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Category Archives: Awesome God

Do the Inviting!

If you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you know He knows you intimately! That’s a GOOD thing! You know He is Master of your life; that too is a GOOD thing! You know He saved, saves, and will save you forever! That is also a very GOOD thing!

tumblr_m5sstkvaoc1r1o6z3o1_500All this knowledge of good things should really encourage us every day of our lives! AND…there is more! In Psalm 139 God captures our attention by revealing Himself as the Lord who searches and knows us inside and out. He knows when we sit and when we get up. He understands every thought flowing through our brains as well as every word we speak. He comprehends our daily walk and our need to lie down and rest. He is well acquainted with the way we do things. He protects and lays His hand on us!

Sooooo… Yes… He really is an amazing, intimate, passionate, involved God! AND… there is more! He is e4fd1e2e179c08d835dd028df8e5e5dbwith us from before the beginning to after the end! God not only knows everything about us but He is everywhere all at the same time! Not that we would want to escape Him, but if we did want to, we can’t! There is nowhere we go that He isn’t there!

flat,550x550,075,fPsalm 139:7-12 explains it this way: “Is there anyplace I can go to avoid Your Spirit? To be out of Your sight? If I climb to the sky, You’re there! If I go underground, You’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute— You’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, ‘Oh, He even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!’ It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to You; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to You.” (The Message)

Good stuff right? So let’s see! We’ve declared God knows us VERY intimately; we’ve declared He is with us 24/7; AND still…there is more! In verses 13-16 we admit and profess His creative powers by forming us in our mother’s wombs. God’s eyes saw the substance of who we are even before He formed us into who we are!

psalm 139.17 cTHAT thought is amazing! AND yes… there is more! Not only did God think about us before He formed us but He thinks about us all the time. In fact, His thoughts are more numerous than the sand on the seashore! God truly has a lot of thinking going on! It is incredibly precious then, for us to think about God’s thoughts!

search me_tHere’s the thing! We can know and believe all this truth and still not live in it! To live in it, we need to participate in it! After knowing and acknowledging the truth that God searches and knows us, we must invite Him to search and know us! Psalm 139:23-24 say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

It almost sounds like a no-brainer for us to ask God to search our hearts. But remember; we declare in the beginning of this Psalm we know the Lord HAS searched and known us! Why must we invite Him then to do what He has already done? Because, knowing He searches and then inviting Him to search are two different things! We need to make this no-brainer a yes-brainer! Yes, Lord! I know You search my heart! Yes, Lord I know You know me! Yes, Lord! I want You to search my heart! Yes Lord, I want You to know me! Yes, Lord, I invite You to search me and know me!

where-can-i-go-from-your-presenceThe Message Bible puts the invitation this way: “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for Yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—then guide me on the road to eternal life.”

Hopefully you are connecting the knowing and the inviting! We already know God investigates our lives but in relationship with Him, we invite Him to do so! Our invitation makes His knowledge of us a huge “YES” in our brains AND in our hearts! Our invitation for the Lord to search involves “us” in this intimate relationship with God. Then we don’t think of ourselves as mere bystanders or spectators while He does all the work of searching! We don’t stand by watching and fearfully wondering what He might find! We become willing and eager participants; inviting Him to test us to find the yuck so He can lead us to eternal life now! Our invitation releases a desire in us for Him to have His way!

So…it’s like this! I can know my husband, or my children, or my friends love me! I can know they will be with me through thick and thin! I can know they know me inside and out and accept me just the way I am. But…inviting them to love me; to know me more; to be with me; to know me inside and out; to accept me…well, that makes a huge difference in our relationships. There is a trust developed and an intimacy formed through vulnerability; through a mere invitation for them to do and to be everything they already do and are!

Let today be the day you don’t just KNOW God searches and knows you, but invite Him to search and know you! It’s a decision you’ll never regret!

