Ephesians 3:20-21 (New International Version)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Thursday, August 9, 2012

When Manners Don't Count And Boundaries Aren't Built

For those of us who were built with the importance of manners...
* If you borrow something, send it back in better shape than it was in when you obtained it.
* Don't wear out your welcome.
* Don't burn bridges (speaking of friends, not real bridges).

This makes it difficult for us to understand the compassion of our God.  Sometimes it seems like I have worn out the relationship.  For example, how many times do I totally screw up by gossiping, over spending (greed), or total glutinous behavior?  After asking for forgiveness, believing I have recieved it...but falling back into the same behavior, I feel like it's ridicoulous to ask for forgiveness again.  It's simply not good manners.  I THINK God will tire of my refusal to learn, that He will be angry with me (rightly so), and that He will build a boundary not allowing me back in. 

On the contrary, our God is much bigger than that.  He knows us...he created us with our own will.  I think my strong willed personality is enough to push many away...why not God, too.  Yet, Nehemiah ch 9 illustrates a God that continues to love us in good times and in bad times.  He allows us to venture off, create our own mistakes, and find our need for Him.  He's always there, waiting again and again, when we come back with a repentant heart.  I am soooo thankful for the undying love He shows us in this chapter of Nehemiah. 

Nehemiah 9: 28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time. (NIV)

..... time after time...after time... after time...  What an awesome God!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


The study of Nehemiah has really been an adventure...an eye opening walk into places I've visited by not really camped upon.  After the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt and those who were taken into bondage were allowed to return their home, Ezra opened the book of Moses and read to them from the town square. All the people listened and understood.

A revelation occurred to them on this occasion...the seventh month, the seventh day...a day God set aside to remember the time he rescued them from Egypt.  This week was to be spent in booths...a way to remember how God was with them through a really rough time.  What it must have meant to them...having just been released from bondage of Nebuchadnezzar.  What a reminder this must have been...God is with us.

Today, we have set aside ways to remember the great things God has done for His people.  We remember how he gave His life as a ransom, a perfect sacrificial lamb, given to us for our sin through the communion service, or the Lord's Supper.  We also remember Him through the steps of baptism and how we become a new man, washed in the blood of Jesus.

Yet, what do we do to remember the wilderness walks?  The times when we felt alone on an undesirable journey?  He never left us.  As a matter of fact, He led us through it.  Yet, we would much rather forget the bad stuff.  Who wants to talk about it?  Who wants to relive it? 

This walk with Nehemiah has reminded me that it is important to remember those times.  My God never left me in those periods.  During the times of loss, the times of financial need, sickness, etc.  my Savior walked me through it.  I'm almost ashamed of myself.  I need to remember those times and to sing praise to the One that led me through the Valley. 

I no longer dwell on those places, yet I must not forget them either.