Sunday, June 07, 2015

Pilgrims on a Journey

 "The Lord protects strangers." Psalm 146:9
In a way, we are all strangers, pilgrims on a journey to our true home. Without God's favor, we will be unprotected, like lambs in a forest filled with predators. But like David, we can say that the favor of God keeps our enemies from defeating us. (Psalm 41:11)

 We do not realize it, but every day, there are forces of darkness arrayed against us. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12) We need not fear because we can brag upon the Lord's protection and favor even when the odds are stacked against us, even when all seems hopeless. Just like Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery, who was imprisoned, but who kept trusting in God, all will turn out well.

Thank you Lord for Your protection and Your guidance. Thank you that the enemy cannot defeat me!

 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." Mark 12:29-30
I think it's fairly easy to know what loving God with all our heart, mind and strength means. But loving God with all our soul? What does that mean? We need to go to the Old Testament Hebrew word for soul 'nephesh ' which means to breathe. 'Nephesh' is used 750 times in the Old Testament. In Gen 2:7, we read that God formed man from dust, breathed into His nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul (Nephesh).

 In the New Testament, soul is translated from the Greek word psyche, which would mean the life in us, where the will, decisions, emotions, our personality originate. Jesus says that the first, most important commandment is to love God above all, with everything in us. Isn't it amazing that God who has and is everything, should have this as His primary agenda? Pastor Ron Tucker said that the one thing God wants and will not take by His power is the VOLUNTARY love of a human heart.
God wants our heart, He wants our soul, He wants our all. What? He wants feeble, self serving, insensitive, broken me? What kind of love can I give Him? No matter what, that's what God wants first of all. How can we withhold whatever kind of love that is in our power to give God who loves us best?

 "They gave from their surplus wealth, but she gave from her want, all that she had to live on." Mark 12:44
The story of the Widow's Mite in the 12th chapter of Mark should be very reassuring for all of us. Imagine if how much we gave was the measure of our pleasing God? Then would not Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have the biggest chance of making God happy even if they gave a mere 1/1000th of their wealth? As it is, ALL OF US can and should try to make God happy.
Jesus was watching the poor widow as she put her 2 mites. It didn't matter to Him that what she sacrificed was equivalent to a few minutes of work at minimum wage. What was important was this was her faith in action. He saw her heart.

Mark 12:41 reads “..and he saw HOW the people put the money into the treasury.” The “how” (pos) in this passage means “in what way.” We should remember Jesus is also watching when we make our check to give our tithes, when we give alms, when we give our time. It matters not the amount. It matters what is in our heart.
William Barclay said “The amount of the gift never matters so much as its cost to the giver, not the size of the gift but the sacrifice.”


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  1. Patsy, a heartwarming post and wonderful inspirational art. Thank you so much for sharing your very beautiful art with us this week at Word Art Wednesday on our 186th Challenge.
    Blessings, Carole

  2. As always, Patsy, I love how you take a picture and turn it around to a biblical perspective. Love this picture of the widow. I so enjoy your posts.

  3. You paint people so well, Patsy. I love what you said about God watching our giving and not judging by the size of our gift; rather the size of our heart. (paraphrased)

  4. Patsy, it's nice to meet you through Inspire Me Monday. Jesus wants us all, not in part, but all. He gladly takes us as we are, but the thing is many of us don't get that. We have to come to Jesus, like the old song reminds us, Just as I am. Thank you for sharing these reminders to us through scripture and your artwork. Have a good day!

    Monday Mewzik & Mewzings!

  5. I marvel at this God who longs for fellowship with us faulty and flawed humans who betray Him at every turn. Thank you for pointing us toward Him with your words and with your artwork! I'm glad you linked up with us at Grace & Truth. :)

  6. I love coming to your blog to enjoy the beautiful works of art that you do.


I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy