Monday, December 31, 2012

Blessed Be the Lord

 6Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
 7Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
 8Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 
(Psalm 124:6-8, King James Version)

Blessed Be the Lord

As a believer we understand the sentiment expressed by the Psalmist for, truly, blessed be the Lord, who has not given us what we truly deserve! Does anyone deserve salvation? Does anyone deserve Christ? No! Yet, by the wondrous grace of God, He has chosen to save a people for Himself, and to that end, sent His only Son to come to this earth as our Sacrificial Lamb!

Understanding our true estate, apart from Christ, none of us would be granted entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Through no merit of our own, we have been set aside by God Himself, and through Christ's shed blood are able to stand before Him, because of the righteousness of Christ. Not only that, we are totally unable to even live this life without the intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf.

It is good, on this last day of the year, to ponder where we have been and where we are going. Every good thing we have done this past year is due to the help we receive from the Lord. We must agree with the Psalmist, "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth." As we look to the new year, we can do so without apprehension, for this same Jesus, who has been our help and aid in the past will guide us through the steps we will take this next year, and the next, and so on, until the day we enter Heaven's gates to live with Him forever!

It is easy for us to get so entangled with the day to day events of life that we lose sight of the bigger picture. As we pour over the pages of our Bibles, we understand that God is the same today as He was thousands of years ago when the writers of the Psalms walked this earth. They, too, faced the daily challenges of life, sometimes with great faith, and sometimes in great fear and trepidation. Yet, their race has been won, for today these same Psalmists have walked in the very presence of God for thousands of years.

So, as we look forward to 2013, with all of its uncertainties and forebodings, let us take our encouragement from the writer of Psalm 124. Our God, who has not given us as a prey to our enemies, will walk these days by our side, leading, guiding, and comforting us. Though it seems that certain, evil days are upon us, we are surrounded by God's legions of angels who will help and guide us along the way.

Let us, then, be busy about our Father's business, sharing Christ with all we meet. May 2013 be a triumphant year of praise and glory for our Lord Jesus Christ and to God our Heavenly Father!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, December 30, 2012

If It Had Not Been!

 1If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;
 2If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
 3Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
 4Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
 5Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. 
(Psalm 124:1-5, King James Version)

If It Had Not Been!

Considering that we are at the end of another year, looking to a new year, this is a rather remarkable Bible passage to consider, is it not? "If it had not been for the Lord," the Psalmist begins, ". . . then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul." We, too, can say, "If it had not been the Lord, who was on our side, we would not be where we are today, looking to another year to live for the glory and honor of God, our Father.

That is not a popular view, however, in the culture in which we live. We want to believe that we have succeeded because of our great and awesome abilities, our shrewd decisions, and our own tenacity. Yet, what does the Bible say? As we pour over the pages of the Old Testament, we have story after story of great victories, or great defeats, based, not upon the strength of man, but upon his willingness to depend upon God, and not himself.

How often did Israel succeed against overwhelming odds when they depended upon God? How often did Israel fail when depending upon their own strength, or when depending upon the assistance of their neighboring nations? Of course, we are speaking of nations, but what of us today? Do we face similar circumstances in our own lives?

It is easy to trust in the Lord when everything seems to be going smoothly, but how well do we do when our world falls apart around us? As a matter of fact, as believers it is easy for us to look with disdain upon the people of the world, or even fellow believers, when they fall into adverse circumstances. In our self-righteous mindset, we perceive that their difficulties would be alleviated if they would turn to the Lord. Surely, we think, their circumstances are a result of their own wicked and sinful lusts and actions.

Knowing our propensity to such attitudes, God providentially included the book of Job in the Bible. Here was a man who loved and feared the Lord. When great wickedness came upon him, however, his friends were sure it was due to his hidden sins. Given the same circumstances, would we remain as righteous Job?

Oh yes, he foolishly challenged God, but when confronted by the Almighty, he fell at God's feet. The greater chastisement, however, fell to Job's three friends, who charged Job foolishly.

As we face a new year, with a new opportunity to serve the Lord faithfully, let us remember that if it had not been for the goodness of the Lord, we would not be His servants today. Let us look to Him to continue to lead and guide us in the ways we should go, and let us pray that we will follow Him, and not be led by our foolish and stubborn hearts.

