Tag Archives: mercy

It’s Not about Us this Morning

A quick drawing and a quick thought this morning as I prepared my heart for church. I needed to remember, and perhaps you do as well, that God’s idea of mercy and mine are two entirely different notions. Mine has limitations, His goes higher than my mind can fathom.

As I prepare my heart for worship, Satan loves nothing better than to bring my failures into view in hopes that rather than glorifying God, I’ll remember me. But the fact of the matter God has thrown them as far as the east is from the west.

Now let’s go to church and praise Him for it.

The Extent of Forgiveness

It’s not an original thought. I heard a preacher close his sermon out with it this morning, and then it was stuck in my head… which basically means that the preacher did his job!

If you’re a Christian you’ve likely heard the sermon, you know the salvation message and you understand the concept. But it is so easy to lose sight of the depth of God’s love and the extent of His forgiveness. Especially if you’re discouraged or have feelings of unworthiness.

So just what is the extent of God’s forgiveness, lest we forget?

As far as the east is from the west

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

That’s pretty far wouldn’t you say?  In God’s realm, I don’t think the east ever meets the west. God took (removed) our sins from us, and yet we so often take them back and fail to accept His gift of forgiveness. I am the worst at rehashing failures and staying in a mindset of defeat.

I need to remember what God chooses to forget. And that forgetting is a choice.

As deep as the ocean

Who is God unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

Satan would love us to view God as angry all the time. So would a few preachers I’ve heard preach. But God does not retain His anger. It doesn’t say He doesn’t get angry. I believe that with the worst, despicable sins out there, God gets angry. When a child is abused, or a heart broken by broken vows and abuse, God’s upset. But at the first sign of repentance of that sinner, God is ready and willing to forgive. The word says He delights in it! It brings God great joy for us to come to Him in search of a renewed relationship. It is then that He casts our sins in the depths of the sea. That’s not only a deep thought, that’s a deep location.

Never Void

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

This is a verse we often use to remind ourselves that anytime the word is preached, it always serves a purpose. But have you thought of yourself being the recipient of it? If God spoke it to you, it was spoken with purpose and its purpose will be fulfilled. So when we read these verses as personal, we understand that they are written to prosper us. To help us live a life of joy and abundance through the price Christ paid on the cross to cover our sins.

I wrote these verses down in the back of my bible under the title “The extent of Forgiveness.” I want them handy so I can show myself, my friends and for certain Satan. He seems to need reminded a lot.

A Word to the Frustrated Believer

In general, I stay more frustrated with myself than with others among the church. But I must confess that I too can grow weary of people.  For some strange reason the Mac Davis song, “Oh Lord it’s hard to be Humble,” is now playing in my mind. If you know the song, you remember the next line “when you’re perfect in every way.” Now, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “I beseech you,” meaning I beg of you, to understand I’m as far from perfect as the pendulum swings! But human nature being what it is causes my mind to focus on the errored way of others, and when I do I am brought to a message like this in 2 Corinthians 10.

It comforts me to know that even the great Paul had to talk his way through the frustrations of dealing with stupid people.

2 Corinthian ds 10:1-2

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

Remember Humility

Paul said that he was base (the lowest) among us. How could that be?  A man who was beaten and imprisoned for preaching the gospel and died a martyr for the faith. How is it that he would say that he is less than anyone else? Because he remembered humility. It’s a character trait of those who are most used by God.

Paul’s past, pre,-salvation was spent having Christians murdered for the same faith that he now defended. That no doubt weighed heavy on his heart. And though it was under the blood of Christ, it would not have prevented Satan from using it as a tool of discouragement in Paul’s ministry. Satan doesn’t have any new tricks, he doesn’t need them. He always has plenty of ammunition in the line of guilt in my life even after salvation. I can either allow him to tear me apart, or I can face the world in humility as the Apostle Paul did, knowing that I am a sinner saved by grace. It’s in that humility that I’ll learn to extend grace and mercy to those who frustrate me.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Avoid High-mindedness

Paul said to cast down every “high” thing that puts itself above God. I think of that as those self-righteous moments of mankind when we look upon the faults of others and forget our own. Oh, the saints of God love calling out sin, so long as nobody opens their closet doors.

