Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sign of David

 24But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
 25I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.
 26He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
 27Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
 28My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
 29His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 

Sign of David

As Psalm 89 continues, it follows a rather interesting direction, expanding on the sign of David which was first introduced in verse 20.
I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
You may wonder what the sign of David has to do with Christians in this 21st century world. After all, David was the King of Israel over 2000 years ago. Psalm 89 follows a pattern not at all unusual in the Psalms. As we follow the flow of words we understand that the psalmist is speaking of David, but when we read such things as,
Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth,
we begin to realize that God is now speaking of Christ, who, humanly speaking was of the seed of David, and as God's firstborn, is higher than the kings of earth. Suddenly, we begin to see the relevance of Psalm 89 to Christians in the 21st century.

God made a covenant with David which still applies to all Christians today. As part of the seed of David and the seed of Christ, verse 29 explains that God's covenant will continue with the seed of David forever!
My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
How long is forever? How long will heaven exist? As we begin to understand the ramifications of this passage, we begin to see why Christians are so unmoved by daily circumstances which would overwhelm the average person. God is on the throne of heaven with Christ seated right beside Him, making intercession for all of His children. Rather than charge God foolishly when He does not respond as we think He should, we understand that His ways are greater than our ways. Not one hair falls from our heads without the knowledge of God.

This world is just our "elementary or secondary school" so to speak. We are continually being tested and learning how to become more and more like Christ. The day will come, however, when we will graduate from the duties and toils of this life and enter the courts of heaven forever.

So, what does the sign of David have to do with Christians today? Everything! All of the promises God made to David and his seed are being fulfilled in us, His children, today.
Oh what a wonder that Jesus found me.
Out in the darkness, no light could I see.
Oh what a wonder--He put His great arms under,
And wonder of wonders, He saved even me!
God Bless You,
Linda


Friday, March 30, 2012

God's Anointed

 19Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
 20I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:
 21With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
 22The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
 23And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 

God's Anointed

David was God's anointed king, chosen from His people. Just a shepherd, he was chosen above all of his brothers, and above all Israel, to lead his people. As written in Psalm 89, God established and strengthened David, subdued and conquered his enemies and protected him from the very arms of Satan. 

Sadly, the rulers of the nations in our time have lost the perspective of being anointed by God to lead their people. Little, if any, thought is given to being answerable to God for the deeds they do in this life, yet, they will, at the end of time, give an account to God for what they have done.

In actuality, all Christians are God's anointed, placed for a time on this earth to do a work for the Lord. Like David, God protects, leads, and guides us all the days of our life. Do we, as Christians, take our calling seriously, or do we continue to live our lives selfishly pursuing peace, happiness, and prosperity?

Most of us are so caught up in the affairs of this world, that we forget the spiritual world which coexists with us. Because we cannot physically see them, we forget that God's angels surround us continually, often engaged in fierce battles with the minions of Satan on our behalf. If we each were given the experience of being able to see, for just one day, all of the spiritual beings existing around us, we would never again take God's help for granted. Actually, one such day would probably terrify us so much that we would never be able to speak again!

Let us remember that we have not been given our time on this earth to selfishly pursue our own dreams; God has a work, specific to each and every one of us, to do, to advance His kingdom on this earth. Though we may not have been physically anointed with oil, we have been set apart by God just as King David was.

Each of us have been uniquely equipped by God for the task He has given to us to do. All of our lives He guards us and prods us to keep us on our preordained path, clearing the path before us of all danger, beating down our foes before our face, and plaguing them that hate us. 

Interestingly enough, the most direct path to experiencing joy, peace, and happiness in this life is through spending our lives for the glory of God. Let us, then, as God's anointed, live this day for the honor and glory of God, alone, for it is He who saves us, keeps us, and brings us safely home, at the end of our days, to live with Him forever!

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mystery of Faith

 11The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.
 12The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.
 13Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
 14Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
 15Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
 16In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.
 17For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.
 18For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. 

Mystery of Faith

Sometimes I am amazed at the depth of understanding of the Old Testament saints. The only Bible they had was the first five books of our Bible, and yet they had a profound understanding of who God was. Most people, in our "highly enlightened society" of the 21st century, have only an elementary understanding of who God is, in spite of having the entire Bible at their disposal. Why is that?

Just in these verses from Psalm 89, alone, look at all of the attributes of God listed by the writer of Psalm 89.

* The heavens and the earth belong to God.
* God founded the world--the north and the south.
* The world rejoices in its Creator.
* God's arm is strong.
* Justice and judgment are the habitation of God's throne.
* Mercy and truth go before God's face.
* God is the glory and strength of His people.
* God is the defender of His people.
* God, the Holy One of Israel, is their king (Israel being representative of the people of God).

All of the attributes listed above are found woven throughout the pages of God's Holy Word. Why, then, do we find so much unbelief in the world today? Christ explained the mystery of faith in this way:
 11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: (Mark 4:11, King James Version)
God's Word is a two-edged sword, giving life to those who believe, and pronouncing judgment upon those who do not believe. When God's children read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit enlightens their understanding; an unbeliever, reading the same Bible passage, misses the entire meaning, and goes away drowned in his own ignorance.

