Obedience

Land of Promise

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Green-Nature-Wallpaper-Lush-Summer-Luoisville by Skilal

Arriving into the land of promise is often preceded by a clearly defined path laced with life instruction and spiritual maturity along the way. Maintaining the promise land lifestyle is often far more difficult.

The land of promise showcases God’s blessings. He promises abundance and multiplication far beyond what we can produce through our own efforts. Blessing our households, our offspring and all the work of our hands.

“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 28:8)

He promises to give us favor with mankind by placing us in positions of leadership and will make us prosperous in what He has called us to do and to become with only one condition…to faithfully obey His voice, being careful to do all His commandments. (Deut. 8:1) Herein lies the dilemma of maintaining the land of promise.

It is one thing to arrive into the land of promise, it’s another thing to maintain it. And God knew our tendency to wander into disobedience and provided a way back before we had to ask.

“And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey His voice in all that I command you today, will all your heart and with all your soul…” (Deut. 30:1,2)

According to this passage we can know that obedience keeps us in the presence of God’s blessings and disobedience drives us away from God’s blessings. But thank God that His mercies are new every morning. His hand is always extended with new tender mercies calling us back to Him but it must be with all our heart and soul. On this condition He is eager to restore us again to the land of promise.

“…then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and He will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.” (Deut. 30:3)

When we decide to walk in obedience to God out of love for all that He has done for us, with all our heart and soul, He promises life in His blessed presence. The way into His presence is through Jesus, His Son.

“For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as He took delight in your fathers, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments…when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut. 30:9,10)

Choose to maintain your land of promise in obedience to God who loves you and desires the best for your life.

 Photo Credit: Skilal

Love is Kind

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Image of Love by J. Shauk
Image of Love by J. Shauk

Love is kind, a very becoming character trait in a person. When seen exhibited in a person it tends to spread. One kind act often leads to another.

It is easy to display kindness towards kind people but how do you respond to an unkind person? Did you know that Jesus said we get no reward for being kind to kind people. He modeled kindness to an unkind world towards Him.

“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

We’ve all benefited from God’s kindness, His blessings are shed abroad, even upon the unkind.

“…For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 7:45b)

Let kindness begin in your closest relationships. I have found this to be the hardest test to pass but once you master being kind in your own household it will easily spread abroad. Kindness brings out the greatness in us when done through the kindness extended to us from God.

“…Your kindness made me great.” (Psalm 18:35b)

Love is Kind.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Matthew 5:46)

Befriend Faithfulness

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WonderfulForest,google image

What is the desire of your heart? What do you long for in your life to see God fulfill?

Many of us have deep longings that are pursued according to what we believe is the right approach, however God offers an approach that may not conform to the wisdom of the world but promises to lead us into the fulfillment of our deep desires.

It begins with trust. Not trusting in our own ability and skill but trust in God who establishes us in His will.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:1)

To befriend faithfulness is to cultivate a lifestyle of obedience by honoring God in our daily roles. His Word, the bible leads us into His truth about how to live in a way that pleases Him.

As we learn about God and all His goodness and love toward us we will begin to delight in Him. As I learned to delight in God my deep desires and longing for a blessed life began to center on God’s plan for me. Understanding that all things come from God it made sense to delight in the Giver of all things good.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:2)

Once we learn to trust in the Lord we are lead to delight in His involvement in our lives then we must commit our way to Him.

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” (Psalm 37:3)

Trust, delight and committing places us in a position for God to act. The same God who did not spare His only Son (Romans 8:32) will also give us the very best for our lives. He promises to give us the desires of our heart once we are in right relationship with Him.

Wait for God’s best, befriend faithfulness!

Blessed Living

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Success is measured in results or outcomes, such as the gaining of wealth, fame or rank. Blessing is measured in the gift of devine favor such as anything that gives happiness or prevents misfortune. Success can be momentary whereas blessing is designed to become a lifestyle.

Blessed living speaks to the way of the righteous and not the way of the wicked. The blessed man or woman chooses to become a student of God’s Word, His best practices for blessed living.

“Blessed is the man who[se]…delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1,2)

Living a lifestyle with the singular motivation of gaining wealth, fame or rank can lead us into choosing the way of the wicked and therefore forfeiting the blessed life. This man or woman will walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand with the sinners and sit with scoffers. (Psalm 1:1)

Blessed living is pictured like a majestic tree that is planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in the proper season. This lifestyle has a long term view, investing now for future returns that reap happiness later.

Blessed living is also described as a tree with leaves that do not wither, as in all that this man or woman does prospers. This is devine favor from God.

The wicked may have momentary success but at great cost because it is short-lived.

“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” (Psalm 1:4)

The way of the righteous is the blessed life so choose wisely the lifestyle that leads to blessed living.

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, in all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)

Passing God’s Test

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Fork in the Road, gettyimages,google

One of the ways we can know when God is moving us from one season to another toward fulfilling our purpose is when we find ourselves facing a test. Not just any test, but ‘the’ test that if we successfully pass will usher us into the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Abraham was tested many times before arriving at the ultimate test of obeying God. First he had to pass the test of faith by believing all that God initially spoke to him of leaving his family and all that he had ever known to go “to the land that I (God) will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) God promised to make of him a great nation, to make his name great and to bless him. God even promised to bless his offspring by giving the promised land to them.

Ultimately God promised Abraham a son: “…your very own son shall be your heir.” (Genesis 15:4)

“And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

Abraham was 75 years old (Genesis 12:4) when God first called him to leave his family and travel to a land that he did not know with Sarah, his wife who was barren. And yet because he believed the Lord he was made righteous in God’s sight.

Finally, at the age of 100, some 25 years after God initially called Abraham to follow Him and after many exploits of faith that tested his obedience, Sarah conceived and bore Isaac. (Genesis 21) Then ‘the’ tests of all tests was brought before Abraham-the sacrifice of his son:

“After these things God tested Abraham…He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:1,2)

Abraham had learned that he could trust in God’s provision in every circumstance even to the point of answering his son’s question of “where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:6)

Abraham passed the ‘test of all tests’ by being willing to offer up his own son in absolute obedience to God who was entrusting the birth of a nation into his hands. And God lets us know in our hearts and in our lives when we pass just as He announced to Abraham when he passed:

“…now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Genesis 22:12)

Abraham could now be trusted as God’s instrument of providing salvation to the nations through His only Son, Jesus Christ one day.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Are you facing a test in your faith walk? Ask God to show you His provision in order to pass the test and enter into the fulfillment of all His promises!