No Desires, No Delighting

Have you ever felt like you didn’t care about anything. You were tired, exhuasted, and you feel like you are just on the neverending hamster wheel of life. At it’s very core, you don’t want anything. You have no desire for anything in particular.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there. I’ve been to the place when I find delight in absolutely nothing. Food is bland, activities are boring, successes are empty, and I’m just  . . .  existing.

I read a verse yesterday that impressed on me in a new way. Psalm 37:4-5 has always been a favorite passage of mine, but this time it helped me with a whole ‘nother perspective.

Verse 4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

Notice it does not say He will fulfill the desires of your heart, but that He will give them to you. Later on the passage tells us God brings those desires to pass after you trust and commit to Him.

This verse communiates so strongly- God doesn’t want you to be apathetic. He doesn’t want you to go through life not caring about anything. I would pose the idea to you that He wants you to enjoy life, enjoy His blessings, have hobbies and interests.

The latest idea i took away from this verse was that, If you find yourself not caring about anything, then you most likely have not been delighting in God. When you delight in God, He gives you the desire for things. And He does this so He can show His goodness and glorify Himself, by fulfilling them for His faithful servants.

So have you felt lethargic and uncaring for the things in life lately?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how much you’ve been delighting in God.

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What if God made your bed for you?

When you take care of the poor, God takes care of you. Verse after verse in the Bible reiterates this same truth. A person may say that it’s a bad thing to be redundant, but when it comes to important truth, it’s not all that damaging. So, just for good measure, let me say that When you take care of the poor, God takes care of you.

Psalm 41 begins by saying, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” Pretty amazing truth right? But it goes on. The next verse says, “The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.”

Wow, so far you have protection, life, blessings, and deliverance from your enemies! What else could you ask for? Well, the next verse gives you healthcare.

“The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” Incredible! God says that those who care for the poor will be strengthened when they are sick! The second part of the verse is a little harder to understand. God will “make his bed” when he’s sick?

I used a concordance on this part and the word for “make” basically means “to change,” so in essence, God will figuratively change the sheets. So in essence, God will make his bed. I’m guessing this has some significance in saying that the period of sickness is over. But let’s not think too much about this, God is obviously saying that the man who gives to the poor will be healthy, and that’s an amazing promise!

Let’s take advantage of that promise today.

I challenge you, consider those who are less fortunate than you are. Ask God to give you the inclination to help others and send people across your path that need help. Obey God, and watch His blessing flow on your life. Give Him the glory no matter what, and let others see His power.

And said, Rejoice with me!

Have you ever wondered why we have parties and invite people from far and wide for graduations, birthdays, weddings, and such? It seems to be only natural for us to want to share good news with others. Luke 15 even gives examples of two people who had cause to rejoice, and they invited all their friends to rejoice with them.

Psalm 34:3 says, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”

David has a new reason to worship the Lord and he wants to share it with others. He says, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” David’s desire to share how God has been a shield to Him is evident.

In my experience, there are times when Christians are slow to share the blessings they have received from God, even with other Christians, if they don’t have a close relationship with them. I’d like to encourage you, when the Lord has done something great for you, Tell others. Invite them to rejoice with you.

You will find that most Christians, are overjoyed to hear your testimony. Even if a few aren’t, those that want to hear of God’s blessings in your life will be blessed with a time of praise to the Lord. When you tell others about God’s blessings, you will find that it will become contagious and others will praise Him as well!

I encourage you, refuse to be timid about praising the Lord. Invite others to magnify the LORD with you, and exalt his name together!

It works while you sleep . . .

Imagine if you could benefit yourself while you sleep. I mean, other than just rejuvenating your body. Imagine if you had a way to benefit yourself spiritually while you slept. That would be pretty amazing right? Well, I’m not going to try to tell you about playing audio books of the gospels or anything. I’d like to share something with you found in Proverbs 6:22.

It says, “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother . . .  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”

Notice the second verse, it tells us that obeying the wise instruction of our parents will, lead us and show us the way. It will guard us when we sleep. And it will communicate with us when we awake.

The Bible tells us that if we will pay attention to the wisdom and commands of our parents we can gain all these benefits. One of them, is being protected while we sleep. I interpret, “When thou sleepest, it shall keep thee.” as referring to protecting your thought life even while you sleep. But it could have other interpretations. It could mean that the wise choices that wisdom helps you make in the day indirectly bring physical protection to you. Or it could be referring to a direct supernatural protection from God that comes from being in His will.

