Blessings of Obedience – Leviticus 26, 2015

If you are careful to obey my commands, I will shower my blessings upon you.

You will be fruitful and prosperous.March 6 b 2015 blessings of obedience

I will keep you safe.

I will bless you with peace.  You will sleep well – not fearful of anything.

I will remove all threat to your safety from your life.  Your enemies will fail.

Don’t worry about being outnumbered by the evil ones – I am on your side.  I will look upon you as my favorite child – providing for you and always being faithful.

My blessings will overflow in your life – one on top of another.

I will walk with you and live with you.  I will be your God and you will be my child.

I am the Lord your God who sent my only son to die for you so you might believe and live with me forever.

I gave you freedom so you can choose to stand faultless before me.  You can choose to walk closely beside me everyday.  You can choose to love me and listen to me.

You can choose to obey.

Thank you, Abba Father.

The Battle Rages On

We all have them – issues that we battle over and over in our lives.

The same  problem rears its ugly head again and again.  It may start out looking like it’s something different this time but it’s really not.  The core of it is that same old problem.April 10 2 sam

In 2 Samuel 21, the Israelites had the Philistines that they were battling with over and over.  And over and over.

We have our own Philistines, don’t we.  These are areas of our lives where we just aren’t winning the battle.  We can’t seem to conquer this issue.

I thought it was really interesting to hear about the Israelites battling a huge Philistine in Gath who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot.

Some of the things we battle can also feel like they have extra fingers.  They reach out these extra fingers to mess with other aspects of our lives creating more consequences and more issues.

God promises that he can give us victory in these battles.  Nothing is beyond the power of God.  Our role in this is to trust him and let him fight the battle for us as we obey him.  It’s tough to do but that’s what it’s going to take to find the victory that we’re looking for.

We forget.  We try to win the battle ourselves.  And we fail.  As long as we turn to God when we fail, we’ll keep moving closer to One who has the power to win these battles for us.  One step at a time.

Dear Father, please keep drawing us nearer to you.  We trust you to bring us victory over our personal Philistines.

Do I deserve this?

We reap what we sow.  Sometimes its very good because we have sown the things that please our Father God and he lavishes a harvest of blessing on us.  Other times we have sown things that displease our Father God and we harvest the problems and consequences of those choices.

Paul is telling the Galatians and us today that we cannot mock the justice of God.  We get the harvest we deserve.

It’s our choice.  That’s always a hard one for me – I actually chose this.  I brought these consequences upon myself.

What is my problem!!!!!!?

Sin.  It always comes back to our mutual problem of sin.  We follow our own desires, we selfishly focus on ourselves first and sometimes we just give into the pressure from the culture around us.  Call it what you want, it’s all sin.

Rationalizing it away doesn’t work, acting like everything is ok doesn’t work, trying to be good and follow all the rules doesn’t work.

Nothing works except admitting we’re a sinner, then asking Jesus to save us and finally turning over our lives to his leadership.  The first part can happen in a few minutes.  The last step is a life-long process.

Dear Father, we praise you for the opportunity you have given us for salvation through your son.  Please help us each day to grow closer to you and to become more like Jesus.

A Revolutionary

Jesus was a revolutionary.  He wasn’t conservative, he wasn’t quiet, he didn’t fit into the crowd, he didn’t follow the rules, he wasn’t intimidated by the religious leaders, and he preached a truth that was totally opposite of the culture that he was living in.

Jesus changed the world!

Paul tells us in Galatians 3 that we are the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.  We have become new people who have put on new clothes.  There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.  We are all one in Christ.

WHAT!!! 

Paul is saying this at a time that Jews looked down their noses at the Gentiles, they owned slaves who ‘slaved’ for them and the men also ‘owned’ the women – treating them like a piece of property.  Their culture was FAR from equal.

But it was true and IS true from God’s perspective.  We are all equally loved and cared for by God.  There are no boundaries and limits to God’s love and provision for us.  Jesus changed it all for all time.  He started a revolution that people are still trying to catch up with today.

Our Christian culture contiues to struggle with acknowledging that ALL people are equal in Christ.  Who do we look down our noses at?

Dear Father, we thank you for sending a revolutionary called Jesus to our world.  Please help us be part of his movement of love and truth.