We Turn from God…

Have you ever worked so hard on a project and brought it to fruition?  Then when it was time to hand it over to the next person it seemed that all your work was destroyed?

In 1 Kings 11:41—12:11, 17-20, King Solomon, who was King David’s son has died.  Even though Solomon asked God for wisdom to lead his people, he lost his way and began to follow the ways of the people instead of the ways of the Lord.  Now Solomon’s son, Rehoboam is next in line to lead God’s people.  However, because Solomon lost his way, Israel is in a mess.  Does this sound familiar today?  No one in Israel now followed the ways of the Lord that King David worked so hard to get the people to obey God.

Imagine how God feels every day when those He loves so much do not obey Him.  God has done everything – including sending His only Son to bring His kingdom to fruition, but yet we still do not obey and we turn from Him.  It seems that no matter who God sends to help us follow Him, the people fail to follow His ways.   But yet, God still never gives up on us.

Let us pray…Gracious God, help us to turn to you for your guidance, grace, mercy, and love. You offer everything that we need to be happy in this life, but yet we still fail to follow your ways. Please Lord, help us to see that your Son, Jesus Christ will lead us into a new life that is truly life.  Amen.

Is it Possible?

So many times, I am asked the question:  Does it mean that when we forgive, we also must forget?  I believe the answer to be, “yes.”

In Hebrews 8:1-13, we are reminded of the Old Testament in Jeremiah when God makes a new covenant with the people of Israel.  If you are to ever study Jeremiah, you have to feel somewhat sorry for him.  Jeremiah is a prophet who God choose to try and straighten the people out and to have them turn towards God.  They do well for a while, but then just go back to their old ways again.  Imagine God’s hurt as the people God had created just turn away from Him!  And so, in this text of Jeremiah, God foreshadows the coming of Christ – “I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people…” (v.10).  But, then it gets better…”For I will be merciful toward their iniquities (sin) and I will remember their sins no more” (v.12).  Do you see that?  “I will remember their sins no more!”  God is saying that not only will God forgive us, but also, God will FORGET!

For me, forgiving is one thing…but forgetting?  It feels impossible.  But, with God all things are possible!  If God forgets our sin, can we forget the sin of those who have sinned against us?

Let us pray…Gracious God, I just don’t know who to forget – sometimes just forgiving seems hard enough.  Help us to free ourselves by forgiving and forgetting.  Write your laws on our minds and our hearts – free us from our sin and the sin against us.  God, we love you so much.  Amen.

An Act of Kindness

It’s easy to care for others that we love, whether they are good friends or a part of our family.  But, what about those we do not care for? What about those people who get on our bad side? How do we care for them?  I’ll be honest…I struggle with this issue every single day.

In 2 Samuel 9:1-13, Samuel learns that his dear friend, Jonathan has a crippled son. He feels that he should take care of him in a loving way by allowing him a place at his table every for every meal.  This is a kind and loving gesture and one I am sure, Jonathan would have been grateful for.  However, what if…instead of only reaching out to those we know and love, we reached out to those we do not know and may have a hard time loving?

Isn’t it what Jesus did when he came to the earth?  Jesus included all people to sit at the Table – How can we begin to make more of an effort to reach out to those who need our love and care?

I would love to hear ways that people are doing this!  Share your story!

Let us pray…Gracious God, help us to reach out to all your people, not just the ones we already love so much.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love.  This is a love where there are no limitations and no conditions.  It means that whatever you do – even if it is wrong – you are still loved by that person or thing that loves you.  I don’t know of any human that is truly capable of loving unconditionally.  On earth, the closest, that I can think of, is my dog.  It seems that no matter what I do, he still loves me – welcomes me home with kisses, and wants to be with me wherever I go.  In fact, have you ever thought about what the word “DOG” is spelled backwards?  I cannot help but to wonder if dogs truly show us how to love as God loves us.

In 2 Samuel 7:4-17, God makes a covenant – a promise with David.  God has his servant, Nathan to go and tell David: “…I will be a father to him and he shall be a son to me…I will not take my steadfast love from him…” (vv.13-17).  God promises to love David unconditionally.  And, we can know this for sure because we know the rest of David’s story.  He messes up a lot!  In fact, he does some really awful stuff.  God does punish him, but never stops loving him.

God loves us unconditionally.  God not only forgives us, but also forgets.  God loves us even when no one else does.

Let us pray, Gracious God, no one on earth can love us the way you love us.  We may be forgiven by others for our mistakes, but we hardly are ever capable for forgetting. You not only forgive, but you also forget. Lord, help us to do the right thing always in your name. Amen.