God Won’t Write You Off

Have you just fallen into the same sin for the 49th time? I’ve been there.

Here’s a joke: When I sinned the same way the 49th time, my Lord said: “Great! She’ll get it the next time.”

Actually, of course, God isn’t remote, looking down to see what we’ll do. Rather, we are in Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and God is working in us both to want to do His will and then actually to do His will.

God Never Gives Up

The wonderful, awesome, incomprehensible news is that God loves His children, never gives up, and will work in us until the day of Christ Jesus!

The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37

This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. John 6:39

We may be faithless, but He never is.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

He keeps on. And He keeps us.

Our Future: Holy and Blameless

And—one day—Christ will present us to the Father, holy and blameless and beyond reproach. Colossians 1:22

Holy and blameless! Beyond reproach!

God Won’t Write Us Off

God never quits on us. God never writes us off.

We are responsible for our sins. But God is at work in us. We will grow spiritually until we are taken home, to heaven.

Don’t despair, but strive to live more in line with what He wants.

God will not write you off.

 

 

Praise the Ever-Present God

 

The previous post in the Praise series, Praise the Omniscient, focused on the eternal truth that Almighty God knows everything about everything and everybody all the time.

Today, let’s praise the God who is everywhere, all the time, forever. He is always with us. We can never escape Him. He is Ever-Present, Omnipresent.

“Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him? Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” (Jeremiah 23:23–24)

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. (Psalm 139:7–10)

For a Believer God’s Presence is Wonderful

For a believer, this is wonderful. God is always present. We cannot escape Him, nor do we want to. His love is always with us, His sovereignty is always active in our lives. We are never forgotten or left alone. While we may not always feel His presence, it is true that God is with us. Let’s focus on the truth.

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

He knows all we think, say, and do. For a believer, this truth stimulates us to righteous living and good deeds. We can rest, knowing He knows, and will reward us.

Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:12)

For Those Who Don’t Believe, God’s Presence is (or should be) Terrifying

For those who haven’t received Christ as Lord and Savior, God’s presence is (or should be) terrifying. God is with them, everything they do is seen by Him, the ruler of the universe. They cannot hide their faithlessness and misdeeds.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

Praise the Ever-Present God

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—I praise Your constant presence throughout Your creation. I praise You for being everywhere all the time and that no one can escape Your presence. I praise You that no one can “get away” with anything—good deeds or bad, and that one day You will judge the world in righteousness. Please help me absorb this truth and live my life aware that You are with me.

Grieve or Please

God’s Love

God’s love for His children, those who trust in His Son, and have received Christ as Lord and Savior, is unchanging and eternal.

God is for us (Romans 8:31).

Christ Jesus intercedes for us (Romans 8:34).

NOTHING can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

While God’s love for His children is steadfast, we can grieve Him or please Him.

Grieving God

Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Paul gives examples of how we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:25-29), all of which are illustrations of sin.

Even though we can grieve the Holy Spirit, we are sealed by Him and cannot lose our salvation.

But! As long as He is grieved, we have lost fellowship with Him, and therefore direction and joy. The remedy is to confess your (my) sin, knowing that God will “forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

Pleasing God

On the other hand, we can please God. Amazing isn’t it? We, mortal humans, but children of God, can please Almighty God! Woohoo!

And we can learn to please Him.

Learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:10)

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. (2 Corinthians 5:9)

God Helps Us Please Himself

Determine to please Him in all respects (Colossians 1:10), and know that God is working in you both to want to please Him and to actually work to please Him.

For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

God is helping us please Him!

Set Your Mind

Resolve to increasingly know Him and know what He wants you to do. Determine to live your life His way. You’ll please Him!

Don’t Think About It!

 

Don’t Think About It!

Have you ever been told not to think about something? Or, maybe, you’ve told yourself to stop thinking about something.

You may have done this exercise as a party game or in corporate training. “Picture an elephant.” ………… “Now stop thinking about the elephant.”

How did that work for you?

Probably not well, unless…

The Bible Tells Us How to Stop

Remember a time you were stuck in some unwanted thought. How long were you trapped? What enabled you to focus on something else?

It doesn’t work just to try to stop.

In fact, if you focus on trying to stop thinking about something in particular, you are more likely to keep remembering it.

What does work is to substitute a different thought.

Put Off. Put On.

Let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12)

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Romans 13:14)

Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:22–24)

Don’t Do It!

