If we cannot silence our thoughts, we cannot hear God. He won’t compete for our attention.
Our lives are busy, we run to and fro trying not to miss a step. Our minds race, we never experience being still. One of my earlier posts shared that we can either learn to be still or as I once told my employees and students, we can suffer mandatory volunteerism. God gave me multiple opportunities but I did not take Him seriously. I gave one excuse after another. Finally, like any good Father, He took command and placed me in time out. He centered me in a place to be still, retirement, and told me to be still and listen to His quiet, still, voice.
God cannot lead us if we don’t take time to listen and converse with Him. He cannot converse with us if our minds don’t shutdown and release the static. You know, this type of static.
Stillness is the platform for establishing our relationship with our Lord. The scripture Psalm 46:10 reads, ‘Be Still and know that I am God’. There it is plan and simple, yet, so difficult to comprehend in a world were silence no longer exists.
This poem shares the concept of silence and how impactful conversations with God are on our lives.
Take time everyday for the next two weeks and learn to converse with God. Listen to what He has to say about your life and the steps that will lead you down your destiny pathway. You will be renewed and no longer bound by self-talk, social media, and purposeless thoughts. You will experience love greater than you can imagine, peace greater that you thought possible, and a sense of who you are in Christ.
Video – Kickstart A Conversation With God. YouVersion. Bible.com
There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.
~ Lisa Blair
God gives us His grace. His mercy is how He provides our request for help. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary (pp. 341) puts it this way:
Mercy is the act of God. Grace describes God’s attitude toward the lawbreaker and the rebel; mercy is His attitude toward those who are in distress.
God’s purpose for extending His grace and mercy upon us is to provide a means of salvation. God’s grace must always precede mercy. Only the forgiven can be blessed with God’s mercy.
Mercy is through the everlasting covenant God made with David, particularly pardoning mercy, and mercies that are refreshed everyday. We must approach God boldly without any fear or doubt. Mercy is ours each day. When in prayer, remind God of the covenant and ask for daily mercies. Mercy is like a daily vitamin, your body must be replenished each day, just as your being is through daily mercies.
The commentary from Barnes Notes, BibleHub.com, reads, “we may obtain mercy – this is what comes first. We need pardon – as the first thing when we come to God. We are guilty and self-condemned – our first cry should be for mercy.” Those who understand their need for forgiveness are best prepared to obtain God’s favor.
Finding grace, is finding favor, “strength, help, counsel, direction, support, for the various duties and trials of life. Even when pardoned, we need grace to keep us from sin and to aid us in the day of temptation..”
As Christians, we have the privilege of boldly coming before the throne, “we are sinful and need mercy; we are feeble, and need grace to help us. There is not a day of our lives in which we do not need pardon; not an hour in which we do not need grace.”
Easy way to remember – There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.
Mercy is for past sins; grace for future work, trials, and resistance to temptation. (Vincent’s Word Studies, biblehub.com)
We were called before the universe was spoken into being. We were created by God and called to be His people. Our calling is a Holy Calling.
~ Lisa Blair
“who had saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” II Timothy 1:9 NKJV
That is right, we have been called with a Holy calling, one that was made before the beginning of time. God envisioned this world and all in it before He created time before He created the universe. As children, many of us wrote stories about cosmos and its inhabitants, envisioning them to manifest our reality. We were enthralled by our own imaginations, but think, God created all that exists from His thoughts and being God, brought it in into being. Every minute detail manifested to become atoms, that became trees, land, water, nature, us. And, in doing so, He called us, giving us life and a desire to know Him better through His grace. To redeem us from the sin that destroyed Eden and His relationship with Adam and Eve who sinned against Him and stripped us, leaving us in a state of sin. We were called through His purpose to share that God sent His Son, Christ Jesus to save us from our sin nature and spread the Good News of our salvation. It is His gift of grace, not of our own doing.
GOD’S GIFT OF GRACE THROUGH THE DEATH OF HIS SON, CHRIST JESUS
For many years I felt the Lord was a punishing God. Words such as sorrow suggested that we were a hurt people. The truth is we are a hurt people, we are a sinful people who must come to a place where our sins are no longer acceptable as our guiding truth. Satan uses sin to capture and control us, to lead us to a hellish death. When we become remorseful and recognize the sorrow we have weighed down upon ourselves, and the God who loves and protects us, we enter into a state of Godly sorrow.
Godly Sorrow is only Mentioned Once in the Bible
Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. Paul uses this term to explain to the Corinthians that they once lived a sinful life that would lead to worldly death, hell, upon departing this earth but had successfully turned away in earnestness to overcome their sin and repent.
Godly Sorrow is an Acute Sense of Sadness
Godly sorrow is an acute sense of sadness we experience when we sin. We feel sadness because we know we have committed sins. We know we have saddened the Lord, just as the Corinthians knew after Paul taught them that God is the Way and the Light. Palm chastised the Corinthians for their dissentions against the church. He intended to cause them to think and having accomplished this task caused them to repent. Paul knew they were remorseful and regretful for their actions of falling back into disbelief, but he also knew that neither would lead to salvation without true repentance and restitution. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.
Godly Sorrow is a Kind of Wretchedness
“Godly sorrow is a kind of wretchedness that can bring the repentant sinner to tears of grief. Godly sorrow results from a heartfelt conviction that we have offended God by our sin.” Our spirit grieves, and when Godly sorrow has its way, we resolve to stop repeating the sins, turn away from our carnal nature and pick up the cross and do good. We cleanse ourselves through prayer.
