God’s Promise to My Pastor

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Today, our pastor shared the words that God gave him when he was praying about the property that our church now occupies. He said that he repeatedly parked across from the property and prayed, wondering how the resources would come to build the church.

The Lord gave him a wonderful promise:

“Love Me, love My Word,

Love My people

And I will build My church”

This is a promise that we can possess as children of God.

Love Me

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38

Matthew Henry describes this love as loving God as ours.

To love God as ours is to love him because he is ours, our Creator, Owner, and Ruler, and to conduct ourselves to him as ours, with obedience to him, and dependence on him. We must love God as reconciled to us, and made ours by covenant; that is the foundation of this, Thy God.

Looks like

Good morning, Lord. I look forward to what You have for me today. Fill me with Your wisdom, Your Spirit, Your love throughout the day.

Thank You, Father, for this great food, the conversation with my co-worker, and the beautiful clouds on the way to work.

Father, what should I do with the money You have given me?

Lord, God Almighty, I worship You with my body, my mind, my soul, and all that is within me. Direct my path. All that I have is Yours. You are my God, and I adore You. My life is not mine but Yours.

Love My Word

I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your Word. Psalm 119:16

David wrote the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, and it focused on the Word of God. God considered the Law so important that He commanded Joshua to meditate on it day and night. God’s promise to him was that he would prosper and have success. Kings were commanded to write down the Law of God themselves and keep it in their hearts.

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Memorizing Bible verses.

Indepth Bible study.

Talking about the Bible.

Applying the principles found in the Bible.

Love My people

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” … “Tend My sheep.” ….“Feed My sheep.” John 21:15-17

Children of God are known by their love for one another. Jesus told Peter that the result of loving His followers was to take care of the followers of Jesus by feeding them and tending them. That’s what our responsibility is to other believers.

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Teach our children about Jesus.

Take care of our brothers’ and sisters’ needs. Visit them in the hospital. Provide necessities to those in need.

Pray for our brothers and sisters.

Serve each other.

The Promise

And I will build My church

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-12

Building the church is God’s responsibility. God prepared this work from before the foundation of the world.

And He has prepared works for all His children to accomplish, and He will equip His followers to accomplish these works. That’s His responsibility and His promise to us, Ephesians 2:10

Looks like

In the 1990s, several men got together and decided to put the Bible on the Internet. They decided to call it Blue Letter Bible. God grew their expertise and Internet users’ awareness of the Website. Today, over 10 million people use the free tools annually. The team faithfully showed up and did what God had equipped them to do, and God grew their expertise and their ministry.

God calls you and me to step out in what He has equipped us to do. As we step out, God will grow our expertise, and He will accomplish the work He has established from before the foundation of the world.

My prayer

Father, thank You for Your message and promise to my pastor. They are words we can apply to our lives. Please cause them to sink deeply into our very being. As we meditate on these principles, guide us in Your path for us. We love You, Lord. Thank You for loving us. Bless our pastors; equip them; give them confidence and courage; give them Your vision for Your ministry. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, Bless His holy name!

3 principles I’ve learned from my roses about my walk with Jesus

rose unpruned 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2

I have 36 rose bushes. Roses are beautiful, and they take work. From spring to late fall, I’m pruning, feeding, and talking to my roses. My floribunda roses take more meticulous time; they grow in clusters. This bush develops three buds together. The middle bud always blooms first. Once it begins to wilt, the two on either side bloom. If I leave the middle dying rose, it ruins the bouquet, and attention is drawn to the dead bloom.

rose unprunedMore importantly, if I were to neglect cutting out the dead flowers, my rose bush would quit producing blooms.

Isn’t that the way our Christian walk is? We walk along praising the Lord and doing work for His kingdom. If we’re not careful, our praise turns to grumbling, and our works turn to frustration.

From over a decade of loving, feeding, and pruning my roses, I’ve learned three things that are also essential to my Christian walk.

  1. Loving. Roses take a lot of time. If I did not like spending time with my roses, I would not have them. That’s the way it is with my relationship to Jesus. I need to spend time with Him … quality time. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
  2. Feeding. Roses need to be fertilized regularly. I need to spend time in the Word of God, praying, and listening as the Holy  Spirit feeds my spirit and guides my walk. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.Psalm 119:105
  3. Pruning. Roses spill out their fragrance, color, and beauty for all to enjoy. Slowly, the petals wilt, turn brown, and fall off, leaving only the base of the bud. If the deadness is not cut out, the bush will not to continue to produce flowers. As I walk with the Lord, fruit will develop for others to enjoy. Jesus prunes the branches of my life that are producing fruit, and cuts off the branches that don’t produce fruit. Sometimes, I feel pain because of the pruning and need to ask for forgiveness for straying. “bear fruit in keeping with repentance;” Matthew 3:8

rose prunedThe promise?

A focus on beauty, on fragrance, on the fresh blossoms and fruit.

“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:19

My prayer for you

Father of all that is beautiful, may we walk with You in holiness. Quicken our spirits to recognize how You are loving us, feeding us, and pruning us. Enable us to see You at work in us and yield to your sanctification. Empower us to be a fragrance to You and all who come into our paths.

What are you learning from your walk with Jesus?

Meditating on God’s Word – As Important to Us as to Joshua

rocking chair“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

After Moses died, God gave the Israelites time to mourn in the wilderness, then He said to Joshua,

“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. … Only be strong and very courageous; …This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:2-9

By meditating on the Law, the Word of God, and obeying all that is written in it, Joshua was promised success. If we were to read the complete story of Joshua, we would see that he had success when he obeyed God. Sometimes, he did not go to the Lord for direction, and he failed. Even with that very clear direction from God, Joshua was unable to obey completely.

That’s why we need Jesus. He was the only perfect man, the one and only man who kept the Law in its entirety. He was the only man who was qualified to take our sins upon Him and pay the price of that sin–death on the cross. Because He became sin and hung on that cross for us, we can look to the cross, and cling to Him for forgiveness of our sins, past, present, and future. God looks at us through the blood of the cross and finds us clean, calling us His sons and daughters. As sons and daughters, we are heirs to the kingdom of God and eternal life with Jesus.

This gift is free, and yet, it costs us everything. When we unwrap the gift, we unwrap our lives and bare ourselves to Jesus. He becomes Lord of our lives and gently transforms us into the people He intended us to become from the foundation of the world.

Our responsibility? To surrender our lives to Him, to learn of Him, and to abide in Him.

The Bible contains His love letter to His followers. Through His Word, we learn how much He loves us, and we gain practical insight in sojourning through this world.

What we learn is that meditating on His Word is as important today as it was in Joshua’s day.

Jesus prayed to the Father:

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17

If God’s Word is truth and we are sanctified (purified and consecrated to God) by truth, we must study this Living Word that is

“sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Paul writes:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Philippians 4:8

My prayer for you:

Abba, Father, You dwell in all the universe, for You are its Creator. In You we live and move and have our being. In You, we find truth, salvation, and all that is pure and holy. Grant us, dear Father, the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we meditate on Your Word, Your truth, Your holiness. We are so amazed at Your love. Thank You, Father.