Friday, November 17, 2017

THE KEY TO GOD'S BLESSINGS

 

Ps. 18:20-24  The LORD rewarded me for doing right; he compensated me because of my innocence.  For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not turned from my God to follow evil.  For all his laws are constantly before me; I have never abandoned his principles. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin.  The LORD rewarded me for doing right, because of the innocence of my hands in his sight.

     If you want God's blessings, you must keep the ways of the Lord.  You must strive to know God's ways and follow them.  You must not make excuses when you fail.  You must be submissive to the Lord and let Him be your guide through life.

     God's blessings aren't always what we think they are.  There are those things which God knows we need in order for us to be who we need to be in relationship with Him.  God's blessings may be physical or spiritual in nature.  Our Father knows best how to bless us.

     God blesses those who do not turn from God to follow evil.  We cannot follow the Lord and still dabble in sin.  There is no wiggle room on this.  God's children who think they can engage in some kind of sinful activity and still be okay with God are playing with fire.  God never approves of sinful practices and always judges man for his sin.  Being in Christ does not keep God from holding man accountable for his sins. 

    In order to stay on the path of God's blessings we must always keep the Word before us.  We must be into the Word and let the Word be into us.  We must be guided and influenced by the Word in all that we do.  We must determine in our hearts that we will not abandon the Word in any way. 

    Great is the reward of those who do what is right before God.  He blesses His children now, and even greater blessings await them in heaven.  God's blessings do not come automatically to those who profess Jesus as Savior.  We must live like we are children of God, we must think like His children, and we must talk like we are His children.  If God is withholding His blessings from you, then you need to get your heart right with God today.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

STAYING BLAMELESS BEFORE GOD

 

Ps. 18:20-24  The Lord rewarded me for doing right, he compensated me because of my innocence.  For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not turned from my God to follow evil.  For all his laws are constantly before me; I have never abandoned his principles.  I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin.  The LORD rewarded me for doing right, because of the innocence of my hands in his sight.

     Can you say this from your heart?  Can you honestly say that you have kept yourself pure and have diligently lived by God’s Word?  Can you say that you are blameless before God and know that it is true?  It is not impossible to do so.  We can know in our hearts that we are pure before God.  The key is diligently living according to God’s Word.  We must get into it, meditate on it, and find ways to apply it to our living.  When we take seriously what God has to say, we then can stay away from sin and live pure lives.  We can look forward to the rewards God has in store for us and we will never have to fear the day in which we stand before Him.

     We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to enjoy the rewards of living faithfully before the Lord.  There are great spiritual blessings here for those who are living in Christ.  He involves himself in our daily lives and meets our every need.  We find in Christ grace, peace, joy, love, comfort, purpose and hope as we walk with Him.

     You will never get to really know God apart from His Word.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

DETERMINED NOT TO SIN

 

Ps. 17:3-6  You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.  You have scrutinized me and found nothing amiss, for I am determined not to sin in what I say.  I have followed your commands, which have kept me from going along with cruel and evil people.  My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.

     Every time I read this and similar passages, I pause and consider my own willingness to let the Lord examine my thoughts and heart.  Whenever we come under the scrutiny of the Lord we are confronted with our sinfulness.  Words spoken in haste, things done impulsively, thoughts that linger in our minds, all tend to lead us into sin.

     The Psalmist says he came underneath the scrutiny of the Lord and was confident that the Lord did not find anything amiss.  How in the world could he say such a thing?  He was determined to do all he could to not sin.  He took charge of his soul and did what he could to protect it.  He refused to hang with people who would lead him astray.  He was determined to obey the Lord in all things and not to let his mouth betray him.

     At the end of the day when everything was said and done, the Psalmist could say all was well with his soul.  Can we say the same thing at the close of our day?  Do we dare ask the Lord to examine our thoughts?  How dare we do anything but that?  There can be no peaceful rest until we know that all is well with our soul. 

     May our prayer always be for the Lord to help us stay on the path of righteousness.  May the desire of our hearts always be to remain steady in our faith, to not waver in our love, devotion, and obedience to Him.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

GOD'S EXAMINATION

 

Ps. 17:3  You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.  You have scrutinized me and found nothing amiss, for I am determined not to sin in what I say.

     What a testimony!  The Lord tested David's thought life and found nothing amiss.  I wonder how many of us can say the same thing.  No one can see what we think about, but we and God know.  We tend to forget the fact that it does matter what we dwell on.  Whenever we think about things that are unholy or lead us into sin, we need to take it seriously.  We are admonished to dwell on good and righteous things, those things that build up our godliness instead of tearing it down.  Are you as confident as David was that when God tests your mind that He finds nothing there amiss?

