Friday, September 26, 2014
"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6. The heart of man must seek the Lord. The Lord has made Himself available unto all. We seek the Lord through His word. God has revealed Himself both through His word and His creation. These avenues are the proof of God and His desire to relate to His creation. The existence of the universe creates faith in Him and through His word we learn of Him and His will for our lives. We must call upon Him through faith and obedience to His will. As we seek Him, we draw near unto Him as He draws near unto us. Our seeking of the Lord makes us aware of the need that we have of Him in our life. We seek Him realizing that life has brevity and weakness. We seek the Lord with the assurance that He will keep us and guard us. Our daily search maintains our unity with Him. While we seek Him, we are free from the cares that will distract us. While we seek Him, we are endowed with the power to overcome the forces that will destroy us. God is the only sure search for a meaningful and rewarding life.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." Proverbs 1:10. Sin has always used enticement. Sin makes that which is bad appear good and that which is wrong appear to be right. Sin uses deceit. Sin will never improve our lives nor will sin be a benefit to our character. Sin causes harm. It brings regret and guilt. Sin has destroyed so many lives. It is that act which destroys homes. Sin leaves tragedy in its path. The wisdom of the proverb is that we are to leave sin alone and not listen to its word of enticement. A wonderful example of not being enticed by sinners is Joseph. The wife of Potiphar tried to lure him into sin, but Joseph fled the enticement. His character remained pure and his honor remained intact. Let us, like Joseph, refuse to be enticed by sinners.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Noah "walked with God." Genesis 6:9. Noah lived during a wicked time upon the earth. The evil was so great that God decided that He would destroy man from off the face of the earth. Genesis 6:6-7. And so He did. Noah and his family were saved by following God's instructions to build the ark. Eight souls were spared this world wide destruction. Noah "found grace in the eyes of the Lord" because Noah chose to walk with God. When everyone around Noah were traveling deeper into sin, Noah chose to stand upright and perfect in the sight of God. Society did not dictate how Noah would live, but rather, God dictated how Noah would live. The Christians at Philippi were instructed "that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." Philippians 2:15. Without the light of the righteous, the world is totally darkness. The majority chose not to walk with God, but rather, they chose to walk with the devil. Regardless of how dark the world becomes and how many souls travel the path of evil, we, like Noah of old, must walk with God. Those who walk with God will be saved while the unrighteous will be destroyed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalms 27:13. This land of the living is a land of sadness and darkness. When we set our focus upon the physical about us, we can become overwhelmed and faint. Our hearts can fail when the storms of life come upon us. The knowledge of God's goodness will keep us from drowning in a sea of despair. God's goodness gives strength to the fainting heart. His goodness provides power and hope to deal and overcome. The goodness of God can make us "more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:37. Those living in this present land need to fix our hearts upon God and wait for His goodness to come to us. Let us not faint, but believe.
Monday, September 22, 2014
One of my favorite hymns is "Amazing Grace." The hymn speaks of once lost and now found; once blind and now seeing. Grace has delivered me and grace will see me home. Indeed, the grace of God is amazing. Grace was given and not deserved. Grace was bestowed and not earned. The Ephesian letter in chapter two speaks of "Amazing Grace." God's verdict of sin was that we were dead, but now we are quickened. Twas by grace that the transformation came. Verses five and eight declare, "by grace ye are saved." We were not saved by accident, but by grace. We were not saved by merit, but by grace. God is "the God of all grace." I Peter 5:10. Lives devastated by sin can be renewed by grace. Hearts blackened by sin can be restored by grace. Grace can take the broken life so marred by sin and return that life to a revived state. God through His grace removes the flaws and scars that come by the avenue of sin, and comes to dwell within that renewed heart. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound."