It is so easy for me to look at someone else’s life and assume that they should have known better, or that no excuse was worthy of the transgression they committed, but justify my own blunders. Paul lay a reminder before us that that kind of high-thinking is detrimental to the children of God. It makes someone feel less and someone feel more and that is not the way Christ did it. Christ never justified sin, nor did He execute the sinner.

2 Corinthians 10:6-8

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? if any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

Understand it’s a Matter of the Heart

When we’ve been hurt, or we’re in disagreement with someone else, it would do us well if we’d consider the heart of the matter. While my weakness may not be yours or vice versa, we cannot say for certain that we understand every underlying condition that created our frustration. I only have to recall an issue that I had with a person who seemed arrogant and prideful. My frustration with them grew to the point that I’d cringe when I’d hear their voice in the distance. They later became one of my best friends and what I discovered was that the arrogance and pride was a shield that they placed before them so that people couldn’t see the insecurity and lack of self-confidence that they garnered inside. Once I understood that about them, my frustration quickly turned to compassion and the realization that everything wasn’t always what it seemed.

Paul could have boasted in his authority with God and his wisdom of men. He was right. But he chose rather to look on others with compassion and allow the love of Christ to be exhibited rather than the pride of man.

I’ve learned that most people eventually realize the error of their ways, or I recognize mine. And when they don’t I need to leave them with Christ and move on to matters I can control.

Placing it in Christ’s hands in indeed the cure of the frustrated believer.

From Wreck to Rest

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Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I have often heard and occasionally said the statement, “God knows my heart.” Those words usually come at a time in a person’s life when their purpose or intention is brought into question. And as a rebuttal to the doubt of another soul they will say “God knows my heart.” And I can almost hear out of Heaven, “Yes, yes I do.”

When I truly take those words to account it weakens my knees a tad bit if I dwell on the knowledge that God knows me inside and out; dividing asunder (meaning into parts) of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It’s why my knees weaken, because when the Word of God convicts the soul and the spirit speaks to the heart, and the body reacts in kind. I told my teens Sunday that the Bible is a spiritual wash cloth, it will clean you up! But perhaps I should have also said that it was a sword to dissect your day and your ways. The word of God is amazing how it can expose what we’d rather stay covered.

I hate dealing with life. Many, many days drain me. So when I write, as I did a day or so ago on fleeing from God, I’m not blowin’ smoke. If I could get into my car and drive somewhere that God would not be, I would likely try. But that is not possible. And so I trudge on through life and daily get into His word and ask God for mercy on my soul to bring me through a dark time.

Sound dramatic? I have a feeling that the air over my head is dramatic and that there are angels battling the demonic forces of the night to keep my mind focused on the word of God. Else I’d be in the car. The spiritual world is as real as the chair I’m sitting in and this morning I can feel it. But I can also feel the Word of God slicing through the discouragement and fears in my heart to expose the tender part to words that need to be soaked in and rested in. Word like the preceding 3 verses in Hebrews 4: 9-11

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Working for rest? Sounds pretty oxymoronic. But getting to the point of resting in God is most definitely work. I’ve had to unpack Hebrews 4 and repack it a time or two this morning to find my rest. I had to wrap my mind around the fact that I have to cease from my own works and rely on the works that was done on the cross by Jesus Christ. In verse 13 it says that 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Exposing yourself is laying everything on the table with God. He knows it anyway, but it’s putting it out there and saying “God, help me with this. I can’t do it.”

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

God does know my heart. It’s full of infirmities (deteriorated vitality, feeble, weak of mind, will or character is how Merriam Webster described it.) I’d describe it pretty much the same way. And God says “I get it. I understand because I’ve been there and have overcome. So bring it boldly not ashamedly. Lay it out before me and let’s work on it together so we can get you to a place of rest.”

I needed to hear that today. I need to remember that God knew how very messed up I was and He chose to call me into His service anyway. But the only way to get to place of rest in my life is to rest in Him.

Boldly Go

Hebrews 4-16Nothing will drive you to your knees like heartache, worry and sorrow. And that is where God would have us be, but He’d much rather it be a daily diet of prayer, rather than a conversational last meal as you’re passing through Death Valley. The conversation then is in angst and there is guilt upon guilt because you know you’re not where you need to be with God. You stutter for words, wanting to say just the right thing, failing to understand that your needs were already spoken in Heaven when God watched you suffering and sat waiting for you to come to Him. He reached out but you hid your face because you knew you were unworthy to be in His presence, but He said “Child did you not read where I said come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”  in Hebrews 4:16.

