Thursday, November 20, 2014
"The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks." Proverbs 30:26. Are we not feeble? The issues of life cast us down. We become disquieted. Our strength fails. The Apostle Paul found himself to be "pressed out of measure, above strength." II Corinthians 1:8. The difficulties come that test our strength. Those who are feeble need a shelter. Our hearts long for comfort and quietness. The conies make their house where there is protection. Our rock is solid and firm. We, by building our house, upon the rock are secure. The rains, storms, and winds of life cannot move us. Feebleness is overcome when the house is on the rock.
"O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul: thou hast redeemed my life." Lamentations 3:58. Jeremiah weeps because of Jerusalem's sin. Her captivity has come. The prophet is in despair. Are we in tears because of society's waywardness? Has the sin of humanity become our grief? Jeremiah calls out to His redeemer. With confidence and assurance he pleads. There is no blame toward God for the present calamity. In God, there is hope in the face of despair. There is a refuge in the midst of loss. God's anger is about him. The emptiness of the city surrounds him. Where does the prophet cast his eye? Upon whom does he call? Jeremiah seeks the Lord. His cause is heard and his need answered. May we ever know that the Lord has pleaded our cause and redeemed our life.
Monday, November 17, 2014
"O Praise the Lord, all ye nations; praise him all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 117:1-2. Is it not right that the Lord would want all nations and all people to praise Him? All nations of men have been made of one blood and all people dwell on the face of the earth. Acts 17:26. God is worthy of our adoration because of His creation of all and His mercy that guards that creation. We could not endure without God's mercy. Sin is too widespread. Iniquity abounds. Life continues because of God's mercy. And His truth forever endures. His truth cannot be overthrown nor diminished. Truth has come from His righteous character. Truth and mercy flow from God. We could not know mercy and truth without God's imprint. His mercy stands upon His truth. Because God is truthful, He is merciful. How wonderful this world would be if all nations would abound in mercy and truth. May our hearts know His truth and our lives be tempered by His mercy. Praise Him.
Friday, November 14, 2014
"I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me." Job 10:2. Job was in "bitterness of soul." Why was God contending with him? Why does God contend with us? Patience and joy must be learned. These two vital ingredients of life are gained under fire. God teaches us those lessons that give us character. God contends with us so that we know that He is God. He deals with us so that we might grow into His image. We are being shaped for that which is better and more glorious. Passing through the fire purifies. The contentions of life are stepping stones to a transformation into godliness. Tests help us to stand. God wants us to endure. His perfection is to be our perfection. God places us in the midst of the battle. We face the enemy, and God contends with us so that we might know victory rather than defeat. God contends with us so that we might know that the end justifies the means. God contends with us so that we might move from the valley to the mountain top. God contends with us so that we might continue to be strong and fearless. God contends with us because we are being molded into heavenly dwellers.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
"I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. The light given by Christ provides clarity. We walk with purpose and meaning. The light given by Christ provides surety. We walk knowing that our path is marked. It is a way that is certain, free of doubt. The light given by Christ provides purity. We walk free of stain and blot. The light of Christ gives knowledge. We walk in the understanding of God's holiness. The light of Christ provides responsibility. We walk knowing our duty. The light of Christ fills us with fear. We walk in the reverence of God ever mindful of His majesty. The light of Christ surrounds us with hope. We walk knowing that God sustains. To walk in the light of Christ is to live--truly live.