As Christians, let us cast aside our worries and troubles, as we pray to our dear Savior to open our hearts and minds of understanding. Then, let us read again the list of attributes given in Psalm 89. This, dear saint of God, is our God. His arm is strong and mighty, and His right hand is lifted up, ready to come to the aid of His children. In a world where mercy and truth are nonexistent, our God is a God of justice and judgment.

Let us not fall into the pit of self-glory, but let us give all glory and praise to our great and wondrous God, our Defender and King. Let us walk in the light of His countenance, rather than stumble in this world of darkness.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
 Amen!

God Bless You,
Linda



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who Lord?

 5And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
 6For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?
 7God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
 8O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
 9Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.
 10Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. 

Who Lord?

Who Lord is like unto Thee? What a magnificent psalm of praise to our great God and King! Even the heavens praise the wonders of God, but does man? How does man miss the obvious? Even creation cries out the wonders of God; even the creatures know and worship Him!

Look at the questions the writer asks.
For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?
O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee?
. . or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
How shall we answer the psalmist? None, Lord, but Thee!

Do we really want our lives ruled by lowly, sinful man? Can man compare to the strength of the Lord? Is man faithful like God? Did man create this world in which he lives? Can man rule the raging of the sea or still the waves? Can man rule the nations and scatter his enemies with his strong arm?

When man seeks to live his life in his own way, he is not just making a decision to be independent. Rather, he is making a decision to reject God.
 3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (Hebrews 2:3, King James Version)
The answer to that question is: we will not escape if we neglect so great a salvation provided for us by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even if every day of this life is lived on beds of ease, if no preparation is made for the life after this death, then all of eternity will be a time of suffering and torment. It does not even matter if we believe in life after death. Our belief of lack of belief does not make a difference; the reality of truth is not dependent upon anyone's belief!

Let us, then, rejoice in our great God and King, for no matter what evils we experience on this earth, the time will come when all of this life will pass away. What an amazing God we serve!

Who Lord is like unto Thee? No one!

God Bless You,
Linda



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thy Faithfulness


 1I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
 2For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
 3I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
 4Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. 

Thy Faithfulness

Before bringing his complaints to God, the writer of Psalm 89 begins with this triumphant voice of praise,
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
Indeed, the psalmist takes us to the very courts of God's throne, as he lifts his voice in praise to God. For in God, faithfulness and mercy shall be built up forever.

In actuality, the writer of this psalm is reminding his readers of the covenant God has made with David and his descendants--a covenant which will last forever. As a matter of fact, that covenant still exists today in the 21st century. Does one need to be of the seed of David to be included in this covenant? Yes and no! This covenant is for those who are of the spiritual seed of David only, which applies to all who trust Christ as their Savior from their sins which separate them from God.

Man, who would have been kept out of heaven forever, due to his sin nature, has a way to God through Christ, who shed His own blood that He might save a people for himself. We, who have accepted that payment, are that people.

Psalm 89 is a triumphant psalm for the believer. In Christ, we, too, will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, and make known His faithfulness to all generations. Think of it! God, who created the world and all of the heavenly hosts has made a covenant with us.

When we take a walk on this beautiful spring (or fall to my readers in the southern hemisphere) day, let us marvel at God's beautiful creation and remember that this same God has made a covenant with us. He who created such marvelous beauty, even to the tiniest detail, cares about His children.

This same God will surround us, care for us, keep us, and bring us safely into His arms for all eternity. It is more that we can possibly comprehend! Let us, then, join the psalmist in saying:
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
God Bless You,
Linda


Monday, March 26, 2012

O Lord!

 10Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
 11Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
 12Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
 13But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
 14LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
 15I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
 16Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
 17They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.
 18Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness. 

 O Lord!

There are times in every Christian's life when we seem to be overcome with life, and God seems to be far removed from us. Such appeared to be the case for the writer of Psalm 88, but it is noteworthy that, no matter how discouraged he became, he never ceased to cry out to God for help.
But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
I fear that when trials come our way, we are all too quick to blame God and cast Him aside, seeking comfort from the things of the world. Though the psalmist was sorely tried, he never ceased from calling out to the Lord for help.

The psalmist also understood that, in the end, all of his troubles came from the Lord. We shudder to cast one arrow of blame upon the Lord for the difficulties we endure, but we do know that, if He determined to do so, God could change our circumstances and relieve our sorrow. Knowing this, we are tempted to charge God foolishly, thinking He must quickly come to our aid.

In reality, the sorrow we face is the result of a world immersed in sin, and certainly not the fault of God. Though God could remove our difficulties from us, He often does not do so. Why is that?

There are two great lessons that every Christian must learn. First, God allows our trials so that we do not love this world too much. We are here for a time, but our real home is in heaven where all sorrows will be wiped away. Second, God wants us to learn to come to Him with our difficulties, as He, alone, can come to our aid, or at least give us comfort and grace to walk through the hard times.

