Whining or Worship?

“Whining is the opposite of Worship. Complaining opposite of praising. Worship is giving God glory for who He is and what He has done. Whining ignores what He has done.
Numbers 14:11, ‘How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?’ They were whining while they were wandering.
We were slaves to sin – but God rescued us- He Delivered us – He saved us. What is there to whine about?
Some of you are in a period of wandering, of waiting. The question is how will you live – Will you whine and complain or will you worship?” ~ Kyle Idleman

Man, that’s good stuff!

Love > Bitterness, Resentment + Revenge [Z-Verse: 1 Samuel 9:11]

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:13

If you want an amazing case study in LOVE beating out bitterness and resentment check out 1 Samuel 9. These twelve verses tell a remarkable story of choosing love and kindness over hate and revenge.

King David was thinking about his friend Jonathan one day, and likely re-living some of the pain Jonathan’s father, King Saul, had caused him. Saul spent years trying to hunt David down, desperately wanting to kill him.

So, David asks one of his men if King Saul has any living relatives. They track down the last of his descendants, a grandson named Mephibosheth, who was actually disabled (lame in both legs.)

The king’s men find Mephibosheth and haul him in to the court at David’s request.

You know this guy had to be FREAKING OUT. He had, no doubt, heard the stories over the years. He knew what his grandfather had done to David. It was pretty obvious what David’s intentions were here, he’d use his power and absolute authority to finally exact his revenge, right?

Instead, David turns to the guy and says, “Everything that once belonged to Saul is now YOURS!” David invites him to move into the palace and offers him a seat at his table. David even assigned about 30-35 people to take care of him.

Verse 11 says, “And from that time on, Mephibosheth, ate regularly at David’s table, just like one of his own sons.”

David could’ve easily chosen a different course of action. From a human standpoint, he had every reason to take out his hurts and anger on this man. Remarkably, he chose to show love, kindness and generosity instead.

Sounds like someone else I know…

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. ~ Romans 5:8

How incredible!

Restoration begins when we give up our right to be bitter and choose to stop punishing those who’ve hurt us and start loving them. (Even if they don’t respond in kind.)

It’s not always easier to love, but it’s always better.

SOTD: “Remain” – Royal Tailor

Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

The sky could fall
The ground could shake
The stars burn out
And seasons change
The time will pass
And beauty fade
But all my love will remain

Self Delusion

That person we don’t like–we still better love.

Do we give lip service to God’s command to love each other? Do we rationalize and give ourselves a pass, thinking, “God’ll understand.”

Do we justify how we feel based on what THEY’VE done.

As John Piper has noted, when we stand before Christ, He won’t even allow us one second to spend talking about what others did, it will be our actions (or reactions) that we’ll have to give account for.

Over and over again, God tells us to love each other. He singles out the people who don’t love us, those who are actively working to take us down (our enemies) and even those who actually persecute us as people we need to love.

He says that if we say we love God and hate our brother we’re liars.

Jesus said that next to loving God with all we’ve got, the greatest commandment is loving our neighbor as ourselves. That means putting their needs on par with (or above) our wants.

1 John 3:16 says, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

That doesn’t just mean being willing to risk our lives for others, as many of us may think. We need to give up our pursuit of US and live a life that truly serves and benefits others. We’re no longer living for our comfort, or what Pastor Sean Sears calls, ‘padding our own nest,’ or what tobymac referred to as, “building my kingdom,” but for God’s glory and the good of others.

1 John 3 continues, “18 Dear children, let’s not merely SAY that we love each other; let us SHOW the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.”

I think sometimes we convince ourselves that these things don’t really apply to us. We think something like, “God doesn’t expect me to love him.” That’s the enemy, who’s warring against our minds. We know he’s actively pursuing our destruction and we forget that hate and bitterness generally does the trick.

We’d be well served to remember that doing things God’s way isn’t simply a point of obedience just for the sake of obeying, although that’s important, but following His way is also what’s best for us.

Lets not kid ourselves. If we’re not loving others, in the way God describes, we’re not following God.

Luke 6:32
New International Version (NIV)
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”

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