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Contempt!

 3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
 4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud. 
(Psalm 123:3-4, King James Version)

Contempt!

We all like to be liked, do we not? As a matter of fact, sometimes it is hard to be different--to always be at odds with the popular opinions of the day. For the believer, however, to be true to the teachings of God's Word, often being different becomes the norm.

The Psalmist certainly felt the contempt manifested in the pride and arrogance of the people. Pride, however, has no place in the heart of the Christian. Jesus, the Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords did not manifest pride and arrogance. He, who was above all, came to this earth with the heart of a servant, ready to do His Father's will. How, then, can we expect to do less?

That is not, however, the way of the world. We relish in our cocky heros and heroines--we love to see ourselves as being invincible. We can do anything if we try hard enough, right?

Is that the way it really is in life? Do we fail because we just do not try hard enough? Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes observed,

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill." (Ecclesiastes 9:11, King James Version)

What, then, is the answer? The believer understands that our purpose in this life is to honor and glorify the Lord our God. When we do well, we understand that it is God who deserves the praise. It is He who has made us, given us the abilities we have, and used them through the circumstances of this life to bring honor and glory to His name. Where, then, is there any room for pride?

No wonder the world holds Christians in contempt! Our very foundations are laid upon a base that they do not understand. They wonder, how can we bring more honor by being humble? In their view, humility is a weakness, not a strength.

It is good for us to read God's Word and understand that God's people who have gone before us--even thousands of years before us--have faced the same discouragements and temptations that we face today. Yet, as they found their strength in the Lord, so must we. As we face a new year, let us resolve that, by the grace of God, we will remain faithful to His Word and His principles, even though they are disdained and scorned by the people of this world.

This world is not our home, but, like Abraham, we look for a city whose builder and maker is God!

 9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:9-10, King James Version)

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wait upon the Lord

 1Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
 2Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. 
(Psalm 123:1-2, King James Version)

Wait upon the Lord

How well do we wait upon the Lord? The Psalmist said he waited upon the Lord His God until He had mercy upon Him. Waiting is not necessarily a pleasant or easy thing to do, but could it be that God withhold's His blessing to help us learn to wait and trust upon Him?

As we look to God who dwells in the heavens it is important for us to realize that God is to us as the master to his servants, or as the mistress to her maidens. I fear that all too often we forget that our relationship to God is one of servanthood. Rather than approach God with numberless requests, we need to approach Him, not just as a servant, but as a servant who trusts completely in His provisions for all of our needs.

Even for believers, it is not always easy to do this. Often we come to God with so many expectations that we forget that He is God and we are not! Life does not always run smoothly--in fact most of the time it does not run smoothly. Does that mean God is not doing His job? No! It means that we need to rest completely in God's care and continuance with no expectations. We need to understand that He is moving and working in our lives exactly as He has planned!

Life, after all, is not really about us at all, is it? We are here to bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what our present circumstances may be. Yet, we can do so joyfully, knowing that this earth is but a stepping stone. The time will come, in the not so distant future, when our days on this earth will be ended, and our joyous reunion with the Lord Jesus Christ will come to pass.

We have just celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, but even more, we celebrate His eternal abode in heaven where He sits at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for us. It is not because of us, but because of Christ that we have such a glorious future to anticipate.

So, then, let us wait upon the Lord patiently as encouraged by the writer of Psalm 123. Go, today, in the strength and power of the Lord and live this day to His honor and glory, resting in His power and strength as our dear Lord and Master.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas with Christ!

 2The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 
(Isaiah 9:2, King James Version)

Christmas with Christ!

I was going to write a Christmas devotion, but went to religiontoday.com and read an incredibly wonderful article called, "Those Who Walk in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light." I realized that they said everything and more than I would have said, in a much better way.

So, I share this link with you and highly encourage you to read the article.


What a great an awesome God we serve who sent His Son that we might have life. I pray that Christmas for you is not just a celebration of gifts, but that you have personally received God's precious Savior, and that you celebrate this Christmas with faith in God's Son who was born under rude circumstances, lived a sinless life, gave that life on the cross, was resurrected the third day, and now lives in heaven making intercession for His people.

I pray that you, too, are among those people who walked in darkness and have seen a great light!

