In His Mercy

What happens when God tells you to do something and you don’t? Well, it varies, but here’s one story.

He told me to write a book years ago, and I started…then dropped it. Years later, He told me to get back on it and I did…and later dropped it. A few months ago, He told me to get back on it again, and I started planning, but… yeah.

I’ve been faithfully back at it, seriously at it, for several weeks now and I’m excited about both how it’s changed from when God first told me to do it and the progress I’m making as I work. I’m also excited by how clearly my story illustrates His mercy. He could have given up on me, but He didn’t. He kept coming back and saying, “Tammy, I gave you a job to do. Now let’s get going.”

And there’s even more to His mercy in my story. When I started, years ago, I thought I knew what it would look like, and it was fairly simple. Then God added more to the plan. When I picked it up recently, I knew I’d be working on the “more,” but then He added even more. Why? He knows me!

When faced with what feels like a huge task, I can get overwhelmed. God knows this, so He broke the book down into manageable phases. What might have had me throwing my hands up in defeat if I’d seen the whole vision up front, ended up being an exciting journey because I wasn’t worrying about the next phase while working on the current one.

God knows everything we will need to become who He wants us to be, and He’s merciful and gracious enough to work with our weaknesses.

Thank God!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Meditations: James 4:6-7

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

James 4:6-7
KJV

6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith,
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

     Pride has no place in God’s kingdom. “God resisteth the proud,” we are warned, and if we are wise we heed the warning. The word “pride” does not only apply to that person who stands off from others with his nose in the air. It applies when we grow prideful of our accomplishments and forgetful of the fact that we attain nothing without Him. It applies when we look at others and pridefully assume that we have traveled further down the road of righteousness. It applies when we determine that our offering is better, our position of ministry more worthy, etc. The word applies much too often, I’m afraid.

Oh, but when we humble ourselves…then He gives us grace. And how can we not humble ourselves when we consider Him? In Him we have all things, can do all things and can be all things, but only IN HIM. Step outside of Him and we are nothing – no better than the sin-filled scum we were before He saved us. When one meditates on this, can one not be humbled? Being so humbled by the reality of all He is compared to all we are not without Him, the next reasonable step is to submit one’s self to Him.

The one who can say they are God’s bond-servant – one who has willingly turned himself completely over to God – receives the fullness of God’s grace. This one also receives something else – a promise.

 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The one who has fully submitted himself to God can resist the devil; indeed, this one is commanded to resist him! And when this one resists, the devil will flee; it is inevitable. Why?

I tend to visualize things, and I have this picture of me standing sure and proud against the devil as a child of God who has been given the authority. But this is not all. Behind me, towering over me and radiating ultimate authority, is my heavenly Father. Only a complete idiot challenges Him.

Only when I’ve put down pride, humbled myself, and submitted to Him, do I have that authority; only then does He stand behind me so.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Love Labels

In studying Love, I of course am spending time in First Corinthians, chapter 13. One of the first things you see that love does not do is “parade itself.” (KJV “vaunteth”) Most of us don’t literally walk around saying, “Look at me! I am too good for you!” Clearly, this is a heart condition more than outward action. We may not parade around openly, because we know it’s unacceptable, but it’s what our hearts do that God sees.

One thing our hearts do, when they are not filled with love, is label people. We say, “She’s so OCD that I can’t stand to be around her.” We cannot truly exalt ourselves; only God can do that. This technique, however, effectively puts the other person on a level below us – in our own minds – and makes us feel better than them.

One who walks in love will, instead, use love labels, thinking things like, “Her faithfulness humbles me. Her attention to detail is amazing. She so clearly gets fully into everything she does.”

When we intentionally put love labels on people, we raise their value, their worth, in our eyes. We begin to see them as God sees them, and we see ourselves more clearly as nothing more or less than their fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. When we intentionally put love labels on people, we instinctively begin to treat them differently, to esteem them, to show them the love that John 13:35 is talking about.

When we intentionally put love labels on people, we begin to act like Jesus.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C