Go Among This Stiffnecked People

In Exodus 19 – 32, Moses went up to Mount Sinai to commune with God. He was gone so long that the Israelites became restless. They were without their shepherd and they strayed. Aaron commanded them to give him their gold, and he made the golden calf. Moses was infuriated: He threw down the tablets from God, he burned the golden calf, forced the people to drink the ashes in water, and commanded the sons of Levi (who stood with the Lord) to slay every man his brother and every man his companion and every man his neighbor (about 3,000 men) (Exodus 32.27). The next day, Moses appealed to God, asking Him to forgive their sin, and if not, to blot him out of the Book. God assured Moses that whosoever has sinned against Him, him will He blot out of His book (Exodus 32.33).

The Israelites marched to Mount Horeb, where they witnessed God speaking directly to Moses, face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend (33.11).

God and Moses went back and forth about the Israelites several times: sometimes it was Moses railing against the people, wringing his hands and agonizing what to do about them; God called for mercy. Sometimes God was full of wrath against His people; Moses begged for mercy.

In Numbers 12.3, God states that the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. (I can only imagine Moses wrestling with writing that down, and God making sure that Moses understood that it certainly would be written down.)

In Exodus 34, Moses hewed two more tablets of stone and again went up unto Mount Sinai. There, the LORD passed by before Moses and proclaimed, “The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”

Moses bowed himself to the ground and worshiped, and said, “If now I have found grace in Thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Thine inheritance.”

I tried to imagine what it might have been like for Moses to hear the Voice of God, to hear God proclaim His Holy Name in his very ears. Then I gave myself a dope slap: Moses had the Voice of The LORD God Almighty in his ears; I have The Spirit of the LORD God Almighty in my very being. I hear the Holy Spirit in the Words of His Scripture and in the counsel of Godly people and in prayers.

Christians, we have the Very Presence of God Almighty in us and around us. (Psalms 139.5 You hem me in behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me. And Isaiah 30.21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.)

May we fall on our knees before the Living God:

Praise Him

Psalms 113.4 – 6

4 The LORD is exalted over all the nations,

His glory above the heavens.

5 Who is like the LORD our God,

the One enthroned on high?

6 He humbles Himself to behold

the heavens and the earth.

Confess we are sinners

Jeremiah 10.23, 24 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

Beg for His mercy and forgiveness

Psalms 86, 1 – 7

 Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.

2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.

4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

And humble ourselves and pray as Moses did: If now I have found grace in Thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Thine inheritance

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

My readings this month have taken me into Revelations. Yeah, wow. The Dragon. The Beast. The plagues. The whore. The golden vials full of the wrath of God.

The wrath of God! Hebrews 10.31 says, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The wrath of God can be no less than bone-knocking, paralyzing, gut-wrenching terror. Look at the folks in the Bible who saw Heavenly beings – they fell down in fear. Anything that holy instantly reveals the depths and awfulness of our sinfulness.

Psalms 4.8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

How many times does God tell us to “fear not?” Isaiah 41.10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

How do I reconcile the awful terror of standing before Almighty God in my sin, with “fear not?”

By simple obedience. God says to fear not, so I will not fear. Hebrews 13.6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 4.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus Christ is my Savior. My name is written in the Book of Life. I may boldly approach the throne of Almighty God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Since the Lord is my helper, I will also not be afraid of what God shall do unto me. God loves me. Because He first loved me, I love Him. I am precious in His sight, a part of the body of His bride.

I welcome with open arms what God will do unto me.

And I praise Him fully:

Revelations 15.3, 4

“Great and wonderful are Your works,

O Lord God Almighty!

Just and true are Your ways,

O King of the nations!

4 Who will not fear You, O Lord,

and glorify Your name?

For You alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship before You,

for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Trust and Obey

Trust and Obey

Words: John H. Sam­mis, in Hymns Old and New (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Flem­ing H. Re­vell, 1887).

Music: Dan­i­el B. Tow­ner

[In 1886] Mr. [Dwight] Moo­dy was con­duct­ing a ser­ies of meet­ings in Brock­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts, and I had the plea­sure of sing­ing for him there.

