God Deals Are the Best Deals

Let’s be honest, there are always good deals to be done. We hunt down the best ones, putting our energies in hope of getting the most in return for the least. The least effort, the least time and definitely the least money.

Yet when it comes to God, there is a different kind of transaction currency. Salvation, it seems, costs me nothing and everything at the same time. Nothing because it wasn’t through anything that I did or could do, yet everything as I lay aside my own life, my arrogance and pride maybe, to take hold of it. The transfer price was paid, all I had to do was accept it had been paid on my behalf.

The deal was done.

I enter into the life God has for me as long as I am willing to surrender. Then through discipleship I understand what it means for me live within this new kingdom, my new home. It takes continued surrender. 

It seems like a tough deal on my part but it’s not really. It’s the very best of deals. God is reminding that if I live for Him, the rewards outweigh the cost, the benefits outstrip the challenge I may feel.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. [Psalm 50:14-15]

This is a good deal to me. Thanksgiving and a life lived for God, for deliverance and safety in return. The taking of my time to focus on Him, that my cry for help will be heard. In this manner we glorify God and give opportunity for Him to be glorified in our lives as he shows us ‘the salvation of God’ [v23].

Why not take some time this week to focus your attention on Your God. Give Him some praise, thank Him for saving You, keep your word, that when You call upon Him deliverance will be yours, to the glory of His incredible name.

This Kingdom Life [3]

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

Matthew 6:33 is a scripture we have held on to as a couple and a family at different seasons in our life. The reminder recently though is that when it comes to being the best kingdom person I can be, then this verse is not just for a season, it’s for all time.

Actually, isn’t this really obvious. All the Bible stands for all time but sometimes what it is saying resonates louder because of circumstances.

Yet this is the simple and powerful call for those who desire to live the Kingdom life.

To seek first the kingdom of God. To look for it, go after it, place it in a foremost position, above all other things. To seek the kingdom above all other things.

I’m curious about the word ALL. When we consider the benefits of living in the kingdom we want the ALL spoken of in this verse because it comes to us. Seek first the kingdom of God…so that ALL these things we have need of will be added to us. That’s our favourite kind of ALL.

The other ALL, where I am called to give my ALL to Jesus, this is the one I like a little less. Surely this ALL doesn’t mean ALL. In other words, I want the ALL for me from Jesus without giving my ALL in return.

Even if I have confused you, we can’t live like that.

Seek first the kingdom. It is a journey of discipleship. Having entered the kingdom, we learn about the need to seek first, to lay aside our own kingdom and focus on a life of righteousness with God. Then, we are well positioned to be blessed by God, with all the other things He knows we have need of, being added to us.

This kingdom life is a faith life, a trust life, a disciplined life and a rewarding life.  And like I mentioned the other day, maybe that’s why there is a fight on. We just have to let God win.

Saved Only Through Jesus

Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice [Psalm 49:7-8 ESV]

By what can we save ourselves? This is the question that quite possibly troubles many people. We do our very best, we work hard, we accumulate stuff, we may even spend time and ponder the great mysteries of the world, yet none of these can save us. How much would we need to bring to God as a ransom, as a payment to make things right between ourselves and Him?

To walk with God is to realise we are not saved by ourselves. We  cannot be saved through our own best efforts or those of other people. We cannot buy our salvation either. Nothing is worth enough from our own riches to match the price which needs to be paid.

Truly no man can save another.

Redemption does not come through wealth and riches and all that we have gained. It comes only in one perfect way. Matthew Henry in his commentary says it like this ‘Everlasting life is a jewel of too great a value to be purchased by the wealth of this world’.

ONLY JESUS.

For someone who has been a Christian for a long time I can forget how difficult this idea can be to grasp. It doesn’t make sense, it seems a little weird but when you know that in reality ‘something’ is missing then you begin to understand that all those things you have tried to fill it with never really satisfy. Nothing quite hits the mark.

ONLY JESUS.

As I walk with God, I am, at times, overwhelmed by all that God has done for me. ‘Thank you’ seems insignificant. Yet I must say it. I must be disciplined in my desire to seek Him first. I must live a life that displays Him as Lord of my life, so others can see the difference having Jesus in my life has made, so that by my actions, on behalf of God, some may also be saved.

I cannot pay the price myself, I cannot fill the gap in another persons life, but I can introduce them to the one can, who has, who will.

Today Lord, I pray, help me to live a life that honours You, displays the best of You, that through the way I live for You, others may come to see that knowing You is the best and only way to save themselves. Amen

Be in the House of God

“We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭48:9‬ ‭ESV

It’s by being in Gods House where some things often happen. 

As we gather together as a body of believers, with our focus not on ourselves but on the one who created us, some things often happen.  

