One morning with a large mug of organic coffee within reach I was reading my Bible and basking in the sweet and powerful promises of God's faithfulness...."For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake His faithful ones." (Psalm 37:28)..."The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:23-24)
Oh yes! God is faithful when we are faithful and God is faithful when we are not. "If we are faithless, He remains faithful--for He cannot deny Himself." (2 Timothy 2:13)
"For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness
of the LORD endures forever." Psalm 117:2
Ahhhhh! Yes! Thank You, Lord. These words are so comforting and empowering! And throughout Scripture there are so many more loving promises! God's love for His children runs deeper than we can imagine. How can we fathom the depth of His love for us as He willed His Beloved Son Jesus' torture and agonizing death on the cross...for OUR sins! Jesus was faithful to go to the cross to obey the will of His Father and then He rose from the grave. That's more love and faithfulness than I know how to measure.
And yet, even though there's a constant overflow of His faithful lovingkindness toward me personally, I still can worry, fret and fear. What's with that? I know it's prevalent in the Bible, even among His amazing disciples.
Jesus was in a boat with His disciples when a storm was wildly raging over them. Jesus was sleeping through the storm. But the disciples freaked out and anxiously woke Him up. (I would probably do the exact same thing, sorry to say.) They said to Him, "LORD, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." (Matthew 8:25-26)
This morning I wondered, what if Jesus said to me when I was in an anxious moment, "O you of little faith, why are you so afraid?"
Am I the only one who cringes at that question?
"He did not do many things there because of
their lack of faith." (Matthew 13:58)
I think there are only a couple of honest answers anyone could give to Jesus' question. I noticed in that passage the disciples didn't answer His question. If I had to give Jesus an answer I think I would have to say something like, "Because I'm not trusting you" or "I don't really believe You are who You say You are" or "I don't believe You have authority over all things" ... or "I don't believe You really love me and have forgiven me"... I hope I would give Him an honest answer -- as bad as it would sound coming out of my mouth. Yep. Awful isn't it?
When Jesus went to His hometown of Nazareth to teach in the synagogue the people questioned His integrity and "they took offense at Him...and Jesus did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith." (Matthew 13:58) Whoa.
My ESV Bible commentary on Matthew 13:58 says: "Jesus' refusal to do many miracles in Nazareth was not because He needed the faith of people to empower Him, but because miracles are of little value to those without faith." Oooh!
You'd think if we really believed God and took Him at His Word, we'd be always looking adoringly up to Him instead of toward celebrities and other materialistic idols of this world. You'd think we'd be craving more and more of His powerful, affectionate presence in our lives! You'd think we'd want to spend more time with Him, in daily devotional times, in regular congregational worship, small group studies, and boasting about His greatness to others!
Will we boldly choose to follow Christ and then shout it from the rooftops? For HIS glory. For HIS fame. For HIS renown.
When we get to the place where we're [almost] totally consumed with the love, power and presence of God, our praises will drown out our fears. And maybe He won't have to ask us that question so often.
p.s. I'm hosting a new marketplace gathering for girls -- from college age to empty nesters -- who are longing for encouragement, truth, and need a reason to celebrate life! I'm inviting you to join me in a six-week study on the book of John. The title,Totally Consumed, describes the relationship between Jesus and God the Father. They have something so precious and you can have it, too.
We'll gather Mondays from 9:30 am - 11:30 am, beginning August 25 at a very charming location!
121 Brown Street in Historic Downtown Canton
And if you want to stay and have lunch please bring a brown bag lunch... and our refreshing time will continue!
Please contact me for more info and to RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are the body of Christ.
We are the light of the world.
"Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together!"
CREATING COMMUNITY FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.