The Attributes of God, A Source of Comfort

Attributes of God

I Take Comfort in God’s Attributes

March has been a sad month. Once again, death has taken another loved one from my life. Yet, I take comfort in God’s attributes. I started reading through the Psalms looking for them. Here is what I found from a select few.

Comfort is Found in Your Attributes, Lord!

I take comfort knowing that You know the way of the righteous (Psalm 1:6).

You are my refuge and a shield about me. You are my glory and the lifter of my head when I am downcast (Psalm 2:12b; 3:3).

It is comforting to know that You uphold all who are falling and raise up all who are bowed down (Psalm 145:14).

You only need to open Your hand to satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:16).

You are righteous in all Your ways and kind in all Your works (Psalm 145:17).

The greatest comfort is knowing that You are near to all who call on You, to all who call on You in truth (Psalm 145:18).

You fulfill the desire of those who fear You; You also hear them when they cry and save them (Psalm 145:19).

These are but a few of Your many wonderful and amazing attributes.

I can turn to God for comfort because He knows all things; He is my refuge and lifter of my head. He satisfies all my needs. He is near to me when I call or cry out to Him. He will uphold me when I fall. Therefore, I will praise the Lord forever and ever.

Grief is never easy and without God, I could not bear it. My heart is grieving over the loss but I know that God is near and will see me through this yet again. Praise His holy name.

Related Link: A Psalm of Praise unto My Lord!

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Fasting and Mourning for Days

Fasting, mourning along with prayer

In light of the shootings in our schools, Nehemiah is a good example for us to follow. He mourned and fasted over the state of Jerusalem. How often do you hear of people fasting, mourning, and praying over a tragic situation? Well, people do hold prayer vigils but those often only last a day or so.

Nehemiah is an Example of Fasting & Mourning

Nehemiah was the cup-bearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes during the time that the people of Israel were beginning to return to Jerusalem. The cupbearer was a noble position. This was a place of trust and close connection to the King. He would be the one to taste the King’s food and drink to prevent the King from being poisoned.

With that being said, when we read the book of Nehemiah Chapter 1 and 2 we read about the character of the cup-bearer. In chapter one, he had heard from a man from Judah that Jerusalem was in bad shape. “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” Nehemiah 1:3 ESV

His Reaction to Tragic News

His response was immediate. He sat down and wept and mourned for days. Not only that but he continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. This man must have known the scriptures for he prayed mightily. “O LORD God of Heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant and steadfast love…” 1:5 ESV

Furthermore, he must have been in mourning and fasting for close to four months. In chapter 2, much time had passed since Nehemiah had received the troubling news. His countenance must have been downcast for even the King noticed that his cup-bearer was not happy. It was customary in those days for the servants to be happy in their service and could be punished if they were not.

Yet, the King had respect for His cup-bearer and wanted to know why he was sad and what could be done. The king’s servant made a quick prayer and then answered the king. There were several requests that the cupbearer made and each one the king gave.

What Can We Learn From His Example?

Well, I will be the first one to admit that I don’t stop and mourn when I hear the tragic news. It does sadden me but only for a while. I need to desire to be like the cup-bearer and not only mourn but also fast and pray before my God, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments.

Therefore, maybe churches might encourage their members to fast and pray on the behalf of those who lost loved and for our nation. So the next time you hear of a tragedy what will you do?

Related post: Let’s Feast on God’s Word

Related Link on Fasting: 12 Reasons to go Hungry

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Jesus is the Greatest Valentine’s Ever!

Jesus is God's Valentine

This Easter season is unique because Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day and Easter will be on April fool’s day. So here is some food for thought on this. See why Jesus is the God’s greatest valentine to us!

Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday

What an excellent way to the beginning of the Lenten season! On Valentine’s Day, we give our loved ones a gift to show our love. Yet, the greatest expression of love is that God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to show us how great His love is for us. Our sins came between us and God. Therefore, Jesus paid the ultimate price in order that we would be reconciled to God. As my sister once said, “God would rather die than live without us.” Can you think of a greater act of love?

April Fool’s Day/Easter

Furthermore, I can’t think of a better day for Easter to fall on. For Jesus fooled the devil into thinking that he had won when Jesus was crucified. Yet again, God pulled the wool over the devil’s eyes on the third day when Jesus rose from the dead. Yes, you can’t keep a good man down. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow.