It is important that we realize that peace, happiness, and joy do not come from the things of this world. That is a very hard lesson to learn, for everything we are taught in this world seems to cry out the opposite. Somehow, we are taught, if we have enough money, enough power, and enough good fortune, we will be happy. Yet, one look at the "rich and famous" of this world should be enough to show us that that is not the truth.

Let us then, especially when life seems to overflow with troubles, seek our help, peace, and joy from the Lord. Only in Him will we find true joy and peace, not just in this life, but for all eternity!
 11Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11, King James Version)
God Bless You,
Linda





Sunday, March 25, 2012

Troubled Soul


 3For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
 4I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
 5Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
 6Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
 7Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
 8Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
 9Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. 

 Troubled Soul

A Bible passage such as this from Psalm 88 is a hard one to understand especially for those who are still in the days of their youth when it is unlikely they have yet experienced such grievous afflictions. Not having experienced such a thing, we do not realize that, even for the believer, afflictions can so weigh us down to the point of having a troubled soul. 

This poor man was so grievously ill that he was lying at death's door and had lost that comfortable presence of God; it seemed to him that he had been shut up and forgotten by God. One commentator even stated, he believed this person spoke in a manner which never should be heard from the lips of a true believer.

When we read further in this Psalm, we will discover, however, that his heart is again lifted up to the Lord, as one would expect from one of God's children.

It is good that this Psalm is included in God's Word, for this is not so very unusual of an experience for a Christian. All of us, no matter how firm our faith in the Lord, can easily fall into great times of trouble so that it seems that even God has abandoned us. It is good to remember that we cannot hold on to our own faith; in our frailty we could not save ourselves, and neither can we keep ourselves saved. Like this poor suffering saint, we can easily begin to suspect that God has totally forgotten and deserted us, so that we, too, experience a grieving, troubled soul.

There are two wonderful things to remember when we reach such desperate straits. First, our salvation, and thus our soul, rests in the hands of God. No one and no thing can pluck our souls from the safe harbor of God's protection. Second, it was God who saved us and it is God who will keep us saved. Our salvation does not rest upon our feelings which will wax and wane throughout the difficult experiences of life. One moment we can feel so utterly close to God, and the next we wonder if we ever knew Him.

As Christians, we need to be sensitive to our fellow believers. We need them, and they need us. At times such as this, how helpful it would have been for this dear man to have been visited by Godly friends who could have comforted him and prayed with him.

Probably, one of the most poignant messages of this Psalm, however, is that, in the end, the only thing that matters in this life is our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. We can float through life on beds of ease, or stumble through from one difficulty to another, and yet, when we reach death's door, the only thing that matters is our relationship to Christ.

How have we responded to God's free offer of salvation? Have we put it off, preferring rather to taste the pleasures of this world, or have we realized our true, sinful state before God, and fallen before Him in repentance, calling for His dear Son to save us from our deadly, sinful state. 

In the end, that is all that matters. 

As we will find out, this dear man sought God for His help and strength, and even if He did not feel God's presence up until the last moment breath remained in his body, at the point of death, all of his suffering ended for all eternity, when he was ushered into the glorious presence of His Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

This world is not our home; God graciously sends times of suffering so that we will turn our hearts to the more important matter of the state of our souls. Do you have a troubled soul? Turn to Christ, He is the answer to all of life's problems; as a matter of fact, He is the only answer!

God Bless You,
Linda



Saturday, March 24, 2012

God of My Salvation

 1O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
 2Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; 

God of My Salvation

It is time that we, as Christians in the 21st Century, begin to understand what Christians have known for centuries. To Whom are we praying? Are we praying to some deity who may or may not hear us? Are we praying to a deity who is unmoved by our pleas, or too busy, or too self-centered to even notice us? No! Deities who are self-centered and unmoved by our pleas are man-made deities, and as such, behave just like men. 

That, however, does not describe the God of my salvation! The God of my salvation has a love like no man has ever known; He was willing to sacrifice His Son for a people who are so completely unworthy. There is nothing in and of ourselves that would cause Him to look upon us and say, "That one is worth the life of my Son."

Why, then, did God send His Son to die for those who are so reproachful as us? Why did Christ bother to leave the glories of Heaven to come to a world that would hate, despise, reject, and crucify Him?

I do not know! But, oh how thankful I am! Because He did send His Son to die for me, I know that I can cry out to Him day and night. I know that when I pray to Him, He will incline His ear unto my cry. I know that He is the God of my salvation.

Living in a time when men follow selfish and vain pursuits, each trying to climb the ladder of success upon the backs of one another, what an oasis to be able to come to the fountain of the Lord Jesus Christ, taste of the everlasting water that He offers, and never thirst again. This, dear Christian, is the God we love and serve.

It is time that we, as Christians, get off the fast-track to frenzy that feeds our world, and live under the Shadow of the Almighty. We do not have to fall into the traps of Satan, but rather can move through the mainstream of life unmoved and untouched by the flames of passion and greed that surround us.

Jesus had a purpose to fulfill, and was not side-tracked from that purpose, just as we, too, have a God-given purpose to fulfill. Just as Jesus told the woman at the well, in John 4, our "meat" is to do the will of our Father in Heaven. Let us then be busy sowing and reaping the harvest for God our Father.

