Monday, March 31, 2014

The Lord wants us to enjoy our life in Him.

Ps. 40:8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart.

Do you take joy in doing God's will for your life? Do you see what God has given you to do as a blessing or a curse? Does living in Christ thrill your soul like it used to? Are you enjoying your journey of faith? Do you really enjoy serving others?

The Lord wants us to enjoy our life in Him. He wants us to look forward to each new day of life and what it holds for us. He wants us to know the delight of living in close fellowship with Him. He wants us to live in Him out of love and not out of duty.

The only way we will ever be joyful in our walk with the Lord is to stay in His Word. We need to know the Word well. We need to let the Spirit brand deeply on our hearts God's Word. The better we know the Word, the more we know of God's love and faithfulness. We discover just how great our God is and how He is able to help us in our journey of life. God's Word hidden in our hearts remind us that whatever we may be experiencing in life, there is a home in heaven that awaits us. It reminds us of God's plan of redemption, not only for us, but for the whole world. It reminds us that we are never alone, that God is always with us to enable us to live with confidence life in Christ.

Having the Word in our hearts enables us to not sin against God. It gives us the authority of heaven to resist Satan when we are tempted. It gives us purpose and direction for life. It gives us understanding of why we need Jesus as we live in this world.

If the joy has gone out of your faith walk, get back into the Word. Let it saturate your soul. Hide it in your heart and soon you will once again delight yourself in the Lord.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Turn from evil and do good.

Ps. 37:27-28a Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly.

Want to know the secret to a long life? Here it is. Turn away from sin and do what is good in God's eyes. The promise is that if we do this, we will live forever. But here is the catch; in order for us to do this, we muct confess our sins to Christ and turn them over to Him. We sin against Christ so we must ask Him to forgive us. Turning from sin also means we change our attitude towards sin. We purposely try not to sin and purposely try to do what is good in God's eyes. If we don't turn from evil and do good, evil will consume us and God will not be with us.

Doing what is good in God's eyes is what He desires and demands of His children. God declares those who do are just in His eyes. It is the counterpart of evil. It is bringing into the darkness of the world the light of righteousness. The Lord loves it when righteousness prevails. It is His desire that all would be made right with Him.

The promise of God is that He will never abandon the godly. Never means never. God is always with the godly. He is with them in the good and in the bad times of life. He is with them when they are on the go and when they stay put. He is with them all day and all night. God never lets His children fend for themselves. He is always with them to help them in whatever they may need.

God is with His children always, which also means that He knows what we are doing and what we say at all times. There are no hidden secrets with God. He cannot be fooled by who we appear to be. He even knows the thoughts behind our words. Let us live like we know that He is with us at all times and knows what we say, do and think.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.

Ps. 37:23 The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives.

The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. The Lord does not watch over those who are not His own. They do not escape His notice, but they are not taken care of by the Lord. God lets His children know the way they should go. He helps them to stay on course. He is there with them to protect them. He is there to lead them to where they need to go. The Lord goes with His children and teaches them how to travel through life. The godly can relax and enjoy the journey because God is in control. He is always with His children and never abandons them, no matter how confusing or difficult life may be.

The Lord delights in every detail of the life of the godly. It gives God great pleasure when His children live godly lives. He delights in them because He knows that godliness is the only thing that will give His children joy and peace. He knows that it is the godly who love Him as they should. He knows that the godly are less likely to fall into sin. It is the godly who are moved to be light and salt in the world. It is the godly who have a real compassion for others. It is the godly who best serve as ambassadors to the world. It is the godly who are the movers and shakers in the church. It is the godly who are students of the Word and prayer warriors. It is the godly who are humbled before Him and confess their sins when they mess up. It is the godly who have a song to sing and are not afraid to sing it.

Who are the godly? It is those who not only know Jesus as their Savior, they know Him as their Lord as well. It is those who are committed to living life God's way. It is those who give the Lord the best of their love and do not waver in their devotion to Him. It is those who will not compromise or neglect their salvation. It is those who welcome God's influence on thier lives and embrace it. It is those who seek to be a holy people, a people after God's own heart. It is those who will be in heaven with the Lord when they die.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Stop your anger!

