Posts Tagged ‘To do’

2017: Unlimited goodness, unlimited favor

January 2, 2017

Isaiah 43--19

As the New Year unfolds beginning with Sunday, January 1, we examine a Quote of the Day related to prospects for 2017, a statement from Pastor Marcus Gill:

“2017 will be a year of unlimited goodness and unlimited favor.”

As we reflect upon these two concepts in light of the coming year, lyrics from two original songs come to mind: one proclaims the goodness of God and asks a question; the other speaks of the subsequent favor of God flowing from His goodness:

The Goodness of the Father

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance,

and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God

leads you to repentance?

Romans 4:2 (NKJV)

Don’t you know the goodness of God leads us to repentance?

He has cancelled the curse and commuted our sentence.

By His gift of love and grace, Christ has taken our place

And redeemed us from the hand of the enemy.

Open your eyes and you will see

His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering.

Yes, the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance.

Don’t you know the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance?

 

O how good, He’s so good, beyond compare,

Exquisite and rare; He’s so good.

O how good, He’s so good,

Come join with me: O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Yes, the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance.

Don’t you know the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance?

 

From his goodness flows his favor,

O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

He has promised goodness to his servants;

He has clothed us with salvation.

Let us rejoice in goodness, and declare that only the Lord, our God, is good.

Yes, the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance.

Don’t you know the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance?

Out of God our Father’s limitless goodness flows boundless favor. In a previous entry, we noted that the word “favor” has also been translated “grace.” God extends His grace, His undeserved favor toward His people. The lyrics to the following song describe God’s super-abounding favor:

Favor upon Favor

Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.

 

Where we work there is favor

Where we live there is favor

Where we meet there is favor

Up and down each street there is favor

Where we pray there is favor

Where we play there is favor

Every day there is favor

In every way there is favor

Where we learn there is favor

Everywhere we turn, there is favor

Here and there and everywhere

There is the overflowing favor

Never-ceasing, ever-increasing favor.

There is favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor.

Let us savor each golden moment of the favor of God.

 

Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.

As we think about the New Year and what it holds in store for us, we are also reminded of who God is and what He alone can do. A passage of scripture associated with the New Year comes from the Prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19:

16 This is what the Lord says,

He who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters,
“Do not remember the former things,
Or ponder the things of the past.
19 
“Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even put a road in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

The Message Bible put it this way:

“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.

Each New Year represents a new beginning, as God reminds us once again that He makes all things new.  In thinking about a new beginning or a fresh start, this poem comes to mind:

All Things New

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;

shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness,

and rivers in the desert.

 Isaiah 43:19

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

Trust me and you will see. You will never be the same.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

I am God–I do not lie, I am faithful and true.

Almighty, God of the impossible is my name.

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

 

Some thought it was over, but I am by no means through.

I cover and restore to remove all guilt and shame.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

Never forget what I have already brought you through.

You have a divine purpose; your life is not a game.

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

 

In me you overcome—I am Lord of the breakthrough

Who offers boundless promises that you can now claim.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

Trust me, obey and see what I have in store for you.

With your life you will make known my goodness and proclaim:

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

As we embark further into the New Year, we will undoubtedly encounter challenges and difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. The Bible reminds us of God’s unlimited goodness and unlimited favor that reflect His power and strength to turn a seemingly impossible situation into a triumphant victory.

We conclude our comments with this song of encouragement from Israel Houghton. As the New Year unfolds, we are not looking back but moving ahead; indeed, we are “Moving Forward”:

To do what is right, to love mercy, to walk humbly

January 4, 2016

Micah_6-8

Revised and re-posted from a year ago, the Verse of the Day for January 4, 2016 is taken from Micah 6:8 (NLT):

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

The verse states three simple requirements, three prerequisites for Godly living expressed in three verbs written as infinitives: to do, to love, and to walk.

