Monday, February 28, 2011

He Heard My Voice!

 4The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
 5The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
 6In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. 

He Heard My Voice!

As you read verses 4 and 5 of Psalm 18, do you think David is being a little melodramatic? As we view life around us, do we feel the sorrows of death surrounding us; are we overcome with fear of ungodly men?

Perhaps I should phrase the question in this way, what do we see when we stop and look at the big picture of what is happening in our world today? We see wars, uprisings, revolutions, earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, murders, fatal accidents--must I go on? I have heard many people say, I do not read the news anymore as it is just filled with negativism. That may work for awhile, but what happens when your neighborhood is affected? What happens when you are today's headlines?

How did David respond when he was overcome with the sorrows of death and the sorrows of hell? 

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God.

What? You mean He did not rail against God for being so unfair? He did not foolishly charge Him, saying, "You could have prevented this. Why did you allow it to happen?"

David knew God! He had no doubt about His standing before God. He knew that before God, he was filled with sin and unworthy to even bow before Him, and yet He knew that God, in His love, would hear him!

He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Dear Christian, do you know God? Can you cry with David, "He heard my voice!"? 

It is time that we believers awake from our slumber--awake from our apathy, and live the Christian life that God has sent us to live. Let us get our heads out of the sand, and pray that God would release us from the cruel bonds and temptations of this world. 

The life that we are called to live is so far above the emptiness in which we live. We are children of God; we have been drafted and called up into the service of the King. 

He heard my voice--and I am free from the slavery of this world!

God Bless You,
Linda



Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer

 1I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
 2The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
 3I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 

Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

We know much of the life of David as recorded in the Old Testament. His was not an easy life. From the time of his youth when he was hunted by Saul as a common criminal, to the years at the end of his life which saw the rebellions of his own sons who sought to tear the kingdom from him, his was a life one of constant contention and grief. He certainly was not a perfect man, and suffered severely for his open sins.

Yet, we do see one common thread throughout the life of David which is wonderfully illustrated in Psalm 18; David was a man after God's own heart; he never forgot his first love! Rather than cry out in bitterness over the unjust treatment of King Saul, David turned all of his love and trust to the Lord, his Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer. David knew better than to trust in himself, the men of this earth, or the things of the world. It was only God he trusted as his buckler (shield), the horn of his salvation, and his high tower.

What a great lesson for us today! What excuses can we bring for our lack of trust in the Lord? What excuses can we use to condone our love of the things of this world? For any excuse we may bring, David could have brought more, and yet what did he say in Psalm 18, verse 3?

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

As we observe the troubling times engulfing our world today, where should we turn? Are we to turn to our own devices, or to those of our world leaders? Do the world leaders of today really control the peace of this world? Is it really in their hands?

Of course not! Then, let us rise up as Christians, and arm ourselves, like David, with the Word of the Lord. Let us proclaim God, alone, to be our Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer; may He be our strength--the One in whom we trust, our buckler, our horn of salvation, and our high tower.

Let us call unto the Lord, who, alone, is worthy to be praised!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Satisfied

 10They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
 11They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
 12Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
 13Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
 14From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
 15As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. 

Satisfied

What is the obvious difference between the Godly and the ungodly? In Psalm 17, the Psalmist gives us a vivid picture of the ungodly. They have closed up their fat hearts, and are filled with pride; they are never satisfied as they seek their prey like a young lion lurking in secret places. And, they seem to be winning! Is their no hope against their evil?

The amazing thing is the satisfaction the wicked find in the things of the earth as they are continually amassing more and more, leaving their substance to their descendants. Is that what life is all about? Unfortunately, for a great number of people that is their only hope in life or in death.

How sad--to be so close to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and yet choose to fight against Him and His people. 

As Christians, we must beware of the deceitfulness of the popularity contest. As is often the case, the real truth is not the most popular viewpoint in practice today. As such, the Christian life is a difficult life; being misunderstood and persecuted, the believer often moves about with a sense of despair.

What is the answer? The Psalmist sums it up beautifully in verse 15, of Psalm 17.

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Let us pray, that like the Psalmist, God would graciously lift our faces from this world to Him. This world is not our home; it is just a temporary stop. What is next for the child of God? To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and then, we will behold the very face of God, and we will be satisfied.

Yes, I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shadow of Thy Wings

 6I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
 7Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.
 8Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
 9From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about. 