God Bless You,
Linda


Friday, March 23, 2012

All My Springs are in Thee

 7As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee. 

All My Springs are in Thee

If you will remember, the subject of Psalm 87 is the city of Zion. As a postlude the psalmist concludes, "All my springs are in Thee." The idea the psalmist is conveying is that the city will be so filled with happiness and joy that continual singing will be heard in the city, especially in the temple. Finally, the great peace, joy, and happiness, that come from the Lord are realized as being the greatest joy known on earth. All other joys and pleasures found on earth will pale in comparison.

When you think of it, man will have finally come full circle. Adam and Eve enjoyed great peace and joy in their fellowship with God until the day sin entered the Garden. Never again would they experience such elation while on earth. Life, after such known blessings, must have been very difficult for Adam and Eve.

We, on the other hand, have not known the great joy and peace of being in constant fellowship with the Lord our God. We only have occasional glimpses of what life in heaven will be. We are such earthlings, filled with such a strong sin nature that we rarely ever overrule its destructive blasts upon our hearts and lives, except by the grace of God!

We do, however, in the 21st century understand the power of music, pouring forth millions of dollars into the entertainment industry. Imagine all that musical ability channeled into continuous praise for God, joined with the beautiful harmonies of the angels' voices. We will hear sounds gloriously praising God like we have never known or could know while on earth.

As a musician, I can hardly wait to participate in the great heavenly choruses. Indeed, all people will join voices with the angels; no one will be tone deaf! Music is certainly one of the greatest gifts God has given to man.

The phrase, "All my springs are in thee," is rather obscure. Spurgeon, his, Treasury of David, suggested the following:
The springs of my faith and all my graces; the springs of my life and all my pleasures; the springs of my activity and all its right doings; the springs of my hope, and all its heavenly anticipations, all lie in thee, my Lord.
Take some time today to ponder the joys that await us when we enter God's glorious land. As we enter the heavenly city of Jerusalem, I am sure we will all be singing, "All my springs are in Thee, Lord God Almighty."

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Born in Zion

 4I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.
 5And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
 6The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. 

Born in Zion

To what was the Psalmist referring when he said "This man was born in Zion."? In Psalm 87, Zion is the heavenly city; only true believers are allowed to be residents of Zion. In other words, this Psalm is telling of a time when God's people will not only be those of Jewish descent, but will include people from all over the world, even Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia.

We saw this prophecy fulfilled after Christ came, suffered, died, was buried, and then resurrected. Peter received a vision which he understood to mean the people of God would come from all nations. Gentiles were no longer to be considered unclean. Then Paul was specifically called to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. In our day we see the further fulfillment of Psalm 87 as we note that God's church has spread to almost all nations of the world.

The Psalmist is also speaking of the joy in being a Christian. People will consider themselves to be citizens, born in Zion, even more than their city of birth.
And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
When you consider the time in which this psalm was written, it would have been almost impossible for those contemporary to the writer's time to imagine such a thing. God's chosen people were those who were descended from the great Patriarch's; they could not fathom believers coming from any other nations.

We really are quite blessed to have such a wide perspective of God's work among His people. We not only have access to all of Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments, but we have been able to see the gradual fulfillment of God's Word as history has unfolded throughout the centuries. Yet, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and what He has prophesied will come to pass. 

What a mighty God we serve. Nations have risen and fallen, but none have lived, moved, or had their being apart from the mighty hand of God. He has established this world, overcome the stench of sin, and will gloriously bring His children to Him at the end of time. Man has had his time, and though he has stood decidedly against God, his time will come to an end. God will reign victoriously, and all men will bow the knee to Him and declare His majesty.

This is our God, and we, as His children, are proud to be born in Zion!

God Bless You,
Linda


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Glorious Things Are Spoken

 1His foundation is in the holy mountains.
 2The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
 3Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah. 

Glorious Things Are Spoken

Because the Psalms are not placed in chronological order, it is not always easy to understand the significance of a particular Psalm. This is certainly true of Psalm 87. Written by the sons of Korah years after the reigns of David and Solomon, the situation in Israel is much different. The Israelites had returned from captivity, the tabernacle had been rebuilt, but their numbers were quite small in comparison to earlier days.

Encouraging the people to return to their First Love, the psalmist is speaking of a future time when the Lord will reign from the gates of Zion. The city of Zion, more beautiful than any city they had ever known, even more beautiful than they could hardly imagine, would rise in splendor and majesty at the foot of the holy mountains. All peoples of the earth would exclaim over its remarkable state, for, indeed, the blessing of God would be upon the city. The words upon the lips of all people would be, "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God."

When the sons of Korah wrote this Psalm, the church of God was certainly at a low point; it was hard to imagine that a time would ever come when such greatness would encompass God's church. Having the advantage of centuries of time passing since this particular Psalm was written, we have seen God's amazing protection and the resultant growth of God's church. Though suffering much persecution throughout the ages, God's people, by His grace alone, have grown and remained strong. Interestingly enough, Christianity seems to have spread more prolifically during times of suffering and persecution, while it seems to have languished during times of comfort and prosperity.

