Thursday, February 23, 2017

Absolutely Trustworthy

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 (NKJV)

Trust: A primitive root; to flee for protection (compare batach); figuratively, to confide in -- have hope, make refuge, (put) trust.

Why is God worthy of trust, and trustworthy?

Rock: literally cliff, from a root word meaning to be lofty; a craggy rock, literally or figuratively a fortress, strong hold.
Fortress: Castle, a fastness, defense, a strong place
Deliverer: bring into security, carry away safe
Strength: mighty God one,  a rock or boulder, strong
Shield: to hedge about, i.e. protect, defend
Horn: symbol of strength
Of my salvation: liberty, deliverance, prosperity, safety
Stronghold: God as refuge, a cliff or other lofty or inaccessible place, high tower
Refuge: place of escape, a retreat
Savior: to be safe, deliverer
Violence: cruelty, damage, injustice, unrighteous
Call: summon, address by name
Worthy to be praised: to rave, to celebrate
Saved: be liberated, properly placed in freedom
Enemies: hating; an adversary, foe

Meditate on each of the words describing God. Once the meaning of the words and the power displayed in each, then the truth that God is absolutely trustworthy stands out. 

Knowing who God is — how can you help but trust Him? 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Three Distinct Actions

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37 (NKJV)
Love: involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received
Lord: a person exercising absolute ownership rights
All: complete (in extent, amount, time or degree)
Heart: it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors
Soul:  the root of the English words "psyche," "psychology"; a person's distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality
Mind: the faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring

This weekend is my Church's Missions Conference. The theme verse is Matthew 22:37. As I was studying this verse this morning, the meaning of the word "love" stood out. 
Involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received.
Affectionate reverence. 
Prompt obedience. 
Grateful recognition of benefits received. 

Three distinct actions. 

As I evaluate my life, do I love my Lord (who does have absolute ownership rights to me), with those three distinct actions?  Do I give him the reverence He deserves? Do I obey him promptly? Do I not only have an attitude of gratefulness for all the benefits, but do I tell Him, "Thank you"? 

Look at the three distinct areas in which I am to love God. 
Heart. Soul. Mind. 

The heart is my desires, my passions. The soul is "who I am". The mind is understanding, feeling, thinking. 

Do my desires and passions reflect a reverence for God? Am I passionate about obeying God — promptly? Do my thoughts readily express gratefulness? 

Some will say, "but that's not who I am? I wasn't made that way?" But the truth is, that God did make us "that way". We were designed in the image of God, and if it weren't for sin, we would love God with the entirety of our souls. 

What do I put into my mind? What do I dwell upon? What do I allow to dictate how I feel, and what my desires are? If I evaluate my thoughts through the filter of "love", will I find that I have reverence for God? Do I act quickly in obeying God in making sure my thoughts and feelings are in accordance with Him? Am I quick to give thanks for all God does? 

Love. Three distinct actions.