Sunday, September 21, 2014
"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18. God desires that we be thankful. Gratitude is to forever flow from our hearts due to the vastness of God's blessings. Even in trouble, we should feel God's benevolence. God has permitted us to be His child and, therefore, we should praise Him. Our requests of God should always be footnoted with thanksgiving. God has given and continues to give. We enjoy His grace through Jesus His Son. Our hope transcends all hopes. Our redemption has provided fellowship. We have been cleansed and restored. From heaven's throne, gifts continually flow. Our lips are to give thanks unto Him. Without Him, we are nothing. Without Him, we cannot stand. Physically and spiritually, God blesses. The "Father of mercies" pours out upon us all the fruits that we enjoy. In return, we are to have a heart of thankfulness. We, through our thanksgiving, understand the source of all blessings. That source is God. Give thanks.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
One of the most beloved psalms begins, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Psalms 23:1. What confidence has David in the Lord. Should not all of us have the same trust in the Shepherd? He had provided for David deliverance and protection. In the threat of death, the Shepherd had provided for David. In fleeing from enemies, the Shepherd had provided for David. The path in which the Shepherd leads is full and still. A calmness of soul is offered by the Shepherd. We are lead in the way of holiness and goodness. We are removed from the vileness and defilement if we follow the steps of the Shepherd. Even in the valley where death lurks, we know no fear. Our Shepherd has conquered the grave and withdrawn the dread of death. In the presence of our enemies, He anoints us with His oil of comfort and stability. All of our days of wandering in this strange land, our Shepherd bestows His goodness and mercy. Our Shepherd, the Lord, is with us and, yea, we shall be with Him forevermore.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Abraham is known by God as His friend. Three times in scripture this man of great faith is called "the friend of God." II Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23. Abraham was recognized as God's friend because in the words of God: "For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon him that which he hath spoken of him." Genesis 18:19. Abraham "went out and journeyed in a strange country" and "offered up Isaac." Hebrews 11:9,17. What God asked Abraham to perform, Abraham always complied. His faith in God was an obedient faith that prompted him to do as God asked. Jesus promised His followers, "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15:14. The commandments of God are not grievous commandments. I John 5:3. The burden which Jesus lays upon us is not a heavy burden. Matthew 11:30. The service to which we are called is reasonable service. Romans 12:1. Friendship with God is a friendship that remains throughout life if we so choose. God does not leave nor does He forget His friends. We, like Abraham, can be "thy friend forever."
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
"Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." The Bible, as God's revelation to man, indeed tells us that God loves us. The boldest demonstration of that love was the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8. Long before Christ came, God had told man of the coming Savior. God raised up the prophets to announce the arrival of Jesus. And those prophets told of His death upon the cross thus displaying God's love for us. Jesus left the glory of that eternal land and came to earth. He, the Son of God, told upon Himself human form. Jesus knew rejection, humiliation, and finally, death. Written upon the cross were the words of God, "I love you." That declaration of love was scrolled in the blood of God's only begotten Son. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." I John 4:9.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
"Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving." Colossians 4:2. Prayer is our privilege of conversation with God. We call upon Him as Father. Matthew 6:9. God is a heavenly Father who seeks to "give good things to them that ask him." Matthew 7:11. He has the power to bestow upon His children the blessings which we seek. We must not cease to pray. The affairs of life can often get in the way of prayer. In prayer, we find strength and comfort. Because God cares for us, He allows us to call upon Him. Prayer is the means of overcoming weakness, fear, instability, and discouragement. Our prayers of request should also be filled with our thanksgiving. God is a giving God, but He desires our thankfulness. In all things, we should be thankful. "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18. "Pray without ceasing", but also, give thanks without ceasing. Prayer takes us into the very presence of the Holy God who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Ask, but be thankful.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Moses had led God's people from Egypt through the wilderness to the entrance into the promised land. His mission was at an end. The man whose "eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated" (Deuteronomy 34:7) was ready to be received into that eternal abode with God. The man who had constantly charged God's people now gave them a parting charge. "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, Destroy them." Deuteronomy 33:27. After crossing over the Jordan River into the land of promise, these people would continue to face adversity. God would provide for them a refuge. We live in difficult and trying times; we face adversity and confusion; we must battle against evil and temptation; we need a refuge. We need a place where the storm cannot harm us. We need a companion who will not leave us. We need a hope that will continue to burn brightly. God provides a refuge. The "everlasting arms" will not fail nor falter. The "everlasting arms" will not weaken. Throughout all of time, the refuge remains. Rejoice, ye people of God.
Monday, September 1, 2014
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1. Before the beginning was the eternal. God is everlasting. Isaiah 40:28. The heaven and the earth and all that is therein is the true testimony of God. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork." Psalm 19:1. The creation displays handiwork. Just as a house displays the handiwork of a carpenter; just as a watch displays the handiwork of a watchmaker; so the universe displays the handiwork of the eternal Maker. The majestic beauty of a blue sky or a starry night; the marvelous view of a mountain range; the flashing of lighting and the roll of thunder; sand and sea; hill and valley is the very marking of God. His footprint is seen everywhere and in all of creation. His existence is denied by the unbeliever. His universe is seen as a work of chance. But, in the heart of the believer is the reality of God. "For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen in the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." Romans 1:20.