 
 

Tough and Tender? No…Be Strong and Tender!

tenderness___by_reearadu-d3ezzclTenderness…I knew what it was but not at the level I do today (I wonder what tomorrow will bring). Much of my early life was spent being tough and not tender, more out of necessity than choice. The details really aren’t important; understanding is and hopefully sharing it! Unfortunately, I didn’t even know how “unhealthy tough” I’d become. Even though I’ve been greatly loved by God, husband, children, and friends for decades, I had still let toughness steel me to tenderness.

Circumstances finally forced a break, with toughness giving way and making room for tenderness. It seemed to happen “out of the blue”, but in truth, it was our extraordinary God making a way during an incongruous time in my life! So much was going wrong yet so much was right. The hurt was so bad, yet it was so good. It was the best of times and the worst of times at the SAME time! The challenges were overwhelming yet I felt calm in the midst of the storm. Harsh and hard-hitting things were coming from every angle yet I felt a sort of gentleness, warmth, and softness in my spirit. So…though everything seemed wrong, everything was right. Ever felt that way? Where toughness had previously made me hard and inflexible, now tenderness was making me soft and flexible, yet still strong. What happened?

  • LoveMeTSheetI lost some precious relationships but God found me in the midst of brokenness to show me my part – I learned a lot about friendship.
  • I doubted myself and my ability to be in healthy loving relationships but God made sure I saw and was certain of His ability to put me in healthy, loving, and yes, tender relationships where we can be strong in Him.
  • I struggled with trust at a level I couldn’t imagine, complete with skepticism, wariness, and cynicism hardening me even more. Instead of coddling me, God brought conviction, leading to reckless abandonment and vulnerability to Him. Though I’ve always trusted God, now I was addicted to trusting Him.
  • Worthiness, long ago settled for me in Christ, was nearly decimated. Holy Spirit replaced my feelings of unworthiness AGAIN, showing my worth in Jesus who loves like no other.

This exchange of toughness for tenderness came through the hand of God breaking what I thought to be unbreakable. It came through the Spirit of God shattering what appeared to be shatterproof. It came through gaining what I perceived to be lost and it came through admitting I wasn’t totally and completely depending on God.

When the exchange happened, I realized how much I REALLY need Him every moment of every day and night! I can’t breathe without Him. And trust me on this one; this kind of tenderness makes a person extremely vulnerable to Him and this in turn creates humility unmatched on this earth. These three things: Dependence, vulnerability, and humility can take any semblance of toughness we maintain and create tenderness unimaginable and unexpected.

I had some questions though. “How did this happen? How did God do this to me? How does God make us vulnerable? How does He position us for dependency on Him? How does He create tenderness in us for Him and others? How can we be strong but not so tough anymore?”

Tender-Lion-WebThe answers are found by looking in His Word, where tenderness is almost always united with His mercy. He showers us with His own “tender mercies” and then…we’re addicted! In both the Old and New Testaments God’s tenderness is most often associated with His mercy. For the Hebrews (Old Testament) “tender” references the “bowels” or “seat of the most tender of affections”; especially kindness, compassion, and benevolence. For the Greeks (New Testament) “tender” also refers to the “bowels” or seat of the more violent passions such as anger and love. In English, tenderness combines these same thoughts: compassion, warmth, gentleness, kindheartedness, affection, care, LOVE in the deepest parts of our being. In truth, if we could open our hearts, God’s tenderness and compassion would pour out. His mercies, which multiply without measure, would overwhelm us!

Here are a few verses from the Psalms to fill us with His tender mercies:

Screen-Shot-2013-12-23-at-11.22.01-AMPsalms 40:11 “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.”

Psalms 69:16 “Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.”

Psalms 79:8 “Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, for we have been brought very low.”

Psalms 103:4 “Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies…”

Psalms 119:77 “Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.”

Psalms 145:9 “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”

In all these verses tender mercies refer to God’s compassion and favor poured into the innermost part of who we are. We are His creations; His dearly loved children. God is the source of all mercy and it is through His compassion that we are filled with His compassion, His tender mercies. When God broke through my toughness, even that which I was unaware of, He brought His compassion and favor to sit in the seat of my emotions and then His Word answered all the questions.

