Steadfast Love

Proverbs 19:22

What is desired in a man is steadfast love…

Hosea 6:6

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

In hindsight, I was a very difficult child. I probably caused most of the family difficulties in my parent’s household. I was rebellious, strong willed, and hated our family culture. Yet, deep down inside, I knew both parents loved me in their own way no matter how stupidly I acted.

Currently, after almost forty years of marriage to the same woman, I know she still loves me. Though throughout the years we had our share of heated arguments, strong differences in parental tactics, and sharp changes in personal preferences in food, clothing, and lifestyle, we still confirm our love for each other and enjoy sharing life together.       

Then God, while I was still in total rebellion against Him, forgave me for disrespecting Him and His ways before I even came to know Him. Since then, through the knowledge of Jesus Christ, I have come to grow in His grace. He is now my standard of measurement of the steadfast love we are to display and share with others.

To know someone loves you unconditionally opens the door of acceptance. You learn to fully accept yourself as you are and yet are motivated to live up to your full potential as a person. You gladly change your attitude, behavior, and thinking so you may fully enjoy living with the person who steadfastly loves you. You enjoy their companionship. You look forward to sharing your life with them and they share their life with you. And with the Triune God there is no difference.

God longs to share His life with you. His desire is to create a human/divine family that includes you and me. Like any healthy family, the parent wants to be involved in their children activities. God likewise wants to be involved in your activities. As you share your life with Him, you will discover more of who HE is. As you gain knowledge of His character, attributes, and ways, you will inculcate them into your life. You will become an image of your Father in heaven. You will then better understand how the apostle Paul wrote that we are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Everything good begins with love. When love is allowed to bloom, we begin to experience the entire fruit of God’s Spirit. The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control become the bedrock of one’s attitude in life. Love also leads the way for faith and hope to follow. When apostle John writes that God is Love, than one better understands the importance of allowing God to fully live in us.

HE is the essence of all creation. HE created life, the planet, and universe so that HE may express HIS love. When we rebel against HIS love, we find ourselves living life outside HIS Character. The result is sin which devastates oneself and those around you. When immature, we rebel thinking this type of life is normal. We wallow in our misery and call the dark side of life normal. When love is removed, the ugliness of human nature runs rampant. The result is self-destruction and eventually the destruction of a society.

There is nothing more highly elevated than immovable love, firmly fixed in place, and non-changing for one to totally grasp the power and character of God. His steadfast love is our standard to pursue. Even when we fail, his grace will pick us up, and we will continue the journey to become more and more like our elderly brother Jesus Christ.

Is not this what makes being a Christ-follower the most adventurous trip one can choose in this life?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

Available for Your Devotional Study: 

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Copyright 2013-Present | Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Character Faults

Psalm 19:12-14 (ESV)

Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer.

Yep, I’m not perfect. Always knew. But today, I realize how far from perfect I truly am.

When you compare yourself with others, you may consider yourself better than the average person. When you compare yourself today with the you of yesterday, you may also consider yourself a better person. But when you compare yourself with Life’s reference point, Jesus Christ, you walk away realizing how far short you are to true maturity.

King David penned the 19th Psalm while meditating upon the vastness of the heavens above. When one compares oneself with the Master Designer of creation, one realizes how tiny and insignificant one truly is in comparison.

David in addition to comparing himself with the created order also compared the beauty and significance of God’s moral order with his ability to live up to the standard of God’s character. The insight makes him respond with the above passage in a repentive and earnest heart for those hidden faults which we are not even aware but realize they are there.

Yes, today, like David, I saw something in my character for the first time. When I told my wife, she laughed. She recognized the same weakness in me over thirty years ago. I just came to the realization today.

One wonders what else will we discover about ourselves going forward that God already knows. And yes, HE still loves us weakness and all. HE not only loves us, but like David’s last line of Psalm 19, HE is our ROCK we stand on and HE is our REDEEMER who saves us. This is our reassurance that in weakness and failure HE is always there for us.

Like I have said so often, life is a learning process preparing you and I for eternity. Each day we discover our need for Jesus Christ, HIS spirit, and HIS domain. As the Holy Spirit works in us transforming our attributes into HIS Godly character, the old man continues to die as the new man becomes more alive. The process isn’t for the fainthearted. But neither are the rewards of walking with HIM.

So, when we gather together in an assembly to praise HIM and thank HIM and glorify HIM, you can add this one to the list.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Copyright 2013-Present | Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Culture Trap

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Today’s culture is more influential than ever before. The power of the media, internet, and technology has multiplied the number of influences in our lives. One hundred years ago, children were raised by parents, grandparents, and their siblings. The negative influences were more easily pushed away and hidden from children. As the child grew, they were slowly exposed to the vices that captured a person’s soul.

Now children are bombarded with the same temptations as the adults but without the defensive capacity to manage. If adults have very little strength to push back on the negative advertisements of culture, what can we expect from our children?

Today’s culture is the elephant in the room. We walk, talk, and move about marveling and taking for granted the accomplishments of industry, business, medicine, and education. Yet, at the same time we realize there is a swaying pressure so slightly pulling us toward a way of life which looks glamorous on the outside yet we know deep inside us the emptiness will never be satisfied by the glittering promises of these false prophets.

The cultural machine never stops, slows down, nor rests. Every minute, the machine is bombarding everyone within its sight with an influential message which is design to trap oneself within its grip. If you believe the culture is your friend and wants what is best for you, you have been deceived into its trap of enslavement. Thinking you are free; you have become a prisoner of others manipulating you for their personal gain; an unknowing pawn in someone else’s game board.

Yet as parents and young adults knowing better but struggling to fine oneself through this maze of visual stimulation, vocal noise, and an overwhelming burden of constant choices, where does one go for real, solid answers?

The Bible, a collection of short stories, biographies, letters, and essays written over a 3,500-year period by various authors with a transparent collected theme from beginning to end contains more lessons of human success and failures for the student to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of how life works.

When one begins to read and learn more about God’s character between the pages, the solid values HE emphasizes for relationships, finance, business, government, etc., and the timeless wisdom repeatedly proven through faithful actions throughout history in many lives, maybe there is something our children and young adults can learn to help them lead a more abundant life than the world’s culture offers?

Yet the best advertisement is a walking billboard of what is in the Bible. Sadly, there are not many highly visible people that our children witness as role models. Maybe each of us needs to form a committee of one and become that person.

One man many years ago, when he intentionally decided he needed a mentor to help steer him through the cultural traps, he wanted the best available person. His choice? Jesus Christ.

In hindsight, one of his best decisions. How about you?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved