Thursday, February 28, 2013

Surrounded!

 9As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
 10Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
 11Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. 

(Psalm 140:9-11, King James Version)

Surrounded!

Surrounded by his evil pursuers, David was filled with bitterness against those who ruled their kingdoms with evil intent. It certainly was not God's way; how he longed to see God's power displayed against those who refused to obey His Word. Yet, though he prayed for his demise, David never lifted his hand against Saul, God's anointed ruler. He understood that it was God who would finally overcome Saul's disobedience and wickedness.

Few of us have experienced the anguish that David felt when constantly pursued by Saul. Few of us have had to run for our lives and then remain in constant fear of being discovered. Few us of would have had the Godly principles of restraint as evidenced in David when he could have killed Saul, himself. Even though he knew that he was God's next anointed ruler, and in spite of the anguish it caused him, he waited upon God's timing.

What a lesson for us today. How easy it is to become impatient, especially when we feel surrounded by evil. How quickly we would like to take things into our own hands and dispel the wickedness for once and for all. Yet, that is not God's way, is it? Like David, it is important for us to understand that though we make our plans, our steps are ordered by the Lord.

Do we have that kind of faith? When everything seems to be going wrong, are we still able to live in peace with the Lord, knowing that He orders all things: the bad as well as the good? When we look at the bigger picture and see nation rising against nation, how certain are we of God's control over the outcomes of their struggles?

This is a perplexing time; while people seem to be demanding peace, war seems inevitable. While some nations are calling for disarmament, others are racing to build sophisticated nuclear capabilities, ready to point them at the most unsuspecting country. Truly, without God's hand of control, this world would implode as capabilities for greater destruction become more and more available.

Though we may not be experiencing the circumstances David faced, perhaps we do have an understanding of the bitterness he experienced against the wickedness of those fighting against him. Like David, however, no matter what transpires, it is important that we never forget that nothing is happening apart from what God has already ordained.

Our world will not go on forever; indeed, it seems as though its end is very near! However, the world will not last a day longer or even a day shorter than what God has planned. Even before it was created, God knew the details of its end. As believers, we need not fear. Yes, the world will end, and in its place, God will create a new heaven and a new earth, and oh, what a glorious place that will be.

As believers, we often feel surrounded by those who hate God, and who hate God's people. Yet, God will care for them. Let us pray for their salvation, and trust their ultimate end into the hands of God!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, February 25, 2013

Thou Art My God!

 6I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
 7O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
 8Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. 
(Psalm 140:6-8, King James Version)

Thou Art My God!

More beautiful words have not been spoken! Thou art my God! The Psalmist seemed to be speaking this declaration at a time when he was almost overcome with trials and difficulties at the hands of his enemies. Rightly he exclaimed, "O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle." Only in our wondrous Lord God Almighty can we have such complete confidence.

I pray that is the burning cry of each and every person reading this devotional, for if we have placed our confidence in any other than God, Himself, then that confidence is, indeed, misplaced! There is no family member, friend, or acquaintance to whom we can receive such hope, and there is no spiritual domain above our wondrous Creator, who has formed us, as well as the world in which we live, and who knows all things.

Truly, there is nothing man can do to us, for though he may kill our bodies, he cannot touch our souls. Though the rest of our life may be one misery after another, what is that in light of eternity? What is that in light of what Christ, the Son of God, has suffered for each and every one of His dear children?

Yet, He did not just complete our salvation and then whisk Himself away to remain forever apart from us in the realms of His eternal kingdom. He sits at the right hand of God, making intercession for each and every one of us. He is directly and distinctly involved with each of His own, directing us, ordering our lives, and protecting us from the onslaughts of Satan and his minions.

In the middle of despair, He upholds us. In the middle of pain, He brings comfort. In the middle of sorrow, He consoles us with His wondrous Word. In times of great joy, He gladdens our hearts. In times of great peace, He reminds us that it is He that has brought that peace. Nothing we do, think, or say, is done apart from His knowledge, His help, and His intervention.

No wonder the Psalmist could say, "Hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. . . . Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device." He knew that in God, He had an Advocate who was always there.

What about us? When we say to Him, "Thou art my God," what exactly do we mean? Is ours just a superficial knowledge of Him as He is revealed in Scripture, or do we have a relationship with Him that is more precious than any relationship on earth?

Go today, and seek Him--not just a knowledge of Him--but a relationship with Him.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come;
Be thou our guide while life shall last,
And our eternal home.

God Bless You,
Linda



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Keep and Preserve

 4Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
 5The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. 
(Psalm 140:4-5, King James Version)

Keep and Preserve

In a day when we are told we can do anything if we just try hard enough, the Psalmist's pleas may seem a little out of place. Nowhere does he mention his own ability to get himself out of his own troubles. Rather, he pleads with the Lord, "Keep and preserve me!" Truly he understands the real world in which we live.

We are in a battle--actually we are in a war! Yet, we often live our lives as though all is sweet and pleasant and everyone has our best interests in mind. Instead, the Psalmist cried out, "The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins [traps] for me."

Satan, knowing he is already defeated, is intent upon bringing as many people with him as he can. He knows that the best way to do that is through deceit--using sweet and kind words. We are warned several places in the Gospels that in the last days false prophets and false Christs will arise whose purpose it is to deceive. They will be so effective that, but for the grace of God, even true believers would be deceived.
 21And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
 22For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
 23But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (Mark 13:21-23, King James Version)
What can we do to prevent ourselves from falling into these same traps? Like the Psalmist let us pray that God would keep and preserve us. We must, like the Psalmist, pray that He will keep us from the hands of the wicked and preserve us from the violent man, whose purpose is to keep us from the straight path on which God has planted our feet.

It is not about us, is it? It, as always, is Christ who keeps us going the way we should go. It is to Him we need to continually pray. We have the assurance that God will, indeed, keep our feet upon His paths. He is available to us every moment of every day, and will remain with us until the day He takes us home to be with Him forever!

Let us remember these great words from Proverbs 3:
 5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
 7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7, King James Version)
God Bless You,
Linda


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Evil

 1Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
 2Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
 3They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah. 
(Psalm 140:1-3, King James Version)

Evil

In Psalm 140, the Psalmist cried, "Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man." The difficulty in our 21st century world is, how does one define evil? Who is the counterpart of the evil man as described in Psalm 140?

The Psalmist describes the evil man in four ways.

1. Which imagine mischiefs in their heart.
2. Continually are they gathered together for war.
3. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent.
4. Adders' poison is under their lips.

Clearly, he is not speaking of his next door neighbor, but rather he is speaking of the enemies of Israel. At least, that is our first thought, but he may actually be speaking of his own leaders! We joke about lawyers and politicians, but sadly, we have come to expect our politicians to lack candor when they speak to us. We just assume that they will tell us what we want to hear, but they will not necessarily feel the need to do what we want them to do.

In a world of secrecy and political espionage, we, as the common person really do not know what goes on between the governments of this world. More than ever, we as believers need to be praying, "Lord, deliver me from evil."

Actually, in our culture, no truly Christian nation even exists. Oh, there are those who profess to pray and seek guidance from God, but their actions are more like those described in Psalm 140. Gone are those who stolidly stand upon the Word of God, refusing to bow their knees to the gods of this age.

What are we, as Christians to do? We are to do exactly what the Psalmist is doing. We need to pray, "Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man." As we see the principles of God's Word being questioned and compromised in the churches of our land, we need to pray that God's people will be faithful to His Word. Most of all, we need to pray that God will keep us faithful to His Word, for the teachings of the Bible are not optional.

God has taught us the right principles we need to follow to rule and govern our lives. It is our responsibility to know this Word He has given to us and, by His grace, to pray for grace to be obedient to what we read and study from His Word. That presumes, of course, that we actually do read and study His Word.

One has to wonder what would happen to one's country if the true believers would turn away from the pleasures and delights of this world and commit themselves to the words of God spoken to King Solomon:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, King James Version)

Deliver us, O Lord, from evil men!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Search Me, O God!

 23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 
(Psalm 139:23-24, King James Version)

Search Me, O God

Our Bible passage today is one of those timeless passages that we find ourselves repeating again and again. It is a prayer we would do well to pray every single day of our lives. For our hearts are deceitful, and we constantly find ourselves in the position of searching our very hearts, and crying out for God's grace to keep us faithful to Him.

As believers in Christ, we have been transformed. Our desires have changed; when once we only sought to glorify ourselves, now we desire to bring glory to God, alone. However, that does not mean that we are without sin; neither does it mean that we are not constantly bombarded with temptations to sin against this very God we love so much.

I think that is what the Psalmist is saying. He knows that he is not without sin. The righteousness that God sees when He looks upon us is the righteousness of the blood of Christ which covers our sins. The Psalmist is not intimating that he is without sin. As a matter of fact, after his plea to God to search him, he states, "And lead me in the way everlasting."

Unfortunately for us, as long as we are on this earth, we will constantly be tempted to disobey the Lord, and left to ourselves, often yield to those temptations. That is why the Psalmist asked God to lead Him in the way everlasting. In humble faith, we need to cry out to God to keep us from sin, and to lead us in His way rather than our own.

What keeps us from obedience to Christ? Often it is nothing more than our own fear--fear of failure, fear of change, fear of ridicule by people of the world, maybe even fear of ridicule by other believers. Satan puts a very effective stop to many believer's obedience by simply casting doubt and fear upon their plans. Do you remember what he said to Eve, "Has God said?" In other words, he is casting doubt upon the directions or commands given by God to Adam and Eve.

We might say, "Does the Bible really say that?" Or we may say, "Does the Bible really mean that?" We live in a time when the Bible is being redefined and in essence rewritten by may professing Christians. Our culture is not happy with the stringent stand the Bible takes on such issues as abortion and homosexuality, so we simply redefine what the Bible says. Like Satan, we are saying, "Has God really said that?"

As believers, where the Bible is very clear, we must also be very clear. There are many areas of Christian liberty, but there are many areas where God is very specific in His commands.

So, as we say, "Search me, O God," let us pray that we really mean just that. Let us pray that God will be gracious to us, and give us the desire and then the ability to be obedient to His commandments. We live in a very different culture than did the Psalmist, but God's Word has not changed!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, February 18, 2013

Death to the Wicked?

 19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
 20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
 21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
 22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. 
(Psalm 139:19-22, King James Version)

Death to the Wicked?

In our 21st century culture, we often struggle with the sentiments expressed by the Psalmist in these verses from Psalm 139. "Death to the wicked," seems to the Psalmist's cry. However, when one thinks about the life in which we live, we must admit that sometimes we get really tired of everything seeming to go the way of the wicked.

As a matter of fact, the culture in which we live, even in America, seems to be almost as far removed from a Christian culture as one can imagine. God, prayer, and the ten commandments have almost been totally expunged from our modern day, "advanced" society. Left in its place seems to be a free hand for the wicked to participate in any number of legal activities.

