Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Trembling Earth

 31The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
 32He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke. 

The Trembling Earth

As we continue our series, "First Love," from the Psalms, we are looking at two very interesting verses. Psalm 104 tells us, He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: He toucheth the hills, and they smoke."

What is it about God that elicits such a response from the earth and from its hills? Though scarred and broken by the effects of sin, the trembling earth still knows its Creator, and when its Creator peers upon it, it trembles with fear and excitement. The hills, when touched by the finger of God, smoke!

Why is it that even nature itself responds so to God, and yet man largely ignores Him? How can man not see what even the inanimate earth can? Blanketed by sin and the strong delusions by Satan, man actually thinks he has power over the earth. As man grows in knowledge and understanding he feels as though he could even take on the entire universe.

We must remember that these strong delusions are not limited to the circles of the ungodly. As Christians we must always be on guard, for Satan loves to bring people into our inner circles who profess Christ, but are actually unconverted. Jude, writing of this exact thing stated,
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4, New King James Version)
How do we guard against such things? Jude notes two things. First he states,
 
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  
(Jude 1:20-21, New King James Version)

Second,
    24  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,   
      And to present you faultless 
      Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 
       25  To God our Savior,
      Who alone is wise,
      Be glory and majesty, 
      Dominion and power,
      Both now and forever. 
      Amen.  
 
  (Jude 1:24-25, New King James Version)
We must go to Christ, for it is Christ, alone, who can keep us from falling and present us faultless before God's throne of grace. 

So, today, take some time to look at God's wondrous creation all around you and remember the trembling earth and the smoking hill!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Riches of God

 24O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
 25So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
 26There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
 27These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
 28That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
 29Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
 30Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. 

Riches of God

Who owns the earth? Who owns the skies? Who owns the planets in our solar system and beyond? Who owns the sun, and the moon and the stars? Psalms 104 has beautifully described God's creation, and, yes, it is His. All that we can see and beyond, are part of the riches of God. 

As our Creator, God did not put everything in place and then walk away to do the same thing in another area of the huge expanse of stars. This earth is the Lord's--lovingly created by His own hand, dressed and kept by the power of His will. 

Man has been given dominion of the earth by God, but God's ownership is still paramount. All of the creatures of this earth, large and small, cry out to God for food. God opens His hand and they are filled with good. When He hides His face, so to speak, they are troubled, and when He takes away their breath they die. In their place, God sends His spirit and more are created, for God renews the face of the earth.

That is not necessarily a description that is entirely pleasing to man. We do not like to think of all power being in the hands of God with seemingly none left for man. The "god" we would choose would be more suited to our liking, giving more control to man and only interfering when we deem it to be good.

What foolish creatures we are! Everything we have and everything we are, has been given to us by God. The talents and abilities we show are indications that we are made in the image of God. To each one God gives unique understanding, but none can come close to approaching their Creator.

If God opens our eyes to understand, we realize how foolish our arrogance is before Him. How precious is our relationship with our Creator who does not create us and let us flounder, but rather guides and keeps us all of the days we live on this earth. Though our troubles may seem to increase, the child of God grows closer and closer to the Lord, and lives with a greater amount of peace and contentment.

That is the secret that Satan does not want man to understand. Just as he did in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, he is still approaches us saying, "Has God really said that? Why He just does not want you to know what He knows." Those who fall prey to Satan's devices, though their lives may seem easier, are filled with a growing emptiness and discontent.

As we go about the duties of this day, let us pray that we will rest quietly in the hands of God, knowing that He orders all things. Let us not be filled with desire and greed for greater things, but let us rest in the riches of God. He is our Father, and He owns everything!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, May 28, 2012

Order!

 14He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
 15And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
 16The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
 17Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
 18The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
 19He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
 20Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
 21The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
 22The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
 23Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. 

Order!

If you will remember from our devotion yesterday, the psalmist painted a rather serene picture of a stream flowing through the hills providing water for the beasts of the field and birds of the air. That picture is greatly expanded in the verses from Psalm 104 shown above. I was rather struck by the thought, our God is certainly a God of order.

Interestingly, while God is busy attending to all of these things, the psalmist said, "Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening." Does there seem to be an imbalance here? The psalmist spends fourteen verses speaking of God's order over nature, but just one verse about man and his work. Yet, our work consumes our lives, does it not?

I noticed, also, that God's working with man is just a small part of Him ordering all of the concerns of this earth, and not only does God order all things, He is constantly aware of our needs. He provides for the beasts of the field, but He also provides for the domesticated animals, and the farm animals, remembering that man needs them to provide herbs, vegetables and even meat to feed the world. 

The farmer knows a great deal about crop rotation, dealing with pests, planting in a timely manner, and harvesting his crops, but it is God who sends the rains in its season that the plants may flourish and grow. It is God who provides the dry fall days so that the farmer can bring in the harvest. There is probably no occupation on earth where man is more aware of God ordering weather and nature. No education can assure bountiful crops or prevent crop loss due to wind, rain, and hail. 

Yet God is not only concerned with man. He provides for the trees, which the psalmist quickly notes God planted, He provides for the birds, the wild goats, the conies, the beasts of the forest, and the lions. Even the moon and the sun have a purpose in the natural realm of this earth. Certain animals are active at night, using the moon for light, and others are active during the day, being guided by light from the sun. 

