Blessed Because He Chose Us!

“Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;to you our vows will be fulfilled. You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.” (Psalm 65:1-4 NIV)

In the midst of trials and tribulations,

He looked upon us with compassion

Poured out grace and mercy abundantly,

Waiting for us to see our ways would not allow us in

To the place He had prepared for us for all eternity,

But loved us enough to die for us, while we were yet in sin,

Forgiving us over and over again, loving us in spite of us,

Choosing us to participate in His goodness and victory,

Choosing us to live with Him past our natural deaths,

Blessing us while we live, naturally, so we can be witnesses

Of His continual grace and mercy, promoting the Gospel

Of love and salvation to all who will hear and accept;

Praising Him for victory over sinfulness–daring to break free,

Choosing to live life as He ordained it–obediently.

Blessed are we, by He who chose us before we were ever born,

Blessed are we, by He who sacrificed Himself so we might live,

Blessed are we, by He who made victory possible over all things,

Blessed are we, by He who inspired praise as our hearts sing,

Songs of worship, adoration and praise for all He has done,

Encouraging our boldness, reflecting over victories won,

Over addictions and predilections to go our way, down the broad road,

Where everyone, doomed to the same fate walked and dared not stray,

Afraid of what others would think, if they chose another path, much narrower,

Where there would be no crowd, no hoops and hollering heard, just a few,

Faithful, delivered and set free to focus on God’s goodness and He path he chose,

For all He loves, but few love Him enough to see, just how wonderful this path could be,

Loving Him enough to live for Him, doing what’s right at all times, knowing He never slumbers,

Is not hard of hearing and certainly never forgets our pleas to Him in the quiet of the night,

Or in the middle of a raging storm, either physically or spiritually, He is yet on His throne,

Mighty in majesty, caring for His own, like no other can and certainly, He loves those He chose,

To live and reign with Him, forevermore.

And when we arrive–at the gate of His choice, will we be ready to lift our voice,

In praise of Him who loves and dies for those He loves so we can be judged, righteously?

Though the journey to heaven gets marred by obstacles thrown in our way,

Just look to Him, He chose us and He’ll never let us stray if our focus is stayed upon Him.

Speak up–aloud so all may hear, we have no fear of man or what they may do, Our God,

In Heaven, will respond to prayers that are earnestly heaven-sent–with solutions,

To all problems as He guides us through His Word, once we read it we’ll know, Yes, He heard.

And Now we know–His rights can’t be wrong; and His wrongs can’t be right;

We must learn to live, according to what He says, since we’re always in His sight,

And remember, we are blessed because He chose us!

Lest We Forget!

“Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” (Psalm 50:22,23 NIV)

What is it that He wants us to consider? Meditating on the verses before these, should help us to understand that God is not fooled by those who do not claim to serve Him, spouting His Word, and living in opposition to it! Starting with verse 16, He asks, “What right do the wicked have to recite His laws or have His covenant on their lips? Especially those who hate instruction and cast His Word behind them when it doesn’t suit their purposes?”

Once again, we see people can be snared by their own lips when–we say one thing and yet do another. How can any claim to understand how Jesus loves and wants us to love without accepting that He is the Father, come down to earth in the flesh, and He would not change His Father’s Word to suit Himself or us?

According to The Word–when we change the intent of God’s Word for our own purposes–no matter who we are or what our “so called status” is in life, He will have the last word and it is He who will set out the evidence before the accused and find Him guilty.

Let’s stop playing games with The Word--trying to impress others with our knowledge or ability to quote The Word when we are incapable of living The Word! No one is impressed by this and certainly God is not fooled by what we say when He knows our hearts!  Man-up or Woman-up and live like God wants us to live–according to His Word, not our fleshly dictates!

After all, this is the season we celebrate His loving us enough to join us–here on earth–to experience life–like we do and yet not sin, according to The Word!

Who Are You Living For?

“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:15 NLT)

Unbelievers–who say they do not believe in God or in the resurrection of Jesus Christ–live according to the dictates of their flesh. They allow their consciences to be their guide–good or bad–doing whatever they “think” is right for them.

Believers–those who say they believe and understand how God wants us to live–should be living for Him, if they truly believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave for our benefit. If He loved us enough to die for us, surely we should love Him enough to live for Him.

What does that mean? It means that we live according to His Word–doing all things that glorify Him, rather than us.

We do not attempt to change what He has said to accommodate what we want to do nor do we attempt to manipulate His Word to justify what we do.

If we love Him, we know how to love others–unconditionally because that is how He loves us–unconditionally. Now, His unconditional love does not mean we can live any way we want to live and think there will be no consequences. Good parents love their children unconditionally, but they have rules and discipline their children to keep them safe from harm. God’s Word helps to discipline us and keep us safe from harm when we obey it. If we love Him, we’ll obey His Word. When we don’t obey His Word, we prove we don’t love Him. And if we don’t love Him, we can certainly not love one another.

Perhaps, our lack of love for Him is the reason some believers feel justified in spewing hatred for others--even though they proclaim to belong to the Kingdom. Perhaps, this is why the Kingdom of God–on earth–is so divided in its loyalties–we only love “some” believers and not others because of their political affiliations or lack of such. How sad!

I’m so glad that Jesus never considered any possible political affiliation that I might find myself involved with when He chose to hang on that cross. I’m so glad that He never once undervalued me as a human being because of my gender or ethnicity. I’m so glad that even though I was not even thought of by my parents or any of my ancestors, He loved me enough to pray for me in the garden, just before His arrest. I am so thankful for His love and His inspiration in my life to do all things to His glory that I live to please Him and not me. And because of my imperfections and often missing what He says, He still loves me enough to help me get back on track with His plans and not my own. Hallelujah!

What’s love got to do with it? Absolutely everything because He is Love and Love conquers all that would keep us from living our best life in Him, right now!

Think about where you are in the life you chose to live. Who are you living for and is it working for you?

 

What Do They See?

“If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message,” (2 Corinthians 12:6 NLT).

With this statement Paul is making, it appears that when we are telling the truth, we are not necessarily boasting, but some could take it that way. Why should this matter? If we’re going to create an environment in which people will want to know our Risen Savior, we must make sure that they “see” us living what we preach and not just hear us–boasting about what we are able to do through Him.

If we are indeed a new creation in Christ Jesus, do people see us doing the same old things we used to do that kept us in a quagmire of ungodly living?

Are we living with others in an intimate relationship outside of marriage–as God defines marriage?

Are we subjecting ourselves to the fallout of using illicit drugs?

Are we mindful of the laws designed to protect the innocent and do we adhere to them?

Are we allowing our tongues to wag and snag others into the pits that kept us receiving God’s best in our lives?

If we say we are born again, and yet–others see us as though we have never heard of Jesus Christ, what benefit is that to the Kingdom of God?

Are we not aware that we when we “say” one thing and yet do another–we are hypocrites?

Do people see us being friendly and courteous to others–no matter what the situation that arises?

Do they see us respond calmly to negative events or do we clown like the heathens and then–five minutes later–we are heard praising God?

If we really want to win others to Christ, we must become “living epistles read of men” for the glory of the kingdom of God and not our own.

It is not what people hear us say that convinces them our God is an awesome God–it is what they see us do–in trying times as well as the good times–that convinces them of our God.

God is faithful to keep us focused on Him when we allow Him to do so. If we’re going to boast–let this be our boast–He is faithful–and we must learn to do the same.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to become more like You with each breath we take and show others by what we do, not what we say–just how awesome You are.