This principle also works for behavior. Do you want to stop doing something? Find a godly substitute and do that instead.

I wanted to stop being so angry at certain behaviors in my company I thought were outrageous. One day I read a story about how to tell a true southerner: “A true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 mph on the freeway. You just say, ‘Bless her heart’ and go your own way.” I laughed, but immediately saw how to apply this to my situation. So, when I saw or heard something that made my angry, I deliberately said: “Bless her/his heart.” The thought made me laugh and provoked me to bless and not curse. (When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready? page 214.)

Apply this to yourself

What do you want to stop thinking about? What do you want to stop doing?

Plan a substitute thought or a substitute action.

Think the godly substitute.

Perform the godly substitute.

This is how to not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

Practice! Press on!

This post describes HOW to stop thinking or doing something, but is the intellectual “how.” Conceptually, this is not difficult. However, we still must learn HOW to apply this to our lives, reliably and well. Actually employing this learning takes our best effort in the power of God. We are to “labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29)

Let’s press on!

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing to Forgive

Uh-Oh. Someone is on the wrong side!

 

When someone asks for forgiveness, I’ve sometimes said: “There is nothing to forgive.” And a friend recently said that to me for something I felt bad about.

I wonder if that is right.

For some reason the person and I asked for forgiveness. It could be a mis-directed conscience. It could be a genuine mis-step. It could be sin. It could genuinely be nothing.

But the person is troubled

Even if you aren’t troubled by whatever happened, the person was troubled enough to ask for forgiveness.

After thinking about when I’ve used the phrase or been the recipient of the phrase, I will never again say it.

Instead, I plan to ask about what prompted the request for forgiveness, explore, if appropriate, what the person thinks about the issue and, if there is an issue, how I can help.

Possible questions

What’s going on?

Why did you ask?

What do you think was wrong?

A possible opportunity

Maybe this is an opportunity to help the person move forward in his/her Christian life. Help them understand if there really was nothing amiss. Or help them understand how to tackle, with God’s help, an issue.

If there really was no issue at all, the person wouldn’t have asked for forgiveness!

Things to think about

If there really is something awry, you don’t want to condone a problem.

If the person needs some help, you don’t want to ignore it.

 

 

 

Praise the Omniscient

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God knows everything. He is omniscient.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. (Psalm 139:1–6)

His understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:5)

Your Father… sees what is done in secret… (Matthew 6:6)

Lord, You know all things… (John 21:17)

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13)

Awesome. Scary.

God knows everything about everything and everybody all the time.

God knows everything about you—and me–all the time. He knows everything you—and I—think, feel, say, do. There is nothing you or I can hide.

Simultaneously, God’s omniscience is comforting and fearful.

He knows all our sins, which should lead us to confession and repentance, thereby receiving His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

He knows all our sins—past, present, and future—and saved us anyway, which should lead us to worship Him and give us confidence.

For unbelievers, though, God’s omniscience is a frightful reality since God, when He judges, knows everything the person did. Everything.

For unbelievers, this truth should help them know they need a Savior.

Praise the Omniscient

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—I praise Your Omniscience. You know the end from the beginning. You know everything about everything and everybody all the time, and knit everything all together to accomplish Your glorious will. Help me relax in light of this truth, resting on You.

How to Pray for What You Already Have

Too often I will pray for something God has already given me.

My problem isn’t that I lack God’s resources but that I don’t apply His provision in my life.

Don’t Pray to Receive What You Already Have

If I pray for strength to cope with something, or the ability to do what He told me, I’m praying for the wrong thing. I’ve been told that I “can do all things through Him who strengthens” me (Phil. 4:13).

If I pray for His guidance, I’m ignoring that He always guides me (John 16:13).

If I pray for His grace, I overlook that He has freely and richly given me His grace (Ephesians 1:6-7).

If I pray for joy, I discount Jesus’ promise: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11).

I have been given “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

But I Don’t Always Use What I’ve Been Given

But I am not always joyful.

I too often believe I am not able to do what I know the Lord wants me to do.

I pray for the wrong things.

Pray to Apply What You Already Have

Instead of praying for peace, or joy, or guidance, or strength, which you’ve already been given as a child of God, pray that the Lord will help you understand and apply His gifts in your life, in your situation.

Lord, thank You that You have given me the ability to accomplish Your direction. Thank You that You will guide me as I work in this situation. Please help me clearly understand what to do. Please help me get started and keep going.

