Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Power of His Works

 2 The works of the LORD are great,
         Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
 3 His work is honorable and glorious,
         And His righteousness endures forever.
 4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered;
         The LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
 5 He has given food to those who fear Him;
         He will ever be mindful of His covenant.
 6 He has declared to His people the power of His works,
         In giving them the heritage of the nations. 
          
(Psalm 111:2-6, New King James Version)

Power of His Works

How does God declare the power of His works to His people?
He has declared to His people the power of His works,
     In giving them the heritage of the nations.
How easy it is, as Christians, to take God for granted. Because we expect righteousness and holiness from Him, we tend to overlook His goodness manifest to us in our own personal lives. God is not just a God who dwells on high, looking down upon His children from afar, rather, He is a God who is personally and intimately involved with every single child of His.

Indeed, as we read our Bibles we come to understand that the works of God are great; there is no one who has ever lived or will ever live who has so cared for His own. He does not miss a thing, but moves and works in our lives, caring for us and gently prodding us to keep us on the paths of righteousness.

His ways are honorable and glorious, His righteousness endures forever, and He is gracious and full of compassion. God is never too busy or too tired to listen to the pleas of His children. Neither does He necessarily answer our prayers in the manner we believe He should, for He is constantly sending us the right measure of blessings and trials to grow us and enable us to become more and more like Him.

In the end, we really do not want to remain as we are, selfishly going our own way. As children of God we desire, in our heart of hearts, to cast off the sins which so easily enslave us so that we may become more and more Christlike in character.

What an amazing God we serve. He not only saves and keeps us, but He continues to chip away at our sins and mold us so that we become more and more like Him. It is certainly not in our nature to be truly loving, kind, and unselfish, but in Christ all things are possible. Indeed, God has declared to His people the power of His works, giving us the heritage of the nations.

Life will not always be as it is now. The day will come, whether it is through the return of Christ or our own deaths, when we will enter the gates of heaven to live with Him forever. It is more than we can imagine, is it not? What a glorious day that will be when we shed our coats of sin forever!

Let us, then, live this day in the power of His works, magnifying and glorifying His name above all.

God Bless You,
Linda


Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Whole Heart

 1Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. 

My Whole Heart

What a lovely Psalm; I hope you will take the time to read it all, and not wait until we get to the next three sections. As I walked my dog this morning, I visualized standing before God in prayer. It was a wonderful exercise, as I am often guilty of thinking of my prayers to God as a being a one-sided conversation, yet that is not the true reality. In reality, we must think of God staring into our eyes while we are speaking, taking in every word we are saying. Though He is God of all Gods, ruling the entire universe, He never is too busy to have a personal conversation with one of His children.

Can you not picture the magnificent scene painted by the writer of Psalm 111? We are all standing, as a part of a huge assembly before Almighty God singing and praising His glorious and holy name. 

The writer of this psalm spends the next nine verses praising and extolling our great and glorious God. If you were to make a list of all of the benefits you have received from the hand of God, how long would your list be? What would be number 1 on your list? I challenge you to think on this all day today in preparation of our covering the rest of the Psalm.

You will probably not be surprised to hear that, after reading through Psalm 111, the words to this hymn came to my mind. It is one I used to sing as a solo in my college days. Rather than reproduce the words here, I am going to include a link so that you might hear the music (no words - just piano) while you read through the lyrics. What Shall I Give Thee Master

Let us, by the grace of God, spend some time this day praising God with our whole hearts, for apart from Christ, we have nothing. He is all we need in this life as well as the next.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, July 27, 2012

Christ Our King

 5The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
 6He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
 7He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. 

Christ Our King!

Who is this Christ that David portrays in Psalm 110? What happened to the sweet, loving, and gentle Savior? We love to hear about our Savior who shelters His own and gently cares for the sheep of His flock, but we are not as content to hear of Him as the Conqueror, leading the charge of battle, completely decimating His foes! Why is that?

To accept Christ as one without the other is to not accept Christ at all! Christ is kind, loving, gentle, and long suffering toward the weak of this world. He is ever present to meet their fledgling needs. For them, He came to this earth to pay the debt of their sins, and provide a home in heaven. However, to those who ignore and reject Him, He is a hardened soldier, ready to do battle against the wicked of this world. In the end, He will leave no survivors!

John Calvin, in his commentary on Psalm 110 makes this interesting statement.
Wherefore it becomes us carefully to refrain from provoking his wrath against us by a stiff-necked and rebellious spirit, when he is tenderly and sweetly inviting us to come to him.
Let us remember that our God is God; there are none like Him. He rules righteously and justly, and will brook none who disdain to follow Him. Though the wicked may seem to be laughing their way through this life, with not a care in the world, allowing none to have the mastery over them, they are foolish in their short sightedness. 

Those who will not have Christ to rule over them are slave servants of Satan, who cares nothing about them, but only desires to pull them away from the only One who can truly come to their aid. Let us, as followers of Christ, not be deceived by the cunning craftiness of the devil. 