9780961519773How did this happen? Toughness came as a result of hurt, abuse, distrust, fear, doubt, loneliness, and a whole host of other circumstances. But in my toughness, I was not strong. I was just hard! How did God do “this” to me, break through my toughness with His tenderness? He did it by reminding me people I love will always hurt me and I will hurt others. Abuse, distrust, doubt, loneliness are all part of life. Fear comes at us daily. None of those things are going to stop – but toughness isn’t going to help! Jesus is! Total dependence on Him; complete reception of His compassion and favor will keep us tender!

God makes us vulnerable by showing how He sees us – as His own holy and beloved chosen ones! Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.” In Jesus, we are holy and beloved so we get to put on tender mercies. Now THAT is SOME strength! God positions us for dependency on Him by letting us be tough to the point of breaking and then He tenderly reminds us He is there in our innermost beings, deep within, full of compassion and mercy, making us strong and completely transparent before Him.

God creates tenderness for Him and others by putting a longing in our hearts. Paul says in Philippians 1:8 “For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.” Bowels is also translated affection, tender compassion, or tender mercies. THIS creates a tenderness causing us to love more deeply. Philippians 1:9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,” In truth, He showers us with His own “tender mercies” and then…we’re addicted!

And finally, we can be strong yet not so tough anymore through the encouragement of Christ Jesus giving us courage to be strong and tender, not tough and tender! Philippians 2:1-2 “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion (also translated bowels and mercies or tenderness and compassion) make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”

If you’ve been tough, go ahead and let the tenderness of God make you strong…in Him!

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How Awesome IS Our God? #7

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This is the last in a series of blogs discovering the awesomeness of God using an acronym for AWESOME!

A – Through Adoration

W – In Wonder

E – With Energy and Expectation

S – In Simplicity

O – By Obsession

M – Through Meditating on Him

E – With Excitement Everyday

We can explore the awesomeness of God today and every day with excitement IF we want to! I’m going to suggest we start with standing up and reading this Psalm “out loud” and “really loud”!

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations!” (Psalm 100)

When we do simple things like this, our obsession with God increases, our adoration of Him swells, the wonder we experience burgeons and we want to meditate on Him and His awesomeness more and more each day! In this Psalm of thanksgiving we read about WHO God is! He is GOD! He made us! We are His and He is ours! He is good! His mercy and truth endures forever! He is AWESOME!

hearingWhen we read the Word of God out loud, we hear it coming out our mouths and faith comes. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” When faith comes, excitement to experience more of God comes right along with it!

lesson04-11However, getting excited about God and His awesomeness isn’t something we need to “work up”. Exploring the awesomeness of God with excitement everyday isn’t about feverishly praising, thanking, or shouting to the Lord until we “feel” it! It is much simpler than that because the Word of God in and of itself IS excitement! ”For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Since His Word is powerful and life giving, our excitement mounts as we speak, sing, and shout it out loud! In other words, excitement happens! The only thing left to do then is to respond to His living, powerful Word! When we know WHO He is, (an awesome God…just sayin…) we EXPLODE with EXCITEMENT!

If you’re unsure HOW to respond to this Word from Psalm 100, let me help! We just DO what we SPEAK!

Psalm-100-1Make a joyful shout! Go ahead and try that…it’s kind of fun and super simple! “Make” means “to make”. Haha!  It literally means to make a joyful noise (not an obnoxious one). There is no way around this! Just open our mouths and let it out! I personally don’t like shouting but something breaks inside when we do what His living, powerful Word says to do! Today…make a joyful shout to the Lord!

imagesCAV7LBD6Serve the Lord with gladness! Don’t worry about the time and effort serving requires…just find a way to serve the Lord today and do it with a smile. Serving always requires labor and sacrifice. That’s why we’re told to do it with gladness. Otherwise, we focus on “us” and how much we’re putting “into” our service instead of focusing on the Lord, and what we get “out” of it!

