God is Worthy

We’ve come to dismiss the worth of God in our lives. We ignore him. We pretend he doesn’t exist. We want nothing to do with him. So maybe he’ll just go away and leave us alone.

After all, he doesn’t answer when we pray. We say we don’t see the good he does. We don’t believe he hears our prayers. We wonder if he sees our suffering. Does he even exist? So we block him from our lives. We turn to other things hoping they bring fulfillment. They become our god. 

We often disrespect God by using his name in vain. We use his name as a cuss word instead of a word of reverence. We dishonor God by disobeying him.

We don’t read the Bible, so we don’t really know God. We ignore his warnings. We refuse to listen to the still small voice of reason.  Our conscience dies a slow death. We become numb to evil. We’ve lost sight of eternity.

 All for the sake of pleasure. For the fulfillment of our twisted desires. Nothing is off limits. Because in our minds, God doesn’t matter. We wonder if he even exists. We give ourselves over to moral filth.  Because we’ll be the boss our of own lives. No one will control me. We say.

We’ve gotten to the point that we are lawless. Everything is acceptable. So we live for the moment. With no thought of eternity. Because what if eternity doesn’t exist? What if this life is all we have?

Maybe we believe God exists. But he’s not my type. Oh. I’m a good person. We tell ourselves. And that’s good enough.  But is it really?

For those of us who say we’re believers, we don’t act like it. We don’t spend time in God’s Word. We don’t pray. We don’t set aside time to worship with other believers. We think we’re not worthy of God’s love. We’ve forgotten, or perhaps we’ve never understood, that God is worthy. We are unworthy. But his love and forgiveness and sacrificial gift made us worthy. 

God is worthy. Why? He is our Creator. The Giver of Life. The Prince of Peace. 

Peacemaker, Fear Taker, Soul Soother, Storm Smoother, Light Shiner, Lost Finder, Cloud Lifter, Deliverer, Heart Toucher, Truth Lover, Who other could be Fear Taker, Peacemaker to me, 

Mind Clearer, Sigh Healer, Hand Holder, Consolor, Wound Binder, Tear Dryer, Strength Giver, Provider, Heart Healer, Kind Father, Who other could be, My Savior, Peacemaker to me

Greg Ferguson

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power. Revelation 4:11


Glory. God deserves our praise. He is our Creator. Our words and actions show whether our lives are centered around God. We are on full display for God and the world to see our opinion of Him. All we have to do is speak. Or act. Or think. God does know our thoughts. Are our motives based in love?

We give glory to God when we have faith in his promises.

God does not need us, and still, in all His self-sufficiency, He wants us. He is independent of His creation, yet His desire to be united to that creation shows His genuine and unmatched love for us. A love that is worthy of all glory forever.

Christina Patterson

Honor. God deserves our adoration. He deserves our respect. When we admire someone, we place them in a position of honor. We are happy to serve them and give them our best. Do we ever stop to think of doing the same for God? He is our creator. He is our strength. He is our redeemer. All we have comes from God. Nothing else deserves top billing in our lives over him. Nothing.

The Bible says every knee shall bow before God. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I try to envision myself in that moment.  What will it be like? This small, imperfect person bowing to the Creator of Life and King Eternal. Who am I to think I’m worthy to be in his presence? But I will stand there receiving my eternal destiny. How humbling. I’m brought to tears just thinking of being in God’s presence. And then he reviews everything I’ve ever done and said. My lifetime performance review where nothing is hidden.  But mercy and love have been offered. How well have I honored my Lord? How will I be judged?

Power. God deserves our trust. He receives power when his creation honors him. We give power to the person or thing where we focus our time and energy. Imagine the power He could use if only we placed our full trust in him. If we honored him the way we were meant to. Just imagine what God would do if our hearts were turned toward him.

God is inviting us to know him. He wants to have a relationship with each of us. We can choose to accept his invitation. He is worthy of our allegiance. If we don’t recognize God’s true worth, how can we ever truly worship him?

Out of the Heart

She was looking forward to spending time with her mom.  But then again, she wasn’t.  She said her mom gets mean when she is anxious or afraid.  Her mom cloaks the mean words with sarcasm and humor.  She pretends she’s joking.  As if she doesn’t mean the words she’s saying.  But she does.