One night a young man rose in a tes­ti­mo­ny and said, I am not quite sure…but I am go­ing to trust, and I am going to obey. I just jot­ted that sen­tence down, and sent it with the lit­tle story to the Rev. J. H. Sam­mis, a Pres­by­ter­ian min­is­ter. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born.

            – Daniel Towner

When we walk with the Lord In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
 
Refrain
Trust and obey, For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.
 
Not a shadow can rise, Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
 
Not a burden we bear, Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, Not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
 
But we never can prove The delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, For the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
 
Then in fellowship sweet We will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

From http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/t/r/u/s/trustobey.htm

This beloved hymn has been running through my head for weeks now. We sing it often at our Ladies Book Study, and we “happened” to sing it in this past Sunday’s church service.

If you don’t know the tune, you can listen to it at this site: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/582

Read through the words of this hymn again. They offer much of the peace of God’s Truth. “To be happy in Jesus,” translates, to me, the peace that He offers when we give it all to Him and rest in Him. Truth trumps feelings, in my book. But sometimes God gives us both: when we abide in His Truth, He blesses us with the feelings, the satisfaction, of His peace.

In the last verse a picture is painted of sweet fellowship in Heaven. This is common among hymns of great faith: the last verses capture the certain hope we have of walking with Jesus in Heaven.

But I think that Jesus wants us to have Heaven on Earth with Him.

Luke 17.20, 21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” See also Matthew 12.28, Colossians 4.11, and Romans 14.17, among many others.

“What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey.”

This is something we can have right here on Earth, and it’s what Jesus always wanted for us. When we set our minds on things above (Colossians 3.2); when we take on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2.16); when we put on the garment of praise (Isaiah 61.3); when we abide in Him (1 John 4.13, 1 John 2.27); when we lay it all on His altar (verse 4 of our hymn); then we can walk through any facet of our life here with the complete joy and peace of Jesus Himself.

I want the peace of Jesus. I imagine Jesus when He was walking here, day by day, in perfect peace with His Father. He offers us this peace: John 14.27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

So, whether we have sunshine and lemonade and roses, or whether we have cancer and fires and deteriorating relationships: “What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey.”  We can walk in the light of His Word, and He will shed glory on our way.

 

Give Thanks, Get Peace

Philippians 4.4-7 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Note the progression of events:

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always.
  2. Rejoice!
  3. Let your moderation (gentleness, mildness, fairness – all of which come through Jesus) be evident to all. The Lord is with you.
  4. Be careful for nothing (like Matthew 6.25 Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.).
  5. Talk to God about your requests via prayer and supplication
    1. WITH THANKSGIVING
  6. And then what?
    • PEACE!
    • Peace which passes all understanding!
    • This peace shall keep your hearts and minds
    • How?
      1. Through Jesus Christ

~ sigh ~ Don’t we all want peace in our hearts and minds? Family, friends, the world may rage around us, but we can have peace in our hearts and minds. We can display that peace to all around us.

Have you noticed that peace calls to peace? Peace – as in “Jesus is our Peace” – is tangible and evident in our lives. When we encounter someone else who has that same Peace, we notice; it draws us. Others are drawn to us who have that Peace. We have kindred Spirits.

We can all achieve that peace in our hearts and minds through thanksgiving.

Talk to God. Bring Him your thoughts, your supplications, your fears and worries and dreams. And in all of it, give Him thanks. Give bountifully. We can thank God in all things and for all things because we know that He loves us infinitely and unconditionally. We know that He really is taking good care of us. Our perspective isn’t the same as His, so we don’t see it all. But He does. And He is wrapping His loving arms around us with everlasting tenderness.

Remember:

  1. Rejoice in the Lord
  2. Give it all to God
  3. Talk to Him
  4. Thank God for everything
  5. Receive His Peace.

Praying Psalm 119 Over a Loved One

Praying God’s Word back to Him carries the power of His Word. God teaches us how to pray in His Word, and we may use His Words to make our hearts’ cry to Him.

