Sunday, September 20, 2009

How much do you love me?

Exodus 34:6 "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love & faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."

Deuteronomy 7:8-9 "But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh King of Egypt.  Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him & keep his commands."  

Deuteronomy 33:12 "About Benjamin, he said: "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."

1 Chronicles 16:34 "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love endures forever."  

Psalm 31:21 "Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city."

Psalm 33:18 "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love."

Psalm 36:5 "Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."  

Psalm 36:7 "How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings."  

Psalm 37:28 "For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.  They will be protected forever..."

Deuteronomy 10:12 "And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul and to observe the LORD's commands & decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Faith will bring the better

Mark 2:4-5 "And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.  And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

I love these verses.  Here we see the great faith of the paralytic's friends who put forth an extreme effort to bring their friend to Jesus.  Why?  B/C they believed he would heal him.  However, we again see proof of how God's thoughts & ways are often unlike our own (Isaiah 55:8-9).  The man is lowered into the room from the roof, quite a sight to see I'm sure, and Jesus moved by his faith tells him, "Your sins have been forgiven."  In our own ignorance we like the scribes in the room think ... "He's just going to say that he forgives his sins rather than healing him?" We see later of course that Jesus knows our thoughts (how amazing) and perceives our ignorance of his ways.  So he heals the man.  Why?  To show his authority to forgive the mans sins. 

But here's what gets me.  The truth is that Jesus forgiving the man of his sins would have been far better than him ever healing his physical impairment.  The man's faith led to Jesus' forgiveness of His sins... this is a far better blessing for great faith then the latter healing.  As Mike would say... "Can we FATHOM that?"

God blesses our great faith in him to do miracles in our lives.  However, sometimes he will not do as we think he will.  Again, we must be more about loving Jesus then getting things from him.  Jesus will always honor our faith and it's up to us to trust His ways/ His responses to our faith and to know that his blessings are far better.  Our faith will bring us what God has for us.... and that's far better than what we may think.