Gay marriage is fast approaching the norm and babies in the womb continue to be murdered in untold numbers. Will it stop there? No! The wicked will not be content until there is no remaining evidence of God and His rules for living. It appears that it is only a matter of time until we will see our pastors and ministers of the Gospel jailed for preaching the Bible. Does that seem too extreme? Just a quick look at history will show that to be the case.

No wonder, then, the Psalmist, grew so tired of the reign of terror imposed by the wicked that he said, Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. . . . and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

What happened to, the verse from Matthew 5?  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:44, New King James Version)

There certainly must be a balance. As Christians, we do not know who the Lord's elect are. We do not know who will come to Christ before they leave this earth. Therefore, it is our duty to pray for the wicked, testify to them of Christ's great love, and love them as people created in the image of God. Yet, even in doing so, it is not wrong to desire that God would put an end to wickedness on this earth.

As a matter of fact, that is exactly what God will do. So, in the proper context, even while loving and praying for the wicked, it is not wrong for us to desire death to the wicked at the hand of God. For God knows His children; He knows who will come to Him and who will not. As we are burdened by the oppression of the wicked it is right that we should cry out to God for relief!

Go then this day, love and pray for your enemies, but also pray that God will bring an end to all wickedness on this earth--soon!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thoughts of God!

 17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
 18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. 
(Psalm 139:17-18, King James Version)

Thoughts of God!

God thinks about each and every one of His children far more than they think of Him! At least, that is certainly what the Psalmist is implying in verses 17 and 18, of Psalm 139.
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Have you ever had a wonderful dream and then were disappointed when you awoke to find it was only a dream? That seems to be the inference of the Psalmist in these verses, with one exception. When the Psalmist awoke, he was still with God. In other words, it was not a dream--it was the truth.

It is very hard for us to fathom God, the ruler of the entire universe having time to ever even think of us even once, let alone having Him think of us so many times that His thoughts are more in number than the sand. Now, I know my husband loves me, but even he does not think of me more than the number of the grains of sand, and neither do I think of him that often, even though he frequently occupies my thoughts.

Of course, God is not a creature of time, nor is He confined to one thought or one place at a time. He can think of millions of people all at the same time and still give each of them His undivided (so to speak) attention. It is more than we can possibly comprehend. Yet, it is true that God is very acquainted with each and every one of His children--He knows us better than we know ourselves.

As a young child, I was taught, in Sunday School, the concept that Jesus goes with me everywhere I go. For some reason (which is good, I suppose), I have always carried that thought with me. That does not mean that I only made good choices, for sadly, I took Jesus to some very inappropriate places throughout my life. Thankfully, He moved me back upon the right path, and forgave my indiscretions.

I found, however, that the world is not very comfortable with a true believer who lives according to God's Word. As a matter of fact, they are very quick to remind us anytime we fail. Years ago, I was confronted by an unbeliever at work. She said to me, "I thought Christians were not supposed to speed? I was following you into work and you were speeding." Of course, that meant she was speeding, too, but that was different. However, it was a good lesson to me. The world will hold us accountable to Biblical standards even if it feels no need to follow those same standards.

She was right, of course. I should not have been speeding. Even in a small way, I was disobeying the Lord, and I got caught by a person of the world. It was a lesson to me, that even when driving my car, I have an obligation to be obedient to God's commands. I like to think that God has a great sense of humor, and He loves to call us down for our sins, especially at the hands of unbelievers.

The lesson the Psalmist is teaching us in these verses are that, though we may not think of God, He is always thinking of us. Whatever we do, whatever we say, and even whatever we think is laid open before our Father God. Yet, He loves us enough that He sent His only Son to pay the price of those same sins.

Let us, then, fall down before our Holy and Righteous Father, asking for help to live our lives, and think our thoughts, in a manner that is pleasing to Him, for the thoughts of God are always upon us!

God Bless You,
Linda


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pro LIfe

 13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
 15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 
(Psalm 139:13-16, King James Version)

Pro LIfe!

The Psalmist, in Psalm 139, was not afraid to admit what people of our day seem to think is optional. The Psalmist was pro life! Verses 13 through 16 are a representation of us, while still in our mother's womb, and God's perspective of our existence.

As if there were any doubt, he begins by stating in verse 13, For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. The following three verses explain in more depth, especially in verses 15 and 15:
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
What is the Psalmist saying? He is speaking of the time when even the woman may not know that she is pregnant, yet God already views that person who is being made in secret as he or she will be after their birth. Though their substance is not yet perfectly formed, God already views them as though all of their members were written, or completely formed, even though none of them may yet exist.

How amazing is that? There are those in our culture who wrestle with the exact time life begins, but God has no problem seeing that yet unborn, child as a complete person. From God's perspective, He has already ordained that life before time began. So, while the body is growing and developing inside his or her mother, God already sees the person as fully formed. Yes, the Psalmist was pro life, and the Bible is pro life. So, too, must the true believer be pro life!

How does a nation go from being a nation founded upon the Word of God to a nation which throws out the Bible, and then tries to even re-define life? Only God, our Creator, can define life, and we would do well to look to His Word for the answers of questions such as, "When does life truly begin?"

America is so far removed from Biblical standards that one has to question whether it can truly be called a Christian nation anymore. We would do well to look at Biblical history. There was a time when Israel thought that they, too, were a Godly nation, protected by God, Himself. Yet, God, in response to their wickedness, spewed them out of His mouth. If God did so to Israel, then He certainly will do the same thing to America.