Boldly; meaning with a brave heart and with freedom of speech, not with trepidation, but come to the throne wherein grace is found, prepared to obtain mercy. It’s found no other place than when we come to Him. The world will give you situational and conditional mercy, if it sees fit. But God’s mercy is undeserved yet freely given because we’re His children. This is why God wants daily walks and talks, He’s not a situational God, He’s the God of all times. He knows when you’re headed for trouble. How much sweeter are those times in His presence when we can run into His arms rather than crawl to His feet.

Satan will tell you, “you’re not worthy, God’s not listening, you’ve gone too far this time.”

He’s a liar and a loser and he needs put in his place. But don’t try doing it alone, that’s God’s job. Even Michael the archangel left Satan for God to deal with him in Jude 1:9 when it is said

 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Don’t argue with Satan, especially in times of weakness. He’ll get the better of you. Run into the throne room of God… He’s waiting.

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Feast on His mercy, Skip the Pity Party

chick mercy2

Twenty six times in Psalm 136 David reminds his audience of readers that God’s  “mercy endureth forever.” I cannot think of a day in my life that I did not need the mercies of God. There have been days that I’ve been oblivious to the need, but it was still there. I’m certain there were days that had I known the risk I was in my heart would have failed. I’m certain of this because I’m a child of God and although God’s thoughts toward me are peace, and not of evil.” (Jeremiah) 29:11, Satan’s desire is to sift me as wheat. (Luke 22:31) That’s quite a contrast.

There’s a variety of mercies of God, I’ve no doubt needed every one; but a great and mighty lie of Satan is that God’s mercy grows weary. And with my many failures I buy it like yesterday’s newspaper for the truth with the end result being feelings of doubt and a lack of self-worth and the ministry of God suffers. And Satan’s evil laugh is heard across the land because he has won one of his little battles. God’s thoughts are peace, Satan’s thoughts are upheaval and destruction and it’s aimed at the children of God and the ministries of God. If he can keep our minds focused on our defeats, our victories will be fewer.

Take back the trophies of grace that Satan desires to steal by reminding him of God’s mercies.

Psalm 36

Start with applause!

1O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

God’s mercy is worth praising Him for and it heaps coals upon the head of Satan to hear God’s people’s applause. Take a minute to thank Him for the many times that God has provided His mercy in abundance.

Stand in Awe

To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Praise Him for His mercy on creation. He created this marvelous universe for us. What a gift! And even though we neglect it and take poor care of it, in His mercy He renews it and rejuvenates not only the earth but the spirit within us when we see the beauty of it all. Glory to God for His merciful gifts!

Stay in the Fight

10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Look at the many great and mighty battles that God has brought His people through, and the miracles that He worked for them again and again, even after their many failures. There is no excuse for sin, but praise God! who has redeemed us through the blood of His Son Jesus and wants us to move past our failures into victorious living. We need to stop focusing on the failures of the 2015, or 1947. Whatever it is that has you living below the plateau that God has in mind for you. Satan knows if he can keep you looking back, you’ll never move forward.

Stop only for the Banquets

25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Celebrate the goodness and mercy of God by stopping to reflect on what He’s done. Take some time out of your day to feast on His goodness and give Him glory but under no circumstances should you attend one of Satan’s pity parties!

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Where are the Accusers?

chick rock

“Woman where are those thine accusers?” – John 8:10b

Last night I was the woman standing in the midst… of five little girls. I say little, and yet not so little, they were young teens. Actually I was sitting, playing and teaching guitar. One of the girls had recently attended a revival where I had sung a song I had written called “When Misery Met Mercy,” and she asked me if I’d sing it for them. What an honor! And an opportunity. I began to tell them the story of the woman caught in adultery and they were amazed. They’d not heard that story, nor had they heard that adultery was wrong. I’m shocked at my own naivety sometimes. I grew up with the teaching of bible morals and I just assume that the rest of the world at least knows, even if they choose to ignore it. But the shock in the young girl’s voice was evidence clear in my mind that she really had no idea that adultery was a sin… and for a second I judged…

Not her but the world around her. And then this morning I ponder this thought, and I am convicted of my own rock throwing. It’s so easy to become that religious crowd. An honest to goodness rock throwing Pharisee is what I felt like.