Though written primarily for the Jewish people, Psalm 87 is a great encouragement to all of the people of God. As we see such wanton disregard for the things of God in our day, this Psalm reminds us that it will not always be so. God still reigns supreme, and among the saints of God it can still be said, Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.

What is the lesson in this Psalm for Christians in the 21st century? It is so important that God's people do not become caught up in the rise of the worship of man, which is so predominant in our culture. The theme for this century, worldwide, seems to be, "Glorious things are spoken of thee, o man!" As Christians, let us be careful to set our heart affections upon Christ, alone.

Second, God's people need to remember that they have a God-ordained purpose to fulfill during their time upon this earth. Though it is not wrong to enjoy the benefits available during this time of worldwide prosperity, the heart of the Christian must not be consumed by the love of this world. Our focus needs to be upon Christ, and the work He has for each one of us to do.

Third, as we see an increased animosity against Christians, we need to remember that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ. If He should choose to take us through times of persecution, and/or if we seem to face one difficulty after another when everyone around us seems to be living a life of ease, let us remember Psalm 87. We have a future, bright and eternal, when all the world will say, Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.

God Bless You,
Linda



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Help and Comfort

 16O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.
 17Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me. 

Help and Comfort

Where do we go for help and comfort? David, the writer of Psalm 86, understood that the only place to go for help and comfort is the Lord. To go to any other would only give a temporary salve, if that, but the comfort of the Lord is a deep balm to our souls.

Isaiah picks up this same theme in chapter 52,
9  Break forth into joy, sing together,   
      You waste places of Jerusalem! 
      For the LORD has comforted His people, 
      He has redeemed Jerusalem
       (Isaiah 52:9, New King James Version)
Why is the Lord our help and comfort? He is our help and comfort because He has redeemed Jerusalem. If Christ had not come and had not died for His children, there would be no comfort available known to man, for man would be steeped in his own sin with no hope for remediation.

But Christ did come, and He did shed His own precious blood on behalf of His people, and then He conquered sin and death for all eternity that He might save a people for Himself. Who are these people? 

As we look through the annals of history, we discover that God appeared unto certain men throughout time. Genesis gives us the history of God calling a people for Himself, through His most humble servant, Abraham, promising him that his children would be as the sands of the sea. 

When Christ was resurrected and was about to ascend into heaven, He gave a charge to his disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. We see, then, that even Gentiles were included in God's great call; even Gentiles would be part of the spiritual seed of Abraham.

Truly the Gospel is a simple, but most profound blessing. God, through His Son, took on the form of a man, like unto us, except without sin, with the sole intent of paying the awful debt of our sin. But that is not all. When He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, He promised to send a Comforter.

That Comforter, the Holy Spirit, does not just visit us, but, rather, He lives within the hearts of all true believers. It is more than we could ever hope or imagine--God living within our very hearts and souls.

As you go about the duties of this day, remember, if you are a child of God, Christ lives within your heart. You have access to Him 24/7. Ask Him for help and comfort; ask Him to intercede for you before God, the Father; and ask Him to keep you from sin which so easily entangles us.

Amazing love, how can it be,
That Thou, my God, didst die for me?

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, March 19, 2012

But Thou!

 14O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
 15But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 

But Thou!

Can you not hear the agony in David's voice as he prays to God,
O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
Yet, as he continues his prayer, we read these two words, "But Thou!" And, that makes all the difference. Do we not often find ourselves in the same circumstance? As we look at our lives and try to glance into the future, we see nothing but gloom and doom. How can anything good come from our present circumstances? 

How correct we are, except for these same two words, "But Thou!" All would be hopeless if what we saw in the world around us is all there is. This world is filled with selfishness, bitterness, hatred, and disappointments, but our God is full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Can you imagine a world in which all sorrow, trouble, and suffering was gone, and all the people who lived in it loved the Lord God? In place of wrangling and fighting, peace and joy would rein in the hearts and lives of all of the people. It is hard to imagine, and certainly will not happen in the world as it exists today, but this world has an end, and in its place will be the new heavens and the new earth.

As Christians, it is important that we remember to be patient during our years of trouble on this earth, for this is not our end. This is just a short passage on our way to the promised land which the Lord Jesus Christ is, even now, preparing for His children. 

While we must live on this earth, let us make the most of reading and studying God's Word, so that we prepare ourselves for our true home in the new heavens and new earth, which will last for all eternity. Though we must wait for a time, we do not have to wait to experience the joy and peace that are gifts from our Lord. As we learn more about Him, and become more like Him, He will give us the ability to see beyond our earthly sorrows.

The next time you are overcome with the burdens of this life, I encourage you to remember these two words, "But God!" Before this life overwhelms you with its trials and burdens, pray that God will fill you with His sweetness and joy as you contemplate our great and wondrous God. He is all truth, purity, loveliness, joy, and peace, and He is our Father.

May God hasten the day when we enter into His great courts of love.

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thy Way

 11Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
 12I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
 13For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. 

