Monday, April 30, 2012

The Trees Rejoice!

 10Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
 11Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
 12Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
 13Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. 

The Trees Rejoice!

How can the trees rejoice? How can a field be joyful? Can the trees and the fields be sad? Yes!

You will remember that this series of psalms devotions is entitled, "First Love." Though we do not commonly think this way, even nature calls its First Love, God. When man fell as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, they were not the only ones affected by their sin. Not only would they now suffer illness, disease, and ultimately death, but nature would as well.

As a matter of fact we cannot even begin to imagine what this world must have been like before sin and death entered its portals. As we look at the verses shown above from Psalm 96, just what is it that made the heavens rejoice, the earth be glad, the sea roar, the field be joyful, and the trees rejoice? They are all joyful,
Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
Sin by Satan has entered this world and seems to reign triumphant, but its days are numbered. When that last day arrives, the Lord Jesus Christ will return triumphant, and the world will no longer be held in bondage by Satan and his forces of evil. For the wicked, it is a terrible day, for at last their sin and wickedness will be abolished forever. However, for the righteous it will be a day of righteousness and gladness such as this world has not known since its creation.

Not only will the righteous rejoice at the return of their Savior, but it will be a great day of rejoicing for all of nature as well. On that day we will even see the trees rejoice!

The next time someone tells you that Satan is the ruler of this world, think about what they are really implying. No, Satan does not rule this world? His sin has terribly affected this world, but Satan is not its master.

God in His sovereignty does not always stay the wicked hand of Satan, but even that is according to His eternal purpose for this world. The plans that God had in place even before the creation of the world have not been altered. Everything He has ordained has and will come to pass, for our eternal God and Father is the only Sovereign Ruler of this world, as well as all creation beyond its limited borders.
Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
May God hasten the day when the trumpet shall sound and the Lord shall return. 

Rejoice, Rejoice oh Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing,
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him,
The help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives! He lives!
Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart!

Amen, so come quickly Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda





Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beauty of Holiness


 6Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
 7Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
 8Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
 9O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. 

Beauty of Holiness

Psalm 96 takes us into the very throne room of God. Gone is our pride and envy, gone is our self-ambition and arrogance, and gone is our complaining and discontent. For here, in the very presence of God Himself is strength, glory, and majesty; here in the presence of God is the beauty of holiness!

Nothing has been tainted by the stench of sin. Here the angels sing the music of the starry heavens, in chords resplendent with songs too beautiful to be heard on earth. Here all creatures bow down before their great and awesome God crying, "Glory, glory, glory. Glory to Him Who is, Who was, and Who is to come."

His radiance fills the heavens; from the brightness of His glory, all shadows flee away. When He speaks, all hush to hear the sound of His magnificent voice; from Him is all wisdom and knowledge and understanding. Before Him, none can speak a word.

All fall before His face and praise His glorious name, offering Him their complete love and servitude. All shout with joy giving glory to His Holy Name. 

This is the God we serve; rightly the psalmist says, "Fear before Him, all the earth." For who can stand before Him? Who can stay His hand? Who can resist His will? Even the winds and the waves do His bidding. 

What have we done? How have we slid so far away from God that He is mocked and scorned right in our presence and yet we take no offense? His name is rebuked and slandered and we remain silent. Does God not see? Does He no longer hear what is said among the ungrateful residents of this earth? Does He not care?

As children of God, let us rise up and place God on the thrones of our hearts. Let us determine to spend every waking moment living in obedience to His Word. Let us shake off the temptations and pleasures of this world and let us immerse ourselves in the study of His commands, crying out for the grace to live in a manner that is pleasing to Him. 

In so doing, may we rekindle our awareness of the strength and beauty of His majesty so that our hearts may burn with praise to Him. Yes, let us worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, and fear before Him.

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










Saturday, April 28, 2012

A New Song!

 1O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
 2Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
 3Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
 4For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
 5For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 

A New Song!

The call has gone out, the cymbals are clashing, the trumpets are blasting forth a new song! Once I was lost, but now am found! All things have changed; everything is new. Once I sang the dirges of this pagan world, but now I sing a new song--a song of praise to the Lord God, Omnipotent who reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

It is a brand new life! When a sinner repents, takes his eyes off the world, and sets his heart affections upon the Lord Jesus Christ everything changes. Where there was despair, there is hope. Where there was discouragement, there is praise and adoration. Where there was sadness and discontent, there is joy and peace. Where there was selfish ambition, there is loving passion for the lost. The new believer has a new heart, new peace, and a new purpose.

Who is this God we love and serve? He is the Lord God Almighty, who is great and greatly to be praised. He is to be feared above all gods, for all the gods of the nations are idols. But the LORD made the heavens and earth, the sea and the dry land, the stars and moon that shine by night, and the sun that shines by day. He keeps the planets in their orbits, and He lives and rules in the hearts of His children.

Yet this great and wondrous God has chosen a people for Himself. Bought by the blood of His own dear and precious Son, their sinful, wicked hearts have been replaced by hearts of love and adoration. Never alone again, they are in constant communion with their precious Savior who walks beside them all the days of their life on this earth. God the Father delights in His own, and His ears are continually open to their cries. 