In irony, the night I sang that song at the revival a man preached who was fighting his way back from addiction, which was almost as hard as fighting his way back from the judgement of rock throwing Pharisees. And that night I was angry at the church people who had thought they had the right to sit in the seat of God and tell a man who has fallen, but gotten up, that he has no right to stand for Jesus. Who were they to condemn a man Who God had said “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11b

Who am I?

Jesus said to the crowd that lingered behind, the ones who hadn’t picked up the stones, they were only spectators, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” And there I was a child of the living God, privileged to walk in the light of life and yet blinded to the world around me. I was a spectator. I didn’t throw the rock, but I sure didn’t feel as if I’d been defending that little girl either. I did not know her world, and yet every day I live in it.

I have no right to judge her world, especially if I’m not willing to go out into it. The religious crowd goes out into the world and drags the sins of the world before the church and says “We are better!” A child of God goes out into the world and says “I am you… the only difference is I’m forgiven.”

And then they share forgiveness.

No rock throwing for me today… just tears of compassion. Please continue to pray for our camp.

It’s not “if” I’m Guilty…

chick matthew 6So this morning I wake up to several prayer requests, a few burdens of my own, and the Lord speaking to my heart through His word and through His people to “keep it real Shari.” I’m such a faker! Upon the rare occasion that I have broken down and shared heartaches with a friend it’s gotten to the point of absolute despair, I just don’t do it… please do not follow my example, I assure you it’s a rough row to hoe in this season of planting. And it does sow seeds that require reaping.

I recently added a song to my repertoire of music by Aaron and Amanda Crabb titled “If I’m Guilty.” What a blessing this song has been in my life! It’s simply says, “If I’m guilty let me be guilty of too much mercy, if I’m gonna be wrong, let me be wrong for treating someone else right.” Those words need to be printed on a tee shirt, and inscribed on my brain every day. I need to pass a billboard sharing that thought and make it a part of my life’s passion. Because Jesus certainly did, except He was never guilty of anything.

If I wanted to keep it real this morning and tell you how many times a day I need the mercy of the Lord, you’d run out of time and I’d run out of breath. That song opens by saying, “It’s so easy to criticize when someone else fails, it’s so easy to see faults in them when we overlook ourselves.” How true is that? The plain and simple fact is we all need the grace of Jesus Christ, and we all should be sharing that same grace and mercy with the world.

That loud obnoxious person in your life that gets on your last nerve just may be needing someone to see that they need a little attention in a positive way. That stand offish teen that won’t give you the time of day, may need to know how close you’ll stand. That elderly person that has given their life to serving people, and doesn’t know how to be served, may require patience when learning to accept help. We all need stability in our lives when this world is so wishy washy and busy! People will stand for right, until it gets uncomfortable, and then it’s easier to walk away. We halfheartedly say we’ll lift each other up in prayer and then halfheartedly (if at all) pray about it. We say we’ll be there… but then “there” isn’t in our calendar.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you know I’m guilty.

At our ladies fellowship last night the Pastor’s wife gave a devotion on Matthew 6. She didn’t know it was some of my favorite verses. Verses that I’ve clung too day after day and year in and year out. It’s my last resort verses… The one’s that I turn too when I have failed to keep it real, and pretended that life was perfect, until it was not…

Matthew  6:25-34

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

In keeping it real, I have to remember that no matter how many times my “not so perfect” life falls apart, no matter how many times I let God down, right outside my window is a reminder that God has the world under control. The flowers still bloom, the birds lack nothing, and He love me so much that He gave His Son in my stead on the cross of Calvary. He’s certainly not going to let this world swallow me up as my fears tell my heart today.

Unpacking the warmth of mercy

chick mercy

PSALM 18 

1I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

I strummed across my guitar this morning and the words of Psalm 18:2 came to mind. I had been awakened by frustration this morning. Dreams that bothered me, sins recalled, failures always at hand to rehash and reminisce and cause defeat. Satan’s an early riser. But as I brewed the coffee and came into the living room I began to shake off what Satan had laid on my shoulders and though he’s still lurking about seeking to devour my day, I’m determined to get in the mindset of victory. I’m counting on mercy. I don’t deserve it, but I need it. And God is the only one who is worthy to provide it.