Easter Triumph

Do you want more food for thought? Then I suggest that you mark your calendar for March 24th 3 pm or 6 pm and go see The Easter Triumph. This is the 60th year of this live-action Passion Play. They also have a Facebook page The Easter Triumph Passion Play. I have been blessed to have been a part of this a couple of years ago and I have family members who are actively involved in it this year.

Don’t take my word for it. Go see it for yourself and experience the greatest Valentine ever given! My Redeemer lives!

Related link: Excruciating Means out of the cross

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Always Thankful 3 Reasons To Be

Always thankful

There are 3 very good reasons to be thankful always and in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Reason #1 to be Always Thankful

The first reason is our Creator God who made the heavens and the earth and His purpose for the law. When was the last time you went out at night and looked up into the sky without any light pollution to see the vastness of the stars? It has been a long time for me but I am still amazed at the vast number of stars. God knows each of their by name and holds them in their places. Isaiah 40 speaks of God’s greatness. I particularly like verse 28,

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.”

Not only did He create the heavens and earth, He also placed the earth in the right place for us to exist and to be able to look up into the heavens and see who created them. He went on to give us the law for a purpose which is to make us aware of sin. All have sinned and the wages of the sin is death. No one can say they are without sin for they are deceiving themselves.

Reason #2 is the Cross

The second reason for continued thankfulness is the cross. Yet, while we were sinners and because of God’s great love for us, He sent His one and only Son to pay the price that we ourselves could not.

For you see, Jesus came to be a ransom for many and a sacrifice once and for all. He without sin became the propitiation for our sins. He despised the shame of the cross so that by believing in Him we might have eternal life and be called the children of God.

Therefore, our debts have been paid in full. I don’t know about you but I like the sound of that. So in order to be always thankful, we ought to be “cross-eyed”- always keeping the cross before us.

Reason #3 is that Our Trials Serve a Purpose

The third reason for being thankful in all our circumstances is even though our trials are not easy they do serve a purpose and we are not alone in them. God works in all things for the good of those called according to His purpose. We can consider it joy because the testing of our faith is working out perseverance and steadfastness. Pardon the phrase, but it is building character. God will see us through it all to the other side where we come out stronger.

An attitude of gratitude will go along way and sustain you better than grumbling and complaining would. People will want to be around you because of it for who likes to be in the company of a disgruntled person.

Therefore, I challenge you to be a “cross-eyed” always thankful child of God. Go and tell of God’s wondrous deeds.

For an example of thankfulness read: David; A Man of Thanksgiving

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Beloved; What Does This Mean?

Beloved

Beloved as defined by dictionary .com as 1. Adj.- greatly loved; dear to the heart and 2. Noun – a person who is greatly loved. Paul, Peter, John, and Jude all referred to believers as beloved. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul told the Thessalonians that they were greatly loved by the Lord. We are, too, greatly loved by God for He sent His one and only Son to die for us. Therefore,

You are Beloved.

As beloved children of God, we are commanded to teach the ways of Christ to others. We are to flee from idolatry. Be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. We are called to be imitators of God. (1 Corinthians 4:17; 10:14; 15:58 ESV)

Paul’s Wisdom

I particularly like the instructions that Paul gave to the Colossians 3:12-13,

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (ESV)

Peter’s Instructions

Peter also used this reference to those he loved. In 1 Peter, he encouraged those he greatly loved to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which waged war on the soul. Furthermore, he told them not be become discouraged when fiery trials came upon them to test them. (1 Peter 2:11; 4:12 ESV)

John’s Insight

In the first and third book of John, John told those he loved to love one another as God loved them. Thus, he went on to say that they should not be imitators of evil but imitate good. This goes for us as well. (1 John4:7; 4:11; 3 John 1:11 ESV)

Jude’s Directions

Let us not forget Jude. He told those he loved to contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints. Have you ever had to contend for your faith? (Jude 1:3 ESV)

Later, he told them what would cause division and then said,

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Jude 20-21 ESV

Therefore, dearly loved by God, go and contend for your faith, love one another as Christ loved you, and do not give into the passions of the flesh. Teach others the ways of Christ. Do the work of the Lord knowing that your labor is not in vain.