Thy Way

The first six words of Psalm 86, verse 11, are of necessity, the motto for every true child of God.
Teach me thy way, O LORD.
We must remember that though we have been blessed with many faithful ministers of God who preach the Bible consistently and faithfully, it is our own personal responsibility as Christians to learn and grow in the Lord. The Bible is our school book which we must faithfully read and study, so that we may be able to correctly discern God's way.

We may at first object that we are not schooled in the Hebrew and Greek, so how can we possibly understand God's Word? Yes, it would be better if we understood the original languages, however, through the providence of God, there are many good translations written in our own native languages, that we may read and study in the comfort of our own homes.

In addition, as born again children of God, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within our hearts who instructs us and teaches us, so that our reading and studying may be profitable, and our hearts instructed by the truths contained in its pages. In addition, many great works have been written in the forms of sermons and commentaries to help our own lack of schooling. As a matter of fact, there remains to this day, works of many of the early church fathers from hundreds of years ago, that have been translated into other languages. It is amazing how relevant these works are to us in the 21st century, for God's Word is timeless in its application to our lives.

We, as children of God, must say with the psalmist,
I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
Oh that we would turn off our televisions and put away our fanciful games that quickly distract us from the Word of God, and spend our free time immersed in the study of God's Word. What we at first think would be the most boring of all forms of entertainment, will become our lifeblood, and we will find ourselves longing for more time to spend in reading and in prayer

As we become more and more acquainted with our dear Lord and Savior, our hearts will burn with joy when we read verses such as Psalm 86:12 and 13.
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
For the time being, we are trapped in a world that hates God, but we must patiently wait for that time when we will be released from the bands of this earth that hold us fast. While here, let us fill our hearts and minds with the knowledge of the Lord, and pray that God will use us to faithfully proclaim His Word to those who have not come to Him.

Let this be our new motto:  Thy way; not my way!

God Bless You,
Linda




Saturday, March 17, 2012

None Like Thee!

 8Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
 9All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
 10For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. 

None Like Thee! 

As we meditate upon God's wondrous works, we must agree with the psalmist, David, "O Lord, there is none like Thee!" 

Oh what love God displayed when He rescued man from himself! When sin entered into the hearts of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there was no hope. They had sealed their own, as well as all of mankind's, self-destruction. Yet God, in His great love and mercy, sent His only Son to pay that awful debt of sin. Nothing but the shedding of Christ's blood could erase, forever, the penalty of Adam and Eve's fateful decisions. 

Does that mean that all men are saved from the penalty of sin? No. The Bible tells us, in John 3:16, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are not saved. 

And, that is not all! God does not sit in heaven and watch His people work their way through this life in a haphazard fashion. Instead, He leads His children, even through the valley of the shadow of death.  His children are not only saved from the results of sin, but God has given a new heart and a new life to them. Though they will still battle their own sins in this life, the day will come when they will be released, forever, from this body of sin and death, and will enter the glories of heaven to live with the Lord forever.

Sadly, Satan, when cast into the lake of fire, will carry a large percentage of mankind with him, who have bought into his evil and deceptive lies. In their pride and arrogance, most do not even see their need of a savior. Yet, the day will come when all nations will come and worship before God, and will glorify His holy name. As they stand before the great judgment seat of Christ, they will find themselves without excuse, but it will be too late.

We are told in 2 Corinthians 6:2 that, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Now is the day when the portals of heaven stand open, and all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved.
 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12, King James Version)
We can do nothing but bow before God and say, Thou art great, and doest wondrous things; thou art God alone

Truly, their is none like Thee, O Lord!

God Bless You,
Linda






Friday, March 16, 2012

No Doubt!

 6Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
 7In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. 

No Doubt!

Do you hear any doubt in David's words in Psalm 86? No, there is no doubt in his mind. He does not say, "In the day of my trouble you may answer me." He says, "In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me."

This is the God we serve. He is available 24/7, and is ready to hear, and ready to answer, the pleas of help from His children. That reminds me of the time Elijah challenged the worshipers of Baal to a duel.
 24And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
 25And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
 26And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
 27And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
 28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
 29And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. (1 Kings 18:24-29, King James Version)
After praying all day, from morning until the time of the evening sacrifice, the worshipers of Baal received no answer from their god. You will remember, then, that Elijah arranged his altar to God, and poured water all over the sacrifice and the wood, not just once, but three times. Then, what happened?
 36And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
 37Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
 38Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. (1 Kings 18:36-38, King James Version)
Elijah's God is the same God we worship today. He is just as ready today as He was for Elijah. Call upon God today, and He will save you, keep you, and bring you safely into His kingdom at the end of your days upon this earth. There is nothing more glorious than living your life committed to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

No doubt!

God Bless You,
Linda



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rejoice the Soul

 3Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
 4Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
 5For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. 

Rejoice the Soul

Don't you love that phrase, "Rejoice the soul."? Sometimes, after reading the daily headlines, there does not seem to be much to rejoice about. Countries in the Mid East are gearing up for what looks to be another major conflict. Actually, things do not seem to be all that different, militarily speaking, from the time that David wrote Psalm 86.