When we begin our work, let us take a minute to stop and thank God for the work He has given to us to do. Let us also thank Him that He orders all of the forces of nature which work together to keep and dress this world. Let us also thank Him for the food which He provides. 

Two things are very clear in Psalm 104. First, God is a God of order! Second, man needs God!

God Bless You,
Linda



Sunday, May 27, 2012

Earth is Satisfied

 10He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
 11They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
 12By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
 13He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. 

Earth is Satisfied

What an amazing picture--the earth is satisfied!  Can you not see the picture the psalmist paints? God, who created this glorious earth without the corruption of sin, watched in horror as the sin of man spread its dark poison throughout the entire earth. Was God undone? Was His creation beyond repair?

Of course not! Even in its fallen state, God orders the natural realm of this earth. You can just see Him sending springs into the valley, causing water to run among the hills, giving drink to every beast of the field. Even the birds in the sky rest among the branches of the trees, watered by this same lovely spring. All the while, God watches the hills and valleys from His chambers and sees that the earth is satisfied.

We cannot begin to comprehend the glories of our dear Lord and Savior. Creation was not an end, it was a beginning. It is beyond the scope of our powers of understanding to imagine God so deeply involved with all of the creatures and plant life of this earth, maintaining control of man as well.

I must confess that though I know these things, it is still hard to comprehend God having such ordered control of my life that I do not need to worry. It is so much easier, so it seems, to heap the worries and concerns on my shoulders, as if I really had control. Most of the things we worry about are things we cannot control--yet God can.

Daily I must fall before the Lord, ask Him for His grace to live this day in a manner pleasing to Him, and trust Him to order and control the events that seemingly swirl around me in a haphazard manner.

The Lord Jesus Christ certainly understood our propensity for worry. Sitting on the hillside instructing the people, Jesus addressed the subject of worry.
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:31-34, New King James Version)
As you go about the duties of this day, think about the lovely, serene picture painted by the psalmist in Psalm 104, and be reminded that, as Christians, we need not worry. For God, who created this world, can certainly order the simple events of our lives.

The earth is satisfied, and so should we be satisfied as well!

God Bless You,
Linda



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Boundaries

 5Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
 6Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
 7At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
 8They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
 9Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. 

Boundaries

In our first devotion on Psalm 104, we read the beautiful description the psalmist gave of God in His throne room, actively ordering the physical nature of this world in which we live. We discovered that God's servants, the angels, are actively doing His will on our behalf.  As we continue through Psalm 104, we discover that God, our First Love, not only created this world out of nothing, but He also sets boundaries.

Imagine, God laid the foundations of the earth so that it will not be moved. What foundations? Job 26, verse 7, tells us,
7  He stretches out the north over empty space;
      He hangs the earth on nothing. (Job 26:7, New King James Version)
God hung the earth on nothing, yet it does not move from the boundaries given to it by God.

God did not create an empty earth, did He? He covered it beautifully--even the deepest places on earth are covered by the seas, which stay withing the boundaries given to them by God. Yet at just the voice of God, His rebuke would send the waters scurrying over all they earth, up by the mountains and down by the valleys. Indeed, that is exactly what happened when the flood waters covered this planet. After the flood, God set boundaries for the seas that they may not pass over, for He has promised that never again will He cover the earth with a flood.
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:12-17, New King James Version)
It is easy for us to read such passages and discount them due to our familiarity with them. However, these are promises that God made to man. He did not say that He would not destroy this earth, but He did say that never again will a flood cover the entire earth. Notice that God said He will remember His covenant with man whenever you see a rainbow in the clouds. Remember that the next time you see a rainbow!

We know from other portions of the Bible, that God has set boundaries on man as well. For the believer, God's boundaries are a safety net, keeping us from evil. When difficult days come, we must remember that they are measured by the Lord and are sent for a specific purpose. He will not send us more than we can bear, but will graciously walk with us through the valleys, bringing us safely to the other side. 

What an amazing God we serve. He did not create this world and then walk away. Rather He orders all nature so that nothing is done apart from His commands. Though He does not restrict all evil, for Satan is certainly active in his desire to destroy this world and all of its inhabitants, God guides His children through Satan's maze of deceptions.

Go to God today; do not be afraid to cast all of your being at His feet, for He is truly worthy of all of our love and worship!

God Bless You,
Linda


Friday, May 25, 2012

Honor and Majesty

 1Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
 2Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
 3Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
 4Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: 

Honor and Majesty

Psalm 104 is perhaps one of the most beautiful psalms in its lovely imagery, but how can one adequately describe God? Truly God is greater than any of His creatures can possibly think Him to be. As one commentator expressed, "Inspired men have chosen the best terms wherewith to exalt God; and yet they are all inadequate."

The psalmist goes on,  "Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain." God, who created light is Himself light. If you will remember, Revelation 21 tells us that in the new heavens there will be no need of the sun, for God will illuminate the new Jerusalem with His light.
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). (Revelation 21:22-25, New King James Version)
Not only does God illuminate the city, but there will be no darkness--not even a shadow! Such things are truly beyond the scope of our understanding. What an amazing God we serve!

