The Question of the Day

My devotional reading posed a question that I could not answer in the limited space given! How do you sum up in only a few words such an all-encompassing question as In what ways has God shown you patience?

Oh my! Well. For starters, God has been so patient with my lack of consistency. It effects so much! I have struggled with inconsistency most of my life. Being the personality I am, I think I naturally have a compelling need to be accepted. We all do to one degree or another, right? But coupled with being raised in a home where one of my parents was a firm and sometimes harsh and demanding perfectionist himself created a deep and often times unfulfilled need in me. I so very much wanted to meet expectations, to “measure up.” Yet being inconsistent undermined and often eroded away the road that could take me to that goal.

Being inconsistent has led to a lifetime of not meeting expectations of my own, much less the expectations of others. Whether the expectations of others were real or only perceived would be another great question of the day! Suffice it to say I have not been consistent in prayer, in fervor for attending church, in housework, in quiet patience with my husband, in Bible reading…the list could go on and on. That is why one of my favorite and dearest attributes of God’s love for me—and He is the same with each of us — is His patience and being longsuffering. To me, longsuffering is the combined properties of His great love added to His great patience. Yes it is patience– it is His loving patience. It is God’s selfless love seeing the potential in this weak human and waiting for it to bloom.  Thankfully there has been some maturing through the ages, some improvement, and He certainly blessed me when He gave me the breakthrough of being daily in the Word.  It has been two years now of very few days missed spending time reading/listening to scripture.  What a blessing that consistency is!

I believe it grieves His heart so that He hurts when we do not live in all He has provided for us. After all, look at what it cost Him and His only Son to provide abundant life for us. They went through the agonies of the cross together, yet separated. God the Father cannot look upon sin. Yet to purchase our forgiveness, Jesus, who knew no sin, had to take upon Himself the sins of the entire world. So in the most agony-filled moment of Jesus’ life, God the Father had to turn away from and not help, not support, not show love to His only and dearly loved Son. What agony for both!

This was a horrific, painful separation of Father and Son. Yet they both were determined to love each other and us through the pain because they knew the death of Jesus on the cross was the only way to redemption from ALL sin, for all who would accept that wonderful gift of salvation. All this was done so that we might thrive in Him. All this was endured so we might know the joy and the fullness of the Holy Spirit operating in our life, of faith, hope, peace, joy, health, gentleness, strength…. that list too goes on and on. His selfless love forgives and draws us, forgives and challenges us, forgives and stands by us. He loves. He LOVES us. Oh what boundless love He has for us! I am grateful, thankful, and loving Him all the more for His patience and being longsuffering with me.

Thank You, my Father, my Lord, my Savior, my Comforter, my Guide, my Deliverer, my Healer, my Wisdom….my all in all. HOW GREAT THOU ART!

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Thankful

We have so much to be thankful for!

One huge thing is God constantly encouraging us to draw closer to Him.

I am thankful for good books, good people, Christian radio and TV programs, cd’s and even old audio cassettes that turn my heart to the Lord and draw my attention to what is most important: Living for God, becoming more like Him, learning more about His ways and what He wants me to be.

Not do, but be. He wants me to be more like Him. He wants me to enjoy Him. He wants me to love Him and others as He first loved me…unconditionally, forgiving and rejoicing in the grace and forgiveness given ME so freely. Thank you Lord for reaching out to me through all these avenues and ever calling me to Be Like You. It’s a process… and so worth it.

Oh To Hear Him!

Have you ever gotten so caught up in reading something that time gets away from you, or you read more than ‘assigned’ for a daily reading?  Well it happened to me again.  In my daily scripture writing (see Facebook group DAY BY DAY SCRIPTURE &  JOURNAL), all of March to date has been from John 1.  I got so caught up in the happenings of verses 29-31 yesterday that I didn’t notice I had completed the day’s scripture assignment and wrote verse 32 as well.  Today I wrote the remainder of today’s writing:  verses 33 & 34.  It stood out to me (1) how John heard from God ahead of time what he would see, what it would mean, and Who would be in his presence, and (2) how important that knowledge was for the entire future of all mankind, and (3) how important it is to hear God when He speaks to each of us!

(NKJV). John 1:32-33  “32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

Remember, John the Baptist was the cousin who, pre-birth, leapt in his mother Elizabeth’s womb when Mary, mother-to-be of Jesus, entered Elizabeth’s home and spoke.  The Spirit in John recognized being in the presence of Christ!  (Luke 1:41 NKJV  And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.)

So John heard the Spirit tell him that he would see the Spirit descend upon and remain upon The One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.  (Jesus Himself.)  Because John listened, he took note when at the Jordan baptizing people in water, when he saw the form of a dove landing upon a man.  And when it remained, he knew that this was who they had been looking for; it was Jesus, the promised one!

Just before coming into the living room to write out my scriptures for the day, and as I walked through our kitchen, I wondered if there are any answering machine messages.  I don’t usually think that while here in the house, but that is what came to my mind.    And I figured likely not…we haven’t had any for quite some time.  Yet because I ‘heard’ that thought, I looked … and there was the flashing light and little beep telling me we had a message waiting for us.  Now I am not saying that it was God who alerted me to check for a phone message, but at the same time, I enjoy these little ‘reminders’ that it just could be Him making me aware to “stay tuned”, as the old tv shows used to tell us!

I want to be so in tune with Him that I hear Him.  I do not want to miss even the little things He has for me, much less the big things God has for not only me, but those whose lives I can influence for good by hearing His directive and obeying.

My prayer:  Dear Lord, cause my heart to listen to You above all the distractions and interruptions of my days, so I can follow You and not miss out on the blessings that hearing Your voice and directives will bring me and those in my sphere of influence.  In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Seek Ye First

SEEK YE FIRST

 

We sit alone and wonder, “Lord, when will my turn be?”

When all the while He’s calling, “Child, come; spend time with me.”

“Seek ye first the Kingdom,” is what we’re called to do

“And then,” He says, “these other things will be added unto you.”

 

We want the Lord to hear us, when we turn to Him and cry,

Yet to yield and do His bidding, we only weakly try.

There’s so much to distract us: our daily work and play–

That to our heavenly father, we seldom stop to pray.

 

We mean to do His bidding, and answer to His call,

But easily lose focus.  Our strength indeed is small.

Oh Father please forgive us.  Cause us to understand

The importance of obeying, and fulfilling our Master’s plan.

 

For souls about us are dying without a shred of hope.

They have no faith in Jesus, they don’t know how to cope.

They’re lost without a compass, so tired–in need of rest.

They do not know God loves them, and offers them His best.

 

That’s why we need God’s power to live His love each day

To shine God’s light upon the path for those who have lost their way.

His strength in us is perfect when our weakness we give to Him

He takes the foolish of this world to confound those who need Him.

 

Let’s lay aside the habits and things that now sidetrack

That keep us from God’s purpose, let’s to His will turn back.

It takes an effort on our part.  God does not do it all.

“Lord, we repent and turn to You.  Be thou our all in all.”

 

–written January 7, 2007.  Pat Hunter.