Related link: Best Advice a Friend Ever Gave Me

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Come On Let’s Celebrate God’s Victories!

Celebrate God's Victories

Reason to Celebrate!

In the Bible study that I am currently in, we have been reading the book of Esther. Near the end of the book, the Jews were instructed to celebrate for two days following the second edict.

Before I go too far I would like to give you some backstory. The book of Esther is the story of the Jews while in exile. I don’t want to go into great detail so I would encourage you to read the book for yourself. But, you need to know that there was an edict written by Haman, second to the king, to have all the Jews killed in all the provinces (of which there were 127). Once the edict was sealed by the King it was not revocable. Therefore, the Jews were facing annihilation.

So, this is where God interceded though His name is not mentioned. Esther was the queen and herself a Jew. Her uncle Mordecai had her intercede on behalf of her people to the King. She did and made known to the King Haman’s plot against her and her people. You will want to read the book of Esther because the irony in this story just call out that God had a hand in it.

To Make a Long Story Short.

Mordecai was given Haman’s position from which he was allowed to write an edict that permitted the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies, thus the cause for celebration.

In our discussion time, we had a question about what victories God has won in our lives. And how could we commemorate and celebrate these victories? For me, I thought of the day that marks the reconciliation between me and a dear family member. Therefore, I will mark this day with joy and share it with my family.

In the aforementioned Bible story, the Jews were to celebrate the feast of Purim. They did so by giving gifts of food not only to family members but also to the poor. I would like to do something similar to mark my special day.

Related Link: Share of God’s Grace in Your Life

What reason do you have to celebrate God’s goodness?

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Love Others as You Love Yourself

Love Yourself

How Do You Love Yourself?

For me, I started with reading about what God thinks of me. This leads me to love myself because I am created in His image (Genesis 1:27). I am His workmanship and created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). This means I am His work of art, unique and one of a kind. There is no one else like me.

Not only does He love me but He also gave His one only Son to die for my sins (John 3:16). Jesus did this while I was still a sinner. I did not deserve it.

Another thing, God rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). This is a comfort to know that God loves me so much that He rejoices over me with singing.

So, with this in mind, how does one go about loving oneself? First, you need to change the way you think about yourself. Know that you are loved by God. If God loves you enough to send His Son to die for you, then you have no reason for not loving yourself. Any other thinking is from the devil who wants to rob you of that great love. So submit yourselves to God and resist the devil and he will flee.

Second, way to love yourself is to care for your body. For as a Christian, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Now, I have to admit that this is a struggle for me. Though, I do want to live a long life I am not good at eating the right foods and getting enough exercise.

Last but not least is remembering to whom you now belong. As a believer, you are a child of God. As a child of God, you are loved and cherished by your heavenly Father. Out of this great love you can now cherish others as you cherish yourself.

In what ways can you love yourself?

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The Best Advice a Friend Ever Gave Me.

Best advice

Some time back, a dear friend gave me some really good advice. She told me that it is not what you do that is important but what you be. In other words, it is not the doing that matters the most but how you BE. For example, be kind, forgiving, considerate, and compassionate, these are what really matters.

What Advice Does God’s Word Have for Us?

Therefore, I went looking into God’s Word as to how I am to be. I found several references in how I am to be and not to be. This really got me to thinking. What if we as believers thought more about the being rather than the doing, what a profound effect we would make in the world?

For instance, take Ephesians 4:32. We are to BE kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving as Christ forgave us. This alone could rock the society and it would draw others to Christ.

How does it make you feel when someone shows you kindness? You feel respected as a person, right? You matter!

What about tenderhearted or I like to think of it as compassion? We could all use a bit of compassion. Think how this might bring about a welcome change to those in your neighborhood and/or church when we show mercy and extend a helping hand.

Don’t forget about forgiveness! This is central to being a Christ follower. He forgave us while we were still sinners and He expects us to forgive others just the same. This is where true freedom lies because the unwillingness to forgive holds one captive.

Let’s not forget Colossians 3:15b. We are to BE thankful. Gratitude is a game changer. When I focus on God and give Him thanks for all the many blessings and for the trials that come my way, I am changed from the inside out. My countenance is brighter and my heart is full of joy.

How Do We Act on This Advice?

