Saturday, June 22, 2013

He crowns us with His lovingkindness

We have a saying at our house when the tensions begin to rise, and selfishness is the spirit in the air (those two things tend to go together in my experience).  We take our turns, being the not fully sanctified lovers of Jesus people that we are...turns at being selfish, and turns at being the one to speak our saying.  "Breathe in love, breathe out gratitude." 

When we are practicing selfishness, we tend to view what is lacking, what we think we deserve, how we think others ought to serve us and how dare they not?  When selfishness is our operating status, we tend to see our "self" as the center...we view other people as aids to getting us what we want or obstacles in our way, and we treat them accordingly.  Tensions rise when self isn't getting what self wants at the moment. Do as "I" want, and all is fine, but cross me and watch out!  Either way, really, that is a problem.  Our heart is not right if this is how we are living.  And the solution, in part, is to remember WHO the center of life really is...

Psalm 103 begins with "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!"  Bless who?  The LORD!  He is the center. This beautiful Psalm continues with: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things..."

"Breathe in love, breathe out gratitude." 

Remember the Lord, and forget not His benefits...when you breathe in His love, really and truly, how can you not begin to overflow with gratitude?

I suspect that at least most people who are raising kids hear the phrase "that's not fair."  Now occasionally, a true injustice may be occurring, but generally this is just a great big clue that the declaring child is revealing his or her own selfish heart.  I have heard this a lot lately, and I have begun to respond gently with something along the lines of  "you're right...hell would be fair, and instead you're getting get a nice soft bed and food to eat and parents who love you and correct you...breathe in love child, breathe out gratitude."  I also suspect that those of us raising up kids are guilty too...I know I am.  Father please forgive me, and cause me to breathe in Your love. 

Ps 103:10 "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities."

He forgives us, heals us, crowns us with His tender mercies.  Oh may God open our eyes to Him, and replace our selfish hearts with hearts that are overflowing in praise to His Name.  May He make us more and more like Jesus, who did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom. 

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