Faith

Unconditional love reproofs, corrects and indoctrinates

The Bible is a God-inspired, collection of books that serves to reprimand, correct and teach us sound doctrine.

Because God loves us unconditionally, He left us an “instruction manual” that tells us how we should live our lives. These are not suggestions, these are commands.

Just like parents set the rules in their households, so does God. We warn our children of the consequences of their actions, we discipline and correct them when they misbehave and we give them various opportunities to rectify their wrongdoings.

Even when they continue to defy us and break our rules, we continue to love them.

God does, too! He continues to love us when we fail Him, when we break His commandments and when we refuse to correct our behavior. What a merciful God we serve?!

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17; KJV

There are many stories in the Bible that show what the consequences of obedience and disobedience are. We read about God’s mercy, His warnings, His love, and anger, among other things.

For example, David’s fleshly desires caused him to sin. He committed adultery and tried to cover up his sin. The woman conceived and because of sin, the child died. David displeased God. (Read the full story here: 2 Samuel 11 & 2 Samuel 12)

In another example, Abraham and his wife Sarah entered a new town during their travels. Abraham feared that he would be killed because of his wife’s beauty. They decided to lie about their relationship. The King took her as his wife. However, God warned Abimelek, in a dream, that Sarah is a married woman and if he touched her there would be consequences. (Read the full story here: Genesis 20)

There are consequences to our actions.

The Lord sends many warnings before unleashing his judgment; however, many people refuse to listen to God. Through the Word, He calls out our sin, He urges us to make changes to our behavior and He tells us how much he loves us. But people aren’t listening.

Many people refuse to correct their behavior because they believe scripture is “hateful and untrue”, “it is my life and I live like I want to” and “we can’t say that; it’s offensive”, among other thoughts.

Reality is……

God loves us. His mercy abounds. He dislikes sin. He is holy.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” 1 Peter 1:15-17; KJV

He gave us rules to live by and the ability to make our own choices. However, there are eternal consequences to choosing God or rejecting Him. This choice cannot be corrected once we die.

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23; KJV

It’s your choice to make! Eternal life or death? Which one will you choose?

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Christian Life

Guilty as Charged!

 

Something that I am guilty of doing is running to individuals and seeking their advice on various matters.  Whether the advice is on raising a child, running a business, or relationships,  I go to everyone, but God. Why is it that we tend to run to others and not to the One who has all the answers?

After listening to my Pastor preach, I meditated on the message and thought, “Why do I do this? Why is He the last being that I run to for advice?”

Below are my reasons for doing so:

Living in a world of experts
If you’re like me, every time I need an answer to “x”, I run to Google or reach out to an expert. Not saying that it is a bad thing, but should it be the first thing that we do when seeking advice?

No one knows us better than God does. No one has the patience or knowledge that He has. As I think about this, Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind: ” For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

What a beautiful promise! He loves us, wants us to prosper, and knows what is good for us.

My learning #1: Run to God first. 

Time-sensitivity
Society values instant results- fast food, iTunes (quick downloads), etc. Talking to someone, in- person, yields a quick response to questions or the advice we seek. However, we don’t want to wait on God to respond. We don’t want to give Him time to reveal His decision based on His plans for us.

Psalm 62:5 urges us to wait on Him, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” He will answer; just not on our time, but His.

Waiting is hard! It has been about 10 years that I have waited for the Lord to provide direction on how I will serve Him and what career path to focus on. It has been a long wait, but now I understand His reasoning for the wait.

We are taught that time is money and we need to move quickly before those opportunities cease to exist (for us). Again, it is hard to wait on the Lord because we need to make decisions right away. I find comfort in Isaiah 40:31,  “ But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” As we (learn to) wait, our strength will be renewed, we will continue to prepare and we will prosper when the time is right.

My learning #2: It happens on His time, not mine. He knows the preparation I need.

Not what we want to hear (from God)
Our dreams blind us to reality. We are so passionate and in love with what we desire for our careers that when God says “no” (I am not talking about “not, yet”!), we don’t want to accept it. It isn’t easy to leave that “life-long” dream behind.

My first career choice was to become a pop singer (secular) and when I learned that it wasn’t in His plans for my life, I was upset. However, as I got wiser (in the Word), I understood why He didn’t want that for me. I am where I need to be right now. (Not saying that I will not sing for Him- I am! Just not the way I imagined.)

In the book of James 1:19, the author makes the following recommendation: “ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” This is not easy to do either. We pray and wait for an answer. If the answer doesn’t meet our expectations, we don’t listen and continue to do what we want.

My learning #3: Listen to God. He is all-knowing and knows you better than anyone else. He wants you to succeed.

It isn’t an easy road for any of us. There are many times when I make  decisions without praying and I find that things become difficult. Can’t help but wonder, if I prayed, would it be this difficult? Who knows? Right now, I find comfort in knowing that God is in my driver’s seat.

Can you identify with any of my reasons? Why or why not?

Blessings to you and yours,

Ivette

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