Lord, thank You that You given me Your Word, help me understand what You would have me do. Thank You that You are with me now and will be with me as I, in Your strength, go about my day. Help me stay alert to You (Luke 21:36).

Lord, thank You that You already have given me everything pertaining to life and godliness. I am determined to use Your gifts in the life You have given me. Help me continually look to You for the guidance You’ve promised. Help me demonstrate Your power and love today.

Question

How are you going to pray—right now?

Is God Sovereign Over Our Sins?

 

God is sovereign over everything and everybody all the time. Period. (See Chapters 2-5 in When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?)

Does that mean God is sovereign over our sins?

Yes.

God is sovereign over our sins, but we are entirely responsible for them.

God does not cause evil, He is not tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone (James 1:13). We are responsible for our own behavior.

God can prevent our sins (Genesis 20:6), but, clearly, He often does not.

When we sin, as children of God we are responsible to confess our sins. Our faithful and righteous God then forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Even though we are forgiven if we confess, most likely there are consequences from our sins.

The good news out of this bad news is that God, in His providence, uses our sins for His purposes. (For example, Proverbs 19:21; Lamentations 3:37.)

Since He is sovereign, eternal, and omniscient, He not only knows what “will” happen, but whatever happened—whatever He allowed—was/is part of His plan. He works all things in accordance with His will.

This explains the familiar promise: God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

So…what bad thing just happened to you? God knew about it from before the foundation of the world (He is eternal). He allowed it (He is sovereign). If you’re a believer, He will use it for good.

SO!

If you’ve sinned, confess it, and seek to walk in His way.

But whatever the circumstance:

Trust Him.

Praise Him.

Obey Him.

Feeling Unlovable?

Feeling unlovable?

Oh oh.

Whose lies are you listening to?

If you are a King’s kid, Almighty God loves you with an infinite, unfathomable love.

If you don’t yet believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have not yet received Him as your Lord and Savior, turn to Him (See Becoming a Child of God).

God’s Love for His Kids

God is Truth. God is Love.

He, Almighty God, tells us about His love for us, He proved His love by sending Jesus to die for our sins, He promises unimaginable blessings for us for eternity. (See Chapters 6-9, When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?)

When I sin, when you sin, God still loves us and is ready to forgive if we confess (1 John 1:9).

And His love means He will work on us and in us so we walk in holiness. He doesn’t quit on us (Philippians 1:6; 2:13).

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

If you don’t believe He loves you, then you are listening to lies.

Lies

Lies, at their core, are satanic.

[The devil] does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

You may hear statements, comments or accusations from others that you think mean you are unlovable. You may rag on yourself telling yourself you are unlovable. As a King’s Kid, those are lies.

The Truth

God loves you.

God is for you.

There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Nothing.

Your Choice

You have a choice.

Whom do you believe?

Choose to believe God.

As His child, He loves you. LOVES you. Loves YOU.

 

See also:

His Enormous Love

What Does God Think of You?

The Lord Sings Over Us

 

 

Praise His Name

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Praise His Name

We, believers, are called to praise His Name.

I will sing praises to Your name. (2 Samuel 22:50)

O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! (Nehemiah 9:5)

Praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. (Joel 2:26)

God acts for His Name’s sake.

Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds. (Ezekiel 20:44)

I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake. (Acts 9:16)

We are to act for His Name’s sake.

Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29)

You have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. (Revelation 2:3)

Hallowed Be Your Name

This is the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer. His glorious Name represents all His is: His attributes, His actions, His nature.

To help us know Him, the scriptures include many names for God; one list includes more than 900.

Let us praise Him for who He is.

Practical Tips

To praise His Name, we need to know Him. We can say “Praise His Name,” or “Praise the Lord” all day long without coming close to meaningful praise.

Instead, practice praising Him for a specific attribute (for example, praise Him as Creator), or with a specific name (for example, God Almighty, Redeemer, Shepherd).

As you read the Bible, develop your own list of His names and His attributes, and praise Him, one at a time, using that list.

The Psalms include wonderful verses of praise. Use those to guide your own prayers of praise.

Praise His Name

God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) I praise Your holy name. You are God, immortal, eternal, totally other than me. You are from everlasting to everlasting, creating and sustaining all things, and working all things in accordance with the counsel of Your will.

Help me know You better, and praise You with my words, my deeds, my life.

To You be all the glory.