Does America need God's protection? Can it not stand on its own? No nation can stand before Almighty God. When God's hand of protection is removed from our country, there will be none to save it.

Is there no hope for America? Yes, there is hope, but that hope rests in the hands of God's people.
 14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, New King James Version)
Let us, by God's grace, fall on our knees before Almighty God and pray that this once great nation will also humble itself before God and look to Him for their salvation.

God Bless You,
Linda



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where?

 7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
 8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
 9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
 10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
 11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
 12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 
(Psalm 139:7-12, King James Version)

Where?

The Psalmist asked the question, "Where can I go from your Spirit?" (NKJV) While in this life, no man can run from God; there is no place on the earth, above the earth, in the depths of the earth, or even in the seas where God's Spirit does not go. Neither is there any darkness that can blot out God's light, for the Psalmist said, "Even the night shall be light about me."

As a matter of fact, there was only one human who knew a separation from God while still on this earth, and that was the Lord Jesus Christ. What was the most terrible thing about the cross? Was it the suffering that our Lord Jesus Christ endured. The suffering was horrible, but that was not the worst thing that Christ endured while on the cross. The worst thing that Christ endured while on the cross was a temporary separation from God, His Father, while He bore all of our sins on His own body. Do you remember Christ's words? Both Matthew 27 and Mark 15 record His words which He cried out while on the cross.
 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
(Matthew 27:46, New King James Version)
The worst thing about hell will not be the physical torment; the worst thing about hell will be the total separation from God, the Father! No man, even the most hardened criminal, knows that separation while on this earth, for the Bible tells us,
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45, New King James Version)
We, as Christians, often take God for granted. We bask in the blessings He has provided, and often run about ignoring Him in our quest to grab everything we can grab from this life. Perhaps that is one of the reasons God allows trials and difficulties to come to His children. When the good things of this life seem to be stripped away from us, we still bask in the presence of God, for His Spirit lives within our hearts and cheers and encourages us. Even in the darkest valley, God never leaves nor forsakes us.

What an amazing God. The Psalmist was almost overcome with joy when he pondered the continuous watch care of God, the Father, who sent His Spirit to be our constant companion and guide. Where can we go from God's Spirit? As believers, we will never be separated from God. Even in death, God's angels will carry us safely into His presence to live with Him forever!

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Known Me!

 1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
 2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
 3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
 4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
 5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 
(Psalm 139:1-6, King James Version)

Known Me!

Today we begin one of the most amazing Psalms ever written. The Psalmist began with the words, "O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me." Think about the truth of that statement. How many people really know you? Maybe your spouse, your family, your closest friends, but wait, do they really know you? Do you even really know yourself?

There is only One who really knows you, and that is God! He knows everything about you. He knows what you do, what you say, and even what you think, and beyond that, He even knows the innermost intentions of your heart. No wonder God's Word continually compels us to return to God, our First Love! He loved us before we ever loved Him. As a matter of fact, He loved us even before we were created!

Where can we go to hide from God? As the Psalmist said, "Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways."

It is better to be the friend of God than His enemy! Your worst enemy does not have the knowledge and understanding of you that God has, and yet, though He knows the worst of us, He still loves us. As a matter of fact He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to pay the debt of our sins, which we could never pay. What an amazing God we serve! No wonder the Psalmist said, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it."

Why then, do we spend so much of our time running from God? We are foolish children before such an Almighty God. Let us, by God's grace turn back to Him. Let us enfold ourselves in His loving arms and trust Him to care for us, for no one can care for us better. No one loves us more--not even our spouse, our families, or our friends.

As people of God, it is time for us to turn our hearts back to Him. It is time we leave the cares, ideas, and idolatry of this world far behind and focus on God, our Father. It is time we seek our true reason for being here, and take up the mantle that God, Himself, the One Who knows us, has placed upon our shoulders.

 20  “ The harvest is past,  
      The summer is ended,
      And we are not saved!”
       (Jeremiah 8:20, New King James Version)

As children of God, we have a job to do. Let us do it heartily, as unto the Lord.

God Bless You,
Linda




Monday, February 11, 2013

Middle of Trouble

 7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
 8The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. 
(Psalm 138:7-8, King James Version)

Middle of Trouble

Sometimes it seems that no matter where we go, no matter what we do, we always end up right in the middle of trouble. That is exactly the point where we find the Psalmist in verse 7 of Psalm 138. Yet, he is undaunted, for he knows that God will stretch out his hand against the wrath of his enemies, and God's right hand will save him.

Do we have that kind of confidence in the Lord? Is that confidence misplaced? These are two very important questions for us to ponder when we consider our relationship with the Lord. For God's mercy is not a talisman that we can count on to bail us out of any trouble in which we find ourselves.

You see, the Israelites, in their later years as a nation presumed upon God. They presumed that no matter what they did, or how they acted, God would never allow Jerusalem to fall, for Jerusalem was the holy city. However, just a short perusal of history reveals to us that that was not the case. Two times, Jerusalem fell, first at the hands of the Babylonians in 538 BC, and the second time at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD.

What happened? God's people presumed that God would never leave nor forsake them, and yet they were foolish to believe such things. Again and again the prophets of God warned them that their turning away from God to worship the gods of the surrounding nations would bring about their utter destruction. Finally, God's hand of judgment came upon them, and the Babylonians carried away captive most of the survivors of the destruction of Jerusalem.

For 70 years they remained in Babylonian captivity until their release, which was also prophesied by God through the prophets. One would think that was all it would take to teach the Jewish nation that serving their God faithfully was not an option. Yet, by the time Christ came, most of the Jews of His day rejected Him, sending Him to the cross. No wonder God destroyed Jerusalem by the hands of the Romans in 70 AD.

