After writing yesterday’s post I feel like I need to say and repeat multiple times that God is not mad at you!
God’s not mad at you!
God’s not mad at you!
God’s not mad at you!
He’s not. And He doesn’t regret choosing you either! Romans 11:29 says that the gifts and calling God determined for you are irrevocable. IRREVOCABLE!
God does not give and take away. The only place in the Bible it says that is in Job. And Job said that because He didn’t know God very well and that’s what He thought was happening. But he was wrong. God blessed Job and prospered him. It’s the enemy who stole it. The enemy killed his children, his livestock, and covered him in boils.
God gives and doesn’t take it back. He is constant. The word in Romans 11:29 for irrevocable can also mean without regret. God doesn’t regret giving you gifts nor does He regret calling you. Let that sink in.
I like this quote by Publilius Syrus, “You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” This is so true! People respond to kindness. A kind word or deed can touch even the hardest hearts, and open them up. Kindness makes people feel special and valued. Proverbs 15:1 (CEV) even says kindness calms people down, “A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.”
In I Corinthians 13:4 it says, “Love is kind.” The root word for kind here actually means mild and pleasant as opposed to harsh, hard, sharp and bitter. It can also mean kind and benevolent.
God is pleasant and full of joy. He created humor. He created laughter. He wants us to enjoy our lives! He created diversity. He created beauty. He is a good God.
But I have to be honest, that’s not how I saw Him. I saw Him as harsh and mean. Just waiting for me to mess up so that He could take me out. I thought God didn’t like me and was just looking for a reason to get rid of me. Those were lies! The truth was that loved me. The truth is that God is kind, I just couldn’t see it. I believed the lies.
Jeremiah 31:3 says that His loving-kindness is what draws people to Him, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.” It’s interesting to me that our being drawn to God and our repentance are both related to God’s kindness. It’s like the quote says, kindness can do what commands and force can never do.
Joel 2:12-13 tells us that we should turn to God knowing that he’s kind, gracious and merciful. We should not be afraid to go approach him, because of his great kindness! ““Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”
It doesn’t say you better repent because God’s mad and going to take you out! It doesn’t say God’s looking for someone to torture and torment! It says God wants you to come to Him and choose to be in a relationship with Him. He wants to bless you! It says turn to Him genuinely, and He will receive you because God is of great kindness.
Isaiah 54:8 tells us that even if God is angry, He’s still full of mercy and kindness, ““With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer.” God does get angry. But it says “for a moment.” And even when He’s angry, He still does not change. He was and is and always will be love. And that means God is kind.
I’ll leave you with a song that I really love It’s called “You are Good” and is by Kari Jobe and Gateway Worship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIcMDeEzA24
If you are unable to access youtube, here are some of the lyrics- “Your kindness leads me to repentance. Your goodness draws me to Your side. Your mercy calls me to be like You. Your favor is my delight. Every day I’ll awaken my praise and pour out a song from my heart.” -From “You are Good” by Kari Jobe
There’s a lot of things we could say about David. Things he did right and things he did wrong. But man oh man did he know how to worship. He knew that in the midst of the highest joys, the lowest broken places and everywhere in between that God was there with him. He also knew that God was good all the time and worthy of worship and praise continually.
Worship is more than just singing 3 songs at service on Sunday morning. Check out this video of Kari Jobe on worship. She takes a few minutes to get started, and is a bit random in her delivery, but what she says is powerful and absolutely worth listening to.
Fun Fact of the Day: Flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp and algae.
Newborn flamingo chicks are not pink. They are born with gray or white downy feathers. Flamingos do not turn pink until they are approximately two years of age. By this time they will have fed on the crustaceans sufficiently for the beta-carotene to have built up in their bodies, turning the feathers pink.Additional factoid: Apparently beta-carotene can be yellow, red or orange depending on chemical reactions.For More info: http://www.ehow.com/about_6634238_do-flamingos-turn-pink_.html
“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
I had a plan to write about God’s kindness today, but I can’t seem to focus on it. I can’t really seem to focus on much this whole week actually. I’m over emotional and exhausted and frustrated. I keep finding myself on the verge of explosion. It’s not my favorite.
Everything in my world seems to be changing and I’m having a hard time managing all the moving parts. I haven’t been able to put my finger on what’s actually bothering me. I am aware that all these changes are for the better. It’s good change. But my heart is hurting about what I’m leaving behind. It’s still a loss.
Then I realized. I’m grieving.
You don’t just grieve when someone dies. You can grieve and mourn the loss of many things. You grieve when relationships end or change and when you enter a new phase of life. I’ve grieved relationships. I’ve grieved jobs. I’ve grieved the loss of friends who moved away. I’ve grieved friendships that changed because of life changes. I grieved the loss of my little yellow Chevy Aveo, Daisy Sunshine. I loved that car. I miss that car. *sigh*
I’ve learned that when things change (or we lose people or jobs or move to a new place) we need to grieve the things that we’re leaving behind. Grieving is the process where we let go of what we had so we can open up to receiving the new things that are coming. I’m grieving right now. I’m grieving that I don’t get to hang out with, high five and hug my youth kids every Wednesday anymore. It’s only been a week, and I miss them. But I know that it’s time to move on to other things. God spoke and confirmed that to me. I know that I know that I know it’s time. But I’m still grieving the loss.
