Bible Verses about the Abundance of God

  • Psalm 5:7 ESV
    But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
        will enter your house.
    I will bow down toward your holy temple
        in the fear of you.
  • Psalm 31:19 ESV
    Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
        which you have stored up for those who fear you
    and worked for those who take refuge in you,
        in the sight of the children of mankind!
  • Psalm 37:11 ESV
    But the meek shall inherit the land
        and delight themselves in abundant peace.
  • Psalm 51:1 ESV
    Have mercy on me,[a] O God,
        according to your steadfast love;
    according to your abundant mercy
        blot out my transgressions.
  • Psalm 65:11-12 ESV
    You crown the year with your bounty;
        your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
    12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
        the hills gird themselves with joy
  • Psalm 145:7 ESV
    They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
        and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
  • Psalm 147:5 ESV
    Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
        his understanding is beyond measure.
  • John 10:10 ESV
    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
  • Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
     Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

The desperate longing for something that doesn’t change

“I would like to stay to a kid forever.”

That’s my son talking.  He’s happy to be four.  Who wouldn’t  be?

Most of my kids have wanted to rush right on through childhood and into adult life.  They try to plan out their whole lives while they’re still in middle school.

I’ve had to reassure my 11-year–old repeatedly this year that she doesn’t have to  choose a career in sixth grade.

But my son gets it.  He gets all the beauty of being four years old.

Specifically, this week,  he’s been thinking about his “little, soft blue blanket” and how he’d rather not give it up.

It doesn’t cover his whole body any more.   He snuggles into his blanket as best he can, but his feet inevitably stick out, so he needs  a supplemental blanket to provide full coverage.

But this blue blanket is loved.  I  dare to suggest he might be too big for it soon, and his answer is quick and clear:  “I would like to stay to a kid forever.”

He’s my resident Peter Pan, not wanting to grow up, and the comfort of the blue blanket makes never-ending childhood oh so worth it to him for now.

I appreciate his happiness with the “now,” the willingness  to  just enjoy all that life offers in the present tense.  He’s not worrying about the future or even trying to escape to the past.  He’s four and he’s pleased to be four.  That’s a beautiful thing.

But I also see in his little heart this desire for permanency, to cling maybe a little too strongly to  what is good but what won’t last.

The truth is he’s going to keep growing out of this blanket.  That day will surely come.

I understand his struggle, though, because I’ve been longing myself for something permanent, some reassurance that I won’t wake up to a new day and find life all shaky and unsure or find my feet sticking out of my favorite blanket.

I have this longing for peace,  peace in all  the places.  Peace in work and ministry and home and friendship.  No relational conflict.  No disappointment in people.  No workplace surprises.  No undercurrent of trouble unexpectedly rising to the surface.

But “in this world you will have trouble,” that’s what Jesus told us, and just when peace settles into one place, it seems it shatters in another.

That’s bad news for a girl like me who longs for the comfort of a perfect plan and knowing all the details in advance.

But here’s the good news.

All that shakiness in the world around me and all those times I’m tumbled headlong into another season of change or uncertainty makes me desperately long for solid ground, for a permanent, unshakeable place to stand.

This longing drives me right to Jesus.

Scripture tells us that we can have that safe place.  We can have an unmoving,  never-changing, solid, trustworthy foundation that we can count on no matter what earthquake rattles the ground beneath us.

Even if we get the phone call, the email, or the bad news, we can always return to this safe place, this refuge.

We can be confident in God’s character.

Hebrews tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (13:8 CSB) and James reminds us that our heavenly Father “does not change like shifting shadows” (1:17 CSB).  The Psalmist prayed, “But you are the same, and your years will never end” (Psalm 102:27 CSB) and reminded us that God’s “faithful love will endure forever” (Psalm 138:8).

God has been strong in the past and He will be strong.  He has been able and He will be able.  He has been mighty  and He remains mighty.

No circumstance and no conflict changes His goodness or His compassion, His sovereignty or His power.  His love endures.  Right in the middle of whatever has tossed us into uncertainty or fear or fretting, God’s love remains steadfast and sure, and we can hide ourselves away in the shadow of that unfailing love.

 

We can be confident in God’s Word.

Jesus promised that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35 CSB) and the Psalmist declared, “Lord, your word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven” (Psalm 119:89 CSB). 

Peter said,

All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like a flower of the grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever  (1 Peter 1:24-25 CSB). 

Forever. 

Forever is what I need on the days my feet stick out of the blanket and I realize change is in the air.  Forever is what I need when I long for peace, but it seems elusive.

I can hide myself away in God and His Word without fear.

