Tuesday, October 19, 2010


"But the noble man makes noble plans,
and by noble deeds he stands." Isaiah 32:8 NIV

For some reason, this verse just stuck out to me. It also made me curious--what actually does 'noble" mean? Isaiah uses it three times in this passage so it must be an important word.

I looked it up and Noah Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language says this: 1. (superl.) Possessing eminence, elevation, dignity, etc.; above whatever is low, mean, degrading, or dishonorable; magnanimous; as, a noble nature or action; a noble heart.

So, now that we know what "noble" means, it makes the passage a lot more personal. Obtainable. We can now see that what the verse is saying is this--that when you are a noble person, you are above doing anything that is mean or degrading or dishonorable. That when you make plans, your plans are not for evil or to undermine anyone, but to elevate. And your deeds will NOT dishonor anyone else, yourself and most importantly, your God.

How can you become a noble person? By the glory and graciousness of your heavenly Father. Oh, you can think you are noble on your own right, but it's not a true nobility. Only through your Father in heaven can you be true nobility. It's only through the graciousness of your heavenly Father that you can be of noble birth--with a mind that can make noble plans and spirit that can do noble deeds.

In a world that settles for the easy way out--let's go for excellent--for nobility. It's not just for 12th century romance novels. It's a true way of life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Gift of Correction

"If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God,
I'd throw myself on the mercy of God.
After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts;
there's no end to his surprises.
He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth,
sends water to irrigate the fields.
He raises up the down-and-out,
gives firm footing to those sinking in grief.
He aborts the schemes of conniving crooks,
so that none of their plots come to term.
He catches the know-it-alls in their conspiracies—
all that intricate intrigue swept out with the trash!
Suddenly they're disoriented, plunged into darkness;
they can't see to put one foot in front of the other.
But the downtrodden are saved by God,
saved from the murderous plots, saved from the iron fist.
And so the poor continue to hope,
while injustice is bound and gagged." Job 5:8-11 (The Message)

When Job was going through all of his trials, three of his friends came from afar to comfort him. One of these friends was Eliphaz, the Temanite. He is the one that was counseling Job with the above passage.

When the three friends first arrived to where Job was, they couldn't believe their eyes. They barely recognized their friend. Job had changed dramatically since they had last seen him. For this was after Job had experienced his second test. In the first, he had lost all of his camels, servants and children. The second test was terrible sores that were open and oozing--they covered him from his head to the soles of his feet. Job had to take a broken piece of pottery and use it like a knife to scrape off the sores. And this is how his friends found him.

These three friends were torn apart with sadness. It says that they tore their clothing, weeping and wailing. And then just sat in the dirt, next to him, not saying anything.

At times, when we are with someone that is hurting, or sad, or searching, the best gift to give them is your presence and silence. Sometimes we talk too much. We try to help ease by giving advice or saying comforting words--because we care and even though the intent is honorable, the timing could be wrong.

When Eliphar does start speaking, it's coming from his heart because he loves his friend Job--while the advice is sound--for the timing, it is incorrect. Eliphar is thinking that his friend Job has been bad and has made God angry so what he is going through is "payback". God doesn't do "payback". God will--if the need arises--correct us if we have strayed, but it is never "payback."

The above passage celebrates the blessedness of a man that is being corrected by his God. Because in the end, the healing of the correction is worth the temporary pain of the lesson learned.

Because, if you truly read the above passage--line by line--and meditate on the message, what powerful comfort it will bring.

It brings to mind that our God is an awesome God, full of compassion and strength. He doesn't do anything out of spite or ugliness--but always with our best interest in mind.

Praise Him today for being the Father that cares enough to correct when we need correction, and compassionate enough to hurt with us as we are going through it and rejoices with us when we are on the other side! You are truly loved!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


"In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk--better yet, run!--on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline--not fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You are all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift." Ephesians 4:1-7 The Message

I love how The Message puts this--"I want you to get out there and walk--better yet, run! on the road God called you to travel." Doesn't that just charge you up!? God hates mediocrity. He would rather you be hot or cold, but not lukewarm. He wants our all--not our half-heartedness.

This verse also brings home the importance of fence-mending. When there is brokenness in a relationship, that's when Satan can get in and truly mess up a great thing. Think of all the churches that have disbanded. Think of the marriages and families that have gone awry because of brokenness, of unmended fences.

At times, it takes great love and strength to mend broken fences. But to have your spirit be healthy, you need to have the strength, discernment and grace of God to do so. There is God's timing on fence mending, but usually the rule is, the sooner the better. The longer the fence is broken, the more that gets out--sometimes the harder it is to fix because pride and self-righteousness can set in.

Because you know, we need each other. God designed it that way. He designed us to be our own unique person, with our own unique gift. And we need each other's gift to be a complete, whole body of believers.

I don't know about you, but whenever I have been at odds with someone, I feel awful. It torments me. But as soon as the Lord brings the right time and the right words to mend the fence--what a sense of relief! Once we have made amends, the complete feelings come back into play and the world just seems right.

How about you? Do you need to make amends with someone? Do you need to put aside the fact that it doesn't matter who is wrong or right? The more important fact is that you need to be complete--to be whole.