I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6).
A devotional by Oswald Chambers had this phrase, “As sure as God is God and you are you…” It got me thinking about the vast chasm between God and my human nature—His pure heart, my selfish heart; His foresight, my myopic vision; His unconditional love, my fickle emotions.
Quite often, the way He answers prayer is different than the way I would (we can all be glad about that). The more I pray for someone who needs to change, even if it’s legitimate, the more the Holy Spirit spotlights areas in my life that need to change.
Anyway, I’m glad that God is God and that He is still working on me.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Prov3:5).
For a short time, as an adult, I took piano lessons from an old German man, Dr. Wagner (pronounced Vagner). I loved him, but I sometimes I would get frustrated because something was missing. Then one day he remarked, “Mrs. St Clair, you play with your head, not with your heart.”
That was many, many years ago and I have applied that to my life many, many times. Sometimes I act on what I think instead of what is in my heart. But the heart is not always reliable either. What’s worse is when I act from my head instead of in faith.
Over the years, God’s faithfulness has been evident so many times. What may seem logical to me may not fit His perfect plan for my life. I’m glad He acts from the heart when dealing with me, His work in progress.
All glory to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us (Eph 3:20).
I have two thoughts on this verse. When God has answered, “Yes” to my prayers, He has amazed me by doing it in such a way that my limited mind had never imagined. I am reminded of jobs that I prayed for and how He answered with positions I would have never even pursued.
My second thought is that if He had not said, “No” to some of my requests, my life would be a hot mess at this point.
Through His power He is able to do ___*____ more than we ask or imagine. (*infinitely, exceedingly abundantly, above and beyond). And His love is equal to or surpassing that!
Mathew Henry’s commentary on this verse notes that “it is proper always to end prayers with praises. Let us expect more, and ask for more, encouraged by what Christ has already done for our souls.”
“But what about you? Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29)
Sometimes I hesitate using the word Christian because the term has been so diluted. There are many who describe themselves as Christians who believe that Jesus lived, but do not embrace His death, burial, and resurrection as a personal gift to them from a loving God.
Volumes upon volumes have been written about who Jesus was, but what is eternally important is who Jesus is…to you (see Romans 10:8).
This is the most important question in the universe. The answer can affect our eternal destiny and our eternal destination.
When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things (Rom 2:1 NLT).
It is said that when we point a finger criticizing someone, three are pointing back at us. This is a hard pill to swallow and often I excuse myself saying, “But I’m not selfish, prideful, ungrateful, vindictive, dishonest….”
Well, I might not act on those things, and even if I would never outwardly express them, my heart may be harboring things that I would never, ever want to admit to.
Thank you, Father, that every ounce of wickedness in my heart, past, present, and future, has been atoned by the cross.
Praise the Lord, oh my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name (Ps 103:1).
Just as I began writing about praising God from our deepest being, this song by Michael W. Smith came on the radio. It certainly captures the essence of this verse.
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me.
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me.
The psalmist lists many treasures with which our Heavenly Father blesses us that could come only from His mercy and grace. Verse five mentions “renewing our youth.” This one is getting more and more important as the years fly by. But only our loving Father restores that youthful vigor by giving us goals and dreams and purpose each day.
…and forget not all His benefits (Ps 103:2).
And I, I’m desperate for you.
And I, I’m lost without you.
But those whose hope is in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Is 40:31).
From time to time, the Lord convicts me of things that I need to work on and change. And when I say “I” need to change, I actually mean that “He” has to change me. That definitely does not get me off the hook though. Although He could zap me into the perfect wife, mother, or friend, in His wisdom that is not how He works.
Easy lessons unfortunately are more quickly forgotten. Most things of great value come to us through struggle. They take self-discipline and persistence on our part, but He provides the power and strength to overcome and conquer.
It is so very true that we shouldn’t be quick to judge others because everyone has a struggle or burden. But blessed are those who have trust in the Lord because our ally is wise, loving, powerful, and will lead us on the most effective path to overcoming.