I could never say “thank you” enough. 

2 Samuel 22:47,50 – “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.”

How He Loves

John Mark McMillan

He is jealous for me.                                   Loves like a hurricane.                                      I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.                                  When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.         And I realize how beautiful You are and how great Your affections for me.

Oh how He loves us so.                                  Oh how He loves us.                                    How He loves us so.                                       Yes He loves us

We are His portion and He is our prize. Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. And heaven meets earth like a unforeseen kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us.     

Oh how he loves us so.                                 Oh how he loves us.                                    How he loves us so

So in the course of my day, I heard this song “How He Loves” sung by Crowder. I have heard this song a million times. But for some reason when I heard it yesterday, my heart was so touched. It really brought to mind just how much I could never say “thank you” enough. 

I could never say “thank you” enough for:         

Loving me enough to send Your Son to die for me.                                                                   For the way that You always listen and understand and care.                                            For the blessings that I see each and every day walking and breathing and existing for me.                                                   For His Word that speaks to me through countless generations.                                     For providing for everything I could possibly imagine and more.              

For these and so much more, I find myself blessing the Lord. Shouting His praises in the confines of my car. Crying because I could never say or do or be enough. Because He first loved me and pursued me to learn to love Him. 

What a beautiful, encouraging and promising moment while driving along in my car, hoping that my mascara wasn’t running too bad because man, oh man, my daughter let the tissues roll under the seat!

Happy Friday!

Effects and affects

2 Samuel 24:10-14 – “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”

These were our verses for Sunday morning worship service. Our pastor spoke on choices. But I got something else out of it too – consequences. 

I’m sure when David decided to number the Israelites he probably didn’t think about consequences and their effect on others. I know when I sin, I rarely stop to think, “Hmm, will this affect anyone else but me?” 

Sin is like an spider web that reaches out and grabs everything. When a spider builds a web, it reaches out to many different plants and objects to create this deceptive device that sometimes even traps people. Spiders are just spinning their web trying to get something to eat – trying to survive. They don’t think that their little web will affect anyone but themselves. Boy, are they wrong. 

When David was confronted with his sin, he confessed it as wrong. Good call David. But then came the inevitable consequences – those nasty things that happen when we sin. 

God gave him a choice of his consequences and not a single one effected him alone. They all required people around him to shoulder the burden. 

You see, our sin reaches out and snags people around us. However, we are usually so self-centered that we don’t see how our choices, our decisions affect others. We are too worried about ourself to see the pain we cause in others. And on those rare occasions when we do recognize our outreach of consequences, it saddens us. It makes us realize the real effects of sin. 

Not very bright and cheery for a Monday morning. Sorry about that. But here’s the bright side – God is merciful. If you keep on reading to the end of the chapter, you will see God’s mercy abounding in David’s life. God decides to lessen the consequence because David finally got it. 

We are going to mess up this week. Guaranteed. But God’s grace is sufficient and His mercy is everlasting. When you realize your sin, confess it and shoulder the consequences. And when others feel the effects of your sin, sincerely apologize and get that potential rift out of the way. And remember, God is always good. 

How to fight the good fight

2 Samuel 10:12 – “Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.”

Every day is a battle. Some are more ferocious than others but they are battles nonetheless. We face a variety of choices and challenges every time we wake up.  Will I be lazy or productive today? Will I go back to what I’ve always done or will I try something new? Will I listen to the leadership of the Holy Spirit or strike out on my own?

Let me give you another rendition of this verse (Melissa-ology): “Don’t be afraid. Fight bravely. Make good choices. Trust God for the outcome.”

Sometimes in our battles we get confused. Some think that we should sit and wait for God to take care of things. And some think that if it wasn’t for their smarts and cleverness that nothing would get done. But you see, it is a delicate balance of both that is necessary. We need to trust God for the outcome while using the brains and muscle He gave us. Utilizing our resources to obey God is paramount. We can’t just sit back and wait all the time. Sometimes the battle requires action and thought. Like I said, it’s a delicate balance that requires prayer and leadership from the Holy Spirit. 

So how does this apply to my every day, ho-hum life? You are going to be faced with something crazy today, guaranteed. How about we all try this together? Let’s turn the crazy, mixed up problem over to God, first and foremost, and then let’s do our best. Let’s ask God to show us how to utilize our resources that He has given us to do the best we can in this situation. And then, make SOMETHING happen. Make ANYTHING happen. Don’t just sit there like a bump on a log and wait for someone else to notice the battle. 

You see, battles and challenges of life need to be recognized, turned over to the proper Authority and then dealt with in the best possible way as directed by the so mentioned Authority. Don’t be complacent. Don’t be lazy. Don’t be wishy-washy. Be a solider for Christ. Be different. Be the person that gets it done according to His leadership and guidance. Fight the good fight.