I Love Him so

So I love on Him this morning. I praise Him in song. There’s a line in a Claire Lynch bluegrass song that says. “At my last swallow of coffee I’ll just sit here in your presence for a while and let Your Spirit come and move all over me.” And so I did, except its likely not my last swallow of coffee, I’m just getting started. But I needed to tell the Lord that even though I fail Him, I love Him so. And I’m so thankful for that precious, precious Spirit that sits with me this morning.

My Rock

Never moving. Ever there beside me. The world may walk out on me, but from the day Christ walked into my heart He hasn’t move.

My Fortress

Nothing gets in unless He or I let it in. It’s me who has caused the breaches to need repaired as in the days of Nehemiah. I’ve allowed sin or doubt to break down the fortress that God has created for me. But praise God it’s repaired through repentance and dependence on what my God can do.

My Deliverer

Even from my dreams this day the Lord swooped in and removed me from those thoughts. Through His grace and mercy He stands ready to fight my battles and rescues me just as the Prince for which I dreamed of as a little girl. I knew He was real…

My God!

Oh to utter His name brings job into my soul because I know what it was like without Him. I remember what it was like to feel as if I didn’t belong anywhere. Even now I struggle with “belonging.” I need it, and He knows I need it and every time I get that feeling that I just don’t  fit anywhere in this world, my God come by and says, “that’s because you’re not of this world.” And my world is righted once more.

My Strength

I’m as weak as house cat on my own, but through my Lord I have the strength of a mighty lion. Roar!

My Trust

Is in Him alone.

My Buckler

Shielded from those fiery darts that Satan likes to hurl at me. I occasionally like to peek on the other side of the shield just to see what’s going on. That’s when I get into trouble. I don’t need to see what’s going on in the world, I need to focus on the world that God has given me.

My Horn of Salvation

O glory! Like the bull who makes his way through the streets of the city to fight the matador! But Christ never loses a battle and He will pound into the ground the enemy that comes against us. That is the Horn of my Salvation!

He is worthy, and I am safe.

There’s a lot packed into those three small verses. And through my unpacking of them this morning I know my day is covered. I hope that you were blessed by the Word of God… I hope that you praise Him for He is worthy and I hope that you are shielded in His watch care and salvation today.

((hugs)) from the Jesus Chick this morning!

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But Now… Watch how you EAT (Dieters beware)

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Job 4:5

But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

I have to wonder how many times in my life I’ve been as indifferent to people as Job’s “friend” Eliphaz was toward Job’s afflictions. Leading into his dissertation of demise he asks Job if its okay if they fellowship together (vs. 1) If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? Followed by, “It really doesn’t matter because I just can’t keep my mouth shut.” (vs 2) but who can withhold himself from speaking?

Lessons from someone else’s stupidity: (it doesn’t always have to be our own)

Eliphaz didn’t even wait to see of Job was up to a visit; in his arrogance he just plodded on believing that his presence and opinion were more important than this friend’s issues. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Eliphaz and Shari should be so wise; but he nor I will ever be found guilty of “overthinking” what we say. I do however hope that I have enough sense to glean a lesson from Eliphaz using the acronym E.A.T.

Do ENCOURAGE

Before you go to your friend… take your conversation to God.

I have a feeling if Eliphaz would have gone to God and said, “Lord, I’m just letting you know that I’m gonna go line Job out for You today. I have heard enough of his poor me story,” that God would have lined Elephaz out before he left. It’s not our job to “line anyone out” but we certainly take on that role sometimes. It may be our job to encourage or instruct, which Eliphaz acknowledged Job had done in his life when he said in verses 3 and 4 “Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

Don’t ASSUME

(Vs. 5) But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

Eliphaz assumed that it wasn’t nearly as bad as Job was making it out to be saying “it toucheth thee” as if were a light thing. Those happened to be the very words that Satan used in Job 1:11; 2:5. It was no small thing that Satan had done! He had taken Job’s family, covered his body with boils, destroyed his wealth and left him with a wife that told him to curse God and die, and through it all Job stays faithful. But even if it hadn’t been “that bad.” What if Job just had just lost his job, or lost one family member? Who are we to assume that we understand the issues of that person’s life? Those issues may be far greater than we ever imagined and not evident on the surface.

Nor can we assume that the issues of their life was brought upon them because they’re reaping what they sowed.

Eliphaz asked Job (vss. 6-7) Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?  Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Our ways are not God’s ways. – Isaiah 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Do TREAT them as if it were You

The reason for the acronym, tomorrow that may be on our plate.

But now… what how you eat!