9/4/18 | Commit Everything to the Lord

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
Psalm 37:5 NLT

One of the things that is so wonderful about this verse is what it says about God’s character. It says to commit everything you do to the Lord. This doesn’t just mean the biggest stress currently going on in your life. It means everything. It means conflicts at work or in your marriage, conversations you know are coming, and people in general. It means putting things like buying a house or walking through a crisis into his hands. It also means placing daily needs into his hands as well. Everything means everything. If we commit (pledge, give, dedicate) these things to the Lord, he will help us.

What does that tell you about God?

This verse shows us proof that God is personal and desires a one-on-one relationship with us. Stop on that a second and think about what that means. God wants to be down deep with us in the nitty-gritty of everyday life. He wants us to commit every single thing that we do to him so that he can help us through it.

Sin came into the world in Genesis when Adam and Eve put someone else’s word above God’s. Ever since that day, things have been much more confusing than they used to be. It’s no longer easy for us to tell what’s good and what’s bad, what’s helpful and what’s destructive, what God’s will is versus what Satan’s will is. Without seeking out the Lord, how can we know what things will keep us in step with God versus what things are playing right into the enemy’s hands? This is why it’s so good for us to commit everything we do to the Lord and to trust that he will help us.

Satan is a real enemy who wants us to believe that we either don’t need God, or that God can’t help us. And he’s clever. He’ll do whatever it takes to make us like himself – rebellious towards God and headed for death. However, if we trust the Lord, he will help us. Isn’t that a beautiful promise? The Bible is an entire narrative that shows us how God comes to the aid of the people who love and trust him.

Think about all of this as you go through your week. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.

Recommended reading for this week:

  • Psalm 37
  • Matthew 6:8
  • Matthew 6:19-34

8/28/18 | A Broken Spirit

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Psalm 51:16 – 17 NLT

Sometimes, I think we believe that the easiest way to gain favor with God, or to relieve our guilty conscience, is to offer some sort of sacrifice or offering, either of our time, energy, or finances. By spending time at church, or donating goods to the poor, we hope to gain God’s pleasure over us and expel any hard feelings regarding our failures.

But although we are asked to do those things as we become more like Christ, that is not in itself what God desires. What good would such gifts or offerings do him? He is God of all. He does not need stuff from us.

Look at it this way,

I believe we can still break God’s heart to this day. When we put our work, our family, our friends, our worry, our comfort, our entertainment, even our ministry, before God. When we put our one on one relationship with God on the back burner, I believe it hurts God’s heart. (Crystal Dill, The Mark of Moses)

The only thing God doesn’t have is our heart. What he wants more than anything is for us to give it to him. What he desires from us is a broken spirit. This means that we realize how we’ve grieved God with our sin, and in turn it grieves us deeply because what we truly desire is a relationship with him. And so we come to him broken and filled with regret. But what is so beautiful is that he will not reject a broken spirit.

He draws near to those who mourn over their sin. Those who know that they need God. Those who know that it’s not by works alone but by faith in Christ that they can be made right.

Those who are broken in spirit, he will not reject. Put the pretenses aside. If you are mournful over your sin and you simply want to be close to God again, then go to him directly to be reconciled. For that is what he desires.

8/21/18 | For the Glory of God

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

For the past few weeks, Luke and I have been meeting weekly with a mentor couple from church. The above verse was one that they challenged us to memorize and apply to our lives. It’s short and sweet, so it had that going for it, but I was having a really hard time applying it. What does for the glory of God mean? It sounds nice. It sounds like something I should focus on. But what does it mean to give God glory?

I prayed about this for a couple days, and honestly it was frustrating. It felt like someone was telling me to “deadhead the lillies”. I’m on board! If it’s something I need to do I’ll do it! But I have no idea what “deadhead the lillies” means, and until I do, the phrase will mean nothing to me. It’s like someone giving you a band saw and telling you to make a heart. But you’ll never be able to make a heart if no one tells you what a band saw is or how to use it.

I told Luke about my frustration in hopes that God would give him some insight. He prayed about it and read through the entire chapter of 1st Corinthians 10, and God did indeed give him insight. It means to consider God in every situation, and do what brings honor to his name.

This sums it up well:

27 If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience.28 (But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?
1 Corinthians 10:27-30 NLT

Spending time on this chapter has shown me that we really need to take into consideration how our actions affect others. There are situations that go beyond never do this and always do that, just like in the passage above. We just need to make sure that, in all things, we are pointing others to Christ and encouraging them in their faith. This is all the more reason to study the Bible and always be listening to the Holy Spirit, so that in every situation we are ready to do what brings glory to God.

The more time we spend in the Word, the more we’ll be equipped, ready, and able to do the work he sets before you. Spend time in 1 Corinthians 10 this week, and as things come up, ask this question: Will how I’m planning to act bring glory to God?