This is God! There is none other! Go to Him today; cast yourselves before His face and cry out to Him for His salvation that is so full and free. Fill your hearts and lives with a new song--a song of honor and praise to the great and wondrous God who rules over all of the heavens and the earth. Yet He is never too busy for times of communion and fellowship with His own dear children.

Haughty and arrogant are the people of this earth who would deign to shake their fists in the face of God. The day will come when every single man, woman, and child who ever lived upon this earth will bow the knee before Him and acknowledge Him as the only true King and Lord over all the universe. But, it will be too late; the time of repentance will be over.

Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2) Come to Christ today and join me in a new song of praise and adoration to our Redeemer.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, April 27, 2012

What Went Wrong?

 6O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
 7For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
 8Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
 9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
 10Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
 11Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. 

What Went Wrong?

Right on the heels of the psalmist's glorious call to worship in verses 6 and 7, comes a bold, stern warning,
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
What went wrong? 

Here was this mighty throng of people who had marched stolidly out of Egypt, had watched as God destroyed their enemies right before their eyes, and saw manna rain down from heaven. How could such a people ever doubt this wondrous God who manifested Himself in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night?

Sadly, God recounts,
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways.
The people of God took their eyes off God and succumbed to the delights and temptations of this world. If such a people as this could not remain faithful to God who had showed Himself to them in such miraculous ways, is there no hope for us?

We have one thing that this nation did not have. We have the completed Word of God. God is revealed to us throughout the pages of His Word, as He moved among His people. As we study His Word, we see their failures, and we see their successes,

We see the prophesied Messiah coming to save His people. Born in a humble manger, raised by a poor carpenter, He astounded the learned when He was only twelve with His great understanding of God's Word. We see as He revealed Himself to His disciples, and while He walked among the throngs proclaiming His Father. We see the agony He suffered as He died on a cruel cross, but then rose victorious three days later.

Now we are at a crossroads. With the pages of God's Word loudly proclaiming our Savior, what will we do? Is it enough to accept Him as our Savior, and then go on living our lives as though nothing has changed? No! That is what went wrong with the people of God. They let their hearts wander to the captivating things of this world.

He who "accepts" Christ as His Savior, but then shows no change of heart must question the validity of his salvation. To truly receive Christ as our Savior, means that we also receive Him as our Lord and King. With new hearts filled with love for God, our desires quickly change.

Does that mean that the world no longer tempts us? No! Unfortunately we will spend the rest of our days on this earth warring against our own sin nature. Let us pray that God will graciously work in our hearts and keep us from succumbing to the pleasures of this world, that last for only a moment.

In Christ we find a joy and peace that will take us through the evils of this world, and bring us safely into His kingdom where we will live with Him forever! Let us, then, turn our eyes upon the Lord Jesus, and pray for His help to turn away from the glittering temptations of this world.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.
God Bless You,
Linda



Thursday, April 26, 2012

God of All Creation

 1O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
 2Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
 3For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
 4In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
 5The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 

God of All Creation

Truly our God is worthy of all of our worship and praise, for there is nothing that He does not control! He hand is in the deep places of the earth, the hills, the sea, and the dry land, in other words, He is the God of all creation.

To understand the significance of what the psalmist is implying, we need to look at the time in which this psalm was written. Each group of people had their own gods with their own specific specialties. In 1 Kings 20, the king of Syria came out against the king of Israel, but was soundly defeated.
 23And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. (1 Kings 20:23, King James Version)
How did God respond?
 28And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. (1 Kings 20:28, King James Version)
Do we do the same thing today? Do we limit God's power based upon anything or anyone other than God? Too often, we think of God as though He is human, and therefore subject Him to the same limitations that we have. God is God! He who created the worlds and all of the starry host is not limited in any way, neither is He manipulated by our actions or even lack of actions.

We have lost that perspective of God. In our age of great scientific discovery we think we have lost the need of God, or at least have limited His power. In doing so, we have stripped Him of His absolute power over all things.

For example, when is the last time you have heard someone dare imply that natural disasters come at the hand of God? Natural disasters, according to our society, come randomly by the hand of mother nature. Who is mother nature? What happened to our Father God?

We resist the idea that God would use natural disasters because the god of the 21st century is only a god of love. Yes, God is a God of love, but that also means that He is a God of justice. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by the hand of God, and the world was destroyed by a great flood in the time of Noah, so God uses the same means in our day to wake up His children and to cause people to turn to Him.

The disciples marveled at Jesus when He rebuked the wind when they were tossed wildly about on the open sea. As the God of all creation, the winds, the lightening, and all other natural forces are never out of God's control. Every flash of lightening strikes exactly where He determines it will strike.

Let us return to the God of all creation, and pray that we will not diminish His power in our minds by our own prejudicial beliefs. This, dear child of God, is the God we love and serve. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent (all powerful, all knowing, and all present [present everywhere]). Can we not trust Him completely?
1O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
God Bless You,
Linda





Wednesday, April 25, 2012

War of the Worlds

 20Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
 21They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
 22But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
 23And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off. 

War of the Worlds

War! It has an ugly sound, but nothing expresses better the battling relationship between good and evil. It is not just a good movie or book theme, it is the reality that exists in our world. Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the two sides were cast against one another.

