Tag Archives: love

Does God Dance with you?

Meditation Journey Day 38

Hi Friend,

Psalm 139 is a very condensed communication of God’s mercy and loving kindness to each of us. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith.

Consider verses 9 & 10 in our journey: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” They tell us of the tender and reassuring love of God even when we are very sinful and rebellious. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith. In Psalm 139 this is exactly what David, the writer f this Psalm, is reporting.

First, I need to tell you why I can say God’s love is so consistent even when we are willfully disobeying Him. The very simple answer is Jesus’s sacrifice. Jesus Christ died for all our sin; all our past rebellion, present willfulness, and even our future wickedness. Trusting His sacrifice pays for all the moral debt we owe. When we put our faith in His righteousness we also receive His merit of goodness. From the moment we exchange our rags of self-righteousness for His moral purity, God looks at us differently. Paul said it this way,

What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did…  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5

Now read the verses again, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” David is remembering times when he willfully and rebelliously ran from God. He wanted to fly away and find a place where he could live his own way. No matter where David went he found God there! What is remarkable to David and should be to us, is God’s attitude and actions towards David. Notice God’s one hand is leading David and the other, God’s right hand is holding David. Allow me to suggest this is a dancing position. God is facing David looking at him directly in the eyes and God’s left hand is holding David’s right hand. God’s right hand is around David’s waist and holding him.

Knowing more about the hands is very important in our meditation. The right hand is a term in scripture that refers to the power and might of a person.  The right hand of God is a metaphor for all the power of God! Consider with me the placement of the hands in these verses.  David’s right hand, all his human strength, is being held and directed by God’s left hand. It is when David’s strength is finally rendered powerless that he realizes he is in the hands of God. He is at the end of his rope and yet God is leading him. God’s right hand, His power and might, is holding David. Just like David, at our most wretched moments when we are in rebellion to God, he is still holding and leading us. This is hard to Dance 3imagine but the placement of Father God’s hands resemble the placement of someone dancing! Is it possible that when we are at our worst God posture is to dance with us!!!  Grace says this is true, but our minds resist this kind of grace.

That my friend is the kind of love I need and have found in Jesus Christ. I find this overwhelmingly kind and precious of God to be so patient with my failure and sin. This Psalm made it real to me at my worse moments, and God will reveal the depth of His great love for you as you fill your mind and heart with His Word.  Remember Proverbs 2, “My, Child if you will receive my word…”

Have you taken the wings of the morning? Do you wish to run away from life and are you struggling against the grip of God? Know that at your worse He is still dancing with you. Please turn to Him now and trust Him so the dance can be enjoyed by both of you!

My your day be filled with grace and peace…. from the Lover of your soul…Jesus!

 

Observation: David finds even when he willfully runs from God, The Lord never leaves him. He also realizes that when he is in rebellion God is still holding him.

Interpretation: God’s attitude and actions at David’s greatest failures is pure grace and love. The way God is holding David appears to be a loving and kind posture. This is a picture of great grace and mercy at our lowest moments.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for sending Jesus and covering my sin. I was so afraid that when I chose my own way you would leave me in my brokenness. Knowing that you are always there holding me helps me trust you and relax in your faithful love. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

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Does Jesus Know You?

The Meditative Journey has been on hold as I went through knee surgery and recovery for the last month. We are now back on track.

Meditation Journey Day 34                          

Hi Friend,

One last thought about knowing Jesus Christ. It is not enough for us to think we know Him; what is critical after we die is that He knows us. In Matthew’s gospel, chapter seven, Jesus responds to some people with one of the scariest replies in the whole Bible.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

This is very unsettling because the double use of the word “Lord” indicates they thought they were close to God. They also believed what they accomplished for Him was very impressive. These deceived people really thought that just performing religious works was all God was expecting from His followers.

When David wrote that the LORD knew him it was in a very personal way. It is more than God knowing everything about every person at all times. That is what the Bible describes, and theologians teach, as the omniscience or all-knowing of God. What David means when he discovers that the LORD has searched him and knows him was that God knew him in a personal way.