Christ is certainly long suffering, giving the wicked every possible opportunity to repent, but the day will come when time shall be no more. What is done will be done, what has been decided will have been decided, and what happens next can in no way be avoided. For, at that time, Christ will rule quickly and decisively, disarming and destroying all of His enemies including Satan and all of His minions who thought to rebel against God.

This, dear fellow believer, is Christ, our Lord and our King. In Him we owe everything, for He is all we need for life, for hope, and for eternity!

God Bless You,
Linda


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beauty of Holiness

 3Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
 4The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 

Beauty of Holiness

Once upon a time, on a planet, not so far away, called Earth, there ruled a wise and eternal King. His people so loved their King that they rushed to His bidding, with not a thought of hesitation. No dissension existed among the people as they all were of one mind, loving their King and therefore loving one another.

Why did I begin the above narrative with the words, "Once upon a time?" Living in a world so infested with sin and decay, we cannot even imagine our world in any other way. One has to travel far and wide to find even one person who exists, who has righteous and Godly characteristics. In this world, we do not even expect our leaders to actually mean what they say. In this US presidential election year, the barbs fly from one candidate to another, while promises are made which no one expects the candidates to keep if elected.

It has always been this way, has it not? No! God created this world in beauty and perfection. No contention existed between humans or beasts. What happened? Sin entered the corridors of this world, resulting in a world infested with sin and decay. Man fought man, and the beasts fought one another.

Now, let us return to that first paragraph above and change the, "Once upon a time," to "A day is surely coming." What David is describing in verses 3 and 4 of Psalm 110, is a time in the future when all sin will be erased and the earth re-created with only those who truly, in their heart of hearts, love the Lord. They will all, of one accord, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Millions upon millions, who have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, will live and work on this new Earth. Plants will be disease-free, and all animals will co-exist in peace.

Who will rule this mighty earth? Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords will rule this Earth, as the divinely appointed King and Priest of a land that will exist for all eternity. David, himself, when he penned these words by the inspiration of the Spirit must have longed for such a time as this.

What is the significance of Christ being a priest after the order of Melchizedek?

 18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
 19And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.
(Genesis 14:18-19, King James Version)

Unlike the kings of Israel and Judah, Melchizedek is presented as a divinely appointed king who also served as a priest. No word is given as to descendants, for he is presented as one who has no end. In Melchizedek, we have a picture or type of Israel's divinely appointed King who will rule as both King and Priest in a kingdom which will last forever!

I long to be a part of that kingdom, serving the Lord in the beauty of holiness, don't you? That, dear Christian, is our future!

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christ Reigns

 1The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
 2The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 

Christ Reigns

David, in his beautifully written Psalm 110, is writing of things which had not yet been fulfilled in His day, but are partially fulfilled in ours. When did God say to the Lord Jesus Christ, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?"

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David is speaking of the coming of Christ as the Messiah of Israel. How much did David understand of what he had written? It is a good question, but one we certainly cannot affirm one way or the other.

As we look upon governments of our day, where is Christ? Is He ruling the nations now? What is keeping Him from returning now, so that all of His enemies will finally be put under His feet? We certainly have more questions that we have answers. What we do know, is that, politically, everything is going just as God has ordained it to go.

We do not know the day or the hour of the return of Christ, but we know that no man can stay the hand of the Lord. When He returns, all kingdoms will, indeed, be put under His feet. What then? What will happen to us?

God looks at only one thing: He looks at the state of our hearts before Him. Have we heeded the Gospel's call? Have we acknowledged that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior, and thus, our only hope? Or, have we rejected God's own Son? When Christ returns, justice will be served by God, and His justice will be right.

Oh that we, as believers, would take seriously this God we serve. Rather than getting caught up in the entrapments of this world, may we focus on our God-given purpose for being here. What are we doing to advance the cause of Christ? How important is our own personal relationship with Christ to us? Are we living according to the Word of God, or do we just compare ourselves with people of the world?

It does not matter what any other person thinks about us. In reality, only Christ matters, and His judgment will be without error. How amazing that David wrote of such things, considering the little portion of God's Word that was available to Him. Yet, David sought the Lord even while still a shepherd boy in Israel, and continued to do so until the end of his kingly reign.

Christ reigns! Does Christ reign in our hearts and lives as well? That is the only question that matters!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Hand of God

 26Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:
 27That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.
 28Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.
 29Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.
 30I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.
 31For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul. 

The Hand of God
That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.
Have we forgotten? What is the chief thing that David desired for his enemies? David desired that they would know that the hand of God was responsible for the cursed events of their lives. Have we forgotten the hand of God?

In our day of basing all things on scientific reasoning, we have forgotten that ultimately it is God who orders the events of our lives. When over 60% of the United States is experiencing the worst drought ever recorded while China is being devastated by flooding due to incessant rain, let us remember that the hand of God is behind the weather.

