Thursday, October 30, 2014
God asked, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" I Kings 19:9. Elijah was hidden in a cave because of fear. God did not need Elijah in a cave hidden away from the fight. The enemies of God must be met. What are we doing here? So many live all of their days and never understand what they are to be doing while they are here. Some desire only to have wealth. Some travel the road of pleasure. Still, others seek prominence. We, the church, are here to serve and do battle with the forces of evil. The scripture states, "Ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." I Corinthians 6:20. We are here to be enlisted in the Lord's army and with our words and deeds glorify Him. Our purpose is special. Our calling is grand. While we are here, let us with unfailing zeal and courage glorify Him knowing all the while that our place is so very important.
Friday, October 24, 2014
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." Psalm 103:2. There is benefit in blessing the Lord. We must remember what God does and has done for us. To remember is to praise. We understand the fountain from whom all blessings flow. God redeems, forgives, and satisfies. We are crowned with lovingkindness and tender mercies. The Lord executes righteousness and makes His ways known unto men. God pities and forgives. He knows the shortness of our life, and that we are but dust. In every place, God is be blessed because He is from everlasting unto everlasting and keeps His covenant with those who fear and trust Him. He is to be praised because His throne has been set and His dominion reaches into every place. God's pleasure is served as we remember His benefits and bless His name.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
"But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, took great indignation, and mocked the Jews." Nehemiah 4:1. Sanballat was grieved that one would seek the welfare of the children of Israel. Nehemiah 2:10. Some will not do good themselves, and yet, are disturbed that someone else will. Sanballat was furious over the work of Nehemiah. Anger that breeds indignation is harmful. The heart will be robbed of peace. Hate and malice will enter the void. Anger corrupts and destroys. It breeds contempt. Anger removes the alliance of help and unity. Character is tainted and reputation destroyed. Sanballat's anger led him not only to oppose Nehemiah and the good work of rebuilding the wall, but also, he opposed God. Anger leads one away from God. Anger will finally bring ruin.
Monday, October 20, 2014
"A time to be born, and a time to die..." Ecclesiastes 3:2. Life begins with birth and ends with death. All come forth from the womb and begin their journey toward death. The journey is brief. We behold the aging process each day. Time flees before we even realize that it is gone. We look back on all of our yesterdays and wonder where they went. They become memories in our mind. The inevitable is before us. The appointment has been made. We cannot change it or cancel it. We need to "put our house in order." Death will come many times without any warning. We need to be prepared to meet God in the judgment. If "all is well with our souls," indeed the "day of death will be better than the day of one's birth." Ecclesiastes 7:1.
Friday, October 17, 2014
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3. There is an emotional darkness that covers the landscape of human behavior. Many are disturbed and overcome. Unhappiness and insecurity are all about us. Wars and rumors of wars trouble the mind. We find anything and everything to disrupt us. God speaks of peace. God promises a calmness of soul and a tranquility of mind to those who will trust Him. Our mind must be set upon Him and His divine goodwill. Trouble comes when we place ourselves in the world. We omit God from the plan. The world only promises war and ruin while God promises to the trusting soul peace and hope. Trust Him and know peace, perfect peace.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears." Psalms 18:6. The sorrows of hell and death compassed the one in distress. The floods of ungodly men made him afraid. But, the Lord is a rock, a fortress, and a deliverer. Our trust in Him causes us to cry unto Him when we are threatened. We, because of our mortality, have no answer for our fears and our discomforts. We are unable to steady ourselves. We cannot see beyond the present moment. God, in His temple, hears the cries of those who trust and love Him. He leans His ear toward earth and listens for our cry. He provides help to the distressed and comfort to the weary. He is a stay in the darkness, and an anchor in the storm. In our moments of weakness and weariness, let us call upon the Lord and cry unto our God.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Romans 8:24-25. Hope is the rose that grows in the garden of thorns. Hope is a light that shines in the darkness. Hope is the strength of the day and the endurance of the night. Hope lifts the burdens and carries the load. Hope is life in the midst of death. Hope lays the foundation that will not crumble. Hope looks forward, not backward. Hope does not ask, "What might have been?", but rather, "What is going to be?" Hope is a trust in a better tomorrow, a commitment to a brighter day. Hope delivers us to the promise of betterment. Hope takes us on a voyage of newness. Patience brings us to hope. The trials will pass; the pain will cease; the tears will be dry. If not here, then in the better land. Let hope be the transport which takes us there.
