Thursday, January 31, 2013

God's ways are lasting.

Psa 33:11  The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Mores of the times, cultural shift, what is considered passé or politically correct have no bearing on the counsel of the Lord.

His commandments are timeless, His counsel is enduring, His precepts are abiding. Without these all bets are off, there is nothing solid or sure. There is no true north, no anchor for the soul.

Our measly thoughts, our unstable emotions, our changing times, all these have no effect on the eternal truths of God's Word.

Upon His counsel we can stand steadfast and sure.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are You Blessed?

Psa 32:1  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2  Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Are your sins forgiven?
Are you right in God's eyes?
Are you free from guilt?

If you answered YES to all of these, you are truly blessed! No matter the status of your health, financial status, relationship status, etc. These are paramount to happiness.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Extreme Incongruity

Psalm 22

*That the Father and Son are separated on our behalf. 1, 2
*That the God of heaven became a reproachable, despicable worm to save us worms. 6
*That the God of glory would hang naked on a cross for 6 hours and take such accusations from unworthy sinners with the ability to destroy every one of them! 7-8
*That the Living Water would hang there, dying of thirst. 14, 15
*That hands that healed and feet that carried the gospel were invaded by spikes to affix Him to the cross. 16
*That he Lion of the tribe of Judah is being ravaged by the roaring lion of hell and his whelps. 21
*That this supreme act of sacrificial love would result in universal blessing. 27

Psa 22:1  To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
Psa 22:2  O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
Psa 22:3  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Psa 22:4  Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
Psa 22:5  They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
Psa 22:6  But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
Psa 22:7  All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
Psa 22:8  He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Psa 22:9  But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
Psa 22:10  I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
Psa 22:11  Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
Psa 22:12  Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Psa 22:13  They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
Psa 22:14  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
Psa 22:15  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
Psa 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Psa 22:17  I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
Psa 22:18  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Psa 22:19  But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Psa 22:20  Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
Psa 22:21  Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
Psa 22:22  I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Psa 22:23  Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
Psa 22:24  For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
Psa 22:25  My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
Psa 22:26  The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
Psa 22:27  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Psa 22:28  For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.
Psa 22:29  All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
Psa 22:30  A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
Psa 22:31  They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Fear Factor

Psa 18:4  The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

Some things about fear:
a.     The fear of man brings a snare – fear God only
b.     What is the worst that man can do to you? Isn’t this really the best? What is one of the Crowns? The Martyr’s crown.
c.      You get to be like Jesus when you are reviled, persecuted, spoken evil of. You are in very good company.
d.     Fear will hamstring you so you cannot run the race properly.

Deut 10:20  Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Day of His Death

Joshua 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

This stunning announcement was more of a summation of Joshua's life than a commitment for the future, since he spoke it on his last day on earth.

You probably are not planning on a departure from this life anytime soon, so a commitment to the future would be apropos.

Will you say with Joshua and with me, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"?

Friday, January 25, 2013

God Keeps His Promises!

Josh 23:14  And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. 15  Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. 16  When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

Just a God kept His promises to Israel, to the very letter, so has He kept His promises to me!

He has preserved His Word.
He has met my every need.
He has led me through the wilderness.
He has brought me into a good land flowing with milk and honey.
No weapon formed against me has prospered.
He has driven out every enemy from before me.
He has given me possession of every place my foot has fallen.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Achan for a Takin'

Josh 7:24  And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25  And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. 26  And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day

After the great victory at Jericho, wherein the walls fell down flat and the fear of Israel was sent throughout the land, the small town of Ai stood up to them and won the initial battle.

A mere force of 3000 men was sent to do battle against Podunk Holler, Canaan. But they had to sound the retreat when 36 of their men were slain. Roughly 1 out of 100 were lost.

What went wrong? God's anger was kindled against His people due to covetousness and disobedience. It seems Achan couldn't do without this nice suit, a couple of hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold that he had spied among the Jericho rubble. Ignoring the commandment of God, given through his man, Joshua, Achan saw, he coveted and he took.

Now really, what good would this stuff do him? He could not be seen wearing these clothes, he would stand out like a sore thumb. What was his plan for such a suit of clothes? It goes to show that it is not so much the item as it is the act of disobedience that is bound deeply in the sinful heart.

And it was for that very act that Israel lost a battle and 36 men. Achan and his immediate family were incinerated. All because of one man's lust for that which was not his.

Next time you are tempted to disobey God, or despise the word of His messenger, consider the long-ranging effects that your actions might take. How will it affect you personally, your family, and how will it harm your church? You see, no sin is harmless, nor is it victimless.

Ask David who hung out on his rooftop and ogled the girl next door until he just had to have that which was denied him. Uriah died, the baby died and David spent a year being backslidden and a lifetime living in shame.

If this could happen to a "man after God's own heart" do you think you are any better?

Samson married outside of the faith and thousands died. Abraham got in a rush and produced some very troublesome offspring for which the world is still reeling. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and plunged the world into sin.

Stay close to the Lord, yield not to temptation. Don't buy the devil's advertising. His, "yea, hath God said..." spiel is deceptive and destructive. Don't be Achan for a takin'.