How do these events affect us today in the 21st century? When we find ourselves in the middle of trouble, where do we turn? Are we right to expect God to bail us out of difficult circumstances again and again? To answer that question, we must ask another. How faithful are we to this God we profess to love?

One cannot help but see many parallels between the United States and Israel. Established upon Biblical foundations, God has raised this country to a level of greatness not seen by any country in centuries. Yet, what is the United States doing today. Prayer was banned from public schools in the 70's, abortion rights were granted, the ten commandments have been consistently removed from public view, and now gay marriages are becoming the law of the land. Yet, what does the Bible say about these same issues?

Unfortunately, it is almost becoming illegal to publicly name the name of God unless one is doing so as a swear word. What has happened to this once Christian nation? Just as Israel adopted the gods of the surrounding nations, incorporating them into their worship, so has America done the same thing, until the Bible is ready to become a banned book in a land that was established on the basis of religious freedom.

Thinking of these things, do we have the right to presume that God will again bail us out when we are in the middle of trouble? As servants of God, God will honor and keep His faithful children. However, as a nation, America no longer sits under the safety net of God's umbrella of protection. As Israel fell, so could America. It is time that we, as people of God, stand up for the principles we so gallantly profess. Our convictions need to be just that: convictions, and not just preferences.

May God's people stand firm upon God's Word and say with Joshua, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!" (Joshua 24:15)

God Bless You,
Linda


Saturday, February 09, 2013

All the Kings

 4All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
 5Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
 6Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. 
(Psalm 138:4-6, King James Version)

All the Kings

It is easy to take a quick read through the Bible, and miss some of the subtle gems along the way by doing so. Such is definitely the case with Psalm 138, for example, with the word, "all." All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth."

How can that possibly be true? In our 21st century, I cannot fathom that the leaders of Iraq, Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea, just to name of a few, will actually praise the Lord. To what is the Psalmist referring?

It is good for us to realize that God is not a creature of time like us. We are bound by time--even ruled by it in some cases. Yet God, being eternal, sees all of the events of our world like one huge panorama of life. We are bound by the 60 or 70 years (more or less) of time in which we live on this earth, but God already sees the entire canvas as a completed picture. Consequently we see little threads of life, but do not get the advantage of seeing the completed work, at least not yet!

When the Psalmist makes such a bold statement as found in verse 4, he is viewing life from God's perspective. It is true, that at the end of time, when all truth is revealed, every single ruler that ever lived, as well as every man, woman, and child, will bow the knee before the Lord God Almighty and praise His name. When they hear the words of His mouth, they will, indeed, sing in the ways of the Lord, for only then will they understand how great is the glory of the LORD.

Then, too, will verse 3 take place. For though the LORD is high, yet He will have respect to the lowly--to those who lived their lives in the honor and glory of His name. Yet those who scoffed at the name of the Lord, He will only know afar off, for they will never be ushered into His glorious eternal kingdom. Though we shudder to think of such things, we must realize that both bring glory to God. He is glorified by those who loved and followed Him on this earth, and He is glorified by those who spend eternity in the lake of fire, for, finally, true justice will have been served.

It is not easy for us to think in those terms, for as creatures of this earth, sin is always crouching at our doors. Just when we think we have conquered one sin, another is peeking its head into our lives. We cannot, at this time, imagine a time when sin will have no more power over us. We cannot imagine a time when the purity of God's righteousness will so dominate our being that sin, and all of its temptations, will be forgotten forever!

Our greatest difficulty, in serving the Lord, often comes from within our very own hearts. Except for the blood of Christ, which washes away all of our sins, we would be eternally condemned. What an amazing God we serve, Who saved us, keeps us, and will bring us safely into His kingdom to live with Him forever!

All the kings of this earth will praise and glorify the name of God, as will all people. What a glorious day that will be!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, February 08, 2013

Thy!

 1I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
 2I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
 3In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. 
(Psalm 138:1-3, King James Version)

Thy!

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

The Psalmist understood that his worship of God was before all of the gods of the nations surrounding Israel. In other words, when we worship God, we worship Him in the presence of all of the gods of this world. In a sense, we are shaking our fists at the idols of this world and saying, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!" (Joshua 24:15)

The Psalmist also understood that, apart from God, we have nothing; everything that we have, first of all, belongs to God. Look at all of the "Thy" words in verse 2.

*Thy holy temple
*Thy lovingkindness
*Thy truth
*Thy name

Everything belongs to the Lord, and it is from Him that we not only have all things, but it is from Him that we draw strength to live the life He has ordained for us to live. How much different is our attitude when we crawl out of bed saying, "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!"? (Psalm 118:24)

When we begin to understand the implications of everything, including ourselves, belonging to the Lord, we face each day with a new purpose. For, if I belong to God, then God has a plan for me to fulfill this very day. It is our duty to develop a relationship with God, our Owner, so that we may sense His leading in our lives. It is our duty to develop the abilities and traits we have been give, for our Owner has given these specific abilities to us so that we may do the job He has planned for us to do.

These are foreign ideas in an age when we are encouraged to get everything we can for ourselves, even if we have to step on others to get them. When we view ourself as the center of our universe, then everything we do is for us! Oh, we may occasionally do something for someone else, especially if it makes us look good in the process, for in the end, that, too, will help us. What a selfish society! Yet, apart from Christ, that is the way we have lived.

