I know that I haven’t done Musical Monday in a while, so today I’m going to give you a two-fer. One is old school and the other is a few years old and my on-going theme song.
Old school classic: I Shall Not Be Moved sung by Mr. Johnny Cash.
This song is sourced from Psalm 1 and/or Jeremiah 17 (which quotes Psalm 1). Biblical scholars believe that this Psalm was written to Rehoboam from his father, Solomon, as he was about to succeed him as king. It warns Rehoboam to choose God’s way, and what will most likely happen to him if he does not. Solomon had been led astray by several of his wives and he did not want his son to repeat his errors.
I am a big fan of the Prophet Jeremiah’s flare so here’s Jeremiah 17:5-8 NKJV:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
Your bonus song is my theme song. I know I’ve posted it before, but like I said, it’s my theme song. So here is the lovely Ms. Natalie Grant singing I Will Not Be Moved.
Like everything else, you choose how you react to things. Choose to be still and know that He is God, even if Monday is attempting to take you down. Choose to remain planted in His promises.
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14 NLT
Every day you go to your dressers, closets, or wardrobes and choose something to wear. It is the same with love. God’s love is there every day, but you choose whether or not you receive it. There are people around you every day, and you have the choice whether or not you will love them.
Love is not a feeling. Love is an action verb. Love, like fashion, is a choice.
Just like you are the one who decides to put on a tie with your shirt or scarf with your outfit, you choose to wear love every day. You are in control of how you treat the people who annoy you, entertain you, need you, boss you, care about you, or happen to pass by you in the hall every day. You can choose to blow up. You can choose to be rude. You can choose to be unkind. Or you can choose to react in love. So love, like fashion is a choice.
God, The Creator, designed love to be worn every day. Will you choose to clothe yourselves in this ultimate fashion accessory every morning?
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NLT
God loves you. He made you on purpose for a purpose and gave you the measure of faith you will need. Don’t compare yourself or your purpose to anyone else.
Comparison is a thief that will steal your joy, and therefore depletes your strength, as much of our strength comes from joy. In addition will do one of two things: puff you with feelings of superiority or deflate you with feelings of worthlessness.
If you see yourself as less than, you may not bother doing your best. You may not even try. You may think it brilliant to be a carbon copy of someone else. Your love for others may be replaced with envy and jealously or even loathing and hatred.
God wants you to stop trying to be someone else! You have value. You are loved. Your identity is in Him. He made you with care so that He can love you. He needs you to be you because you are vital and important, even if it doesn’t feel that way. The world needs what you have inside you.
If you are feeling superior because of your gifts, abilities, or position you are in danger of being puffed up with vanity and pride. Being puffed up steals your love for others and separates you from people. You may begin to speak condescendingly. You may feel entitled. You may begin to treat people poorly.
God wants you to know that He loves you and values you. He made you with care so He could love you. He entrusted you with these gifts to be a blessing, not to lord yourself over people. You need what is in others just as much as they need you.
Let God love you. Receive it so you can love God in return. The next step is to learn who you are in Him, therefore learning to love yourself properly and in balance. Then you are able to love others as you love yourself as Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:37-40
There’s a reason I Corinthians 13 (AKA the love chapter) is sandwiched between two chapters on gifts and abilities. Comparison is the thief of joy and the opposite of love.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” I Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
I will leave you with this…
Jesus never once compared Himself to anyone, nor did He say to any disciple, “Why can’t you be more like so and so?” God values us individually but created us to be a unified family. Comparison is a destroyer of unity in the family, as much as it is the thief of joy.
I know few people who really get the work-rest balance. I know I struggle with it at times. I either work until I drop or tune out and be completely and utterly lazy. But that is not the example God provides, nor the example Jesus provides.
We are made in the image of Elohim, the Great God of Creation. He is imagination and creativity. Genesis 1 and 2 are the example Elohim gave us. God said, then He saw, and then He said it was good. He finished what He started. Then He rested. God understands the importance of rest. Not laziness. Not work avoidance. But true rest.
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:2-3 NKJV
Jesus also understood the work-rest balance, even in the midst of people continually hounding Him. His example can be found in Luke 9:10-18. Jesus had taken the disciples to a place of solitude to rest after all that they had been doing. But the crowds found him. Jesus had compassion on the crowds, and fed the five thousand + people both spiritually and physically. This means He did not blow up at the people who needed Him, or were seeking Him out. He tended to them, and then went off alone to recharge. In verse 18, we find that Jesus has left the crowds again.
“And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him…”
Jesus understood that He had to be recharged by time with the Father. It was the only way He would be able to have anything to give His disciples and the people that they were ministering to. Jesus took time to Himself to spend with God, even though He was continually sought out. This tells me that, like Jesus, we NEED time to recharge in order to be at our best.
Jesus is both our example and our Shepherd. Psalm 23 tells us that our Shepherd leads us to peace and rest, even when times are hardest.
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
The point is that God blesses the work of our hands and He also blesses a day of rest. Balance helps you stay healthy and strong. It makes you better at work and better with people.
Happy Labor Day!