Archive for obedience

The Man Who Died for Me… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on September 20, 2019 by paulthepoke

Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely….He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. —Dieter F. Uchtdorf

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.” Oftentimes as Christians we try expressing the love of Christ through kindness alone, but as Lewis stresses, kindness is but one attribute of love; it is not actually love itself. When we consider how we love others, what is our motive? Are we satisfied if we are just the seed planter? Are we satisfied if we are simply serving?

In the book of Luke we read, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)

Love your enemies…

If this is how we are to treat our enemies, how should we treat those for whom we have compassion and want to see brought into His Kingdom?

Loving others is an act of obedience, but we cannot trick God. He alone sees our hearts. He knows if we are giving food to the hungry out of love, or if we are merely baiting the hungry so we can guilt them to repentance with our message—our message. God’s message is not one of trickery or condemnation, nor does it demand that broken people turn from their vices before crying out to Him. God alone can fill our empty spaces, cleanse us of our sins, and buff our rough places. He alone can draw us in.

The Lover of Our Souls draws us through compassion. He alone meets us where we are, wipes away our tears, and saves us. When we give to those who are in need, it should be the overflow of what we have been given, and it should be truly free. When we put a price or a demand on these actions, we are cheating the very ones who move His heart.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:40, NLT)

The question is: How, then, are we treating Christ?

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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MUST Have Control? Let It Go… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on April 5, 2019 by paulthepoke

“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” – 1 Samuel 15:23

A friend of mine who is a jet pilot once told me that whenever a jet goes out of control and begins to spin, the only thing to do is totally take your hands off the controls and the plane will right itself. This goes against our natural inclination to control and manipulate in order to bring things back under control. It is scary to be out of control. Or is it?

Saul was a man out of control. He was losing control of his kingdom to David. He was losing the favor of God and the people. It began as compromises. Eventually he was given a final test to obey the voice of God fully. He was instructed to kill the Amalekites completely; but he failed to follow through.

The prophet Samuel delivered a hard word to King Saul, “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king” (1 Samuel 15:26).

Saul obeyed partially, but not fully. It was partial obedience that led to his removal as king of Israel and his calling from God. But why did Saul do such a thing?

“I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.” (1 Samuel 15:24b).

Saul’s fear and insecurity made him more afraid of the people and what they thought than of God. At the core of Saul’s disobedience was fear of losing control. That fear of losing control led to partial obedience and the loss of his reign as king.

How many of us are in danger of losing God’s blessing due to partial obedience? How many of us have such a need to control people and circumstances that we fail to fully walk in obedience to God’s voice in our lives? Saul provides a great lesson for us as believers. The need to over-control things around us can prevent us from receiving all that God has for us. Today, take an inventory of your control quotient.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Straight Talk…The Carpenter, Rodna Epley

Posted in Gospel, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2017 by paulthepoke

RodnaToday I was thinking of the irony that wood and nails, the tools which Jesus used in His trade as a Carpenter, were the same tools that fastened Him to the cross as He died for our sins through crucifixion. So then, the very thing that Jesus gave new purpose or life to, so to speak, was also the thing that aided in taking His Life in the end.

Or so it seemed…! Because the One who hung on that cross was way more than just a Carpenter. He was the Lamb of God, the Eternal Son of God, the everlasting Word of God, who also held the power of life and death in His hands. Which He claimed to have, and proved to have, when He was raised from the dead 3 days later – when the corruptible put on incorruptible and mortality put on immortality. Now the Master Carpenter builds for us an eternal home. For all of us who our faith in Him, repent, pick up our crosses daily, obey His teachings, and follow Him wherever He will lead us…

Therefore God in His infinite wisdom, turned this ironic death into yet more irony. A much more glorious irony, through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, by which all of us can receive eternal life.

“Jesus said…I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” – John 11:20

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” – Genesis 50:20

“Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” – John 2:19

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and obeys them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house on a rock:” – Matthew 7:24

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38

Isaiah 11:3a The Smell of Obedience

Posted in Gospel, Isaiah, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2014 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 11:3a And He will delight in the fear of the LORD…

The Hebrew text reads literally, “and his smelling is in the fear of the Lord.” (NET Bible).

Reyach is Hebrew for smell. The word is translated as “delight” by the NASB version. It can be translated as scent, fragrance, aroma, odor of soothing (technical term for sacrifice to God). Definition provided by Strong’s Concordance.

He, Jesus, will enjoy and desire to respect and revere the LORD as if it had a pleasant smell.

“Reyach” is the word used as God’s response to the sacrificial system in the Old Testament.

Numbers 15:7 and for the drink offering you shall offer one-third of a hin of wine as a soothing aroma to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:13 ‘Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. This is a recipe for bread. God delights in the smell of baked bread. This aspect of the sacrificial system is also looking to the future. Notice the elements, bread and wine. The New Testament equivalent is Communion.

Animal sacrifices were required in the Old Testament to be a reminder of sin. These animal sacrifices upon a burning altar produced a soothing aroma to God. The smell of burning animals with spices, God likes the smell of grilled meat. The blood of these animals could not take away sin. But the blood of Jesus could. See Hebrews 10 for detail.

This same word “reyach” is used for “delight” in Amos 5:21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Translation to the religious ones of the day, your religious actions stink. God does not care for performance religion. He wants your heart.

Our response to all of this is to pray. In the throne room of Heaven, prayers are equated with incense. Our prayers are a fragrant aroma to God. Revelation 8:3-4 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Prayers smell good to God and He likes them.

He, Jesus, will enjoy and desire to respect and revere the LORD as if it had a pleasant smell.

PaulthePoke

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