Lucia's Blog: 2014-02-16
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, February 21, 2014

SEEKING THE ONE WHO SEEKS US



   "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."  
Matthew 7:7-8 NASB


Have you ever heard knocking at your door unexpectedly?  Do you feel like answering when it is inconvenient for you?  Do you ignore it?  Or simply don't want to deal with any one at the door?  The answer is obviously going to be different for each of us.  Some will prefer to ignore it if it is not urgent.  Others may not feel like answering the door.  Eventually the person on the other side will have to give up and go.

I believe and am convinced that God "knocks" on our door many times.  Unfortunately we ignore His calling.  We may deceive ourselves into thinking that it is not urgent.  We may fear what might happen if we answer His knock.  It is sad when we want Him to go away and we ignore His gentle knocking.  Will He knock again?  God never forces His way through our door.  He has given us free will.  He waits patiently for us to answer His knock.  He is patiently waiting for us! 

Jesus is reminding us to seek and knock in order to find Him.  He will open His door only if we indeed purpose in our heart, mind and soul to pursue Him.  The one who seeks finds.  The one whose door opens, knocks.  We diligently pursue God, when we start seeking Him and thus we find God.  Sadly, we give up the phase of seeking and finding too soon.  We think we have found God, but after a few half-hearted attempts, we determine He is not as great as we thought.  We think God is not worth changing our lives of sin for lives of righteous living.  We deceive ourselves thinking it is too much work, thus we are discouraged and we cease caring about our souls. 

The key is our knocking.  Notice that God tells us that the one who seeks finds.  But that's not the end.  There is more to do.  Those who knock at the door will have the door opened to them.  This means we have sought God and have found Him.  Then once the door is opened we are to pursue and seek Him by continuing to knock at His door.  Notice the relationship is mutual.  He wants and demands that we love, pursue and seek Him with all of our heart, mind and soul.  There is no way around it!

To pursue God with all of our heart, soul and mind means knocking on His door daily with an abiding faith, obedience, determination and patience.  This is a daily decision we must make in order that we may see Him and walk with Him.  Likewise, this requires daily prayer, asking our Lord to provide all that we need in abundance in order that we may seek Him.  We must purpose in our hearts to knock at His door daily seeking His wisdom and guidance in order to do His will.  Remember, He that is faithful has promised to open the door to us if we diligently seek Him.  He is not saying He might open the door, He is reassuring us that He will open the door for us.  God is faithful and keeps His promises.  Let's never forget that!

In Revelation 3:20, God tells us, ” Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."

God has promised us that if anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He will eat with him and vice versa.  But in order that we may enter and dine with Him, we must hear His voice.  That means we must take the step of opening the door to His calling and instruction.  We must never forget that our relationship with God depends a lot on our own actions and response to His calling.  Our actions must be that of pursuing Him, knocking on His door and opening the door when we hear Him knocking on ours.  We are to open it and let Him in. "The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves one who pursues righteousness."   Proverbs 15:9 NASB.

“He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it."   I Peter 3:11 NASB.

Again, Peter instructs us to take two steps:  A seeking step and an action step.  According to Peter, we must seek peace but we cannot stop there.  We must then pursue peace.  God demands and expects action from us.  Notice He says pursue Me and knock at My door.  The Word of God here gives us a beautiful picture of a mutual relationship with God.  One tells us that we are to seek, find and knock and the other one tells us that He is standing and knocking and that we are to open the door.  He knocks at our door, but we also knock at His.  God tells us, "I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."  When we determine in our heart to pursue Him, that is when we have that mutual relationship with Him partaking of His bread of life.  Then the door will be opened to us.  We will then be able to partake of His love, abide in Him and know Him.

When you feel that God is silent, keep pursuing Him!  Why struggle?  To find Him requires a lot of perseverance knocking at His door.  Don't lose heart.  I guarantee you He will knock back at your door.  Remember His promise.  He will open the door!  God is faithful and keeps His promises.  The door has been opened to me and definitely it will be opened to you too.  "He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor."  Proverbs 21:21 NASB.

We must be willing to humble ourselves before His throne by asking Him to give us wisdom to respond to His knocking at our door.  We must persevere in knocking at His door while we walk His path and have the confidence that our door will be opened by Him.