Ps. 37:8 Stop your anger! Turn from your rage! Do not envy others--it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

Let it go. Whoever or whatever you are angry at, stop it! Letting anger control you does nothing but hurt you. The more you lash out, the more damage it does to your soul. Anger that is not self-controlled can only damage or destroy. Righteous anger moves us to act to right the wrong. Any other anger moves us to do wrong.

Watch out so that you don't envy others. The world is full of people different than you. Many people are better at what you do, have different gifts than you do, are more successful than you are, look different than you do, have better jobs, have it easier than you do; the list goes on and on. It makes no difference at all as to how we differ. Everyone is on equal footing at the Cross. Everyone stands before God equally to account for their living. God treats all people the same. Everyone will be judged on the righteousness of their heart and how they have lived. The only one you will ever hurt by envying others is yourself.

If you are carrying around a spirit of anger or envy today, do something about it before they destroy your spirit. Confess them to the Lord. If you need to, let your emotions drive you in your confession. It's okay, He can handle it. Get it out on the table so that God can help you. Ask Him to help you gain control over your emotions (after all, self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit) so that you don't let anger or envy control you. It is sin to not do it. Don't put it off, do it now.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Being Still Before God

Ps. 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Be still in the presence of the Lord. For some of us, this may seem nearly impossible to do. We cram our lives so full of stuff that we don't have time to be still. We are on the go all the time and the Lord gets shoved off to the side. Some of us are simply wired in such a way that stillness just doesn't fit well with our make-up. For some, there is a sense of guilt associated with being still. Yet, we are told to be still.

Stillness before God is absolutely necessary if we are going to benefit at all from being in His presence. Stillness quiets the soul so we can hear the heartbeat of God. It changes our focus from ourselves and busyness to the Lord. It enables us to appreciate who our Father is and our relationship to Him. It enables us to worship the Lord instead of using Him. It enables us to appreciate what really matters in life. It makes the concerns of our lives pale in light of His glory and grace.

Wait patiently for Him to act. If you struggle with this, ask the Lord to help you. We have to learn that God doesn't live within our time constraints. He is in no hurry. He acts when it is the right time to act and He will not be pressured to act any sooner.

When we spend quality unhurried time with the Lord, we are not as likely to worry about those who don't share our faith. We understand that whatever they may do or say doesn't really matter. The Lord gives us the strength to overcome. He helps us to keep things in perspective and to realize that when all is well with Him, that is all that we need in life. Whatever happens on earth pales in light of what is going to happen for those who are still in the presence of God and wat patiently for Him to act.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Commit everything to the Lord?

Ps. 37:5-6 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

It's hard, isn't it, to commit everything to the Lord? When was the last time you committed everything in your day to the Lord? And if you actually do it, how much of what you commit to Him actually honors Him? Is He pleased with your work ethic, the way you treat your family, the way you treat others, what you do for entertainment, what you eat and drink, the amount of time you waste on trivial things, what you spend your money on?

Why bother to commit what we do to the Lord if we don't actually try to honor and please Him in it? Yet, at the very heart of a workable relationship with the Lord is this very thing. Until we start doing a better job of representing well our Lord in all we do, we will continue to struggle and have a negative impact for Him in our lives.

We cannot compartmentalize our faith. Every part of our lives is affected by Christ's presence. We will either honor Him or dishonor Him. We can't please God by honoring Christ in our lives without His help. We need to put our trust in Him. When we do, God will affirm our innocence before Him. The more we are engaged in Christ, the more it will be evident to all who see and know us.

If others cannot see that you are honoring Christ, you need to get alone with Him, wait before Him, and let Him fix whatever needs to be fixed so that they can.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trust in the Lord and do good.

Ps. 37:3-4 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desire.

If you are really trusting in the Lord, what you are doing will be good. You cannot be right with the Lord and not do good. Don't doubt the good that you are doing. Whether you recognize it or not, goodness is a natural by-product of the life that lives in trust in the Lord. The Lord promises safety for those who trust in Him. Satan cannot snatch anyone away from God who are trusting in Him.

The key to the Lord giving you what your heart desires is to delight yourself in Him. It sounds easy enough, but is it? If it is, then why then do so many desires go unfulfilled? Could it be that we aren't actually delighting in Him? What does it mean to delight ourselves in the Lord?