Shadow of Thy Wings

The Psalmist understood the overwhelming love of God, and portrayed his great confidence that God inclined His ear to him and heard his speech. Why? The Psalmist understood that God showed his kindness by His right hand in saving those who trusted in Him. 

Who sits at the right hand of God the Father today? Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God making intercession for us. We who could not approach such a holy God, now have access to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ who shed His own blood to purchase our salvation. What is the cost for us? There is no cost; just our simple trust is required, and even that is a gift from God!

David's trust in God is beautifully illustrated in verse 8 of Psalm 17:

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.

David was surrounded by deadly enemies seeking his life. What about us? Are we surrounded by deadly enemies as well? This question does not seem to be unreasonable as we view the increasing tensions in our world today. As we watch the growing unrest in the Mideast, and hear of the death of four Americans who were distributing Bibles throughout the world, we see the increasing boldness of the enemies of God.

Let us not forget the real enemy who stalks about this world determined to destroy the people of God. Like David, may we cry to God, "Hide me under the shadow of thy wings." Truly, there is no safer place to be in all of the universe!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hold Me Up!

 3Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
 4Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
 5Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. 

Hold Me Up!

Does God know His children? When they cry to Him, "Hold me up!," does He hear? Psalm 17:3, in the New King James Version says, 

   You have tested my heart;
         You have visited me in the night; 
         You have tried me and have found nothing; 
         I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress

Yes, God knows the hearts of His children and He always gives ear to their cry. In the times that God seems so far away, let us be encouraged to know that He does hear; He does listen. 

As the Psalmist continues, he acknowledges two things, first, that in his heart of hearts he has purposed to keep away from the paths of the destroyer, and second, he cannot succeed in his own strength.

What is the significance of this portion of Psalm 17 to us? The Psalmist makes it very clear that, as Christians, we must actively purpose to be faithful to the Lord and not to fall into the temptations of the world that are so alluring. Yet, when all is said and done, our success is anchored in Christ, and not ourselves.

How do we succeed? 

Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

Sometimes the most simple truths are also the most profound. Let us, by the grace of God, purpose to live faithfully, from our heart of hearts, for Christ, while at the same time crying, "Hold me Up!" 

God is our strength, our help, and our victory. What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Let Your Eyes Behold

 1Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
 2Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal. 

Let Your Eyes Behold

I like the clarity of the New King James rendition of Psalm 17, verses 1-2:

 1 Hear a just cause, O LORD,
         Attend to my cry; 
         Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.
 2 Let my vindication come from Your presence;
         Let Your eyes look on the things that are upright

The Psalmist cries out, "Let your eyes behold or look on the things that are upright."

Why does it seem that  the Psalmist continues to express the same thoughts over and over again in Psalm after Psalm? Is there a lesson here for us?

Remembering our first love is not as easy as it sounds. After all, life happens, and all of our good intentions seem to be swallowed up by the winds of adversity. David, the Psalmist, was not trying to just state the obvious, he was trying to remind himself again and again that the LORD does not look upon men as does the world. The LORD is just, and does attend to the cry of his children; He does hear prayers that are not from deceitful lips. 

It is hard for us, though, to wait for the Lord, is it not? It is hard for us to wait for His vindication, especially when it is so much easier to seek vengeance ourselves. After all, the Lord is patient, long suffering, and very forgiving; the problem, however, is that we do not always want Him to forgive those who have wronged us.

Do you think David faced these same struggles? Oh, yes! Through his constant fellowship with God, he was able to say, Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.

May we, today, walk in peace saying to God, "Let your eyes behold the things that are equal." Then, may we patiently rest in the comfort that God will do that very thing. Our hope always remains in Him, alone, and not in ourselves!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fullness of Joy

 9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
 10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
 11Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. 

Fullness of Joy

What is the worse thing that you can imagine? What a list we could make! Losing a loved one, losing a child, having a child disappear--these would certainly be on my list of worse things to imagine. But, that is not all, the list continues--losing my spouse, losing my health, experiencing a tsunami, being in a category 5 hurricane--our world is filled with disasters, wars, sickness, evil, etc. 

In all of these things, there is one that is even worse. The worse thing that could ever happen would be to be rejected by God and have our soul cast into hell for all eternity. Oh, we do not like to think about that. The world has chosen to ignore it by making fun of the devil -- just look at all the cute caricatures of him! How often do you hear people boast - I want to go to hell; that's where all my friends will be.

Do you think they will be your friends then? Will you even notice them? I recently read a book titled, 23 Minutes in Hell; I highly recommend it. As Christians, we need to seriously consider the realities of hell, that are so easily glossed over by this world. 

