Promises, Promises . . .

August 17, 2012

 

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

                                                                                   2 Corinthians7:1

So, how often do you hear the following:

  • Definitely
  • I promise
  • Consider it done
  • Sure
  • Yes
  • I love you
  • I’m here for you
  • Call upon me anytime

How’s it working for you?  Do you believe folks when they say these things to you?  Do you doubt?  Do you sometimes wonder “what’s next . . . wonder what favor he wants?  Wonder what she did  . . .  she’s trying to get on my good side.”

I managed a office where several of my staff got flowers delivered to them, and often.  I admit, it seldom happened to me.  I also admit that with the cost of roses, as much as I love flowers there’s likely something else I’d prefer he spent money on than a dozen long stem roses from the fancy flower shop.  Know what though?  One of the girls always got angry when her husband sent flowers.  She was certain he was GUILTY of something and wasn’t gonna rest until she knew what it was. 

I’d met her husband and I don’t think he was any more corrupt than the rest of us.  I think he loved his wife.  When I got flowers, they were generally carnations.  I loved them and they lasted longer than roses and cost less and the love behind them touched my heart.  Honestly, it never came to my mind that there was a disaster heading my way and the flowers were a sign.  I admit, though, when certain people came to me with “hi, honey, how are you” I thought, “trouble’s brewing.” 

Reading Paul’s letter from which the above quote came brought these thoughts to me because of the words “we HAVE these promises” from God.  There is no doubt, there are no strings, we don’t have to perform a certain way to earn them, His love is ours whether we nail the purity part of the quote or not.  Still, purity is something I try to shoot for.  Not because I have to, not because He loves me, because I love Him. 

His love and promises are real!  We can’t lose them, can’t earn them, and He showers us with His love and grace!  If “trouble’s brewing, it’s us who’ve failed Him and not the other way around and when this happens, He still pours out Himself on us and in us.  When we humans just could get it right, what did He do?  Scrap the notion and start over?  Give up on us?  No, He gave, but He didn’t give up.  He gave His only begotten Son.  Wow!

 


Discouraged By Purity?

July 18, 2012

How many times in life have you found yourself in a situation only to realize your heart just isn’t or wasn’t in it?  It happens, right?  I was just thinking about the many times someone has preached, often on television and loudly, that in order to live a Godly life I need to be pure.  I have heard that I must never sin . . .  well, in my own mind that is impossible for the only sinless are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I do not believe sinless can be found this side of Heaven.  That being said, how are we to then be pure as we’re so often told?  Are they all preaching a message that is to DIScourage us rather an ENcourage us?  I don’t think so.  The following quote came to me:

“I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:7 NIV

 

God wants our hearts and I don’t know about you but my heart and my soul seem to “get it” more quickly than my mind does.  I have given God my heart.  My soul belongs to Him.  He lives there.  My human mind gets me off track sometimes though.  He understands this.  I believe that if we keep an “upright” heart as the psalmist says, it will lead us away from those things that do not belong in our life as followers of the Lord.  I believe we know, when we are quiet and listen to our hearts, when we have things in our daily life which our “heart is not” in. 

Late night preachers, sadly often using more television air time on the topic of our money than our hearts, tend to go for the “shock value” in the message, and while we do sometimes need to be shaken up a little, we need to be careful in listening to what can sometimes be false prophets.  The psalmist makes it clear that the heart can and should be in the “right place” while the laws are still being learned. 

We spend this entire earthly life learning, walking with Him, and sharing His Word. We ENcourage by living a Godly life.  We must not be made to feel it is possible to be truly perfect for to believe that is to put ourselves in the position of God Himself.  Our humanness makes perfection something we cannot fully reach though we must strive for a sinless life, however our hearts can be purely His.  Always, we are loved and lifted up by a loving God who first loved us.  We didn’t have to earn it, we can’t lose it.  We can return that love, share that love, and live out of that love.  We are flawed, but we can and must repent for our misdoings knowing our sins will be forgiven for He has told us this. 

Exodus 34:6

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionateand gracious God, slow to anger,abounding in loveand faithfulness”

 

 


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