Have a blessed Christmas with Christ!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Peace of Jerusalem

 3Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
 4Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
 5For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
 6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
 7Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
 8For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
 9Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good. 
(Psalm 122:3-9, King James Version)

Peace of Jerusalem

Verse 6 of Psalm 122 could very well be a headline right out of the newspaper today: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. As a matter of fact, it is a phrase often repeated of Joel Rosenberg, a Christian author, whose blog focuses on news from the Mideast.

What exactly did the Psalmist request is his prayer for peace?

*They shall prosper that love thee.
*Peace be within thy walls.
*Prosperity within thy gates.

Has or will that prayer ever be answered? It seems that there is no place more filled with violence and uneasy peace than the city of Jerusalem. Yet, thousands of years later, this Psalm is still relevant.

The world has certainly changed since the day this was written. With the coming of Christ, God's people now emerge from almost every nation on the globe, and Jerusalem is no longer considered the epicenter of God's church. As a matter of fact, there is no one city or country that we could consider the "center" of Christianity.

Even so, it is true that God still blesses the nations that bless Israel. It is also true that a time is coming when the Jewish people will turn back to the Lord. It is happening in smaller numbers now, but will continue to grow as the Jewish people begin to read and study the New Testament, realizing that Christ is, indeed, the promised Messiah.

As Christians today, let us continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and pray that soon, the Lord will return. In preparation for His return, may we be found ready: reading and studying His Word, sharing the Gospel with our friends and neighbors, and looking for ways to honor and serve Him with the abilities and talents that He has given to us.

The day will come when the thrones of judgment will be set. Christ will return and judge righteously. It will be a day both terrible and wonderful, for time will cease, and this world will be no more. Christ will prepare a new heaven and a new earth, and His people will live with Him forever!

By the grace of God, that is where our hearts and minds need to rest; the things of this earth hold no value when one's heart is set upon Christ. So, this day, pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, December 17, 2012

Jerusalem

 1I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
 2Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. 
(Psalm 122:1-2, King James Version)

Jerusalem

As we continue our series, "First Love," from the Psalms we find ourselves at Psalm 122, extolling the praises of Jerusalem. You have to realize that it is pretty amazing that this city, important to the Israelites  thousands of years ago is still an important city for, not only the Jewish people and the Arabs who live there, but for all Christians as well.

God's chosen people, the Jewish nation, established Jerusalem as their capital city during the reign of King David. It was also the site of the temple built by Solomon, and then later restored and enlarged during the time of Herod. We know that when Christ comes to rule on this earth, He will rule from the city of Jerusalem.

The Psalmist wrote during a time of peace--a time when the nation faithfully served their God. Unfortunately, we know from history that that peace did not last long. Just two kings later, under the rule of Solomon's son the kingdom was divided.

Our eyes are again turned to Israel, focusing on the city of Bethlehem, for in just one week the Christmas holiday will be upon us. As we celebrate the holiday festivities, do we have our feet planted within the gates of Jerusalem, or are we diverted by the lights, tinsel, and presents, rushing to get our holiday shopping done, the treats prepared, and the house ready for guests?

Even among Christians, I fear we have lost the true meaning of Christmas. We have filled our lives with meaningless activities, ignoring the more important reason for Christ's birth. Oh, it is a lovely story, and it is necessary for us to understand that Jesus was not a mere man. He was, indeed, born of the virgin Mary, fathered by God Himself through the power of the Holy Spirit. He was and is the God Man.

The Bible does not focus on Jesus' childhood. We only have one example given when He was 12, and even then, He was busily preparing for His adult ministry on this earth. The Bible, instead, focuses on His ministry: His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

Do we, as believers, focus on these same things? Are we busy reading and studying our Bibles, praying for opportunities to share our hope and joy with others? Do we seek to turn the eyes of non-Christians to Christ especially during this holiday season?

Let us plant our feet within the gates of Jerusalem, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. We have what the world cannot fathom: true hope, true peace, and true joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Lord

 5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
 6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
 7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
 8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. 
(Psalm 121:5-8, King James Version)

The Lord

To whom are you referring when you talk about the Lord? When you think about it, many people speak of the Lord, but are they speaking of the same Lord you worship and adore? Even in our own lives our attitude toward our Lord changes depending upon life's circumstances. Oh, I do not mean that He changes, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but due to our own individual circumstances of life, our attitude toward Him fluctuates.

