Loving God

How prepared are we to give our absolute loyalty and obedience in all we think, do, and say to God? That’s what loving Him means.

To love God with our whole mind we have to know Him. To know Him we have to know His Word. Yes, we certainly should read it but there is more to it than that. We need to study it, pray it, memorize it, ponder it, and live it.

 

 

To love Him with our whole being we have to make a conscious choice to make every action we take, every choice we make, every word we speak, acceptable to God. David, in Psalm 19 wrote these words, and they often come to my mind when difficult choices happen: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

 

 

 

And then, we must love Him with all our strength which means using our time, talents, and resources for Him. You might be thinking that doesn’t make sense but it takes physical and mental power to ensure that everything we are given by Him is being used for Him.

I hope you’ll find some time today, every day, to love on Him!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is in response to week 8 of Deb Wolf’s 52 Week Devotional Journal For Women.

 

 

For Such A Time As This

Happy Purim! This Jewish holiday is special to me because I can really relate to being put in situations that I don’t understand why I’m there.

If you remember the story of Esther – she was an orphan, raised by her uncle, Mordecai.

King Xerxes had thrown a big party, got really drunk, and ordered his wife to appear naked. She refused and he, with the advice of his council, determined to depose her. After all, they advised him, if she doesn’t obey him, other wives will think it’s OK to do that.

The king determined to get a new wife. He sent a notice that all the most beautiful, young, women of the land were to become part of his harem. He would choose one from among them to replace Vashti.  And so he did.

Sometime later, King Xerxes appointed Haman to be his next in command. With that came the ruling and expectation that everyone would bow to him.  Mordecai was having none of that. He would bow to no one but God. That upset Haman a great deal and he convinced Xerxes to make an edict that if you refused to bow to the king you would be hanged.  In fact, Haman even offered to give 10,000 pieces of silver to the king’s treasury.

There were many Jews at the time that were refusing to bow to the king so they also fell under this ruling. Well, Haman told the king and between them, they created a ruling that all Jews would be annihilated.

When Mordecai heard about this he told Esther that she needed to intervene. She was not sure how she would be able to do that so she told him she didn’t have the power to do so. He, basically, responded that perhaps she had been placed in her position ‘for such a time as this’. She said she would fast and pray and would then make a decision.

She came up with a plan but in the meantime, Haman had built a scaffold upon which to hang Mordecai because he refused to bow to him.

Her uncle was a scribe for the king and had saved his (the king) life at one point when he heard about a group that wanted to assassinate him. Well, one night King Xerxes couldn’t sleep so he got out the scroll that talked about his actions and what had happened in his country while he was king.  He came across the notation that talked about how Mordecai had saved his life. The king quickly called Haman into his chambers and asked him what should be done for someone like this. Haman thought the king was talking about him and said he should have a king’s robe put on him and sit on a steed and go through the city while people bowed to him.

Well, it wasn’t about him. The king made him lead the horse that his enemy sat on. Then, the king found out what Haman was building the gallows for and had him hanged on it instead.

Esther went to Xerxes and told him about what was about to happen to her people. She was able to stop the slaughter. Now Jewish people celebrate Purim every year on the 14th and 15th days of Adar to remind them of the time they were rescued. The actual verses say this:

  •  Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes, calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days. He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy. Esther 9:20-22

I hope you are able to celebrate this special holiday in your own way. God is good!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Thank you to Bible Gateway for providing scripture links.

God’s Love

Do you ever have moments when something you’ve read in the word many times has new meaning?  God’s word is new every morning.

Understanding God’s love for me (and You) is nearly impossible. Think about it. It’s too much. It’s higher, longer, broader, greater, extravagant, extreme, lavish, unconditional, unending…  His love is more than the width of His arms stretched out on that cross. If that is possible!

He wants us to know that in this incredibly unloving world His love is always there, always available, always within reach, always…  FREE! For Him, it cost his most precious Son. For us it is free. He wants to give it. We cannot earn it. We cannot buy it. We can only accept it. Have you?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I’ve written these thoughts in response to week 5 of Deb Wolf’s 52-Week Devotional Journal for Women.

Thank you to Bible Gateway for the links to God’s Word.

Whatever

Have you ever given serious thought to your thoughts? Are your thoughts always focused on God? Are they always positive? I’m pretty sure the answer to all these questions is no! Among the 80+ verses in God’s Word about thoughts, a couple really stick out to me.

Give some thought to the one on the right. Whatever is in my mind is going to be expressed in my words, my actions, my relationships, actually, in all of me! I’ve always known my thoughts control my actions but only recently have I realized that every bit of me is controlled by what is going on in my mind. Not just the biological, scientific, control of my body, but the every moment activities, ideas, plans…

 

 

And so, I thought, what am I going to do with that? One of my go-to verses is Philippians 4:8. Whenever I find myself thinking about things that are not worthy of being the King’s daughter I focus on these words.

One of the things I have done for many years, actually since I read Ann Voskamp’s one thousand gifts, is to keep a journal of blessings and thanks. These include thoughts of family, friends, and events, as well as some really original blessings that have crossed my mind. Like:

Warm hospital blankets

Quietly colorful aquariums

Singing What A Friend We Have In Jesus with my friends at my piano

Snow diamonds (Yes, He loves me that much!)

Detroit Tigers beating the Cleveland Indians

I think you get the idea. By keeping this journal I deliberately focus on the good all around me. I highly recommend committing to writing your blessings down. It’s refreshing and revealing to look back and see what has been a blessing over the years. (And your children will love it when you leave it in your will. Just sayin’.)

Abba, Father, thank You for all the ways you are transforming my mind. Help me to dwell on whatever You say is right, ignoring the world and focusing only on You! 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I wrote this in response to Week 3 of Deb Wolf’s 52-Week Devotional Journal for Women. It’s a really great way to connect with God!

Check out Whatever by clicking on the word highlighted in blue. There are more thoughts here on Philippians 4:8.

 

Why God?

I’m thinking of a song that goes like this…

Where do I go when there’s nobody else to turn to?
Who do I talk to when nobody wants to listen?
Who do I lean on when there’s no foundation stable?

Of course, the next line is – I go to the Rock. When Whitney Houston wrote this song she knew where to take every problem and frustration of our lives.

When we are having problems with the whys of life, with the endless irritations and annoyances God says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest..” (Matthew 11:28) He knows that this life is hard. He knows we don’t have the answers. But, He also knows our hearts. He can and will answer when we go to Him.

I have a comfy chair in my office where I read His Word and contemplate each morning. There is a window from which I can see His beautiful creation. I look out at the beauty of His creation, the blue sky, the trees and fields that are different each season, and I quiet my mind. I let His presence flow over me. Sometimes I read His Word. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I focus on all He’s given and done for me.

In these times of blessed stillness and knowing the uncertainties, irritations, and annoyances disappear. I am at peace!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is my response to Week 2 of 52-Week Devotional for Women by Deb Wolf.