Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

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. 

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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.

 

Give Me Faith March 30, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:50 am
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Happy Good Friday!

I don’t know about you but this year Easter rushed up on me and I don’t really feel mentally prepared, if that makes sense. My head space isn’t filled with thoughts of Good Friday or Easter. But I want to get there.

Part of the problem is I just came out of directing the high school musical and I have been busy with that.

This past Sunday as I was leading worship (actually it was while we were practicing) I was reminded how good our God is.

This musical hasn’t been a fun one for me. Too much drama with kids not getting what they want. The beginning was rough, I would come home crying and thinking about not directing next year.

I found this song in January, Give Me Faith, and loved it because I desperately needed to believe everything would be okay, that Jesus had this, that He keeps his promises.

We sang that song this past Sunday and I was moved to tears. Jesus got me through, and it all worked out. The kids finally saw my reason for casting students in certain roles. One girl who was very upset when the cast list was posted said she had the most most fun in this musical then ever before.

God is faithful, He is good, we can trust His word.

If you have a minute listen to this song and make it your prayer today.

Click here. 

 

Restore To Me February 2, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:08 pm
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Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12 NIV

I have shared over the last few months how I have struggled to find joy. If I’m being honest I never really found it, I mean I know it comes from Jesus, but I wasn’t feeling it.

On Monday I was dreading another week of teaching and musical rehearsals. I wasn’t enjoying my job at all and I have a good one. So I just prayed, “Lord, restore to me the joy of Your salvation.”

That was it, my simple prayer.

My Monday ended really horribly with a voicemail from an angry parent who said somethings that I perceived as threatening. To the point I forwarded it to my principle and recorded it on my phone for proof of this ominous message.

This normally would have ruined my day and week. But something shifted on Tuesday.

I felt this overwhelming joy and peace as I taught all day. I talked to the girl whose mother called me and cleared up some things and felt peace. I had the best day I have had all year, taught with energy and purpose and the rest of my week followed suit. Even when my keyboard died in the middle of teaching a choir class . . . yeah, not good.

Oh well, I shrugged, I can still teach. And I did.

I saw that voicemail for the evil it was. the enemy did  not want the joy of the Lord to sustain me, but it did. The voicemail dripped with the enemy’s voice and threats. I laugh now because it is so obvious to me.

This week the joy of the Lord’s salvation has been restored to me, at long last. If you find yourself dreading your days make this verse your simple prayer. Just keep saying it all day, week, month, year long until you feel His joy fill you and sustain you. He will answer.

 

 

 

Worth Living For — Twice! January 19, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:04 pm
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As little girls we all long to be noticed. We twirl, we dance, we look our best. We long for our daddies to notice his little princess and to let us know he sees us. We thrive on this and sadly, it becomes part of our identity as adults. If we didn’t find that affirmation from our daddies we go looking at it from someone else, usually other men. But our quest to get noticed is never satisfied, we are always lefts wondering, “Am I noticed? Am I worth living for?”

My answer to those questions was “no.” My father told me many times that he had “no reason to live.”

This broke my heart. I wanted to ask him, “Aren’t I enough reason to live daddy?” But I never did and I lived my life trying to find someone who thought I was worth living for. As you can imagine I was never satisfied with any answer I received.

Then, one day, as I was mulling over the comment my father made to me over 20 years ago, I heard my Heavenly Father whisper my long-awaited answer. This is what He said, “Melissa, not only are you worth living for, but you are worth dieing for and living for again.” My heartbeat quickened as this truth sunk in. All this time the truth was right before me. What my earthly father could not confirm in my heart my Heavenly Father confirmed in me twice over.

This truth is not just for me but also for all of you who have ever questioned if you are worth living for. Think about your Heavenly Father and you will get your answer. You are so worth living for He lived for you twice, and even further than that He died for you so he could live with you forever.

That is the truth each us needs to embrace and live with. You are worth living for — twice!