Whatever the protection is, it must be something good.

So I challenge you, “Keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” If you do these things and treasure the wisdom of your parents, God promises that you will prosper and reap His blessings- even while you sleep!

Asking and asking and asking and . . .

Do you know that one person that never stops nagging you? Every time you see them, they are asking you to do that same thing for them. The person keeps asking, and eventually they get what they want. Just as that person repeatedly asks and then receives, God wants us to ask Him for what we want, repeatedly.

Jesus uses a parable very much like this in Luke 18. He tells a story of a widow and an unjust judge. The judge apparently did not care much for justice, but this lady kept coming and asking for justice to be done. In the end, the judge said, "I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me," Luke 18:5. This judge did not care about anything but himself, yet when the widow kept asking, he eventually gave her what she wanted. Just like this judge answered the woman, God will answer us.

God does care for justice, He waits to answer our pleas for different reasons. When you cry unto God, He will not always answer right away. But He will answer. God tells us in His Word, to keep coming to Him in prayer. I honestly believe that God waits to answer our prayers because our continual pleading does a work in us. As we pray to Him, the truth that He is our source of everything becomes a reality to us. That reality and that pleading brings our prayers to existence.

Is there an unjust situation in your life? I challenge you: pray to God continually. Go to Him every hour of the day. Make your request known. If God reveals that His plan includes that situation, then thank Him and pray for something else. But if God does not reveal that the situation is His plan, then keep praying until He removes it. Your persistence will bring God’s power into play.

As He said in His Word:
"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?" – Luke 18:7

Is it all loss to you?

Is Christ your all in all? What do you seek most of all? Are you upset when you give things up to serve God, like you’re missing out on the best in life? Christ should be everything to the believer. We should esteem Him as our greatest treasure.

Paul says in Philippians 3:7, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." Previously, Paul had been speaking of how out of all the Jews, he was chief. He pretty much gives us his resume. In the end, the list does not compare to Christ. Paul tells us that what he had believed to be his greatest blessings, He realized they were all nothing and worse than nothing.

I would like to challenge you, make Christ your all in all. Christ was crucified and rose again so we could have life. Don’t allow that truth to become old in your memory. Meditate on His sacrifice. Remember His love. Make His greatest gift your greatest treasure. Count all things as loss. Remove anything from your life that would diminish your dedication to Him. If you do, you will find your life to be one of great reward.

"And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." – Luke 18:29-30

The secret to living longer

The world has spent much time looking for the fountain of youth. Searching all over the world, for centuries, people have desparately searched for the answer to life. They want more time. They want to live longer. What if I told you there was a way you could live longer. It’s not fancy medicine, strange rituals, or superstition, it’s quite simple. You can live longer by following a simple command in the bible.

Proverbs 3:1-2 says, “My son forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length and long life and peace shall they add to thee.” You may be thinking, “that was just for that man’s son, not for me.” But this is not the only time this promise is mentioned.

Ephesians 6:2-3 tells us, “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” So there you have it, it is a simple promise. These verses make it very clear, you can enjoy a long life by honoring your parents. I am not saying that if someone dies young, then they disrespected their parents. What I am saying is, that if you do honor your parents, as Prov. 3 says, your life will be longer.

So, do you want to live longer? I would like to challenge you, honor your parents. It doesn’t matter how old you are, God commands you to honor them. He promises length of life to those who do. Will you obey God by respecting your parents and reap the reward He has promised to those who do?

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. ” – Exodus 20:12

Nerdy Note: Ephesians does give the command of obedience to children. However, the command applies to all believers with parents, no matter how old they are. The reason is, that the Greek word used for ‘children’ in this verse is τέκνον, which means offspring, not little child. (Eg: John 1:12, 1 Timothy 1:18, Titus 1:4 Philemon 1:10)

A Christian’s response to a bad day

Has anything ever gone wrong in your life? Ever had a bad day, or your plans messed up or it seemed as if every step of the ways you had to fight to get things done. When things go wrong, do you go to God in anger and frustration? Or, do you praise Him despite what is going on? God wants us to praise Him despite all the hardships that He has justly allowed in our lives.

If we take a look at scripture we will find an example of one guy who had a really bad day. It probably is the worst day ever recorded. This man’s name was Job. In one day, He lost all of his oxen, all of his donkeys, all of his camels, all of his sheep, and all of his children. Yes, he lost all of his children. If you know much about ancient wealth, it was measured in livestock. Basically, he lost most if not all of his wealth. But more than this, all his children died. And it wasn’t broken to him in the easiest way, all the servants came up to him at once and told him what happened.

