I was twenty-five years old when I gave my heart to Jesus. I started reading the Old Testament one day and to put it simply, I freaked out…
I had always been told that if God was so loving, then He wouldn’t allow all the pain and suffering in the World. This had caused me to develop an unhealthy attitude towards Christianity but after about six months of “searching,” I had gone from atheist to Christian.
The romance of finding God died quickly, when I suddenly realised that God was big and scary.
As I read through the Old Testament, I read about this big flood. I read how the ground literally swallowed people up if they didn’t do as they were told. I read about plagues and so much death. I read about this guy having to willingly sacrifice his son to show he loved God more – and that was just a few things!
Don’t get me started on the New Testament – it’s like the most epic love story gone wrong – who wants the good guy to die?
I became fearful. God obviously had made a mistake because if He really knew me then the ground should have buried me by now? Then I began to study the Bible.
I cried a lot. I wanted to know how I could take back all the mistakes in my life. The guilt I felt. I burdens I carried. The shame…the heartache.
Giving my life to Christ was only the beginning. I did not realise that it was a lifelong journey of relationship and discovery. We will naturally shy away from things we don’t understand and therefore develop preconceived ideas.
I realise now, that God was big and scary because I didn’t know Him. I didn’t understand the context of what was happening in the things I mentioned above. I didn’t see the whole picture.
The Bible does talk about God being angry and His righteous anger will ultimately bring justice to humanity. Yet people only talk about the bits that they want to. It’s like leaving food on your plate because you don’t like something but actually we all need a balanced diet.
I have learnt that Gods love far surpasses anything that this world has to offer and if He is angry, it’s only because He cares. His son died so we may live. The irony now is whether we are living, to die or to be with God.
I was talking to God yesterday after being in an extended period of worship and He gave me an image of the world.
He showed me that from His perfect design, different countries (within a 24 hour period) would bring continuous worship and praise, due to time zones.
I was then given a picture of the angels singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” within Heaven.
I love the image of the earth being in continuous praise. The image given is symbolic of what it will be like to be with the angels.
And yet, God has told us that His name is worthy to be praised and if we do not, then the rocks will praise Him anyway
It can be so easy to focus on “stuff,” rather than the main reason for us being alive – relationship with God.
“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Matthew 6:33 MSG
What is really important to you?
Being afraid of missing out actually pushes God out of first place – whether we mean for this to happen, or not. This is because we still try to strive to get everything done and so we are not actively focusing on Him.
Yet, this scripture realigns our thinking – God is the one who supplies our everyday needs, so just concentrate on your relationship with Him and not worry about everything else.
I have found there are five things in life that when I focus on this order, everything just seems to fall into place…
So many people write about the difficulties and heartaches of life – myself included.
We’re told that we’re not promised an easy ride in life – whether we have a relationship with Christ or not.
And then there are the grey days, the dull routine days of life, when nothing much happens. To others, these days are the ones where they find comfort or reassurance that there are no surprises with bills or health issues.
But in life, we also have days that stand out to us, like that sunset that takes our breath away, our child’s first step, celebrations, or maybe the first time you see your future partner.
The days that make priceless memories are the days when we laugh and sing and celebrate with each other.
That is our nature though, when things are going well, we feel happy and then when the tough times hit, depression kicks in but we are told time and time again that our perspective is not God’s perspective.
True joy transcends our circumstances because God has given us things to always find joy throughout everyday life – even on the greyest days.
The snowflake that falls on your nose. The sound of the ocean. Lambs jumping around in their meadow on a spring evening. A cheerful person you see walking past in the street. Your baby’s first smile. Coffee with a friend. A new book to read. Coffee whilst reading a book. Coffee. Did I mention coffee? The smell of chocolate cake baking in the oven. The list is endless.
Jesus had joy in his heart which he wanted us all to share.
When our lives are intertwined with His, He will help us see the joy in everything and will keep us level-headed, no matter what our circumstances, daily.
Proverbs gives an awesome insight of what wisdom brings us, when we apply her to our lives.
Thoughts and words are not enough in this life. The actions that loyalty and kindness brings, is shown in this passage through our reputation.
The actions we show to others, are generally birthed out of our attitudes and in the NIV the words for wisdom here are LOVE and FAITHFULNESS.
Love, loyalty, kindness and faithfulness are mostly found from the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
Therefore, it is a great reminder that a good reputation comes from living right with God – which brings both favour from both people and God Himself.
Plus, if this is tied to us or located deep within our heart, it is something that we shouldn’t forget.
I woke up this morning singing a song and this scripture on my heart.
I love the image we receive from scripture when The Lord will come. EVERY knee will bow and ALL creatures in heaven and earth will praise and honour God – because He is the Creator and Sustainer of everything.
He is the eternal Lord and ruler of the past, present and future.
It is so easy to forget that without Him, we have nothing that is eternal, nothing that can change our life, and nothing that can save us from sin.
He is the beginning and the end of all existence, wisdom and power.
He is the Risen One!
God was specific when giving direction to Moses on how Aaron and his sons were to bless the Israelites.
This also helps us to understand its purpose for us as well:
To receive a blessing and ask for others to receive one, is to ask God for these five things. One thing I know is when we receive it, it demonstrates love, encouragement and shows we care!
So I pray a blessing on each and every one of you.
In Jesus’ name