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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Touched by Angel

So today after church Tim and I didn't have enough time to go home to eat. (He had to go to work, and I had to attend a friend's bridal shower.) So we decided to stop and grab something from the mcdonalds dollar menu. While standing in line, we began discussing how much we could buy with the 4 dollars in our bank account. All of a sudden, a lady came up behind us and told us to order whatever we wanted and she would pay for us and may the Lord bless us. Haha, apparently she heard our depressing discussion. We were so touched we felt like crying. We asked what her name was, and she said Angel.
She left immediantly after paying for our food. We never saw her come in or go out, and we never noticed anyone else in line with us. I dont know if she was an actual angel, but it was pretty ironic that her name was Angel. Normally we always see ourselves as the giver. It was very touching to be the recipient of a good deed. What a remider of the way we should respond to the needs of others. How wonderful and encouraging is the body of Christ!

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9
But just as you excel in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us, see that you also excel in the grace of giving.
2 Cor. 8:7
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:13
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Slow to Anger, Quick to Love

Two posts back to back! Must be in the writing mood.

This semester is teaching and growing us in incredible ways. Besides taking four amazing classes (well 3 amazing, one not so amazing), God has been reveiling so much of Himself through His Word. Its wonderful to soak it all in. You can hear a story told a million times, but there comes a time where everything connects and it is made real to you.

So a little while ago I wrote a post on marriage. One of the passages I gave was James 1:19-20
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
James 1:19-20
While having a personal devotion time, I came across this passage in Psalms.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Psalm 103:8

This verse immediately reminded me of the verse in James. But this was not the only verse proclaiming that the Lord is slow to anger and quick to love. Its also found in Exodus 34:6, Numbers 14:18, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 86:15, Psalm 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2, AND Nahum 1:3

How do we do this? How do we become slow to anger? How do we become quick to love others, quick to listen to them, and quick to actually LOVE them?

We learn by example.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

We are but mere reflections of the Son. Tim gave a good analogy today, he said that we are like the moon, the only light that we can give is a reflection of the sun's light.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

This is why Paul says in Philippians 4:8 that our "good deeds" are rubbish. LOVE, FORGIVENESS, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GENTLENESS etc. can only come from God. We cannot have the fruits of the Spirit, without the SPIRIT! We are nothing apart from Him.

This righteousness comes from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. Romans 3:22-24

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wrestling with God

Do you ever feel like Jacob in Genesis 32? Jacob wrestled with God. Even though he ended up with a limp, God said that he prevailed. I'm not sure if this passage is saying Jacob physically wrestled with God or if this was a spiritual battle. But I do know that there are times in our lives where we feel as if we are wrestling with God.

God speaks. We hear.....we digest....we obey. Or at least we should obey. But that pattern takes a crazy spiritual wrestling match between our desires and God's desires. Sometimes we're not even sure which desires are ours and which desires are God's. During this wrestling match, we may even get physical results like Jacob's limp. Except ours comes in the form of nausea, headaches, and fatigue.

Tim and I are going through this right now. We're trying to wipe away our desires for God's. Sometimes our desires are so wrapped up in "good things" that it is hard to tell the good things from the God things. Please pray for us. Pray that God will give us clarity to see His will. Pray that we would not create any form of division in the body of Christ. You can pray for us in the same way that Paul prayed for the believers in Colosse.

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."
Colossians 1:9-12