RelationshipThe meaning behind the phrase, the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” is achieved when we love Him with all our hearts and love others as He has loved us. The ability to obey God comes from a loving relationship with Him. David had that relationship with God in an intimate and interactive way. It is only as we have a personal close relationship with Jesus that we will actually do His will and not just follow man’s religious dictates.  

David knew God and God knew him because David was dependent on God. He knew that without the Living God being with him, he had no spiritual life. Jesus taught this in John 15 when He said, “I AM the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” We can do much religious activity, even impressive sacrifices, but God wants our undivided love. Paul wrote: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13

Jesus wants a genuine relationship with us. In John 15, He called this abiding in Him. “Abiding” is a very dependent relational term that reveals a living connection that is continually nourished through interaction. It means to dwell with God.  I may visit many places to sleep and eat, but I dwell at my home. Does Jesus dwell with you continually? Do you interact with Him on a personal intimate basis or is your relationship formal and religious? Is God personally with you all the time or does He just live at some building we call church? The people Jesus rejected and declared He did not know had the attitude that you left God at the building. They had a formal relationship with God that only functioned within their set of rules.

Relationship 1David realized The LORD is the living God with whom we enter into a relationship of love on a personal basis. This relationship is illustrated by a godly marriage where the man and wife relate to each other in a continual and intimate way (Ephesians 5). Jesus doesn’t want to just date you. He wants to take you home and be your husband!!! You may think you know Him, but does He know you?

You can be sure He knows you, if you have a continual humble dependent attitude towards your Loving Savior and His Word.

He said it clearly in John 15:7.If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Then when we cry Lord, Lord, He will be attentive to our call.

Observation: God wants to know us personally.  He knows everything about everybody, because He is omniscient. What He created us for is to have intimate personal fellowship with us. The question is not do we know Jesus, but have we yielded to Him in humble love so He can know us?

Interpretation: Religion can deceive people into thinking God just expects us to keep righteous rules. Jesus died on the cross and rose again so we could know Him and He could know us…in a personal and close relationship. Do you have that kind of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?

Application Prayer: Father God thank you for sending Jesus to become The Door to Heaven and open fellowship with You. I want to know you and I want you to know me. I yield my heart to you and humble myself to your Word.…in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

 

 

 

EUREKA!

Meditation Journey Day 32

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain unto it.” Psalm 139:6

Hi Friend,

We now have journeyed through the first five verses of Psalm 139. It is a gold mine of God’s wisdom and truth about us. I am praying for each of us to have the EUREKA moment that King David did as he considered how God thinks of him and cares for him. David was transformed by the truth that the Great I AM valued him so highly. He was overwhelmed and amazed, probably on his knees, with a mixture of joy and holy reverence towards God.

2planting seedsFather God deeply desires that we will realize the depth of His love and how highly He values us too!!!  My Friend, the process to know God this way is revealed in Proverbs 2:1-5.  As we receive His Living Word, Christ Jesus, continually eating the Bread of Life and surrendering to The Holy Spirit, the reality of His grace will bloom in your heart! We can receive the eternal life of Christ and be born again in a moment, but the growth and transformation process to be formed into the image of Christ is like growing a garden. It takes time and patience.

Note how David responds to this gracious knowledge of God’s love. To him it is “too VLUU L200  / Samsung L200wonderful”, “it is high” and David acknowledges its comprehension is beyond him. He is humbled by the treasure he has found in Christ; over joyed by the realization that Father God, The Great I AM, is so close, so concerned and ever caring of him. At the same time he understands that there is much more, and he is only touching the very bottom, not the top, of God’s mountain of love! His cries are full of profound humility as he recognizes the greatness of God’s mercy and love. David is blessed by the assurance of God’s love, but he is also humbled that he has just beginning to comprehend how highly God values him. 

God also tells us this in Isaiah 55.