imagesCAKACM38Come before Him with singing! Yep, you’ve got it…coming before Him and singing means “action”! We can’t come before Him by sitting back or sitting still! If someone says “Come here” we actually need to get up and go! It’s no different with God! And…claiming we don’t have good singing voices doesn’t excuse us from going and singing before Him! Truth is, the more we sing OUT LOUD, the better we sing! Usually, if we aren’t great singers, we lip sync or sing so quietly no one can hear us. God said “Come and sing” so we should just do that and stop making excuses! Now, THAT is exciting stuff!

Know He is God! Knowing infers more than head knowledge; it means heart knowledge! It intimates familiarity with the God who IS the great I AM. When we KNOW He is God, we lose all excuses and inhibitions! We simply go for it, or in this case, go for Him!

enterEnter INTO His gates with thanksgiving! Again, entering requires action. This isn’t an imaginary relationship we have with the living God so we can’t just “enter in” in our heads. We literally need to enter His gates with thanksgiving on our lips! THANK YOU GOD for life, for family, for church, for trials, for faith, for grace, for mercy, for food, for water, for jobs, for friends, for forgiveness, for children, for responsibilities, for health, for struggles, for joy, for today, for…the list is unending!  Start entering by thanking!

Enter INTO His courts with praise! Once we’re through the gates we’re IN! A court is an enclosure! The imagery here is that once we enter through His gates with thanksgiving, THEN we’ve entered His courts, His manifest presence; His enclosure! Now it’s time to praise! We’re enclosed with God! There’s nothing left to do; nothing more we want to do but praise Him!  

imagesCAFMUKWSBe thankful!  We entered WITH thanksgiving! Now it’s time to “BE”! We’re IN; it’s time to celebrate and BE in His presence! Think of it like this! You’ve been given a ticket to attend a concert or big game with some friends! It’s like a dream come true! You are extremely excited and can’t stop thanking them for such an extravagant gift! When the big night comes, you’re standing at the gate with them, waiting to get in! You’re exclaiming how excited you are; you can’t stop thanking them for this opportunity! Finally you’re through the gate, in the court, and it’s show time! The excitement just quadrupled (or more)! You’re no longer simply grateful you have the opportunity to partake; now you’re excited and thankful you ARE there! Now you get to “be” thankful, celebrating in the presence of whoever it is you are there to “see”! Today, be thankful to God for being awesome!

Bless His Name!  Once you’re in, now that you’re busy being thankful, there’s nothing left to do but be excited and bless His name! You don’t even care what’s happening “outside” the courts! You’re in! And wouldn’t you know it…blessing God, experiencing His awesomeness takes us right back to adoration, the “A” in awesome (blog #1 in this series). Yep! We’ve come full circle! To bless God is to adore God!

I don’t know about any of you, but after I read a Psalm like this, I realize I tend to take life for granted most times…I take God for granted. I spend more time talking about my problems and pains than I do about my pleasure in the Lord! I complain more about my circumstances and conditions than I do about my confidence and certainty in the Lord! I speak more out of frustration with life than I do of my fulfillment in the Lord!

I’m convicted! Today will be the day I choose to experience the awesomeness of God with excitement! I pray you will too! Today and every today from now on! After all, that’s what we have…TODAY! Psalm 95:7 “For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice…” Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Even while writing these seven blogs about exploring the awesomeness of God, I’ve wasted a lot of time exploring how NOT awesome life can be! I’ve even shared with other people how not awesome certain aspects of my life are right now; how hard it is, how uncomfortable I am, how I wished things were different!

Well…I guess this just means two things; I get to spend some time repenting today…AND…I get a fresh start! I’ll go back to blog number one and answer the question “How awesome IS our God?” Then I will live IN His awesomeness! I hope you’ll join me!