As Christians, we know that no one need be sent to hell. God, in His great love has provided the death of His only Son to redeem us from the curse of sin, and give us eternal life with Him for evermore.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Not only are we not left in hell, but His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ will never see corruption. In this world we see sin, death, and corruption, but in Christ is found the fullness of joy. In this life, we are given just a little glimpse into that joy through our relationship to Christ, but in heaven, our life will be complete encompassed by the peace and joy of God our Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Our world is chasing after pleasure, and yet are missing the greatest pleasures to come that will last for evermore! 

Only in Christ is there fullness of joy that will last for all eternity!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bless the Lord

 7I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
 8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Bless the Lord

Bless the Lord
Oh, my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His Holy name!

What a glorious Psalm of praise to God our Father. Who is there like God? He has given us wise counsel, so that even in the darkest hours--in the night seasons--our hearts instruct us. The New King James Version for Psalm 16:7 states,

 7 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
         My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

Beauty is only skin deep, but the blessings of the Lord totally encompass our being. In the deep recesses of our hearts, Christ's blessings stir us and keep us in the depths of our souls, even when there is nothing on the outside but ugliness and despair.

Oh the vicious curves that this life can throw at us, but as Christians, we are anchored in the blessings of Christ. Whatever this world storms upon us is only a reminder of the great joy, love, and comfort in Christ and in the eternity we have to spend with Him.

In our own selves we are weak and can easily be overcome, but in the blessing of Christ, who is continually at our right hand, we will not be moved.

Enjoy today; let us sing praises to God our Father, for He saves us, He keeps us, and He will receive us into His arms for all eternity. May that put a spring in our steps and a song in our hearts.

Bless the Lord!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Goodly Heritage

 5The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
 6The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. 

A Goodly Heritage

Have not all of us at sometime or another wished we had a rich uncle who left everything to us? With such a goodly heritage, our difficulties, it seems, would cease to exist. However, all Christians have One who is greater that the richest uncle in the world as their father, and as such are direct descendants of His goodly heritage.

Why, then, do Christians spend so much time riddled with grief, sadness, and despair? What is there about this world that pulls us so hard that we fail to remember who we are, and who is our Father? You see, no matter what exists in this world, it is but a vapor compared to the life to come. 

Yet we dig into the enjoyments and pleasures of this world, as though this is the true meaning of life. In the process, how many unbelievers are left in darkness because Christians fail to spread the Light of God? 

Remember, Satan is an Angel of Light - he is not a red man, with long horns and a pitchfork. If he cannot keep people from coming to Christ, then he can at least discredit their testimony, and cause them to war among themselves, so they are too busy to spread the precious Word of God to the lost. Is he effective?

One only has to observe the millions of splinters of Christianity around the world to realize just how effective he has been and continues to be. It is time we Christians immerse ourselves in Christ, and meditate upon our goodly heritage, and do the work that God has called us to do.

How much joy do we miss because we have forgotten who it is who maintains our lot? How much joy do we miss because we refuse to lift our focus away from this earth to the goodly heritage that awaits us?

The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

Go, today, in the joy of the LORD; he is our goodly heritage. Our greatest joys await us!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, February 13, 2011

None Lord but Thee

 4Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. 

None Lord but Thee

What are the blessings of serving God? What are the risks of serving other gods? Do we ever think about our first love for God from these perspectives? Perhaps we should. 

When reading the Old Testament Scriptures, it seemed to be an easy time to understand the difference between serving the one and only true God, or worshiping the gods of other nations. However, in our day, worship of God has often become so blended with the gods of the world that it is hard to understand the difference between the one and the other.

I think that has happened because we have lost the significance of what it means to worship God -- none Lord but Thee! We have also fallen into the temptations of the world that serve others gods, but do not claim them as gods. What about the gods of materialism? How about the gods of humanism? We do not think of these as false religions, do we? Therefore, we do not seek to guard our hearts from them, nor do we notice when they so blend in with our worship of God that our Christian life is just a shell of what it is meant to be.

What is the cost of serving false gods? God says that the sorrows of those who hasten after another god are multiplied. Could that be why Christians so often seem to lack the peace and serenity that comes from a close relationship with our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ?

I challenge all of us, today, to take up the banner of Christ, and cry, "None Lord but Thee."

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Goodness is Nothing

 1Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
 2O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
 3But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. 

