Blessed & Humble

 

work hard stay humbleThere have been times when the Lord’s blessing on me where beyond my comprehension and understanding. I can’t always see the Hand of God because He’s often “multi-tasking” behind the scenes setting up more blessings. The Lord has placed upon my heart gratitude for the past several weeks. I’m just so grateful for His Presence and His Provision in my life.

The prophet Nathan came to David early on when He became King over Israel. He told David of a vision that the Lord had revealed to Him about David and his house for years to come. The word from Nathan absolutely blew David away. I love his response before the Lord. Check this out…

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

‘Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant – and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!

20 ‘What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant. (2 Samuel 7:18-21 NIV)

David sits before the Lord absolutely blessed and humble. I imagine that he can hardly come up with the words to adequately express his gratitude. This passage reinforced my desire to have a heart of gratitude to the Lord for His blessing upon my family and me. As I constantly pursue humility, the Lord reveals His blessings upon my life. I really believe that a lot of His blessings were already given, but in my arrogance and pride I didn’t notice them.

I have been really challenged lately with humility. I must keep a constant check on my heart and my attitude so that in humility I can serve the Lord and others. If I have talent, He gave it to me. If I have gifts, He gave them to me. If I have resources to share, He owns them all and He trusted me with them. The blessing of God upon my life blows me away. I want to sit in His Presence and start trying to count all the blessings He’s given to me.

I’ve been blessed lately by Tim McGraw’s new song “Humble & Kind”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

More

 

MoreThere are times when I have enough, but I want more. I struggle with this when it comes to eating. I enjoy food and I’m not always willing to quit at enough. I struggle with this when it comes to money. I seem to always want more. I think there are times when more is a real improvement. For example, I can always find time to give more to others. I can give more money to the Lord and others. I can always love more than I do right now.

The kids of Joseph- Ephraim and Manasseh wanted more land. They were given quite a bit, but they didn’t think it was enough. Check this out…

14 The people of Joseph said to Joshua, ‘Why have you allotted us only one portion of land and one share for an inheritance? We are a numerous people, and the Lord has blessed us abundantly.’

17 But Joshua said to the tribes of Joseph – to Ephraim and Manasseh – ‘You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one portion of land allotted to you 18 but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, you can drive them out. (Joshua 17:14,17-18 NIV)

I think it’s a part of our human nature to want more. I’m not sure how this develops inside us, but I think all of us have a “selfish tendency” inside. I have to figure out how to keep that in check. I’m actually not sure I’m capable on my own.

I need the Lords help to become unselfish.

I need the Lords help to not want more all the time.

I need the Lords help to become more generous.

I need the Lords help to love more.

I need the Lords help to open up new opportunities of service even though it looks difficult.

I need to be thankful for what I’ve received. I need to stop whining about what I don’t have. I need to press on to expand my horizons and use my gifts to reach more people with influence on behalf of the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Big Blessing

 

Count Your BlessingsOver the years I’ve been blessed more than I deserve for sure. I am so thankful for my big family. I have multitudes of dear friends and acquaintances that have blessed my life in so many ways. I have been blessed with possessions as well. I can’t possibly count all of my blessings.

The past 10 years or so have been a bit different though. I don’t remember the date when I decided to get up early to spend time with the Lord in His Word. This one decision has changed my perspective on everything else. He continues to speak into my life and shape my heart every day as I set aside this time to hear from Him.

This morning I read how important obedience is to the Lord. He wants my commitment to follow His plans, respect His boundaries – to trust Him with the every day choices. Check this out…

8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. (Deuteronomy 28:8-9 NIV)

I will have to do battle with my sinful nature for as long as I live. I will often choose what I want over what He wants. I will choose my way over His way. I want to keep His commands and walk in obedience before Him.

I’m so thankful that His Spirit in me convicts and leads me back to His way.

I’m so thankful for His patience with me.

I’m so thankful for His mercy and grace.

I’m speechless to try to thank Him for His Love.