Psalm 119 is an intense passage of praise for God, His law, His Word, and the force of that Word in the lives of us all. If you are praying for salvation for a loved one (or for one who has gone astray, or who never did grasp the authority and jurisdiction of God in his life), here is one way to pray God’s Word over that loved one. This can be prayed often, over a long period of time. The words here are geared toward a male; however, God’s Word is personal, and you may use this as He leads you. After reading this, return to your Bible and pray your own prayers as you read and meditate on God’s Word.

Of course, another of the true powers of prayer is that prayer changes the pray-er.

Galatians 6.9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

א
ALEPH.

1 May ___ be blessed and undefiled in his way, may he walk in the law of the LORD.

2 I pray Your blessing upon ___, that he keeps Your testimonies, and that he seeks You with his whole heart.

3 May he also do no iniquity: may he walk in Your ways.

4 Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently.

5 O that ___’s ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!

6 Then he shall not be ashamed, when he has respect unto all Thy commandments.

7 He will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when he shall have learned Thy righteous judgments.

8 I pray ___ will keep Thy statutes: O forsake him not utterly.

ב
BETH.

9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.

10 May ___ seek Thee with his whole heart: O let him not wander from Thy commandments.

11 May he hide Thy Word in his heart, that he might not sin against Thee.

12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach ___ Thy statutes.

13 With his lips may he declare all the judgments of Thy mouth.

14 May he rejoice in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15 May he meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways.

16 May he delight himself in Thy statutes, and not forget Thy word.

ג
GIMEL.

17 Deal bountifully with Thy servant, ___ that he may live, and keep Thy Word.

18 Open thou his eyes, that he may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.

19 He is a stranger in the earth: hide not Thy commandments from him.

20 Break his soul for longing unto Thy judgments at all times.

21 Rebuke his pride that he may not be cursed, as he errs from Thy commandments.

22 Heap upon him reproach and contempt; for he has not kept Thy testimonies.

23 As princes sit and speak against him: let Thy servant meditate in Thy statutes.

24 Make Thy testimonies his delight and his counselors.

ד
DALETH.

25 ___’s soul cleaves unto the dust: quicken thou him according to Thy word.

26 Cause him to declare his ways, and You will hear him: teach him Thy statutes.

27 Make him to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall he talk of Thy wondrous works.

28 Melt his soul for heaviness: and strengthen thou him according unto Thy Word.

29 Remove from him the way of lying: and grant him Thy law graciously.

30 Cause ___ to choose the way of truth: lay Thy judgments before him.

31 He has not stuck unto Thy testimonies: O LORD, put him to shame.

32 Cause him to run the way of Thy commandments, then Thou shalt enlarge his heart.

ה
HE.

33 Teach ___, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; cause him to keep it unto the end.

34 Give him understanding, that he shall keep Thy law; yea, that he shall observe it with his whole heart.

35 Make him to go in the path of Thy commandments; show him the delight therein.

36 Incline his heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

37 Turn away his eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou him in Thy way.

38 Stablish Thy Word unto Thy servant, cause him to be devoted to Thy fear.

39 Make him to dread Thy reproach, and to fear it: for Thy judgments are good.

40 Behold, cause him to long after Thy precepts: quicken him in Thy righteousness.

ו
VAU.

41 Let Thy mercies come also unto ___, O LORD, even Thy salvation, according to Thy word.

42 So shall he have wherewith to answer him that reproaches him: may he trust in Thy word.

43 And take not the word of Truth utterly out of his mouth; may he hope in Thy judgments.

44 So shall he keep Thy law continually for ever and ever.

45 And he will walk at liberty as he seeks Thy precepts.

46 May he ever speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and not be ashamed.

47 May he delight himself in Thy commandments, and love them.

48 May he lift up also his hands unto Thy commandments, may he love them, and meditate in Thy statutes.

ז
ZAIN.

49 Remember the word unto Thy servant, cause ___ to have hope in Thy Word.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction, for Thy word hath quickened me – Thy Word can also quicken him.

51 His pride has had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Thy law.

52 May he learn Thy judgments of old, O LORD; and take comfort in them.

53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of his wickedness – he forsakes Thy law!