For example, after a particularly trying situation, we may feel a sense of great gratitude for the Lord's protecting hand of guidance upon us. When reading our Bibles, our hearts often well up in praise to our great and awesome Lord and King. Then, sometimes when life is running along smoothly, we do not even think much of Him at all.

When the Psalmist wrote Psalm 121, what did he say about the Lord?

*The Lord is thy keeper.
*The Lord is thy shade.
*The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil.
*He shall preserve thy soul.
*The Lord shall preserve thy going and and thy coming in.

No wonder we love Psalm 121 so much! Look at the all-encompassing compassion and help we find in the Lord. Just like the Psalmist, we can attest to the same things in our own lives, can we not? Who keeps us? The Lord! Who protects us from the forces of nature? The Lord. Who keeps our feet from wandering in the path of wickedness? The Lord. Who promises to lead and guide us all of the days of our lives? The Lord.

In truth, left to ourselves, all of us would go astray. None of us possesses the inner strength and power to remain faithful to God all of the days of our lives. It is important that we understand our great dependence upon our Lord, and that we continually cry out to Him to keep us from sin.

What about the bigger picture given by the Psalmist? Even in our day of great scientific achievements, man cannot control the weather or the forces of nature. Yet, Jesus did and can! When tossed about by a great storm on the sea of Galilee with His disciples, Jesus had only to speak and the winds and waves obeyed His voice.

We have been reminded again and again that no matter how great man may seem in his own eyes, he is still subject to the forces of nature. All of our scientific achievements could not protect the East coast from Hurricane Sandy or still the great sweeping devastation from tornados in the last year, let alone since time began.

What a great comfort, then, for the believer when we understand that nothing happens apart from God's almighty power and might. Why does God allow such horrendous events to occur? Only eternity will give us such answers, but we know that God's plan for this earth, from its beginning to its end is taking place exactly as He ordained.

This is the Lord God we serve! In Him we can have great confidence, for nothing stays His hand. All that He has planned will come to pass, for He not only is our Savior, but He is the Creator as well. What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, December 13, 2012

From the Lord!

 1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
 3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
 4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 
(Psalm 121:1-4, King James Version)

From the Lord!

How trustworthy is your help? When you are in the middle of a devastating situation, where do you turn for help? We often hear the cliche, "there's safety in numbers," but is that really true? Truthfully, it is not about numbers, but rather, dependability!

The Psalmist set his eyes upon the distant hills and said, I will life up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. As we gaze upon the starry skies, watch a lingering sunset, or hear the cheerful cry of the birds on our morning walk, let us lift our hearts and minds above the things of this world and set them upon our Creator God who truly is our help--our only help!

How can we be so confident? The Psalmist reminds us that God is our protector 24/7, for He never slumbers nor sleeps. With confidence we can rest our lives--even our very souls, upon His faithful care. No matter what our outward circumstances, as believers, we have complete rest and confidence in our God who cares for every detail of our lives. The Lord Jesus reminded us,
 7But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7, King James Version)
What, then, is the proper response? It is time that we, as believers, take our eyes off the things of this world and set our whole hearts, minds, bodies, and souls upon the Lord Jesus Christ. We, as Christians, have a God-ordained job to do, and as a body of believers, are sadly falling short of our duties. Our lives are often consumed by the cares of this world rather than the cares of heaven.mWhile our brothers and sisters in the Lord, in countries like North Korea, Sudan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, are suffering untold persecution, we are often more concerned about the color of our nail polish, or the numbers of presents under our Christmas trees.

What can we do? First, let us pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, that God will strengthen them and give them grace to stand firm, that they may feel His comfortable arms of protection around them. Second, let us dust off the covers of our Bibles and immerse ourselves in God's Word, praying that God would give us understanding and discernment in a day when so much error abounds. Third, let us look around ourselves and pray that God would show us the needs that exist in our own neighborhoods, so that we may show love and concern for our neighbors as we are commanded in God's Word.

Being a musician, you will not be surprised to know that that reminds me of a song.


  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!
    • Refrain:
      Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
  2. Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
  3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!


As we lift up our eyes unto the hills may we go to a world that is dying with God's perfect salvation to tell, remembering that our help is from the Lord who made heaven and earth!

