Let’s be Practical about Faith- #1 to Practice Devotion to God!

How can I be or show more devotion and love for God?   I came across a list of 9 practical ways for God’s people to experience love and commitment to God.  I want to pursue each way with you as I know I need my faith to be real and practical.  God desires that I know and seek Him each day.

Our first practical step in showing devotion and love for God is to recount His attributes.  There are many examples for us to follow in scripture of praise given to God for who He is.   1 Samuel 2:1-10 is a prayer of praise given by Hannah  because of her love and devotion to God who gave her the desire of  her heart, a son named Samuel.  Here is 1samuel2 1verse 1-2 ““My heart rejoices in the Lord!
    The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
    I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
    There is no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.   Hannah praises God in her heart and knows He alone is holy, steady and all powerful. 

David praises the Lord in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 as God has provided all the materials they will need to build the temple.  See here in verses 11-12 how David praises God for his greatness, power, glory and majesty.  He realizes that God owns, creates and is sovereign ruler of all things.  Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.”

Psalms is another good source for finding praise for who God is and what He alone can do.  Psalm 93 is short but packed with praises for who God is.

The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty.
    Indeed, the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength.
The world stands firm
    and cannot be shaken.

Your throne, O Lord, has stood from time immemorial.
    You yourself are from the everlasting past.
psalm 93 1The floods have risen up, O Lord.
    The floods have roared like thunder;
    the floods have lifted their pounding waves.
But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
    mightier than the breakers on the shore—
    the Lord above is mightier than these!
Your royal laws cannot be changed.
    Your reign, O Lord, is holy forever and ever.   The psalmist sees God as eternal, all powerful, reigning king over all creation, unchanging and majestic beyond measure.

How do you see God?  Can you praise God for His attributes because you have personally experienced them in your life?  Join Hannah, David and the psalmist in praising God for those ways He has impacted your life with His marvelous character.  God has shown me His mercy, comfort, love, grace, hope, compassion, guidance, power, accessibility, and each day the list lengthens as God is unchanging and eternally present in my life.  Thank you Lord.

God-Attributes
Recount His Attributes today!

Have a blessed day as you meditate on the ways God has personally ministered to you because of who He is not because of who you are.  Praise Him today!

Linda

No God, No Thanks = useless thinking

What are the effects of not acknowledging God and being thankful?  As I pondered that thought I was led to Romans 1:19-22For what can be known about God is plain Romans-1-20to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”  Paul is explaining that all people know about God because they see His power in nature, and the creation that is all around them.  He says they have no excuse for not knowing there is a God.  Creation is too magnificent to have happened by chance and the power of the wind, rain, sun and seasons are so orderly and precise they could not have been by happen-chance.  Paul continues, 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”    Paul is saying that when people continue to not acknowledge God they become futile, ineffective, useless in their thinking and their hearts turn away from God with dark and foolish thoughts of pride, contempt, greed, and gain. The center of their life’s focus is on them and what they can get or achieve.  

Francis schafferPaul was talking about people who did not believe in God, who refused to believe He exists and how it effects their thinking and future.  However, part of this lesson could be applied to the one who takes credit for all the good things in their life, their success at work, having a great family or home, having money in the bank and being able to take great vacations.  All of those things come to us from God.  He is the source of all wealth and honor and the glory, praise belongs to Him.  I need to call myself up short if I begin to go down that road with that kind of futile thinking as it leads to dishonoring God.

Today as you consider all you have- thank God for those things, for the ability to do the things you do, for your health and family, your job, your home and most especially your faith in Jesus…. Philippians 4:19 is one philip 4 19of my favorite promises and reminds me who the provider of all is. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Linda

Saved by Jesus! Amazing and True!

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have a Savior.  A savior is by definition is one who saves.  Jesus saved me from sinRomans 6:23  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   Jesus saved me so I could know God personallyPsalm 91:14-16 describes this relationship with God and what God will do because I love and trust in Jesus. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver Trust mehim;  I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

One of my favorite passages that explains how and why Jesus is my Savior is Titus 3:4-7.  Titus was a young convert of Paul and did missionary work with him after his imprisonment in Rome.  They went to Crete together to spread the word about Jesus.  In his letter to Titus, Paul explains the truth about Jesus, His gracious mercy in coming, His cleansing and renewing of our lives with His Holy Spirit and His marvelous grace.