In verse 3 of Psalm 104, the psalmist said that God lays the beams of His chambers in the waters and makes the clouds His chariot. God walks upon the wings of the wind. Such a picture is almost impossible to imagine. When building a house, we lay our beams upon a solid foundation, but God lays His floor upon the waters - or mists. Gladly do the clouds and the winds obey the will of God. 

We, in the 21st century have a scientific reason for everything, but we have foolishly discounted the will of God. Weather predictions are based upon the law of averages. When a certain set of parameters are met, we gauge our predictions on what most likely happened in the past. Not even contemplating God who controls all things, we leave the rest up to chance. Is God bound by the past? Of course not. God speaks and the winds obey His bidding. Sadly, even believers today have difficulty believing that God actually orders the wind, the lightening, the rain, the storms, and so on.

Psalm 104 now leaves the realm of the inanimate and speaks of the angels of God. We learn that not only is the Lord the master of the physical properties and phenomenon of this world, but He is also the master of the angels, who obey His will in the strength of a flaming fire. Who can stay the hand of an angel? No mere man! Because we cannot see them, we tend to forget that angels move about in our world actively doing the will of God.

Take some time to ponder these wonderful truths. Truly we serve an awesome, majestic God who is beyond the realm of our ability to describe. His wonders are past finding out! This is the God we love and serve, and even more amazing, this is the God who loves us! Never are we parted from Him, for He is always moving us closer and closer to Him, until the time when we go to live with Him forever!

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda



Thursday, May 24, 2012

All His Works

 19The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
 20Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
 21Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
 22Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul. 

All His Works

In the closing verses of Psalm 103, David reaches beyond the parameters of our world, praising all of God's creation. Being earth-bound creatures, we seldom look beyond our world into the outer realms of the creation of God. 

It is good for us to take some time and ponder the realm of God--all His works in all places of His dominion. From our perspective it seems as though all of the universe revolves around us, with man being God's highest creation. We know that is not really true, but we live as though it is.

God's angels play a profound role in the workings of our world and yet we hardly give them a thought.  Four things are said about the angels of God. First, they belong to God; they are His. Second, the angels excel in strength, implying that there is none more powerful than them. Third, the angels are obedient, doing His commandments, not their own. Fourth, they listen to the voice of His word, ready to do what He commands.

David then moves on to all of God's hosts. It is unclear exactly to whom or what David is referring, but in other Psalms even the sun, moon, and stars are said to worship God. Though they have no speech or language, their very presence testifies to God's glory. 

Psalm 103 concludes by calling all of the works of God in all places to bless the Lord. Where does anything exist apart from God? God has created all things; all glorify and praise His holy name. Just as Psalm 103 began with the words, "Bless the Lord, O my soul," it ends with the same six words.

What other conclusion can anyone make? Let us take time today to look above ourselves, even above anything that is earthly. For a few short years this world is our domain, but for all of the rest of eternity, the children of God will worship and glorify Him in the new heavens and the new earth. 

We live in a cynical age, and rightly so! One does not have to be very old to realize that man is utterly corrupt and untrustworthy in all his ways. Apart from the grace of God, the same would be true of all of God's children. Let us, then, not trust in ourselves, but go to our glorious King and Creator and bless His holy name. In Him is no pride, arrogance, or corruption. In Him we see holiness and beauty; in Him we can safely rest all of our hopes, our cares, and our future.

Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Everlasting to Everlasting

 15As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
 16For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
 17But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
 18To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. 

Everlasting to Everlasting

I just love the spring time, and this year, we certainly got an early start on spring. I remember last year making the comment, "There is only one problem with taking a walk on an 80 degree day in April--no shade." I walk three times a day with my little dog, Chico, but this year we had no problem with the warm days of April. March was so warm that we already had leaves on the trees in April. However, even with an early spring, how long does the grass last?

It may flourish all summer, getting a little brown from the heat of mid to late summer, but will usually rejuvenate with the beautiful and glorious fall that we tend to have here in the Midwest. But, once the cold north winds begin to blow, its days are numbered. By January, there is no green grass left.

However, there is something even more devastating to grass than the normal changes of the seasons. People in the Midwest have a healthy appreciation for tornadoes. Grass that had grown for years and years can be ripped out of the ground by the fierce winds of a tornado, leaving the ground bare and brown. I think that is more of what the psalmist had in mind when he said,
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
When we are young, we see the years stretching out before us and it seems as though they will go on forever. Then, one day we wake up and find ourselves in our mid-sixties and wonder how that happened. Just yesterday we were struggling with the issues of leaving home and beginning a life on our own, and now our grandchildren are facing those same issues.

Being older does have some wonderful blessings, one of which is reading a Psalm such as Psalm 103 and praising God as we finally begin to understand what it means to be from everlasting to everlasting. To the true saints of God, we will experience the righteousness and mercy of the Lord from now and forever!

How can such a thing be true? How can God love a people such as us? How could He bear to send His Son to pay the debt of our sins--we who are so undeserving of His great love and mercy? Some questions will never be answered, but we who are children of God reap the untold benefits of such love and will do so for eternity.

Let us remember that eternity for the children of God does not begin at our death. Eternity with the Lord begins the moment we first believed. I am reminded of those wonderful words in the last stanza of "Amazing Grace."
When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.
Let us, then, spend today basking in God's love and mercy, praising Him for all that He has done for us!

God Bless You,
Linda



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

He Knows Us!