Awesome-God

 

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Awesome God

 

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How Awesome IS Our God? #6

Screen-Shot-2012-08-18-at-9_43_45-PMWe’re almost done using an acronym to explore how AWESOME God is! Today we do it through MEDITATING on Him!

A – Through Adoration

W – In Wonder

E – With Energy and Expectation

S – In Simplicity

O – By Obsession

M – Through Meditating on Him

E – With Excitement Everyday

Meditating on God! Meditate means to contemplate, ponder, think on, consider, deliberate, turn over in our minds, mull over, and reflect upon! When we believe in Jesus, we get to do all these things every day…what a great privilege, what an honor, what a pleasure to meditate on God and His Word every minute of every day!  What freedom knowing we need not waste a single minute focused on “us” but can spend every moment, day and night, investing in Jesus!

zoo-beach-reunion-2009-272Scripture gives us many reminders to meditate on God!

Psalm 63:6 “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.”

Psalm 145:5 “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.”

 Psalm 77:12 “I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”

The world suggests we empty our minds and practice relaxation techniques like yoga and transcendental meditation to relieve stress and make us more productive. But God gives more than a suggestion! He tells us what to do! He says to remember Him at night, don’t empty our minds but fill them with thoughts of Him; don’t mull over our problems but ponder the glorious splendor of His majesty; don’t contemplate all the unfinished work we have yet to complete but consider His wondrous works! When we commit to meditating on God and His awesomeness, the natural follow-up is to talk about Him and His deeds. We’ll have so much of Him in our brain that when we open our mouth, He comes out! That can change our environment…yes?

I refer to one of my favorite Christian songs “Hold Me” as my “happy” song because it reflects my own obsession with God (blog #5 in this series). Here are a few of the words: “I know I should be workin’, but I’m thinking of You; and, just when I feel this crazy world is gonna bring me down, that’s when Your smile comes around…forever in my heart, always on my mind, it’s crazy how I think about You all of the time; and, just when I think I’m ‘bout to figure You out; You make me want to sing and shout…”

prayingThinking on God; meditating on Him; it feeds our obsession for more of Him and His awesomeness! I love Psalm 143:5 “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.” Remember, meditate, muse! Letting our minds be filled with God; what He has done and what He is doing; all His mighty works! That’s awesome!

I’m awake a lot at night (actually in the early morning hours shortly after midnight) and often times when that happens, my brain takes me places I don’t want to go or be; like trying to figure out WHY I’m awake; “I’m having hot flashes, I’m in pain, I’m sore, It’s hot in the house, I’ve got so much work to get done, There are so many problems to deal with.” Let me just say, that’s a miserable way to spend “awake” time!

psalm-119148_4369_1024x768scripture meditationThere’s a better way to be awake at night (if I can’t sleep) Psalm 119:148 “My eyes are awake through the night watches; that I may meditate on Your Word.” So THAT’S why I’m awake! That I may meditate on His Word!  Awesome! If you think about it, (mediate on it) it’s actually the perfect set up for a night watch of meditating on God! If you’re awake through the night watches, feel free to meditate on His Word!

I’d like to tell you I get it right every night; the very first time too! But I don’t! Sometimes I’m just so tired I let frustration lead me to wasting time thinking about “WHY” I’m awake. But the more I practice God’s life-giving truth, the faster I get around to taking control of my brain and not letting IT lead me! Then, I get to experience more of the awesomeness of God! When I say “no” to the fluff that fills my mind and “yes” to the firm foundation of truth that NEEDS to fill my mind, my awesome God calms me and reminds me that He LOVES to spend time with me! Even during the night watch!

imagesCA56QYADWhether it is day or night – learn how to meditate on God; His Word; His works; His majesty! In the book of Joshua we’re given great advice (or shall I say “command”) Joshua 1:7-8 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Isn’t that a GREAT idea? Have fun today meditating on God! I know His awesomeness will lead to more meditation, more doing, more talking about Him, and His awesomeness is spread to more people!

And tonight? I pray you sleep well…but if you’re awake…have a great time meditating even more on the awesomeness of God!