 My Goodness is Nothing

Verses 1-3 of Psalm 16 are a little easier to understand in the New King James Version.

 1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. 
 2 O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
         “You are my Lord, 
         My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
 3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
         “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” 
(Psalm 16:1-3, New King James Version)

I believe that one of the greatest "secrets" of living the Christian life is found in Psalm 16, Verses 1 & 2. First, the only One who deserves our complete trust is God, our Father. Secondly, when we truly look to God, we understand that any goodness we may have is worth nothing apart from God.

In other words, do you see good things that you have done in your life? Were those really your good deeds? You see, it is impossible for us to truly do good deeds apart from God. If good deeds have been done by us, they are all of God, and none of us.

It sounds so simple, does it not? But, oh how hard it is to really convince ourselves of its truth. We waste so many years working to improve our image, increase our wealth, improve our standing within our own community, and seeking to make others really like us. Why? Every Christian seriously needs to answer that question.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Son of Man, could have been and done anything. No one who ever lived has had his mental acuity or true spiritual standing, and yet what characterized His life while here on earth. He continually pointed people to God the Father, refusing to allow them to worship Him. He said to one man, "Why do you call me good? There is only One who is good, and that is God, the Father."

Christians have a mission! No matter where you live, no matter if you are rich or poor, have great intelligence, or lack intelligence, as a Christian, you have a mission. That mission is not to be focused upon yourself! We are here to bring the news of the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth; we are here to focus all of our being upon God, and not upon ourselves.

I just wonder what would happen worldwide if Christians really took their true mission seriously!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Christian in a Nutshell

 1Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
 2He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
 3He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
 4In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
 5He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. 

Christian in a Nutshell

If you were to write an essay of 100 words or less titled, Christian in a Nutshell, what would you write? I am sure there would be a wide divergence of opinions, and I am also sure that it would be very difficult to write such an essay in so few words.

When I read Psalm 15, I like to think of it as David's version of a Christian in a Nutshell. He actually wrote his "essay" in 85 words, as 14 words are used in his introductory questions in verse 1. Let us look at the characteristics that David thought were important to include.

*Walks uprightly
*Works righteousness
*Speaks the truth in his heart
*Does not talk behind peoples' back
*Does not do evil to his neighbort
*Does not cause others to think evil of his neighbor
*Despises a vile person
*Honors those who fear the Lord
*Keeps his promises, even if it hurts him
*Does not charge interest when he loans money
*Does not accept bribes against the innocent

How many of these things would you have listed in your essay? How many of these things do we hear our pastors preach about from pulpits across the world today? Often these things come so close to home that our pastors do not want to offend their congregations. It is much easier to teach against the ax murderers than to speak of the petty sins we all wrestle with in our day to day Christian lives.

We know that our actions do not save us; only the blood of Christ can save us from our sins that would eternally separate from God. However, thinking of our current series, First Love, these Christian traits are not outward actions, but characteristics of the heart. We do not do or not do these things so that we may look good on the outside, we do these things from our heart of hearts that we may be acceptable in the sight of God.

Go, today in the strength and power of the Lord, and examine your life in light of Psalm 15. Then, go to the Lord and cry out for the strength and power to live the Christian life in a manner pleasing to God.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

When the Lord

 7Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. 

 When the Lord

You can just hear the wistfulness in the voice of the Psalmist, Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! In many ways that is right where we are at today. How quickly the difficulties and troubles of our time wash over us so that we, too, say, "Oh that God would come today!" In an instant, none of the things that consume our lives will matter any more, will they?

So, when will the Lord return? When will time on this earth cease to exist? When the LORD! The time, nor the method is in our hands, is it not? Salvation for Israel - yes, salvation for all the saints of God will come when the Lord has predetermined it to be. 

Does that mean there is some doubt as to whether the Lord will come? Does that mean that God is not in control right now? Neither of those examples are true. God has always been in control, is always in control, and will always be in control! What a great comfort to Christians. 

There is no "if" in verse 7 of Psalm 14. It does not say, If the LORD brings back the captivity of his people, but rather, "when" the LORD brings back the captivity of his people. For us, there is no "if" regarding the Lord's return. We do not say, if the Lord returns, but rather, we say when the Lord returns.

Can you imagine the celebration among the people of God when the Lord returns to claim His people for all eternity? There is no celebration here on this earth that can compare. 

