Favor in the Eyes of God

Seek God_See God_Small

We’ve been talking about seeking and seeing God, but what does God see when he looks at you? What did God think when he looked at Noah? Genesis 6:18 says the he found favor in the eyes of God.

What are you doing to be honorable in the sight of God and man? 2 Corinthians 8:21 says “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” What are you doing to be honorable in God’s house? What about your house and the world around you? What does Proverbs 3:4 say? “Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” Isn’t that a great goal? To win favor AND a good name in the sight of God and man. Why is it important to have a good name with God and man? Do you think that takes a lot of work? What kind of work does it require?

When God appeared to Abraham as the three men, Abraham said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.” (Genesis 18:3) Please, God, do not pass me by was Abraham’s urgent plea. Psalm 77:7 shows an entirely different scenario: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?” What a terrifying thought! For God to never show his favor again on us!

Let’s look at a few more verses about eyes. Use your Bible to look up the verses and answer the questions.

  • Nehemiah 5:19: What does Nehemiah ask of God?
  • I Peter 3:12: Who are the eyes of the Lord on?
  • Proverbs 15:3: Where are the eyes of the Lord? Who is He watching?

Eyes of the Lord.jpgWhat have you done to win favor with God and man in your lifetime? What are you doing daily? What do you do daily to help you stay focused on what God’s will for you is?

Feel free to share in the comment box below any words that can encourage each of us. (Comments will be reviewed before published.)

Eyes That Seek God

We ended our last conversation with the phrase, Seek God, See God. Our focus was on seeking God and God’s face. Let’s shift now to our faces and begin by looking at our eyes. I read a description of the eye that said it is the origin of sight. What kind of eye sight do you have? Jesus tells us that “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. (Matthew 6:22,23)

Are your eyes healthy? What do they see? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? (Mark 8:18) I John 2:16 warns us that: For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. What are we looking at and what are we taking the time to truly see?

What should our eyes be seeing? What should we be looking at? We need to open our eyes and see the beauty in the world around us. We should look for the needs of those around us and how we can improve and enrich their lives. We should be looking for those we can share God’s love with.

Eyes that seek God, we will see God.

Challenge: Read Luke 6:42 and then check your eyesight this week. What are you focusing on? God? Studying God’s Word? Your family? Your neighbors and co-workers? Yourself?

Seeking His Face

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us.  Psalm 67:1 (NIV)

I love the way the sunshine feels on my face when I close my eyes and can  feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. How much more glorious will it be to feel God’s face shine on us? In I Chronicle 16:11, David says to “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” ALWAYS!

Read Jeremiah 29:13 with me:  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. How do we seek God? With all of our heart. 100%.

Notice the words the are underlined: seek, find, heart, and all. How important those words are. Let’s focus on seek today and jump forward to the New Testament.

What does Matthew 6:33 say? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.

What does the theme around these verses seem to be? Seeking God and His kingdom. How do we seek God? With 100% of your heart.

Let’s add another verse to this discussion:  Psalm 11:7 tells us the “For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. What that says to me is that to see God, I must seek God.

Remember Matthew 5:8? Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

 

My challenge for you is to take time to find and read references to God’s face. My next post will be talking about eyes, if you want to find those verses in God’s Scriptures. 🙂

 

Reflecting on the Scriptures: Peace

Our word for Strengthen through the Scriptures is ‘peace.’ How do you define ‘peace?’ Harmony? Free from chaos? Lack of disagreement? Do you feel at peace right now – this very minute? How do you find peace in times of chaos or discomfort? Be honest. Don’t give the answer that you think you should.

Romans 8:28 is a verse that I keep in my heart. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I can keep those words in my heart and understand them in my head, but sometimes that means I have to wait for God’s plan. The Bible tells us to be courageous and wait. I must admit when I am waiting, the feeling of peace is NOT within me! Then I have to remember John 16:33.  Jesus said, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Let’s start the week with a look at Peace in the Proverbs.

 Proverbs 3:1-2
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

 Proverbs 3:17
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.

Did you notice the ALL in that verse? ALL of her paths are peace!

Proverbs 12:20
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.

Do you promote peace? Is promoting a high priority for you? There are so many that live for drama in their lives and sharing it with others. We should always aim to promote peace in our lives and the lives of others.

Proverbs 14:30
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Proverbs 17:1
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

Have you ever had a meal with family or friends that was full of contention and strife? How did you feel during the meal…and after?

Proverbs 29:17
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.

This verse hits at home and goes back to God’s plan of giving instruction to our children. Is your life as a parent always going to be peaceful? Of course not. However, with teaching and disciplining your children will be more like to bring peace to you rather than turmoil.