Even in the midst of conflict after conflict, some at the hands of his own family members, David could say,
Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Though troubles seemed to swirl all around him, David looked to God, his strength and his fortress. In a time when he hardly knew who to trust--who was good or evil--he said, "Thou, Lord, art good." God is good! Today, in the 21st century, God has not changed. We seem to have lost the sense of black and white or good and evil. No one is simply one or the other, but all are a mixture. Even in our politics, we do not require such an impossible characteristic as goodness in our leaders. However, we can trust in the Lord, for their is no evil nor shadow of turning in our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

David was a faithful king of Israel, but was he perfect? Certainly not, and neither are we. Satan, that great accuser, does not let us forget our sins; he is quick to remind us of our own unworthiness. It is amazing how quickly we can be discouraged and kept from faithfully serving the Lord when we are reminded of our sins. When looking upon his own mottled past, David remembered that the Lord was ready to forgive.

When Satan accuses us, we need to say to him, "Yes, I am a sinner and I have committed those sins, however, my God is ready to forgive. I have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, and His blood has washed my sins all away."

David also noted that the Lord is plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Him. The Lord's arm is not shortened so that He cannot come to our aid. His mercy is ever abounding.
 30For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
 31Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
 32For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
 33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
 34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
 35Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
 36For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Romans 11:30-36, King James Version)
We cannot begin to plumb the depth of the riches of God--for of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things: to whom be glory for ever.

I cannot think of a better verse to rejoice the soul. 

God Bless You,
Linda



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Am Holy

 1Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
 2Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. 

 I Am Holy

In this beautiful prayer, David makes a rather interesting statement. He said, "I am holy." What does that mean? What made him holy? Are all Christians holy?

Here is a simple definition of "holy" from the Merriam Webster dictionary:
  1. Dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred: "the Holy Bible"; "the holy month of Ramadan".
  2. (of a person) Devoted to the service of God: "saints and holy men".
According to this definition, David was consecrated to God, or to the service of God.

What made David holy? Was David holy because he was the king? No! If that were true, then all kings would be holy, but we certainly would not want to make that statement. Somehow, I cannot think of Nero, who was one of the most evil of all the Roman emperors, as being holy.

Romans 11, verse 16, tells us:
 16For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. (Romans 11:16, King James Version)
Then we read in 1 Peter, chapter 1:
 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:15-16, King James Version)
God, who has called us is holy. He is the root spoken of in Romans 11. The branches are all of the children of God. In other words, all Christians are holy. David was holy because he was a believer.

What a sobering thought! According to the definition of "holy," then, all Christians are consecrated to God; devoted to His service. Do we live as though we are consecrated to God? How seriously do we take our relationship to Christ? 

If we, as Christians, are set apart and devoted to God's service, why do we spend so many hours, days, week, months, and even years chasing after the things of this world? God has given to us all that we need for peace, joy, contentment, and happiness. We will never find these things in the world, but they are all found in Christ.

As we go about the duties of this day, let us think about the words of David, "I am holy." How will that make me a different person today?

God Bless You,
Linda





Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mercy, Truth, Righteousness, and Peace

 10Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
 11Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
 12Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
 13Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps. 

Mercy, Truth, Righteousness, and Peace

Whenever we see the words, mercy, truth, righteousness, and peace, linked together, we understand that we are speaking of God, for none of these attributes belong to us apart from God! Our world is steeped in unrighteousness and our earth is sadly affected by the effects of sin. However, as the psalmist so beautifully pointed out, all is not lost for our sin-infested land.
Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
These verses seem especially poignant at this time of the year. I live in a beautiful city that is inundated with flowers, beginning with its annual "Tulip Time" celebration the first week of May. From season to season God's promise is reflected in a beautiful array of colors beginning early in the spring and lasting through the latter days of fall. As a matter of fact, the warm winter we had has brought the flowers early; in late February the tulips already began to break through the silent black earth.

What does this have to do with mercy, truth, righteousness, and peace? As we consider these pure attributes of our Lord Jesus Christ, all nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres. (From the song, "This is My Father's World"). Nature loudly proclaims the glory of God and reminds of us the many promises granted to all humans, even the unbelievers, by our loving Creator.

We tend to take such things for granted. God tells us in Matthew,
 45. . . . for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45, King James Version)
Jesus is reminding us that we are to love our enemies and pray for their conversion. For now, they enjoy the great benefits given by God, but if they remain in their lost estate, the day will come when they will suffer the loss of all of God's benefits granted to men on this earth. Indeed, those not written in the lamb's book of life will spend eternity totally removed from God. We cannot imagine the horror of an existence where mercy, truth, righteousness, and peace, will never again be found.

Take some time this week and take a walk, enjoying the new beginnings of spring (or the latter days of summer if you live south of the equator). As the robins begin to return to their summer homes, marvel at God's faithfulness to these lowly creatures. He has instilled within them a time table so that they know that warm days will again return into the northern parts of the earth. Even the creatures benefit from the mercy, truth, righteousness and peace of our great God and King!

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda


Monday, March 12, 2012

All Good!

 8I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
 9Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. 

All Good!

We hear this phrase spoken,  "It's all good." However, is it? After reading the verses shown above from Psalm 85, we can certainly say, "It's all good!"

