Source: What God has Done for Me
We want our prayers to be answered. There is so much going on in our lives, so many ‘needs’ and desires. As we pray, let us focus on how great and awesome our God is, who provides all our needs and always does what is best. He loves us more than we could ever imagine.
Our God is so good to us, there isn’t enough praise in the world that is good enough compared to all the blessings He gives us. He is the creator of everything, His beautiful creation is all around us to remind us of His glory. He is the eternal, loving God who cares about each of us. He is our salvation. Let us always remember the many blessing He has given us, all the tough times He has lead us through, and His never ending love and mercy. Many of the Psalms offer wonderful praises and prayers to our God.
Bless the LORD , O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD , O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Paul is not only an example of how to live, but he guides us to the virtues that God wants us to live by. These are things that do not come naturally but is something we must practice. By following these things and Paul’s example, we can be assured that God is with us. God will direct our paths and lead us to righteousness if we are His.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
What are these virtues?
- true can mean the truth or straight. Do not waiver from God’s word which is truth.
- noble is that which is honorable. Live with integrity.
- just is doing what’s righteous. Helping the helpless, being kind to others, loving justice.
- pure is obeying God and having the right heart. David was a man after God’s own heart and talked about coming before God with a pure and contrite heart. He was genuine and sincere. He used godly wisdom in his decisions and when he sinned, he repented and turned to God for forgiveness. Pure is another word for “holy”.
- lovely is a virtue of attitude. Being pleasing to others, having a good attitude, being kind, not complaining or grouchy.
- of good report or commendable is the way others see a person. Do others see you as a positive person? Are you charitable? Do you help others? Cheerful? Do they see you as courteous, kind and respectful? A genuine Christian should be a person that is a good example to others.
- praiseworthy: The things we do should honor God, and our actions should be in such a way that we and others praise and thank God for only He is worthy of it. The good things we do are because of Him.
David talked about similar virtues when describing the character of God. David shows his pure heart as he considers the law of the Lord and his desire to follow Him. By following Gods commands, there is great reward. I believe that reward comes both in this life and the life to come. That does not mean riches and earthly treasures, or even good health and an easy life. But, it does mean you will be blessed within your heart and you will be able to endure hardships and have joy in your heart. I have had these blessings. The hardships I have had were much easier to deal with when following the Lord, and He has always provided, and He has given me strength. Our God is an awesome God in so many ways!
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.