May God help us to always remember that when we ask, we will receive.  May He also help us to pursue His righteousness and His peace departing from evil with a diligent and sincere heart.

Luci

Thursday, February 20, 2014

IS SOMEONE CAUSING YOU TO BE IRRITATED OR ANNOYED?



So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  
Colossians 3:12-14 NASB
 

Have you ever met someone in the body of Christ or outside the body of Christ who has made you feel this way? Perhaps, those who get under your skin?   "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, PUT ON a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and PATIENCE; bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should YOU." Colossians 3:12-13.  Patience is mentioned here. We must learn PATIENCE in order to deal with irritation. In the New Testament, there are two words for PATIENCE. The first one is for PATIENCE under trials.  This is the kind of patience God uses to give us hope when we're under heavy burdens. He's using these trials to help us accomplish what is necessary for our growth and perfection. Knowing and being confident that He will see you through it with a stronger FAITH.  The second word is for PATIENCE with people.  This means interacting with others. Being patient with those immature and irrational people in our lives.  The second kind of PATIENCE is what I want to talk about.

It may seem unreasonable, but God has designed situations in which some irritating people may come into our lives with the purpose of building us up.  These may be people in your family, your spouse, your parents or even your children, and it may be someone in the body of Christ.  Paul really had all this in mind when he talked about relationships within the body of Christ.  Consider how many brethren love Jesus and His church until they meet someone within the body who irritates them.  But remember, you are going to be the irritating person for someone else.  The beauty of being in the body of Christ is that when we interact deeply with members of the body, we are going to have to learn to deal with such things.  Offenses, frustrations and annoyances are going to come.  So be prepared to deal with them because (1) God has redeemed you, (2) You're still growing into the stature of Christ, (3) God has designed this so that we might grow.

With this in mind, what do you do when you're around those that irritate you?  Do you choose to be patient with them?  Here are a few things to take into consideration:   (1) Remember that God has been very patient with you. Just think of all the foolishness you've done in your life, and yet we have a wonderful God who has been patient with us and has not cast us away, even when we deserve it. I need to grow here! I need to learn patience toward others since I am not naturally patient!  (2) There are always factors that you don't understand about the lives of others.  Maybe the person who irritates you or drives you crazy to the bone, has had a bad experience in the past that you don't know about.... and there may be some factors very fresh in that person's life as recent as 30 minutes ago that you have no clue about,  (3) Remember that you are not God!  Instead of judging, pray for them and help them carry their burdens in love.  I understand there is time for admonishing one another with Scripture.  But don't forget, this must be done in order to build them up in their faith.  It must be done with a prayerful humble attitude, not with bitterness or frustration in our hearts. God does not approve of this!  (4) Never underestimate that God is working in your life and in their lives.  He is strengthening the muscle of spirituality, maturity and firmness.  Don't forget that our purpose is to be a blessing to others,  (5) Remember that patience is learned moment by moment in irritating circumstances.  It is learned through changing seasons. We must be willing to learn patience with a humble attitude in order to exercise self-control. We need to let God train us here!  (6) God's will is to build the character of Christ in us by teaching us to rule over our emotions,  (7) There are so many blessings that come through learning and exercising patience with one another.  Do you remember Saul of Tarsus?  He was a persecutor and murderer of Christians.  I bet no one in the Lord's church liked him at all!  They hated him!  Yet, our Lord chose him as a valuable vessel to do His work.  So, when someone is irritating you remember that God may be using them in order to work in both our lives.

It is impossible not to experience this in and out of the body of Christ.  But be careful about giving someone a piece of your mind.  You might not have much to spare!   Be Christ like, not emotional.  Don't let your emotions condemn you.  Why not wait, hope, labor, be steadfast and cultivate faithfulness.  You are responsible before God for controlling your emotions, not theirs.  He is the ultimate JUDGE.

So let's underline the importance of patience, ruling over our emotions, waiting on God patiently, practicing patience with those who push our buttons.  Valuing patience is valuing spiritual maturity!  “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who captures a city.”  Proverbs 16:32.  What a powerful verse!  A slow to anger person, one who controls his spirit, is better, stronger, and more rare than a person able to capture a whole city.  In other words, he who is patient, WILL WIN.

In what areas do you find it most difficult to be patient toward others?  May God help us to bear this burden!

Luci