54 Make Thy statutes to be his songs in the house of his pilgrimage.

55 May he remember Thy name, O LORD, in the night, and keep Thy law.

56 This I have, because I keep Thy precepts; I pray that peace for him, as well.

ח
HETH.

57 Make Thyself ___’s portion, O LORD: I pray he would keep Thy words.

58 May he intreat Thy favour with his whole heart: be merciful unto him according to Thy Word.

59 Cause him to think upon his ways, and turn his feet unto Thy testimonies.

60 May he make haste, and delay not to keep Thy commandments.

61 Though the bands of the wicked have robbed him: may he not forget Thy law.

62 At midnight may he rise to give thanks unto Thee because of Thy righteous judgments.

63 Make him a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.

64 The earth, O LORD, is full of Thy mercy: teach him Thy statutes.

ט
TETH.

65 Deal well with Thy servant, O LORD, according unto Thy Word.

66 Teach ___ good judgment and knowledge: cause him to believe Thy commandments.

67 Afflict him as he goes astray: direct him to keep Thy word.

68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach him Thy statutes.

69 He is proud, and has forged a lie against me: keep me strong in Thy precepts with my whole heart.

70 His heart is as fat as grease; turn him to delight in Thy law.

71 It is good for him that he is afflicted; that he might learn Thy statutes.

72 Make the law of Thy mouth better unto him than thousands of gold and silver.

י
IOD.

73 Thy hands have made ___ and fashioned him: give him understanding, that he may learn Thy commandments.

74 I pray it will come to pass that they that fear Thee will be glad when they see him; because he has hoped in Thy word.

75 Cause him to know, O LORD, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted him.

76 Let, I pray thee, Thy merciful kindness be for his comfort, according to Thy word unto Thy servant.

77 Let Thy tender mercies come unto him, that he may live: make Thy law his delight.

78 Let him be ashamed of his pride; for he dealt perversely with me without a cause: cause him to meditate in Thy precepts.

79 Let those that fear Thee turn unto him, and those that have known Thy testimonies (that he may have those about him to lead him unto You).

80 Let his heart become sound in Thy statutes; that he be not ashamed.

כ
CAPH.

81 Make ___’s soul faint for Thy salvation: bring him hope in Thy word.

82 Cause his eyes to fail for Thy word, saying, When wilt Thou comfort me?

83 Make him become like a bottle in the smoke; do not let him forget Thy statutes.

84 How many are the days of Thy servant? when wilt Thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

85 His pride has digged pits for himself, which are not after Thy law.

86 All Thy commandments are faithful: he persecutes me wrongfully; help Thou me.

87 He had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not Thy precepts.

88 Quicken us after Thy lovingkindness; that we may keep the testimony of Thy mouth.

ל
LAMED.

89 For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.

90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

91 They continue this day according to Thine ordinances: for all are Thy servants.

92 Unless Thy law become ___’s delights, he should then perish in his affliction.

93 Do not let him forget Thy precepts: for with them Thou quicken.

94 I pray he is Thine, save him; cause him to seek Thy precepts.

95 His wickedness has waited to destroy him: may he consider Thy testimonies.

96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but Thy commandment is exceeding broad.

מ
MEM.

97 O cause ___ to love Thy law! May it be his meditation all the day.

98 Thou through Thy commandments will make him wiser than his enemies: for they are ever with him.

99 Give him more understanding than all his teachers: make Thy testimonies his meditation.

100 Cause him to understand more than the ancients, as he keeps Thy precepts.

101 I pray he refrains his feet from every evil way, that he might keep Thy word.

102 Let him not depart from Thy judgments: I pray You will teach him.

103 Make Your Words sweet unto his taste! yea, sweeter than honey to his mouth!

104 Through Thy precepts he gets understanding: therefore I pray he learns to hate every false way.

נ
NUN.

105 Make Thy word a lamp unto ___’s feet, and a light unto his path.

106 May he swear, and perform it, that he will keep Thy righteous judgments.

107 He is afflicted very much: quicken him, O LORD, according unto Thy word.

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach him Thy judgments.

