Posts tagged “beloved

Day 5: Delight

Posted on 10/08/2016

For weeks now, there’s a song that has been stuck on repeat in my heart. It’s a song by Caedmon’s Call titled ‘You Created.’ Below are the lyrics, words that strike my heart every time I play it.

Who is like unto the Lord, our God
Who dwelleth on high, who dwelleth on high
Who is like unto the Lord, our God
Who dwelleth on high, who dwelleth on high

You dwell in glory
The heavens are Your home
You began the story
And made Your beauty known

But You created nothing
That gives me more pleasure than You
And You won’t give me something
That gives me more pleasure than You

You hung the planets
In Your image You made man
I’m overcome and broken
At the wonders of Your hand

The stanza that speaks to me over and over is “You won’t give me something that gives me more pleasure than You.” What I take this to mean is that my greatest pleasure should be in God and that what He gives should point attention back to Him, the Giver of all things.

In his praise to God, King David marvels at the works of God’s hands.

Psalm 111:2-4, NIV

“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.”

Oftentimes, I find myself marveling at the gift, delighting in it more than I do the giver. Imagine this; a child on Christmas Day receiving a gift he has longed for. He hugs the neck of his parents for a grand total of 30 seconds before he directs his full attention on the gift for hours… even days! But surprisingly, the parents are pleased with their child’s excitement and exuberant joy over the gift.

I believe God is pleased when I am grateful over the gifts and promises He gives me; however, if I spend days or weeks or months marveling over the gift that I start ignoring Him… wouldn’t that make me an ungrateful brat? Imagine the parents who graciously provided their son’s favorite toy but when they ask him to spend time with them and he ignores them, wouldn’t that be equivalent to a slap in the face?

There’s much I’m praying for; my dream job, my dream ministry, my dream husband… but I’m hesitant to ask; not because I don’t believe God will give it to me. I know that as His beloved, his plans for me “are good, to give me a future and a hope,” but what if I pay more attention to the great gifts that I forget about the gracious Giver?

Psalm 37:4-5, NIV

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…”

There is a promise to those who delight themselves in the Lord God, committing themselves to Him. I grapple with the “desires of my heart” becoming the delight, rather than the reason to delight in Him. Again I’m reminded by the stanza from the song above. I soon realize that instead of hesitating over praying for my dream job and husband, I pray that my delight in God should be greater than my delight in his gifts.

Psalm 145:17-20, NIV

“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.”

Prayer: Father Lord, I thank You that You are near to those You call Beloved, and who call on You in truth. Thank You for Your unconditional love, even when I oftentimes get distracted by the gifts You give. I understand that when I truly delight in You the Giver, the desires of my heart are truly the desires You have placed there. I pray that I don’t lose sight of who You are or stop marveling at the works of Your hands. I pray that these desires will give me cause to marvel in You and not the gifts, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

<<Day 4 || Day 6>>

Day 4: Favor

Posted on 28/07/2016

I experienced favor yesterday, starting with a phone call followed by another. Currently jobless and seeking, I was pleasantly surprised when recruiters called about my resume, discussing jobs I’d applied to weeks—even months ago. Then it continued with a parking spot in a lot supposedly filled to capacity with cars were parked on the side of the street. I’d circled the corner and there it was, an open spot sandwiched between two trucks, waiting for me. With a grin, I parked my car in this perfect spot my Beloved Father had reserved for me.

I remember a conversation I had with my younger sister months ago when she had an interview at her current job. She’d prayed about this job for months (it was her heart’s desire) and though she didn’t feel qualified for the position, her interview experience from the appointment to the final handshake was one of the best she’d ever had. She said, “Dee, it was like God went ahead of me and informed everyone that I was His own and they should treat me as such.”

That’s what favor is; God appointing things ahead for our good. That parking spot and those recruiter calls yesterday, plus the simple things like safety and good health—it’s favor.

Psalm 84:11-12, NIV

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.”

My heart falters a bit. This verse says that God bestows favor and honor on those whose walk is blameless. Blameless means to be faithful, honorable, and full of integrity and righteousness. God’s Beloved should be righteous and blameless. In fact, the love letter is packed with blessings and favor for the righteous Beloved of God.

Psalm 34:15, NIV

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry…”

Psalm 5:12, NIV

“For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

My heart sinks. I am far from righteous; a wretched soul incapable of perfection. Does that mean—I stop, realizing something. A lie. Not the words from the love letter, but the lie brewing in my heart—a lie placed there from my enemy Satan. I know he wants nothing more than for me to disbelieve God’s love, to steal the good news of my identity as God’s Beloved (John 10:10). So I block out the blatant lie and flip through the concordance until I reach the New Testament. My heart beats faster as I locate the page I know I’ll find the truth.

Romans 3:21-22, NIV

“But now a righteousness from God apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference.”

Romans 3:23-26, NIV

“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 Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at a present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

I sit back and read it again. Righteousness through Jesus Christ, the Son who God presented as a sacrifice for us. Why? My heart beats faster as the truth deafens the lie completely.

John 3:16-18, NIV

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

What favor indeed! Aside from the parking spot and the chance of a job opportunity, I had already received the greatest favor of all time. Eternal life. Freedom from condemnation.

Romans 8:1-2, NIV

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

My heart leaps in my chest as I settle with the truth of God’s love. I am God’s Beloved, not because I deserve it, but because He loved me.

Jeremiah 31:3, NIV

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.”

My blush returns in full force. I am made righteous by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the everlasting love of God, my Beloved. And because I am righteous through Jesus Christ, God bestows favor and honor on me. Eternal life, freedom, and the occasional parking spot are mine due to His favor and love.

Prayer: My Father, I love you and thank you for your everlasting love. Thank you for loving me so much to send your Son, Jesus Christ, to sacrifice his life for mine. I am eternally grateful for your affection and love over me. Help me to reject the lies of the enemy. Help me to accept the truth of my salvation through Jesus Christ and remember my identity as your Beloved. I accept my righteousness through your Son, and thank you for the favor you show me on a daily basis. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

<<Day 3 || Day 5>>

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