I am such a blessed man. I feel like I have the blessing of God all over my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reinstate

This word carries with it “restoration of a person or people to their former position or condition”. It also implies that there was a time when the person of people were taken out or removed from this certain position of place. God had punished His people significantly for their disobedience and irresponsible behavior. He is now rolling out the plan to return them to their position of prominence and power as His chosen people. Check this out….

6 ‘I will strengthen Judah

    and save the tribes of Joseph.

I will restore them

    because I have compassion on them.

They will be as though

    I had not rejected them,

for I am the Lord their God

    and I will answer them. (Zechariah 10:6 NIV)

I believe that the Lord wants to reinstate me and restore me no matter how far away I’ve strayed from Him. His Grace is ridiculous and unlimited. He wants me to follow Him. He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to hold on to Him. He wants me to pursue His heart.

I have been far away from the Lord. I have even been far away when I appeared to be close to Him. Walking with the Lord is deeply personal and private. I can fake it with others, but He knows my heart. He knows me like no one else. He knows my secret thoughts and sins. The amazing thing He restores and reinstates me while erasing my sin. He loves me with a love that is hard to comprehend and sometimes understand because it is not deserved. I deserve punishment and strong consequences yet I receive grace and love that is crazy ridiculous. Wow! #thankful

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Desperation & Distress

 

Abstract Silhouette PrayingI have prayed lots of prayers in my life out of desperation and distress. In fact some of my most heart felt prayers were one word: “HELP!” I believe sometimes I’ve made prayer a bit too eloquent and wordy. Honest, heartfelt prayer changes my perspective and calls upon the resources of heaven to help. Jonah prayed such a prayer after being thrown overboard from the wrecking ship into the raging water, from the storm of his disobedience. Check this out…

1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:

‘In my distress I called to the Lord,

    and he answered me.

From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,

    and you listened to my cry.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;

    the earth beneath barred me in for ever.

But you, Lord my God,

    brought my life up from the pit.

7 ‘When my life was ebbing away,

    I remembered you, Lord,

and my prayer rose to you,

    to your holy temple.

8 ‘Those who cling to worthless idols

    turn away from God’s love for them.

9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,

    will sacrifice to you.

What I have vowed I will make good.

    I will say, “Salvation comes from the Lord.”’

10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:1-2; 6-10 NIV)

I really feel like I can identify with Jonah. I have prayed many times out of desperation and distress. I sometimes don’t even know what help from the Lord would look like. At other times in my desperation and distress, I don’t even know what to pray for. The cool thing is that the Lord knows EXACTLY what I need – when I need it. He hears my prayers when things are calm and peaceful too. The Lord loves all of my prayers because prayer is my acknowledgement that I can’t do life without Him. It’s pretty easy for me to be critical of Jonah’s disobedience until I take a hard look at my own track record in this area.

I’m so thankful that the Lord hears prayers in the midst of desperation and distress. His responses to those prayers have attracted my heart to give Him everything including the non-desperate and non-distress situations.

He answered Jonah’s desperate and distressful prayer and He answers mine! #thankful

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Life

GameThere is this board game called the “Game of Life”. I played it as a kid and had lots of fun pretending to be someone else, with a fake job, fake family, fake money, etc… It was a bit of a reality check though because it made me think about what my life would look like someday.

I now live out the “game of life” every day. I get to make choices based on my values and my convictions. I know that as a believer, my systems and ideas with be directly opposed to what others believe in or think about. I’m good with that. It does not mean that I’m better than anyone else, or better off than anyone else. I just want to live with eternity in mind. This life is not all there is.

Paul enters into debate with some of the Jewish Christians and the non-Jewish (Gentile) Christians. He makes it really clear that we are saved because of Jesus, NOT because of good behavior on our part. Check this out…

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:15-21 NIV)

 

This passage of scripture really blesses me personally because I’ve tried to be good and I’ve still failed. I’ve tried to do all the right things and still failed. Just because I’m saved by grace doesn’t me that I’m going to be a “hellion” going forward. I’m so thankful for grace that I want to honor the Giver of grace.  I live for Him. I love because of Him. He sustains me. He directs me. He walks with me. He has saved me! I can’t imagine this game called life without Him!

Pressing On!
Dwayne