109 Cause him to put his soul into Your hand: do not let him forget Thy law.

110 The wicked have laid a snare for him: let him err not from Thy precepts.

111 Thy testimonies may he take as an heritage for ever: make them the rejoicing of his heart.

112 May he incline his heart to perform Thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

ס
SAMECH.

113 Cause ___ to hate vain thoughts: but love Thy law.

114 Become his hiding place and his shield: cause him to hope in Thy word.

115 Sweep away the evildoers from him: that he may keep the commandments of his God.

116 Uphold him according unto Thy word, that he may live: and let him not be ashamed of his hope.

117 Hold thou him up, and he shall be safe: and he will have respect unto Thy statutes continually.

118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from Thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore make him to love Thy testimonies.

120 Cause his flesh to tremble for fear of thee; make him afraid of Thy judgments.

ע
AIN.

121 He has not done judgment and justice: leave him to his oppressors.

122 Be surety for Thy servant for good: let his pride oppress him.

123 Cause ___’s eyes to fail for Thy salvation, and for the Word of Thy righteousness.

124 Deal with Thy servant according unto Thy mercy, and teach him Thy statutes.

125 Make him Thy servant; give him understanding, that he may know Thy testimonies.

126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for he has made void Thy law.

127 I pray ___ would love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

128 And that he would esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and that he would hate every false way.

פ
PE.

129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: may ___’s soul keep them.

130 The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

131 Open his mouth, and cause him to pant as he longs for Thy commandments.

132 Look thou upon him, and be merciful unto him, as thou usest to do unto those that love Thy name.

133 Order his steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over him.

134 Deliver him from the oppression of man, and cause him to keep Thy precepts.

135 Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach him Thy statutes.

136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because he keeps not Thy law.

צ
TZADE.

137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are Thy judgments.

138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

139 May zeal consume ___, because as Thine enemy, he has forgotten Thy words.

140 Thy word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loveth it.

141 He is small and despised: do not let him forget Thy precepts.

142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth.

143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on both of us: make Thy commandments his delights.

144 The righteousness of Thy testimonies is everlasting: give him understanding, and he shall live.

ק
KOPH.

145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: cause ___ to keep Thy statutes.

146 I cried unto thee; save him, that he shall keep Thy testimonies.

147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hope in Thy word.

148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that he might meditate in Thy word.

149 Hear my voice according unto Thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken him according to Thy judgment.

150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: he is far from Thy law.

151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all Thy commandments are truth.

152 Concerning Thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

ר
RESH.

153 Consider ___’s affliction, and deliver him: do not let him forget Thy law.

154 Plead my cause, and deliver him: quicken him according to Thy word.

155 Salvation is far from him because he is wicked: for he seeks not Thy statutes.

156 Great are Thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken him according to Thy judgments.

157 Many are his persecutors and his enemies; do not let him decline from Thy testimonies.

158 I behold his transgressions, and am grieved, O LORD; because he keeps not thy word.

159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken him, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.

160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

ש
SHIN.

161 Princes persecute him: may his heart stand in awe of Thy word.

162 May ___ rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

163 He does not hate and abhor lying: cause him to love Thy law.

164 Seven times a day may he praise thee because of Thy righteous judgments.

165 Grant him great peace when he loves Thy law: may nothing offend him.

166 LORD, I have hoped for Thy salvation upon him, may he do Thy commandments.

167 May his soul keep Thy testimonies; and love them exceedingly.

168 May he keep Thy precepts and Thy testimonies: for all his ways are before thee.

ת
TAU.

169 Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give ___ understanding according to Thy word.

170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver him according to Thy word.

171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught him Thy statutes.

172 My tongue shall speak of Thy word: for all Thy commandments are righteousness.

173 Let thine hand help him as he chooses Thy precepts.

174 May ___ long for Thy salvation, O LORD; make Thy law his  delight.

175 Let his soul live, that it shall praise thee; and let Thy judgments help him.

176 He has gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant; do not let him forget Thy commandments.

Our Authorities

Romans 13.1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

God Himself has instituted and ordained our governing powers; they are our authorities. Furthermore, God holds the hearts of our authorities: Proverbs 21.1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Romans 13.2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Clearly, we are to obey our governing authorities: Their authority comes from God, and we are to obey God. Damnation is a severe consequence of resistance.