The hand of God is ordering the events of life including the weather, that men might know that He is truly the God of all Gods, Lord of all Lords, and King of all Kings. Let us pray that men would acknowledge that God is truly supreme. That they would understand that God, and not man, is at the center of all things; He orders all events so that Christians would be drawn closer to Him, and that the world might know that there is a God in heaven who rules over all.

Let us, then, like David, praise the Lord with our mouths, and praise Him among the multitude. For God will stand at the right hand of the poor, and will save him from those who condemn His soul. Our hope stands on nothing less than Jesus Christ, our Righteousness. He is the solid Rock who gives meaning and purpose to our lives on this earth, and He is the Rock who will bring us safely home to Him at the end of our days.

Yes, that reminds me of a song. These lyrics were written by Edward Mote about 200 years ago.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain:
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

God Bless You,
Linda


Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Wounded Heart

 21But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
 22For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
 23I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.
 24My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.
 25I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. 

A Wounded Heart

The focus changes as David pour out his heart to the Lord in these verses from Psalm 109. You can hear the weariness in his words:
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.
It seems as one gets older, days such as this, experienced by King David, become more and more frequent. Gone is the eagerness of youth when all of life seems to stretch before you. Grief, sadness, and disappointments in life cause us to turn our hearts to the Lord. For in Him, alone, we find joy, peace, and comfort.

That is exactly what David had discovered when he acclaimed, because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. In the Lord do we not only find mercy, but we find help.

Perhaps one of the reasons God allows times of great oppression, and even depression to come upon us is so that we will find the sweet peace and comfort that comes only from the Lord. I am beginning to think that that may be the root cause of almost all of our difficulties.

If we are wounded by the words of a friend, turn to Christ. If our spouse seems to treat us unkindly or take us for granted, turn to Christ. If we are the laughingstock of the crowd, turn to Christ. If our children weary us with their constant contentious ways, turn to Christ.

Could it be so simple? Yes! The greatest blessing of being a believer while still on this earth is that sweet communion with our dear Lord. His love surpasses any earthly love we could know. He is always with us; He never fails us. Though He may seem far away at times, in reality, He is always right beside us.

As our days increase on this earth, so should our love for the Lord increase as well. Take some time today, and every day, to just commune with the Lord. In our busy lives we tend to neglect our quiet time of reading the Bible, reflecting upon its message, and pouring out our hearts in praise and prayer. Yet, if we neglect our Lord Jesus Christ, He will neglect us as well.

Have you experienced a wounded heart? Go to Christ. He, alone, is the healer of the broken heart! Joseph Scriven expressed it well in the familiar hymn he wrote, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to God in prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He'll take and shield thee;

Thou wilt find a solace there.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, July 20, 2012

Adversaries

 14Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
 15Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
 16Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
 17As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.
 18As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.
 19Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.
 20Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul. 

Adversaries

Adversaries! Everyone has them, but the question is, how is the Christian to view his adversaries? If you will remember, we left Psalm 109 in yesterday's devotion with David calling curses from God down upon his enemies. In the portion of Psalm 109 that we are looking at today, we see David continuing to curse his enemies, but he begins to offer an explanation.
Because that he remembered not to shew mercy . . . As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing.
In reading these verses today, I thought about adversaries we have in our day. How do we treat our adversaries? David rightly understood that it is God to Whom we must turn. We cannot enact vengeance upon them ourselves, neither should we speak against them to others.

Have you ever considered that your adversaries were sent to you specifically by the Lord? Nothing in our lives happens by chance; everything in the lives of Christians is ordered by the Lord. That does not mean that He causes bad things to happen to His children, but it means that He does not always prevent bad things from happening to them.

Why? Why does God not prevent the bad things? He certainly could. We cannot begin to understand the heart of God, but we do know that He allows things to come our way so that we will learn to love Him more and the world less. We also know that God will not send more than we can bare, but will send His grace to help us in our times of need.
13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, King James Version)
What a great and loving God we serve; there is not a thing that happens to us in this world that is not tempered by the loving hand of God. Even when we do not remember to call upon Him, He is there gently prodding and guiding us in the way we should go. 

Thousands of years after David penned the words to Psalm 109, we realize that man is just the same today as he was then. There will always be adversaries; there will always be those who fight against God and His children. However, there will always be a remnant of those faithful to God as well.

We are not alone in life's venture; we are walking the same paths that millions have walked before us. Let us then ask the Lord this day to keep us on the straight and narrow path, and not to become overly concerned or discouraged because of our adversaries. Let us commit them to God, and trust that He will deal with them righteously.

God Bless You,
Linda
 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Judgment

 8Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
 9Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
 10Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
 11Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
 12Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.
 13Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. 

Judgment

Psalm 109 is a difficult Psalm to understand for it seems to be so contrary to the characteristics that are to exemplify believers. Yet here is David, a believer, hurling a whole list of curses against his enemies. However, before we become too outraged, we must remember that David was led by the Holy Spirit to write these words.

