Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Out Giving God


 
Well, I have so many thoughts that I have jotted down over the past few weeks I hardly know where to start. Before I get stuck in a rut amidst all the treasures of His Word, I know I must at least start somewhere. After all I have been given by God, I thought it fitting to start in the first book, and seventeenth chapter, of Chronicles.
Just some of my thoughts ...
As I lay on my bed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, staring out into the busy world out my window that late evening, I come across this chapter. It opens with a simple humbling realization from David.
Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” (1 Chronicles 17:1 ESV)
I simply paused on that verse for a while and began to see all the areas of my life that lay under the sturdy structure of cedar, while I give God the shed outside. Priorities in my time, my words, my actions, and even my checkbook.

And then I read further; God speaking:
In all places where I have moved with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ (1 Chronicles 17:6 ESV)
A God who deserves everything still shows His humble nature.

Then for a while I lay there thinking about David's heart, and how he must have felt. I think about my amazing God, and His gracious response.

I read on and find these words ...(emphasis added)
Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house. (1 Chronicles 17:10b ESV)
I love this. You can't out give God.

I see a heart that was cut, repentant, and willing to be lowered so his God could be raised; and in return, it was blessed even more! Amen!
Then, what do we do when we are presented with such a gift from the Giver of givers?
Accept it graciously!
And now, O LORD, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as you have spoken, (1 Chronicles 17:23 ESV)
Oh sweet Truth ...
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12 ESV)

May I continue to become less, so He can become more! 

His,
~
Matthew

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” - CS Lewis

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Patterns


Have you ever given a gift, offered a hand, or done something for someone else and were met with silence, lack of thanks, or disregard? I understand we do things for others without expecting affirmation, but how does it make you feel? Do you ever take others for granted? I sometimes find myself doing so with God. Yesterday as I look down at my quickly eaten lunch between meetings, the thought occurred to me; I didn't even thank God.

It's not about being legalistic, it's about being selfish. Not a single meal, day, or gift do I want to take for granted. The real problem I had was not this meal, but a pattern I've noticed over the past couple weeks. Yes, I'm busy, but who isn't? All the more reason to take a moment, breathe, relax, and converse with my Lord ...

Tomorrow is my birthday; what a wonderful time to begin a new pattern of focusing on my blessings and being thankful.

His,
Matthew


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Believing


 
Sometimes when I sit down to read, study, or reflect on His Word, I want to find that little jewel in Scripture that I missed the last time. I want to find that word, cross reference, Hebrew/Greek, or some other hidden Fact to gain some new insight. While that certainly is powerful, and I admit fun and fascinating, if it doesn't change me, it's just noise.

So as I almost glanced over this well known verse (to me anyway) in my reading, I felt Him slow me down so I could reflect.
"And [Abram] believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6
How did he stand righteous before the One, True, Living God? He believed Him and His promise.
I imagine myself in a dark and/or confusing time of my life, and I hear or read His promises to me. Do I continue in my darkness and confusion, or do I simply trust and believe Him? Do I simply say I trust His plan for my life, or do I believe He has a plan for my life? Do I say I know He loves me, He forgives me, He calls me, He holds me, He protects me, He saves me, or do I believe it too.

May I stand righteous before God, not because of my doing, but because of my believing.

Empty me of me father ...

His,
~Matthew

This thought reminds me of "Believing is Seeing"
http://seeingthepiecesfit.blogspot.com/2013_01_01_archive.html
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