“Because he loves me. . .”

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Because he loves me says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (Psalm 91:14-15 – emphasis added)

Our Father in Heaven wants to give us good gifts. Really. Though we are never promised trouble-free lives, I can’t help noticing all the times God promises to do amazingly nice things for those who stay close to Him.

Psalm 91 is just one example. In it, God promises to deliver, protect, send angels, answer prayer, rescue, honor, give long life, and save. When we are stressed or attacked or feeling trapped, we’d like to see Him come to our rescue, right?

In this psalm, there are two things we must do to be able to receive God’s great blessings: First, we need to love Him (v. 14) and second, we are to “dwell” with Him (vv. 1 and 9). In other words, we are to make God an intimate part of lives.

Why is that important? Because we were created to be in an all-encompassing relationship with Him.  So when we live as He has designed us to live, hanging on to Him in love and living in sync with Him day-by-day, He promises to take good care of us. Whatever may happen, (and it will!) we will not be alone, we will not be powerless.

When we love and trust Him, He treats us as a Father treats His dearly loved children: responding, protecting, providing, and guiding. He wants to give us good things!

“We love God because He alone promises to fill our soul’s potential.” – Lewis Smedes

Paying Taxes

"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty." - Zechariah 4:6b

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.'” – Genesis 1:27

When the religious leaders asked Him if it was right for them to pay taxes to Caesar, Jesus asked them to show Him a coin. He looked at it and then asked, “Whose image is on it?”

When they said “Caesar’s”, He said, in essence, “Then it must belong to him. Give it to Caesar.” Then came the zinger, “And give to God what is God’s.”

Caesar had claimed a right to the money by stamping his image on it. God has claimed His right to every human being by stamping His image on us. In God’s eyes the money doesn’t matter – give the government what is owed.

But, people! Oh how much each of us matters to God.

We belong to Him! He has made us, stamped us, sealed us, and written His name on us. We belong to Him, to His family, and to His kingdom. So, let’s pay our taxes. After all, we are simply giving money to the government. But we do not give ourselves to anyone but God. We are His.

Somehow, that puts lots of things into perspective for me. Belonging to God keeps me above the fray and gives me security, dignity, peace, and joy. Makes me want to do something good for Him today.

Israel Trip Deb (840)

. . . and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. – Colossians 3:10

 

O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.  – Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897

He’s Not Giving Up

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“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” – Augustine

Sometimes I think that if I were God, I would be ready to give up on me. I just am not where I want to be in my spiritual life and I imagine He must be getting pretty tired of me coming back to Him with the same old sins to confess and the same old worries to present. Sometimes, it’s discouraging.

Then He speaks something like this to me:

“You are securely connected to Me.

• I will never change my mind about you.
• I already know who you are and how you will finish.
• I will never let you go.
• I will never stop blessing you.”

He makes no excuses for me, but He accepts me as I am. He knows I am dust and I will fall. He knows I am weak and I will stumble. But still He lets me feel His love and, when I open myself to receive it, I am ready to begin again. He always welcomes me back.

He will never give up on me. And He won’t give up on you, either. Not ever. It’s OK to be amazed at that!

“When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)