     The Lord examined David's heart at night and found nothing amiss.  It is normally at night, when everything is quiet and dark, that Satan comes out and plays in our hearts.  It is then that we are exposed to his accusations.  It is then that he plants all kinds of sinful thoughts within us.  Normally we are alert and aware of what he is doing during the daytime, but at night we tend to let down our guard.  Do you have confidence that at the ending of day that you have lived in Christ in such a way that when the Lord examines your heart that nothing is amiss?  Are you strong enough to resist Satan's attacks on your heart and mind in the night?  If are not comfortable with what God knows about your thought life, you need to let the Lord change the way you think.

     David was confident of his standing before God because he was determined to not sin in what he said.  In order to accomplish that, we must be right with God in our heart, for out of the heart the mouth speaks.  In order for us to say and do the right things, we must live rightly in Christ.  We must keep our souls in good shape.  We must not allow Satan access to it.  It takes determination to ward off Satan.  Are you careful about what comes out of your mouth?  Think about what you say before you say it.  Consider carefully whether your conversation is good or bad.  If you know God is not pleased with what you say, then you need to get your heart right with God.

Monday, November 13, 2017

THE LORD GUIDES US

 

Ps. 16:7-8  I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I know the LORD is always with me.  I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

     He whom the Lord guides never gets lost in the dark.  He never loses his sense of direction.  He never lacks directions on how to get to where he is going.  He never has to be concerned about where he is going, because the Lord himself is already there.  He is our confidence that everything is going to be alright in all our tomorrows.  Not only is He where I will be, but He is with me right now with each step I take.  I do not need to fear to take my next step of faith.  I can boldly and confidently move because the Lord is with me.

     There is no greater peace and joy than to know that the Lord is with us all the time.  Just knowing that the Lord is with us keeps us strong and immovable in the midst of the storms of life.  There is confidence in knowing that we are not just wandering aimlessly through life, the Lord is guiding us to where we are going and need to be.  No wonder the heart swells up in praise and thanksgiving!  We do have a song to sing and must sing it every day.  Great is the Lord our God!  Praise His holy name!  Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless His holy name. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

WORSHIP AND HONESTY

 

Ps. 15:1, 5  Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?  Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?  Those who do not charge interest on the money they lend, and who refuse to accept bribes to testify against the innocent.  Such people will stand firm forever.

     Worship that God accepts comes from honest hearts.  We must be honest with our dealings with others, ourselves, and God.

     You cannot cheat others, treat them badly, or take advantage of them and expect God to be okay with you.  What we do matters to God.  We are to love others and if you love others you will not treat them in an unloving way.

     If you want to connect with God, you must be honest with yourself.  You must accept yourself as you are, a broken vessel before God.  You do not have it altogether.  You are not perfect.  You do stupid things.  You say stupid things.  You sin against God.  You fail to obey God always in the things He directs you to do.  You often are driven more by selfishness than godliness.  You don't understand as much as you let on you know.  You have doubts.  You get confused about things.  You sometimes question God.  You don't always like what God is doing.  You don't always love people in a godly way.  You don't like it when God doesn't answer your prayers the way you think He should.  You don't like God's delays.  You get spiritually lazy and don't always pray and read the Word like you should.  You get upset and angry at others.  You sometimes stir up trouble when you shouldn't.  In other words, you are a sinner in need of a Savior just like everyone else. 

     If you want to connect with God you must be honest with Him.  It's okay to not always be okay with God.  Sometimes we have questions and doubts.  Sometimes we don't understand why things are the way they are.  Sometimes we would just as soon God would leave us alone.  God knows exactly how you feel about Him and wants you to be honest about it.  Tell Him how you feel, what you are thinking, He can handle it.

     In other words, in order to stand firm before God and connect with Him, we must be a people who do not hide behind our spirituality.  Sometimes faith is pretty raw.  It is not always sweet and nice.  We must be honest with God before God can really help us.  He gives us free access to His presence and expects us to spill our guts out before Him.  He will not be shocked or turn us away.  There is wondrous healing and help for all who worship Him in the honesty of their hearts.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

WORSHIP AND TRUTH

 

Ps. 15:1,4c  Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?  Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?  …..and who keep their promises even when it hurts.

     It’s not always easy to keep your word is it?  We sometimes make promises with good intentions, but something happens that make keeping our promises difficult.  It’s easy to keep our word when things are easy for us, but it is far more difficult when keeping our word puts us into difficult or awkward situations.

     How we keep our word reflects on the condition of our heart.   A person of integrity will not let circumstances dictate how they live.  If we are right with God we will strive to do always what is right to God at all times.  God is Truth and commands us to be a people of truth as well.  Doing what we say should be a natural part of who we are.  We should always strive to keep our promises to both God and man.  Our failure to do so prevents us from drawing close to God.

    Consider this today: How many times have you made a promise to either God or man and failed to keep it?  What is the usual reason for failures?  Does it concern you at all when you fail?

    Ask the Lord to forgive you where you have failed Him in this area of your life and ask the Lord to help you do a better job of keeping your word.  It will certainly help you in your walk with Him.