How then are we to view such curses against the ungodly? What lessons are we to learn from these verses from Psalm 109? Of course, our more ardent desire for the wicked would be that they come to the knowledge of Christ and accept Him as their Savior. In the time of David, each nation had their gods; the emphasis was not on the individuals, but rather, on the nation as a whole. The likelihood of an entire nation rejecting their gods and accepting the God of Israel was so remote that it was not even considered.

The frustration faced by David is not unlike the frustrations we face when the ungodly seem to rule, and are lauded, while true believers are ridiculed and dismissed. In our day we see man quickly running as far away from the laws of God as possible. Yet, their ungodly ways and ideas are upheld, even up to the highest courts of the land. Is there no hope for the believer?

In reading Psalm 109, we are reminded that God is God. Though the men of this earth may attempt to distance themselves from Him, He still is in control. All of the curses written against the enemies of David are actions often used by God toward the wicked of our day. If they continually refuse to turn to Him, then there is no hope for them in this life or in the life to come. 

In a system of true justice, the righteous are rewarded and the wicked are punished. God, in His righteousness, punishes the wicked both now and in the life to come. All men will live eternally, however all men will not live eternally in heaven.

As children of God, let us run with patience the race that God has set before us, and let us pray for the ungodly, that their hearts may be turned to the Lord. However, if we are caught in the webs of the wicked and persecuted, let us cry out to the Lord to be gracious to us and to help us endure whatever trials may come our way, knowing that this world is not our home. We have a rich eternity that awaits us. 

Though the wicked may seem to live in great acceptance and prosperity, their days are numbered. The life they have to look forward to will be an eternity filled with torment and regret. Though they may be unpunished in this world, they will not be unpunished in the next!

God is God, and we are not! To Him belongs all of the honor, the praise and the glory!

God Bless You,
Linda


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

God, Our Help

 1Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;
 2For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
 3They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.
 4For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
 5And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 

God, Our Help!

David had taken all he could take; he was tired and weary as he pondered the ways of the wicked. Was there no longer any justice on earth? Would the wicked rule forever? As David was overcome by the wicked who continually lied about him, filling the hearts of others with hatred against him, he went the only place he knew where mercy and love reigned: his Lord God.

Pouring out his frustrations to the Lord he sighed, For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself to prayer. Was David utterly defeated? Were there no other steps he could have taken against those who hated him?

I am sure there were many other things David could have done, but he realized that the first and only place he needed to go was the Lord. Before God, he could pour out his complaints, for God knew and saw everything. Indeed, the only one who could permanently come to his aid was God. For God's judgment against the wicked is thorough and complete. If God so chose, the wicked would be no more.

In our culture we seem to view God as the last resort--if all else fails, we finally turn to God for help, We view God as the One to turn to when nothing else works, but until then we will just take care of ourselves. After all, we do not really want God to interfere with our lives when everything is going well.

Is that the place God desires in the lives of His children? Does He only exist to bail them out of trouble? No! God is more than a permanent "Get out of jail" card, as though we are just playing a game of Monopoly. 

When Christ comes into the heart of a new believer, everything changes. For the true saint of God, life has taken a 180 degree turn. Until becoming a Christian, our own egos stood at the center of our lives, as though all of the world revolved around us. However, the new believer has replaced themselves with Christ. Now, Christ sits on the throne of their hearts. Everything they think, do, and say is based upon what is most pleasing to the Lord.

That is exactly what we see in the life of David in Psalm 108. The first One David turned to was the Lord. For, he understood that when all is said and done, God will deal justly with every man, woman, and child who has ever lived, is alive now, and who will ever live. In the end, all things will be made right; no one will slip by unnoticed by God.

How different might our lives be if we took some time each morning to fellowship with the Lord, and to beseech Him for help for the coming day, praying that God would be especially close to us throughout the entire day? Would our lives be different, as Christians, if we consciously remembered that the Lord Jesus is standing right beside us participating in every thing we do?

How I love the Psalms of David. David, the King of Israel, was a man of many passions. In the Psalms he bares his very heart before the Lord, and shows us that God is not only there for us, but He is the first One to whom we should turn in good times or in bad times. Christ's love for us is more than we can possibly comprehend! 

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come, 
Our shelter from the stormy blast, 
And our eternal home.

God Bless You,
Linda


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Who?

 10Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
 11Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?
 12Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
 13Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. 

Who?

To whom do you turn when all hope seems to be lost? David asked that very question:
Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom?
The real question asked by David was, "To whom do I turn when God hast cast me off?" During the time of David, all nations believed that events were ordered by the gods. The victory came to the nation which had the strongest or most powerful god. David's real question was this: If God has cast us off, then who will lead our army into battle?

He rightly understood that the help of man was vain, for no man could stand before the power of Almighty God. With God victory was assured, but without God all hope was lost.

Sadly, in our day, most nations believe that man is invincible; no matter what the difficulty may be, man will find the answer. Gone is the understanding that God rules and reigns the nations.