 11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
 12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
 13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
 14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 

He Knows Us!


How high are the heavens? Man has gone beyond our atmosphere through the advancements we have made in space travel, but no space capsule has come near to the throne of God, nor will it ever do so. That is how the psalmist has measured the mercy of God toward His children.

Truly the mercy of God is more than we can comprehend. How can a righteous and holy God look down upon sinful and wicked man and show such undeserved mercy? Yet, Christ's payment for the sins of God's children is so complete that He has removed them as far as the east is from west. How far is that? They never meet! If you go west and travel all of the way around our world you will still be going west. That is not true of north and south, is it? If you continue going north you will eventually reach the top of the world and will found yourself going south.

As Christians it is true that we still struggle with our sins, for though they have been forgiven, they are certainly not gone while we are still alive on this earth. Yet, as we pity the feeble efforts of our children, especially when they are young, so does the Lord pity those who fear Him. He knows us, and He remembers that we are but dust.

As you ponders these truths today, I challenge you to live this day as though they are true! You see, we seem to find ourselves wallowing in the depths of our sin nature, believing that Satan still has power over us. Yet, we could not be farther from the truth. Christ, through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension has defeated Satan. Satan no longer has control over the lives of the true saints of God.

I fear we have bought into the fairy tales of this world where we see the religious conquered and controlled by Satan, especially in films such as the Exorcist. However, they are only fairy tales! Satan would love to have Christians believe that he still controls them while they are alive on this earth. If you are a child of God, Satan has no power over you. Oh yes, our sin nature is still alive and well, but as we continually flee to Christ, we will find ourselves drawn more and more to Him, and our lives will become more and more Christlike in character.

As Christians we no longer serve the devil, but rather, we serve Christ. Go, then today, as servants of the Lord and live this day in a manner pleasing to Him. With a spring in your step and a song of praise upon your lips take some time today and ponder the message ringing out from Psalm 103. He knows us and He remembers that we are dust.

God Bless You,
Linda



Monday, May 21, 2012

No Other One!

 6The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
 7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
 8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
 9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
 10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 

No Other One!

I read through these five verses and thought, there is no other One like unto our God. We may be made in His image, but we do not have any natural traits that are His. All we do gain in this life is due to the grace of God, alone--none of us and all of Him!

God is a God of the oppressed. Though all men may look the other way when the oppressed are ignored and forgotten, God sees and executes righteousness judgment on their behalf. The oppressed are popular rhetoric during a presidential election year, but will be soon forgotten when the election is over. However, God will never forget. 

At the time of Moses' birth, Israel was in difficult straits. Joseph had been long forgotten when this Pharaoh gained control of Egypt. When he looked at the great multitude of Israelites he set plans in motion to enslave them, lest they become unified and take over his kingdom. God, however, had other plans. Beginning with Moses who was saved from death by the quick thinking of his mother, God made His acquaintance by means of a burning bush that burned but was not consumed. 

Checking out this strange phenomenon, Moses had an encounter with God which changed His life forever. Unknown to Moses, God had molded and shaped him for the special job God had chosen for him, long before time even began. Through His workings with the Children of Israel, God showed Himself to be merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. Through the leadership of Moses, God brought His people out of Egypt with a strong arm and a mighty hand and led them to their promised land.

It was a trip which took over 40 years, due to the lack of faith of the Israelites, but God did bring them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, that was not the end. Though Israel, and later Judah followed God intermittently, He faithfully chastised them and then brought them back to the promised land. 

God's people were certainly in a pitiful state when the Lord Jesus Christ was born in the little obscure town of Bethlehem. He lived obediently with His parents until the time came for Him to reveal His true nature and true purpose for this world. Spurned and rejected by the righteous religious crowd, the multitudes flocked to Him to believe in Him and receive His message of hope and new life--the same new life that is available in Christ today.

Indeed, this same Lord God is our Lord, As He showed Himself to be in the past, He continues to be merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. By His grace, He has not dealt with us as our sins have deserved, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. In Christ we find the Light of the World, the King of Kings, our dear Lord and Savior. 

God chose a special people thousands of years ago to bring His message which has now spread to the entire world. Today, He still continues to choose a people for Himself. The Gospel call is still open to those who will hear, Come to Christ, our only Hope and our only Savior, for there is no other One!

Do you think the psalmist ever suspected that thousands of years after he wrote these words, these words would still be calling people to come to Christ? Probably not, but certainly he must look down in amazement from His home with the Lord as people continue to read his written word. If he could send a message to us, he would say, to God alone be the glory, both now and forever!

Amen!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Forgives, Redeems, Satisfies!

 1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
 2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
 3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
 4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
 5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. 

Forgives, Redeems, Satisfies!

Again I am amazed! David wrote this Psalm over 2000 years ago without the completed Word of God, which we have, and yet He articulated the length, breadth, and height of the meaning of God's love for His children. We understand from Psalm 103 why David was known as a man after God's own heart. 

David began this psalm by pouring his heart--even his soul out to the Lord, imploring his soul to bless the LORD. All of his success, all of his hopes, and all of his dreams were centered upon the LORD as he reiterated the benefits he received from the Lord.

What were those benefits? He summarized all that he knew and loved about God in five words: forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies. Truly God did for David and does for us what no one or no thing on this earth can do.