"There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches." Proverbs 13:7. Are we truly aware of the wealth that we have in Christ Jesus? We, through Christ, are the heirs of promise. We have God's amazing grace and abundant love bestowed upon us. We are known as the sons of God. And, yet, we who are truly blessed may not understand the wealth which we possess. We sometimes grumble. Remember the Israelites. We sometimes doubt. We sometimes fear. We who are to be separated from the world still cling to the world. We, who have died to the world, still hope to find happiness and satisfaction in the world. And, when we find ourselves lacking the earthly wealth, we mourn our poverty. We, the rich, may see ourselves as poor. Our wealth is in the unseen. "The riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:18) is indeed the wealth of poverty.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalms 51:10. David is pleading for forgiveness. His heart had been corrupted. His spirit had been defiled. Sin does that. Only God can create a clean heart and renew a right spitit. We are to have hearts that are free from anger, malice, revenge, and hate. Our spirit is to be free from wrath, filth, falsehood, and covetousness. We are to have a heart that is pure, clean, and holy. We are to have a spirit that loves, forgives, and bestows mercy. From the fountain of our heart and spirit flow our deeds. A heart that is tainted will ere soon corrupt the soul. A spotted spirit will drive one into remorse and guilt. Hope and joy will be lost. Purpose will be gone. An unclean heart is an empty heart. A wrong spirit wanders aimlessly. God creates and renews all hearts that are open to Him. Let us seek His cleanliness and renewal. Indeed, it makes for a better life.
Monday, November 10, 2014
"Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?" Job 1:9. The devil questioned Job's sincerity in serving the Lord. Job had truly been blessed because of his faithfulness unto God. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." I Timothy 6:6. Godliness brings what evil cannot give. Through godliness, character remains intact. Why would God not bless faithfulness unto Him? God promised Israel that they would be blessed if they served Him and followed His commandments. Deuteronomy 6:18. So it was with Job. Job prospered because he served God, but material prosperity was not his reason for service. God knew why Job served Him. The God of the universe knows the hearts of men. God knows our motives. The rebellious often cite hypocrisy in the lives of God's servants. This was the reaction of Satan. But, Satan learned that the integrity of Job could not be shaken, even though the prosperity of Job was removed. Do we serve God for nought?
Saturday, November 8, 2014
"Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul." Psalms 66:16. Those who have no fear of God will not come and will not hear. The fearful have a desire to hear of God and be edified by all those of their company. God does for those who fear him. God blesses the soul of all who come unto Him in awe. What has God done for our soul? God has purged our soul from the horror of sin. Cleanliness floods our soul. God has delivered our soul from the valley of despair. Trust flows through our being. God has emancipated our soul from the hopelessness of death. Life captures the soul. God has made our soul clean. God has made our soul content. God has made our soul secure. This is the declaration of those who fear the God of their soul.
Friday, November 7, 2014
"Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." Luke 8:12. Between my house and storage building, there is a well worn path. The falling leaves cover the path each season, but footsteps reaffirm the path. As I look upon that path, I am reminded of they who hear the word and never obey. The devil is able to remove the word from their heart. A multitude of hearts give heed to Satan. God can find no place in their heart. His word cannot find lodging. I have never seeded this path, but even if I did, grass would not grow. The continual walking on the path would beat down any sprouts of grass. The word of God will never find lodging in the heart that gives heed to Satan. Hence, that heart remains in unbelief and salvation remains unfound.
"Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6. God has declared Himself to man. We respond in faith. We accept His existence by faith. Each individual is to have a personal relationship with God. God speaks to me through His word. I speak to God through prayer. God is my constant companion. I walk with Him and He walks with me. My life is enriched because of my faith in Him. My destiny is secure because of my faith in Him. He rewards my life with peace and comfort. From His hand, I receive the bounty that He willingly bestows. His promises bless me and offer unto me the security that provides a harbor and a refuge. God lifts me up when I am weak. God calms my soul when the storm is raging. God is precious to my life because of faith. Help me, Lord, to always diligently seek thee.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Some days just do not go well. We have a problem that interferes with our schedule. We experience some difficulty in completing an assignment. We do not feel well. Perhaps, we have a problem at home, at work, or at school. Perhaps, we experience a spiritual problem. We know from our experience that life does not always go well. James told his readers, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." James 1:4. The word, "temptations", is a trial or a difficulty. James had in mind a spiritual difficulty. But, even we Christians, have physical difficulties. Even in those times, the wisdom of inspiration says that we are to be joyous. Joy will overcome whining; joy will conquer complaining; joy will defeat skepticism. Joy, even in trial, will turn a bad day into a good day.