His Kindness Leads

Looking for the kindness of God!

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Years ago, I once had someone tell me that God was the kindest person that they had ever met.  I pondered that statement for days.  I had never thought of God as kind, it just wasn’t something I expected of God.  However, today, I would agree whole-heartedly with this statement…..God truly is the kindest, most gracious individual I have ever encountered.  But I will confess, I haven’t always felt this way.

I grew up with a very authoritarian father and an absent mother.  My dad was always “bigger than life” to me and whatever he said RULED!  As a child, I rarely was able to express my thoughts or feelings on issues that concerned me.  It was expected that I would simply submit to the wishes of my father.  One year when I was away at college, I came home and found my dad a radically changed man.  There were some dire circumstances that had come into his life and in a moment, he had to make a choice……KNOW God or continuing living a life apart from God – trusting in his own arm of flesh.  As a result, my dad had a powerful encounter with the LORD where HIS will submitted and yielded to God’s.  This event brought about instant changes in my dad’s life.  As a result, there was a softness and gentleness about him that I had never seen.  My dad became very compassionate and caring about other people’s feelings and he exuded more patience than ever before.  I enjoyed being around my dad as a result of his new demeanor and our relationship grew and flourished.  As I entered into adulthood fully, I found my dad and I becoming great friends and there was an intimacy forming between us that I had always longed for.

I tell you all this so you can understand WHY it wasn’t always easy for me to see God as kind.  Oftentimes, the dynamics of how we relate to our earthly father is how we relate or interact with our heavenly Father.  I don’t believe this is something people are intentional about doing, it just happens.  Especially if you don’t start walking with the LORD until later in life or perhaps you didn’t have an earthly father that modeled kindness or gentleness.  Which in my situation was what happened.

The last 28 years of walking with God intimately has developed within me a deep appreciation of this truth.  As I have matured, I am able to recognize my heavenly Father as kind, loving, compassionate and slow to get angry.  All these attributes of God can be found in scriptures, but unless you spend time getting to know him personally, it will be difficult knowing Him in this way.  My journey with God has proven over and over, that He shows us His glory and lovingkindness on a daily basis- we simply need to look for it or we might miss it.

My pastor challenged us as a congregation to pray the Lord’s prayer and Psalm 23 three times a day for the entire month of January.   The last verse of Psalm 23 reads:  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”  Because I believe that God wants His word to actually get inside of us and grow, I have taken this promise to heart.  I am actually looking and expecting God’s goodness and mercy to follow me.  As I submit to His leading in my daily life, a favor has come upon me that has unlocked miracles, joy and peace, not only for myself, but my entire family.  This is what God’s goodness and mercy looks like.  Favor is the attraction of God towards you, that releases an influence through you, so that everything you need in order to accomplish your assignment begins to be drawn to you.

In the book of Exodus, Moses, a man like us, desired an intimate encounter with his God.  He prayed and asked God to show him His glory.  As God answered this request, He took Moses on a high place and “passed” before him.  God then proclaimed all of His glory and nature to Moses.  “And the LORD proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin….”

Isn’t this powerful? Isn’t this what kindness looks like?  I can just start jumping up and down on this promise alone!  This is our God!  This is our heavenly Father, that we can know, interact with and experience kindness from.  My friend, if you do not know God in this way, I beg you to do as Moses did.  Call out to God, pray and ask Him to show you His glory.  I promise you, this prayer will get answered and you will be blown away by God’s loving-kindness.

Be intentional and expect to see God’s goodness and mercy following you every day.  Turn around and look behind you – these are HIS guideposts and promises towards you as His son or daughter.

“Father, because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will always praise You.  I ask you to show me your kindness and mercy every day.  Forgive me for not trusting in Your promises.  Change my heart so that I will desire, like Moses, to have an encounter with your compassion, grace and patience.” 