Awesome-God

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Awesome God

 

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How Awesome IS Our God? #5

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Let’s explore how AWESOME God is by OBSESSION!

A – Through Adoration

W – In Wonder

E – With Energy and Expectation

S – In Simplicity

O – By Obsession

M – Through Meditating on Him

E – With Excitement Everyday

Normally, obsession comes with some creepy thoughts! In fact in the medical dictionary it is beyond creepy – it is unwanted. There it’s defined as a persistent unwanted idea or impulse that cannot be eliminated by reasoning. (I like the last part of that) The medical field goes on to say obsession is a compulsive preoccupation with unreasonable ideas or emotions and is often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety. That just sounds miserable doesn’t it? If you’re the object of someone’s medically defined obsession I imagine that would be downright daunting!

But outside the medical field, obsession can take on a much more positive connotation! Obsession means to be fixated and fascinated by “some” thing! I like that definition especially when I think and talk about being obsessed with God. We can even add a little of the medical definition here; “it cannot be eliminated by reasoning” because our fascination with God CANNOT be done away with by logic or reasoning; nor would we want it to!

When we’re obsessed with God, fascinated by Him, fixated on Him, when we simply cannot get Him out of our head, when we’re preoccupied with Him, we cannot help but be overwhelmed by His awesomeness! It’s an amazing thing! In fact, the exact opposite thing happens when we’re obsessed with God than with worldly objects or people. Whereas worldly obsession brings anxiety, Godly obsession makes all anxiety stop! Whereas worldly obsession is based on unreasonable ideas or emotions, Godly obsession is founded on visions, dreams, extravagant ideas, and emotions that can’t be contained… but then again…why would we want to restrain them? Whereas worldly obsessions are things we might want to eliminate, Godly obsession is something we want to perpetuate.

I suppose in the world, we are considered “victims” of our obsessions, at least until we learn how to live with them or get rid of them. But a victim is somebody who is hurt or harmed in some way, and it intimates helplessness in freeing oneself from whatever or whoever is holding them back.

Lovers of God are not victims! Being obsessed with God doesn’t hurt or harm us and we are free to dive in with Him as deep as we want to go! If obsession in the world makes us victims, obsession with God makes us thrivers! If obsession in the world causes us to be overcome by the world, obsession with God makes us overcomers! Obsession with God causes us to triumph over all the things trying to obsess us because when we get lost in His awesomeness, anything outside of it is obliterated!

obsessionWe get this holy obsession by looking up, fixating our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits on Jesus, the lover of our souls! Psalm 121:1-2 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” We don’t look for help from the world and we don’t look for how God is going to use things in the world to help us (though He might do that). We look only to God! We fixate, fascinate, and focus on the Lord who made all things! This naturally leads to a greater obsession to look and see God every day!

deuteronomy10_21Deuteronomy 10:21 “He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.” Jesus is everything to us! He is the object, the person, the God of our obsession! Just look and our eyes will see! The more we look the more we’ll obsess over His awesomeness. The more we obsess, the more we’ll talk about Him; the more we’ll declare how awesome He is over ourselves, over our families, our homes, workplaces, and churches; over all the earth! Psalm 47:2 “For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.”

come and seeFinally, the more we look up, the more we trust God for our help, the more we look and see, the more we talk about Him, the more we declare Him, the more we’ll want others to be obsessed with Him as well. We’ll tell people about our awesome God; we’ll tell them what He does, who He is, how He works in our lives, and how He wants to work in their lives! Psalm 66:5 “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in his doing toward the sons of men.”

 Hey! Don’t be creeped out by the thought of being obsessed with God! You don’t have to understand it, reason through it and you certainly don’t want to eliminate it! My suggestion is to simply enjoy your holy obsession with a holy God today!