“My thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not My ways”, declares the LORD! “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways higher than you ways and My thoughts than your thoughts”

For us to believe what God says about us begins in a moment of faith, but the reality of that belief only grows and blossoms as we tend the garden of our hearts. I urge you to read Proverbs 2:1-5 today and humble yourself to God asking Him to lead you deeper into His heart.

                                   

Observation: David is overwhelmed by God’s gracious loving kindness and how he is valued by Him. He has just beginning to see himself as God sees him.  

Interpretation: What David experienced we too can experience. God has revealed the truths of Psalm 139:1-5 because He loves us each just as He loved David. The real question is will we plant the seeds of truth, God’s Word, in our hearts and tend it with humility and obedience so that it can yield the fruit of the Spirit in us? Then we can cry out with joyful praise: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain unto it.”

Application Prayer: Father I want to know you and receive Your eternal life and grace. Today I choose to accept The Living Word into my heart. Forgive me of all my sin and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I need to know your great love for me and to live in the peace and joy of your Presence. Give me grace to walk in your truth. …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

 

Deadly Poison in Your Mouth

Meditation Journey Day 30                             

“Even before a word is on my tongue, BEHOLD, O LORD, you know it altogether.” Psalm 139:4

Hi Friend,

This verse says our LORD knows what we are going to say before we even think it! The LORD God not only observes all we do and examines everything we experience; He also knows what we are thinking! David responds to this revelation with “O LORD!”  I am not sure if his response was grief or joy! Our first response to this truth could be either too. Your reaction to this may be uncomfortable because you like me probably think and sayMouth many words we know are wrong and destructive. Our malicious and hurtful words can cause great damage to others and ourselves. How many times have words passed my lips that I regretted saying.

The Apostle James wrote: For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. …So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

So being aware that God knows what I say can cause me to feel very defensive towards Him. The fact is we need to totally rethink any negative reaction we may have to this truth! We who are loved of God are able to thank Him for knowing everything! His knowing my personal individual confidential thoughts, dreams and fantasies means that He is able to lead me out of the sinfulness of my life into the joy and peace of His. That means My Savior can help me get rid of all the wicked, hurtful and negative stuff I can easily ponder over. We can trust God to help us to “get rid of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips and do not lie to each other…” Colossians 3

Now, thank God, I have a great ally in the control of the nasty mean spirited thing in my mouth!!! Now, I can trust Him to live, love and even speak through me to bless, encourage and inspire others!

We can, like David, pause and behold the joyful wonder that our God can help us with the uncontrollable tongue!

Our embracing of this Psalm’s revelation about God is essential, yet it is incomplete unless we engraft its truth into our lives. We must participate in the process of controlling our tongues by yielding to the Holy Spirit’s rule of peace and letting the word lavishly live in our minds. (Colossians 3) We must receive His word and reflect on it, yield to its truth and allow the Holy Spirit to speak life through us!

I like David’s prayer about my words from Psalm 19:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

 Observation: Knowing that God knows what we think before we say a word can be uncomfortable. David’s response can be of extreme embarrassment for his shameful words or excited joy from realizing God’s care is so complete.

Interpretation: David calls out “Behold, O LORD” because he is realizing he is loved and forgiven. He is realizing that this intervention of God is a gift of grace and love that is transforming his character.

Application Prayer: Father God you know me! You know how mean spirited my words can be if I do not submit my mind and heart to feed on Your word and think Your thoughts. I am so grateful that you see me so worthy that you want to help me evaluate my thoughts and words before I speak them. O LORD I need You. I want the words of my mouth to bless not curse others and for Your Spirit to love others through me.  …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

an amazing view of your life

Meditation Journey Day 29        

Hi Friend,

Psalm 139:2-3 reveal an amazing view of your life through God’s eyes….

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:2-3

These two verses emphasize the depth of The LORD’s knowledge of our mood swings.Anxiety 1 Sitting down, rising up and lying down can be literal too, but when we perform each of these actions our attitude is most important. Sitting down and lying down is figurative of giving up and quitting! Rising up symbolizes the times of hope and faith in our lives. What sweet assurance to know Our Shepherd is able to discern and detect our thoughts, emotions and moods even when we think He is far away! We may feel like He is “a far off”, but remember He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb.13) He is NEVER far off from you! No matter what it may seem like to you!