I hesitate to bring this up, because it so pales in comparison to the Lord's return, but in the United States, we just experienced the Super Bowl, which would claim one National Football League team to be the world champions of football. This year the Green Bay Packers won that honor. Coming from Wisconsin, I understand the meaning of winning that championship for the City of Green Bay. The whole city shut down to celebrate, even closing the public schools. My nephew was one of the city ambassadors who was in the official receiving line welcoming the team home.

We do know how to celebrate, do we not? Every culture has their celebratory events, and each year tries to outdo the year before. But nothing we could ever do will compare to the celebration of the Lord's return.

Salvation has been provided for sinful man through the perfect blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord returns, will you be an ambassador in the welcoming committee consisting of all the Christians from the beginning to the end of time?

Oh that will be, glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, February 07, 2011

No Knowledge?

 4Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
 5There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
 6Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge. 

No Knowledge?

Is it really true that the wicked have no knowledge of the truth? The New King James Version of Psalm 14:4-56, helps us to better understand what the Psalmist is saying. This passage is so relevant to our day that it is hard to believe it was written by David so long ago.

 4Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
 5There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
 6Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge. 

It really is hard, sometimes, to understand the unbelief of unbelief! How can the wicked so zealously attack the children of God? Historically we see that, again and again, God has protected His children causing great fear in the ungodly. 

Yet, what do the ungodly do? They write revisions of history to attempt to block the truth of God's people overcoming great odds because they trusted in God. But, does rewriting history change the truth? No! It is important that, as Christians, we take the time to see around the deception of God's enemies, and not be fooled by their ploys. We are in a war, yet Satan continually deceives God's people into a feeling of safe complacency.

In the end, however, does it matter? Do the wicked overcome the people of God? No, the end has already been written. Though the wicked may frustrate the plans of the poor, the LORD is his refuge.

Let us, then, take comfort today in the arms of the LORD; He is our Refuge, and He is our Rock. No one can stay His hand! Though it may seem that the wicked have no knowledge, this is not true for the saints of God. We rest in the God of all Gods, the Kings of all Kings, and the Lord of all Lords. Christians, this is the God we serve!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Fool

 1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
 2The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
 3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

The Fool

What must it be like to be far above the earth looking down? Astronauts have taken pictures of the earth from outer space--is that what God sees? That may be all that we can see, but it is nothing compared with what God sees. 

God looks down from heaven upon the children of men and sees the fool, who says, "There is no God." Think of that! It would be like looking down at the ants on the ground and overhearing them say, "There is no man." Yet, that illustration pales in comparison to what God sees, because God looks on the heart. In his heart, mans says,  "There is no God;" he may have never spoken those words aloud, but God sees the thoughts and intents of the heart of each and every person.

As God looked down, as recorded in Psalm 14, what did He see? Sadly, He saw that all had turned away from Him; none sought God! Did that make God any less real? Did that make God any less powerful?

On a personal level, do you sometimes feel as though you are the only one left who truly seeks God? Oh, there are a lot of people who go to church and claim to be Christians, but that is not what we are talking about, is it? Man can fool man, but no man can fool God. 

Elijah thought that he was the only one left who sought after God, but God revealed to him that there were still many who had not bowed the knee to Baal. But, even if he had been the only one left, would that have made God less powerful?

Truth is truth. Nothing can change that, no matter how many do not believe it. God is truth; there is no reality apart from God. A person who lives this life as though no God existed is claimed by God to be the fool.

We say, the majority rules. Does it? Maybe I should ask, should it? 

Do not continue in the life of a fool, Christianity is not a matter of living in a certain way, Christianity is a matter of loving God in our heart of hearts and seeking to serve Him above all. 

Man is nothing, but Christ is All!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, February 04, 2011

How Long?

 1How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
 2How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
 3Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
 4Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
 5But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
 6I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. 

How Long?

How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever?

I have not been hunted by my enemy with armies whose sole purpose is my demise as David experienced, but I have had many an occasion when I poured out my soul to the Lord and said, "How long?" 

We are outnumbered on all sides as the world laughs in the face of God, and if it is not here already, the day will come when Christians will be hunted by the armies of the world. Perhaps you live in a country where that is already true. 

You see, it is an impossible task to live the Christian life without the arrows of Satan aimed at our defeat. That is exactly what David was experiencing. Where was God? How long would God withhold His help? 

We read of the great faith of the servants of God, and yet when we are in the trenches, that faith can seem so far away. Doubts may come, and we ask, "How do I know that God is really there? The enemy is prevailing and making a mockery of my faith."