Who can forgive, but God? Oh, we can perhaps forgive one another for the little wrongs--or even at times great wrongs that someone does to us, but can we forgive all of their sins? Can we forgive all of our sins? We may feel that we are a pretty good person, maybe even better than most, so what is there to forgive? Then we stand before a holy and righteous God and understand that our hearts are black with corruption before God. 

But the Lord came to this earth, took on the form of a man, lived a perfect and holy life, and was crucified. Why? He came so that He might pay the penalty that we owe before God because of our sins. He who knew no sin, became sin for us. Why? So that we can appear before God, clothed in righteousness--clothed in His righteousness.

Who can heal all of our diseases? None but God. The physician may do great things, but only God can truly heal. Our bodies suffer from disease and corruption on this earth, but when we appear in heaven before God, there will be no diseases--no imperfections in our bodies.

Our lives are cursed from conception--doomed to destruction. Who redeemed us? Christ--the only One who was worthy to stop our cascading down the slippery slope to eternal death. He, who knew no sin, planted our feet upon the solid Rock--the rock of Christ!

How can it be that sinners such as us can be crowned with loving kindness and tender mercies? Christ, who loves us with an everlasting love, chose us before this world was even formed, cleansed us from the blight of sin, and crowned us with His tender love and mercies.

What is the only response to such a great and mighty God as this? What is the only response to a Savior who has done what no other can? We fall before our dear Lord and Savior satisfied! Nothing in this world brings true satisfaction, but Christ. Our needs are met, our bodies are clothed with His righteousness, we are crowned with His tender love and mercy, and we are satisfied.

Go, then, and mount up your wings as eagles, and fly into those outstretched arms of love and be satisfied.

Amen! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda


Saturday, May 19, 2012

No End!

 23He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.
 24I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.
 25Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
 26They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
 27But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
 28The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

No End!

How many things do we know of that have no end? We tend to live on this earth and treat it as though it, like God, has no end, but that is not true.
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure.
Considering the fact that earth will not remain as it is, the heavens will also not remain the same, and we have an end as far as our time on this earth is concerned, should we not be more concerned about what comes after this? The only One who has no end is God, and, by His grace alone, His children whom He has gathered from this earth, from its beginning to its end. Unfortunately, the souls of the lost have no end as well, but their eternity will be spent in hell along with the devil and his angels.

When we take a realistic look at our time on this earth we must come to the conclusion that, our time here is but a preparation for the future to come. Rather, then, than being caught up in the cares of this world, it is imperative that we make preparation for our time after this world. This world, especially our time on this world, is but a few years--maybe 70 or 80, or more if God so wills. Why then, do the people of this world push so hard to gain everything this world has to offer with no thought to the next life?

Satan has so blinded the eyes of people that most do not even believe there is an afterlife. Those who do, tend to think that God will accept them as they are as long as they do not do anything really horrible. Should we trust our future--our eternity, to the whims of this world's mindset?

The psalmist says, "But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end." Should we not, rather, trust our future to God, who has no end and no beginning? Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God has left us His Holy Word, divinely inspired, as a road map to gauge what our attitude toward this world should be, as well as to prepare for the next. 

The simple Gospel as foretold in the Old Testament, and given in detail in the New Testament is carefully laid out for us. Those who reject Christ have no excuse, for even if they have never read the Bible, Romans tells us that man should see creation and understand that nothing like this could happen by chance, but the creation of this world was ordered by the Lord. 

So, Psalm 102 ends with a look to God's children of the future. The psalmist began with a note of despair, as he was consumed by his earthly troubles, Yet, as he reflected on the eternal God, he was encouraged to look above his circumstances. Then, with a look to the future generations, he implores us to think beyond our few years on this earth and look to God, who endures forever.

God Bless You,
Linda
 






Friday, May 18, 2012

Generation to Come

 18This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
 19For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
 20To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;
 21To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;
 22When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. 

Generation to Come
This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.
I do not believe there is any other psalm in which the writer addresses the generation to come. But, I doubt that the writer of Psalm 102 ever imagined that his psalm would be printed and read by millions of people over 3000 years after it was written.

The treasures of God's Word are timeless--just as relevant today as the date on which they were written. We have the added advantage of having a record of God's working among His people--first with the Jewish nation and then all nations as the Word of God was taken to the Gentiles by Paul and other New Testament believers. 

Let us then take a moment to view the bigger picture. Often we are so consumed by our everyday lives that we fail to step back for a moment and envision things from God's perspective. While we are busying ourselves with preparations for tomorrow, God is viewing the world from a timeless perspective. He sees everything laid out from the beginning to the end of time. 

Before the world was even created, God developed His plans. Knowing that sin would enter this world and corrupt it to the very core of its fabric, God chose a people with whom He would make Himself known. From this same people would come the Savior, born of the virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit, the God man. After His short time on this earth, salvation would be accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection.

Now the Gospel would be spread about throughout all nations, and men would begin to call upon the Lord from every nation and tongue. Never, in all of this time, did God lose control, for His plans have been fulfilled and continue to be fulfilled, to the very minutest detail. 

As we ponder this reality we begin to realize that this same God has control of all of the details of our lives as well. We can safely go to Him, for He alone can walk us through the trials and difficult days that come upon us. This same God, who created the world and then created a means to save this world from the sin and corruption brought to by Satan, cares about each and every one of His children, even the tiniest details of our lives. 

