Sunday, February 19, 2012
This has become one of my very favorite passages of scripture. The more I understand what it is really saying, the more I love it. When you read that, what do you think? If I love God, he will give me everything I want? That is not what that means. At least not exactly.
If we take a look at our earthly relationships, we may be able to better understand this scripture. When you are single, you have your own wants, your own desires, and ideas. But when you meet someone and fall in love with them, those things change. When I delight in my husband, I want the things he wants, not only the things I want. his desires become my desires. It is only by having a deep, intimate relationship that makes that happen. I am not my own anymore.
To take delight in someone means to give pleasure, or be pleasing to. So when this scripture says "Take delight in the Lord" that means to give God pleasure. And if we have a deep, intimate relationship, and communication with God, our desires become the desires that are pleasing to God. Not the things that I want. This has become my favorite scripture because I have really seen it in action. Over time, and communication with God through prayer, and his word, my desires have changed. I desire things I never would have thought I would desire. And they are not things I desire for my own personal benefit. They are things I desire for HIS kingdom benefit. He had never told me no when I have asked for an opportunity that I knew was a desire he was placing on my heart.
Read what comes after "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your hearts desires.":
Psalm 37:5-6 (NLT)Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
When you commit everything you do to the LORD, he takes delight in you.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tolerance is something being sought after a lot in this current age. Those of us who believe in God, and desire what is right are being asked to tolerate things that we know are wrong. We are called hypocrites by unbelievers because we are not perfect. I don't know anyone who has ever claimed to be sinless, therefore, just because we sin, doesn't mean we are hypocrites. We are human.
I do find it hypocritical though, that the people who are asking that we tolerate their beliefs, refuse to tolerate ours. That is a little one sided, isn't it?
See, the difference between believers and non believers is that believers accept the fact that God is real and that we do have a higher power. So to ask us to "tolerate" the evil things of this world, is to ask us to actually be hypocrites.
Romans 12:9 (NLT)
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
Tolerating people and tolerating actions are not the same thing. Just because we do not tolerate things we see as evil does not mean we should treat those who don't believe the same as us as though they are evil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). And to tolerate people and to love them are not the same thing. We are not told to tolerate our enemies, but to love them. Jesus was not sent to this world to condemn but to save it (John 3:17). What makes us think we have the right to judge others? We can't force anyone to believe the same as we do. All we can do is plant seeds of faith every opportunity we can get. We can guard our children and teach them well so that when they are faced with these things, they will make wise choices. We can't shelter them, at least not forever. So the best thing to do is equip them with the truth and teach them to love others and to show true compassion for everyone.
Ephesians 4:30-32 (NLT)
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Matthew 5:46-49 (NLT)
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:18-20)