Pride began this war of the worlds. Satan desired to be like God, ruling all of creation. Not being satisfied with His ultimate defeat, he has determined to drag a large number of humanity with him, and so the die was cast, so to speak.

In our present day society we like to think of ourselves as being more civilized; rather than battling against one another, the theme is: negotiate.  Unfortunately, there is no middle ground on which to negotiate. The psalmist asks,
Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
Though the battles rage on, the war of the worlds was actually finished before it even began. Before our world was even created, God had a plan in place which guaranteed Satan's ultimate defeat.
And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.
If we are not able to negotiate, and God has already defeated the enemy, what are we, as Christians, to do? Are we just to live our lives for our own pleasure, for the end has already been determined? Unfortunately that is the attitude of many believers; life is too enticing for them to be concerned about their unbelieving friends and neighbors.

God did not place us here for our own enjoyment! That does not mean that life needs to be miserable, or that we are to go about life with long faces. It does mean, however, that God has a job for us to do! We must pray for our unbelieving friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and, by the grace of God, live before them in a manner pleasing to God, praying that they may come to a believing knowledge of Christ.
 5Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:5-6, King James Version)
Go, then, in the power of God, brush off your rusty sword, and be ready to participate in the war of the worlds. In all things may the Lord Jesus Christ be praised!

God Bless You,
Linda



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Who Will Stand?

 16Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
 17Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.
 18When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.
 19In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. 

Who Will Stand?

Crying out over the centuries, the psalmist queries,
"Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?"
And, the psalmist is talking to you! God did not grant us salvation so that we can say, "Ho, hum," and be on our merry way. God has a work to do for every single believer. The clarion call has gone out and we must answer.

You may say, "I have no talents." Perhaps you will say, "Well, I would do something, but "Suzie Smart" and "Eloquent Emmett" would do a much better job." How does the psalmist respond to your resistance?

The psalmist replies,
'"Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence." When I said, "My foot slippeth;" thy mercy O LORD, held me up."'
The Lord only requires two things.
 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
 38This is the first and great commandment.
 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39, King James Version)
You may say, "Well that is to simplistic. It requires more than that."

The truth is, it does not! God, who has reached down from heaven and given to you the breath of life eternal, has already equipped you for the work He has ordained for you from before the beginning of time. You see, in our minds we worship a small God. "Oh, He is great for others, but not for me," we may say. But this great God who created the universe has no trouble equipping you for the specific task He has for you.

Pray that God would grant you a burning desire to know Him better and give you a love for the lost who are already in your life. Then pray that He will show you the paths to take. May you, too, say with the psalmist,
"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul."
And, so I ask you again, "Who will stand?"

God Bless You,
Linda






Monday, April 23, 2012

Return unto Righteousness

 12Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;
 13That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
 14For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
 15But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it. 

 Return unto Righteousness

To understand the title of today's devotional, as well as its theme, think for a moment about the phrase; return on your investment. What does that mean? In layman's terms it means that the money you invest has to somehow bring you a return or profit.

Now, let us apply that to the phrase, return unto righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ chastises His children, continually pointing them to His law. Though the chastisement may not be pleasant for the moment, the goal is to ultimately give them rest from adversity, rather than more days of adversity.

Psalm 94 continues,
For the LORD will not cast off His people, neither will he forsake his inheritance, but judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
Because Christ loves His dear people He chastises them with the hope that they will leave off their wicked ways and follow more closely to Him. In the middle of the chastisement His people have the assurance that He will walk right there beside them, for He will never forsake His own.

What a great and precious promise. We are not thrown into this chaotic world, fearing what may happen to us, but we, as children of God, have the hope and comfort that our steps are ordered by the Lord. Days of adversity are sent, but along with those days is the comfortable presence of God, guiding us and encouraging us to grow closer to Him.

What do we find in that closer walk with the Lord? Our hearts burn with love for Him. Instead of fear of the unknown, we walk in peace with our dear Savior. Gradually our affections are pulled away from this world and focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and our eternal home with Him. Not only is that a beautiful picture, but it is true!

Go to Christ. He, alone, is our hope, our peace, our joy, and our quiet confidence. Each step we take is ordered by the Lord until that great day when we will live with Him forever. Now that is quite a return unto righteousness!

God Bless You,
Linda


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?

 8Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?
 9He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?
 10He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?
 11The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. 

Who Do You Think You Are!

My Mother hated pride and arrogance. I can still hear her say, "Who do you think you are, the Queen of Sheba?" It seems humorous now, but can you not hear God saying the same thing in this passage from Psalm 94?

Yesterday we spoke of those who, because they are self acclaimed atheists, thought the matter was settled. If they did not believe in God, then He really did not exist. It kind of reminds me of my cat. When she wants to hide she will typically try to curl up under our arm. If she can not see you, then she believes that you cannot see her.

God calls such logic brutish or senseless, and rightly so. The wicked, and sometimes even some professing Christians, believe that God cannot hear and does not see what they do. God quickly addresses their foolishness.
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?


The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
Does the Creator not know His creation? Of course He does. Therefore, what becomes the greatest comfort to the believer, becomes the greatest fear of the unbelievers, or even Christians who have gone astray from faithfully following the Lord. 

