Psalm 145:18 – The LORD is near to all who call on him. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – At times, He seems distant to me, most likely because I have distanced myself from Him, not because He does not want to be close to me. At times, my prayers seem to go no further than the ceiling, but that does not mean that He is not listening. At times, I feel so empty of Him, but that does not mean His Spirit has departed from me.
My Advice – If you feel the same at times, ask yourself what I ask myself – “who moved?” Like the prodigal, we may have fallen, but we can “fall back.” We can return. Like the prodigal’s Father He’s watching for our return.
Zechariah 10:6-10 – “I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them. Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. I will bring them back.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Sometimes (often) we go our own way. We wander among the worldly (distant lands) and forget the ways of God. God will allow us this freedom, but He remains in our hearts (we survive). Eventually we remember Him and desire to leave our worldly lifestyle. Out of His great compassion He brings us back and restores us.
My Advice – There will likely be times when you wander in “distant lands” and do not walk with God. Always remember that you cannot wander so far that His arms cannot reach you to welcome you back. You will find that the first step of the return journey may be real hard. But once you take that first step, demonstrating your willingness to turn back, God will carry you the rest of the way.
Hosea 5:4 – Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We cannot return to God if we are holding onto deeds that are pulling us away from Him. We have to let go, so we can turn around.
My Advice – Hold onto things of this world loosely. Do not let them turn into deeds that will prevent you from having fellowship with God.
Ezekiel 18:23 – “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the Sovereign Lord. “Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their wicked ways and live?” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – There are two ways we can turn from sin. One is to first fall into sin, then later repent (turn back from). The other is to be confronted by sin and to refuse to give in (turn away from). To turn away is better than to turn back, but God is pleased when we do either.
My Advice – Make it a goal of your life to please God.
Romans 13:1-2 – Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (NIV 1984)
In Congress, July 4, 1776 – The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, Continue reading “Revolutionary Declarations”
Study 6: Our Response
God offers the only remedy that works. But to end the separation, to get to the other side where God eagerly awaits us with open arms, we have to take the bridge.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
We are not mystically transported to the other side without our knowledge simply because Jesus died on the cross. While it is true that He died for all, not everyone accepts Him. Nor are we herded across to the other side against our will. We can reject Him. There is no toll charge, no price that we can pay to gain the crossing. The price has already been paid. We simply have to accept Him and the sacrifice that He made. In so doing, we willingly cross over the bridge that He built back to Him. We cross over from death to life. We are born again. Continue reading “Study 6: Our Response”
Getting Back To Where You Once Belonged
1 Samuel 7:3 – “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – You cannot return without turning around. You have to stop going in a direction that is against God in order to return to God. You have to turn around and go back towards God.
My Advice – When you have been out of God’s will and you want to return to Him, make sure you do so wholeheartedly. Do not try to hang onto what got you outside of God’s will in the first place. It just will not work. Rid yourself of it and recommit yourself to God.