God on Vacation

I’m away from home.

Those quiet times aren’t quiet and there never is time or opportunity to deliberately spend time with Him.

The Bible studies and church gatherings I love are in the rear-view mirror.

And my Godly behavior slips away.

I think, “I can’t wait to get home and restore my Christian life to what it should be.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “But blessed in the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.”

That “tree” is not going to change, no matter what happens.  It is developing roots and has a good chance of handling anything that comes along.

When my conditions change, my relationship with God doesn’t have to change.

As a believer, I have the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit didn’t stay in Amesbury.  He travels!

“There’s so many people around and my “schedule” is all messed up!” Would I dare to think that the Holy Spirit ducks out when things get chaotic?

I need to get it into my head that the Holy Spirit is ALWAYS with me.

I cannot use my away-from-home setting as an excuse for disconnecting from Him.

Vacations are a test of my “root structure.”

I struggle with it.  How about you?

And what do you do about it?

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Love them?

Matthew 5:43-48

Do you want to get rid of your enemies?  Pray for them.

You just can’t pray for someone and hate them at the same time.

The current President seems to bring out the worst in so many people.

He tosses insults like some of us toss frisbees!

Many want to respond in kind, but today’s verses expect otherwise.

This does NOT mean that we condone evil behavior.  What’s wrong is wrong no matter who is doing it.  We must separate them from the wrongs they are doing and see them as God’s creation.  He made those folks!

I cannot love my enemies unless I am filled with God.  I don’t have the natural capability to do it.

When I am frustrated with the behavior of others, I need to glance behind their behavior at them and see them as God’s creation.

 

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You have heard it said……..but I tell you

(Matthew 5:38-39)

Jesus came to earth to straighten things out.

I am unable to function in a Godly fashion unless I am overwhelmed with Him.

Many of the things Jesus told us to do are flat out impossible.  They go entirely against natural instincts.

And this is the point of today’s entry: the natural man gets it wrong.

I want to avenge those who wrong me.  It wasn’t deserved.  They over-reacted.

But Jesus says that I must.

The teachings of Jesus were painfully clear at times.  I say, painfully, because the reader doesn’t want to believe what he/she is reading.  You want me to do what??

But back I go to recognizing that in my own strength (naturally) I can’t perform at the level He would require of me.  Therefore, I am drawn to my need for His help.

I must live my life in a tight relationship to Him. That relationship must be ongoing.

If my relationship to Him is loose than surely things will come along to reveal that looseness.

I like to ask God, “What do You want me to do?”

But it behooves me to also ask, “Will You please give me a strength this day that is embedded in You?”

I can do it His Way if He is in charge of everything I do.

 

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Open mind

“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”  Luke 24:45

We do not have the capacity to understand the Bible without God’s help.

It may be that a Godly-anointed preacher gives us explanation.

Jesus took an initiative of that sort when He explained how the Old Testament told of what He was now involved in.

The beauty of Godly insights!

You read a section of the Bible and suddenly see it in a new way.  You wonder why it has taken you so long to see it that way.  Could it be that God has now opened your mind as He did with His disciples?  I think so.

When we read Scripture, we should beforehand ask Him to please open our minds to what we’ll be reading.  I refuse to believe that He would not honor such a request.

The Scripture has much to say to you and me, but we need help to gain understanding.  We must ask Him for it.

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Getting right with wrong

“Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action.”  Luke 23:50-51

The Godly in this world shutter at the choices being made.

That which conflicts directly with the New Testament is not only considered right but is protected from correction attempts.

So how do we live in such a godless environment?

I am currently working my way through “God Guides” by Mary Geegh.  My reading today brought me to a story of how Mary dealt with wrong.  Like many of us, she was initially quick to condemn and quick, as a result, to drive someone away.  God later brought this Scripture to her: “I have not come to condemn the world but to save it.”  God told Mary to repent of condemning someone else……….and she did.  Ultimately, a relationship was restored.

How easy it is to condemn evil.  How difficult it is to see the bigger picture.  If God is doing all He can to save people, I need to find ways to do that as well.

This does not mean that I am to condone evil, but instead I need to see in that evil-doer someone God loves and wants to save.  I must do all I can to function within His framework.

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You sound like one of His

“Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” Luke 22:71

When Jesus spoke, not everyone listened…….but they should have.

Jesus identifies Himself as God’s Son.

His words were truth.  He was, indeed, God’s Son.

What He said revealed His identity.

You and I pour out a ton of words each day.  What do those words reveal?

Sadly, for many of us, our words betray what we profess.  They often portray godlessness.

I struggle with reacting badly to things.  When I’m in charge, the flow is usually Godly.  I know what I’ll be saying, and I can make sure that God is considered in the presentation.

Sadly, when someone else is directing the path of the conversation, things don’t go so well if I am not in agreement with them.

In those instances, I turn defensive and protective.  I can’t easily give in.

In today’s political climate, I wonder how those who have no use for the current President would react if he suddenly did something they had been advocating.  Would they be thankful?  Or would they instead be cynical about his new way?  Might they wonder if they were mistaken for advocating it in the first place?

In the Luke 22 verse, the listeners were convinced by the words of Jesus: He thought He was God’s Son.  His presentation was consistent with His other words and actions.

My words must be His Words.

My words must be consistently Godly.

Those in my midst are judging the reality of my relationship to God by what I say.  I must speak accordingly!

 

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Why ask?

“When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with out swords?’  And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.”  Luke 22:49-50

A question is asked and before it is answered an action, relating to the question, is taken.

How like us.

We claim to be in union with God.

We claim to have a relationship with Him.

And yet we often give Him mere lip service.

We ask for His help and plow ahead before His answer comes to us.  We assume that we know what His answer will be.

And often we don’t.

I am currently reading, “God Guides,” by Mary Geegh.  It is a collection of stories about listening to God.  I am in the early sections, but the pattern is already established: listening to God is essential.

Doing what God wants may not be what I want.  His Ways are not always my ways.  But He knows best and deserves my trust.

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