Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

God Loves the World January 4, 2019

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:17 pm
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Sometimes I don’t like the world, if I’m being honest. I get so frustrated with all the things that are wrong. I’ve especially been struggling this year with keeping a positive attitude and loving people.

Just being real here.

One day as I stood in my classroom waiting for my students to come I overheard student’s using Jesus’ name over and over. Not the first time. This seems to be more of a “thing” now. I have even heard middle schoolers do it. Let’s just say they aren’t praying or praising Him.

My heart breaks because these kids don’t know the power of Jesus name, what it really means. To them it’s a substitute for a swear word. I was even in Christian book store and my daughter told me later that a costumer got frustrated with an employee and whispered “Jesus” under her breath. Again, it didn’t sound like a prayer or a praise.

Anyway, back to my classroom (where I have also had a student tell me she is now transgender and I need to start calling her by her male name, yet she wears a skirt and full on make-up two weeks later…hmmm). I stood there wondering what is wrong with the world and these kids and Jesus whispered in my heart the most basic of all verses, John 3:16.  “I love the world. I love them.”

We brush over that verse, don’t we, I do? It was the first verse I ever memorized, probably like most of you, and now it seems cliché. Yet, it’s anything but.

God SO loved the word. God loved the world and He still does. He loves those kids that throw around his Son’s name, He loves them even though they don’t know Him. He loves the girl who is confused about her gender.

The question then becomes will I love them? Will you love them? Will we look at them with different eyes?

Instead of being judgmental and disgusted we need to see them the way our Father sees them. We need to remember we were once there too.

God loves the world. I see the world as the people, not the things we/they do, but the souls. He loves their souls and wants to save them. The crazy part is He uses us to do that, to reveal His Son.

How are we doing?

Me?

Not so good. I will even isolate myself so I don’t have to deal with people. This isn’t what Jesus would do. Yes, He withdrew to be with His Father, but He didn’t hide and I can find myself doing that. Ugh.

My prayer:

God so loved the world that included a broken little girl named Melissa. This caused Melissa to so love the world that she laid aside her own desires and thoughts and simply love the world too.

Feel free to replace my name with yours and see if that stirs something up in you.

Make 2019 the year we remember how much God loves the world and may we lean into that love and learn to love the world better.

 

 

 

Shrug Therapy December 28, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:54 pm
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I have been listening to Joyce Meyer podcasts lately because she always talks about the struggle with the mind. This is where I struggle the most. I replay conversations in my head. I play what I will say when I have chance or what I should have said. Anyone else with me?

Then my gut begins to burn. I feel anxious. I can even start shaking. This is not good for your health.

Yesterday, as I was struggling with an issue and I was letting it steal my joy, Joyce said to practice shrug therapy. Seriously, in the middle of my stress she said this, I believe God timed that just right (He is a right on time God after all).

This is my new year’s goal.

What she’s saying is when things don’t go right, or how we want, or someone offends us, instead of getting all worked up, because deep down we know it won’t change a thing, we shrug it off, maybe even say, “Oh well,” or “It is what it is.”

I am not good at this but I want to be. Even this morning I was still stewing in my thoughts about this current situation that is eating away at me. But me thinking about it over and over will not change it, it will only change me and not in a good way. I will be moody and insecure.

I need to shrug it off. Oh well.

The other thing I did this morning was pray for the person who is causing me this strife. It’s hard to feel angry when God reveals the brokenness in someone else. This person doesn’t know their identity in Christ and is trying desperately to fight for it and I happen to be the one getting in the way. Maybe God ordained that because He knew I would eventually prayer for her. Wow. That is a whole new perspective and changes so much.

Anyone else interested in practicing some “shrug therapy” with me in 2019?

I also want to leave you with a verse that will by my verse for 2019. It’s ironic that God brought this verse to me several months ago and then today as I read the last page in Jesus Calling for Christmas it was the last verse in the book. I think God is trying to tell me something. Have a blessed and Happy New Year.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 NKJV

 

Desperate to Know His Commands August 31, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:33 pm
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I don’t think I posted last week but I will just do the four verses I read this week from Psalm 119:

25 I lie in the dust;
    revive me by your word.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
    Now teach me your decrees.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
    and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 I weep with sorrow;
    encourage me by your word.

A reoccurring theme in these verses is David’s desperate desire to know and understand God’s word, his commands, his decrees.

How did David get to the point of wanting to know them so badly? Sometimes I think it might be better if I don’t know, that way I don’t know if I screwed up. Just being real here.

But I know that is not what God desires. He wants an intimate relationship with us and the only for that to happen is to fully understand Him.

So I make these verses my prayer and know that God is faithful to answer.

 

A Desire For God’s Instructions August 18, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:59 pm
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rhand-mccoy-754715-unsplashI read my four verses last week, just forgot to post them. So we will cover eight verses today. Here they are:

Psalm 119:13-20

13 I have recited aloud
    all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
    as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
    and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
    and not forget your word.

17 Be good to your servant,
    that I may live and obey your word.
18 Open my eyes to see
    the wonderful truths in your instructions.
19 I am only a foreigner in the land.
    Don’t hide your commands from me!
20 I am always overwhelmed
    with a desire for your regulations.

Right from the start of verse 13 it is telling us something important. It is vital to speak scripture out loud. To make decrees and declaration over your life. Speaking the words out loud might feel odd at first but I believe there is power in that act and verse 13 makes that clear.