As the psalmist declared, the Lord looked down from heaven, heard the groaning of His people, and loosed them that would otherwise have been appointed to death. How can we, then, do anything less than to declare the name of the Lord and to praise His wondrous and holy name? 

Like the psalmist, we look forward to the day when all the nations of the world will be gathered together to serve the Lord. What a glorious day that will be--sin will be conquered and righteousness will reign.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christ Alone

 13Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.
 14For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.
 15So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
 16When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
 17He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. 

Christ Alone
Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come.
The writer of Psalm 102 understood that his life was in the hands of Christ alone. [Though the name "Christ" does not appear in our Bibles until the New Testament, the LORD, of the Old Testament is Christ.] Even though his life was filled with troubles, the psalmist knew that the set time would come when the Lord would appear in His glory and build up Zion. He also understood that even his prayers were regarded by the Lord, as the Lord does not despise the prayers of His children.

How do we view Christ, as Christians? Is He our Savior? Do we have the confidence that He does not despise our prayers? When answers do not come quickly do we think He did not hear? Do we only think of the Lord when we have desperate needs?

I believe that many Christians are not aware of the precious treasure they have in Christ. They think of Him only as someone to turn to when all else fails. They fail to realize that building a relationship with Christ is really what Christianity is all about. Christ is not just our problem solver, He is our friend, our confidant, our solace, and our comforter, and we owe to Him all of our worship and praise.

In Christ alone we can rest all of our hope and confidence; He alone walks with us every step of our lives, and He is constantly sending His angels to guard and protect us. If God gave us one day to actually see all of the heavenly beings who are ministering to us, guiding us, protecting us, and fighting against our enemies, we would never again doubt our dear Lord and Savior.

We often think of life as one moment of chance after another, but as Christians, every moment of our lives is ordered by the Lord. We can safely rest all of our cares upon Him, for He will never leave or forsake us.

Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, in their song, "In Christ Alone," have beautifully captured the depth of our relationship with Christ. I have only shown a few of the verses, it would be well worth your time to read all of the words and even listen to the music as recorded by Krysten and Keith Getty. It has been set to a lovely melody and powerfully presents this Christ we love and serve.

In Christ Alone
Songwriters: Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand
 Go, live this day in the strength and power of Christ alone!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

But Thou!

 8Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.
 9For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.
 10Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.
 11My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.
 12But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. 

But Thou!

Is there anyone more miserable than our psalmist? His enemies reproach him all the day, they have sworn an oath against him, he goes about in sackcloth and ashes, his tears are mingled with his drink, his days seem to decline rather than advance, and he is withered, like the grass! His misery seems to be complete, for he is at the point that there is no good thing left in his life.

Few of us have reached such a point in our lives, though we can certainly identify with his discouragement and depression. Is there no hope for this poor child of God? Will his life end in this state of misery? Two words change the entire direction of this psalm: "But Thou!"

That makes all the difference. Surely our lives are filled with difficulties and troubles, even to the point of wondering if all of life will be like this, until we come to the cross of Christ and say, "But Thou!"
"But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.
What is our life? James tells us, For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:14, KJV) 

It is so important that, as Christians, we keep a proper perspective on our lives. What has Christ done for us? How does that compare to the suffering we experience on this earth? If we should suffer every single day of our lives, what is that compared to what Christ has done for us? Though the days of pain and agony may seem to stretch out before us, they are, compared to eternity, but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

When we seem to be overcome with the trials of life let us look to Christ, for our Lord will endure for ever. We are not cast into this world and left alone, but rather, as children of God, Christ never leaves our side.

The beauty of this psalm is the order of events. Life did not suddenly improve, and then the psalmist remembered God. Even while he was still in the middle of all of his difficulties, with no end in sight, the psalmist remembered God and was comforted. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He that began a good work by granting us faith, will never leave our side as we walk through the good, as well as difficult days of this life, and it is He who will bring us safely into His kingdom where we will live forever!

What can the world offer to us? Nothing! There is nothing in this world that compares to the glories given to us in Christ Jesus! Like the psalmist, let us lift our eyes on high. When life seems to overwhelm us, and we cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel, may we cry out, "But Thou--but Thou oh Lord my God are all I need."

God Bless You,
Linda




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Lonely Sparrow

 3For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.
 4My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
 5By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.
 6I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
 7I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. 

A Lonely Sparrow

Gone is the gladness of heart and in its place is melancholy and despair, for the days of weariness and discouragement are upon the psalmist. His anguish is so deep that he has lost all desire for food, and as a lonely sparrow deeply grieving for the loss of its mate, he is as one who has no comforters to console him in his misery.

One does not have to live very long to understand only too well the anguish of the psalmist. Where are the days of joy and gladness? Where is the love, joy, and peace promised to the believer? How can such days so seem to overtake us that we have even lost all memories of the good days?

As the psalmist cries out to God in his time of troubles, even so should we find all of our respite and comfort in the arms of the Lord Jesus Christ. He, who suffered so much on our behalf understands the bitterness and sorrows that accompany our many difficulties of life. 

What lessons are we to learn from these times of grief and bitterness? For the dear saint of God, we can reap great benefits from these days of seemingly endless sorrow. 

