. It is either God or money. Do you want to know a good test for your devotion? Examine two things in your life: your calendar and your bank account. What do you spend your time and your money on? What do you worry about more: pleasing God or making money? Money is necessary, yes. Is it the only necessity in your life? Do you love God more than money? Do you see money as a tool to serve and please God or do you see it as the goal of life? You cannot have it both ways. So which will it be? Who or what will be number one in your heart? Is it God or is it money? Eternity is hanging in the balance.


He Forgives, We Forgive

Jesus tells us to pray often for our own forgiveness. We regularly ask God to forgive our sins because we regularly sin and fail as humans. We are not merely recipients of forgiveness. We are to be conduits of God’s forgiveness. God forgives our many egregious sins so that we can, in turn, forgive those who sin against us. Jesus said to pray in Matthew 6:11b (NIV):

…as we also have forgiven our debtors.

When God forgives us, we don’t take the forgiveness and run. We have to let that forgiveness flow through us to those around us. In this life, we will sin against God and others. We need to seek the forgiveness of both. When we are forgiven, we have to forgive those who sin against us. I’m not sure if there is a harder thing to do than to offer forgiveness to others. When someone hurts you so deeply by betraying a confidence or physically hurting you, forgiveness is the last thing you want to do. When someone keeps doing the same thing over and over again, forgiveness is the last thing you want to offer. Yet God, though we betray Him and though we do the same things over and over, continues to forgive us. We should do likewise that we may look more like Him.


As It Is In Heaven

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus prayed for God’s Kingdom to come and for His will to be done. God’s Kingdom is wherever God is ruling and reigning. God’s will is being done wherever God is as well. Where did Jesus want the Kingdom of God to come and His will to be done? He prayed in Matthew 6:10c (NIV):

…on earth as it is in heaven.

For the Kingdom to come and the will of God to be done on earth, the first place it has to be established is in the hearts of God’s people. Jesus came to establish a new kind of Kingdom on earth. He is the King of this Kingdom. His throne isn’t in a palace. It is in our hearts. When we submit and surrender to the King, we choose to align ourselves with His Kingdom and the principles of it. These principles are faith, love and forgiveness. Once we submit to His rule and authority, we then become the ambassadors of His Kingdom. We bring the Kingdom of God to earth and we do the will of God on earth. Just as it is in Heaven.


God’s Name

Names are special, aren’t they? They can evoke memories and they can stir up emotions. The word hallowed means sacred or special. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says that the name of God is hallowed. He prayed in Matthew 6:9c (NIV):

…hallowed be your name,

The name of God is holy or sacred. It is special. God and His name should be praised and not taken lightly. God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit are all deserving of honor and praise. We must never blaspheme God nor use God’s name in vain. We must never flippantly use the name of Jesus Christ as an expletive or in a casual way. God’s Word says that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord of all so that God may be glorified (Philippians 2:10-11). Part of our prayers, according to Jesus, should be the praise and adoration of our Heavenly Father and His name. When we come into the presence of God in prayer, let us take a posture of worship as we call upon the name of God. God is sitting on His throne and ruling and reigning in glory and power. His name is holy and hallowed. Let’s treat it as such.


Our Father

Some call it The Lord’s Prayer. Others call it the model prayer. Still others call it the Our Father. Jesus simply said, “This, then, is how you should pray…” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus took some time to teach His disciples how to pray. Notice, He did not say this is what we should pray. I don’t think it was His intention for us to pray these exact words, but rather He was teaching us principles of prayer. He said in Matthew 6:9a (NIV):

This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven…”

Jesus begins with addressing God as our Heavenly Father. This is so important! God is our Heavenly Father. He’s not some angry god on Mount Olympus firing lightning bolts at us when we screw up. He’s a good Father, too. Maybe you didn’t have a good dad when you were growing up. Do not be terrified of your Heavenly Father. He is a loving Father who cares for your every need. He knows your broken heart. He sees your every tear. He won’t bully or abuse you. He truly loves you with an unconditional love. You can pray to Him as your Father in heaven knowing that He is not ignoring you, but He is listening. Whether you have a faith that can move mountains or if you’re at the end of your rope, cry out to your Father in heaven. He is waiting to hear from you.


The Shepherd Blesses

When was the last time you counted your blessings? When was the last time you actually sat down and made a list of the ways God has blessed your life? I think that we easily lose track of all that God has given to us. We forget that we have been blessed abundantly. We know that we’ve been blessed, but we forget just how blessed we truly are. David, when writing about his place at the banquet table said this in Psalm 23:5c (NLT):

…my cup overflows.

God hadn’t just provided for David’s needs. He had blessed him with everything he wanted, too. He had filled David’s cup to overflowing. In these difficult times in which we find ourselves, it can be hard to remember just how much we have been blessed. God has provided what we need and in many ways, He has provided that which we’ve wanted. We are a truly blessed people and God is the source of all of our blessings. God is faithful and He is good. When you are tempted to lose faith, start a list. Count your blessings and see how God has blessed you over and over again. I’d be willing to be that your cup overflows, too.


The Shepherd Anoints

In David’s day, if you went to a banquet, they would anoint the heads of honored guests with oil. They would pour oil over the heads of the VIPs. In God’s banquet room, David said that the Lord, his shepherd and host, treated him like a VIP. David wrote in Psalm 23:5 (ESV):

…you anoint my head with oil…

Sometimes, when the accuser comes to whisper in our ears that we are unlovable, God pours the oil of His love over our heads. When the accuser whispers in our ears that we are too sinful for God to forgive, God pours the oil of His forgiveness over our heads. When the accuser whispers in our ears that we are unworthy of such a banquet, God pours the oil of acceptance over our heads. The fact is, we are not worthless in the eyes of the shepherd. He sent His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for all of our sins. God thought that we were worth the life of His Son. Let the oil of God’s love, forgiveness and acceptance pour over your head today. You are welcome at His banquet. You are His VIP.

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