Acceptable And Pleasing

…acceptable to the Lord … an aroma pleasing to the Lord… (Leviticus 1:3, 9). 

Whether it’s a sacrifice or a lifestyle, these two phrases sum up the goal of obeying all of God’s directives: acceptable and pleasing. 

“But,” you might say, “there is a lot of law to obey—a lot! 

And I would agree with you. Beginning with the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and going all the way through Numbers 9, there are 56(!) chapters of regulations.

“And I’m supposed to follow all of those?!” 

Yes! Every single one of them. And not just those, but also the innumerable man-made rules that were added on top of all of those laws. 

In the opening words of Leviticus, two key words emerge:

  • Acceptable to the Lord 
  • An aroma pleasing to the Lord

“How can I ever get there?” 

YOU can’t! 

For EVERYONE has sinned; we ALL fall short of God’s righteous standard (Romans 3:23 NLT). 

For NO PERSON will be justified—made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable—in God’s sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law… (Romans 3:20 AMP). 

But here is our hope—Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing the heavenly places in Christ…to the praise and of the glory of His grace, by which HE MADE US ACCEPTABLE in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3, 6 NKJV). 

And when we are in Christ, we also become an aroma pleasing to God—Our lives are a Christ-like FRAGRANCE rising up to God (2 Corinthians 2:14-17 NLT). 

On our own, we cannot accomplish any of this. But in Christ we are both ACCEPTABLE to the Lord … and an aroma PLEASING to the Lord…. 

11 Quotes From “Absolute Surrender”

absolute-surrenderThis book is a challenging book for any Christian to read. Check out my review by clicking here, and then check out a few quotes that especially caught my heart.

“I have a pen in my pocket, and that pen is absolutely surrendered to the one work of writing, and that pen must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write properly with it. If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. … Can God work His work, every day and every hour, unless you are entirely given up to Him? God cannot.”

“How much Christian work is being done in the spirit of the flesh and in the power of self! How much work, day by day, in which human energy—our will and our thoughts about the work—is continually manifested, and in which there is but little of waiting upon God, and upon the power of the Holy Ghost!”

“One of the great causes why God cannot bless His Church is the want of love. … It is only when God’s people stand as one body, one before God in the fellowship of love, one toward another in deep affection, one before the world in a love that the world can see—it is only then that they will have power to secure the blessing which they ask of God.”

“A great many of us try hard at times to love. We try to force ourselves to love, and I do not say that is wrong; it is better than nothing. But the end of it is always very sad. ‘I fail continually,’ such a one must confess. And what is the reason? The reason is simply this: Because they have never learned to believe and accept the truth that the Holy Spirit can pour God’s love into their heart.”

“You can deceive yourself with beautiful thoughts about loving God. You must prove your love to God by your love to your brother; that is the one standard by which God will judge your love to Him. If the love of God is in your heart you will love your brother.”

“God has a plan for His Church upon earth. But alas! we too often make our plan, and we think that we know what ought to be done. We ask God first to bless our feeble efforts, instead of absolutely refusing to go unless God go before us. God has planned for the work and the extension of His kingdom.”

“God can only reveal His will to a heart that is humble and tender and empty. God can only reveal His will in perplexities and special difficulties to a heart that has learned to obey and honor Him loyally in little things and in daily life.” 

“May God forgive me that I have allowed self and the flesh and the will actually to have the place that God wanted the Holy Ghost to have.”

“The cause of the weakness of your Christian life is that you want to work it out partly, and to let God help you. And that cannot be. You must come to be utterly helpless, to let God work, and God will work gloriously. … All God’s servants in the Old Testament counted upon the omnipotence of God doing impossibilities. And this God lives today, and this God is the God of every child of His. And yet we are some of us wanting God to give us a little help while we do our best, instead of coming to understand what God wants, and to say: ‘I can do nothing. God must and will do all.’”

“Ah, the great question for us to ask of God in self-examination is that we may be shown whether our religious life is lived more in the power of the flesh than in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“Ah, yes; you failed because you do not accept the strength of God. God alone can work out His will in you. You cannot work out God’s will, but His Holy Spirit can; and until the Church, until believers grasp this, and cease trying to by human effort to do God’s will, and wait upon the Holy Spirit to come with all His omnipotent and enabling power, the Church will never be what God wants her to be, and what God is willing to make of her.”

I will be sharing more quotes from this book soon. To be notified immediately when these quotes are posted, fill in your email address in the field to the right and click “Sign me up!” Also be sure to follow me on Tumblr and Twitter for great quotes I share every day.

Are You A Thief?

Don't Be A ThiefThere are different kinds of thieves. There’s the one that acknowledges, “I’m a thief. I take things that don’t belong to me. I use cunning and skill, and force if I need to.” Then there’s the one who steals quietly without ever realizing he’s stealing.

In the Ten Commandments when God says, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15), guess what type of thief He’s talking about? It’s not the brazen, bold thief, but the one who may not even realize he’s stealing.

The Hebrew word for steal means move by stealth, take something secretly, or deceive someone. How can we steal?

All of these are subtle, stealthy, secretive ways of robbing someone of time, ideas, value, interest, credit, or even actual possessions!

So here are 4 ways to avoid becoming an thief:

  1. Learn to be content with what you have—Philippians 4:12-13.
  2. Don’t let worry rule your life—Matthew 6:25-34.
  3. Work hard for your employer or employees—Ephesians 6:5-9.
  4. If you have stolen, make full restitution as quickly as possible—Luke 19:8.

Every one of the Ten Commandments are broken in our hearts long before they are worked out in our bodies. So listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you to make sure you are not a sneaky thief!

If you are in the Cedar Springs area, I’d love for you to join me next Sunday as we continue this series called The Love In The Law.

15 Tips To Give Healthy Praise To Our Kids

12 Huge MistakesOne of the parental mistakes Tim Elmore highlights in his newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid is praising the wrong things. He writes—

“We live in a world of hyperbole. We think we must exaggerate to be heard. So we use words like awesome or excellent when our kids have done merely what is expected of them. We offer huge praise for minimal effort. As our children grow older, matching the affirmation with the effort becomes especially important. Not too little, but not too much. This is how trust is built, and it’s why kids continue to listen to their parents during teen years.” 

Dr. Elmore is not saying that we shouldn’t praise our kids, but that we should do it more intelligently, by making sure we are praising the right things. He offers this list for healthy, profitable praise for kids:

  1. Praise them for effort, not for their intelligence or beauty. 
  2. Reward character virtues (such as honesty) more than performance. 
  3. Teach them to enjoy the process as much as the product. 
  4. Make sure the size and content of your praise matches their effort. 
  5. Be sure your affirmation is sincere, thoughtful, and genuine. 
  6. Empower them by helping them own a personal set of values to live by. 
  7. Identify and affirm unique features that differentiate your kids. 
  8. Provide experiences for them to discover and build their primary strengths. 
  9. Furnish a platform for them to serve others using their strengths and gifts. 
  10. Tell them you enjoy watching them perform regardless of the outcome. 
  11. The younger they are, the more immediate your feedback for them must be. 
  12. Equip them to take risks and learned that failure is okay as long as they tried. 
  13. Build a secure home for them but one that does not revolve around them. 
  14. When in doubt, always praise what is in their control. 
  15. Clarify your unconditional love for them regardless of their performance.

If you would like to read my full book review of 12 Huge Mistakes, click here.

To read some other quotes I shared from this book, click here.

%d bloggers like this: