Favor in All

Nehemiah 2:5   (KJV)   5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

For Nehemiah, the king’s pleasure mattered; him being pleasing to the king mattered; and the city of his fathers mattered.

8x10 LandscapeGod is concerned most about our eternal destiny, investments, and existence. And that’s absolutely appropriate because heavenly things are incalculably more valuable than any temporal matter. But the wonderful thing about our Lord is that His love and concern for us covers every area of our lives. He’s concerned about our attitudes not just toward Him but toward other people. He’s concerned about our relationship with others. He’s concerned about our heart of worship, our way of worship, and also our places of worship—including the bricks and concrete parts of it.

Our loving God and Father, you’ve created us; You have given us everything for life and godliness; You’ve given us everything for our enjoyment. We appreciate all of them. Help us Lord not to get our priorities wrongly. We set You far and high apart from everything else as our Lord and King Who sits on the throne of our hearts. We pray that we won’t be lured into having anything else ever coming close to occupying that position.

We also pray that we will appreciate and enjoy all your other blessings although they’re not as important as the Blesser and eternal things. You’ve given us loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, our church family, our church building, our houses, cars, clothes, food and drink. Thank You for all of them. To us, they are expressions of who You are—your generosity, and Your love.

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Unshakable Kingdom

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Heaven and earth will pass away; everything that can be shaken will be shaken, but the Kingdom of God will remain. We’ve received and will continue receiving from our precious Lord gifts and blessings that really matter. We are deeply grateful to Him and we continue to live a life of worship, a life that honors and pleases Him. This is our highest expression of praise and thanksgiving, our most appropriate response to an unconditionally loving and all-powerful God and Father, and our surest step  in preparing for and welcoming His unshakable Kingdom.

We’re surrounded by so many faithful forebearers who lived with their sights focused on our heavenly home. We do that. We prefer a home not made by human hands; we choose treasures that won’t get rusted, corrupted, or stolen. We don’t stagnate, give up, or turn back; instead, we press on towards God’s high calling–an eternal existence with our beloved God and Father.

We let go of anything and everything that may get us sidetracked, weighted down, sidelined, or disqualified. We set our eyes in the King of the Kingdom. He has shown us how. Despite pain, suffering, and shame, He completed His mission; we will too. If we need to be disciplined, constricted, corrected, we’re willing–anything for God. We’ve received the best; why trade for less?