Monday, January 2, 2017

The Good and the Bad

The pictures are from a family mini-vacation we took to the safari!

Friday nights are Bible Study nights here.  I make dinner for those that come, banish the kiddos to play upstairs, and then we continue our trek through the book of Proverbs.  While reading through Proverbs 15, verse 3 caught my eye,

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good."

This is followed by verse 8 where "the prayer of the upright is His delight" and verse 9 where "He loves the one who pursues righteousness" and verse 29 where God "hears the prayer of the righteous".  I am reminded of a truth I often overlook.

I often forget that God sees the good.  My upbringing and mindset has established that God sees and will punish the evil.  It is easy to accept for me.  I do good things because I'm supposed to, and if I sin there will be negative consequences. Simple.

However, God sees more than the bad.  He also sees the good.  So, when I choose kindness and a soft voice with my kids even though I am upset, He sees that.  He sees the little things I do to help a less fortunate person, or to show love to the orphan, or the consistency to prepare a comfortable home for my family, or the smile I give a stranger even though I don't feel cheerful.  He sees the good choices, the good thoughts, the little actions that I don't have to do.  And, He is pleased with them.  He delights in my communication with Him from a clean heart.

This past Sunday was Christmas.  Our own church services were rescheduled, so while my family was sick, I went to a different local church to enjoy worship with other (complete stranger) believers.  At then end of the service, the pastor served communion.  He encouraged us to cleanse our hearts before God, and then enjoy God's favor as we remembered Christ's death and obediently participated in the ordinance.  It struck me again, how the Lord's Supper was more than something to do "because I was supposed to" but this obedience made God happy with me.  It seems like an overly-simple concept that I have been completely missing.

So, happy New Year to you all.  Walk with God.  Do justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly.  And, remember that your obedience has the ability to please God!