To do what is right

This expression is used throughout the Scriptures. Zephaniah 2:3 (NLT) provides a similar exhortation to the people of God:

Seek the LORD, all who are humble,
and follow his commands.
Seek to do what is right
and to live humbly.
Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect you—
protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.

Deuteronomy 6:18 also offers words of encouragement to the Children of Israel:

Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the LORD swore to give your ancestors.

Psalm 15:1 asks a question which is answered in verse 2:

1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.

Psalm 84:11 (NLT) makes this declaration:

For the LORD God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The LORD will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.

In terms of what pleases God, Proverbs 21:3 (NLT) reveals this truth:

The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.

To love mercy

One of the most powerful verbs in any language is the command to love. In this case, we are to love mercy.

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.
Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Jeremiah reminds us that, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.”

One of the attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy. In a real sense, as a God of justice, He tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, and mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves.” God desires that we love mercy. As Portia, a character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, remarks so wisely,

Though justice be thy plea, consider this:
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

To walk humbly

The final requirement is to “walk humbly with thy God.” The First Psalm describes the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, as being blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable). God’s desire is that we walk in humility, even as humility was a most notable attribute of the Lord Jesus Christ, described in this manner:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

1 Peter 2:21 also encourages us:

For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

As we walk with the Lord, we find that humility is the key to access the heart of God.

The expectations that God has for His people seem simple enough: “to do what is right . . . to love mercy . . . to walk humbly.” Certainly they must be attainable or God would not expect people to do what He asks. The challenge becomes carrying out what the Lord requires of us. As the Nike slogan states so simply and directly: “Just do it!”

Listen to a musical rendering of Micah 6:8 offered by Maranatha! Singers:

What we are supposed to do

May 23, 2015

Romans_15-2Romans 15:2 (New Living Testament, the Verse of the Day for May 23, 2015, makes known what are we supposed to do as Christian believers:

We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

We find a similar exhortation in 1 Corinthians 10:33 (NLT):

I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

Theses verses also bring to mind Micah 6:8 which asks a probing question in the King James Version:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The New Living Translation renders the verse as this powerful statement:

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.

The following excerpt comes from a blog entry devoted to Micah 6:8 which provides a discussion of three simple requirements, three prerequisites for Godly living expressed in three verbs written as infinitives: to do, to love, and to walk.

Here are references as to what we are “to do”:

To do . . .

This verb brings to mind a similar exhortation from Galatians 6:10:

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

We have a choice to do good or to do evil, but the Word of God reminds us that despite the sinful nature of humanity, our ultimate purpose is to do good:

Ecclesiastes 3:12:

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

This reminder to do justly or to “do good” is echoed in the words of John Wesley, who said:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NLT) offers this sobering reminder:

Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.

Colossians 3:23 also provides the standard by which we should measure whatever we do:

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

A scripture memory song of Colossians 3:23-24 in the King James Version puts it this way:

And whatsoever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord,

Knowing that of the Lord, you shall receive your reward.

Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.

Knowing that of the Lord, you shall receive your reward.

For you serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

For you serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

The overall expectations that God has for His people seem simple enough: Like the Nike slogan states, we should: “Just do it!” In actuality, “There’s nothing to it but to do it!” We close with this poetic reminder not to procrastinate but to

Do It Now!

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore be ye not unwise, but understanding

what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:15-16

If you want to live each minute

With the fullest measure in it,

To run your best race and win it

Then start to do it now!

Don’t wait until it’s tomorrow

To look for the time to borrow,

For you may be filled with sorrow

Unless you do it now!

Don’t wait until the time is right.

By then you may have long lost sight

Of work to do with all your might.

Be sure to do it now!

Make up your mind; don’t hesitate.

Now is the time to act, don’t wait.

You’ve got nothing to lose; go straight

Ahead and do it now!

Just put the past behind somehow

And with each moment make a vow:

Now is the time to do it now.

Get up and do it now!

Listen to a musical rendering of Micah 6:8 offered by Maranatha! Singers: