It’s a 2-Way Street

Being in a relationship has many blessings and benefits. “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine.”  Whether it’s a romantic, professional, or just plain “friends” type of relationship— no healthy relationship is ever just “1-sided”. Our relationship with God is very similar. Check out this definition of 2-way in the dictionary:

Two-way: adjective // allowing or involving movement or communication in opposite directions : a two-way radio | make the interview a two-way process.
• involving two participants : a two-way presidential race.
• (of a switch) permitting a current to be switched on or off from either of two points.

Check out this scripture. It has 2 actions, and 2 benefits:

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God. Psalm 50: 23 [nkjv]

Can you find them? I bet you can.
2 ACTIONS                                                          2 BENEFITS
1.  Whoever offers praise…………………………………….. 1.  Glorifies Me
2.  Him who orders his conduct aright…………………. 2.  I will show the salvation of God.

I’m not real good with math, or with long-drawn out details with tons of information; but give me a few steps, or a couple keys, and you’ll have me running in no time. Because I sure do want [1] God to be gloried in my life, and I want Him to [2] to show me the salvation, deliverance, and victory that I so desperately need in my life. So what will it take?

[1] Praise is the opposite of complaining. It’s saying to God: “O Lord, in the midst of this situation, I just offer praise to You!”  Complaining says to people: “I just get irritated with my life, because I don’t have any time to do what I want to do!”  Notice the difference? One is directed to God, the other to people. Someone might say, “Yeah, but I’ve complained to God before.”  But I bet it didn’t last long. Why? Because it was a prayer, and when you begin to get God in your situation—it won’t be long before you’re having a way different perspective; and you’ll soon be praising and thanking Him for the victory that begins to flood your heart. You praise Him, and God is glorified. It’s a 2-way street.

[2] Although I would not say I’m a “Type-A” personality, I do like things in order. Ok, ok, I confess… I like to make my bed before I leave for work. Similarly, in our relationship with God, order is a very important component. When our lives are in disarray it’s hard to see God and to navigate His will. For example, if you haven’t read your Bible in a while, (or don’t happen to know where it is right now), or you haven’t had a quality Quiet Time in a while — chances are you get upset very easily, and frustration has been a emotion you feel on a regular basis. Our conduct must be ordered. It’s the way we behave and carry ourselves. Yes, you need victory over that habit, you’re praying for God’s blessing on your finances — but it’s a 2-way street.

Get clear on what needs to change in your conduct, begin to purposely praise God instead of complaining, and watch God move in your behalf. Remember, in your relationship with God—it’s a 2-way street.

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Eating out of my Hand

Many today are too busy to eat from the Shepherd’s Hand

They’re too busy working, too slow to understand

But if you’d take the time to hear His voice

You just might rejoice

Because the sound you hear

As you bow down your ear

Is the call of the Master

To dine and draw near.

(RG)

Psalm 95:7

For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice.

“Shining with Pledge?”

What does furniture polish and living for God have in common? You just might be surprised.

“Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:38–39 [nkjv]

The Greek word for “faith” here, is “pistis”. This isn’t merely: believing, confidence, or having been persuaded. It is those things, but it also means, a “pledge”. If you get right down to it, it is “the just”, (as the Bible calls us), who live this way – by a pledge. Do you remember growing us, going to school as children, and they would have to say the “Pledge of Allegiance” to the flag of the United States of America? Why did we have to do that? What was the point? They were actually indoctrinating us, so that when we got older we would never draw back from being Americans. The pledge, though we didn’t know it at the time, was a solemn promise we made (and lived by). A promise to do what? That we would never defect over to join forces with “the enemy”, the communist party, but that we would remain true to who we are – American citizens. Does that make sense?

The same is true in the spiritual realm. God has called us, “Children of the most High”, “Sons and daughters of God”, “citizens of Heaven”. We were “sworn-in”, (if you will), the moment we confessed Christ at our conversion. Our new nature is built to live by faith, to live by a pledge, and live by the constitution of the Kingdom. Here in Hebrews, we can conclude that when one lives by the pledge, it brings God great pleasure.

Also, think of it this way. Without using Pledge furniture polish, your house would get pretty dusty. And many of us today, are not truly living by faith – or by the pledge, and thus our spiritual lives are neglected, and the dust of sin and this world has settled upon us – without us even noticing it.

So, what do we do now? Verse 39, “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe”, (“pistis”), same Greek word. The writer to the Hebrews, in effect says…

“Hey! Listen up everyone, we’re not going to slowly shrink away from our commitment to Christ. No. We’re going to valiantly hold up the pledge that we confessed when we first believed. In fact, our commitment to live by the pledge is going to get even stronger. We’re going to feel it – even down in our very souls!”

Faith! Let’s get back to it today.

5 Temper-Tantrum Busters

Have you ever seen those children in Walmart that you just wish would… SHUT UP!!? Just the other day I saw a red-faced, screaming little kid sitting in a shopping cart. It seemed to get everyone’s attention. Surprise, surprise. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. Here’s the thing though. I wonder if our attitudes, can be like to God at times. (Things that make you go, “hmmm”.) But it need not be.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Gen. 1:26 [kjv]

I’m seeing in a fresh new way the absolute dignity of mankind that God has bestowed upon us, humanoids. Not only are we created in His image, but also after His likeness. Some say, “No one knows what God looks like, because God is Spirit” (John 4).” But right here it says, “Let us make man… after our likeness.” We basically look like God! Does that sound blasphemous? I don’t think so. But herein lies the deeper meaning. If people would just realize the privilege of being alive, and knowing that God has clothed us with majesty, we wouldn’t get so depressed and down on ourselves so quickly.

“God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” Genesis 4:6-7 [msg]

Can’t you just see the grace and mercy of God being extended – even in the midst of our immature, crybaby, temper-tantrum outbursts, that tend to leak-out every once in a while?

Real quick, here’s 5 TEMPER-TANTRUM BUSTERS:

1. Ask yourself, “Why the Tantrum?” (Don’t just accept it.)

2. Determine why you’re depressed. “Why the Sulking?” (You have to break the cycle.)

3. Do Well. (Don’t just “think” about doing better in the future – Do something now.)

4. Beware of Sin. (It’s crouching, it’s lion-like, it’s ready to devour. Better to keep your eyes open.)

5. Master Sin. (Don’t just be an “apprentice”. Be a “Master Disciple”; and for sure Master your sins, lest they master you!)

You can change! And may you, personally, experience greater victory today in your walk with the Lord Jesus!