Posts Tagged home

Who May Abide?

Psalm 15

O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; he swears to his own hurt and does not change; he does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

David asks a good question here, does he not? Who may abide with God, abide in His tent? The answer David provided is simple but certainly not easy. Can we stand up to this list? I have good news. This is not our test for abiding with the Father. Our test is only one question and it is a simple yes/no question. Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior? If you answer yes to this question then the Father has provided suitable habitation for you to live together with Him now and forever.

Our righteousness is in Jesus and him alone. All of the things David aspired to and listed for God’s people are values we should ascribe to, of course. Being accepted by Christ compels us to acts of morality, decency and ethical behavior. It should call us into the highest levels of character. However, nothing we can do on our own will win favor with God nor secure us a place in eternity. Christ is our way, the only way. His blood washes us clean and secures our place in God’s tent.

On the one hand, that takes a tremendous amount of weight and worry off of us. On the other hand, realizing the truth of this construct creates, hopefully, a desire to make Jesus’ sacrifice meaningful. It may stir up a sincere desire to do something for him, not out of duty but out of love. It makes us better people than we were on our own. There is no thank you large enough to cover what God and Jesus have done for us. I don’t think for one minute we should take for granted the gift they have given us. Equally insulting, though, is for us to try to earn it. Actually, I think it is far more egregious. Trying to earn it, is as if to say their sacrifice was not good enough, like our labor and good works could ever add anything to the blessing they have bestowed on us.

So, we revel in the grace that was poured out for us and we glorify Father and Son for making us family. We can be happy and rejoice in having a home with a loving Father. We do good because they are good and our hearts draw us to be more like them because we admire them. There is nothing left for us to earn. They have done it all. Celebrate with Father and Son in the miracle of your salvation and in your adoption as a child of the Most High and be blessed.

Home for the Holidays

Psalm 68: 6

God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

The holidays are a time of friends and family and yet for many people, it is the loneliest time of the year. A friend of mind mentioned recently that loneliness is a pronounced contributor to mental illness. Most of us have dealt with loneliness at some point in our lives but God is present to say, today, that we need not be lonely. We have a God who cares for us. Moreover, He is a caring, loving father and He has made a place for us in His heart.

I want you to know that God is actively thinking about you right now. He has plans for your well-being. Despite your current situation, you do not have to live apart from love. The transformation, however, often takes place inside of you first. Some of us are alone because some of our decisions led us into the place of aloneness. Whatever is in our hearts, though, that keeps us isolated, can be renewed so that we find a world of people who are willing and even desirous of spending time with us.

Have you ever felt you were living in a desert? I sure have and I never want to go back to those times. This verse says that our isolation in the desert came out of our rebellious nature. Those are not easy words to hear but for me it was true. When I relaxed into my relationship with God and ceased striving and toiling for everything, including hearing His voice, then I began to find a new relationship with Him. My effort and self-reliance separated me from Him. I tried so hard but finding is easy when you stop trying and simply open your eyes. He is right there, I promise, but we build such walls around ourselves that our perceptions become numb and His voice muted.

God created this entire planet, everything on it and even the solar system in which it revolves just so He could have a family. He didn’t create deserts for His children. Deserts exist in our lives when we do not allow Him to pour His living water into us. They are of our own making. He gave us Eden and we turned it into a desert. Here is the good news, though. We have the same power to renew Eden into the glorious garden of our heart where we can, and do, walk with God in the cool of the evening.

I pray that this Christmas season, you find new connections with your Divine Father and that those bonds lead you to increased relations with others so that you will never experience loneliness again. I pray that the joy of God’s heart will be reverberate in yours this season. When we connect with Yahweh in the way He intended, we never will feel alone again. Happy Holidays!