Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Psalms for Sunday, LXXXV

I lift my face toward you, to ask and petition but as I stand before you, I can only bow down and worship. Nothing stands before you without falling down, not me, and not any problem. You are greater, and when I comprehend this truth - even a little - you show me how much more you are, even than my greatest thought.

Let the nations rejoice, and give thanks. You are our hope and our deliverer. You are salvation, and mercy. Your grace flows to those who seek your counsel, to those who fear you.

If I fear the Lord, then nothing else makes me afraid; even the wind and the waves obey you. You gather the waters and throw them down, the waves sulk away like a small ripple dissipating to nothing. You punish the typhoon for the lives of the righteous; nothing is hidden from your eyes.

Your judgement is against anything that inhibits love. You are love, and nothing, nothing separates us from you.

Let the people be glad because you have overcome. Evil is vanquished. We dance as you put the enemy beneath our feet; let’s stomp our feet and give a shout because Hades has given up the righteous, those who put their trust in you.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Psalms for Sunday, LXXXIV

You are relentless, like a battering ram weakening the wall of my resolve. Who can stand against the torrent of your love and affection? You’ve won me, and I’m yours.

You’ve overcome and you pick me up like plunder. You pillage the dark recesses of hallways and rooms locked that were locked and you discover gold and treasured things. Who knew there was anything of worth in the darkness of my life? But you hid them there, and your eyes searched for them to bring them to the light, being bathed and cleansed in your goodness.

Everything is made new in your presence, in the power of your love. I am made new. I rejoice and leap and dance with fervour because I am beautiful in your eyes. Nothing is hidden, and I am beautiful.

Praise you!
Let the entire world and the angels worship your name. Let the demons shudder because nothing is too hard and no one is beyond your gaze and soft affection.

Who can stand against the torrent of your love and affection? Your love never fails; it always, always wins.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Psalms for Sunday, LXXXIII

I look to the heavens, where my help comes from. Everything I need is with you, in your presence.

If I say to the tree, “Give your strength,” can I expect an answer?

If I say to the ocean, “Show me your wisdom,” will it show not me its limit?

If I say to my friend, “Help me,” how long will he stay with me until he himself needs help also?

There is none beside you; you are all I need. When I am tired, you strengthen me. When I need an answer, you give me wisdom. When I need help, you are with me.

All of my mistakes are covered by your love. You cuddle me in your arms and kiss me softly and work with me so I learn. You are goodness, and wholly wonderful. I am safe in your arms, and all that I need is found in your presence.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Increase Your Favour

“The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

It’s a wonderful blessing. Moses was instructed to bless the Israelites with it, and in many believers’ gatherings we speak it over each other. I love the blessing but it creates a question: how do we make his face shine upon us and how do we turn the face of God to look at us? How do we increase in his favour?

We have a lot of overnight guests in our home; many of them are strangers to us when they first arrive. Regardless of what we might (or might not) receive from our guests, we consider it a blessing to have an opportunity to host so many people from all around the world. From the onset, we choose to operate out of love. We love them all, but the ones who gain my favour are the guests who honour my Boy by engaging him and getting to know him to see the greatness I already see in him.

I never get tired of hearing other people make positive comments about my Boy. If they are a server in a restaurant, it’s a guarantee of a larger tip if my Boy has had a good experience. I’m certain every parent can relate.

This past weekend, we hosted a guy and a girl from a visiting church in California; during my prayer time in the morning, I thanked the Lord for what they added to our home, and especially the joy that was deposited in my Boy. As I was speaking to the Father, I heard him speak clearly to my spirit and say, “If you want my favour, do the same thing for my children.”

God’s love for us will neither increase nor decrease but we increase his favour (make his face turn toward us) based on how we respond to what’s on his heart. His children are at the centre of his heart – he is called a Father for a reason.

Father God is proud of [all] his children and he loves it when we engage with them, especially the ones we might consider as having less value than some others. James 2:27 says pure religion is taking care of widows and orphans – the helpless ones. Proverbs 19:17 tells us that when we give to the poor, God considers it a loan and he will repay us, and law of sowing and reaping from Matthew 13:8 reminds us not only do we reap what we sow but also the blessing we receive is larger than what we originally planted.

That same day, I kept the Lord’s words in my head and put them into practice. I was ministering at a Vancouver church; every person I interacted with is a precious son or daughter of the Father. God is honoured when I honour his children and I also received a blessing – his face to shine upon me.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Psalms for Sunday, LXXXII

My hope is anchored on you. All the pleasures of creation sparkle and shine; they reflect your glory but are not the sum of it. Give me Jesus, that's what my heart wants.Give me early morning conversations and late night giggles; let's look into the daytime sky and talk about dreams and possibilities. Increase my faith and count it to me as righteousness and call me, 'friend'.

You are the God who saves. It is already accomplished and all of heaven sing in celebration and eagerly await for the banquet. Only a  little while longer and we will see the beautiful bridegroom face to face and the fullness of our inheritance will be known.

You are my God and my hope is anchored in you.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Relentless Love

At the end of June my Chevrolet Malibu quite suddenly stopped working so we replaced it with a Hyundai Elantra. Until I started driving a Hyundai (and Elantra specifically) I hadn’t noticed how many other vehicles on the road are made by Hyundai. I notice them without even trying; they are everywhere, literally - over the summer I drove over 10,000km (6,000 miles) in some very remote areas and even there I saw a plethora of Hyundai vehicles.

It’s like that: once your eyes are opened to a new reality, you see things you never saw before.

Lately, I’ve been writing and contemplating the love of God. It’s infinite and I’ll never come to the end of it, and I’ve noticed my eyes are opened to a new reality [of love] and I see things differently. When I hear news about tragedy around the world, I’m more apt to notice God’s loving-kindness, even in the face of suffering.

I’m particularly struck by his loving-kindness in the scriptures, especially the OT. Too many times I’ve equated the law with God, as if God is the sum of the law. It’s not true. God is not angry that he must be appeased and feared. The more I read, the more I’m struck by his love. The Bible isn’t full of his anger towards mankind, but a story of unfolding, and relentless love. It starts in Genesis, in the garden and continues through to Revelation.

God is sovereign and holy which demands protocol. God is also personal, and when our hearts are tender and surrendered toward him, he is moved with compassion toward us. Such is the story from 2 Chronicles 30; Hezekiah (one of Judah’s 7 good kings) sought after the Lord and brought reformation to his nation. He made a call to celebrate their forgotten feasts; the problem was that to do it correctly required protocol the people weren’t ready for. Hezekiah prayed that the Lord himself would cover the people’s ritual cleansing so that they would be able to participate. The wonderful truth is the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer, because he (the Lord) loved the heart that spoke it.

My Boy has been struggling to adjust to a private school this year. He views the stricter discipline as punishment because he doesn’t understand our heart for him and for his future destiny. Today we struggled over getting math homework finished. His heart attitude was in rebellion towards the homework; the longer he persisted in rebellion, the harder the consequences BUT when he surrendered, my Man and I were quick to reward the work he had accomplished even though it wasn’t completely finished.

Our separation from God was never about the outward sin. Sin is the symptom of a greater problem – a rebellious heart. More than anything, God wants a heart to heart connection. He knows if the heart is right, the law will take care of itself. The bible even tells us this is true. Galatians 5:23 says against the fruit of the Spirit, which beings with love, there is no law.  

God’s love is relentless; he wants a relationship and he will do everything for it. He is faithful, always.

I’d love to hear any stories you’d like to share about God’s relentless love of you; it’s encouraging to hear/read testimonies from others.
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