Posted By Nan

29:2
When the righteous thrive the people rejoice. The righteous. Those who love God. Those who seek to submit to Him. To be all about Him. To service Him. To put self aside in order to allow God to increase in them. To love their neighbour. Those people who seek to be nice because they are strong people who don’t need to put others down to feel good about themselves. Who genuinely see others as beautiful people that God loves. That person who seeks to understand, love and support is someone that is easy to be with. Their beautiful, gentle energy is encouraging and affirming to others. Small wonder then that when the righteous are present in an environment then others in that environment feel safe and happy. What better cause for rejoicing? This is a glimpse of God’s love.
But when the wicked are the ones in power people groan under the weight of their negativity. The wicked. Those who hate God. Those who seek to use their power over others. Those who are all about themselves. Those who serve self. Those who put themselves ahead of everyone else. Those who abuse their power to put others down. Those who seek to control, to isolate, to manipulate others. These people love self not God. They don’t want to understand, love or support anyone else. They want to control and dominate. Their negative energy crushes and brings others down. There is no rejoicing in the presence of such people, just a search for the nearest exit.
Which person do you seek to be?
 

 
Posted By Nan

29:1
Are you stubborn? Do you refuse to accept the help God offers you? Are you so busy ‘enjoying’ your miserable circumstances that you refuse to listen to God’s gift of a solution to your problem? So you remain in your misery because it gives you attention you crave, or meets your needs, even though God is calling you out?
If you answered yes, then this verse is for you.
If you refuse God’s directive then destruction will come swiftly and without warning.
There are many ways we are stubborn before God:
There is the obvious one where we are doing something contrary to His directive and we ignore His admonition to stop. Think of Jonah, who preferred to flee to the other side of the known world to avoid carrying out God’s directive to give the people of Ninevah a message. Even when he finally did what God asked of him, he walked through the town whispering so the people couldn’t hear him. But they did hear and he was not happy.
Then there are other ways we are stubborn. For example, there is the hurting person who does everything possible to avoid healing because the payback of remaining unhealed is greater than the blessing of healing. Remember Jesus asking the man at the well if he wanted to get better? So often we don’t. It is easier to remain in the hole we find ourselves in than take the risk of trusting God and climb out.
These are examples of stubbornness before God. And all these will lead to a sudden and unexpected destruction.
We need to let go of our desire for retribution and go to Ninevah when God directs us. We need to trust God and let go of our fear and hand ourselves to Him for healing.
Only then can we say we are not stubborn. That we trust and honour God and surrender to Him.
It is not easy, but it is rewarding.
Can you do it? Can you let go of self? Can you avoid sudden destruction and trust God?
 

 
Posted By Nan

My apologies for the missing blog last weekend. I was snowed under with uni assignments and ran out of time to write anything.

28:15-28
These verses in The Message are titled “Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways”. If I read these verses with that in mind then there are great insights to be had.
In this current world there are many leaders that people consider bad leaders. Many appear more interested in self-aggrandisement, or the next election, or holding on to power no matter what the cost. There are many who consider this is okay, that we can get rid of them in the next election. But what harm can a bad leader do to those who are helpless? What harm can the bad manager to the staff employed to work under that manager? What harm can the person who steals the work of a colleague and passes it of as his own do? What harm can a pastor appointed over a helpless congregation do? In these verses we are told this person lacks judgement and is like a lion or bear tearing at its prey. This ruler is the one who will cheat his own parents and justify his action as okay.
Those who seek God, who walk away from the desire to possess what others have, who are prepared to work faithfully and not seek to follow those ‘get rich quick’ schemes or cheat others to make money are the ones God will bless. It is those who harm others who will eventually be consumed by their guilt. It is those who chase the ‘get rich quick’ scheme and cheat and bully others to make money, those who place the acquisition of wealth as of higher value than anything are the poor in spirit. That money will never buy them the contentment and security they seek. Many will seek wealth and, in the process, hurt others. And those people will justify what they are doing. They will justify all the great harm they do in what they consider, and society considers, to be harmless ways. But any gain that involves hurting or cheating another is not what God wants. Better to spend time seeking God and placing surrender to Him as of the greatest importance than to seek to follow the god of wealth.
 