Awesome-God

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Awesome God

 

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How Awesome IS Our God? #4

Screen-Shot-2012-08-18-at-9_43_45-PMWe’ve done letters A, W, and E (How Awesome IS Our God? #1,#2,#3) now it’s time for the fourth letter in the acronym for AWESOME; simplicity! We’ve been exploring the ways we can purposefully and intentionally discover how awesome our God truly is!

A – Through Adoration

W – In Wonder

E – With Energy and Expectation

S – In Simplicity

O – By Obsession

M – Through Meditating on Him

E – With Excitement Everyday

2646213692_af0165c426Very often in life we tend to complicate things, including God stuff! It’s one thing when we make an effort to understand with patience, determination, and single-mindedness but it’s another thing to do so without patience, in frustration, and with double-mindedness! In other words, we can make something simple very difficult by thinking too much. We set hurdles for ourselves we can’t jump over; we make matters worse by asking the wrong questions; we confuse the situation more often than not! Overall, we tend to obscure the simplicity inherent in most things in life!

To discover the absolute awesomeness of God we should just let go of all the “stuff” we don’t understand about Him and in simplicity, learn what He clearly reveals to us! Then before we know it, we can comprehend things that we previously didn’t get!

simplicity-appeals-to-the-heartWe can learn a lesson from the early church about how to enjoy God’s awesomeness together by keeping things simple. Just because we’re a little “later” church doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy God and each other the same way they did! Acts 2:46-47 “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people…”

I don’t know; maybe we think it’s an insult to have simple hearts! It’s not! But, what does “simplicity of heart” really mean? In the Greek language, the word simplicity here is translated “singleness”. In fact, in the King James version of the Bible, that’s exactly what it says…they ate with gladness and singleness of heart. Now of course it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this isn’t speaking of the actual “act” of eating, since the heart isn’t a big part of filling our stomachs. No, this has everything to do with unity and choice. They chose to be single-minded; to keep things simple; to be glad; to praise God; and as a result, they were well-liked by others. They didn’t look for all the things that made them different…they hung out with like-minded people who loved the Lord and the love they shared was evident to those outside who didn’t yet love the Lord! That’s a wonderful display of how awesome God is! We can hang out with other Christians and impact other people! How easy can it get?

Yet…we complicate it! We try to come up with all kinds of fancy, swanky, extravagant, and elaborate ways to reach the lost; we purchase expensive evangelism programs to “train” us how to share the Gospel when all we need to do is keep it simple. In simplicity of heart continue to meet and eat, praise God, experience His awesomeness and the favor of all the people will be on us! When we, in simplicity do these things, we overflow with the awesomeness of God by overflowing with praise, and then…our testimony is easy and simple as well. We don’t need to complicate Jesus to make Him known to others!

A little closer look at the word “simplicity” here in Acts in the original language reveals it means “without rock, to be smooth and plain”. So in simplicity of heart these people enjoyed their life in Jesus. Their hearts were not hard and complicated. They were soft and smooth; pliant and simple!

Paul also talks about simplicity in 2 Corinthians 1:12 “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.”

A different Greek word is used for simplicity here; but singleness of mind is still at the heart of it! We learn here to conduct ourselves in simplicity both in the world and before God. When we do, we’ll experience the awesomeness of God. This simplicity is defined as “the virtue of one who is free from pretense and hypocrisy.” When we, in simplicity, seek the Lord, we aren’t self-seeking. We’re not interested in self-preservation. Our hearts our open; our lives are transparent; we manifest generosity to a world which teaches the opposite.

imagesCAVFDBKMTo revel in the awesomeness of God is to keep it simple with people; to live in complete honesty and singleness before people; to be sincere and let our hearts be kept in simple peace and love. We won’t experience the awesomeness of God without experiencing the awesomeness of His people. 1 John 4:21 “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” Pretty simple!

I pray today we’ll all keep it simple! Be single-minded! Don’t complicate life! Be amazed at the awesomeness of God today and every day – and be amazed at the power of simplicity!

Awesome-God

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Awesome God

 

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How Awesome IS Our God? #3

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This is Round Number Three of the “How Awesome IS Our God?” blogs using an acronym for AWESOME so we can see just how awesome our God really is!

