Tag Archives: faithfulness

That’s The Way To Do It

We all do things for different motives.  Often we are trying to help, sharing knowledge or experience, or passing on advice; it is possible that sometimes we are guilty of manipulation or even gentle coercion, maybe (dare I say it) even nagging, trying to bring someone else round to our point of view.

Perhaps sometimes it seems that the end justifies the means, but is that necessarily the case?  Is there a better way?  A right way?

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (CEV)

Paul’s Work in Thessalonica

My friends, you know that our time with you wasn’t wasted. As you remember, we had been mistreated and insulted at Philippi. But God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. We didn’t have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn’t try to fool or trick anyone. God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives.

You also know that we didn’t try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn’t a cover-up for greed.We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us.But as apostles, we could have demanded help from you. After all, Christ is the one who sent us. We chose to be like children or like a mother nursing her baby. We cared so much for you, and you became so dear to us, that we were willing to give our lives for you when we gave you God’s message.

Paul is keen to impress upon the Thessalonians that he did things the right way and with the right motives.  He brought the gospel to them straight.  With no gimmicks, no tricks, no outlandish claims.  He didn’t dress the message up to be what they wanted to hear, and he wasn’t doing it for his own glory.  He just brought what God had asked him to say.

Are we so trustworthy with God’s message?  Can I be trusted to bring it straight?  Without additions, fuss, wild claims or any compulsion to ‘look at me and what I’m doing’.  Do I let God’s message speak for itself without feeling I have to make it something more?

Because God’s word stands – as is.  It is powerful and life-changing all by itself.  Can God trust me to share it?

Lord,
I come as I am,
just as I am,
nothing fancy,
no bold claims,
just wanting to get things right
to do them your way.

Lord,
may I go with your word,
just as it is,
no gimmicks,
no tricks,
no pointing at me.
May your word
stand in its power
and change lives
through you.

Lord Thy Word Abideth

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Enduring Love vii

Hosea 14:1-9 (CEV)

 Turn Back to the Lord

14 Israel, return! Come back
to the Lord, your God.
    Sin has made you fall.
Return to the Lord and say,
    “Please forgive our sins.
Accept our good sacrifices
    of praise instead of bulls.
Assyria can’t save us,
    and chariots can’t help.
So we will no longer worship
    the idols we have made.
Our Lord, you show mercy
    to orphans.”

The Lord Promises To Forgive

Israel, you have rejected me,
    but my anger is gone;
I will heal you and love you
    without limit.
I will be like the dew—
then you will blossom like lilies
    and have roots like a tree.
Your branches will spread
with the beauty
    of an olive tree
and with the aroma
    of Lebanon Forest.
You will rest in my shade,
    and your grain will grow.
You will blossom
    like a vineyard
and be famous as the wine
    from Lebanon.

Israel, give up your idols!
I will answer your prayers
    and take care of you.
I am that glorious tree,
    the source of your fruit.

If you are wise, you will know
    and understand what I mean.
I am the Lord, and I lead you
    along the right path.
If you obey me,
    we will walk together,
but if you are wicked,
    you will stumble.

It has not worked out
as I may have imagined,
the things I thought
could save me
have let me down.
I was wrong.
I made bad choices,
got distracted
from what really matters,
was swayed by the crowd,
attracted by the shiny…

And so,
I come back to you Lord,
and I ask your forgiveness.

You promise
never to reject me,
to accept me,
to love me without limit.

You know what the image of a tree means to me.
Life has left me
feeling dry,
lifeless,
fruitless,
having no purpose

2012-11-11 14.29.22But you
promise me life,
strong roots,
spreading out in beauty.
I can rest in you
and there will be beauty
and purpose

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn your shade,
I will flourish again.

So,
I come to you Lord,
seeking your rest
and your restoration.
Work in me,
I pray,
that we may walk together
into all
that you have prepared.

Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for tending my wounds.
Thank you for supporting me.
Thank you for rebuilding me
in your strength
and love.

Come, Let Us Return

A Faithful God v

Trust the Lord

I, the Lord, have put a curse
on those who turn from me
    and trust in human strength.
They will dry up like a bush
in salty desert soil,
    where nothing can grow.

But I will bless those
    who trust me.
They will be like trees
    growing beside a stream—
trees with roots that reach
    down to the water,
and with leaves
    that are always green.
They bear fruit every year
and are never worried
    by a lack of rain.

You people of Judah
    are so deceitful
that you even fool yourselves,
    and you can’t change.
10 But I know your deeds
    and your thoughts,
and I will make sure
    you get what you deserve.

Who can I trust?
What can I believe?
There are so many wild claims,
so many people
who say what they think is popular,
what people want to hear,
and not the truth,
however unpalatable.

Yet,
you Lord
can be trusted.
In you is refreshment,
strength
and growth.

I can plant my roots
deep in you,
soaking up
all that you have to give.

Lord,
help me
not to just dip my toes
in the stream,
but to dive in,
to take all you offer,
to let it flow over me
and around me.

May my life
be freshened
and nourished
only from you,
the faithful one,
for I need your strength
to live your ways,
every day
of my life.

What  a Faithful God