As I read these scriptures and write them down I speak them as well and I make them my prayer. This has been powerful.

The writer has such a hunger for God’s instructions, he wants to know God’s heart. He rejoices in God’s law as much as in riches.

One thing God has been showing me lately is to not read the Word to see how I fail (I think we Christians do that too often) but to see how I can grow. God doesn’t want me beating myself up as I read these Words, he wants me to see that I can have this same desire. To be overwhelmed with wanting to know His heart more. So we pray into that.

Father, I want to be overwhelmed with a desire for your instructions. Don’t hide your commands from me but open my eyes that I may see all You want to reveal to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

Prone to Wander August 4, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:39 pm
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We are continuing on our journey of Psalm 119.  Below is what I read this week.

Psalm 119:9-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
    teach me your decrees.

I could focus on each verse but I won’t. Instead verse 10 kept getting me.

How many times have I cried out to God and said, “Hey, I’m trying to find you and I am not seeing you and I feel like I am going to wander off the the path you have for me.”

Have you had that desperate moment? And honestly, sometimes they are truly desperate and I am screaming at Him. It’s a good thing He’s a big God.

I  have the words from Come Thou Fount in my head as I read that verse:

Prone to wander, Lord I feel, prone to leave the God I love.

What heart-felt words, and so true. Without God continually guiding us we are prone to wander from the path he has for us, prone to turn our backs on all we know is true.

How do we stay on the path?

These verses make it clear.

Hide His Word in our heart. Jesus is the Word, so we can look at this a couple of ways. Have Jesus in our hearts and have scripture in our hearts, at the ready.

My go to scripture when I feel like I could wander is: Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51)

Do you have a scripture hidden in your heart you go to when you feel you could be pulled into old habits or away from something you know God has called you to? I would love to hear your verses. Feel free to share!

 

Please Don’t Give Up July 27, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:56 pm
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Last week I started sharing Psalm 119 with you. We talked about being joyful and what that looks like. Click here if you want to revisit that post.

This week we are looking at Psalm 119:5-8

Psalm 119:5-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Oh, that my actions would consistently
    reflect your decrees!
Then I will not be ashamed
    when I compare my life with your commands.
As I learn your righteous regulations,
    I will thank you by living as I should!
I will obey your decrees.
    Please don’t give up on me!

For me the very first verse grabs me, “Oh, that my actions would CONSISTENTLY reflect your decrees!”

Consistently is a tough one. I like how the first verse is confessing to God that we want our actions to reflect his decrees.

When I think of decrees I think of rules. But I looked up the definition and there is a theological definition and it says:

One of the eternal purposes of God, by which events are foreordained. (Dictionary.com)

May my actions consistently reflect the eternal purposes of God.

Puts a different spin on it doesn’t it? I stirs something within my heart when I restate the verse like that.

And then these verses end with “I will obey your decrees (the eternal purposes of God). Please don’t give up on me!”

I love this heart cry at the end, “Please don’t give up on me!”

The psalmist knew he would screw up, stumble and fall but his heart’s desire is to obey the eternal purposes of God and he cries out “Don’t give up on me when I mess up.”

Also, notice verse six says we are to compare our lives with God’s commands. How many of us try to compare ourselves to other people? Yeah, we can look a lot better or worse compared to other people but we are to compare ourselves to God’s Word. Not to make us feel bad but to give us hope. God’s Word is life, a promise. If the Word says we can live according to God’s eternal purposes we can. Every day we move and grow in that direction.

My prayer every morning this week has been: Let my actions rconsistently reflect your decrees. Honestly, I have sucked at it but I am asking God: Please don’t give up on me.

Even when you stumble and fail remember God will not give up on you so don’t give up on Him and His Word.

 

Joyful are . . . July 20, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:30 pm
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I read something this week (I can’t remember what) that made me take a look at Psalm 119 and felt compelled to really study it. Each day I am looking at a new verse, writing it down and reflecting.

The beginning of this chapter talks about those who are joyful. Read below.

Psalm 119 NLV

Joyful are people of integrity,
    who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey his laws
    and search for him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil,
    and they walk only in his paths.
You have charged us
    to keep your commandments carefully.

So basically Joyful people are people with integrity, follow God instructions, obey his law, search for him with all your heart, don’t compromise with evil and walk in his paths.

Joy all boils down to following God. Hearing what he says and doing it.

Here is the crazy thing. Since I have been studying these verse I have been dealing with a lot of anger. I am getting angry and irritated very easily, mostly with my children. I’m not sure where this anger is coming from, it’s so no like me but I feel it rise up and I don’t know what to do with it. I have to leave the room before I say things I will later regret.

This tells me I am on to something the enemy doesn’t want me to figure out.

The enemy doesn’t want us to figure out the key to joy, but it’s right here in Psalm 119.

Yes, this all seems like a tall order, to follow what these verses say, but let’s not write it off because it seems hard. Let’s make it our goal, what we strive for, or even fight for when need be.

Let’s be people of integrity, who do the right thing even when no one else will see or hear us, let’s follow God’s instructions and seek him with all our hearts. Let’s not compromise with evil, even in our thoughts, which honestly is the most dangerous place to do so.

I hope you’ll embark with me on this journey into Psalm 119 and discover what God has for us.