My reading this morning came from :
He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the L ord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT)
I’m going through a sermon series right now on gracious parenting. It’s called Heritage Parenting by gracecovonline.com— in case your wondering. BUT. it has been overwhelming. The ways in which I’m doing things wrong, the fact that time is slipping by me to mould these little hearts and souls that have been entrusted to me, sometimes it feels like an army of do’s and dont’s is heaving at the gates. Sometimes that army takes the form of my to do list that is always a mile long. Or perhaps, work related stuff, afterschool activities for the children, keeping a clean house, being on mission…. You see my army takes on many faces. Unfortunately- there are many times I heap these tasks upon my self and feel the breath of my army on my neck. I need to remember this…today….don’t be afraid! It is not my battle but God’s. If I submit to him as a ruler and general on my heart in my life, I will wage that war and win!
My excerpt today is in 1 Sam 12:24
But be sure to fear the L ord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24 NLT)
We were visiting with family recently and had a conversation with a family member about the cans and cants in life. They are having a bit of trouble because his wife is so focused on what she CAN’T do rather than what she CAN. The hindering attitude brought forth with her thinking is affecting her health, and their marriage.
I can’t help but think that perhaps the same is with our relationship with God. If we are so focused on what he hasn’t done for us, how can we possibly see what he HAS done. If we remember those things he HAS done for us, big or small- all the sudden that shift makes it easier for us to see each and every blessing as it comes.
I’m in the process of going through the Life Application Bible Study Plan Devotional. It’s pretty awesome because it’s typically one verse with a short little blurb. Sometimes- that is all I have time for before my elements wake from their slumber to impact my day once more. Sometimes- like today- I was given a little more time. So I read in Acts as well. Once again I am shown the red thread that weaves in and out of the books of the bible and binds them together as the truth that they are. Let me show you–
In Genesis after Cain has finished his unspeakable sin- God comes to him and gives him a chance…..
“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:6, 7 NLT)
In Acts 3:19-20
Peter and John-through Christ Jesus- heal a lame beggar man and the people are amazed. Peter takes it as a teaching opportunity and he says to them: Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. (Acts 3:19 NLT). There’s more to it- Peter gets a little heated with em and shows them the mistake they made in killing the Son through which this miracle was possible. You should read it. Anyway- it was a good lesson….
I think this was a case of history repeating itself— Peter tells the Jews- y’all sacrificed the Son but it’s not too late for you. If you but admit your wrongdoing and repent of it– the gift is still yours to receive. When I am wrong- can I admit it? Can I be the one to apologize for my trespasses? Will I be able to accept God’s gift for me? Or will I be hard headed? Will I take my “I’m right” attitude to the grave?
The Life Application Devotion Plan devotional content for the Gen 4:6,7 says this: How do you react when someone suggests you have done something wrong? Do you move to correct the mistake or deny that you need to correct it?
So, today, as I look at the parallel’s in these two stories, and I know the outcome of the characters in both, I can certainly say:
I choose to bow my head in shame and admit when I am wrong!!!!
I was in Matthew today-Matt 7:7 to be exact :
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7 ESV)
Our God is a great, merciful, spoiling Father. Like a King with his children, there is nothing he would deny us…if we but ask. Sometimes I think- well He knows my heart why do I need to ask? But i’ve come to the conclusion the asking is more for me. And this is why:
One needs to be HUMBLE enough to realize they can’t do it on their own, they need to ask for help.
One needs to exercise PATIENCE when relying on someone else to provide for them.
One needs to show FAITH in the person they ask.
One needs to TRUST that the person they ask to help loves them enough to assist.
God WILL answer me once I can exhibit humility, patience, faith and trust in Him and his provision.