Let us, then, this day, turn our eyes to Christ. Let us live this day for His honor and glory alone. Let our cry this day be to God: "Thy will be done!"

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Vengeance of the Lord!

 7Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
 8O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
 9Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. 
(Psalm 137:7-9, King James Version)

Vengeance of the Lord

As we read through the last three verses of Psalm 137, the Psalmist is rather harsh with his words as he calls for the vengeance of the Lord upon the Babylonians. At least, it seems harsh to us in our day of forgiveness and leniency for the criminal. Yet, is the Psalmist out of line? Should he have a more forgiving spirit?

In a true system of justice and equity, there is a proper balance between tolerance and payment for one's transgressions. However, in truth, no sin is truly forgotten. All sins require a just payment by the transgressor. When one considers the holiness, purity, and righteousness of God our Father, one realizes that no sin can truly go unpunished.

How, then, can we, as believers, ever hope to stand before God without our sins constantly condemning us? For, even after we have repented of our sins and come to Christ, we still sin. Only in heaven will we truly understand the full debt of our sins; only in heaven will we understand what Christ suffered for each and every one of us to pay the debt of our sins.

Is the Psalmist right in calling for God's judgment upon the Babylonians for what they had done to the nation of Israel? Yes! Though the Babylonians were only carrying out God's plans to bring judgment upon the Israelites for their sin and rejection of Him by serving the gods of the neighboring nations, yet the Babylonians were still condemned by God for their actions, and later brought under His Almighty hand of justice.

As prophesied in the Old Testament, Babylon was eventually brought under the judging hand of God and destroyed for their wicked ravaging of the nation of Israel. How, then are we to view the nations of this world today who shake their fists in the hand of God? Those same nations are being allowed, for a time, to persecute the people of God, but their days are truly numbered. The time will come when God will say, "No more!" In the end, God will bring judgment upon all of the nations. In the end, peace will reign under the Lord Jesus Christ.

When God's final judgment comes, sin will finally come to an end. Satan and those who follow him will be cast, forever, into the lake of fire, and peace will reign triumphant in God's new heavens and new earth. As God has promised us in Revelation 21, He will wipe away all tears from our eyes.
 1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:1-4, King James Version)
At the end of time, all will see the vengeance of the Lord, and the righteous peace that follows! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda




Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Remember Jerusalem!

 5If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
 6If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. 
(Psalm 137:5-6, King James Version)

Remember Jerusalem!

It was a bitter time for the children of Israel. Jerusalem had been ransacked and most of the people routed from their homes and carted off to Babylon. While standing on the shores of the Babylonian rivers, the Israelites lamented their fate. The writer of Psalm 137 implored the people to remember Jerusalem. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

What, exactly, was the Psalmist calling the Jews to remember? Were they to remember their lovely city, the happy occasions, their loving families surrounding them, and their magnificent temple, built by Solomon so many years before? Or, was the Psalmist imploring the people to remember God? The distinction between these questions is not to be missed!

Sometimes, the only way to remember something is to have it taken away! The Israelites were a holy people, set aside by God, Himself, as His own distinct people. Miraculously moving them from captivity in Egypt, He brought them to a land they did not plant, houses they did not build, and gave it to them as an eternal inheritance. Yet, what did they do? Almost the entire time they lived in the land of promise, and in the city of Jerusalem, they spent their days running after other gods, incorporating the worship of them into their own religious practices. Was God pleased? Not at all!

The truth is, while living right in the their glorious land of promise, the Israelites forgot God! It was, therefore, not the happy occasions, the loving families, and their magnificent temple that the Psalmist was calling the people to remember. No, the Psalmist was referring to God. Jerusalem was the symbol, but God was at the heart of the Psalmist's call to remembrance.

We have the same propensity as did the Israelites, to take the things we have for granted. Oh, we love God, but He is always there. Church is always there, and Christian friends are always there, Because God loves us, He will never allow us to lose the privilege of attending church, reading our Bibles, or fellowshipping with other believers, will He?

Yet, history has shown that the suffering church is the most faithful church. When our lives become filled with ease and folly, so are we often filled with apathy in our service for the Lord. Is that true of God's church in the 21st century? How often do our Bibles gather dust while we run from one event to another, too busy to take the time to spend with the Lord, daily, in prayer and Bible study? How much time do we spend watching the latest sitcoms, or reading the latest fiction from the the New York Time's best seller list, while ignoring the living Word of God?

How well do we know this Word that God has given to us? How much do we appreciate the ability to possess our own personal copies of the Scripture, in an abundance of versions? How careful are we to encourage our pastors to remain faithful to the teachings of God's Word? Do we even know if they are not teaching the whole counsel of God?

As Christians today, let us remember Jerusalem. Let us not take for granted the whole counsel of God revealed to us in His Holy Word. Let us make it a daily part of our lives to read and study this Word, and to spend time in prayer and fellowship with God, Himself. Our God is available to us, but are we available to Him?

Remember Jerusalem!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

How Shall We Sing?

 1By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
 2We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
 3For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
 4How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? 
(Psalm 137:1-4, King James Version)

How Shall We Sing?

It was the worst of times? Jerusalem, the city God's people never thought would be destroyed, lay in ruins. Carried away to Babylon, God's people, overcome with grief and fear, sat down by the rivers of Babylon and wept. Their captors, jeering at their misery said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion." Yet, how could they sing the Lord's song in a strange land? How could they sing the Lord's song when their capital city lay in ruins, and they had been thrust from their own homes and lands?