Making the decision to be planted in a healthy, thriving local church is the cause for some things to happen in our lives. 

In Gods House we remember, we praise, we worship, we lift up our eyes, we focus on God. 

In Gods House we place our thoughts on His steadfast love, His faithfulness, His loving kindness and who we are becoming because of all He has done for us. 

In Gods House, in those moments I am reminded to keep making it less about me and more about God.

Today in Your presence I think on Your steadfast love and I smile to myself and I am happy, thankful and energised by the knowing all that You are to me. 

4 Reasons to Make Time & Be Still

“”Be still, and know that I am God. ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Life is such a rush these days, we are always on the move, time is passing so quickly, it’s all ‘now, now, now’. 

Due to the way of the world this idea of ‘being still’ takes on even greater significance. 

To pause. To reflect. To think. To spend deliberate, uninterrupted time with our God. 

Why? 

To counter the speed of all that’s going on around us in our life. 

To remember, like I mentioned yesterday, that He is God and we are not.

To thank God for all the good things He has done for us, is doing and will do. 

To pray and to ask God for the help we need. 

Psalm 46 is full of reasons to ‘be still’…

  • He is our refuge
  • He is our strength
  • He is our help
  • He takes away our fear
  • He is with us
  • He is on His throne 
  • His works in the world and in our individual lives are amazing

From personal experience, it is a good thing at the beginning of each day for me to take a few minutes and think about God. To be still. To read His word. To reflect. To pray. 

How do you make time for God, to reflect on His greatness and to be still in His presence?

Thirst

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”[Psalms‬ ‭42:1‬ ‭ESV]

To thirst is have a strong desire for something. It’s actually a natural thing, how we were created in the first place. 

For the deer it was water. Without a flowing stream it would die so it thirsts for water.

It is the same for us, we thirst for water or we will eventually die but the parallel drawn here in the Psalm is that in the same way a deer would just naturally thirst for a stream, we naturally thirst for God. 

In simple terms ~ that we would want all that God has for us knowing it’s the only way out soul is truly filled. 

Those who hunger and thirst…..will be filled (Matthew 5). 

Other things may satisfy for a moment but only God can satisfy completely. 

It’s very hot and humid at the moment where I live. You wake up in the night feeling uncomfortable from the heat and needing a drink. A sip of water makes all the difference. 

Let’s do the same for our souls and drink of the life-giving water so we remain refreshed and full of life, don’t stay thirsty, God has an abundant supply for us all to receive from. 

Let’s thirst and be filled. 

Upheld By Integrity

Integrity can be hard won but easily lost.

In todays throw-away culture it doesn’t seem to carry the same value as it once did. When tolerance and acceptance are the by-words, alongside anything goes, it could be argued by some that integrity is just an old-fashioned and out-dated idea and we don’t even need to try to maintain our integrity anymore.

I think we should.

I have written about integrity before. In leadership I think integrity is priceless. It sets us apart from the crowd and will protect us too. But…there is a catch…

  • Integrity takes time.
  • Integrity has a cost.
  • Integrity covers everything.
  • Integrity is a choice.
  • Integrity is a personal discipline.

I can’t make you a person of integrity, I can only sell you the benefits of no skeletons in the cupboard, no awkward conversations, no moments of indecision, no double-mindedness, no more living two different lives.

Integrity helps make sure our yes is yes and our no is a no. It creates boundary lines for our life and how we will live within them are set when we have integrity. We know who we are and other choices have to line up. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about others but it does mean sometimes what we care about has to come first.

Integrity comes from our why and it influences our what and our how. The why of my life is built on my Christian faith and the lifestyle that Jesus asks me to live out. I want my life to be whole and complete, in line with the word of God, thereby helping me maintain my integrity.

When it comes to walking with God, it holds great value too. Just check out this promise…

But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. [Psalm 41:12 ESV]

While people may shout us down, while circumstances may be against us, while trouble may hit us from different sides, it is our integrity which gets us noticed by God.

It protects us. Keeps us alive. We are blessed and sustained because of it. We are restored. Enemies will not triumph over us. This is a promise to hold on to. The next time you are tempted to neglect what you are doing and compromise your integrity, think again – with our integrity intact we are set in His presence forever. Losing that is too big a risk for me.

A New Song

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭40:1-3‬ ‭ESV

What great verses. They capture the heart of God toward us. 

He hears our cry. He then rescues us from destruction. He then sets us on a new path. Which mean He has put the new song in our mouth.

When you realise all that God has done for you then why wouldn’t you sing?

Every morning I do my best to take a moment to thank Him. To say thank You for saving me. I take a moment to give Him the honour He deserves for all the good things He has done for me. For setting me free. For the victory He won for me. For the opportunities that lay ahead because of Him.  

I sing my new song. 

What would your new song say today?