 
Posted By Nan

28:14
The man who fears God is always blessed but the man who hardens his heart to God falls into trouble and difficulty. People reading this verse can have trouble with it. They see people who love God suffering and those who laugh at God having a great time. But life is rarely about the outward appearance. Life is the moment to moment experience. But it is also the long term. The unfolding of each moment that makes up a life and leads into eternity.
What is it to fear God? Many who faithfully attend church on Sunday and listen carefully to what is taught in the pulpit and carefully follow those teachings are convinced they fear God. And in their way they do. But is it God they fear? Or cultural observances that are presented to them as God? Maybe because my revelation of God happened at 15 as I questioned what I believed in. Maybe because my father, an elder in our church, professed to not believe in God but thought following Jesus was a good philosophy to follow in life. Or maybe because my grandfather’s rich Celtic heritage influenced my faith. And maybe it was enhanced by my hunger to read the Bible after my Paul like encounter with Jesus. I have always found it hard to listen to that teaching from the pulpit. Sometimes it speaks of the God I know. And sometimes it speaks of someone else I don’t know. It is so hard to know in this world. Everyone has their own idea. In Australia it is drawn into sharp contrast with the debate on same-sex marriage. I have heard some amazingly bizarre arguments presented as reasons to vote No and I itch to ask those people why they have to present lies and half truths instead of praying to God. Why they lack the faith to trust God to bring about what He wants. Why they don’t ask God. I did a long time ago and God was more than willing to give me an answer. The answer was Love and Compassion for all humans. It was not hatred, and prejudice and lies.
In life there are many disagreements about how we should live our lives. I don’t know the answer to those disagreements. All I know is God tells me to fear Him. To seek His direction in each situation. And most of all to love my neighbour and accept him. To be His love for my fellow man. To be His acceptance. To be His comfort.
Hatred and prejudice are not of God. Love and reverential fear, awe at His amazing power, a burning desire to submit to Him. Those things are of God. They may not bring the earthly perception of blessing but they are eternal.
 

 
Posted By Nan

28:2-13
There are three themes in this section.
The first is about our leaders.
Are you tired of your leaders? Do they change too often? You get the leaders you deserve and need. You avoid a personal relationship with God and seek instead easy doctrine, hate speech, cultural beliefs and worship them instead. You get frequent, unwise leaders. These leaders oppress the poor, the widow and the foreigner among you. Seek the verses in the Bible that tell you what happens to those who oppress these three groups. Get to know your Bible, find them. These leaders destroy, not bless.
The second theme is about the law.
Forsaking the law leads you away from God to side with the wicked. When I speak of the law, I do not mean the cultural doctrines preached from many pulpits. I mean the law as God reveals it to you when you read the Bible. There is a difference, one is from man and the other is from God. Resist God’s law and join the wicked. Resist the wicked and keep the law as revealed to you by God in personal relationship with Him. It is better to be poor and blameless than rich and wicked. The law keeper possesses discernment. The law breaker knows greed and brings discredit to his family. He leads the righteous astray. He may make a show of praying to God but God has no use for the prayer of those who will not listen to Him. So make sure you seek God and listen to Him.
The third theme is about justice.
Sadly this is a rare commodity in this world. So often justice belongs to the rich. The wicked do not understand or care about justice. Those who seek God understand justice and will fight for His justice wholeheartedly.
When you worship money and go through a show of belonging to a church don’t fool yourself, God sees right through you. You may feel you are wise and virtuous, but those who truly love God will see right through you. That is your justice. And there will be more.
Try to hide your sins and you will one day fall. Don’t think the passage of years will protect you. Your fall will come and it will break you. Confess and renounce your sins and God will show you mercy.
Be wary of harsh doctrines that focus on hatred of other people. That is not of God and it brings discredit to Him. He wants you to love the person of another faith, the person of another culture, the person with a different orientation. He loves them. Why won’t you? Love the sinner. Hate their sin. And hate your own sin too.
 

 

 

 
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Nan
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