25 Bible Verses about Loyal Love

verses-loyal-love

Loyalty to others

  • Ruth 1:16-17 ESV
     But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
  • 1 Samuel 15:21
    But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”
  • Proverbs 3:3-4 MSG
    Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.
  • Proverbs 17:17 ESV
    A friend loves at all times,
        and a brother is born for adversity.
  • Proverbs 18:24 ESV
    A man of many companions may come to ruin,
        but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
  • Proverbs 19:22 ESV
    What is desired in a man is steadfast love,
        and a poor man is better than a liar.
  • Proverbs 27:10 ESV
    Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
        and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
    Better is a neighbor who is near
        than a brother who is far away.
  • Micah 6:8 MSG
    But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.
  • Matthew 26:33 ESV
    Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”
  • John 15:13 ESV
    Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV
    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  • James 1:12 MSG
    Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

God’s Loyal Love

  • Exodus 20:4-6 MSG
    No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. But I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
  • Exodus 34:6 MSG
    God passed in front of him and called out, “God, God, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient—so much love, so deeply true—loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
  • Numbers 14:18a MSG
    God, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love,
            forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin
  • Deuteronomy 5:10 MSG
    But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
  • Deuteronomy 7:9 MSG
    Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations.
  • Deuteronomy 7:12-13 MSG
    And this is what will happen: When you, on your part, will obey these directives, keeping and following them, God, on his part, will keep the covenant of loyal love that he made with your ancestors:
    He will love you,
    he will bless you,
    he will increase you.
  • 2 Samuel 22:26-28 MSG
    You stick by people who stick with you,
        you’re straight with people who’re straight with you,
    You’re good to good people,
        you shrewdly work around the bad ones.
    You take the side of the down-and-out,
        but the stuck-up you take down a peg.
  • 2 Chronicles 5:13 MSG
    The choir and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God—orchestra and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God:
    Yes! God is good!
    His loyal love goes on forever!
  • Psalm 36:5-6 MSG
    God’s love is meteoric,
        his loyalty astronomic,
    His purpose titanic,
        his verdicts oceanic.
    Yet in his largeness
        nothing gets lost;
    Not a man, not a mouse,
        slips through the cracks.
  • Psalm 66:20 MSG
    But he most surely did listen,
        he came on the double when he heard my prayer.
    Blessed be God: he didn’t turn a deaf ear,
        he stayed with me, loyal in his love.
  • Psalm 100:5 MSG
    For God is sheer beauty,
        all-generous in love,
        loyal always and ever.
  • Lamentations 3:22-23 MSG
    God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
        his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
    They’re created new every morning.
        How great your faithfulness!
    I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
        He’s all I’ve got left.
  • Lamentations 3:31-34 MSG
    Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way

Sometimes I feel like a nut; sometimes I don’t: Finding stability in a fickle world

Yesterday, I felt like I could run a marathon.

I clicked that exercise DVD off and felt strength, like my limbs had grown long and powerful in 30 minutes.

I was a lean, mean, health machine who laughed at crunches and slammed through jumping jacks with precision and ease. Photo by Weerayut Kongsombut

Today, I was about to throw my running shoe at the TV screen because that guy in the t-shirt and gym shorts wouldn’t stop jabbering.  Couldn’t he see I was short on oxygen after just 5 jogs in place?

When someone is suffocating right in front of you, don’t you bypass the small-talk and incessant chatter and tell them to skip to the end already and go have an ice cream cone or something?

Some days choosing blueberries and yogurt with granola comes easy.

Other days I need chocolate so bad I want to order a hot fudge sundae from McDonald’s–hold the sundae.

Isn’t so much of life like this incessant movement back and forth and back and forth, making progress, stumbling, feeling accomplished, feeling like giving up?

Some days I’m attacking that to-do list with energy and focus.  The next day I’m distracted and just want to play hookie from grown-up life.

Some days I’m relaxed, spontaneous, fun mom.  The next day I snap in half when three of my kids demand that I help them right this second, now, now, now as if they can’t see with their own two eyes that I only have these two hands.

What is this roller coaster life I lead? Why these fickle whims and why is perpetual progress so elusive?

I read in Beth Moore’s Whispers of Hope:

If we place our faith in what God is doing, we should brace ourselves for a lifelong roller-coaster ride.  Our faith will be high and mighty one day and free-falling the next because it is based on the apparent activity of God in our circumstances.  ….In our most difficult losses victory does not result from seeking God’s answers or His activity.  Many answers will never come; much of His activity will never be seen.  Victorious faith walks evolve from seeking Him.  In Hebrews 11:27 we read that Moses “persevered because he saw him who is invisible”–not because he saw the burning bush.  He gazed straight into the face of the invisible God.  He built His faith on Who God is, not what God had done.”