What about the believers of our day? Do we truly believe that "through God we shall do valiantly?" When our nation is plagued with widespread drought, are we crying out to God for help? When forest fires have consumed thousands of acres of land, destroying homes and businesses which lie in its path, are we praying that God would send rain to stop the advance of the flames?

I fear that we have so distanced religion from everyday life, that we hardly even think of turning to God for such things. We have forgotten that God rules over the earth; nothing can stay His hand. He is our only hope, for vain is the help of man!

In a time when the world seems to be spinning crazily on its axis, when the world is almost overcome with disasters: forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and flooding, let the people of God fall down before Him. Let us remember the God we profess to believe; let us dust off our Bibles, place them in a prominent place, and read them frequently. Let us turn off the television an hour before bedtime so we can spend some quiet time with the Lord at the end of each day. Let us set the alarm clock to get ourselves up a half an hour early so we can beseech God for help and strength to live the upcoming day!

In other words, let us put God back into first place in our lives. God will not be ignored; He demands, and will receive first place in our hearts. The very first commandment God has given is: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Any person, place, or thing that we place before God is an idol. 

Who will bring us into the strong city? Let us turn to God who will tread down our enemies!

God Bless You,
Linda



Monday, July 16, 2012

God Hath Spoken!

 7God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
 8Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
 9Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. 

God Hath Spoken!

How much easier might out lives be if we just grasped the first three words of Psalm 108, verse 7: God hath spoken. How has He spoken? In His holiness.

What do we know of the word or words of God? What do we know of the power of His speech? We do not have to go any farther than Genesis 1 to answer that question.

Genesis 1:3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1:6: And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Genesis 1:9: And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Genesis 1:11: And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Genesis 1:15: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Genesis 1:20: And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Genesis 1:24: And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Genesis 1:26-27: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

This is the God we serve! He speaks and it is so. Why, then, do we chaff so much at God's Word? How do we even dare to challenge or question the Word of God? Even more so, why are we so prone to doubt God's promises to us, His children? If God simply spoke the world into existence, can we not trust Him to provide for us, His children?

As you go about the duties of this day, I challenge you to remind yourself, God hath spoken, and it is so!

God Bless You,
Linda


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Be Exalted!

 5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;
 6That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me. 

Be Exalted!

Does God answer prayer? Perhaps the question each of us should ask is, "Does God answer my prayers?" James 4 says, Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

How did David begin his prayer in Psalm 108?
  3I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
 4For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
 5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.
(Psalm 108:3-5, King James Version)
How do we begin our prayers? Perhaps one of the reasons that God does not answer our prayers is that we simply forget to Whom we are praying. Perhaps one of the reasons we ask amiss is that we treat our prayers as though we are reciting from a "non-seasonal" Christmas list.

In our easy-come, easy-go lifestyle, I fear we have forgotten the reverence we owe to God. Yet, every time we come to God in prayer, we must remember that we have come into the Holy, Righteous, Presence of Almighty God. We are literally bowing down before His throne of grace.

How would we approach a king or queen who sits upon their throne? Would we dash in and quickly spew out 10 or 20 desperate requests before dashing out again to get on with the events of the day? No, of course not. Coming before royalty requires some thoughtful preparation; we would never dream to ask one thing of a king or queen without first showing him or her their due respect.

Is God exalted in our lives, not only as we pray, but also in all we do and say? In a day when the world is quickly rushing away from God, let us draw near to Him, exalt His holy name, and seek to live our lives in accordance with His Word.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.
God Bless You,
Linda






Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Steadfast Heart

 1O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
 2Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
 3I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
 4For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. 

A Steadfast Heart


The secret to the life of King David is found in verse 1 of Psalm 108. O God, my heart is fixed. The New King James translates that phrase as, O God, my heart is steadfast.

When one considers all of the inconsistencies of life, the ups and downs, the good times and the bad, what one thing gives us stability? The answer is, a steadfast heart. A heart fixed upon God will not easily go astray. No wonder David can say,
I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
All too frequently we are too set on blaming anything and everything except ourselves when life does not go as we have planned. However, the truth is, we have taken our eyes off the only One who can help us. We go astray because our hearts, left to themselves, will always default to our natural sin nature.

What, then, can we do? A quick perusal of the Psalms will help us answer that question.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 5:3

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. Psalm 55:17

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Psalm 63:1

Let us, by the grace of God, set our eyes, and our heart affections on Christ alone.
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
God Bless You,
Linda






Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summary

 43Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD. 

Summary

As we come to the end of this magnificent Psalm, the writer gives us a summary of the first 42 verses. Whoso is wise, and will observe these theings, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Do you want to understand the Lord? Read Psalm 107. In review, to whom was this Psalm addressed?

Verses 1-3: The redeemed who were gathered from the North, the South, the East, and the West were encouraged to bless the Lord.

Verses 4-9: To the hungry and thirsty who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, were encouraged to thank God who satisfied their longing soul and filled their hungry soul with goodness.