That was exactly how David felt; the amazing thing to me is the last two verses of Psalm 13.

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Did God come and rescue David, and then he penned verses 5 and 6? No! Help had not yet arrived, and God had not spoken to David, but God restored David's faith. That is the mark of true faith! Before the help came, while still deeply entrenched in his troubles, David remembered his God.

This is the same God we serve today. His overwhelming love encompasses His children; He knows His sheep by name. We do not have to see the victory before us; we know that God is God, and man is not. 

Let us conclude, with David, I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. This is the God we serve; no man can stand before Him, because, you see, we know the rest of the story.

Oh that will be, glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, glory for me!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Pure Words

 6The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
 7Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
 8The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted. 

Pure Words

The Psalmist uses an interesting thought process in these verses, with verse 7 of Psalm 12 being a transition from the pure words of God to the vile men who are exalted. In a day when a man's word is no longer worth much, what a comfort to know that God's words are pure words. We do not need to doubt any claims He makes, for God cannot lie.

Interestingly, verse 7 could be taken two ways.

Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Included with the thoughts of Psalm 12, verse 6, we could say that God will preserve His Words; though man may try to remove the Bible from all aspects of life, God will keep His Word alive and relevant. It is impossible to destroy the Word of God.

Taken with Psalm 12, verse 8, we could say that the Lord preserves His children from the wicked who walk on every side, at a time when those who are most vile are exalted. Does this not sound like our present day? 

Life does not hold many guarantees; not only do we see the evil works of man prevail, we also see life changing events that can occur in a moment. What a hopeless situation that presents. Yet, as Christians we know that life is not just a pattern of chance events, any of which could destroy all of our hopes and dreams.

The words of God are pure words. We can confidently rest in the assurance that His Word and its truths will never fail, and nothing that man can do can circumvent God's plans for his people. What seems unpredictable to us is perfectly in the plans of God for this world.

Equally sure are the promises of eternal life spent with God when the only words spoken will be pure words.

What an amazing God we have.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Who is Lord?

 3The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
 4Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
 5For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. 

Who is Lord?

What is faith? When the wicked are unleashed and cry out, "Who is lord over us?", where is our faith? We live in a time in which we readily understand verse 4 of Psalm 12.

 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

What is the true religion of our time? Even among professing Christians, humanism abounds--man is king; he is his own god. After all, what is there that man cannot do? He has explored the depths of the sea and the heights of heaven; he has even walked on the moon! We look up to our heros: athletes, actors and actresses, the rich, and especially those who lead the governments of this world.

But, who is Lord? Man is not his own lord. How, then, do we respond to what is happening around us? Our hope does not rest in mere men; our hope rests in God, alone! We know that the LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.

The world tramples upon the poor, but only for a time. We know the truth of Psalm 12:5.

For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

There is our faith and there is our hope. God is our Lord and King now! He will not become King sometime in the future--He already rules! The Lord will arise, and will set the poor and oppressed in safety.

I challenge Christians today to look to God in faith. Let us live as though the victory is already won, because in reality, it has been won. Pray that God will give us the grace, peace, and joy to go forward in the light of Christ, whose feet trample the hope of the wicked.

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Where Are the Godly?

 1Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
 2They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 

Where Are the Godly?

Where are the Godly? Where are the faithful? What do we do when we see the faithful fail from among the children of men? What do we do when the Lord's people join in with the ways of the world, speaking with flattering lips and double hearts?

David began Psalm 12 with the words: Help, LORD. As Christians we must be so careful that we realize that it is impossible for us to live the Christian life without the Lord. As we live each day, we must always go to Christ and plead for help; left to ourselves we will follow the natural, sinful tendencies of our hearts.

Too many Christians believe they have enough power in and of themselves to live faithfully before the Lord. These same Christians often become extremely critical of their neighbors, especially other Christians when they see them fall into sin. These are the very ones who speak of their closeness to the Lord, while speaking evil of other Christians. In other words they have double hearts.

The difficulty lies in the fact that we Christians often do not know our own hearts. We have no trouble knowing the hearts or others, or so we think, but we do not examine our own hearts before the Lord. There is no room for pride and arrogance in the Christian heart. With humility let us think of others as being better than ourselves, and let us understand that any greatness we may achieve for the Lord is due to the honor and glory of God, alone.

Where are the Godly? Help, Lord; help us to come before you with humble hearts, seeking your love and strength to get us through each day.

God answers prayer!

God Bless You,
Linda