Titus 3 5But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Luke 1 47Truly, there is no Savior other than our Lord Jesus. Let us join Mary today in saying, “and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” Luke 1:47

Linda

Suggestion: We know Jesus saved us from sin but what did He save you to?  Think of at least 5 things that you can do now because you are saved by Jesus and have a relationship with God.  (Hint- I can pray and know He will answer, I can ….)  When you finish your list- offer it up to God with Praise and Thanksgiving in Jesus’ Name.

Are you tapping into God’s wisdom? If not, why not?

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have access to God’s wisdom.  In James 1:5 we learn that though Christ we have the ability to ask God for james 1 5wisdom. If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.”   James makes it known that God gives wisdom to help us in our daily decisions and won’t put us down in any way for asking.  James also assures us that God generously wants to give us wisdom for living.  We can trust that all God’s advice is good.  Nahum 1:7 assures us of God’s goodness and Jeremiah  29:11 reminds us that all God’s plans and purposes for us are good. Therefore, we can be assured that good advice always comes from Him.   Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good a refuge in times of trouble, He cares for those who trust in Him.”  Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  God is good; it is an integral part of His character.  We can trust Him and know that He will not give us bad advice or lead us in the wrong way.  I don’t know about you, but it comforts me to know that God is willing to share His wisdom with me and guide me.

How do I get godly wisdom?  Proverbs 1:7 tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;  fools despise wisdom and instruction.”   Having the right heart attitude that shows reverence for God and His great wisdom is the place to start.  Then look into God’s Word, spend time in prayer fellowshiping with Him allowing God the opportunity to lead you in His way.  If we are diligent and patient, God will reveal His perfect will to us. God tells us “We do not have because we do not ask.  We do not receive because we ask with wrong motives.” James 4:2b-3  Prayer that is honest, sincere and heartfelt is required.  One other thought, the Lord promises to give us wisdom generously.  We won’t get just a little bit of wisdom but enough to do what God has for us to do!

Lindaneed wisdom

Suggestion:  Think of a problem that is coming up this week, a relationship that needs work, or a task that needs to be accomplished.   Pray and seek God’s wisdom in how to specifically proceed.  Then wait and be amazed at the results.

 

 

 

Faith=treasure, truth, peace and knowledge of God

care-trustAs the psalmist nears the end of his lengthy outpouring of praises and petitions to God in Psalm 119:161-168, he lays bare before God his struggles with persecutors.  He relies upon God’s Word and character to uphold him.  Powerful people harass me without cause,  but my heart trembles only at your word.   I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.“(161-2)  He knows that God’s Word contains power to overcome and sustain.  He considers it a treasure.  He also discovered that as he called upon God throughout the day he received peace and had strength to face the tough circumstances he encountered. ” I will praise you seven times a day because all your regulations are just.  Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. (164-5)  The psalmist concludes with what he knows about God.  He is the one who saves.  I long for your rescue, Lordso I have obeyed your commands.” (166)   God knows him intimately and loves his obedience. Yes, I obey your commandments and laws  because you know everything I do.” (168)  

Is God’s Word a treasure for you? Do you gain power to overcome by reading and meditating upon it’s truths?  Do you pray throughout the day reminding yourself of the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit?  Do you find peace? Do you obey and trust God because you know His character?  Do you know that He knows you personally?   Can you join the psalmist in obedience to God’s Word because of who He is and what He does?  The psalmist trusted God in all things and called upon Him throughout his day in faith.  Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 and 6 “Faith shows the reality of faith tells mewhat we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”  “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”   Making God real involves faith in who He is and what He has done for us in Jesus.  Pleasing God involves seeking Him and accepting the gift of faith in Jesus.  He promises sincere seeking will be rewarded by faith.

Walking by faith in God and His Word is the psalmists answer to life’s problems, may it be mine also.

Linda