Verses 10-16: Those who were bound in afflictions and irons because they rebelled against the Lord were called to praise the Lord for when they called to Him in their trouble, He broke their bars of iron.

Verses 17-22: Fools, who because of their sins were afflicted, were called to praise the Lord and declare His wonderful works, for He delivered them from their troubles and distresses when they called to Him for help.

Verses 23-32: Those who traveled the seas and saw the wonders of God displayed when He stilled the angry waves as they cried out to Him in their distress, were called to exalt the Lord and praise Him in the company of the elders.

Verses 33-42: Those who, knowing that God turns the rivers into a wilderness and the barren ground into springs of water, and blesses the poor, were called to rejoice with the righteous when they saw God blessing the Godly.

Then, the Psalmist, in verse 43, calls those who are wise to observe these things, for in observing them they come to understand the loving kindness of the Lord their God. It is easy for us to live one day after another with hardly a thought toward God until troubling times come. Then, we cry out to Him to help us and save us from our distresses.

How much better is it when, in the middle of the good times, we call out to God in love and praise knowing that the good days are blessings poured out to us directly from Him. You see, we need God just as much when everything is going well, lest we forget and think that we are experiencing great fruitfulness and productiveness at our own hands.

When we forget, and begin to think too highly of ourselves, God graciously allows troubles to come upon us so that our hearts will be turned to Him. For it is God who blesses, and it is God who allows the difficulties to come. In doing so, God restores our hearts and souls into loving fellowship with Him until the day when we will be with Him forever. What a wonderful day that will be!

God Bless You,
Linda


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Silencing Sin

 39Again, they are diminished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
 40He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
 41Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
 42The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 

Silencing Sin

To whom is the Psalmist referring in verses 39-40? Who are the princes?
Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
In a congregation of over a million, one would expect a mixture of righteous and unrighteous. After all, God says elsewhere in His Word. They are not all Israel, which are of Israel.(Romans 9:6, KJV) In other words, not all those in the visible church are true children of God. The same is true in our churches today. The visible church is a mixture of believers and unbelievers, for though all may profess to believe, God sees the belief or lack of belief in their hearts.

God is referring to the Children of Israel who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. The princes were the heads of each of the 12 tribes. In essence, God is saying, "Though many of you may despise me and receive my contempt, I know my true sheep. Though they may be poor and afflicted by you, I will bless them; I will give them families like a flock."

What effect does God's actions have on the righteous? The righteous see it, understand that God is demonstrating His love for the poor and faithful, and rejoice in the goodness of God. How do the unrighteous receive God's actions? God's actions have the effect of silencing sin: And all iniquity shall stop her mouth.

What an important lesson for us to internalize; when we look around us and see such an imbalance of power, i.e. we see the wicked prospering and getting away with their wicked deeds, while the righteous are oppressed on every side--when we see such an imbalance of power, we must understand that God sees everything. In the end, all will be made right.

As Christians, what a reminder that we are not to fret or worry about the deeds of this world. Let us not spend our lives trying to establish our own good name, or clear our name if it has been muddied. Let us, instead, spend our lives reaching out to the poor and afflicted, praising God for all that comes our way. For we understand, that God may be glorified much more through our afflictions than He would be if life sailed along smoothly and effortlessly.

In other words, we must love God more than we love ourselves. In faith, let us remember that nothing happens apart from God's Almighty will and power. In trouble we look to Him, knowing that He will do what is perfect and right. Often it is not what we would do, but we see such a tiny particle of the whole panorama of man's history. As the Bible says, we see through a glass darkly, but soon we will see Christ face to face and all will be made clear.

Go today, then, and remember that it is the duty of God to be silencing sin. Trust Him and live this day for His glory alone!

God Bless You,
Linda


Monday, July 09, 2012

God and Weather

 33He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
 34A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
 35He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
 36And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
 37And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
 38He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. 

God and Weather

What is the relationship between God and weather, or is there any? What used to be a standard preconceived notion is hardly even given any thought in our day.

100 years ago, if the land was under a drought, people began to pray in earnest that God would send rain. If lands were devastated by floods, people began to look at their own lives and wonder if God was chastising them.

In our day, in the wake of blistering heat across the entire United States, not one word is mentioned about God, or His relationship to the weather we are experiencing. As a matter of fact, most people, even those who are professing believers, hardly give it any thought. Weather is just weather, and God is just God. In the minds of most, there is no relationship between one and the other.

Not so, according to the Psalmist, for he boldly proclaims, He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness. Why? For the wickedness of them that dwell therein. The psalmist is not afraid to profess a distinctive relationship between the sin of man and the resulting weather.

As Psalm 107 continues, the Psalmist proclaims the reverse: God blesses the Godly and upright through the weather. What can the righteous expect?

*He turns the wilderness into standing water.
*He turns the dry ground into watersprings.
*He brings the hungry there so they may sow the fields, and plant vineyards that yield fruits of increase.
*He blesses the righteous so they are multiplied greatly, and see their herds of cattle increase.

