The LORD Bless you, Shine upon you, lift up HIS countenance to you and give you Peace. (Numbers 6:24-26). What a powerful Prayer to pray for someone and have prayed for us. To be Blessed is to enjoy HIS favor as HIS presence brings us close while we experience HIS merciful forgiveness of our sins, supplies our needs, consoles our hearts and in HIS Grace, prepares us for Eternal Glory. This is the Substance and Totality of being BLESSED. BLESSINGS are so rich in Mercy and SPIRITUAL Presence that worldly joys are NOT WORTHY TO BE MENTIONED. A PRAYER FROM THE HEART OF GOD AND MAN.
"You know me I don't gossip...BUT, did you hear about..."? "Yes, I do what the Bible says...BUT, when it goes against common sense..." Anything said before the word BUT should be regarded as "frivolous" and irrelevant to the thought that follows. The word BUT in a conversation is like the DELETE KEY ON YOUR COMPUTER; it destroys all that was said and done before IT. Luke 9:61, "...I will follow YOU, LORD, BUT...." When JESUS invites us to discipleship there are no IFS, ANDS OR BUTS....
OH MY "GAWD"
Has our Pride subtly elevated us, beyond the Benevolence of GOD? Is Humility a trophy we achieve on our own, or is it a way of life, a HOLY Culture, that identifies and signifies the EXCELLENCE and MAJESTY OF GOD? Does HUMILITY bring a Spiritual Awareness in using GOD'S name in Truth, without Hypocrisy or vanity. Exodus 20:7, "You shall not take the name of the LORD your GOD in vain." How many times do we try to include our own definition to GOD by adding "AWESOME" GOD or GOD is "GOOD"? GOD IS GOD! "VAIN" tells us something is empty, futile or false. "VAIN" lacks reality, value and Truth. Does our use of euphemisms disrespect the attributes and character of GOD? "I SWEAR", "SWEAR BY GOD" OR "OH MY GAWD" are euphemisms which expose our "vain use of GOD'S name" by the conduct of our life. When we speak, act or listen in another's name, we become ONE (their representative) with THEM. Are we so VAIN (NOT HUMBLE) that we are no longer sensitive in referencing GOD'S NAME? "OH MY GAWD".....
Are you having a "NERVOUS BREAKDOWN"? Have you experienced "tears" from fear and anxiety, until there are no more tears; AND THEN any act of kindness brings TEARS OF LOVE? The world calls this a "reactive disorder", a "disassociation with the world". Romans 8:5, "...those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the flesh, but those who live according to the SPIRIT live according to the SPIRIT..." At this time we see sin clearly and it no longer attracts us; WE REALLY SEE HEAVEN IS IN US. No longer tempted or react in worldly "accepted" ways;where some say we are HAVING A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN and out of touch with reality. Perhaps GOD sees this as THE MIND SURRENDERING TO THE SPIRIT.
SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT
Why do we Christians view Christianity as living a life of pain and sacrificial existence? Why do we confuse the "PAIN" (our daily self-inflicted actions) in our lives as the "necessary evil" in going to Heaven? Isn't that a contradiction to the TRUTH? The TRUTH that is ignored, while we pursue GOD, HEAVEN and SALVATION through "self-abuse" because we believe "NO PAIN, NO GAIN". Hebrews 12:2, "for the JOY that was set before HIM...." When we REALLY TRUST GOD IN EVERYTHING we have no pain; we know GOD KNOWS exactly what is best for us; there is no PAIN in GOD'S LOVE. The only PAIN we experience is self-inflicted; kinda like SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT.
IT SHOULD DRIVE US TO IT
Do we experience the overwhelming Presence of JESUS when we partake of the Sacraments? Do tears flow like a river of Life? Do we "examine" (to scrutinize until we see the Truth about) ourselves? Do we "discern" (separate and distinguish good from evil) the Message of the Cross? Even though we are "UNWORTHY"; we can still take the Sacraments in a "WORTHY" manner, as we repent for our Spiritual and Moral failures, and see the PERFECT HOLINESS of JESUS. 1 Corinthians 11:28-29, "...let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup." Awareness of our sins should not keep us from taking the Sacraments; IT SHOULD DRIVE US TO IT!
GIFT OF FAITH AND SALVATION
The Bible is not to convince us that GOD exists. The Bible does not give us FAITH by "proving" GOD, because that would require no FAITH at all. How do we somehow know we will get through the "devastation" we now experience. How do we know, absolutely know, even death won't destroy us? This "knowing" is 'not our own doing, it is not a result of our own works, it has been prepared before us, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD...(Ephesians 2:6). This CONFIDENCE, TRUST AND RELIANCE IS FAITH. The GIFT OF FAITH IS ACCOMPANIED BY THE GIFT OF SALVATION. The Bible is just introducing us to the CHARACTER OF GOD; THE ONE WHO GIVES THE GIFT OF FAITH AND SALVATION.
THIS IS OUR CHURCH
Remember when we first came to services at our Church? It was filled with the HOLY SPIRIT and we were lifted to the Spiritual Realm few will ever know. Then, WHAT HAPPENED? Did the time come when sound teaching was replaced with passions and knowledge of man that turned away from TRUTH...(2 Timothy 4:3)? OUR CHURCH is where GOD gives us the desire to know HIM, and the willingness to TRUST JESUS. The HOLY SPIRIT within us ALLOWS GOD to join HIS mind to ours; HIS heart to ours, and HIS WILL BECOMES OUR WILL; THIS IS OUR CHURCH.
NO EVIL AT ALL
When our hearts have been "wrung out" like a dirty towel; when we no longer can find HOPE in anything; and we find no COMFORT in someone giving us 21 Biblical reasons why this is happening. GOD does not always just give advice, HE gives HIMSELF. HE responds with the plea of our heart with HIS heart. No words; HOLDING, LISTENING, AND COMFORTING, "...what satan meant for evil against me, GOD will use for good...." (Genesis 50:20). Do we cherish the HOPE AND POWER we receive, seeing GOD take our evil circumstances and TRANSFORMING them into GOOD FOR US? In reality, don't we grow stronger and closer (DARE I SAY, EVEN PREFER) to GOD when we experience HIM transforming evil to good; than if there had been NO EVIL AT ALL?
There is no PAIN as severe, as that which is caused by our failing to live in the INTEGRITY we expect, want and have to have for ourselves. Our conscience bears witness in the HOLY SPIRIT (Romans 9:1). GOD puts upon our hearts TRUTH. We can excuse the "expectations" that others have for us; but the PAIN BECOMES UNBEARABLE when we fail to live in THE INTEGRITY WE HAVE FOR OURSELVES.
About the Author and writer
The writer for our daily devotionals wishes to remain anonymous in regard to his work, giving instead Glory to the Author.