And my coworker has been on the receiving end of her mother’s harmful words more times than she cares to remember.  She wants to avoid another one of those situations.  She loves her mom, but she doesn’t appreciate being the target of overly harsh words.

She said she had talked to her mom about it.  My coworker, the unbeliever, the one who never reads a Bible, said that her mom’s problem stemmed from her heart. Because, she said, you say what is in your heart.  And it’s true.  She is so right. 

But, I wonder, how did she know that to be true?  How did she learn it if she hasn’t read the Bible?  I don’t know. 


For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. Matthew 12:34


Then I think about my words.  My thoughts.  What is in my heart that I have tried to hide?  Oh.  It’s become a little clearer to me this week. I’ve been reading John Bevere’s book, “Honor Rewards”.  Every chapter has convicted me.  Not only the words that come out of my mouth need to honor others, but my thoughts do, as well.  Oh.  I know that.  But sometimes.  Sometimes, I can’t get past my thoughts turning vindictive. I realize those thoughts, or even words, are more harmful to me. They’re harming my soul’s eternity.

I know that God knows my every thought.  He knows my heart.  He knows if I really mean those mean words I say.  He knows the unkind thoughts I think.  I realize I have much work to do to clean up my heart.

I read that when we honor others, God will reward us.  I found that to be true this week.  One day at lunch, I read one of the chapters in the book.  I felt convicted about my thoughts of the people in authority over me.  I confessed my sin.  As I walked back into work, my step had a little spring in it.  I felt that my load had been lightened.  I had been unaware of how much my thoughts about others was affecting my mood.

I had been frustrated about a work situation, and I would have these imaginary conversations about it. Doesn’t everyone?  Sometimes in these imaginings, I would confront the person.  Other times, I would talk about them to others.  In my conviction, I realized that I should change my attitude and let things work out by themselves. I’m trusting God to let me know when or if the time is right for a face-to-face conversation.

Later that afternoon, I was sitting at my desk when my manager approached me.  He asked me to do the thing I had been stewing about.  The thing I had been hoping he would ask me to do. He asked. Wow.  What a little repentance will do for a person.  It will open your heart and allow God to give the blessings he has been withholding. 

I’ve learned. Obedience is always the key to heavenly rewards. My reward that day was nothing to write home about. But it sure did open my eyes to what I could be missing out on if I am not faithfully guarding my thoughts and words. God will reward an obedient heart.

Who are you wearing

It’s awards season.  The nominees have been announced.  They’ll get all fancied up.  For the event.  They’ll spend hours primping and priming and tucking and sleeking.  Hair is done.  Makeup is done.  Nails are done.  Nothing is left undone.  They must look their best.  The world will be watching.  Mostly from afar.

They’ve fasted.  They’ve dieted.  They’ve cleansed.  They’re as thin as they’re going to be.  For that night.

They’ve been offered the best of the best among the dresses.  The jewelry.  The shoes.  They must choose the attire they think will outshine everyone else.  For everyone else will be looking.  They will all be looking.  Hoping to win the best dressed award.  Which really isn’t an award.  It’s an opinion.  But opinions do matter.  Especially on this night.

I’ve watched the red carpet events for years.  Oh.  Not the actual awards shows.  But the shows as the gowns are being paraded down the red carpet.  The women pose.  First to the front with hand on hip.  Then flip out the leg if the slit is high enough.  And it is usually high enough.  Turn around to show off the back of the dress.  If the dress has a back.  Smile your brightest whitest smile.

They’re all waiting for the question.  The one question.  It’s a big question.  It’s asked at every event.  Supposedly made famous by Joan Rivers.  Who are you wearing?  That’s the question.  Oh.  It’s important.  It’s very important to give the designer’s name.  The name of the person who created the dress.  You see.  If someone rich and famous wears that designer’s clothes, then it’s assumed the rest of us will want to wear them.  Or knockoffs.  Whatever fits the budget.  Oh.  It’s a serious thing.  It’s a money maker.

But woe is the designer whose dress makes the worst dressed list.  As one show says.  One day you’re in.  The next day you’re out.  All because of other people’s opinions.

One particular event.  Every woman wore black.  They were making a statement.  They were taking names.  They were sharing a message.  With the color of their dress.  That event wasn’t so much about who they were wearing.  But it was about the color they were wearing.  Or weren’t wearing.  Fighting for a cause of their choice.  Daring others to join in or be called out.