She says, “When you don’t know what God is doing, you can find stability in Who He is” (p. 112).

Moses looked right past that burning bush.  Sure, it caught his eye, but he glanced at the bush so he could gaze on God.

That compelled him into perseverance, into pushing past the fear and insecurity, pain, anger, the possibilities and probabilities of failure, and the overwhelming threat of the unknown.

I admit it.  Sometimes I flop down in the middle of these circumstances and think—this is what God will do.  This is how God acts.  

But He’s so much more creative than little ol’ me and those unexpected ways of His send me into spirals of doubt and worry.

Why isn’t God doing what I want Him to do, when I want Him to do it, how it makes sense to me?

That wobbly faith of mine, it’s revealing the cracks in the foundation, how I’ve trusted in what God does, not Who He is.

I think of the farmer in the parable, sowing that seed on the rocky soil, on the path, among the thorns.

And I think how I’m fickle here, too.

I’m this avid gardener in April and May. But come July, one summer rainstorm sprouts a rain forest right in my front yard.  I walk out that door and step into a mighty jungle that has grown to towering proportions overnight.

Overnight, I tell ya.

And a girl just can’t keep up with that, not in the mid-summer Virginia heat and humidity.

The weeds choke out those tended and welcome plants, just like that parable says.

Yet:

the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop (Luke 8:15 NIV).

The NLT says they:

hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

Cling to it.

There it is.

Look past the burning bush and fix those eyes on Jesus, on WHO He is, constant in every situation.

And hold on for dear life to God’s Word, not letting those fingers fall loose for one second.

That’s what prompts our hearts into patient perseverance.  That’s what produces this abundant crop of a harvest if we just don’t give up.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

 

Weekend Rerun: I’m Not A Boy!

I’m not a boy.
I’m not a good dancer.  I’m not easily offended.  I’m not a blonde or a red-head.
I’m not tall.
I’m not artistic.  I’m not quick to cry.
I’m not usually a fan of “chick flicks.”
I’m not much of a TV watcher.
I’m not from a small family.
I’m not a quick decision maker.
I’m not an extrovert.  I’m not athletic.  I’m not fond of “outside.”

We all define ourselves by lists of “I ams” and “I am nots.”

“Are you a Christian?”
I am.

“Are you fond of sports?”
I am not.

Is it any wonder that God has a list, too?  His “ams” and “am nots” through Scripture establish His character and give us reliable assurances in times of trouble.

We rest in safety because we know He is “I AM.”

It’s the most powerful declaration of God’s identity in Scripture, when He tells Moses His name: “I AM WHO I AM . . .This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation” (Exodus 3:14, 15).

My Bible notes that His name could also be read as: “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.”

He is I AM and I WILL BE.  He is eternal.  He has existed before our human history began and He has walked through the entirety of our time on this planet and will still remain forever.

So, we can trust Him.  We can place in His capable hands all that frightens us because He knows where we have come from and where we are headed.

It’s more than that.  He tells us:

  • “I AM with you” (Genesis 26:24).
  • “I AM God Almighty” (Genesis 35:11).
  • “I AM the LORD, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26).
  • “I AM the LORD your God” (Exodus 16:12).
  • “I, the LORD your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).
  • “For I AM the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:3).
  • “I AM the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5).
  • “I AM the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17).
  • “I AM the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord Almighty is His name” (Isaiah 51:15).

Can you read through this list of what God says about Himself, His “I ams” and not be in awe, not be filled with the desire to worship, not be comforted?

He is with you, there in the places of hurt and despair.  He heals you.  He is holy.  He is your Savior, pulling you out of the pit and redeeming you through the blood of His Son.  He is the only God.  He directs our steps.  He is Lord Almighty, in control of all creation, including the circumstances you find yourself in.

Praise God!

He doesn’t stop there, though.  He also has “am nots.”  Just as powerful, these are declarations of His dominion over all the fake gods that vie for our worship.

In Daniel 2:11, the magicians and advisers of King Nebuchadnezzar whine that no one can possibly tell the king what he dreamt except the gods, and “they do not live among humans.”

Not our God.  He made His dwelling among His people, directing them to “make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8).  He abandoned the glories of heaven and “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

He can say, “I am not distant from you.”

In Psalm 135:15-18, the Psalmist writes:

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men.  They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear nor is the breath in their mouths.

Not our God.

Our God is the Shepherd who speaks to His sheep (John 10:27).  He is the God who sees us (Genesis 16:13) and hears our voices when we call to Him (Psalm 5:3).

He can say, “I am not ignorant of your need .”

And our God “is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19).