The word “search” used in this Psalm implies a personal examination and a close scrutiny of our lives. The Examiner is looking clearly into every part of our being. The King James Version translates “You search out my path” with the words “You compass my path”. I like how the word “compass” conveys the picture of Him encircling my entire life from the womb to the tomb! He is all around us knowing us from every angle and protecting us. The next phrase “and acquainted with all my ways.” makes my eyes tear when I think of Him being that familiar with me and loving me. It does not shield me from the consequences of my bad behavior, but it does assure me that my worth does not diminish in His eyes. His being “acquainted with ALL my ways” means nothing I do will surprise Him. NOTHING! Nothing in my past shocked Him. Nothing in my present astonishes Him and nothing in my future will be unknown to Him. He knows me in EVERY way and He loves me in every way! This is how your Savior and Shepherd, The Great I AM, loves you and is ever present in your life.

His knowing us to this depth and loving us to this extent adds great impact when we think of God’s forgiveness. When we trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior we believed He had paid the full price for all our sins; past, present and future. Therefore, when we do make sinful choices and grieve the Holy Spirit, it is critical for us to keep in mind He has already paid our debt in full. He may allow us to experience the consequence of our choices, but He is still with us. He is not angry with us for He knows what we will say and do in advance of our actions! We do not surprise or shock Him with our bad behavior. We should not allow the shame and guilt of sinfulness to produce fear in our minds leading us to think He is against us or wants to punish us. He is for us; He is with us. This knowledge should encourage us to not hide or run from God. You and I are extremely valuable to Him! As His richesbeloved Children, we may come to Him quickly with our pain and shame. Remember He exchanged His Son’s life to purchase ours. Christ died for us so we can be free of sin and guilt. He loves us and is leading us out of the darkness into His glorious light.

Therefore, when we do make sinful choices and grieve the Holy Spirit, it is critical for us to keep in mind He has already paid our debt in full. He may allow us to experience the consequence of our choices, but He is still with us. He is not angry with us for He knows what we will say and do in advance of our actions!

Observation: The LORD who is ever present and knows all has personally examined each of us individually. He is never far away and there is nothing about us that has been or will be a surprise to Him!

Interpretation: His knowledge of us should enable us to trust Him more and empower us to quickly turn to Him when we sin. His knowledge is complete and His forgiveness is absolute! He never chooses to punish us. He is not against us, but He may allow us to experience the consequences of our choices. Rest in His love as He values us more highly than we can ever imagine!

Application Prayer: LORD Jesus Thank you. I choose to rest in Your loving kindness and not hide in my shame and guilt. I am so blessed to know My Savior is always for me and never against me. I am humbled by knowing You sent You son to die in my place. That thought, Father, helps me understand my worth to You! …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Let’s Get Personal…………..

Meditation Journey Day 27

Hi Friend,

When David addresses God in Psalm 139 the name by which he identifies God is very important. David cry’s out O LORD you have searched me and known me” The name LORD is a personal name of God. The English Standard Version translates the name Jehovah or Yahweh as “LORD” with capital letters. Jehovah means the “God who is” or the “I AM that I AM”. In the Old Testament this name is the most personal name of God. Jehovah was the name God used to identify Himself when Moses was at the burning bush. Here is the exchange between Moses and God from Exodus 3:

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

 Jehovah/Yahweh means: I AM that I AM; I am the Self-Existent, Uncreated One.

When David cries out “O LORD you have searched me and known me” he is saying, Yahweh the GREAT I AM is with me. Yahweh knows me. He has chosen me. He has taken the time and interest in my life to dwell with me.

David’s joy comes from the fact that God in a very personal way is with him and truly God breathing into Adam the breath of lifeknows Him. David realizes he is not alone, nor is he unknown. The searching of David by God was an intimate, personal examination of David’s life. It was not David who sought out God. It was God who sought out David! David is realizing the wonder and joy that the GREAT I AM would take such interest and care to want to know Him! It is amazing that Yahweh would value David so highly as to personally know Him.