To the believer, what a comfort it is to know that God, the Creator of the universe and beyond, is intimately involved and concerned for His own sheep. Christ did not return to heaven to get away from His flock, but rather returned to heaven so that He might be intimately involved in their growth as His children. He knows every single one of His own children, even to the number of hairs on their heads. As a kind and good Shepherd, He leads them and directs them in the way they should go.

However, what is a comfort to the believer should be the greatest fear to the lost. There is no getting away from God. He sees and knows everything we do, He hears what we say, and He knows when man follows vain logic. His summation, in the end, is that man is filled with vanity--his thoughts are futile!

As believers, we must understand that, apart from God our thoughts and actions are also filled with vanity. We are such proud and arrogant people. Do we have a right to be proud? No! Every good thing we have is from the Lord, and every good thing we do is done in the power and glory of the Lord. If we are given certain abilities, why would we take pride in them? Even our abilities are gifts from God.

Let us then, bow before God, our Creator and praise His name. Let us cry out to Him to help us leave our pride, as well as our vain and foolish thoughts, and turn everything to God. He is our Rock, He is our fortress, and He is our very reason for living!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, April 21, 2012

No God!

 4How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
 5They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.
 6They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.
 7Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. 

No God!

There is this unspoken mentality existing in the world today which says, "If I do not believe in God, then there is no God!" In other words, God only exists in the minds of those who believe in Him. If I choose not to believe in God, then He does not even exist. No wonder, then, the wicked are not afraid to attack the people of God, slaying the widow, the stranger, and the fatherless.

I would pose the question, then, if men do not believe in God, why are they so determined to destroy the people of God? Their hatred toward God's children immediately expresses their lack of assurance in their own belief, or should I say, lack of belief. The children of God are a constant reminder that they cannot simply erase God from existence by not believing in Him. What they actually mean, but will not admit, is that they know in their heart of hearts that God exists, but they hate Him. Because they cannot harm Him, they will harm God's children. When they see no reaction from God, they become bolder in actions against Christians.

However, we can go even farther back than this. Who is the one who hates God even more than men hate Him? Satan! Rebelling against God and taking one-third of the angels with him, Satan, or Lucifer as he was originally known, wages a continual war against the people of God. Because he controls the hearts and minds of so many people, he can use them to prey against the children of God.

Satan does not care whether one believes that God exists or not, as long as he can keep men from accepting Christ as their Savior. Once they have become believers, He still continues to wage war against them, trying to prevent them from encouraging others to join their ranks.

People make light and humorous remarks about Satan or Hell, but it is no laughing matter. Satan takes very seriously his war against the people of God, and he will continue to fight against God until he is finally cast, by the Lord Jesus Christ, into the lake of fire. Then, the prophecy given in Genesis 3:15 will finally be fulfilled.
 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15, King James Version)
So, you see, this enmity between the children of God and the Satan has existed since the Garden of Eden. Indeed, Satan, in his war against God's children, has bruised the heel of Christ, but Christ, when He casts Satan out forever, will bruise Satan's head, and so shall end this war against the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.

Let us, as children of God, lift our hearts and voices in praise to our most wondrous and holy God, who, in spite of the curse of Satan, is saving a people for Himself. Let us also be comforted in knowing that this war between good and evil has a final end. 

Can we, then, erase the existence of God by simply saying there is no God? No! Because the law of God is written on the hearts of all people, in their heart of hearts they know that God exists. 

Go, then, in the power and strength of the Lord, and live this day in a manner which is pleasing to Him.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, April 20, 2012

How Long?

 1O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.
 2Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.
 3LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? 

How Long?

It has been asked before by the psalmists, and here it is asked again: "How Long?" We are certainly not unfamiliar with this sentiment. When we look at the boastful arrogance of the wicked who fly in the face of God's wrath with no thought of any wrong doing, we wonder in amazement at the silence of God.

Does God see the wicked? Does He not know what is being said and done against Him and against His children? Yes, He sees and He hears; He knows even the thoughts and intents of the hearts of the wicked.

When we are so overburdened with the haughty attitude of those who live only for themselves, let us remember that this same long suffering God is also patient with us, His children. For truly, God sees and hears all things, and understands the thoughts and intents of our hearts as well. When our own hearts and minds carelessly forget the Lord, He is long suffering on our behalf as well.

Second, we must remember that everything God has purposed will come to pass. He has plans for the wicked which will be fulfilled exactly as He has ordained them to be. Either the wicked will at some point turn to God, or they will reject Him completely and suffer the condemnation that is due to them.

As children of God, let us remember to praise and acclaim the name of God Almighty, as well as that of the Lord Jesus Christ, for, but for the grace of God, we, too, would be walking in the shoes of the wicked. Let us not forget our own sin which had to be redeemed by Christ, Himself.
 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21, King James Version)
May we never tire of praising the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We deserved the death and punishment that He suffered on our behalf. We deserved the agony He experienced when He was separated from God, the Father, when He cried, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Ours was the pain thrust upon Him; ours was the cross He chose to bear on our behalf.

Let us, then, be patient with the wicked, and be ever in prayer that they might, by the grace of God, turn from their wicked ways and come to the cross of Christ and find forgiveness. 