Now, this may sound easier said than done but we do not have to try this on our own. For this will not be possible. But through prayer and God’s Word, God will empower us through His Holy Spirit. This is a mystery, yet I know that with God all things are possible. I have experienced His help in my own life.

Just ask the Lord to help you BE kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. He is more than able to do far more than all we ask or think. This is just a glimpse at but a few of the ways are to BE.

Here is a few more scripture that you can read to find out more; Ephesians 5:1, 17-21; Philippians 2:1-7, 14-15; 4:6; 1 Peter 1:14-16; Romans 12:2; James 1:9.

Here is a related link: Put on the New Self

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3 Reasons to Read “This Dangerous Book”

This Dangerous Book

“This Dangerous Book”

by Steve and Jackie Green with Bill High

The first reason is their story behind the founding of the Museum of The Bible. You might ask why anyone would want to build a museum for the Bible. What makes the Bible dangerous? Steve and Jackie Green along with Bill High tell a most intriguing story has to how this journey began. They give you good reasons behind the claim that the Bible is a dangerous book yet it is also unifying one too.

The second reason is the history and the collecting of Bible artifacts. The Greens also weave in their own faith story which adds to this great read. Their travels and challenges that they faced as they gathered artifacts will keep you reading. The numbers of Bible artifacts are astounding. The more I read the more I want to go to visit the Museum of the Bible.

The third reason is their idea that the Bible should be studied and taught in schools. This is what I found to be the fascinating part of the book. The history of the Bible and its impact not only in America but in the world is dynamic and a reason for the study of the Bible. The evidence they give you of the number of people who have read and studied “this dangerous book” will draw in those who love history.

Furthermore, they give you the 5 Biblical ideas that our founding fathers established our government. A couple of these ideas are “human sinfulness posed a threat to our civil government” and “a republic needed to be sustained by virtue.” Therefore, power was divided into three branches of government and laws needed to be in place to maintain order.

Though they are people of the Book, the Greens strongly believe that the Bible can and should be studied as literature and the conclusions are for each individual reader to make for themselves.

Final Thoughts

I would highly recommend reading this book and if you get the opportunity to visit Washington D.C., go visit the Museum of the Bible. Click this link to order your copy, “This Dangerous Book.”

 

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The Word for the Year is JOY!

The Word for the Year is Joy!

The word JOY is found 242 times in the Bible including 57 times in the Psalms in the NIV. The word is defined as a noun to mean a state of happiness or felicity; expression of glad feeling. As a verb, it is to feel joy; be glad; rejoice.

What Comes to Mind When You Think of the Word Joy?

I can tell you what comes to my mind. The love of my family and making my niece giggle brings me great joy. My heart is glad because of renewed relationships. But this is all temporary. So what does the Bible say about lasting joy?

Well, there are quite a few things that the Bible says about joy. For instance, what gives joy to heart? The Word of the Lord does! It is radiant and gives light to the eyes. The precepts of the Lord are right and rejoicing to the heart. (Psalm19:8)

You will find Joy in God’s Presence!

And joy can be found in the presence of the LORD. When the world is troubling, one can turn to the LORD to rejoice and be glad. He will make known the path of life and fill you with great gladness in His presence. (Psalm 16:1; 21:6) Therefore, seek His presence and be filled to overflowing.

Those who take refuge in Him will find it!

Not only can it be found in His Presence but also when one takes refuge in Him and in the strength of the LORD. God will spread his protection over them that love His name that they may rejoice in Him. (Psalm 5:11) Thus, God is to be our refuge and strength in times of trouble.

Find Joy in the Proverbs.

There is much to be found about it in the Proverbs. Those who promote peace will find it (12:20). A wise son brings it to his father (15:20). One will find it when one gives an apt reply. (15:23). When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous (21:15). A man who loves wisdom brings it to his father (29:3). These are just a few. Therefore, seek to be wise and give a timely response.

New Testament Joy.

Furthermore, joy is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) and in James, we are to rejoice and be glad when we come into various trials (James 1:2). We are to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). The Kingdom of God is of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Hence, one can find great joy in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and in perseverance.

In conclusion, I say to you as the Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:32, May the God of hope fill you with all gladness and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (References)

Here are some related links: Joy Can Be Found in Serving Others

Count It All Joy

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