RSS

Grace

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city. The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?” (Jonah 3:10–4:11, NRSV)

That is why I ran to Tarshish because I knew you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and ready to relent from punishing, and those people in Ninevah deserve to be punished.

Jonah ran away because he knew God would be gracious. He knew God would forgive them. And he didn’t want that.

Jonah knew who God was and didn’t want to have it that way because it didn’t fit his plan.

And when God took care of him and then took that away he was upset again. Jonah wanted to control everything when nothing was his to control.

Do we let God’s grace work through our lives or do we try to control what happens?

Should God not care for all of His creation and pour grace upon grace over it?

Advertisements
 
 

Tags: , , , ,

generous

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:1-16, NRSV)

It’s not fair that those people get the same as we do.

It’s not fair that those people should be included like us.

It’s not fair…

You see God is gracious and generous. God is slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. So that all people will come to know His love!

It’s not fair, it is gracious and generous. And for every person you say it’s not fair they are included, there are that many if not many more who are crying it is not fair that you are included!

So allow God’s generous heart that included you include others!

 

Tags: , , , ,

Bless the Lord

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust. As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken word. Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will. Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul. (Psalm 103, NRSV)

Every time I come to this Psalm I think of the camp song, Bless the Lord O, my Soul.

Because God does so many wonderful things for us, He alone deserves our praise.

 

Tags: , , , ,

tradition!

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died. (Acts 6:8-15, 7:54-60, NRSV)

“This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” He is going to change our traditions!

We have to do it this way because this is the way we have always done it and that is how I learned it.

How many times have we heard that?

Traditions are a wonderful part of our lives and give us a rich history to hold on to. But doing things one way because that is how we have always done them does not always make sense. We are living growing beings. And doing things the same way all the time can border on being traditional, not upholding a tradition. If we hold the tradition we will allow things to grow and change as it needs to, but insisting things stay the same is putting the tradition as our god and is being traditional.

Let God have the space in your life to move and grow and shape you into the person He needs for you to be.

 

Tags: , , , ,

How to Pray for the Migliorisi Family​

How to Pray for the Migliorisi Family​

The Migliorisi Family are friends of my family that need our prayers right now. And this article reminds us of ways we can pray for them and for all people. Prayer is not a last ditch effort but a lifetime of love for our Lord!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.

Prayer should be our first response, not the last resort.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalms 145:18

Our friends are hurting, and with sincere hearts, we say we will pray yet do we really know what to pray?   We stand at the threshold of heaven and earth and sometimes struggle to know just what to pray.  Our Heavenly Father knows our hearts, and we don’t need eloquent words to speak with Him, but beauty is revealed in the intimacy of bringing forward our earnest, specific cries on behalf of those hurting (Psalm 18:6).  Below are a few tangible examples of prayers you can speak on behalf of the Migliorisi family members and those that will be taking care of Avery.   Start here and continue to expand and listen for new needs as this journey…

View original post 706 more words

 
 

follow the Lord

Then David set out and came to the place where Saul had encamped; and David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him. Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai went to the army by night; there Saul lay sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the army lay around him. Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand today; now therefore let me pin him to the ground with one stroke of the spear; I will not strike him twice.” But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can raise his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?” David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him down; or his day will come to die; or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed; but now take the spear that is at his head, and the water jar, and let us go.” So David took the spear that was at Saul’s head and the water jar, and they went away. No one saw it, or knew it, nor did anyone awake; for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them. Then David went over to the other side, and stood on top of a hill far away, with a great distance between them. David called to the army and to Abner son of Ner, saying, “Abner! Will you not answer?” Then Abner replied, “Who are you that calls to the king?” David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy your lord the king. This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lordlives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the Lord’s anointed. See now, where is the king’s spear, or the water jar that was at his head?” Saul recognized David’s voice, and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.”And he added, “Why does my lord pursue his servant? For what have I done? What guilt is on my hands? Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the Lord who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering; but if it is mortals, may they be cursed before the Lord, for they have driven me out today from my share in the heritage of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ Now therefore, do not let my blood fall to the ground, away from the presence of the Lord; for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea, like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.” Then Saul said, “I have done wrong; come back, my son David, for I will never harm you again, because my life was precious in your sight today; I have been a fool, and have made a great mistake.” David replied, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and get it. The Lord rewards everyone for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord gave you into my hand today, but I would not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed. As your life was precious today in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he rescue me from all tribulation.” Then Saul said to David, “Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place. (1 Samuel 26:5-25, NRSV)

David could have killed Saul, but he knew he was God’s anointed. So David dare not go against God.

David could have taken care of the man who was pursuing him to kill him, but it was against what God wanted.

How many of us would nto have killed Saul and taken care of our problem?

But in taking care of that problem, how many more would we create?

 

Tags: , , , ,

to eat or not to eat

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then, each of us will be accountable to God. (Romans 14:1-12, NRSV)

Welcome everyone and do not judge them. They will stand or fall before God for their life.

We need to be concerned about our own lives and help others to see the love God has for them.

So don’t judge someone if they don’t eat, and don’t judge someone if they do. Love everyone as God loves you.

 

Tags: , , , , ,