God Bless You,
Linda




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

They Are for War!

 1In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.
 2Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
 3What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?
 4Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
 5Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
 6My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.
 7I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. 
(Psalm 120, King James Version)

They Are for War!

As we leave Psalm 119 we come to the last 31 Psalms of the book of Psalms. Psalm 120 recounts the difficulties and frustrations of the Psalmist who was surrounded by the ungodly. Finding no comfort in his surroundings, the writer cried out to the Lord for help and comfort. God, who faithfully surrounds His children, even in the worst of situations, responded to the Psalmist with comfort.

Just what were the difficulties the Psalmist faced? Though we live thousands of years later, the frustrations of the writer do have a familiar sound to us, do they not? How often do we cry to God in the same manner, "Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue." Sadly, the greatest pain can come to us from the lips of friends, or former friends. David expressed the same thing in Psalm 41:
 9Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9, King James Version)
The Psalmist, seemed to have lived right in the middle of those who hated the Lord. The feeling of their reproach was compared to the coals of a juniper which catches fire easily, blazes fiercely, and lasts longer than other wood. When caught in similar circumstances, it is good for us to remember that though the pains  and griefs of this earth may be ever so strong, yet they are nothing in the light of Christ's suffering for us and in comparison to the eternity to come. Indeed, God's grace is available to help and comfort us in our times of greatest need!

Verse 7 is especially interesting, as we live in a time when all seem to desire peace, and yet we are constantly bombarded by wars as nation continues to rise up against nation. As we are in the middle of the Christmas holiday season, this verse reminded me of the familiar song: "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," (words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said.
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep"
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till. ringing singing. on its way,
The world revolved from night to day.
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And that is our hope, is it not. Though wars continue and man rages against God, the time will come when Christ shall return and all of the wrongs will be made right, and peace will reign on all the earth!

God Bless You,
Linda


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do Not Forget!

 173Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
 174I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.
 175Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.
 176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. 
(Psalm 119:173-176, King James Version)

Do Not Forget!

As we come to this, the last devotion from Psalm 119, the Psalmist stated, "I do not forget thy commandments." What a theme for one's life! Yet, how easy it is for us to do exactly that. Surrounded by the glitz and glamor of the 21st Century, we Christians must constantly be on our guard so that the things of this world do not wipe away the clear teaching of God's Word and its influence in our lives.

The Psalmist, in these last four verses, repeats some of the same sentiments found earlier in this Psalm:

*I have chosen thy precepts
*I have longed for thy salvation
*Thy law is my delight
*Let my soul live
*Let thy judgments help me.

Like the Psalmist, we do not have to live long to identify with the Psalmist's words: I have gone astray like a lost sheep. How did the Psalmist then respond? Seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Returning to God's Word set his steps on the right path again.

What an amazing ending to this glorious Psalm! The writer praised God for His Word and its benefits in his life. Truly, the Christian today can feel the same longings, for we, too, long for the salvation which will be culminated when we enter the gates of Heaven. Yet, while still on this earth we, too, find a great delight in the law of God. For in its pages we find hope, rest, joy, and, above all, salvation! At a time when one can look far and wide and yet not find truth, we can confidently rest in the truth of God's Word.

At a time when there is so much misinformation and so many varying ideas as far as what is taught in the name of religion in our day, what a delight to look to God's Word and read the plain truths given there. As believers, it is our responsibility to faithfully read and study God's Word, praying that God will teach us His truth and help us to have discernment.

Go then today, in the strength and power of the Lord, and do not forget His Word and commandments!

God Bless You,
Linda



Sunday, December 09, 2012

Give Me Understanding

 169Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.
 170Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.
 171My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
 172My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. 
(Psalm 119:169-172, King James Version)

Give Me Understanding

As we come to the epilogue of Psalm 119, the Psalmist cried out to God: Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. That is our universal cry to God, is it not? Give me understanding!

As believers, we are not immune to the charges people make to God: "A God of love would not allow babies to die," or "A God of love would not allow that teen to be killed in a car accident." However, we are not God and we do not understand the ways of God. Neither do we charge God foolishly as those in the world do. Over time, we seem to come to accept the realization that we are not God, and He does not run His train on our tracks.