A – Through Adoration

W – In Wonder

E – With Energy and Expectation

S – In Simplicity

O – By Obsession

M – Through Meditating on Him

E – With Excitement Everyday

We’ve talked about the “A” and the “W” (you can read installments one and two)! Now it’s time to investigate God’s awesomeness with energy and expectation! I think the best way to investigate anything in life is with energy and expectation… with vigor, liveliness, and forcefulness (energy), confidently believing with strong hope that we’ll discover something new (expectation). So, to discover how awesome our God is, we ought to go after Him with energy and expectation; with vigor, liveliness and force, fully confident and hopeful we’ll find ourselves overcome by His awesomeness.

8451914-image-of-energetic-man-jumping-high-against-bright-blue-skyEnergy in and of itself implies present tense. It’s tough to be energetic about something in the past.  Yet sometimes, that’s how we live as believers and followers of Jesus Christ. We’re grateful He saved us by grace through faith; we’re thankful He forgave and redeemed us; and we love the idea of living eternally in heaven with God! But, we often lack an energized, enthusiastic, vigorous and living relationship with God. We often take His awesomeness for granted; we relegate His awesome work in our life to something in the past; no less true but not a present reality for us! It’s great to have testimony of God’s goodness from the past but if that’s all we have, if we always have to reach back into the recesses of our minds to tell of the awesomeness of God, we’ll likely not be energized to explore more of His awesomeness today!

So let’s think present tense; let’s think of today! To explore the awesomeness of God with energy, think about how God has touched you in the last twenty-four hours! How has God revealed His awesomeness to you? If you struggle to come up with even one thing, it’s time to get energized and expectant once again. The neat thing is, we don’t have to drum up this energy and expectancy ourselves. We just get to tap into God’s power; His vigor, His energy, His expectation, His get-up-and-go oomph in life! We just get to talk about how awesome He is. When we do this, we get energized! The more we talk about Jesus, the more we’ll pay attention to Him, the more we’ll recognize Him, the more energy we’ll want to expend for Him, the more expectant we’ll be of Him, and the more we’ll explore His awesomeness all day long!

See…it’s amazing what happens when we stop letting everything else in life consume our time and attention; we start getting in tune with the awesomeness of God; we start adoring God and wondering more about Him; we get more energy to seek God, and our expectation to experience His awesomeness grows exponentially as well!  In fact, we might say when we seek the Lord with energy, God’s AWESOME FACTOR swells to “out of this world” proportion AND we expect to live in His awesomeness every day of our lives!

1641065_origThis all happens by faith!  Here’s the thing…energy, expectation and faith are closely related! “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) “Now” faith, “Now” energy, and “Now” expectation – these all keep us living in the moment, in the present, in today! When we exert energy in seeking after the Lord, expectancy is created, and by faith we’ll experience what we hope for; we’ll experience evidence of His awesomeness.

Let today be a day of discovering the great depths of the awesomeness of God with energy and expectation. Let me give you three things from Luke 24:49 to help us do this! Jesus told the disciples to wait for the Promise. “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

1. They were to “tarry”; to wait. I guarantee their waiting was with a great deal of energy and expectancy knowing by faith, power was coming! 2. To be “endued” means His power would literally sink into them; they would be clothed with power. It’s like sinking into bed, or sinking into something perfectly fit just for you! 3. The Greek word for this “power” is “dynamis”! It means with strength and vigor. It would be appropriate to say, this power was “energy” sinking into them, becoming one with them.

Today friends the promise is fulfilled! Wait expectantly, looking for the awesomeness of God everywhere you go and in everything you do! Know you are endued with power! So go ahead and exert what He has clothed you with; vigor and liveliness! Don’t be surprised when the awesomeness of God overwhelms you from head to toe, inside and out!

Oh, and by the way…have some fun too! Be energized! Be expectant! Be awesome!

Awesome-God

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Awesome God

 

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