Got Blessings? Are you willing to follow and listen?

When I began this series on being blessed and what it means, I started with the definition of blessed.  Being blessed is receiving a gift of divine favor, receiving good wishes or approval or receiving anything that gives happiness or prevents misfortune.  Today’s scripture in Psalm 94:12 emphasizes the receiving of happiness and stopping of misfortune which results from being open to God’s instruction and discipline.  Psalm 94:8-13  is a bit longer in the Amplified version, it brings clarity to the passage.

Consider thoughtfully, you senseless (stupid ones) among the people;
And you [dull-minded] fools, when will you become wise and understand?

psalm 94 12He who made the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
10 
He who instructs the nations,
Does He not rebuke and punish,
He who teaches man knowledge?
11 
The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath (vain, empty, futile).

12 
Blessed [with wisdom and prosperity] is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord,
And whom You teach from Your law,
13 
That You may grant him [power to calm himself and find] peace in the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked and ungodly.

The psalmist asks us to consider God and what He has done and what He knows. God can and does bless the one who follows His teachings, accepts His correction and direction and pays attention to the details of His Word.   The blessing comes when one follows God’s Word and finds God’s peace in the troubled times in which we live.

blessings-quoteHave you experienced God’s blessing of wisdom and success in your life?  Did the greatest blessings come when you followed His Word and walked with Him?  Was it a peace-filled time even though the world’s circumstances were in turmoil around you? According to scripture, you have been blessed.  The psalmist felt that way and finished this psalm in verses 23-24 with total dependence and trust in God and His power to defend and vanquish all his foes.

But the Lord has become my high tower and defense,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
23 
He has turned back their own wickedness upon them
And will destroy them by means of their own evil;
The Lord our God will wipe them out.

May you cling to Jesus today and trust Him to bless, guide and defend you as you walk with Him.

Linda

Why Transform our hearts?

God is very intentional in His transformation of our hearts.  I would say there is no wasted efforts or motions in God’s plans.  Unlike man, God is omniscient and knows the beginning and the end.  He knows where we are going and how to get us where He wants us to be.  Here are a couple of verses that point to God’s intent or purpose in transforming our hearts.

psalm 90 12Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days  that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Jeremiah 32:40 “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.”

God wants us to realize that we are accountable to Him and use our time here on earth wisely.  He desires we affect others with our lives and show His goodness and glory in what we say and do.    In the Jeremiah passage God tells us what He will do for believers.  We have an everlasting covenant of salvation in Jesus, He promises to not turn from us- He is completely faithful, He desires good for us and will do it and He wants us to love and follow Him.  God wants us to spend eternity with Him and the only way that is possible is if we wisely turn to Him, accept His salvation in Jesus and have a make-over of our heart’s desires.  A transformed heart is essential for the Christian believer and something God does with intentionality.   Look back at the ways He transforms our heart… with joy and praise, love and faith, commitment, purity, kindness, compassion and forgiveness, devotion and obedience.  His way brings results and fills our hearts with His heavenly treasures.

Jer 32 40Let’s make this a day of Thanksgiving to God for His grace and mercy.  Thanking Him that for transforming us so we can live lives of purpose and bear fruit for His kingdom.

Linda

Heartfelt Proverbs

Proverbs has a lot to say about the heart.  Sometimes the truth is given directly like in Proverbs 24:1-2  “Be not envious of evil men,  nor desire to be with them,  for their hearts devise violence,  and their lips talk of trouble” and Proverbs 6:14 describes a wicked man’s heart, with perverted heart devises evil,  continually sowing discord.”  Very often the proverbs are given with a contrast between the good heart and the bad and seek to teach or instruct us about our hearts.   Proverbs 28:14  “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,  but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. “  The writer of Proverbs was wise and desired us to know how God views the heart of man and that God would not just be an observer in our lives.  Proverbs 21:2  “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”  Proverbs 17:3 “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.”  

Proverbs also teaches how our hearts can and do please or displease God.  Proverbs 15:13-15 speaks of the cheerful, seeking heart and how a sorrow can crush the spirit of our heart.   “A glad heart makes a cheerful face,  but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. 14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.  15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.”   Proverbs 14:30 speaks of the effects of calm and envy on the heart.   A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,   but envy makes the bones rot.”  In Proverbs 6:16-19 we are given a list of things God hates that really displease Him. There are six things that the Lord hates,  seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
    and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
    feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
    and one who sows discord among brothers.”

How do these ‘heart’ proverbs speak to you today?  Is your heart cheerful and calm or do you have times when you feel discord, disharmony or evil?  Because of the root of sin in our hearts, we need to continually submit our hearts to the Lord for His continual transformation.   I love Proverbs 22:11 “He who loves purity of heart,  and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.”  I do want King Jesus as my friend so I need to submit to daily cleansing at His feet in prayer.   Won’t you join me today?

proverbs 22Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you know the true nature of my heart.  Root out the evil ways in me and replace them with your love, grace and mercy.  Give me compassion and love for others that comes out of a grateful heart.  Create in me a clean heart that desires to please you.  Amen.

Seeking to serve with a humble and contrite heart,

Linda

How can I forget the title? LOL Meditating brings sweetness!

meditating-on-gods-word
I was challenged by this truth to examine how much time I spend mediating on God’s Word.

Psalm 119:97-104 is a testimony by the psalmist about the benefits of meditating on God’s Word.  Here are the verses in the Amplified versions:

Oh, how I love Your law!                (His Word inspires love.)
It is my meditation all the day.

Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,      (Gives wisdom)
For Your words are always with me.
 
I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers [because of Your word],
For Your testimonies are my meditation.    (Gives understanding and deep insight)

I understand more than the aged [who have not observed Your precepts],
Because I have observed and kept Your precepts.        (Gives Wisdom beyond your years)

I have restrained my feet from every evil way,    (Keeps you on the right pathway)
That I may keep Your word.

I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.                  (I am taught by God)

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!             (His Word brings sweetness to me)

From Your precepts I get understanding;     (I gain understanding about possible bad choices)
Therefore I hate every false way.

Had you ever considered these benefits?   God is promising us that meditating (pondering, reflecting, considering) on His Word will cause us to internalize His ways.  He will reshape our thinking so that we reflect His wisdom, understanding, more readily accept His guidance, know His will for our lives in choices we make, accept His teaching and find sustenance that is sweetness in our lives.  If you have never meditated on God’s Word, why not give it a try and see what God reveals to you.  Here are a few verses that you could start with:  Lamentations 3:21-23, James 4:7-8a, Deuteronomy 31:6,               2 Corinthians 5:17.  These are verses that will shape your thinking, give you encouragement and guidance.  Let me know the benefits you receive from mediating on God’s Word.

His Word is life changing,

Linda