Friday, November 27, 2009

Continuing to Give Thanks

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1 (NKJV)
Thanksgiving Day has passed, but the reason we can be so thankful endures forever! What is that reason? God's mercy. Another verse says that His mercies are new every morning. Talk about second chances! We have offered to us a fresh start every day, if we'll just take it.

The whole chapter of Psalm 107 is a great read. It goes on to talk about redeemed, how before they cried out to God, they wandered aimlessly in a wilderness with hunger and thirst. However, when they finally cried out to God, He delivered them from their despair and fulfilled their deepest longing.

The chapter even talks about those who knew better, but rebelled against God. They were "bound in affliction and irons" because of their rebellion. Even then, when they came to their senses and came back to God, He "broke their chains in pieces" and set them free! That's mercy!

The next part of the chapter talks about fools drawing "near to the gates of death" and even then the Lord saved them when they finally surrendered to Him. Another Psalm says that a fool is one who says there is no God. I am so glad He is there at the point the atheist gives up and realizes there is a God. There's not only a God, but there's a Creator who loves him/her even when he/she denied Him and is more than ready to bring that true satisfaction that only comes through His free gift of redemption through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

As Christians, are we living our lives in such a way that desperate people are drawn to the Christ in us? Are we showing that unconditional loving kindness that loves and receives all--even those who deny Christ? Lord, help us to be ready to bring those who don't know You to You when they are ready to come, and not condemn or push them away! We need to keep in mind that we didn't always know that He was there for us either, but now we do, and it is GOOD! That's why we should be ready to share with others when they are ready to listen what verses 8-9 of this chapter say:
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet My Parents!

This is a picture of my mom and dad, Lorene and Don Barron, on their recent cruise. Dad came home and shared what he learned at a workshop on editing and posting pictures online.  This is my first attempt!  It worked!  You may see more pictures now!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Obedience - Better than Sacrifice

Obedience is better than sacrifice. In my mind, the word sacrifice has two connotations. 1. (noun) a burnt sacrifice to the Lord (as in the Old Testament animal sacrifices), and 2. (verb) giving something up that is dear. Both of these meanings can be a precious aroma in God’s nostrils, but they can also be a stinch if 1. they are not necessary, 2. they are done by rote as a religious “duty,” 3. they are done to be seen of men and not God.

More is to come on this in the unit on obedience in the book I'm writing, God's Chain Gang: Links in the Chain to Freedom. Any thoughts on this from the gallery? I'd like your feedback on this. Please leave comments.

I will leave you with one thought about #3 about doing "sacrifices" to be seen of men and not God. If God wants others to see the sacrifice you make for Him, He will show them, but if you do it with that in mind, then it is not truly a sacrifice to God. It is just a performance to gain approval of men. Hmmm...much more on THAT in future blogs and in the book, too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Meditation - the Key to Obedience

This morning I felt that “nudge” of the Lord to wake up before the family. I knew He wanted me to do something. Was I to pray for someone, as that wake-up call often means? Was I to exercise and take care of my body I have been neglecting far too much lately? Was I to write something before the distractions of the day commence?

I prayed, “Lord, what do You want me to do? Why did you wake me? I want to follow Your leading. I want to obey You.” Obedience. For a split second I thought, “I’m so sleepy, and I don’t have clear direction as to what God wants me to do, so maybe He just wants me to go back to sleep!” No. I knew better. Then I prayed the scripture I so often pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart (and I added my actions), be acceptable in thy sight…” Why didn’t God included “actions” in that scripture? I think because if we truly take the time to meditate, we will automatically want to do what pleases Him. After spending time considering the Lord, His Word, His character, and His promises, we will know what He wants us to do.

When we act on impulse, we usually get into trouble. Granted, sometimes something happens in an instant that we have to act on immediately, but more times than not, we can take time to meditate on what God wants us to do before we act prematurely. Besides, if we have made it a lifestyle to meditate on God's Word day and night, then we will do whats right on impulse when those instances arise.

Meditation. It keeps us out of trouble! Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the whole Bible, is all about that. Verse 11 states, "Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." (NKJV)

After meditating on these truths this morning, I realized my act of obedience was to write this entry! This is going into my new book, God's Chain Gang: Links in the Chain to Freedom. You get the first sample! Please pray for me as I delve into writing this book. I hope to publish it in 2010. (Anyone want to pre-buy a copy?! :) )

Have a great day meditating on God, His Word, His character, and His promises!