We live in a time when we hardly know what it means to fear God. We may fear our families, friends, neighbors, acquaintances--at least we may fear what they think of us--but, to fear God hardly even enters our thoughts or minds. Everything we can see, feel, and touch is relevant, but spiritual things are just that--spiritual, and not necessarily relevant to every day life.

The concept of a God who needs to be fear is not much to our liking. A God of love who bestows all kindness and grace upon us is quite nice, just so we do not get too serious about Him, let alone need to fear Him.

However, to fear God does not mean to live in terror of Him, although if we do not fear Him we should live in terror of Him! To fear God means to love Him and to desire His will to be done, instead of our own will. Again, that is not a very popular view. We feel quite put off with the idea of anyone tampering with our free will, much less desiring to obey the will of another.

As Christians, however, we have come to realize that, apart from God, we are only evil continually. Our own desires are far removed from Godliness and holiness. We are creatures of this world, and are immersed in all of the pleasures and delights of this world. In Christ, however, a change occurs in our innermost being. Rather than serving our selfishness, we seek to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and His holiness. We begin to fear and revere His name.

In reflecting upon this, the psalmist urges the Lord's people not to turn again to folly, but rather to hear what the Lord speaks, and turn back to Him. Then, God's salvation will be near to them and glory may again dwell in their land. 

We like to think of politics and morality as being separated from one another--like our idea of the separation of church and state. However, morality and politics should go hand in hand. A government that fears the Lord will reap the blessings of the Lord. This was demonstrated time and again with the nation of Israel. God blessed the nation when their kings feared and served Him, but brought calamity upon them when they served the gods of the surrounding nations.

The next time you hear the phrase, "It's all good," I encourage you to think about whether it really is all good or not. For the nation, and for the person, who fears God, it is, indeed, all good!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Turn Us!

 4Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
 5Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
 6Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
 7Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. 

Turn Us!

Rightly, the psalmist cried out to God, "Turn Us!" The psalmist understood that it is our turning away from God, our first love, which often brings calamities upon us. God, in His great love toward us, uses the circumstances of this life to mold us and shape us until we become more and more conformed to His righteous image.

In truth, we are weak creatures who are apt to wilt at the first sign of discomfort and peril. When in the middle of difficult times it seems as though we have been enduring a stream of unending struggles.

We must be careful, however, not to judge one another harshly when we see another person's life heaped with one difficulty after another. We certainly do not want to make the mistake made by Job's three friends, accusing Job of great wrong-doing based upon the judgments of God that seemed to rain down upon him.

How, then, are we to properly view times of trouble? God uses times of trouble to school His dear children. It is right and proper for us to seek God's help, for He alone has the ability to remove the troubles from us. In His wisdom, God desires us to learn two things. First, God wants us to turn to Him as the source of all of our help, and second, God weans us from our over-arching love for this world.

We see, then, that our troubles are used to increase our faith in the Lord, and to increase our longing for Christ. The more we reach to the things of this earth to bring us happiness and peace, the more we see the fallacy in such a notion. True joy and peace are gifts from God and are certainly not attained through any pleasures on this earth.

Like the psalmist, let us pray to God, "Turn us . . . shew us thy mercy O LORD, and grant us thy salvation." What an amazing God we serve. He saves us, keeps us, and brings us safely home to live with Him forever!

God Bless You,
Linda


Saturday, March 10, 2012

None beside Thee!

 1Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
 2Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
 3Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. 

None beside Thee!

Five times in these few short verses, the psalmist uses the word, "Thou," and rightly so, for there is none other name, in heaven or on earth, whereby we must be saved.
 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12, King James Version)
Oh how we need, in our day, a huge dose of humility; we have been led to believe that there is nothing man cannot accomplish if he sets his mind to it, but that is not true! Salvation is all of God and none of man.

Man was created perfect in all his ways, but when left a choice, he turned against God and sin entered our world. Never would this world be the same again! It was not only man, but all of nature, including the plants and animals, that suffered from man's fall. Is there then no hope?

That is the amazing thing about God. Who could even imagine such love for His creation that He would send His only Son to become a lowly creature, yet without sin, that He might save a people for Himself? And, there is more!

God chose a people for Himself from the seed of Abraham, a people whose history is tainted again and again with the sin of unbelief, and of turning against Him. Did He give up on them? No! As the psalmist acknowledged in Psalm 85:
Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
Even more amazing, Christ purchased salvation with His own blood for all who would call upon Him to be saved. As the writer, Christina Rosetti, penned these beautiful words, there is none other Lamb, none other Name, none other hope in heaven or earth or sea. There is none other hiding place from guilt and shame, none beside Thee!

  1. None other Lamb, none other Name,
    None other hope in heav'n or earth or sea,
    None other hiding-place from guilt and shame,
      None beside Thee.
  2. My faith burns low, my hope burns low;
    Only my heart's desire cries out in me
    By the deep thunder of its want and woe,
      Cries out to Thee.
  3. Lord, Thou art Life, though I be dead;
    Love's fire Thou art, however cold I be;
    Nor heaven have I, nor place to lay my head,
      Nor home but Thee
    .

Salvation is all of Christ and none of man. None beside Thee!

God Bless You,
Linda