A simple answer would be that we align ourselves up with the heart of God and desire what He desires for us. It is agreeing with Him that what comes our way is, including the bad times of life, good and that our Father knows best in all things. We cannot delight in the Lord until we first understand and accept the fact that it is not about us or our comfort, it's all about the Lord and His will for our lives.

We cannot know how to delight in the Lord unless we are regularly spending time in the Word of God and in our prayer closets. Only as we linger in the Lord's presence do we understand God's heart and will for us.

When we delight in the Lord, we will want what He gives to us and take pleasure in it. We will not waste our desires on that which the Lord withholds from us. When we find ourselves longing for something that is bad for our souls, we will turn to the Lord and let Him change our desires. We will make the Lord the priority of our lives.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Have you ever noticed how subtle Satan really is?

Ps. 36:1-2 Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God to restrain them. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are.

Have you ever noticed how subtle Satan really is? He entices us to sin in a very quiet way. He plants seeds of temptation in our minds ever so gently; sometimes he is so quiet that we scarcely even notice that we are being suckered in. We listen the best in the quiet and he knows it. Satan probes deep into the soul and plants the seeds of desire. Before we even realize it, we are caught up into sin.

The wicked have no fear of God. They don't know Him and certainly have no respect for Him. They are blinded by their sin and cannot see just how bad off they really are. They indulge in sin and think nothing of it. They easily dismiss the thought that there is God to answer to for their sin. If they do acknowledge that God is, they think nothing of Him. They do not fear His holiness and make light of the reality of hell. If they even acknowledge hell exists, they deem it as being one big happy sin party.

The wicked cannot even see themselves as God sees them. They compare themselves to others and deem themselves good. They measure themselves by human standards and do not acknowledge that they are even wicked. Holiness is a strange concept for them and don't even consider it. They see themselves as self-sufficient; they don't need God to be good. They take pride in their goodness and won't listen to those who say their goodness won't get them into heaven.

Satan is the source of all such thinking. He is the master deceiver and without Christ we are all prone to believe his lies. It is only as we examine ourselves in light of the Word of God that we see ourselves as we really are, a people desperately in need of a Savior. Only in Christ do we understand that we can never be good enough for God to accept us. Only in Christ do we find the help we need to make it to heaven.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The troubles of life are good for the soul.

Ps. 34:19 The righteous face many troubles, but the LORD rescues them from each and every one.

Anyone who says that the righteous can live trouble free lives is not reading their Bible. God's Word is full of accounts where the godly endure all kinds of trouble. The way to heaven is a difficult one and very few actually walk it. Why? Because we don't like troubles. We want as little trouble as possible in our lives. We want everything to go smoothly and for everyone to like us. We want as much as possible heaven on earth.

Life is full of trouble for the righteous because we live in a world that is not our home. We are on Satan's turf and there is conflict everywhere. Satan is a master at harassing God's children and he is relentless in doing it. If we stay true to Christ we will always be at war with Satan. If you live a trouble free life you are not living a life that is pleasing to God.

The good news is that we don't face our troubles all alone. The Lord is with us and saves us from all of our troubles. He doesn't let us alone in our struggles. If He did, we would not make it; we would crumble underneath the pressure and stress of it all. The Lord helps us through our troublesome times. He uses people and His Word to give us the strength to overcome. He whispers to our hearts to reassure us that He is near and we will make it.

The troubles of life are good for the soul. They cause us to turn to the Lord. They help to develop our faith and make us stronger. They help us to appreciate the Lord and his people more. They help us to know even more deeply that every promise of God is true and that He never leaves or forsakes us.

Yes, the righteous face troublesome times. Life sometimes gets very messy and complicated. Sometimes we are so troubled that we see no way out. Yet, the Lord's promise for the righteous is that He will save us from our troubles. We may stumble our way through them, but we will never crumble if we trust in Him.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Ps. 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

Some who are reading this today are brokenhearted. Someone you love may have broken your heart by leaving you. Perhaps someone has said or done something that absolutely crushed your spirit. Perhaps you are brokenhearted because of the decision someone you love has made to leave the Lord out of their life.