Is it ever right to resist authority? In Acts 5, the apostles were commanded not to teach in Jesus’ name. They responded in verse 29: Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Why should we submit to our governing authorities if we don’t like what they do? Don’t we live in a democracy? Don’t we have the right to protest? After all, our governing authorities gave us that right.

Romans 13.3-5 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Before you protest, before you rant and rave:

  1. Be sure you are obeying God. How to know if you are in obedience to God? Read His Word. Study it: 2 Timothy 2.15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  2. Be sure your actions are motivated in love, and be sure you love rightly. Love God first. Luke 10.27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
  3. Be sure you are acting, speaking, and thinking in peace. Remember, peace has nothing to do with how you feel, nor with circumstances or people around you. Peace is a right standing with God. Romans 14.19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
  4. Be sure your efforts are to bring glory to God. Proverbs 6.16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

What if you’re right? What if you are acting in peace (bringing others to God in love)? Edifying others? Glorifying God? The apostles, and Jesus Himself, certainly stirred things up, but they were obedient, always giving glory to God and honoring Him and His Ways. 2 Corinthians 4.2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

God divides. His truth divides, His Word divides: Hebrews 4.12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Allow God to decide the divisions. That is not our job; it is His. We are to speak the truth in love, and let God work in the hearts of others.

We are to remain steadfast and loyal to God alone. If He prompts to enter into political activities, then enter in. However God directs you, work in obedience to Him. But remember: God instituted our governing authorities; He guides our authorities with their hearts in His hands; and He loves us abundantly, overwhelmingly, and perfectly.

Knowing that, knowing God, is peace.

God Divides

In our present times, there is much call to unite. But I present the truth of God Who does not unite, but Who divides.

One of God’s first tasks was to divide the light from the darkness (Genesis 1.4). He divides the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25.31-33); the wheat from the tares (Matthew 13.24-30).

God still divides the light from the darkness. He will forever divide the light from the darkness.

In the Old Testament, God separated His people Israel from the rest of the people of the world. Israel was to be an example, a beacon of light to invite all others to come worship the Lord God; but Israel was not to unite with others of the world.

Jesus, Himself, said that He came not to give peace, but to divide: Luke 12.51-53 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

We who follow God, who are His chosen and called, who have God’s very Holy Spirit living within, are not called to unite with the rest of the world. Yes, we are called to be peacemakers. However, that does not mean to unite ourselves with them, does not mean to compromise our Biblical values to fit with their values, thinking that we can live in peace. No. The only way to peace is to fall on our faces and obey God Almighty. We invite others to join us in worshiping the only true God. But we do not unite by stepping out of our own faith.

Do not follow a man who makes promises to unify. No man can promise peace. The only unity that exists is unity in the Spirit of God. If a man preaches Jesus Christ and Him crucified, then follow the One to Whom he points.

If you are a child of the Most High, if you have His Holy Spirit within you, fall on your knees and worship Him by your obedience in heart, soul, mind, attitude, words, and strength.

Jesus’ words in Luke 12. 51-53 reflect what God told us in Micah 7.5, 6 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

But look! Micah continues with God’s promises (vs 7-9) Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

Do you catch your breath and get goosebumps at the power in God’s Word??

Go forth with the understanding that you are not called to unite people together in peace. You are called to worship God, to call others to Him, and to let God decide who will join Him in peace and unity; and who will be cast into outer darkness.

1 John 3.1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Those whom God calls will know us, will unite the Spirit within them with His Spirit within us. For those who do not know us, it is because they do not know God. We must not unite with them. As we bow to God’s will, leave them to God’s will.

Why Read the Bible

WhyReadTheBible

2 Timothy 3.15 – 17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

First, let’s get some foundation:

  1. The Bible is Truth.
  2. The Bible is God’s inerrant Word.
  3. The Bible contains all we need for righteous living.
  4. The Bible is God’s love letter to us: His way of establishing, maintaining, and deepening our relationship with Him.