Does God no longer care about the people? Does God no longer speak to mankind through the natural elements? The problem is not in God. God speaks to mankind through the natural elements today just as much as He always has. Man just refuses to listen!

In our day, the highest order of all is man. He is the pinnacle of all creation--or so he believes. Though some may dare to believe a God exists, they do not see God as being higher than man. As a matter of fact, scientists would rather believe that someday they will even control the weather.

How arrogant and foolish we are before a righteous and holy God. The day will come when many will no longer ignore God, for God's presence will be felt throughout the entire earth. When Christ returns, no one will stand boldly and arrogantly before God Almighty, but all will bow the knee and acknowledge Christ as Lord and King.

As believers, let us not forget the relationship between God and weather. Let us return to our knees and acknowledge our mighty God, praise His name, and cry out to Him for relief from the drought, flooding, earthquakes, or whatever else God may be sending. Yes, God still speaks to mankind today through the weather.
  3When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
 4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 9O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Psalm 8:3-4 & 9, KJV
God Bless You,
Linda
 



Sunday, July 08, 2012

Works in the Waters!

 23They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
 24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
 25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
 27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
 28Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
 29He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
 31Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 32Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. 

Works in the Waters!

The writer of Psalm 107 continues His declaration of God in nature as he considers God's works in the waters of the sea. If you have ever had the opportunity to be on board a ship or boat which was so far from land that all one could see was water, you will have a better perspective of the intent of the writer of this Psalm.

No matter how large your boat or ship may be, you are quickly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the mighty seas, seas which can become angry and treacherous in the middle of a storm. Your ship is tossed about like a toy boat trying to stay afloat on the violent and choppy waves. One minute your boat mounts up to the heavens, and just as quickly is thrust down into the depths of the great wave as it reels about like a drunken man. No man can control a boat in such seas, but is left to ride out the storm.

Not so for God! One whisper from Him and the seas will become calm and placid, for the Lord controls even the great oceans and seas. In the book of Mark we read of a time when Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee.
  35And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
 36And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
 37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
 38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
 41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

(Mark 4:35-41, King James Version)
Indeed, what manner of man was Christ? He was and is the eternal Son of God with all nature at His beck and call. How can men not see and understand from nature that God not only exists, but He is the ruler over all the earth, the skies, and the seas? How great is man's darkness when his eyes are blinded by Satan and the deceits of this world.

This is the God that we, as His children, love and worship. Though He rules all of creation, He cares about the smallest details in the lives of His children. We are enthralled with hero worship in this 21st century--let us then worship the true and only hero, God the Father, Maker of heaven and earth!

The Psalmist concludes this section with his familiar benediction:
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men. 
Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
Amen, and amen!

God Bless You,
Linda






Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Healing Word

 17Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
 18Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
 19Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
 20He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
 21Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 22And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. 

The Healing Word

As we continue our Psalms Devotions, in our series called "First Love," we encounter the fool. This Psalm is not speaking of a person whose mental faculties are compromised, but rather a person whose spiritual faculties are compromised by sin. God, in His great mercy, afflicts the foolish in Psalm 107 to the point that all food is abhorrent to them. They are so sick that they are near the gates of death.

To the fool who looks to God in their trouble and cries out to Him, God saves them out of their distresses. Not only does He restore them physically, but He restores them spiritually as well, by sending to them the healing Word. He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Then we have the now familiar benediction and the psalmist's response.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men?And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
It is not in our nature to consider that God is being gracious to us when He is sending, or at least allowing, times of affliction. No one takes pleasure in the afflicting hand of God. But, when Christians consider the loving hand of God, chastising them for a time, they understand that God has a specific purpose for the afflictions. Though they may seem devastating at the time, yet the peaceable fruit of righteousness which results from them, is precious, indeed! 

God does not take these times of affliction lightly, but does two things. First, He allows the Christian to feel His great love and comfort, that the Christian would understand that God's love is personal and specific to him or her. Second, He uses the times of affliction to grow the Christian, that their faith might be purified in the furnace of life. God brings us to love Him more and more, and the world, less and less.

What an amazing God we serve. Through times of affliction, He brings us to the knowledge of Him, and when we cry out to Him for help, He saves us. As the years of this life pass, we long more and more to enter the gates of heaven, for we understand that this world is not our home.

Oh that, this day, we would praise the LORD for His goodness, and His wonderful works to the children of men! May we sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing!

God Bless You,
Linda


Friday, July 06, 2012

Broken Gates

 10Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
 11Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
 12Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
 13Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
 14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
 15Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 16For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. 

Broken Gates

Psalm 107, verses 10 through 13, describe our true state before a holy and righteous God. People may say, "I did not even believe there was a God, so I certainly did not go against His counsel." However, truthfully, those who reject even the idea of there being a God are actually rejecting His counsel, for God has revealed Himself to us in many ways, not the least of which is in nature which surrounds us.

