Our Incomparable God

Micah 7:18-20 and Revelation 7:15-17

18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.
19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

God delights to show mercy, pardoning grace, unfailing love, fatherly compassion, and enduring faithfulness towards sinners. He has become my salvation, and is faithful to keep His promise through Christ. God wants us to be lost in love, wonder, and praise.
~~~~
I hope your hearts are filled with joy this Easter.

20140420-172146.jpg

I was a wandering sheep (verse of the week)

In church this Sunday, we sang the hymn I Was a Wandering Sheep. This song really struck me. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since then. My pastor completed his series on Psalm 119 this morning, and has mentioned several times that the Psalm shows us what true piety is. Throughout the Psalm, the psalmist gives us a good example to follow. In the first below, he says that he does not forget the Lord’s commandments. Do we forget them?

I do.

Every day.

Psalm 119:176

“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.”

We are like sheep. We have gone astray so many more times than we can count. (Isaiah 53:6) So many times on a day to day basis do I find myself needing to course correct.

Here are the first two verses.

1 I was a wandering sheep,
I did not love the fold;
I did not love my Shepherd’s voice,
I would not be controlled.
I was a wayward child,
I did not love my home;
I did not love my Father’s voice,
I loved afar to roam.

2 The Shepherd sought His sheep,
The Father sought His child;
They followed me o’er vale and hill,
O’er deserts waste and wild:
They found me nigh to death,
Famished and faint and lone;
They bound me with the bands of love,
They saved the wandering one.

This song hit a little too close to home for me, you know? So often I find myself straying, not wanting to be controlled. Loving sin and roaming from the fold of God…

The first verse left a bad taste in my mouth. Because, let’s be honest, nobody likes being convicted.

Then this song finishes the story. 

 Jesus my Shepherd is;
‘Twas He that loved my soul,
‘Twas He that washed me in His blood,
‘Twas He that made me whole;
‘Twas He that sought the lost,
That found the wandering sheep,
‘Twas He that brought me to the fold,
‘Tis He that still doth keep.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…”

Signature

Verse of the Week: 9-28-13

1 Peter 1:3-5

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. “

Signature

Verse of the Week: 8-11-13

Earlier today, I talked with some young kids (preschool-ish) at my church about fear in Sunday School. We drew pictures of what scared us, and talked about how God gives us courage to face our fear, and how He will always strengthen us and help us do what’s right, even when afraid. Many of them were scared of the same things, like the dark. I’ll be honest, I’m terrified of the dark, or, I guess a more accurate way to put it is that I’m afraid of what might be hiding in the dark.

This afternoon, I was thinking about how easy it would be not to be afraid if I memorized more scripture. That way, I could say the verse(s) while in fear. God promises that he will never leave us or forsake us, and the scripture is full of encouraging and powerful verses that have helped so many people while in fear.

Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”

Excerpts from Psalm 91

“He who dwells in the shadow of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  . . .For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. . . . “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;   I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”

What strengthens you when you are afraid? What are you afraid of? How does God help you face your fear?

Signature


Verse of the Week: 7-28-13

Psalm 15

Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?

A Psalm of David.

“15 O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.”

((English Standard Version (ESV)))
Signature

Verse of the Week: 5-28-13

tumblr_lpe0kmQfRv1qa3emzo1_250

Psalm 103

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;[a]
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!”

Signature

For hurt feelings….

Have you ever had your feelings hurt?

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

Has anybody ever said something to tear you down? Have you ever done something wrong, and have no idea how to fix it?

I have.

If you’re anything like me, when your feelings get hurt, you shut down, and forget you have access to the best and most wonderful resource for encouragement and advice.

The Bible.

A friend once told me that when she was sad or upset, she would read tragic stories from the Bible to help her look at her situation differently. (i.e. The Crucifiction, Job, etc.)

I have found that very useful. But there are other ways of using The Bible when you are upset. Look up encouraging verses. Read them. Study them. Dwell on them.

I’d like to share some verses that have really helped me and many others when they are sad.

  • Joshua 1:0

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

  • Lamentations 3:22-27, 31-33

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.

31 For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not afflict from his heart
or grieve the children of men.

  • Romans 12:14

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

  • Matthew 5:7

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

  • Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

  • Jeremiah 32:17

17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

  • Romans 8:31-39

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Aren’t those verses amazing? There are many more verses that are encouraging and uplifting, so many that I cannot name them all. Every single one of these verses are true. The Lord will never leave you for forsake you. Never.

Even when it feels like your whole world is falling apart, God is with you. He will lift you up.

Here’s a quote from a song that is so true and amazing.

“All this time
From the first tear cried
To today’s sunrise
And every single moment between
You were there
You were always there
It was You and I
You’ve been walking with me all this time
You’ve been walking with me all this time

Ever since that day
it’s been clear to me
That no matter what comes
You will never leave
I know You’re for me
And You’re restoring

Every heartache and failure
Every broken dream
You’re the God who sees”

~All This Time, by Britt Nicole

 

What do you do when your feelings are hurt? What Bible verses encourage you? What songs do you listen to?

Signature

Verse of the Week!

header.jpg

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[d] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

(emphasis added by me.)

Isn’t that great? “ We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” 

The Lord is always watching over us. We can trust Him, for He will never leave us or forsake us.

This day, this week, this month, the year; your entire life, know this: “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Signature