There is another type of brokenheartedness and that is being genuinely sorrowful for the sins you have done against God. When the Lord convicts us of sin and we accept our responsibility before God for them, it breaks our heart. If we truly love the Lord and understand how much we have hurt Him because of our sin, it crushes us. Understanding the damage sin has done to our souls and how it has affected others, crushes us. Understanding the damage sin does in the world crushes us. We cannot love the Lord without feeling remorse over sin.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit. No matter what causes the heart to break, the Lord is near and can heal it. The Lord comforts the brokenhearted. He gives us the soul strength to move forward instead of lingering in our brokenness He gives us hope in the most seemingly hopeless of situations. He embraces us in His love and His Word. He leads us to the green pastures where we can lie down and rest. He replenishes our souls so that we can carry on.

No matter what you may be facing in life today, the Lord is near. He wants to touch your broken heart and heal you. He wants to lift you up and once again put you on the Solid Rock. Dear friend, open your heart up to the Lord today. Give Him your brokenness. Tell Him everything. He loves you and wants to help you. He will take the heavy burden off of your soul and heal you. Won't you let Him have His way with you today?

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.

Ps. 34:17 The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our circumstances of life that God seems so far away. The more suffering we experience, the more doubts we have that God is near or hears us. When nothing seems to change, we begin to lose our grip on faith. We begin to listen to Satan's suggestions that God has abandoned us or doesn't care about us as we suffer.

When your faith begins to waver, remember this wonderful and powerful truth: " The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles." The Lord hears the heart cry of His children. Even when we can't even put into words what we are feeling, God hears us. He knows all about the thoughts and feelings we go through. He cuts through the pain and agony we may have and listens to our heart's cries. He hears and rescues us from all our troubles.

Sometimes the answers we need are not evident to us. We don't always know what needs to take place to free us from our circumstances. We don't know what is best for us. We don't know how to handle some of life's struggles. But, the Lord knows exactly what we need and how to meet it. When we let Him have our difficulties, He makes a way out of them for us.

God never has and never will abandon His children. He is with them each step they take in life's journey. He is with them during their darkest hours. He has a plan for each one and when we wait upon Him and trust Him, He fulfills His plan in us. His plan is always to bless. His plan is to always lead His children into a deeper relationship with Him. His plan is to use all of our life's circumstances to make us holy, a people after His own heart.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Do you want to live a life that is long and good?

Ps. 34:11-14 Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD. Do any of you want to live a life that is long and good? Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others.

If you want to live a life that is long and good, then you have to watch your tongue. This does not mean you are guaranteed a long and good life, but it does mean that you will enhance your chances of living a messed up life that may be cut short if you don't watch your tongue. It has been said that honesty is the best policy, and it is true.

Lying to others makes you untrustworthy. If others cannot depend on you to be truthful, you will fail to have anyone in life who can depend on you in time of need. You will be lonely and without help in your own times of need.

A much better way to live is to turn away from evil and do good. When you live rightly with God, you can be trusted to tell the truth. God is truth and those who live in Christ will be a people of truth. A person that wants to please God will seek to be truthful in all things, even when it may not be convenient or when it may be costly for him to do so.

We need to work hard at living in peace with others. Truthfulness is absolutely essential for peaceful living. It doesn't come naturally or easily, but with a lot of effort it can be done. Our commitment to godliness enables us to not be at odds with others because of our untrustworthiness. Peace sometimes eludes us because of the heart issues of others, but as far as it is possible with you, live rightly with God so you can live rightly with others.

Notice that this is doable. We are told to take charge of our tongues, hearts, and living. If it were not possible, God would not tell us to do it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let the Lord's people show him reverence.

Ps. 34:9-10 Let the LORD's people show him reverence, for those who honor him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will never lack any good thing.

We are to show the Lord reverence. This means that we are to not dishonor Him by the things we say and do. It means that we take seriously what He teaches us and obey His commandments. It means that we don't take our salvation lightly. It means that we purposely seek out His best for us, which is holy living.

If our conduct and conversations do not show reverence for the Lord, we cannot expect the Lord to help us. So often, people treat the Lord as one who is at their beckon and call. He is expected to deliver without regard for how we live. So many get the idea that we don't have any role to play in our relationship with the Lord.

Many professing believers do not strive to become holy because they fail to see it as a necessity. The belief is that once one is saved, then they can go on with their lives, forgetting about growing in faith. There is a satisfaction with a profession of faith and little interest in pursuing holy living. Such thinking does not honor the Lord. We cannot be true to the Lord and honor Him without a commtment to holiness in our lives. We are made holy by how we live. We cannot separate holiness from living in Christ.