What an amazing God we serve. As we whisper the question again, "How long," let us thank our dear Lord and Savior for His patience and long suffering. For, He will not return again until the last sheep has been found--until all whom the Father has given to Him come to the saving knowledge of the Lord, and accept Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior.

What an amazing God we serve; may we rejoice in Him now and forever!

God Bless You,
Linda



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Floods and Holiness

 3The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
 4The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
 5Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever. 

Floods and Holiness

What do floods have to do with holiness? Psalm 93 uses the mighty power of the water, demonstrated by the floods to point us to our Lord Whose house is filled with holiness.

Living in the Midwest, I thought flooding was a danger I would never need to confront, believing only those who lived near the seashore or in mountainous and hilly regions were in danger of angry, swollen flood waters. Then I experienced the floods of 1993, and I understood how wrong I was. In the face of turbulent flood waters, houses, cars, trees, and even concrete bridges were swept away as though they were twigs that one could snap with their fingers. As river after river and stream after stream were inundated with the rushing waters, each day became an adventure for my husband as he had to look for new ways to travel the 40 mile trip to and from work each day.

I learned a very valuable lesson. No one stands before the flood waters with arms outstretched and says, "Stop." No one, that is, except God. God stopped the rushing Jordan River and caused the water to pile up in a heap so that the Israelites could cross over on dry land. For, as we learn from the life of Jesus Christ, even the forces of nature obey His will. Indeed, the LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

However, there is more! This same God, who stills the voices of nature, is holiness personified! His testimonies are sure and His very nature is the essence of all perfection. As a matter of fact, Revelations 4:8 tells us,
8And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Revelation 4:8, King James Version)
God is not just holy, He is holy, holy, holy. Here is a quote from R.C. Sproul about this verse.
“The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory." [R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1985), p. 40.]
In our sinful state we truly cannot comprehend this amazing God, who cannot even look upon sin. Without the shed blood of Christ, we would have no access to God. Christ's perfect blood literally covers our sin, so that God, instead of seeing our sin, sees the righteousness of Christ.

Let us then, take our eyes off the vanities of this world and focus on God, who is holy, holy, holy. Amazing though it be, through the blood of Christ we will live in eternity as holy beings, set apart to love and serve God forever. 

Amazing love, how can it be
That Thou my God, dids't die for me.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Everlasting

 1The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
 2Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. 

Everlasting

How old is old? How old is ancient? How old is everlasting? Old is old, ancient is very old, but everlasting surpasses them all!

When one begins to grow old and considers all of the experiences of life they have been through, they realize what a treasure of wisdom they have gained through all of those experiences. When we consider the wisdom of the ancient, we think of wisdom which has passed the test of time. Though centuries have come and gone, yet their wisdom seems to stand supreme.

However, only God is everlasting; only God existed before the worlds were made. This is the Lord who is clothed with majesty and strength, and who reigns supreme above all kingdoms or principalities. He alone has placed the planets in their orbs and holds them in their evolving paths around the sun. He has put the galaxies in place--wonders of which we are totally unaware.

The most amazing thing, though, is that this same God rules the courts of men. They bustle about their continuum of years, hoping to make a lasting imprint upon mankind, but God oversees them all. Not only does God rule the courts of men, but He has chosen a people for himself out of all lands, nations, and principalities, with whom He may have a personal relationship. Filling their hearts and minds with knowledge of Himself, these same people are able to have the mind of Christ, as expressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians and Philippians.
 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16, King James Version)


 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5, King James Version)
It is more than we can scarcely imagine. This same God, whose throne is established of old--from everlasting--puts His hand upon His children and gives them the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.

What does that mean? In reality we cannot plumb the depths of the mind of Christ, but we are able to learn from the life of Christ which is revealed to us in God's Holy Word. This same Jesus, who walked upon this same earth, spent His life pointing the way to His Father, and then gave His life that He might save a people for Himself.

How then do a believers in Christ display this mind of Christ? True believers, since coming to Christ, have new goals. Gone is the desire to reap the most they can reap from the prosperity of this world. Instead, the new believers long to know and love Christ more, seeking the kingdom of God rather than immersing themselves in the things of this earth. A new prosperity of wealth is found in their growing relationship with God, the Father.

How amazing it is! This same God who has existed from everlasting to everlasting communicates and fellowships with His dear children who have been purchased at the price of the blood of His own dear Son.
 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 11:33-36, King James Version)
Go, and seek the mind of Christ!

God Bless You,
Linda





Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Rock

 12The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
 13Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
 14They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
 15To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. 

My Rock

Who do you exalt? Whether we like it or not, everyone of us exalt someone or something. We may exalt our own name, the name of another person, or we may exalt the name of our favorite team. We may do this intentionally or even unintentionally. It just seems to be part of our very nature, to stand for something or for someone.

Psalm 92 speaks of the righteous who exalt the Lord. Not only do they flourish, but those planted in the house of the Lord flourish in the courts of God, bringing forth fruit in their old age, showing that the Lord is upright. Their very lives cry out, He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

That is pretty amazing when you think about it. There is not one person in our world of whom we can boast, he is upright. No one is upright! No one is without sin! Yet, we can boast in the Lord, for He knew no sin. Indeed, He, who knew no sin, became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

If we truly understood that, as Christians, we would spend our entire lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. Only in Him is perfection, and through Him we appear before God as righteous. It is truly more than we can comprehend. Why did God, when looking upon the foolishness of man, determine to send His own Son to save a people for Himself? There was not one thing in us that would make us worthy of the death of His Son.

