God’s love for us versus God’s acceptance of us (part 1)

Dog bite wound

 

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (NKJV)

The other day, as I was watching a rerun of a reality TV show featuring a Veterinarian on his daily rounds, a particular case stood out to me. It was the case of an elderly dog that had bitten the owners’ granddaughter on the face. The owner of the dog loved the dog dearly but he loved his granddaughter more. He realized that if the dog bit the child once that the dog may possibly do that again which brought him to the conclusion that the dog should be put to sleep. The Veterinarian was called to do just that. As the owner of the dog spoke, tears welled up in his eyes. He had owned the dog all of its life and the dog had never been aggressive before but he was not going to take a chance that it could happen again. The safety of the owner’s family won out over the owner’s love for his pet. The unacceptability of the dog’s behavior trumped the owner’s love for the animal.

As I look at God and His relationship with humans today, I wonder if that same principle still holds true? So, I went back into the Bible with this question;

Is there any account in the Bible of a human’s behavior being so unacceptable and so untamable that it overran God’s love for them? (more…)

The right kind of risk to take with God.

 

Psalm 5:11 But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. (Amp)

I had been attending a good church for several years when, one Sunday, the Pastor said something that made me uneasy. I squirmed in my seat for several minutes but continued to listen. If it had been any other Pastor I would have gotten up and left, never coming back again. I am cautious, to say the least, but I am also open and willing to listen. This particular Pastor had consistently given great sermons that made me confident that I could trust him and what he said.

It wasn’t just what he said but the way he said it. He cried. I’m not against Preachers crying but I feel I’ve been burned by the preaching style of insincere tears. I’m leery of those whose only method of moving me is overt emotionalism. I never really feel like it is of the Holy Spirit and I feel, during those type of sermons, that the Pastor really has nothing solid and he’s just working what little he does have into a whipped-up froth.
So, what did this Pastor say? He cried and said several times that he loved the name of Jesus. (I wondered if he was exhausted and running on empty because crying wasn’t usually his style.) But, at that moment I prayed something that has been a staple of my prayers whenever I hear something new from someone that I have trusted in the past.

What’s the prayer I prayed? (more…)

MOUTH, YOU ARE SUCH A TATTLETALE!

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Fill your mind with God’s acts of goodness; recount them with thankfulness in your heart, and your mouth will pour forth from your minds’ and hearts’ leading.

Fill your mind with the world’s badness; recount its evil in your heart often, and your mouth will pour forth from your minds’ and hearts’ leading.

Yep, our mouths tell on us. They reveal what is really in our hearts and on our minds. (Luke 6:45) We can’t seem to help it. In the end we chop away at our own peace because we spend more mental time engaged in remembering and going over in our heads the bad things happening all around us than we do in remembering God’s amazing goodness. But, God is not asking us to stop telling Him of our hurts and needs. He’s also not asking us to stop telling others of our hurts and needs. That’s not what I’m getting at here. (more…)

A “STEM” GARDEN?

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I love the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, especially in the spring and summer when the rose garden is in full bloom. I love seeing all the different varieties and colors and the smell is heavenly.

When I was young I remember watching the TV show called, “The Addams Family”. One of the main characters on the show was Morticia Addams who wore all black. I remember one episode where she had a tall glass vase on a table with a dozen long stem roses in the vase and she was using gardening snips to cut the roses off of the stems. I guess to this character the thing of beauty was the stem and not the rose. It was comedy and I liked its zaniness as most 8 year olds do.

I know I am jumping around but bear with me here. I want to take you to the beginning of the book of Genesis. Genesis 3:1) After God created everything in the universe, including the earth, He created a place. This is the place where God created His most loved, special and detailed work. He created Adam, the first man and He placed Adam in the Garden of Eden. Soon afterwards God realized that it was not good for man to be alone and He created Eve from Adam’s rib. Now, before they sinned they lived in a physical state that is very different from the way we live today. They were made in the image of God and sin had not yet rearranged them. The glory of God was on the outside of them as a special covering and shield. The actual order was the Spirit of God was that glory; then within that was their soul and the skeleton of this whole appearance was their physical body. Their body was created to be a framework that held all the other things. It was not designed to be on the outside like we live with today. And when Eve and Adam sinned (rebelled) that which was on the outside of the body was driven deep within it. The Glory of God was ripped away and Adam and Eve found themselves naked for the first time in their lives and they were embarrassed and ashamed. What actually happened was that for the first time Adam and Eve saw their nakedness which means they saw their differences. (Genesis 3:7, Genesis 2:9 Amplified, 1 Thessalonians 5:23) (more…)

Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?

Last night there was a storm. My arthritis told me there was something coming because my hands had been bothering me all day. I don’t usually wake up during a storm but this one did. The loud claps of thunder and the bright flashes of lightening came in frequent and repetitive waves. I began to wonder if I should head to the basement but decided to first peak out the window. I looked up at the sky and at the tops of the trees. A very bright flash of lightening flooded my eyes and it took me a moment to see again. (more…)