Read the Bible to discover Truth. When we don’t read God’s Word, we start making up our own truth, and living the way we think is right. That was the original sin with Adam and Eve: to be like God and know good and evil. Only God’s perspective is Truth. Whatever we think is good or evil is twisted according to our fleshly desires.

Read the Bible to balance your life. John 14.27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Read the Bible to understand yourself better. Hebrews 4.12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Read the Bible to understand how to relate to God. John 14.15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Read the Bible to understand how to relate to other people. Colossians 3.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. God’s Word provides insight into human behavior. It explains why we think the way we do, and how to correct our thinking. It gives us God’s perspective on love. what love is, and how to love one another when our flesh is unwilling.

As you read more of the Bible, it comes back to you more often. Whether you’re watching the news, conversing with others, or completing routine chores, God’s Word interjects itself into your meditations and thoughts. You will be able to make connections that you never thought of before. That’s because reading God’s Word provides wisdom.

Read the Bible in order to understand what not to do: Psalms 119.9-11 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. We must have some sort of plumb line so that we may live righteously. Wrong thinking leads to wrong actions, wrong feelings, depression, anxiety, and a sinful lifestyle.

To gain deeper understanding and appreciation for God’s Word, I direct you to Psalms 119. Read it. Read it often. Read it deeply. Use it as a springboard to read more and more of God’s Word.

Man with a Colt

ManWithAColtimage from google images

In Mark, chapter 11, Jesus sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

And sure enough, certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? The disciples tell them that the Lord has need of it, and the men let them go with the colt.

Whose colt was it? Did it belong to one of the men standing there?

I think that God put it in their hearts to let the colt go. And I think they followed the disciples and the colt, to see what was going on. Perhaps the owner of the colt knew of Jesus and His miracles. Perhaps the owner’s own wife or son or daughter had been healed. Perhaps he had been one of the crowd who had recently watched Lazarus come out of the tomb.

Imagine the owner’s feelings when he saw the garments spread on his colt, saw Jesus Himself sitting upon it, and entering into the city.

The crowd sang praises to Jesus: v9  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Note: The crowd cried “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The word Lord, here, is the same word that was used back in verse 3, when the disciples told the men that “the Lord” had need of the colt. The language was referring to God in both cases.

The colt owner likely got his colt back after it was all over. Maybe he was proud that his own colt had been used for such an important occasion. Maybe his neighbors and friends, who knew of Jesus, came to touch the colt or look at it.

The man with the colt may likely have been one of the crowd, shortly thereafter, who cried “Crucify Him!”

What was the change? I believe, besides the powerful pull of our flesh, that it was the leaders: the Pharisees and scribes. Those Pharisees had immense power. (In John Chapter 9, the parents of a man born blind were afraid to admit to the Pharisees that Jesus had healed their son. Verse 22: These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.) It was a grave thing to be put out of the synagogue: culturally, socially, and emotionally. The Pharisees had the power to put anyone out, and they would use it. The common people were afraid to displease the Pharisees; they felt the Pharisees must be closest to God, since they served Him all day, and knew all the laws and how to follow them. In Matthew 15.12, the disciples were anxious that Jesus had offended the Pharisees.

It is an immense responsibility to have so much power. Luke 12.48 ends with, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

And so the people, and perhaps the man with the colt, cried out, “Crucify Him!” And Jesus prayed His Father, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23.34).

This was the most horrible thing in the history of the world! That we could crucify our Savior! We didn’t know. We were blind. We followed the beliefs of the world.

But God made it all better. We cannot imagine, at any given time, that God can make everything all better. But He can! And He does.

That crucified man was God, Himself, and He rose from the dead to save us from our sins.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

We MUST look carefully at those whom we follow. We are to obey those in authority over us, obey our government. But we must carefully discern. We must use the wisdom God gives us.

Listen, God speaks: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32.8

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30.20, 21

We live in a momentous time. Take a careful look at who holds power: government, media, religious leaders, and celebrities. Please scrupulously groom your information sources. Use God’s Word as your plumb line and filter all you receive through Him. Pray for His guidance and counsel. When He calls you, be His hands and feet.

Matthew 9.36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Will you be a laborer for God’s glory?