These feelings of doubt, though, are not new, are they? Time and again we have read similar doubts and questions from the writers of the Psalms. How do we, then, protect ourselves from the cynicism of this age so that we do not charge God foolishly?

Notice that the Psalmist did not stop at: "Give me understanding," but rather continued, "according to thy Word." It always comes back to God's Word. Verse after verse, especially in Psalm 119, continually drives us back to the Word of God.

How do we protect ourselves from the cynicism of this age? We protect ourselves by immersing ourselves in God's Word. As we pour over its pages we get a distinct view of God that is not seen by the people of this world. Who is this God we serve? We note a God who rules His people with a strong and mighty hand. His arms are not shortened nor His strength depleted by the people of this world, nor the demons of Satan.

We understand that our view of this world and the spirit realm around us is as though looking through a darkened glass. Yet that is not God's view. We know that our Creator God planned all of the days of this world before time even began. We know, too, that when it is time for this world to cease, it will cease. God's hands are not stayed by anyone or anything that exists. The promises made to His children in His world will come to pass exactly as promised.

We know, too, that God is good, holy, just, pure, righteous, lovely, all-powerful, and all-knowing. He has the power to bring to pass everything that He has ordained. He is not ruled by sinful, selfish passions as are the people of this world, but is motivated by His everlasting love.

No wonder the Psalmists continually came back to God with voices of adoration and praise. As we approach the coming Christmas holiday let us join the angels in praise to God who chose a people for Himself, raised them up, saved them through the birth, death, and resurrections of His Son, and will bring them safely home to be with Him forever. Nothing will stay His hand.

O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,.
O come let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord!

Amen! Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Great Peace!

 165Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
 166LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.
 167My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.
 168I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee. 
(Psalm 119:165-168, King James Version)

Great Peace!

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

One has only to look at the current headlines to realize that the 21st century is not exactly a time of great peace. For example, here are just a few of today's headlines.

*Major quake strikes off Japan.
*Philippines buries its dead as typhoon Bopha death toll rises.
*Italian stocks drop in quiet Europe markets.
*FBI: Confessed Killer planned to strike again.
*Fiscal Cliff imperils adoption tax credit.

The Psalmist, himself, did not live during a time of great peace either, yet he had learned the secret of inner peace even during a tumultuous time. His heart was settled in God as revealed to him through God's Word, which he not only read, but which he loved exceedingly!

Could it be so simple? Is that deep inner peace within our grasp as well? Yes, but there is more.
I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.
Our relationship with the Lord is much like a two-sided coin. We see God, and God sees us. Our relationship with the Lord is a love/fear relationship. We love Him, because He first loved us. We obey Him because we know that nothing we do is ever hid from His eyes, both good or bad.

Consider some of these encouraging words of the Lord Jesus Christ from John 5.
 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  
36But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.  
37And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. 
39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 
44How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
Jesus, speaking to His listeners laid out the true secret of inner peace. We, who are so prone to seek honor from men, must seek honor from God, alone, who has revealed Himself to us through His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ we do not have condemnation, but rather everlasting life. 

And with that everlasting life comes great peace!

God Bless You,
Linda






Friday, December 07, 2012

Awe of Thy Word

 161Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
 162I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
 163I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
 164Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 
(Psalm 119:161-164, King James Version)

Awe of Thy Word
My heart standeth in awe of thy word.
How precious is God's Word to us? The Psalmist rejoiced at God's Word as one who found great spoil, or great treasure. Do we love our Bibles more than our bank accounts, or more than the thought of winning the lottery?

Equated with his love of God's Word was the Psalmist's hatred of lying. The one really does go with the other, does it not? Why did the Psalmist love God's Word so much?

Where do we go in our day to find truth? Do we even expect to find it? Do we expect truth from our leaders, or are we so cynical that we really do not expect to find truth at all? Are we so accustomed to the selfishness of man that we suspect everyone of tainting the truth to their own advantage? Do we really believe that our leaders have our best interests in mind, or are they just very good at putting on a show of love for their fellow man?

Truly, in this day of self-love, one has to go a long way to actually find truth. No wonder the Psalmist, expressed such great love for God's Word. Just think, when we pick up the Word of God, we can say with conviction, "This Word is truth." We can believe everything that is written in its pages, knowing that God providentially provided it to us.

