Worshipping a holy God

“Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 15:11-15 ESV)

God is so amazing, so unique. He is a friend, a father, a brother, a helper, a comforter among other things. It is easy to focus on these aspects of His uniqueness and to forget His holiness. We tend to see His approachability as an invitation to do as we want in our relationship with Him. But there are rules to seek God. Repentance is one, faith in Christ another one, and gratitude and reverence others.  Grace is grace, but grace is holy. Love is love, but love does not mean disrespect, contempt, or right to complain or test God. There is a place for weakness in our relationship with God, but do not expect God to change His word, His rules for you. He did not even change them for David, the man according to His own heart.

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV)

 

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They all did as they wanted

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25 ESV)

It was so easy for them to forget God, so easy not to see what He was doing in their midst. They did not have a king, so they forgot about the Law and all God’s commandments. They did what they wanted when they wanted it. And despite all, God was there for them, loving them, fighting for them, disciplining them, delivering them.

Even when we forget God, He is still the same. His love does not depend on our love. oh, I am not talking about running wide and sinning because of God’s grace. No, I am talking about the grace and mercy we need as sinners, when our emotions, our feelings win. I am talking about the grace that leads us to repentance through Christ’s love, the grace that makes us run to the throne of grace to receive help.

God be praised for He does not change, for His faithfulness, for His steadfast love.

…”if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”  (2 Timothy 2:13 ESV)

 

Jesus doesn’t quit

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-34)

So peter would deny Jesus. Jesus knew it and instead of rejecting him, He prayed for Him. He prayed so that he would turn again. He prayed that Peter would quit only for a time, not forever.

Jesus doesn’t quit His relationship with us, we do. Jesus doesn’t quit, never.  And not only that, but He fights for us. He won’t let us go that easily. He paid the price to have us and will do everything to keep us. He will never forsake us, never. Even now, He is interceding for us.

In the same way, the Bible shows us that God never divorces us. We can be unfaithful, He can discipline us, but He doesn’t divorce. If you want to lose your relationship with the Father, you would have to quit. He is faithful until the end. He will even take us back after we have been unfaithful. (Ezekiel 16:59-63, Hosea 2:16-20).

What a love! What a commitment!

God is good, isn’t He?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

How hard it is to believe this verse. We all know it. We quote it often. We use it to encourage others and lift our own spirit. But we don’t believe it. Before you react, let me ask you a question. When was the last time you got frustrated, angry or anxious? If we really believed what the Holy Spirit says here, we wouldn’t feel frustrated with our circumstances. If we really believed It, we wouldn’t be anxious about tomorrow . We would be sure that everything is okay because our God is God.

But the fact that God is God is all the problem. He is so holy, so righteous, so pure, and we are so rebellious, so sinful, so impure. Why should He be good to us? Well because He is merciful and loves us. But… He proved it on the cross. But… Yes, but He is God and He never lies or changes. He is merciful and gracious and faithful and good and shows it in so many ways every day. Let us praise Him for all His wonderful deeds.

 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. Psalm 18:35

The best birthday!

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Today is my birthday. This year the holy Spirit convinced me to celebrate God because after all He created me, twice. Whatever is worthy of being celebrated and honored in my life is His. So I let Him have that day. And He rewards me. I am in awe of God. He rewards us for giving Him honor and obeying Him, when “we have only done what was our duty.” (Luke 17:10) God honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30) and I feel honored.

My heart was not unselfish. It was divided, but willing and God in His grace in Christ forgave and blessed. I had the prefect gift, the gift you don’t ask for, but you wish someone will give you. I received so much love and kindness. And beyond everything, He honored me by His presence, a wonderful moment.

This spot is just a thank You to the one who always gives what I don’t deserve. This spot is a way to proclaim His excellencies.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

The Messiah is in town!

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. Matthew 9:1-8

So there is Jesus, the Son of man, back in His hometown. He came there knowing that people would not respect Him. Remember He said: “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” (Mark 6:4). He came and did a miracle, a beautiful miracle: a paralytic not only walked but carried his bed as well. And He opened the door of the true life for him by forgiving his sins.

Now the Lord could have asked him to follow Him. Then He could have showed to everyone that He was really who He affirmed to be. He could have used him as a display of His power, or just to make people believe in Him. Instead of trying to use him, Jesus sent him home. He sent him to be an encouragement and a blessing to those who had cared for him for so long, washing him, feeding him, and bearing with him.

Jesus was humble. He did not mind to be despised. He did not mind to be rejected. He knew that He did not need to put on a show to success. He knew that He did not need people’s approval. Bringing glory to His Father was His goal. So He sent that man home where he could do something precious in God’s eyes. He sent him home that he could love his own and share with them the gospel. Yes the Messiah was in town.

The disciple whom Jesus loved

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. (John 21:20-24 )

How John could know that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved? And what does that mean exactly?

In John 15: 9, Jesus says: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” (John 15:9)

And in John 13:34, He says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. “

Jesus’ love is the perfect love. It is the love to imitate. There is nothing greater, there is nothing deeper, there is nothing bigger. So what was special in the way He loved John? Was Jesus showing partiality?

Maybe it was not that Jesus loved John in a special way. Maybe it was that John knew in a special way that he was loved that deep and that much. Maybe John understood so much Jesus’s love that he remained in that love. Maybe it was all about John’s faith and surrender to that amazing love. Maybe it just depends on us to be the disciple whom Jesus loves.