First, we have a Savior who has suffered more than we could if our entire life was one of constant misery and despair. For He took on the sins of all His people and paid a debt we could not possibly pay. He, then, understands even more than we ever could, the comfort and grace that is applied to the dear saint of God by our Heavenly Father when no human help will do,

Second, we are reminded that nothing in this world can satisfy the longings of our hearts. For our hearts truly yearn to be restored to complete peace and fellowship with God our Father. There is nothing on this earth that can compare to the sweet peace of communion with our dear Lord and Savior. He, alone, can provide peace and comfort even in the middle of the greatest storms and trials of life.

Third, when all have seemed to abandon us in our darkest days and we are as a lonely sparrow upon the house top, we are reminded that our God never abandons His own. When all the trinkets of this life pass before our eyes, we understand that there is no lasting hope in any of them. We, then, understand that God is sufficient to meet our every need. Indeed, Christ is all we need. Though all the rest of our days be filled with troubles, we can repair to Christ and be satisfied.

Last of all, we are faced with the true realities of this life. This is not our home, but God has placed us here for a time to do a work for Him. Only as we are living out that purpose do we find meaning in these short, brief years we are on this earth. 

Everything that happens to us in this life is tenderly administered to us by our loving Father who is gently shepherding us into His pastures. History shows that from the time of Abel who was murdered by his brother, Cain, the Christian has faced adversity, but God never allows us to receive more than we can bear. Each burden is carefully measured and applied so that we might fall upon Christ, and discover that we cannot live this life in our own strength. When we come to Him with nothing, He sustains and strengthens us until the day He brings us safely into His courts above.

As a lonely sparrow calls out to God above, so do we call out to Christ and are answered! Oh how He loves His dear children!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, May 14, 2012

Answer Me Speedily!

 1Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.
 2Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. 

Answer Me Speedily!

Do you hear the desperation in those words? Answer me now, Lord! Answer me speedily! How do we have a right to speak in such a manner to God, the Creator of the universe? Who are we? How can we be assured that God even hears us, much less answers our cry?

Some teach that the Christian life is filled with happiness, peace, and joy, but why, then, am I consumed with troubles? What happened to the peace, happiness, and joy? Seven questions! What is the answer to those seven questions?

As Christians, we have an amazing relationship with God, the Father, as well as God the Son, and, of course, God, the Spirit. God the Spirit lives within our hearts, guiding us in the way we should go, and opening our eyes and ears of understanding as we study the Word of God, worship the Lord, and spend quiet times of prayer and meditation with God. 

God the Son came to this earth and gave up His life so that He might pay the debt of our sin and open a way to God the Father. He now sits beside God the Father making intercession for us. How amazing is that?

God the Father loves us with a love that is inexpressible, for it has no bounds. Because of the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, He does not see our sins, but sees the righteousness of Christ. This is the God we serve! Even the Angels in heaven are amazed at God and the love He shows to His children.

As Christians who spends time meditating and communing with God, we have every right to expect God to answer us when we are in trouble. Indeed, even before we ask, God is already coming to our aid, for God's children are not only surrounded by the love of Christ, but God's servants, the Angels are sent to care for and protect the children of God. 

The Christian who is not in the habit of taking a regular time each day to fellowship with God does not know that sweet communion, but as God's child still has the same love and care given to him or her which is due to all of the saints of God. It is through such times that Christians see God's hand of love upon them and grow in their relationship with Him, and experience the sweet love that communion with the Lord brings.

Why is the Christian life filled with troubles? What happened to the joy and peace? God loves us so much that He gently shepherds us through this life, often allowing troubles to strengthen our faith in Him. It is through the difficult times that we learn how precious is our faith in the Lord, and how complete is His comfort. God also allows trials to come to His children so that we will remember that this world is not our home. Our home is with the Lord, and the day will come when we will be ushered into His kingdom to live with Him forever!

Just as an aside, think for a moment of the dear saint of God who wrote this Psalm. God has certainly answered His prayers, has He not? Right at this very moment, he is in heaven with the Lord and with all the saints of God who have lived before us.

When the difficult times come, do not be afraid to cry out to God, "Answer me speedily!" God hears all of the prayers of His children, and help is already on the way when they cry out to Him.

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda


Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Eyes

 6Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
 7He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
 8I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD. 

My Eyes

If you will remember, Psalm 101 is a contemplation of David as he considers what type of king he will be when God finally removes King Saul. Of course, as is often the case in the Psalms, this also applies to God, who looks down from the Kingdom of Heaven upon the children of men.

From history we know that David did turn out to be a great king in the land of Israel. Though he committed some grievous sins, he always went back to God in repentance. Because he faithfully loved and served God, God blessed him and blessed the people as well.

As we read these verses we cannot help but compare them to God, whose eyes are upon the faithful of the land. As Christians, we find great comfort in knowing that God is with us wherever we go, and whatever we do. We also understand that though the wicked of this world seem to have free reign, with no one to stop their wickedness, the day will come when the saints of God will be redeemed and the wicked will be cast out into outer darkness, never to see the light of God again.

However, until that time when Christ returns again, as Christians we need to continually seek the Lord for strength and grace to live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to Him. It does not really matter if we please people, but it matters if we please God.

