God never fails

In today’s post I just want to talk about the amazing qualities of God, which makes Him the one Person we can truly rely on with all of our heart. In a previous post I referred to 1 Corinthians 13, speaking about some of the characteristics of love.  The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8), so every quality describing love also describes God.

God will never rush you – He is patient at all times. He will never be jealous of you or treat you unkindly. God is not self-seeking, so His thoughts are about you! He will never hold a grudge and act resentful towards you – and He never  remembers or brings up the past.

God is strong enough to bear up under anything that comes His way – He will never desert you. He does not wait for you to make a mistake or see the worst in your actions – He only believes the best of you. His positivity towards you makes Him full of hope under all circumstances.

God can never fail or come to an end. Your companionship with Him will last forever. He is completely trustworthy, without human limitations or failures. His love is perfect, and all of His love is directed at you.

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My story

I wanted to use today’s post to share a little bit of my testimony with you. I gave my heart to the Lord when I was 10, and really had a special relationship with Him ever since. Somewhere along the line a very strong message of condemnation crept into my heart, and I just never felt I measured up to His standards.

I had an incorrect view of God – seeing Him as an angry judge, waiting for me to slip up somewhere. I believed I needed to live perfectly holy in order to draw closer to Him, so any time I would slip up I would fall into a deeper pit of condemnation. It got so bad that I suffered from depression while I was studying.

My life changed the night I went to a church meeting at Immanuel Bedieninge – a ministry in Potchefstroom. This was the first night I heard the message of grace, and the true miracle of Jesus’ sacrifice. Two key messages changed my life:

  1. God is not angry with me. When He looks at me, He only sees Jesus, and how righteous I am through faith in Him.
  2. I don’t have to perform in order to draw closer to God. I can live from the depths of my soul in a deep relationship with Him, knowing I am righteous in Christ.

Condemnation really creeps up on people without them even noticing. What usually disappears first is their joy, then their freedom, and ultimately their boldness towards God. We can draw near to Him boldly without fear – what a LIBERATING message! I am so overwhelmed by His goodness!

“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” Heb 4:16

The best place to be

A little while back I spoke about the human heart’s longing for contentment – and the only place this can be found is in God. Today I want to elaborate on this a bit, by referring to Psalm 84. David had a revelation of the soul-satisfaction that is experienced in a relationship with God. He also spoke about the human heart’s yearning and longing – but He addresses the only Person who can fill this void.

“My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God.” Ps 84:2

The courts, or the house of the Lord refers to His presence. So if David says he longs and pines after the courts of the Lord, he is longing to be in the presence of God. A little later he says everybody who dwells in God’s presence will be blessed, fortunate and envied. They will be envied because of the total peace and contentment they experience – something the world longs for but cannot find.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!” Ps 84:4

The last part of this verse also contains something interesting.  David says that those who dwell in the house (presence) of God wil be singing His praises all day long. He did not say they HAD to sing His praises, or MUST sing His praises – they WILL be singing His praises. This is because praise and adoration is the most natural reaction to contact with the true, loving nature of God.  If you feel you are forced to worship, you have not heard about the goodness of God’s true character.

The best place to be is in His presence. That is where you will find contentment, peace, life, forgiveness and fullness of joy.

Spoken in a song

John used the concept of marriage to illustrate the intimate relationship between Jesus and His church (us) in John 3:29:

He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the groomsman who stands by and listens to him rejoices greatly and heartily on account of the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my pleasure and joy, and it is now complete.”

Because of this natural comparison it is sometimes easy to hear God’s heart spoken in secular love songs.  This happened to me today, while listening to Sarah Brightman’s “All I ask of you”.  Listen to the words by clicking on the link below, and read the lyrics at the bottom…it really touched my heart!

http://grooveshark.com/s/All+I+Ask+Of+You/2zFpsI?src=5

He:
No more talk of darkness,
forget these wide-eyed fears;
I’m here, nothing can harm you,
my words will warm and calm you.
Let me be your freedom,
let daylight dry your tears;
I’m here, with you, beside you,
to guard you and to guide you.

She:
Say you’ll love me ev’ry waking moment;
turn my head with talk of summertime.
Say you need me with you now and always;
promise me that all you say is true,
that’s all I ask of you.

He:
Let me be your shelter,
let me be your light;
you’re safe, no one will find you,
your fears are far behind you.

She:
All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night;
and you, always beside me,
to hold me and to hide me.

He:
Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime;
let me lead you from your solitude.
Say you need me with you, here beside you,
anywhere you go, let me go too,
that’s all I ask of you.

She:
Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime.
Say the word and I will follow you.

He:
Share each day with me, each night, each morning.

She:
Say you love me…

He:
You know I do.

She:
Love me, that’s all I ask of you.

Anywhere you go let me go too

Love me…
that’s all I ask of you.

Pursuits and contentment

I believe it is impossible for a human to feel truly and completely satisfied outside of a relationship with God.  I believe God created the human heart to love Him– a natural reaction once you get to know His incredible character. Without this relationship we will feel discontent and hollow – yearning for something we can’t even define.

Consequently, without this relationship, people become involved in various pursuits, addictions and activities in order to fill this void inside them (but to no avail).  There is another word for this insatiable emptiness: hunger.  There is only one substance that is nourishing and genuine enough to fill the human soul – God Himself.

“For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good.” Ps 107:9

“…my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You…” Ps 63: 1

“My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness;” Ps 63:5

“Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry…” John 6:35

His love will never disappoint.  Getting to know Jesus will never leave you feeling empty.  Living in a relationship with Him will genuinely leave you feeling 100% content and satisfied.  I can testify to this.

God’s gift to us (Part 3)

In the previous two posts we spoke about the incredible gift God gave mankind in the sacrifice of Jesus.  He saved us entirely – body, mind and soul.  We’ve already established that faith in the sacrifice of Jesus leads to salvation of our souls and reconciliation with God.  We’ve also established that Jesus took it upon himself to carry every sickness and disease in order for us to experience health.  The third aspect of this complete salvation is the salvation of our minds.

Let’s look at Isaiah 53:5 again:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.”

The highlighted part of the verse refers to our minds, and the fact that we can now enjoy peace.  Peace of mind means calmness, composure and freedom from worries.  It is a quiet place of contentment and joy, free from all depression, sadness and anxiety.

John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.”

“May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Pet 1:2

A gift needs to be received in order to be enjoyed.  We just need to realize God’s heart towards us, and how blessed we are the moment we are born again.  We must get to know Jesus, who is God’s gift to us.  It is knowing the Truth that will set us free, really and unquestionably free (John 8:32, 36)!

The good life

I want to cringe when people make the Christian life out to be one of sorrows, seriousness and hardships.  These people lay a burden on you, making you feel guilty if you are enjoying your walk with God.  This perception goes against my experience of God’s heart towards us. I believe He wants us to be happy in His presence, to look forward to every moment spent with Him.

There are quite a few verses to confirm this:

“…in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

“…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10

“…For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Mat 11:30

“Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). ” Rom 5:1

So … don’t let anyone make you feel less worthy if you are loving life and enjoying a relationship with God.  There is such great joy and contentment in knowing someone loves to be in your presence – why would it be any different for God?  He is happiest when we are in His presence, loving Him.  In Luke 10:40 He commended Mary, saying she has chosen the good portion – a life of knowing Him instead of just serving Him.