Colin Urquhart wrote, “God is the God of promise.  He keeps His word even when that seems impossible.”

He can say, “I am not a promise-breaker.”

It may feel difficult at times to believe in God’s nearness, responsiveness, concern, love and faithfulness because we are immersed in a pit of circumstances that blocks our view of Him.  And yet, He tells us all the things He is and all the things He is not and it is that Scriptural assurance of His character to which we cling.

We can rest in safety knowing that He is I AM.  We can rest in safety knowing all that He is not.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

VBS Lessons, Day Two: God Listens To You

This week I’m going through the lessons of Group’s PandaMania VBS and considering how they apply to more than just kids!

God Listens To You
“You know what I am going to say even before I say it”
Psalm 139:4

Last week, I quietly explained to my oldest daughter that even though people are friendly and strangers ask her questions, doesn’t mean they always have time for her entire life story.  Perhaps not everyone can listen to everything she has to say.

She replied, “But I just like to talk and I have a whole lot to talk about.”

Thus, when a friendly cashier asks how old my kids are, they give an unabridged biography as an answer.

And when the lady cutting their hair asks where they go to school, the girls launch into a weekly schedule that lists off all their normal activities and then give an infomercial about their preschool and kindergarten.

My PandaMania VBS leader materials for Day Two say:

Kids can tell you exactly what it’s like to be ignored or unheard.  They know what it feels like to talk to a busy parent or teacher, who responds with a distracted “mm-hmm.” They’ve been that hand, waving in the air, that didn’t get called on to share an answer.  And even when someone is tuned in, kids may not have the words to express what they’re feeling.   . . . God not only hears our voice . . .God hears our heart!

There’s a powerful promise buried in this simple lesson—God Listens to You.  Just like my kids may sometimes feel like I’m not listening closely enough, there are times when I feel as if God has gone deaf or, even worse, is choosing to ignore me.

Last week, a prayer request came through my email and I prayed: “Please don’t turn away from this request; please don’t hide your face from us.  Please hear what we are asking of You and deliver them.  Don’t be deaf to our pleas, not this time.”

I’m not alone in this prayer.

David asked, “Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth” (Psalm 54:2) and “To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit” (Psalm 28:1).  Asaph prayed the same:  “God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God” (Psalm 83:1).

Have you prayed this before?  The request of attention, the desire for God’s ear, that He would really hear the petitions you bring so passionately before the throne?  With particular fervency sometimes we say, “I know I pray things all the time, God, but I need you to really pay attention to what I’m asking right now.  This one matters more than normal!”

The promise we are teaching the VBS kids this week is that God always hears us, not just what we say, but even when we don’t know how to pray within the confines of words.  Even when the desires of our heart are too bulky to be smashed into syllables and sounds and long “before a word is on my tongue, you, LORD, know it completely” (Psalm 139:4)

God doesn’t tune us out as we pray or ignore the outpourings of our heart.  Psalm 10:17 says, “Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their hearts.  You will listen carefully.”

He hears what we pray.  He hears our heart’s cry even when words escape us.  During the tough times, heaven may seem silent and our prayers may seem to bounce against a ceiling rather than land at God’s feet.

Regardless of how you feel, though, you can trust in an attentive God who hears the prayers we offer on our knees, the whispers as we lie in bed at night, the tears as we fall in despair in His presence.  God listens to you.

We know this because God doesn’t change.  From beginning to end, from person to person, our God is consistent in His character.  So, just as He threw down fire from heaven in response to Elijah’s prayer, so He hears and responds to our cries for help.

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah not just to a test of their gods’ power, but also of their gods’ ability to hear them.  He declared, “Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God” (1 Kings 18:24).

God’s character–the things that sets Him apart–isn’t just that He is able to deliver us; it’s that He truly hears our cries for deliverance.

And so the prophets of Baal danced and shouted. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”  So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.  Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention (1 Kings 18:27-29).

Their god was silent.  Their god was deaf.  Their god was unimpressed by their passion and unresponsive to their cries.

Not our God.

Elijah sloshed water all over the altar so it was running down over the soaking wet sacrifice and spilling onto the ground below.  He prayed, “‘Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’  Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.  When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!'” (1 Kings 18:37-39).

Answer me, God, for the display of Your glory!  So that everyone watching my life and these circumstances can see and declare, “The Lord—He is God!  The Lord–He is God!”

The song we will sing tonight at VBS says, “God knows every word before you even say it; He hears every prayer before you even pray it.  So let Him hear you now.  So let Him hear you shout!  He knows you.  He loves you.  God is listening.”

Be assured of that today and rest in that promise.  Remember that what defines God is that He is alive and active, powerfully able, and mercifully responsive to us.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King