In the pages of our Bibles we learn of who God is, who man is, what happened to man that caused the great divide between he and His Maker. We learn of man's hopeless condition and of His only hope which was provided to him by the Lord Jesus Christ. We learn of God's great love for His people and of the hope of eternal life given to all who believe upon Him.

Oh yes, the Word of God is a treasure greater than all of the wealth this world has ever known. Let us, then, join the Psalmist who said, Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Yes, may we, seventy-times-seven times praise God each day for His great love for us, and for His Word which fills our hearts with love and joy for Him and for all He has done for us.

Truly, our hearts are in awe of Thy Word, oh God!

God Bless You,
Linda


Thursday, December 06, 2012

True from the Beginning

 157Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.
 158I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.
 159Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.
 160Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. 
(Psalm 119:157-160, King James Version)

True from the Beginning

In our day of relativism, how do we really know what is true? We believe what we believe, but our neighbor believes something different. How are we to know who believes the truth? The Psalmist boldly declared, Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

The world largely ignores this proclamation, and the resulting lack of morality in existence today is devastating. When I grew up in the 50's and 60's, it was difficult to discern the difference between believers and non-believers. A certain standard of morality was expected among civilized society. However, just 50 years later, their is a wide degree of difference between the morals of believers and non-believers. As a matter of fact, their is a wide divergence of morals between professing believers of different churches and denominations. How can this be?

When one takes that first step of wondering whether the Bible is actually true, one is on the verge of a very precarious journey away from the Lord! Perhaps that is the reason the church today seems to have shifted its emphasis away from "standing for the Word of God" to "making people more comfortable."

We have a great advantage over the writer of Psalm 119. We have the entire New Testament, particularly the Gospels, where we see Jesus working among the people of His day. Seemingly harsh and indignant with the "religious ones" of His day, He showed complete empathy and mercy to the "lost and down-trodden." As believers today, we must be careful to have that same balance, being careful that we do not become like the Pharisees of Jesus' day. Yet never, in all of Jesus' ministry, was there any doubt as to the truth of God's Word.

Let us then, take heart in God's Word, accepting it as being true from the beginning. Let us, by God's grace, find ourselves spending more and more time in God's Word and less time in front of our televisions. Truly the time is short, and the fields are white unto harvest.

God has put us here for a purpose! May we spend the rest of our lives living and serving the Lord Jesus Christ, for He has given us His Word which is true from the beginning!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Consider!

 153Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.
 154Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.
 155Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
 156Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments. 
(Psalm 119:153-156, King James Version)

Consider!

As I read through this section from Psalm 119, I thought of how approachable God is to His people. The Psalmist reached out to God and said, "Consider!" He had every right to know and believe that he was not too small or too insignificant for God to notice. We cannot begin to understand the great love that God has for each and every one of His children.

Being so tied to the things of this earth that we do not often go to God first, we tend to try every plan conceivable, to work out our difficulties and then, when all has failed, go to God. In so doing, we often forget the bigger picture; we forget that even the difficulties and afflictions we face are allowed by God for a specific purpose. We are never outside of His hand of care. God works through all of the events and happenings of this life to mold us and make us more like Christ, and to bring us closer to Him.

The Psalmist was not afraid to approach God with pleas for help, expecting a positive response. For the Psalmist remembered God's Word. "I do not forget thy law . . . quicken me according to thy word." The wicked do not have this tender relationship with God. Why? "Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes."

Being a believer is more than just making a decision for Christ. Rather, it is a complete reversal of the way we think, act, and respond to the things of this life. As we read and understand God's Word, we see the sin and degradation of man, and the response of God, both to the sinner and to the one who cries out to Him for salvation. There we see judgment and justice, as well as love and grace. How can we be confident of these things? We are confident of these things because we read and study them in God's Word.

God has not left us without hope, but has provided a means for us to learn more of Him and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the reality of this life. He has provided Bible believing churches where we can meet and fellowship with others, be fed through the faithful preaching of God's Word, and reach out to the lost with the same message of faith and hope we have come to love. And, He has given us His Holy Bible, complete with everything we need to know to love Him and live for Him.

Go to Christ, pray for your own growth in knowledge and understanding of Him, and read the Word of God daily. Find in Christ the true Pearl of Great Price!

"Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments."

God Bless You,
Linda