Tuesday, December 20, 2016
"Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplication." Psalm 28:6. In the darkness, I cried unto the Lord, and He heard my voice. In the early morning, I cried unto Him, and He heard me. When I cry unto the Lord for His help and His strength, He will hear my voice. In joy or sadness, the Lord will hear. In loss or gain, the Lord will hear my voice. When I am weak, I can call with the surety that He hears. I can bring my supplication to Him. But, also, I must praise Him. As He so freely blesses, I must offer my blessing unto Him. My heart must sing of His goodness, and pay tribute to His kindness. A heart that begs must also be a heart that acknowledges. As He hears my voice of need, He must also hear my voice of thanksgiving. His ear listens for my supplication and His heart delights in my praise. Mercy bestowed invites the heart to sing its highest adoration. The mercy which flows from His throne lifts the spirit to shout of His glory. Let us dare not cry for His help if we cannot give Him our thanks. If He hears our supplication, let Him also hear our praise.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
"Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." II Timothy 4:11. The most important thing in the life of Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, was the ministry. God had called him to proclaim the good news of salvation. There has never, nor will there ever be, enough ministers of the gospel. All of God's children today are called into the ministry. God calls men to serve others. That is to be the great task of our life. Paul wanted Mark to come to him because he was profitable. Are we profitable to God? God uses us to work His purpose in the world. Everyone is either profitable or unprofitable. We are to bear fruit for God. We are to be useful to His cause. We must ever strive to make a difference. The world needs those who will minister to others both physically and spiritually. Our ministry is to use the talent that we have and the opportunity that we have. Profitable servants of God are rewarded by God. Unprofitable servants are denounced by God.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
"So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense." I Kings 12:33. Bethel was the wrong place and the fifteenth day of the eighth month was the wrong time. God had established the place and the time for offerings to be made unto Him. If we make an offering unto God, we must offer it according to His design and not our own. We are not left to the devices of our own heart. Jeroboam had sinned, and those who followed him also sinned. If we follow the false prophet, we also are guilty. The time and place of the offering was what Jeroboam had devised. Man seeks to change what God has established. When man follows his own devices and does what pleases his own heart, man has sinned. God is never pleased when we offer unto Him and in a way that He has never ordained. God commands and man must obey. Man's way is never better than God's way. God disregards the offerings which man makes if those offerings are after the ways of man. We must not follow our own heart, but rather, we must follow the instructions of God. God's heart, not our heart.
Friday, December 9, 2016
"And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air." Acts 22:22-23. Some people will only listen so much. They will hear as long as the word pleases them. This audience became enraged. They displayed their displeasure. They did not simply turn a deaf ear. Anger overtook them. Hostility darkened their heart. Not only did they close their ears to truth, but they sought to silence the messenger. This has been a common attitude throughout time. We hear as long as we agree. But God's truth can have a disagreeing tone. God's word invades the heart. It awakens the spirit. The word of God makes us see ourselves as we really are. The word takes away the mask. The word will change us if we will allow it to do so. That is the power of truth. We can be hostile toward the word, but the word will not change. We can silence the messenger, but the message will not die. Anger at the word will not convert us. The word must speak to our heart and we must listen. Hearts that hear become changed hearts.
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, Every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14:11. God writes and man reads. God speaks and man hears. His words are life to the soul. God lives, and forever shall. Man is frail and dying. For man to have God's life, his knee must bow and his tongue must confess. The knee is bowed to show the greatness and holiness of God. The knee is bowed because of the infirmity of man and the power of God. The tongue confesses the wisdom of God and the ignorance of man. The tongue confesses the divine nature of God and the temporal nature of man. We bow to give honor and praise. We confess our sinfulness with our desire to become holy. We bow to become God's slave and confess that He is our Master and Lord. We bow and confess because of our need for Him. God does not need us although He wants us. He seeks our fellowship and our service. We bow and confess to come into His presence and know Him. We bow and confess so that He might come into our heart and abide with us. The knee that bows and the tongue that confesses the Lord God Almighty is privileged to walk and talk with Him who lives always.
Friday, December 2, 2016
"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." John 4:34. Do we listen when Jesus speaks? We are to listen to Him, and do as He says. His words are life. Jesus speaks about His work to His disciples. He explains to them that He has a purpose. Every soul has a purpose before God. That purpose is to be the purpose which Jesus had. Jesus always sought to do the will of the Father. That will was never questioned by Him. His life's work was to be pleasing unto the Father. That is our work. Many seek only to do what pleases them. They seek their own will. The life of many is about themselves. But, this is not the path of those who are followers of Jesus. We seek to do the will of the Father. The work which Jesus was sent to do was to bring redemption to humanity. Humanity had lost its way. Jesus sought to bring us back into a right relationship with God. That was His daily meat. That was the source of His life. Meat is necessary to sustain life. Physical meat will do that. But, what about our spiritual meat? This meat sustains the soul and gives eternal life. That was the work which Jesus desired to finish.