Job’s response is one of absolute reverence and faith. The bible tell us that, he got up, shaved his head (a sign of mourning) , and then he fell down and worshipped God. He says specifically, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD, ” Job 1:21. Did you hear that at the end? He blessed the Lord! The next verse tells us that in all of this, “Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.”

How many times do we have a bad day because we were late to work, or our food wasn’t the way we like it, or other insignificant thing happens, and we get upset at God? Have you ever gotten upset at God or anyone else, because some insignificant detail of your life didn’t go the way you planned? Job’s life is such a rebuke. Job had a proper view of God, and he most definitely had a proper view of himself.

I would like to challenge you, strive to be content in any circumstance. Whatever God allows in your life, he is allowing for your benefit. Don’t get angry at someone or God because something didn’t turn out the way you wanted. God wants us to practice contentment in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. Let us learn to be content, with whatever God gives us.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” – 1 Timothy 6:6

A time to praise,

When was the last time you thanked God for His blessings? When was the last time you praised Him because of who He is? Days and hours and weeks and minutes pass us by, yet so often it seems as if we forget to thank our heavenly father.

Our Heavenly Father has given us so much! He gave us eternal life through His Son, all we have to do is believe and accept Him. But He gave us more than this. He gives us peace, comfort, joy, patience, temperance, meekness. . . The list goes on and on. One of my favorite verses says, “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” Philippians 2:13. Did you catch that? God is working in us to give us the desire to do His will and the ability to do His will.

He makes it easy for us to do right by giving us the desire to. When we face temptation, God says He, “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13. God didn’t have to do that! He could have just allowed us to be overcome by sin. He has given us a free choice. He promises us blessings when we serve Him. Not blessings in the far off future, but blessings now, like a long life for honoring your parents, or ask and ye shall receive, or . . .

My question for you today is, “Have you thanked God for His goodness?” or “Have you taken time to meditate on His holiness?” I would challenge you, thank God for His gifts to you today. Praise Him for His holiness and thank Him for His love and mercy and . . . God is good, all the time. He has given us so much. Won’t you take time out of your day to thank Him, today?

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” – Psalm 107:1

Are you loving yourself?

In 2 Timothy 3:2 we find a passage that talks about evil men in the end times. It says, "For men shall be lovers of their own selves . . ." Think about the idea of these people loving themselves. They don’t care about others, about God, about anything other than what pleases them. Is this love?

If we read the book of Ecclesiastes, we will find a common theme: "All is vanity." Solomon loved God for a while, but later in life he sought pleasure other things. In the end, he found pleasure in nothing. I think he sums it up best when he says in Ecclesiastes 2:17, "I hated life."

Clearly, it is not in a person’s best interest to try to please himself with the things of the world. So those men in 2 Timothy don’t really know what love is. The word for ‘love’ used in 2 Timothy is the word that means ‘feeling.’ They like to make themselves feel good. Making oneself feel good temporarily, does not work in someone’s best interest and is not love.

Let me give you an illustration of true love for oneself. In Ephesians 5, Paul is encouraging husbands to love their wives properly. He says in verse 28, "He that loveth his wife loveth himself." The word for love here, means a love that is real. A love that motivates someone to action. Think about the idea presented in the verse: the man who loves his wife, is really loving himself. Why would that be? I would submit to you that it is in the man’s best interest to act out of love for his wife. So when he treats her right, he is doing himself a favor.

Let’s take that principle and apply it to the 2 Timothy verse. These men love themselves, with a feeling kind of love. If you look in the Bible, you will not find someone who lived a life for earthly pleasure, and enjoyed long-lasting benefits. It just doesn’t happen. What we do find, is that when a person submits to God and serves Him, they are blessed. They achieve true joy. True peace. And true benefits.

I would like to share with you. You are only truly loving yourself when you are completely surrendered to God. When you give up all your worldly pleasures and seek God alone. We will find true joy and satisfaction in our Creator. So let us serve Him. Not because we will truly love ourselves, but because He is worthy. Because He is our Creator. We were created to fulfill our purpose of pleasing Him. So let us please Him. In doing so, we are acting in our best interest, and truly loving ourselves.

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." – Revelation 4:11

Are you truly loving yourself?