God Is Faithful

Man Hand writing Living a Thankful Life with black marker on visI have learned about this word faithful over the years. It is a good word that describes some good people. It’s also a strong word that describes The Lord Himself. This word carries with its definition the following words: true to one’s word, promises, vows, steady in allegiance or affection, loyal, constant, reliable, trusted and believing. I am thankful to have had some heroes of the faith who were very faithful in their journey with the Lord. These “spiritual mentors” displayed loyalty and trust in the Lord. They weren’t perfect, but they were consistent in getting up from failure and returning to their pursuit of His heart.

Ethan, the Ezrahite penned a great psalm chronicling the journey of the people of Israel. He speaks very clearly about the faithfulness of God. Check this out..

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
    through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength,
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.
18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel. (Psalm 89:1-2; 14-18 NIV)

If there is one attribute that I know about the Lord – He is faithful. He has NEVER left me or ignored me. He is ALWAYS there for me. I wish I could find the words to describe the faithfulness of God – that really articulates and describes how consistent and faithful He is.  I have been on a journey with the Lord since I was in 3rd grade. I’ve been unfaithful to Him many times. I’ve ignored Him even when serving in ministry. I’ve lived through seasons of life serving from my own skills and abilities – ignoring the Power and Presence that God could bring. He was there. He never left me even in those times.  His Patience and His Pursuit of my heart blow me away. I’m so thankful for His faithfulness to me despite my rebellion and unfaithfulness to Him. This passage of scripture reminded me of all that the Lord brings to my relationship with Him – All I can bring is a humble and contrite heart. I am nothing without Him. He is the ONLY reason my relationship with Him works.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Trust With Treasure

Trust with blue markerOver the years, I’ve become a bit less trusting of people in certain areas. I think that some people live by deep convictions and would never lie, cheat or steal. Then there are others who appear trustworthy, but somehow justify taking a little for themselves here or there. I’m thinking specifically of people who serve in the area of managing other people’s money. I think it’s important to take extra precautions to assure that there are no misunderstandings or mistakes made.

King David had appointed people as singers, gatekeepers, and also treasurers. He had some of the Levite descendants who took care specifically of his treasury. When they defeated another king in battle, they would seize the plunder and put it in the king’s treasury. Check this out…

26 Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries for the things dedicated by King David, by the heads of families who were the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and by the other army commanders. 27 Some of the plunder taken in battle they dedicated for the repair of the temple of the Lord. 28 And everything dedicated by Samuel the seer and by Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner and Joab son of Zeruiah, and all the other dedicated things were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives. (1 Chronicles 26:26-28 NIV)

I can only imagine what a job it was to keep inventory of the Kings treasury. David was very successful as king, and he seemed to have lots of treasure. I also think that David was a good leader and he knew he had to have wise and trusted people around him to help manage his success.

As I read this passage this am, I was reminded of the word accountability. I believe that when someone is managing other peoples money, there should be layers of accountability to protect the people managing the money as well as the person whose money it is.

Accountability says that I’m vulnerable.

Accountability says that I’m trustworthy.

Accountability says that I’m honest and open.

Accountability is protection.

Accountability is promise.

I think it’s wise to always recognize who I’m accountable too. As a follower of Jesus, I am accountable to Him in everything. I think it’s also wise to have an accountability partner with the same values and who represents the Lord in my life. A person with values like mine will not hesitate to speak truth into me. I do believe that trust is a two-way street until it’s violated. It’s takes time to restore trust as well as humility and forgiveness. Trust is a strong but delicate attribute in all relationships.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Promise Made – Promise Kept

Lies Have Speed Truth Has Endurance SpeedometerI remember growing up and learning the value of a promise. I remember making “pinky promises” and “cross my heart and hope to die” promises. I’m sure that I had to be guided and taught the value of telling the truth and keeping my word. I know that when a person makes promises that the mean what they say for the most part. For example, when a politician makes a promise to a certain group of people, he or she fully intends to keep that promise. (I realize that I’m being fairly optimistic! I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.) If I make a promise and then don’t keep it, I’m pretty much a liar.

The family tribes of Reuben & Gad approached Moses and asked for the land where they were camped. They liked what they saw and didn’t really want to go into the Promised Land to settle. They promised that they would get their families all set up there, but that their fighting men would go with the rest of the nation and fight for their inheritance. Moses knows that he will not be alive to see this promise kept so he issues a gentle but firm warning. Check this out…

23 ‘But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

31 The Gadites and Reubenites answered, ‘Your servants will do what the Lord has said. 32 We will cross over before the Lord into Canaan armed, but the property we inherit will be on this side of the Jordan.’ (Numbers 32:23, 31-32 NIV)

Looking back at history, these two tribes along with the half-tribe of Manassah did complete their promise.

When I connect with someone who is honest and trustworthy, I can put my trust and confidence in him or her. They will not tell me just what I want to hear; they will tell me the truth. I remember my Mom telling me as a kid to “be sure my sins will find me out”. She was trying to underscore that when I sin in secret, it will be found out. The Lord is my Accountability Partner. I can do nothing without Him knowing it. I can’t be sneaky and get away with anything. There are no secrets with the Lord – He knows everything and He sees everything. It’s really wise to take responsibility for my screw-ups and my sin because He forgives my sin and He dispenses grace like crazy. Sometimes I think the Lord is way too extravagant with His grace until I’m the one who needs it.

I want to be careful to do what I say and always keep my word.

I want to be honest before God and therefore anyone else for that matter.

I want to make promises carefully so that I can keep them completely.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Honest

Core ValuesThis word means to be free of deceit and untruthfulness. It carries with it the meaning of sincerely truthful and morally correct. I was taught at a very early age that being honest was always best.  I remember asking a group of college students years ago if they believed honesty to always be the best policy. I was a bit shocked to learn that they felt like it was ok to lie in order to not hurt the other person. For example: “Does this dress look good on me?” They were saying that even if it doesn’t look good on the person, they should say it does.  I must say that I was a bit stunned. There were other examples that were given where they though it was ok to lie or be dishonest.  I do believe that taking the honesty route and speaking the truth in love no matter how hard it is on the receiving end is STILL the best policy. Check this out…

1I trust in the Lord for protection.

    So why do you say to me,

    “Fly like a bird to your mountain.
2 Like hunters, the wicked string their bows;

    they set their arrows on the bowstrings.

They shoot from dark places

    at those who are honest.
7 The Lord does what is right, and he loves justice,

    so honest people will see his face. (Psalm 11: 1-2,7 NIV)

 

As tough as it may be to always be honest, I believe the Lord delights in truth and honesty. I believe it is a core characteristic of Who He is and it is who I’m called to be. If followers of the Lord would always be honest and forthright, our word would be our bond and when we speak our words would have deep meaning.  In my work as a REALTOR, it’s easy to “over sell” with words. I have to keep my words in check so that I can speak honestly and not fluff or puff things out of whack.

The Lord calls me to be honest in my words and in my behavior. I believe there is a clear line that I should not cross. It is actually a pretty clear and visible boundary.

Pressing On!
Dwayne