Who is this King of glory?

Who is this King of glory?

Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, The LORD, might in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in.

Psalm 24:8-9 NLT

Take a little extra break here, fudge on the speed limit there. Tell a white lie to get out of a commitment. Look the other way when a Sister or Brother should really be confronted.  Serve the Lord or serve myself? Decisions, decisions.

This is hardly an exhaustive list of all the ways in which I choose my ways over God’s ways throughout the day. And what a laundry list it can become depending on how closely I keep track (assuming I don’t fudge on that too!)

One thing is for certain, I can pretend that my sins (read: disobedience) just float off into the atmosphere never to be dealt with again, like a lost balloon. Unfortunately, lost balloons have to come down sometime, and thus it is with sin. As a semi-mature believer I know two things right off the bat: 1. God desires obedience…  2. So that I will live the best life possible as I was designed to do.  (Joshua 1:8; Luke 11:28)

From simple experience, I already understand that when I decide to walk away and follow my own path, I start to go down a slow downward spiral, causing separation and isolation from Him. Not to mention from my fellow believers and loved ones. I know that when my heart isn’t in it, Bible reading becomes like a chore and I have no interest in the things of the Spirit. God promises to reveal himself to us when we seek him, but it is a conscious effort that requires our decision to do so. While He makes it possible for us to seek and find him, he does not force himself onto our agendas. Instead, he desires our first step of faith.

Whoever would draw near God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

And so my life is a see-saw of constant conversion. Several times a week, sometimes even several times a day, I have to first identify whom I will serve, and then confess it. “Who is this King of glory?” Who is it that I am effectively worshipping with my words, actions, attitude? Is it the Lord, or is it myself? 

Then as though that weren’t difficult enough to rip my natural impulses away from the comfortable easy route, I must proclaim him as my Lord again. Because if I don’t make an obvious effort to turn back to him, who’s to say that I ever repented at all?  He is the Lord, strong enough to handle my wounds, uncertainties, sins, prayers, questions. He is the Lord, mighty in battle – who battles on my behalf. 

And here’s the best news: No matter what circumstances you may have that caused you to push him out of your heart, however temporarily, for whatever reason, He is faithful to return and restore the brokenness. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Psalm 51:17

He won’t force his way into your love, but he will enter in where invited. Why? Because He loves us more than we can imagine but he also respects our decisions like a good Father (Revelation 3:20).

So dear friend, if you happen to be far from the Lord at this moment, consider this the push you have been waiting for to return to your Lord, your King of glory. He is always good and always faithful.

“Choose today whom you will serve… But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Reflect

  • In what area do you struggle with obedience?
  • What keeps you from repentance?
  • Read Joshua 24:14-15. What would it look like to obey in the particular area the Holy Spirit has brought to mind?

Pray

Spend some time reading and meditating over Psalm 51. God loves to hear from you. Bring it to him in prayer, trusting that he will not reject your heart as you seek his way.

Dangerous Love

Dangerous Love

I have a problem with forgiveness. I cannot let go of the afflictions I’ve suffered at the hands of a loved one. I lay it before the cross one day, and creep back in the dark of the night to steal it back again.

Pain is powerful. It controls us. In a sick way, it seduces us and makes us to believe that we are justified to cut off the flow of love in the direction of the offender. In one fell swoop of the mind we make ourselves the judge, displacing the real Judge whose ways are as high as the Heavens are from the Earth. Is that really what it looks like to commit my ways to Him?

Why must we always allow others to dictate whether we obey and follow the Lord’s call to holiness? We may not think that’s what we do but it is whenever we withhold love from others.

I’m not doing (blank) for her… she never (blanks) for me

This sentiment, coming in many forms in our day to day conversation, is a regular one in my attitude. Whether it’s a rude customer, or difficult friend, or someone I’ll never cross paths with again – I love others based on how they love me. That is called conditional love.

But being righteous and perfect, as the Lords desire is for us, means unconditional love which is love that is not dictated by any other force than love, of which God is the ultimate source.