We feel their grief, do we not? Our hearts are saddened by their grief and misery. Indeed, how can one sing of the joy of the Lord in the middle of grief, sadness, and pain. We could say, "They brought all of this upon themselves because they rejected their God and served the gods of the nations surrounding them." Though we may be right, we must stop and consider our own hearts before we are too critical.

In many ways we, as believers today, face the same circumstances. Those of us who live in "Christian" nations, and I use that term loosely, are often lulled into complacency. As we see our country run farther and farther from the Lord, we are still pretty smug about God's protection of us. After all, we are still better, in God's eyes, than the nations which worship foreign gods.

Is that the way God views things? "Oh, they are slipping farther and farther away from Me, but they are still closer to me that those who worship idols." If that were true, Judah would never have fallen! Who is this God we serve, and what does He require of us? For an answer to that question, let us look at the book of Micah.
 7  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,  
      Ten thousand rivers of oil?
      Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
      The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
       8  He has shown you, O man, what is good;  
      And what does the LORD require of you
      But to do justly,
      To love mercy,
      And to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:7-8, New King James Version)
Micah warns the people that God's rod is about to come down upon them. Let us remember that we serve a righteous, holy God who is filled with loving kindness. But, when God's people disobey Him, the times often comes when God says, "Enough!" Let us not presume upon the good and gracious hand of the Lord our God, while we dabble in the pleasures of this world.

This world is not our home. We have been sent by God to be a standard bearer of His Word to a lost people. Though we may enjoy the great benefits this world has to offer, never are those things to come between God and us. In all things, no matter what our "occupations" may be, we are called, first of all, to love and serve God.

Let us look at the poor Israelites who asked, "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" Let us remember that God purified them through the storms of adversity so that their hearts might be turned wholly back to Him. Let us not attempt to serve God with divided hearts, but let us rather give to Him everything. May God, our First Love, remain as that first love all of the days of our lives!

God Bless You,
Linda






Monday, February 04, 2013

To Him!

 16To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 17To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 18And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 19Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 20And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 21And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 22Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 23Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 24And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 25Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 26O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. 
(Psalm 136:16-26, King James Version)

To Him!

As the writer of Psalm 136 continued the history lesson he began earlier in this Psalm, he reminded his readers that it is to Him, to the Lord God Almighty, that all thanks, honor, and praise is owed. As he recounted the mighty kings which God removed from the land that He might give that same land to His people, he reminded the people that God always cared for their needs. He took them from the land of Egypt, provided for them during the years of wilderness wandering, and brought them safely into the land He had promised to them. What lessons are we to learn from this recounting of history?

It is God, our First Love, who orders and directs our lives, keeping us from paths we should not take, and leading us beside quiet waters, restoring our souls, and refreshing us in the middle of the storms of this life. When things go well, we are reminded of God's great ordering of our lives and His wondrous protective care. When things go badly, we are reminded to look to Him, our great God and King, to bring us safely through the deep, dark valleys, and into His glorious light.

History is an interesting subject. In school, the history we are taught is tainted by the philosophy or values of those teaching the course, or writing the text book. Those in Christian schools will most likely be taught that God is the author of History. History is just the retelling of His Story--the works He has done one behalf of man since the creation of this world. Those in secular schools will be taught the glory of man, as the stronger overcame the weaker creating a natural evolution to a more perfect world.

Even religious history is tainted by the beliefs of those doing the teaching. A retelling of the period of the reformation, for example, will be heavily influenced by the doctrinal views of those doing the teaching. It was an amazing time in the history of mankind. You literally had Christians killing Christians as they fought, often over fine points of doctrine. One cannot fault the zealousness for teaching the truths of God's Word, but it is still a sad time in the history of man.

What are we to think of the time in which we live where everything is tolerated except the true teaching and believing of God's Holy Word? How are we as believers to think of our rulers? How are we to view the laws of this land when they continue to trample down the plain teaching of God's Holy Word?

Like the Psalmist, let us look to Him, to the Lord our God who orders our lives. When called to suffer for Him, let us pray that we will so love God, our Father, that we will count it joy to suffer for Him. Let us, like the Psalmist, recount history from the perspective of God's protection and care over His faithful servants. Let us look to Him for strength and wisdom, and not be overcome with fear or anger over the apostasy that is sweeping the entire world.

Is this time a surprise to God? As we read the news, is God surprised at the events that are unfolding? No! As believers, we are watching the carpet of God's planning for this world slowly unroll. What He has prophesied is coming to pass exactly as He said it would. There are no surprises to God, for we are seeing His true plans, determined before time began, come to pass exactly as He has ordered them.

In all of this what do we see? We see that God's mercy endures forever! Go, then, and do as the Psalmist proclaimed, "O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever."

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Look into the Past

 10To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 11And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 12With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 13To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 14And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 15But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. 
(Psalm 136:10-15, King James Version)

A Look into the Past

The writer of Psalm 136 continued this Psalm with a look into the past, recounting God's working on behalf of His people when they were enslaved by the nation of Egypt. He recounts the beginning of the great Exodus after the firstborn in Egypt were slain by the angel of God. With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm God brought them forth, dividing the Red sea into parts so were able to cross on dry land through the middle of the sea, and then bringing the waters back upon Pharaoh and his army. It was a miraculous time, indeed.

One would think the lessons learned during that time would have never been forgotten by the people of God, but oh how soon they forgot this God they served. Sometimes, when reading of the children of Israel during the time of their wilderness wandering, it is easy to become impatient with their constant grumbling, murmuring against the Lord, and rebellion. With God right there, visible by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, how could they even think of disobeying?