Results of Godly Sorrow
Doing good, is the result of Godly sorrow. It is through Godly sorrow that we can release the guilt and shame for our sin nature and actions, and repent asking for forgiveness and vowing to never return to them. Repentance is not an emotion, it is our decision to change. We have to make the decision to turn around and change our lives to truly repent. We repent and believe through faith. Faith comes after repenting and surrendering our life to the Lord. It is through God’s grace that we are forgiven and given new life to move forward. It is through God’s grace that we receive salvation.
God Sorrow, Repentance, and Salvation are Ours
Not all of 1 Corinthians 7 is intended for us. Some of it is intended for the Corinthians. However, repentance and salvation are for everyone who calls out to God to save them from their sins and believes that Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to join God in heaven. God restored the discipline of the church of Corinth and sin, and He restores us. We sin through our (own) actions and complicitous approval of those sinning in our scope of influence. The church was complicit by not addressing incestuous behavior. We are complicit when we do not speak out against sin and do not address the offender.
Sorrow Cannot Merely Be Guilt through Discovery
“We must be very careful that our sorrow for sin is not merely sorrow that has been found out, but sorrow which, seeing the evil of the sinful thing is determined never to do it again and has dedicated the rest of its life to atone, by God’s grace, for what was done.” (Barclay)
Godly Sorrow, Apology and the Holy Spirit, Intercession on Our Behalf
When we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes and helps us apologize to God and repent. This is accomplished through confessing our sins, not by denying them or defending them because neither is true confession.
Godly Sorrow is the Lining of Our Repentance
While Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in scripture, it is the lining of our repentance. Repentance separates godly sorrow from worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow produces true repentance. Worldly sorrow is not really sorrow, it is the only resentment that has been found out (William Barclay). If we do not feel Godly sorrow for our sinful actions, we are not able to truly repent and turn away from them with God’s help. Without godly sorrow, we would repeat the offense, given a chance to do it again. Godly sorrow not only hates the act, but it also hates the nature of the act itself. Without godly sorrow, we are bound by our sin nature and remain in the camp of the evil one.
God Separates Us From Our Sin Through Our Decision to Change
Like the Church at Corinth, we are growing (maturing) when we repent and turn away from sin. God can separate us from our sins and place them as far away as the east is from the west, but He is only able to do so when we are cleansed and convicted to the point of wholehearted confession and repentance. It is through God’s grace that we are saved.
Images – YouVersion/Bible.com; Google Images-Knowing Jesus.com
References – What is Godly sorrow? Gotquestions.org; Studylight.org: 2 Corinthians 7:10-11, Commentaries – Charles Barclay, Albert Barnes, Coffman, John Gill; Nelson’s Quick Reference by Warren Wiersbe; Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary by W.E. Vine; KJV Word Study; Youtube:2Corinthians_BrettVarner; 2 Corinthians_JasonJack
Christians are being attacked around the world. Many ambassadors and missionaries throughout the world are wounded, destroyed, and killed every day. Please add this prayer to your daily prayers to cover them as they share the Good News with non-believers and newly converted Christian groups.
~ Lisa Blair
Lord, Christians are being attacked, tortured, terrorized and killed, much like when you, Lord, were on earth. Please post your angels around all Christians under attack. Place angels in front of the attackers, murders, and abusers like you did when Elisha, the Prophet, prayed that you would open his servant’s eyes and see your angelic army surrounding (2 Kings 6:17) the enemy’s army. Let your Christian missionaries and ambassadors see your army wherever they go. Also, let the enemy see the angels shadows over them as they are plotting and planning in person or on social media, like the Internet, to destroy your people. Keep them from moving forward and cause them to abandon their plots in fear of your wrath.
Our primary goal in life should be acknowledgement that we fall short of the glory of God [our Savior and Father’s plans for us], but act to continue to strive forward. It’s our daily walk.
~ LISA BLAIR
We all fall short of the glory of God, yet we must strive every day to do better than the day before, reconciling our sins through repentance. Repentance sounds so indomitable, when in fact it only means to ask for forgiveness, which we can do after we assess our shortcomings/sins of the day.
Sin varies in intensity. They may be minor, such as avoiding a coworker, cussing, ranting and racing, or major, taking a life. The type of sin committed does not lessen the fact that you sinned. Don’t overlook the little things. Sin is a violation of God’s Glory and is identified in Galatians 5:19-22. Look to the Fruit if the Spirit to identify how we can overcome sin.
Our primary goal in life is to become more like Christ. The acknowledgment that we fall short of the Glory of God [our Savior and Father’s plans for us], is one of the fundamental steps we must take to change our behavior and continue to strive forward. It’s our daily walk.
God is our Creator and our Father. Our Heavenly Father should always hold center stage. With Him, all things are possible. Without Him, we are left to wander in the dark.
~ LISA BLAIR
Psalms 47:1 tells us to shout to God with joyful praise. Why? God is our creator and Father. He is God Almighty. Our God is faithful. The God who sees. The Lord of Peace. He is our provider, a strong tower in times of trouble, and our healer. God loves us.
We should always be filled with great and good thoughts of God (biblestudytools.com). As Christians, we should want to put God first in all that you do. It is vital to recognize Him each morning and thank Him for a new day’s journey. We should go to Him if you need direction throughout the day to avoid unneeded pitfalls. We should praise Him for all He does. And, acknowledge Him for whoHe is and what He has done for us. Believe it or not, there is a miracle in every step we take, and every thought that comes to mind. God left nothing to chance when He created us.
God, our Father in Heaven should always be up front and first in our lives. He sacrificed His son for us, gives us new beginnings, Salvation, and Eternal Life. There is none other like Him.
I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.