Faithful Promises

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I have loved you with an everlasting LOVE!  Jeremiah 31:3

“He forgives your sins—every one.  He heals your diseases—every one.He redeems you from hell—saves your life!  He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.  He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.  He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence“.  Psalm 103:3-5 MSG

Today, if you hear His voice, do not turn away.  Turn to the LORD, the One who knit you together in your mother’s womb.  He knows you and wants to have relationship with you!

 

 

God’s Part and My Part

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“I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.”  Leviticus 26:12

Is it really that simple?  Can the gospel truly come down to this honest truth?  That the Creator of the universe merely wants to dwell among me and be my God?  What a mind-blowing thought – one that caused me to pause, wonder and quickly grab my bible.  I found this statement, or a slight variation of it, mentioned at least 18 times in both the old and new testament.

What makes this truly remarkable is that it is only possible because of what Jesus accomplished while on this earth.  He came and dwelt among us, in the flesh, becoming like us.  He lived a perfect, sinless life, sacrificed His will to the Father’s and atoned for our sins with his body and blood.

“….because blood contains life. I have given this blood to you to make peace with me on the altar. Blood is needed to make peace with me.”  Lev. 26:12

It is because of the blood of the Messiah that we have the freedom to truly be God’s people.  And His promise back to us?  HE IS OUR GOD!

“And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.”  2 Corinthians 5:18

Today, I am resting in the fact that my part is to be reconciled back to the Father, through the Son.  And also to enjoy the truth that the Most High God, the creator of the universe, is my daddy!

 

 

 

God Will Meet You Where You Are

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 If I was stranded on an island and offered only one book from the bible, I would choose the prophecies of Isaiah.  Within its pages are beautiful promises on the character and nature of God.  It is full of the decrees that Jesus would accomplish while walking on this earth.  One of my most favorite passages in Isaiah is chapter 61.  We are told that Jesus, the Messiah, would heal our broken hearts and give us His beauty for our ashes.  Most of us love this promise, but soon get frustrated when we don’t see everything become pretty all at once.  I have found, when this has happened in my own life, it is because I am hanging onto some of my ashes/mess.  Sometimes I am just not willing to give them to the Lord because holding them close gives me the feeling of being powerful.  Perhaps it is too scary to let go of all the pain, hurt and frustration.  Possibly, carrying your ashes brings you a level of comfort.   Or, it could be, that no one has ever taken the time to help you unload the weight of what you have been bearing.

I want to share with you an encounter with God’s word that helped me unpack the load I had.  One day I was reading in the 8th chapter of the book of Matthew.  Jesus is ministering to the people who had come to hear him speak.  The text tells us that Jesus “cast out unclean spirits with a word and healed them of their sickness.”  The passage goes on to quote a scripture from Isaiah 53:4, saying all of this had to be fulfilled in order for the prophecies of Isaiah to be true -“He Himself would take our infirmities and bear our sicknesses.”  Immediately, I turned to Isaiah 53:4 and read, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…..”

Two words caught my attention – infirmity and grief.  I looked up both of these in the concordance and the definitions:  Infirmity – feebleness of mind and/or body, malady, frailty.   Grief – to be rubbed or worn down; to become weak; to be grieved or in pain; sore, anxiety, calamity.

I recognized that part of Jesus’ mission towards us as His body, was to minister healing to our emotions and soul.  Jesus understands what it means to be worn down and rubbed raw from painful experiences.  He knew that our souls needed to be restored so that we could have a better relationship with the Father.  While on this earth, we will have trials, suffering and pain, but Jesus came to return your soul back to a place of health and vitality.  One of my favorite Psalms reminds us that God is our good Shepherd and He restores our souls to places of stillness and calm.

Where are you today?  Are you lost in tragedy, problems or even sin?  Are you sick or lonely?  Are your emotions a mess because you have been abandoned, betrayed or rejected?    Maybe you are living the results of all your mistakes and you don’t know what to do.  Are you ready to let go of all your ashes my friend?  If so, cry out to your heavenly Father and He will meet you right where you are.  You may not know where you are, but God knows and He will come and find you.  You are never hidden from His sight!  The best prayer is sometimes the simplest, “Father God help me!”

 

“Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29