The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
The LORD is the redeemer of my life as I have taken refuge in Him. I believe that I take refuge in the LORD when I decide daily to serve and love the LORD. I think that looks like loving and serving serve the LORD with my all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength. Giving all my heart to the LORD means that all my emotions are brought under submission to the LORD as I agree with the Word of the LORD and live it out according to God's will. Giving all my soul to the LORD means that I give my life to ELOHIM. No corridor, crevice, or room in the soul is blocked off from God when one gives their life to the LORD. Giving all my mind means my understanding, thought, and will are also submitted to the Word of the LORD. Giving all my strength to the LORD means that all my capacity belongs to the LORD and what I do is for the glory of God.
Ultimately, loving and serving the LORD includes a death walk.
Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The mercy and saving grace of the LORD is for those who do not know the LORD and those who have not yet received the LORD. Mercy and saving grace are also for those in the family of God. I am grateful for this! Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” When one engages in sin, they will experience death according to scripture. I know the serpent said to Eve, “you will not surely die,” however death did come. Many influences in life try to persuade us that death will not surely come as a result of practicing evil, but the truth must be made known. The truth is that spiritual and physical death occurs as a result of sin.
My reflection on this truth surfaces the fact that I have not been as diligent as I can be in spreading the gospel to win souls in response to this passage of Scripture.
LORD, Heal Our Bones
He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.
I can celebrate that this passage of Scripture is literally true in my life. I have experienced different medical issues. Thankfully, the LORD delivered me from them all. One that I have not experienced is having a broken bone. I watched a movie earlier today on the Up, Faith and Family channel on Amazon and one of the characters had a cast on his foot that children he knew wanted to decorate and write on because it was blank. I considered this passage of Scripture after watching that scene in the movie. I gave thanks that I had not suffered any broken bones. When I think of bones I think of structure and protection. Bones provide structure to the body and they protect vital organs. I do not understand the pain associated with broken bones, but I can imagine it’s excruciating considering the pain I experienced when I have stubbed a toe or jammed a finger.
When I assess the state of my country, I consider our present structure and protection.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
Recently, I saw a picture from the Bird’s Papaya, a body positivity page on Facebook. In the picture she is covering her face with her fingers splayed. The caption included the statement that broken things can let the light in. Immediately, I thought of the radiant light of El Ore streaming through all my brokenness and dispelling the darkness. The impression that I had was such a beautiful image. It also helped me recall the passage of scripture that says that the LORD will not despise a broken and a contrite spirit (Psalm 51:17). The LORD readily accepts me and all God’s children when we are broken due to our own actions or the actions of another. The LORD saves us from pain when we are crushed by the pressures of life.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.
I chose to celebrate Thanksgiving 2019 at home alone. I would have loved to be with family and friends, but the details and coordination for the day did not come together as needed for me to go to my parents’ home in Arizona or to spend time with friends and family locally. Part of me was happy to have some quiet time to relax and study to prepare for final exams and papers. I also gave thanks that I did not overeat to the point of gluttony.
No, but for real.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
On 11/26/2019 I had a final exam in Biblical Hebrew. I had not prepared as adequately as I would have liked to. I have struggled to stay ahead in my studies for this class all semester as it is a steep learning curve as my intelligent and lovely instructor, Allison Hamm, tells my class. After every prior quiz and exam, I vowed to be more diligent in my study and to put more time into learning the Qal paradigms and other material that I still do not have a good understanding of. I have improved in my study and that has helped me to see steady increase in reading and speaking Biblical Hebrew and in my grade. Initially, I hoped to study for a solid week leading up to this exam. Unfortunately, my study was limited to about 30 minutes a day as I focused on the demands of my other classes. I woke up and spent about 4 hours studying before the exam. This approach of studying is not recommended, but I did the best that I knew to do with my time. Before, during and after I studied, I asked Holy Spirit to empower me to do well on my exam. I also asked the LORD to help me have better study habits for the future.
Mercy Over Judgement
The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
My God is merciful. The LORD is the judge of the whole earth and the LORD will do right. I believe that God is fully developed and is good, is loving and is patient. I also believe that God is righteous, and sovereign and just. Hosea 6:6 thankfully shows that God desires to lead with love and mercy. This is overwhelming considering that God is fully within right to exact righteousness and judgment in the life of every human being. The love, grace, and mercy of God hold back the wrath of God. This is all possible because before the foundation of the world the Lamb was slain and because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ that was seen by humanity. I literally had to stop and worship God for this revelation and understanding.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin in my life. Recently, I committed a sinful act and I was convicted during it and I noticed my own displeasure in the moment. I considered that a great victory. I knew it was the work of grace and righteousness of the LORD Jesus Christ in me. As I normally do once I’ve fallen short and sinned, I asked the LORD to forgive me and I thanked the LORD for the lack of desire to sin that ELOHIM is cultivating within me. I had to acknowledge that ELOHIM desires that I am every whit whole and holy and righteous more than I desire it.
My heavenly Father is such a vigilant parent for my life. When I worked in infant-toddler mental health, I learned about the necessity of a parent to be bigger, wiser, stronger, and kinder as they vigilantly cared for their young child.
You Must Flee Evil to Pursue Peace
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
On 11/23/2019 I took my car to be serviced for free as part of my lease agreement with Toyota. My mileage was over 9,000 and it should have been taken in at 5,000 miles. Taking good care of a vehicle allows for slower value depreciation. When I was with my parents the week before, within a few moments of being in my car with me my father said, “You gotta take your car in to be serviced. I see the maintenance message on your dashboard.” I told him that I would take it to be serviced soon. My father always checks on mine and my sibling’s cars if he’s with us. He is notoriously good at maintaining his and my mother’s vehicles. I remember a few years ago I took my old car in to Discount Tires to have my tires rotated and the technician advised that I needed to get brand new tires. I was upset because I had purchased four tires for about $600 less than 2 years ago and the tires should have lasted closer to 5 years. He advised that since I had not taken my car in for regular maintenance to have the tires rotated that the treads wore down. He showed me the tread measurement and advised against continuing to drive with those tires. I asked him to repeat to me the reasons why I had to purchase new tires. I stood there for a moment taking it all in, accepting responsibility and deciding not to mismanage my resources again with respect to my car's tires. Clearly, I recognize that I need to not mismanage my resources again for my entire car!
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
When it's safe, healthy, and possible, reconciliation is a good thing. Through the eyes of the world this may sound utterly incomprehensible in the context of gross pain and disrespect between parties. And sometimes when I think about it, I find it baffling. It is, however, very much like ELOHIM and very much like the ways of the kingdom. Heavenly Father gave His only begotten Son so that the world can be saved. And before the foundation of the world the Lamb was slain. This proves God’s commitment to reconcile the world back to God. The LORD desires that all citizens of the kingdom of God operate in the ministry of reconciliation.
My process of walking out the ministry of reconciliation has been challenging.
Words of wisdom to live by from our Senior Leader, Bishop Earnest E. Robinson, Sr. and other guest writers.