There is not one thing in this world in which we live that is more important than our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to this earth with one intent, to show us the Father, and to personally provide a way to Him. All of the pleasures of this world, and all of the riches we could attain mean nothing apart from Christ. In Him we have righteousness; without Him we are forever banished from the courts of the Lord.

Everything we love and hold dear about this world is nothing before Christ. Everything we love and hold dear is only temporary--it will all pass away. However, the courts of the Lord are eternal; in Christ we will enjoy the beauty and richness of eternity. Nothing on this earth can come close to the peace, joy, and contentment we will experience forever!

Let us then turn away from all this world has to offer and look to Christ and say, "He is my Rock and my Fortress. In Him alone I live and move and have my being." (Acts 17:28)

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, April 16, 2012

Exalted Horn

 10But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
 11Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. 

Exalted Horn

At a time when the Word of God is prolific throughout the world, I am amazed at how little we seem to understand of this God we serve. Here, again, we see an example of the great understanding the psalmist had of who God is and how He exalts and protects His children.

Where is the country today in this world in which we live that truly exalts the name of God, and understands that all of their glory and success comes from the hand of Almighty God? We live in an age when all glory and honor goes to man. We fail to understand that all that man accomplishes would come to nothing apart from God. Indeed, how have our advancements and discoveries benefited this world in which we live? Rather than to have benefited from them, we seem to be on the brink of international disaster!

Just as the unicorn (the wild ox) is exalted with his single horn of honor, so are we exalted in the Lord God. Just as the wild ox has done nothing to gain that horn, so have we done nothing to deserve the honor that God grants to us. How different might our world be today if men truly understood their proper state before God? Rather than warring among each other to see who is greatest, what would our world be like if we all bowed the knee before God and worked together to preserve this beautiful world God has given to us?

[As an aside--the word "unicorn" is the same as that given to the single-horned rhinoceros. Among the several species of rhinoceros in our world today, there are two that have only one horn. While they are rare in our day, they were quite common in the day Psalm 92 was written.]

How God hates pride, and yet is there any sin which seems to rear its ugly head to the surface more frequently? Thinking upon our own lives, how many arguments might have been prevented if we could just have controlled our own inordinate pride. Pride caused the downfall of Satan, and continues to poison and embitter humanity today. 

As Christians, then, let us pray that God would help us defeat our own pride so that we might rightly honor and magnify His name. When we are one with God, giving Him all the honor and glory He deserves, He will subdue all of our enemies. It sounds so simple, and yet we spend most of our lives just battling our own sins. How glorious heaven will be when we will sin no more!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Most High!

 8But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.
 9For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. 


Most High!

But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore. What does that mean to us? The Lord, our Lord, is the Most High, right now and forever more! It is easy to read right over that without contemplating its meaning and its significance for the Christian. 

First, we must recognize that, though Psalm 92:8 is true, it certainly does not seem to be recognized by many in this modern day world in which we live. There are very few places where God is acknowledged as the Most High. 

As we look around at the world in which we live, what do people view as the most important thing in their lives? Probably right at the top of the list would be money, fame, and fortune, but certainly not God. Now, the question that really makes us uncomfortable is, what is the most important thing in the lives of most Christians today?

How many would say, God? To give any other answer would beg the question, on what do they base their Christianity? Perhaps it would be better to ask, what does it mean to be a Christian in today's world? 

For the true saint of God, there is no other answer than that given above. The Lord God Almighty is the Most High, and therefore the most important thing for the Christian is God. Nothing we could ever hope to obtain or become is greater that our God who created all things, and through whom all things consist. It is is Christ we live and move and have our being.

It really does not matter what the attitudes are of the people of this world. They are here for a time, but apart from God all of His enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. As Christians, then, let us not be influenced by the attitudes of this world, for this is not our final home. We are here for a time, but we will be in our eternal home forever.

It is time that Christians shake off the blanket of worldliness that is smothering God's people today, and raise their voices in praise to the Lord God Almighty who is the Most High, now and for evermore!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Destroyed Forever!

 5O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.
 6A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.
 7When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: 

 Destroyed Forever!

Psalm 91 continues with a contrast between the righteous and the wicked, reminding us that even the wicked, being destroyed forever, brings glory to God. That is hard for us to understand, however, we can relate the state of wicked when we think of our own court systems. We can hardly declare that justice has been served when a known murderer is cleared by the courts and walks free. Indeed, in such cases, no justice has been served to the victim or  the friends and family of the deceased.

As Christians we are often amazed at how blind are the lost. We look at the world in which we live and read the declarations of God in the Bible and can come to no other conclusion but to proclaim how great are the works of God and how deep are His thoughts. Yet the wicked live in this same world, and even upon reading the Word of God, do not comprehend the greatness of God, or understand His thoughts. They are more prone to charge God foolishly for not doing what they perceive a God of love should be doing.

Indeed, we must be careful that we do not enter into their camp when we do not understand why God does not intervene in certain cases such as when a child dies. It is true, we have all experienced situations where, though we have sought and sought for the help of God, He seems to have turned a deaf ear upon our cries. How are we to understand such things?