And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Philippians 4:8


The way I see it.  I have a choice every day.  Every single day.  Which designer will I wear?  There are two designers to choose from.  Some may think two isn’t much of a selection.  Frankly.  One is all we need.  But we have a choice.  There’s an obvious difference in their designs.  In their taste level.  In their purpose.  And the choice makes a huge difference.  In everything.  One designer is the master creator.  The other is the master deceiver.

The master creator clothes us with truth.  Honor.  Respect.  Purity.  Love.  Grace.  And the price for all this. You ask.  There is no cost.  For us.  He paid a great price.  He gave his only son so we could be clothed in forgiveness.

The deceiver.  He clothes his followers with arrogance.  Deceit.  Murder.  Evil.  Wickedness.  Conflict.  Lies.
Oh.  The deceiver had his chance to work with the master designer.  But he wanted the top position.  It didn’t end well for him.  So he’s trying to trick anyone and everyone to wear his designs.  But don’t be fooled.  His designs come at a great price.
Just so you know.  Everyone is watching.  They’re listening.  They’re looking to see which designer you’ve chosen.  Is it easy to tell at first glance?  Do others ask for the name of your designer, because they like what they see?  Or are your knockoffs easy to spot?
So I dare to ask.  Who are you wearing?

 

Lesson Learned

It’s been in the news again this week.  Another high profile person going down for treating others disrespectfully.  He got fired.  Others haven’t.  But investigations may or may not prove the truth of what’s being said.

I’m sure there are many others living in fear that their disgusting acts and words will be shared with the world.  Their worst moments will be publicized.  Are they preparing for a fight?  Will they defend themselves even if the proof is undeniable?  Are they really innocent and suffering needlessly?  Only time will tell.

I’ve never understood how people who’ve treated others badly seem to be sorry only when they’ve been caught.  When they’ve been outed to the world.  When the bad acts have perhaps been happening for years?  Why act sorry now?  Are they sorry they hurt someone else?  Did they try to stop themselves?  Did they just move on and find another victim?  Or are they just sorry they got caught?  I always wonder.


Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23


I never understood that type of behavior.  Until I realized I’m one of them.  Oh.  Not for the same reason.  But I am guilty of doing wrong to another.

I talked about her behind her back.  I was sorry only when I thought she had heard me.

Now I know how those public figures feel when they’ve been outed for their sins.  When their private acts become public knowledge.  They’re sorry now that they’ve been caught.  That’s how I felt.  Sorry that I’d been caught.  Why wasn’t I sorry for speaking ill of someone while I was doing it?  Why didn’t I just stop my words when they became thoughts?  Because I thought she wasn’t sitting near me.  Because I thought she wouldn’t hear.  Because I thought I wouldn’t get caught.

I’m no better than those who have been caught.  I wronged an innocent person.  She did nothing wrong.  She didn’t ask for it.  I was wrong.

It’s a different emotion you feel when you’ve been caught.  Where once you felt in control of the situation, now the situation controls you.  You live in fear.  You’ve been exposed for who you really are.  No longer invincible.  No longer living with integrity.  No longer the trusted friend.

Shame.  Remorse.  Fear.  Dare we hope for forgiveness.  I can see how someone living in the depths of hopelessness might choose to end their life.  When they think they are unforgivable.  When they know the world will learn of their failings.  When they think they’ve lost everything.  I’m not hopeless. I didn’t consider ending my life.  But I wanted to run.  I wanted to run away from the situation and never go back.  I don’t ever again want to have that awful feeling in my gut that I’ve wronged someone else.

No.  There was no inappropriate touching or gestures.  No sleazy suggestions or threats.  But there were words spoken about someone who trusted me.  Someone who days before had called me friend.  Why did I do it?  I was uncomfortable with her friendliness.  Wanting more from me than I could give.  So I spoke about her.  Not against her.  But not for her.

I get it now.  How others must feel when they’ve been exposed.  It feels ugly.  Really ugly.  How do I face her ever again?  How can I look her in the eye?

I’ve graciously been spared from embarrassment this time.  My rude words were left unheard by the victim.  Heartache that could have happened didn’t.  My honor is still intact.  At least, outwardly.  Inwardly, it’s taken a beating.  As it should.  I’ve learned my lesson.