Our challenge this week is simple and straight-forward. Look for peace in your life. Share with others how you found that peace and how they can find it also. Our memory verse this week can help us meet this challenge.

John16_33_Peace MV

Have a wonderfully, peace-filled week.

Kim_Oval

Wrapping Up: Kindness

We have focused on two words this week: kindness and love. In the Old Testament, 2 Samuel 9:3 states: The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.” What inspired this act of kindness toward Jonathan? Love was the inspiration. This makes me think of the phrase ‘loving kindness.’

In Luke 6:35, Jesus taught:  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Love your enemies? Do good for your enemies? Lend to your enemies? Don’t expect anything in return from your enemies? Do all of those things seem easy to do? What is our reward to reaching outside of our comfort zone and doing them? A great reward and being children of the Most High BECAUSE God is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. In the next verse we read: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36). God is our example to be merciful and kind to everyone – family, friends, and enemies!

To help review the Scriptures that we have read this week, you can download, print, or find key words on the Kindness word search. Click here:  Kindness Word Search.

Have a blessed weekend. See you on Monday for our next Strength from the Scriptures study.

Kim_Oval

Strength from the Scriptures: Kindness

Happy Wednesday to All!

Remember that our discussion today is on the different kinds of kindness. Let’s begin by looking at Acts 20:35: In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” The use of ‘kind’ in the sentence is not the same definition that we used earlier. Here it means a type or variety of hard work. However, let at the ‘kind of hard work’ discussed: help the weak which is a blessing of being able to give to other. Isn’t that an example of kindness?

Can you show kindness to strangers? How can you show kindness to strangers? In Leviticus 19:34, we read: The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Isn’t this the same message that we discussed earlier – love your neighbor as yourself? Now, we are told to love those residing among us – strangers. Let’s flip over to the New Testament where Jesus shares: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in… (Matthew 25:35)  Which is easier to show kindness toward – a stranger or a friend or family member? Why do you think this is?

Next, let’s move to the book of Galatians to see an example of a kindness that helps to bear the hardships and difficulties those around us may be experiencing. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 

  • How do we restore the person caught in sin?
  • Why should we watch ourselves?
  • What happens when we carry each other’s burdens? (Have you ever thought about this in the reverse? You should be willing to share your burdens with also, shouldn’t you?)

Galatians 6:10 continues by telling us that as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Opportunity. Do good. All people.

Look around and discover how you can extend simple kindness to someone today and every day this week. Maybe they are carrying a burden, big or small, that you can help lighten with an act of kindness. Look for those opportunities where you can show kindness to those around you – to ALL people.

Keep working on our memory passage. It’s longer this week but the message is so important to each of us. Some of you may already have these verses written on your heart. That should be the goal for all of us.

Praying for each you.

Kim_Oval

Reflecting on the Scriptures: Kindness

Hello Friends!

How many of you have been invited to play the game where you take the first letter of your name and find an adjective that starts with that letter AND describes you? Is there a certain adjective that you always use? How does it describe you? My name begins with a ‘K.’ What do you include for a ‘K?’ I usually add the word, ‘kind.’ How would you define the word ‘kind ‘to’ someone? Friendly? Benevolent? Nice?

When a group of young children are playing together, what phrase is often said? ‘Be nice.’ Be nice to your…friends…brother…sister…cousins…the list goes on and on. What is expected of those children to ‘be nice’ to the other children? Do you ever look at those in the world around you and wonder what it would be like if everyone treated everyone nicely? What would the world look like if we were ALL nice to EVERYONE?

What did Jesus answer in Mark 12:29-31 when asked what the greatest commandment was?  “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Think about that: loving your neighbor as yourself. Think about the people in your close circle of family and friends and those that you worship with and what about the leaders in both business and government. Can you imagine what the world would be like if EVERYONE loved God will ALL of their hearts, souls, minds, and strengths? What if EVERYONE loved their neighbors as themselves?

Mistrust, envy, and hatred of others is nothing new. As Solomon shared – they is nothing new under the sun. But do we just use that as an excuse and dismiss the unkind actions of those around us – or even our own unkind actions?

Our memory passage for this week is: 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12_30_3131 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12: 30-31. This passage is also our challenge for the week. Stop often and reflect on your own thoughts and actions. Are you demonstrating that you love God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Not just one or two of these but all four! Secondly, when you are reflecting, ask yourself how you are showing love to your neighbor each day.

Come back on Wednesday to discuss the different types of kindness that are taught in the Scriptures.

Kim_Oval