Love the Lord and Rewards in Heaven

These two parts came days apart from each other, but I think they tie to one another.

First part

I was studying, again, Matthew 22:36-39, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love is a choice. Even to love God is a choice.

I have to be honest; I kind of got “stuck” on what comes first. Love? Obedience? Faith? What is our primary duty or goal in the Christian walk? Continue reading “Love the Lord and Rewards in Heaven”

God uses all things

Through a certain circumstance in my family’s life, a specific struggle in me has been brought to the surface. God pointed it out to me.


It is ugly. It is selfish. It is blind.

In the countless thoughts in my head, one has run through most often: Is my pride keeping God from changing or improving the situation? Is God continuing to allow this suffering because of my sinful pride?

This is a common human thought process. And it just proves how shallow is our knowledge and understanding of God’s sovereignty.

This morning I was lead to the familiar verse: Romans 8:28, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

I saw it in a different light.

All things, the verse says.

Only the good things? Nope. All things. That means, God will use even my flaws, weaknesses and sins to accomplish His purpose – His sovereign will.

We have a very limited picture and knowledge of things past, present and future. What about hindsight vision? We can look back on things past, but we are not able to see how God is using them in our present or our future. We are not able to see the entire picture, as He is.

My choices, my actions, my thoughts, my sin will not change the future. God’s plan and purpose was established before you and I were born – before the foundation of the world. God knew what our struggles and weaknesses would be. He still uses them to bring about His perfect plan.

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-16:

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

You discern my thoughts from afar;

You search out my path and my lying down

and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

Behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

You hem me, behind and before,

and lay Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

it is high; I cannot attain it.


For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.

If our family’s situation is meant to continue then He meant for it all along, not because of my pride. There’s nothing I can do to change His plan. God has already knitted together and planned our lives – even taking into account our choices and sin; He uses all things for His good, according to His purpose.

(Some may argue that if what I say is right then we don’t have true free will. This is a whole other topic – a deep topic – but I will address it as simple as I can. We do have free will. But our free will is still within the limitations of God’s plan. He is sovereign; with that comes full knowledge and the power of authority and control. God orchestrates everything. He directs everyone’s path. He knows when we’re going to make bad choices that lead to sin; He uses even that to accomplish His perfect plan. It’s not hard to realize then, if He uses our sin to accomplish His will and purpose, He too, will use our struggles, hurts, sorrow, loss and trials. It brings me back to Romans 8:28all things work together for good, according to His purpose.)

He works everything together in our lives because He loves us. There is nothing I can do – sin and all – to increase or decrease His love for me!

Here’s a good fulfilling, “meaty” verse for you:

Ephesians 1:3-12:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us this mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.

Let’s conclude:

God created us, loved us and knew us – strengths, flaws, sin and all – from the beginning of time. He is sovereign and is using all things – strengths, trials, flaws, sin and all – to accomplish His plan. There is nothing we can do to change it. Even though we do not see nor understand His plan and purposes for our lives, we are to give Him all the glory, because He works in our lives and uses all things to accomplish His sovereign and perfect plan.