The answer really is quite simple. Not meaning to be trite, we much acknowledge that God is God and we are not. We are prejudiced by our own little world and the circumstances we see. God, however, views everything from a timeless perspective. How could God possibly be glorified by the death of a child? I do not know, but I know that He is. 

You see, our difficulty is that we put the blame in the wrong place. Children die because death entered our world through the fall of Adam and Eve. Since that time, Satan has been busy leading men away from God. Why is it that we never put the blame of the death of a child upon Satan? We should, you know! 

Again, for reasons not known to us, God does not save everyone. Is God at fault then, when men do not come to the knowledge of Christ and accept Him as their Redeemer? No! Would God be at fault if all men were lost and sent to their eternal destruction? No! God, in His own wisdom has determined to save a people for Himself. All glory and praise for the salvation He offers belongs to Him. All of us, left to our own devices, would not choose Christ.

Yet God, in His great love and mercy, has reached down and opened the eyes of His children that they might see Christ, and Him crucified. They see their great sin, as well as the awful death Christ suffered on their behalf. 

Christ, however, was not held in the bonds of death forever, for three days later He arose from the dead. He walked on this earth for a few days longer, revealing Himself to His disciples and giving them instructions for their futures. Then, while His disciples gazed upon Him, He ascended into Heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us.

How can we not be rejoicing to the very depths of our souls when we comprehend how much He loves us, and what great things He suffered on our behalf, that we may not be, like the wicked, destroyed forever.

In all things, both in His overwhelming love for His children, as well as the destruction of the wicked, Jesus Christ is to be praised forever and ever!

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thankfulness

 1It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: 
 2To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
 3Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.
 4For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. 

Thankfulness

We live in a thankless world. It is all about me! We spend our lives eeking a way to the path of fame and fortune, exalting our own name, while destroying any who may get in our way. In school we studied the glories of man and his great achievements, and hoped that one day our own name would also appear in the history books.

What a shock then to discover that we have been fed a lie; the glory of man is only an illusion. We have put our faith and our hope in the arms of those who will only disappoint us. The glory we seek for ourselves seems to dissipate right before our eyes. What is wrong with our picture?

Of course man has made some pretty astounding discoveries; life in the 21st century is much different than the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. The question is, however, who should receive the glory for those discoveries? The glory all belongs to God! It is He who created the world and all that is in it, including us. Man still knows so very little about the world in which we live, as well as the intricacies of this body which houses our beings. The more we study, the more we realize what we do not know.

What do we owe this God who has given so much to us? Thankfulness! The psalmist was correct in asserting,
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: to shew forth lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.
Who gives us life? Who gives us new strength every morning to face a new day? Who carries us throughout the day, guiding us safely through each new challenge we face? Who brings us safely to our homes each night? Who protects us during the night from the unknown terrors which lurk all about us?

The older we become, the more we see and understand God's faithfulness to us. We realize that the happiness people seek is right at their fingertips. God is the only one who can truly bring happiness, peace, and joy. It is God who gives us a purpose in life; happy is the one who finds his God-given purpose, and spends His life doing what he was created to do.

Let us, then, join the psalmist in praise and thankfulness to our great God and King for all He has done on our behalf. Let us thank Him for the salvation He has provided through the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the purpose He has ordained for each of us.

Oh, how He loves you and me!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Upon Christ

 14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
 15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
 16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. 

Upon Christ

Psalm 91 ends in much the same way it began. After proclaiming throughout the psalm the treasured benefits we have in God, the psalmist ends with God's promise of His constant care and affection. Even as we have set our love upon Christ, so has He set His love upon us.

Truthfully, we cannot out-love God! Actually, no matter how great our love for Him, His love and help will pour down upon us in an even greater display of His care over us. There is an unspoken word of caution in these verses. Why does God promise such great things to His children?
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
How do we set our love upon Christ? What does it mean when it says, "because he hath known my name?" This verse goes beyond believing that there is a God who rules over the heavens and the earth. To know Christ is not just to give an assent to His divinity. To set our love upon Christ, and to know His name, means that, forsaking any other possible help, we have cast our very beings upon Him. He alone, is all our help, all our faith, and all our righteousness.

Sadly, I am afraid there are a great many people who believe they are Christians, but do not understand what it means to know Christ. With their feet firmly attached to the things of this world, they throw to Christ some nuances of affection. Christ is not satisfied with the little bursts of affection we may toss His way, Christ demands our all, and rightly so.

What was the mistake the people of God made in the times of the kings of Israel and Judah, especially after the nation split? The people believed in God, and still proclaimed Him as their God. However, He had lost the distinction of being their only God. Seasoned within their religious zeal were elements of the gods of the nations surrounding Israel. God was the supreme God, but He was aided with the lesser gods of the surrounding nations.

God spewed them out of His mouth, and caused them to be put under the yokes of the Syrians, and later the Assyrians. God will not be shared--to share Him is to not know Him at all!

When one looks at the great apathy in the church which exists in this, the 21st century, one has to ask the question, "What is wrong with the church today?" Like the Israelites, too many professing Christians have their feet set in two camps. They worship God along side of all of the gods of this age. Their hearts and lives are filled with a love for the things of this world which far surpass any love they think they have for God.