Monday, October 13, 2014
I believe in the one that they called Jesus. Jesus was the name chosen by God. Matthew 1:21. I believe that He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus, as did Nathanael, to be the Son of God. John 1:49. I believe that Jesus left His heavenly Father and came to earth and that He willingly died on Calvary's cross. Philippians 2:5-8. I believe that He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and forgave our sins. I believe that Jesus is the source of all life. I believe that through Him we come to the Father. I believe Him to be the mediator of a new covenant and that He is our High Priest. I believe that He established the church, which is the community of the saved. I believe that Jesus returned to the heavenly Father so that He might prepare for us an eternal mansion. I believe that He is coming again to receive the saved unto Himself. Yea, without hesitation, I confess that I believe in the one that they called Jesus.
Friday, October 10, 2014
The last five psalms begin with the admonition "Praise ye the Lord." We are to praise God while we have life. Psalms 145:2. God has created and He executes judgment. God provides for His people and is a constant source of blessing. God loves and restores. He raises the fallen and gives strength to the weak. The outcast are known of Him and strangers are blessed by Him. His word sounds forth through the whole of creation. Glorious and mighty is He. God is seen in the snow, wind, rain, sun, and moon. His glorious handiwork is revealed in the mountains and the sea. The heavens and the earth declare Him. Everywhere and in all things is God. His name is to be honored and glory given unto Him. Righteous, holy, and everlasting is His character. His pleasure is found in them that love Him and fear Him. "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." Psalms 150:6
Thursday, October 9, 2014
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2. Christ has a law by which we are to live. It is a law that considers others and serves others. In serving others, we serve Christ. Matthew 25:40. Christ was one who bore the burdens of others. He healed, delivered, and forgave. People around us have burdens. We help, strengthen, and encourage. We pray for and with the burdened. We give support. "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." Romans 14:7. We must make ourselves a part of the community. Burdens carried by many are easier to carry. The road is easier to walk. The shoes are more comfortable to wear. When we bear the burdens of others, we help the burdened and we glorify the Christ.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
"Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:24. Jesus is Lord and Christ by means of His resurrection from the dead. Acts 2:36. Jesus reigns at the right hand of God. I Peter 3:22. What a privilege to serve Him. Jesus has called us to service. We serve by example and command. "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye ought also to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." John 13:13-15. Because Jesus served His Father, He was received up into glory. Through our service to Jesus as our Lord, we will receive the inheritance. As servants, we are heirs.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
"We love him, because he first loved us." I John 4:19. Love is the greatest of all virtues. The character of God is love. He reached down to man and expressed His love for us. We were enemies and alienated from Him, but still, He loved. We love Him because of His expression of love for us. The greatest of commandments is that we are to love God. Matthew 22:37. Love is the foundation upon which the relationship is built. Our love for Him is to be a sincere love. Ephesians 6:24. Thus, He will bestow His grace upon us. Even though our eyes have not looked upon Him, still we love Him. I Peter 1:8. His love is an overpowering love. The love we have for God causes us to love one another, and even, to love our enemies. God loved the unlovely, and thus, must we for without His love for us, we are unlovely. Our love for God removes the malice and envy from our hearts. His love for us purifies us. We can overcome the vices that can cast us down because we love Him. Because heaven reached down to us and touched our hearts, we can reach up to heaven. That love overpowers our hearts and brings us to love and appreciate the God who "first loved us."