It is often hard to remember that, is it not? From our days of infancy we received great pleasure from the cheers of people as we displayed our antics before them. Often it is much easier to try to please people whom we can see, rather than God, Whom we cannot see. What would we do if living for God and seeking to please Him cost us dearly, perhaps even with our life?

When we think about that, are we not like Peter, who believed he would never deny the Lord? 
31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:   


      ‘ I will strike the Shepherd,
      And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’


 32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”   
(Matthew 26:31-33, New King James Version)
We must remember the weakness of our frame, but God is our Rock and our Fortress, it is to Him we must go when faced with persecution. Peter repented of his denial of the Lord, but he never forgot the lesson he learned. In our own strength, we are weak, but in the strength of the Lord, we are strong.

Let us remember, today, that it is God we serve, and not man. God is with us everywhere we go, every moment of every day, and in His strength we can live a life that is pleasing to Him--and that is all that matters!

God Bless You,
Linda



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Enemy to Injustice

 3I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
 4A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
 5Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. 

Enemy to Injustice

Happy is the nation whose ruler declares himself to be an enemy to injustice. As a matter of fact, such a thing is unheard of in our day. We have all kinds of lawyer jokes or politician jokes, showing that we do not even expect those in the judiciary to be an enemy to injustice, or even to be honest in all of their duties.

As David contemplated the nature of his rule over the people, he determined to not even look upon wickedness, and to personally hate the work of those who turned aside from doing good. Of course, he had a prime example in the life of King Saul and was, himself, a man who was hotly pursued by the king, though he had done nothing to deserve such treatment.

We have the added advantage or reading this psalm long after the rule of King David and to compare his actual rule over his subjects with the intents of his heart as displayed in Psalm 101. While David was a good king, how are we to view his sins against Uriah the Hittite when he tried to cover up his sin with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba?

In the end, we must say that, though David sinned grievously, yet when confronted with his sin by Nathan the prophet, he displayed a repentant heart before the Lord. We must realize that most kings, when confronted with their evil deeds, will not respond with the repentant heart we saw in David. 

How did Herod respond when John the Baptist confronted him for taking his sister-in-law to be his wife? He cast John the Baptist in prison, and later ordered him killed. 

David, however, was not such a man. Not only did he express a desire to be an enemy to injustice, he proved to be a champion of justice when he became king, first of Hebron, and later of Israel. When a person's heart is given to the Lord, his entire life changes. Though he or she is still subject to their own sin nature, yet when confronted by their sins, will reveal a repentant heart before the Lord.

It is unlikely that any of us will actually be a king or queen, however all of us are the "rulers" of our own little kingdom, as God places people under our authority. What kind of a ruler are you? Are you known in your personal life as an enemy to injustice? Are your heart affections totally given to the Lord, or are you a Christian who tries to keep one's feet in both kingdoms, so to speak?

The world is certainly tantalizing, and the praise of men can be intoxicating, but as Christians, we are called to forsake this world and all of its enticements and turn our hearts completely to the Lord. To share God with the world is to serve the world, for God will not be shared. He demands all of our hearts and lives to be devoted to Him, and rightly so!

Let us, then, determine to live our lives in such a manner that it is clear that we are an enemy to injustice. Let us begin by "cleaning" our own hearts and lives and turning our face to the Lord. Let us seek the Lord while He may be found.
6  Seek the LORD while He may be found,   
      Call upon Him while He is near. 
       7  Let the wicked forsake his way,   
      And the unrighteous man his thoughts; 
      Let him return to the LORD, 
      And He will have mercy on him; 
      And to our God, 
      For He will abundantly pardon
       (Isaiah 55:6-7, New King James Version)
God Bless You,
Linda


Friday, May 11, 2012

Mercy and Judgment

 1I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
 2I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 

Mercy and Judgment

Psalm 101 gives us a rare privilege to see into the very heart of David, who had not yet been made king, but had been ordained as the next king of Israel by Samuel. It was certainly a difficult time for David--being thrust about from one kingdom to another when pursued by King Saul. Yet even in times such as these we see David returning to God, his first love.

Having time to contemplate the years to come, David sings to the Lord of mercy and judgment. A rare king it is who learns the proper balance between mercy and judgment. When is the proper time to show mercy to one's subjects, and when is the proper time to show firm judgment? As he considers such things David turns his heart to the Lord, for it is by the help of God that he would rule wisely.

Certainly David must have thought of the kingdom of Saul, his predecessor. As he saw the grave errors of Saul who turned away from the Lord, David expressed his intent to behave himself wisely, perfectly obeying the commandments of God. 

It was hard to be patient as he awaited God's timing. We sense that impatience in his questioning the Lord, "O when wilt thou come unto me?" However, he resolves to walk within his house with a perfect heart.

It is this very quality that God sees in David and desires in all of His children.
22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ (Acts 13:22, New King James Version)
We cannot help but read a psalm such as this and think, "Where is my heart? How does God view me? Is my heart devoted to the Lord or is it caught up in the desires and pleasures of this world? Am I devoted to God or am I devoted to myself?"

In the end it is not our actions, but our hearts that God sees. We can impress the world by our actions, but we can only impress the Lord with a heart that is devoted to Him. Let us aspire to return to our first love, the Lord God Almighty, and though we may not rule a kingdom, let us aspire to show mercy and judgment toward those who are under our care.

God Bless You,
Linda