However, God will not be shared. He is not content to be first in our hearts--He wants to be the only love of our hearts and souls. He desires that all of our hearts, our souls, and our minds be centered upon Him.

Then, to those who have truly set their love and affection upon Christ, He promises.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Let us then, by the grace of God, return to our First Love, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us lift up our hearts and our voices in praise to Him, who alone is God of all Gods, King of all Kings, and Lord of all Lords.

God Bless You,
Linda





Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Guardian Angels

 9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
 10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 

Guardian Angels

Where do you live? When you are at the end of your day, when your work is done, and you have a little time before going to bed, where do you live? The psalmist in Psalm 91 is addressing the one who has made the most High his habitation,  or dwelling place. Is that where you live?

Most of us, I believe, have lost that concept of God being our habitation--no matter where we are or what we are doing, God is there. He is accessible every moment of every day ready to give us strength, assurance, and comfort at a moment's notice. As a matter of fact, He rarely leaves our thoughts.

That is the same idea expressed by Paul in 1 Thessalonians when he said, Pray without ceasing. Paul is speaking of living with the lines of communication between God and us open and accessible at all times.

Do we truly understand what it means to be a child of God? Can we stop just for a moment and meditate upon this God we serve? We are limited by time and space, but He is not, and He has, at His service, angels assigned to do His bidding. As a matter of fact, every single child of God has guardian angels watching over them constantly, bearing them up with their hands, keeping them from danger, illness, or any other evil which might overtake them.

Does that mean that Christians are never sick or harmed in any way? No, but what it does mean is that angels are constantly at war on your behalf against Satan and his minions who are actively doing all they can to destroy you, or at least put you in a compromising position so that your testimony for Christ will be of no effect.

As Christians, we are often guilty of not taking Satan seriously, but he takes us seriously. We may think that we are so insignificant that he will not bother with the likes of us, but Satan's objective is to destroy every single believer, or at least ruin them so that no one else will see Christ in them.

We are no match for Satan, but Christ is. We do not have the strength, power, or wisdom to fight against Satan or his minions, but Christ does. We cannot even see our enemies, but Christ can.

Let us, by the grace of God, shake off the cloak of apathy and indifference that has permeated our hearts and minds. Let us turn our hearts away from the pleasures and diversions that this world offers and focus on Christ, the true source of joy, peace, and comfort. Let us make Christ our dwelling place. Let us take up the armor of God and focus on the battle that is raging all around us, remembering,
 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. (Psalm 91:11-13, King James Version)
Go in the strength of the Lord and the protection of your guardian angels and live this day for the glory of God!

God Bless You,
Linda





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Thousand and Ten Thousand

 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

A Thousand and Ten Thousand

I like to think of these verses as being "battle-speak." Most of us, not being warriors, or even in military situations, can easily slide over these verses without gaining the nuggets of truth they contain. At the time Psalm 91 was written, battles were fought on horseback or by hand-to-hand combat. Imagine being that one invincible soldier--a thousand fall at his hand on one side, and ten thousand at his strong right hand.

Impossible you say? Yes, in our eyes it is seemingly impossible. The psalmist is illustrating the invincible powerful hand of God working on behalf of this single soldier who put all of his trust in God Almighty. He tried God and found Him to be everything he imagined and more.

Sad to say, most Christians in this 21st century are flabby and wimpy soldiers of Christ. We love the soft side of our Lord, contemplating His great love for us. Yes, it is a wonderful thing to contemplate, far beyond any love we can imagine. However, few of us have tried God, as this soldier did, and found God to be everything and even more that they expected.

James tells us,
 2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
 3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:2-3, King James Version)
Jesus, speaking to his disciples said,
 5And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
 6And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:5-6, King James Version)
The psalmist asked God and found God to be everything. The disciples asked God, but due to their wavering faith, were not answered. When will we in this 21st century, as children of God, lay down the worldly precepts which smother us, and put all of our faith and trust in God? When will we quit believing that what the world offers will bring us peace, contentment, and joy, and understand that only Christ can offer these things?

We serve a wondrous God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and yet refuse to put all of our faith, hope, and trust in Him. We refuse to believe that all of the promises given in the Word of God are true and relevant for us today, just as they were for those to whom the Scriptures were originally written.

The Christian life is an active, busy life, and we are, indeed, soldiers of God. We have a work to do for God, and we must lay down the simple trinkets of fluff offered by this world, and be busy working in the kingdom of God. Let us pray for faith to believe all of the great promises of God, and let us be busy advancing His kingdom for His honor and glory.

One warning: when you once make that decision to cast off all of the things of this world and devote yourself to Christ, Satan will oppose you. He will begin by accusing you of all of the sins you have ever committed, trying to convince you that you are not worthy to serve God. The correct answer to him is, "Yes, I am a great sinner and I have no strength to follow Christ, but Christ has paid for all of my sins and I go forth in His power, not in my own power."

Let us be busy for Christ, our First Love, and stand aside, amazed, as we see God strike down a thousand and ten thousand. In our own strength we can do nothing, but by the power of God, we are invincible.

Go, then, in the strength and power of the Lord!

God Bless You,
Linda