There is no hope, apart from God. There is no hope for the salvation of our family and friends apart from God. We may think we can be ever so persuasive, but is it God who saves. Even coming to the point of making a decision to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, requires an act of God. Apart from God the gates of brass will bind us forever.

However, while there is life, there is hope. The afflicted ones in Psalm 107 cried unto the LORD in their trouble and He heard their cry. Reaching down into the depths of darkness, He broke the gates of brass and brought them into the light. Apart from God, there is no hope; with God no gates are strong enough, or chains tight enough to keep us away from Him.

The psalmist then ends with the familiar words,
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Why?
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
This is what God has done for us. Whether we understood it or not, until we came to Christ, we were bound with chains, and sealed by a brass door, and there we would have remained forever. But the only evidence which remains are the broken gates of brass, and the severed chains of iron, shattered by God our Father.

So, let us take a few minutes to thank and praise our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid the debt of our sins and has broken the gates of brass which held us captive!

God Bless You,
Linda



Thursday, July 05, 2012

Deliverance

 4They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
 5Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
 6Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
 7And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
 8Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 9For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. 

Deliverance

Psalm 107 is all about God's deliverance of His people in times of trouble. The years of wilderness wandering were tough years -- a tough 40 years. Plagued by hunger, thirst, and their own sins, God delivered them time and again. Never did they lose their way, for God led them by the right way that they might go to a city of habitation.

It is not any different for God's children today, is it? Life is tough, how ever many years God gives us on this earth. Oh, there are certainly times of happiness, joy, and pleasure, but they are sprinkled with times of great sorrow. Yet, like the children of Israel, God leads us by the right way: the path He has chosen for us to travel. 

How could we find our way among the uncertainties of life apart from the Lord our God? What a comfort to know that His hand of guidance is always upon us. Oh, it may not seem like it at times, but God is right there, ready to guide and comfort us through our days of sickness, trouble, and even death. Nothing happens apart from His knowledge.

Ultimately, God leads His children to an eternal city of habitation in heaven with Him, forever! What a great and awesome God. In a world filled with broken promises, God stands alone as the only One Whose Word is sure. What He has promised in His Word, He certainly will bring to pass.

 Five times in this psalm, the writer proclaims,
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Then, he closes that thought with a benediction related to the verses before.
Oh, that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Let us praise the LORD for his goodness and wonderful works. Go to God today where your longing, hungry soul will be filled with goodness--the goodness of God!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

It's All About God!

 1O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 2Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
 3And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. 

It's All About God!

Our series of Psalms Devotions, titled "First Love" moves to Psalm 107. As I read through the entire Psalm today, and then reread the verses shown above, I thought, "It's all about God!" What is this life that God has given to us? Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is the bigger picture?

The writer of Psalm 107 implores us to give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. It is easy to skip through that sentence, for we tend to hear those words so often we stop to think about what is being said.

Do we take the LORD for granted? When you think about all you know about life, what is really good? Nothing! Oh, there are many things we label good, but when one really stops to think about it, everything on this earth has been tainted by sin, so that nothing is really good--except God. God is good. He is sinless, pure, holy, and filled with light and truth. In Him is no darkness at all, neither shadow of turning. We can cast all of our care upon the Lord our God, for He, alone, has our best interests in mind.

What of the mercy of God? What does that mean to me and to you? God's mercy does not only last for a moment, but it endures forever. God did not have to be merciful to mankind; when sin entered this beautiful world He created, He could have discarded the world and all of the inhabitants in it. Yet, before Adam and Eve sinned, God already had a plan in place. He already determined to reach down through the centuries and choose a people for Himself.

Though He saw no good in His chosen, He applied His mercy to them, bringing salvation from the destiny of eternal damnation to which they were headed. Sending His own Son to take on the lowly form of a man and endure rejection from His own people, He immersed them in the perfect blood of Christ, shed in payment for all of the sins of His chosen people.

Are you one of God's redeemed? The psalmist urges, Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy. Who is this enemy? Satan, the enemy of God, has his hand of all men, desiring to bring them along to share in his eternal curse in the Lake of Fire. Is that really true? Yes! Christ has literally snatched His people right out of the hand of Satan. Why, then, would we not want to tell the world about what great things God has done for us!

Who are the people of God? They are the ones that have been gathered from the east, the west, the north, and the south. Beginning with Abraham, then his descendants who became the nation of Israel, then including Gentile believers who responded to the call of Christ, the Gospel has now spread throughout the entire earth. Were all of the children of Israel believers? No! Looking forward to the coming of Christ, all men from before Christ's birth came to God through faith, just as we do today.

What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose? Why are we here? It's all about God! It is not about the world and all of the pleasures we can experience. Worldly pleasures will only endure for a moment, but the peace, joy, and love of God will endure for forever! No pleasure on earth can come close in comparison to the grace, mercy, and love of Christ bestowed upon His people.

It's all about God!

God Bless You,
Linda