Friend, David was not a super saint. The LORD loves you in the same way as He loved David. When God choose us it was to be with Him and Him with us. Each person called by God is chosen and known in a personal special way. I hope that you come to the realization that your Heavenly Father has sought you.

It was not your choosing of Him. It was His choosing of you.

He loves you, really loves you! He wants to be with you. You are a treasure to Him! I pray your heart can cry out with joy… “O LORD, you know me.”

Observation: The name David identifies God as is Jehovah/Yahweh. Jehovah/Yahweh means: I AM that I AM; I am the Self-Existent, Uncreated One. God loves us in the same way He loved David.

Interpretation: David’s amazement is that the Great I AM is interested in him personally enough to seek David and take the time to know him. We too should be amazed that God choose us and calls us to be with Him.

Application Prayer: Father God, open my eyes to the gift your Presence is in my life. Your closeness to me is amazing. Your desire to know me is beyond my comprehension! Your choosing of me surprises me with joy!  Thank You for knowing me. …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

As we begin to journey through Psalm 139 please continue to pray for the people receiving these daily instructions. Let me know of anyone you want to add to the list to receive the emails. Also, please tell me if you want to take a break from the process and not receive the emails.

Becoming Perfect in Love?

Meditation Journey Day 20

Hi Friend,

…then (and only then) you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:5 promises us the understanding of the Fear of the Lord if we Perfect loveactually do what verses 1-4 instructs us to do. We have learned from many passages that living in the Fear of the Lord is a blessed state for a believer.
Yet, the term “Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read,
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Let me defuse this confusion quickly. The fear John is writing about in this verse is the fear of rejection at judgment. When we understand whatCross of Christ great love Jesus demonstrated at the Cross and all that He accomplished for us there, fear is replaced with confidence. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ death pays for all the debt I owe, satisfied all the righteous requirements of God’s Law and removed God’s wrath from me. This love casts out all fear of God ever rejecting us.

The Fear of the Lord is different. It is a reverential honor of God. It is the attitude of awe/honor and reverence that should emerge in me as I realize the great love, mercy, sacrifice and grace He lavishly pours on me. Fearing God gives me a deep sense of peace knowing His Sovereignty is working everything together for my good and His Glory (Romans 8). It is the attitude of humble joy that erupts after I realize the depth of His forgiveness for my sins.

The “fear of the Lord” is the proper “anxious concern” we should have of ever violating such love and grace.

There is a place for fear when thinking about God. To reject God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ results in eternal damnation. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

So how does one understand the proper kind of fearing God? Do you remember what “understanding” means? “Understanding” is the practical doing of what God’s wisdom says. When we actually do what we are instructed in verses 1-4 we will be walking in the “Fear of the Lord”!

If I actually reverence God in holy fear then, I will be receiving His word and memorizing His commandments. I will be turning/applying/tuning my inner ear to be attentive to His wisdom and inclining my heart to doing His will. Yes, I will be crying over my sin. Hungering and thirsting after His righteousness.  My continual attitude would be to search for Him and His wisdom as the greatest possession of my life. I would be setting my focus on the Lord to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and body.

The more I walk in this disposition, attitude and behavior the more I “Fear the Lord”. The less I think, live and act this way the less I fear Him.

Simply put we understand the proper fear of the Lord as we humbly follow His Word and do His will. We end here with the words of King Solomon as written in Ecclesiastes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”

And this is how you become perfect in love!

Observation: The Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. It is an attitude of awe/honor and reverence and a proper “fear” of violating His gracious love for me.

Interpretation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord comes as we do His will by living out His wisdom in humble faith. The more we do this the more we actually “fear/reverence God”.

Application Prayer: Father God, I humble myself before you knowing howFreedom inadequate I am to do Your will. My faith and confidence is in Your grace to work in me to will and the do Your good pleasure. (Philippians 2) Teach me to properly fear You as I walk in Your truth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.