Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” IN ALL THINGS, God is at work. Often we do not read this scripture correctly with God as the subject of the verse.
“All things work together” because God causes them to do so. The family member’s addiction, the boss’s malice, and the devastating illness are incapable of rendering good of their own accord. Evil, sorrow, and the fallen, sinful world do not produce or lead to good things. So we may not be able to thank God for all things, but we can learn to thank him for refining our lives in our trials. Continue reading “God’s Love, Our Security”→
God only loves us. The hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” signals this by saying, “There is no shadow of turning with Thee.” Our Father evinces no hint or trace of dishonesty or grudge.
He is indeed dissatisfied that a sinner should remain in sin and that a believer should cling to it in some way. But his affection for all of us is our contentment and prosperity in every way. Such personality will force people to wonder, Who is this God? His profile is so different from ours and contrary to the image many hold of “God.” Continue reading “God’s Pure Love”→
I’m not a parent and I wonder if parents might possess a fuller understanding of God’s love. Still, the picture gets clearer for me when I consider my relationship toward some in my family.
I have a young nephew who esteems his uncle more than he does any other aunt or uncle in the family. I’m not sure how this happened, but, boy, does it feel great! A photo of us together makes me teary because I know he loves me unconditionally when I know how many unlovable things there are about me. Continue reading “God’s Unrelenting Love”→
Sometimes I have to remind myself of the magnitude of God’s love. I think if most of us were honest about it, we would admit that we don’t always grasp the Father’s love. We don’t get it because it is not only on television and in our lust-ridden society that love has lost its sanctity, but also in our churches and spiritual thinking where the great story of God’s love has become glamorized and trivialized.
Moreover, Paul expresses the scale at which we compare to understanding God’s love for us when he says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all God’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ our Lord” (Eph. 3:17-18). Continue reading “He Loves Me. He Only Loves Me”→
Psalm 119:140 declares, “Your promises have been thoroughly tested; that is why I love them so much” (NLT). The understanding is that the words of God have endured rigorous trial and have performed exactly as they promised. Continue reading “God’s Proven Track Record”→
Psalm 130 is one of the fifteen “Songs of Ascent” and its author is unknown. This psalm is the deeply anguished and moving prayer to God of one wrestling with sinful guilt. Yet the writer’s focus does not linger there; instead, the forgiveness of God is the subject. Notice how honest he speaks and how lucidly he contrasts his guilt with the Lord’s mercy. There is no person who cannot discover him- or herself in these words. (You may wish to follow along in your Bible.)Continue reading “Lectio Divina: Psalms 130”→
The clapping of hands in the Bible has more to do with human aggression than the praise of God. Often we clap our hands to applaud a person or cause, or to the beat of a song—in church too—and there is nothing wrong with this. But let me show why clapping hands in praise to God is nowhere found in Scripture. Continue reading “Does Hand-Clapping Praise God?”→
The king of Aram was flustered. His every plan against Israel was being discovered, and he was ready to make an end of the traitor in his camp. Then one of his men explained to him, “My lord, Elisha the prophet reports everything you say, even your pillow talk!” I embellish but the news must have surprised the king, and it humors me just a little. Continue reading “See What the Lord Can Do!”→