I think unconditional love seems dangerous ground for us because it pulls the rug of control and security from beneath us. It says, “You’re not in charge of policing the actions and attitudes of others. Your hurt feelings are not relevant when it comes to the love God commands of us for each other.” Harsh as it may sound at first, it is true. We avoid it because it feels unnatural to our natural flesh, but

Unconditional Love…

Is NOT being a pushover // It is strength under control

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness..png

Unconditional Love…

Does not render justice impotent // God has promised justice for sin and mercy for sinners who turn to him.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (1).png

Unconditional love…

Is the defining characteristic of God // We love in this way if we claim to belong to God.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2).png

Take some time to sit with the Lord and answer these questions. Tell Him honestly where you struggle. I pray and ask that God would gently reveal in His time what you need to hear.

How are you loving others today?

Have you ever experienced unconditional love? (In addition to Salvation)

Is there something standing in the way of loving certain people?

What would it take to remove that obstacle?

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this-6 He .png

Seeking God: Keep a soft heart

Seeking God: Keep a soft heart

Reading: Psalm 95:1-7, Isaiah 40:11

Christ: Remember that I am your place of rest and your shelter of comfort. The cares of the world are stressful and not at all aligned with the original purpose for which you were made. The symptom of a hardened heart appears when you try to make a shelter of safety for yourself. I cannot do my work or you if your heart is hardened against me.

if you would hear his.jpg

Think: “The seed sown on the rock never brought any fruit to perfection” – Matthew Henry. When I lie, cheat, steal, I am hardening my heart against God’s heart for me. I may justify my choice, or ignore it altogether but it is still sin.

Pray: Dear Lord, let us keep the ground of our hearts as fertile soil which grows the seed of faith to perfection in the dew of your grace. Help me to notice the moment my heart refuses to receive your wisdom. Holy Spirit, make clear to me the state of my heart so that I may never miss out on the gentle leading of Jesus.


 

Love Notes Series: Prove it.

Love Notes Series: Prove it.
Do you recall the story of Peter denying Jesus  the night he was betrayed? Three times people asked Peter if he was associated with Jesus. The man he had followed and shared life with for 3 years prior as a close confidante. “I don’t know the man,” he had said, three times.
And how after Jesus was resurrected, he reappeared to the apostle Peter:
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”
He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you  love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
John 21:15-17
Love is proven by our choice of action. It is not only to be lip-service, but a commitment. At work they look for measurable goals and judge my work by the results I bring, not by my self-evaluation.
This may seem obvious to the point of absurdity, but it is a point so easily missed. God is not looking for followers to click “Like” on his page and answer “Christian” in the text field next to “Religion”. He wants to see your heart so moved by his love for you that you will be deeply motivated to work for his cause.
And not just that – He wants the opportunity to work in and through you. He wants to work TOGETHER with you.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17
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~The PD Team

When I obey, I’m blessed. When I’m blessed, I’m confident. When I’m confident, I obey.

When I obey, I’m blessed. When I’m blessed, I’m confident. When I’m confident, I obey.

The cycle carries on, but not as a circle as some treat it. No, you are not passing the same points in the road, but slightly different ones. We experience life as a spiral, passing through similar yet different points on the road. Every time you see something that is very much like something else you have seen before, you choose whether to react better than you did before. And so obedience, when repeated, builds itself up, like the strong foundation Jesus told us about:

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27

When I obey the Lord, I can rest in the knowledge that He is pleased. Not that I receive all I ask for necessarily, but being open to His ways, I am less inclined to cling to my way. When I realize (again) that I love to be blessed, my confidence increases. Even though I don’t know exactly what I am doing all the time, it is easier it is to make the next choice in favor of the Lord because I trust Him. By this my obedience also increases and it is easier it is to make the next choice in favor of the Lord. And when it’s not easy, which most of the time it is not, I am still seeking wisdom. And fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalms 111:10).