My understanding of grieving came over time. It started when a crap ton of my close friends got married over a couple year span. I was happy for them genuinely. But I really struggled with the new status quo. My girls were gone and they were replaced with couples who had different priorities. Some moved out of town and one even left the state. I was so depressed. At first I thought it was jealousy, but that wasn’t it. I had no interest in being married. Then I thought I was just selfish, but that wasn’t it. I really wanted them to thrive in their marriages. I didn’t understand that what was actually going on was that I was grieving the loss of the way things were. I didn’t want things to change. I wanted my girls to always be my girls. It took a long time to get over, because I never acknowledged and mourned the loss of the closeness I had with those amazing friends of mine.
Then there was the man I had loved for a very long time. I always thought we’d work it out and get back together eventually. So did he. But it never happened. I asked God in the middle of a hysterical fit, “Why can’t you just let this happen?” He answered me very matter of factly, “If you want him, you can have him. But you will miss everything I have for you.” That stopped me dead in my tracks. I was like what? I can choose to go outside of God’s will. I didn’t want that! I prayed that His will would be done. And I meant it!
God was true to His word. He let the door open and I stood face to face with the man I’d loved for most of my life. We could have gotten back together right then and there. We were both available for the first time at the same time. We both wanted it. We both still loved each other so much. But deep down I knew it would hurt us both in the long run. I fully understood for the first time that I was wrong for him and he was wrong for me. I saw so clearly that we would both be settling for less. Not that either of us are bad people, we just aren’t the right people. In my car on the way home, I sobbed. I truly grieved the loss of our relationship and I let him go. I still love him to this day, but the ache is gone. It doesn’t hurt anymore. Grieving him set me free. I was, for the first time, truly ready for the man God had for me. (Ahem…I’m still waiting, God… FYI)
The first time I actually recognized that you can grieve things other than people was when God showed me that the plan I had come up with was simply not going to happen. I was devastated. I went home and literally collapsed on my kitchen floor and wailed. I had one of the ugliest cries I’ve ever had. I mourned the loss of my plan. I sobbed and sobbed. “Why God? Why can’t You just use my plan? It’s what I really want!” I was absolutely acting like a 2 year old, complete with stomping and whining. Then after about an hour of kicking it toddler style…I heard very clearly…”Going there is not safe for you. You will backslide. You’ve prayed for My perfect will for you, and I’m preparing you to receive that. You need to let go of your plan. You need to trust Me.” I stopped crying and I stood up. I repented and I let go of my plan.
When I let go, I felt lighter. I felt free. That’s when God began to prepare me and speak to me about my future. About His plan for me. About the purpose and calling He has for me. I had been holding on to what I wanted so tightly that I couldn’t receive anything because my hands were already full!
What are you holding on to? God cannot give you anything new until you truly let go of the old. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there’s a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. It’s so true! There will be a time to grieve and cry, but then we need to let go. We need to laugh and dance and move forward. So for your own good, acknowledge what you need to mourn, grieve it and let it go! You won’t regret it!
God cannot stop loving you. Want to know why? I John 4:8 tells us God is love. What is love? Well another really famous scripture (I Corinthians 13:4-8) tells us what love is: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Today we’re going to focus on God’s patience. Patient here actually means to persevere patiently. Be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others. Slow to anger. Slow to punish.
We see this in the Book of Jonah, where God sent Jonah to Ninevah. We all know Jonah didn’t want to go there because he knew what kind of people they were, and he didn’t feel they deserved a second chance. But God felt differently. Most people focus on how patient God was with Jonah when he disobeyed. But what about how patient He was with the Ninevites? How long He waited for them to turn around?
Ninevites were Assyrians. Assyria was an extremely and aggressively violent people during that time. They committed horrific atrocities. And yet, He sent Jonah at precisely the moment they’d be open to change.
Why? Why was He willing to persevere for people who were as nasty and violent as the Ninevites? Simple, He loved them and He didn’t want them to perish.
Look at what the difference between Jonah’s opinion and God’s:
These people are horrible, and I know God’s merciful and kind. He’s slow to anger, so I’m going to save God from Himself and ensure these people to receive the punishment they deserve.
“So Jonah prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.” Jonah 4:1-3
Oh my children. I love you. I see your brokenness and your ignorance. My heart goes out to you. I am here and I will be patient with you. I will give you a chance to repent and to change.
“But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?” Jonah 4:10-11
If God wasn’t fazed by the Ninevites, then why do you think He’s shocked by the mess you’re in or by what you’ve done? He is patiently persevering alongside you too. Waiting for the day when you will be open to receive the love, mercy and grace He’s offering. It may be when you are at your lowest broken point or after the greatest victory of your life. It may be after a near death experience or a tragedy. It may be when you’ve just committed the worst imaginable offense. It may be on a random Wednesday when you’re sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. He loves you, so He’s patient with you.
He sent Jesus because He loves us, not because we are lovely! “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
It always comes back to love! Why? Simple, God=Love! Love’s not what God does, it’s who He is.