Then, when we take an honest look into our own hearts, we realize that we are equally as forgetful. Though we have the entire Word of God at our disposals, how quickly we become so engrossed in our daily lives that we forget the God we love and serve. How laborious our service to the Lord can seem when we prefer to enjoy the pleasures of this world.

It is not wrong to enjoy the good things God has given to us, but it is wrong if those very things keep us from living and serving the Lord faithfully. Perhaps that is the very point the Psalmist was trying to make when he wrote the words of this Psalm. With its continual response: "For His mercy endureth for ever," it was often sung antiphonally in their worship services.

We have, historically, often done the same thing. Battle cries such as, "Remember the Alamo," were used to spur on the troops in the battle over Texas. Cries of, "Remember Pearl Harbor," were often shouted during the years of World War II to spur on the American soldiers.

Let us, then, as we read through this Psalms, take some time for a look into the past, not only during the years of Biblical history, but even the past years of our own lives. Let us remember the days we first believed. Let us remember the many times God has miraculously intervened on our behalf. Let us remember the sins that God has kept us from.

We serve a risen Savior who sits at the right hand of God, right now, interceding for us. How amazing is that? So, take a look into the past, and let it spur you on into the future to faithfully love and serve God all of the days of your life on this earth.

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Creation Proclaims

 4To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 5To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 6To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 7To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 8The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 9The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever. 
(Psalm 136:4-9, King James Version)

Creation Proclaims

Though mankind may have a great reluctance to proclaim the mighty works of God, creation proclaims the glory of God, loudly and clearly! The Psalmist reminds us that when we seek the face of God, we should not forget who He is and what He has done. We are not speaking to a god of wood and stone, but, rather, we are speaking of our mighty Creator God!

It is He who made the heavens, stretched out the earth above the waters, and made great lights: the sun to rule by day and the moon and stars to rule by night. When we approach Him, let us not forget the wondrous works He has done for the children of men! Why has God done all of this for a people who seem to run as quickly as they can away from Him? He has done all of this because His mercy endures forever!

We are creatures of time, and as such, are absorbed by the time in which we live. Yet, it would be good for us to stretch ourselves out of this time frame and think, as God does, in terms of eternity. How important are the the things we do, the things we strive for, and the momentary struggles we face in light of eternity?

If we consciously thought of God in terms of His power, might, and majesty, would we approach Him so carelessly? If we viewed Him from the perspective of the God who rules over all, and not just the Provider of our needs, would we be more careful about how we prayed? If we, like the Psalmist, took a moment to ponder the proclamation of nature as it loudly rejoices over its Creator, would we lift our eyes above our immediate circumstances and see our purpose in God's broader perspective?

Let us, today, like the Psalmist look beyond our current time-frame. Let us not be bogged down by the prejudices of the 21st century culture in which we live, and think of our eternal God who guides and directs His children each day, and then brings them safely home to be with Him forever!

This, dear child of God, is the God we serve. He made the heavens, stretched out the earth above the waters, and made great lights to rule by night and by day, and He has saved us, guides us, protects us, and keeps us from the power of Satan. He who created this world is certainly capable of guiding and protecting us, and then bringing us to live with Him forever!

What an amazing God we serve. As creation proclaims His glory, so should we!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, February 01, 2013

He is Good

 1O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 2O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 3O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. 
(Psalm 136:1-3, King James Version)

He is Good

Psalm 136 begins with three statements which are all true! It is easy to read right through these first three verses without stopping to ponder their implications, but we do a definite disservice to the text if we do that very thing. We are told three things:

1. The Lord is good.
2. He is God of gods.
3. He is Lord of lords.

When we stop and think of the statement, "The Lord is good," we must remember that this statement is not true of any other gods or people! In our day we tend to use the term "good" rather loosely, but in truth no one is really good except God. The Psalmist adds the text, "For His mercy endureth for ever." Certainly no one but God can make such a claim. In a day when cynicism abounds, what a wonder that we can latch on to our Bibles and say, "I can trust everything in God's Word, for not only is it all true, but it is good, and it endures forever!

What of verse 2? O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. All through history, man has worshiped many gods, but only God is truly the God of all gods. Do you remember the time when the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and put it into the same house as their god, Dagon? What happened?

Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it. (1 Samuel 5:1-4, New King James Version)

God is God and there is no other! No man-made deity has power over God; even Satan and his minions all must bow the knee to God. They are free for a time to snatch as many from the kingdom of man as they can, but their days are certainly numbered. Oh that man would repent and turn to God, for truly only in Him are all peoples blessed forever!

What of the statement, "He is Lord of lords." Even as believers, we struggle with this statement. I do not mean that we doubt its truth, but we often doubt it by our actions. Do we truly live as though no man is our lord? From a practical perspective, we must realize that all authority is God-given; therefore no authority can require us to go against the laws of God.

Unfortunately, we live in a society which is fast attempting to destroy the effect of God's laws upon this world. Will they succeed? No! They may succeed in spreading heathenism and hypocrisy throughout the world, but they cannot destroy God's laws. Whether they observe those laws or not, God's laws will never cease to exist. As believers we must be very careful that we remember that our one and only true Lord is Christ. All other authorities are under His authority, though they may never acknowledge that truth.

Therefore, our first allegiance must always be to Christ. When commanded to disobey the Law of God, we must refuse. Unfortunately, that may become more and more of an issue as we see nation after nation running away from the principles taught in God's Holy Word.

So, remember today who this God is Whom we serve. He is good! He, alone, is good! Go, then, and live this day for His glory!

God Bless You,
Linda