Those who trust in the Lord will have all they need in life. We trust Him for our salvation and holiness. We immerse ourselves in Him and when we do, we will lack no good thing. We may lack some things, but never that which is good for us. Always remember, what is good for us are those things which help us to be prepared for heaven.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Ps. 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!

Open your mouth and fill it with the things of God. Chew on the riches of His grace. Feast on the love He has for you. Let Him fill you up with His righteousness and holiness. Let the Lord be your nourishment. Taste and you will see that the Lord is good.

The Lord is good completely. There is nothing about the Lord that is bad. He is incapable of doing anything to you and for you that is not good. He will always do good through you if you will let him. Don't deprive yourself of a good life. Feast on the Lord. Learn His ways and do them. Trust in Him alone for your living. If you do these things, you too will know the joys of living.

The joy of the Lord is unspeakable and full of glory. It is not something that we can easily describe. It is a deep and abiding confidence in Him. It is the assurance of soul that you are in God's favor. It is the sense that everything is as God says it is. We are children of God and someday we will be with Him for all eternity. The joy of the Lord is being deeply rooted in Christ. It is found only in those who put the Lord first in all of their living.

Are you trusting the Lord in all things in your life? Do you have that total dependence on Him for all things? Do you have an unshakeable and immoveable confidence in the Lord? Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him!

Monday, March 17, 2014

I cried out to the Lord in my suffering, and He heard me.

Ps. 34:5-6 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow will darken their faces. I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears.

Let's face it; we don't always look to the Lord for help when we need it. We tend to try other things first. When they fail us, then we turn to the Lord. We can spare ourselves a lot of frustrations, stresses, and problems by turning first to the Lord in our times of need.

Don't you just love to be around people who radiate with joy? Some people are so miserable within that they can't stand to be around those who aren't, but most people find being around joyful people picks them up, inspires and encourages them. People with real joy just shine. It shows in their faces and there is just something about the way they handle themselves that attracts us.

True joy comes from living in Christ in the present. Life is a celebration because Christ is in it. It is knowing that the Lord is always with us and will never let us down. It is knowing that when we cry out to the Lord He hears us. It is being set free from all our fears. It is being able to rest peacefully in the Lord's presence knowing that all things are under His control and that they are well.

We can have great joy in our souls, no matter how much we may have to suffer. We can rejoice knowing that we are not forsaken or forgotten. The Lord is with us and He will help us. When we call upon Him, it's not a waste of our time. He hears our cries and sets us free from all our fears. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Freedom From Our Fears

Ps. 34:4 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears.

Evidently the Psalmist, David, was going through a time of fear. He wasn't any different than we are. He was fearful for his life. He was in the presence of a king whom he did not trust. He was sure that his life was on the line. It is good to know that we are not alone. Faith does not eliminate our fears. We do get afraid of those who would cause us harm. We do get afraid when we are faced with the reality of potential death. We do fear the unknown. We do fear illnesses and their affect on us. We do fear growing old and the uncertainities that brings with it. We do fear for our future and whether or not we will be equipped to handle it. Fear is natural and there are a lot of them. How we handle our fears is what is important. We can let our fears cripple us and keep us from living, or we can follow David's example and give them all to the Lord.

When we take our fears to the Lord and let Him handle them, amazing things begin to happen within us. The Lord wants us to give Him our fears. He wants us to be honest enough to admit to Him that we have them. He wants us to trust Him with them. He wants to free us from them. He wants us to know the peace of heart that comes from living without fear. He wants us to be able to keep on living no matter of what may frighten us. When we take our fears to the Lord and let Him handle them, amazing things begin to happen within us.

Just like David, if you take your fears to the Lord and give them to Him, He will free you from them. You do not need to be a prisoner to your fears. You do not need to stop living because of them. The Lord will set you free from all your fears if you will but pray and give them over to Him. Wait on the Lord and He will give you the strength of heart to carry on. Rest in the Lord, and everything will be alright. You will be able to boldly face your fears with confidence and conquer them when you trust in the Lord.

It is good to fear some things. It helps us to stay away from potential harm and danger. We should pay attention to our fears and be cautious, but we should not let them cripple us and keep us from living. Let the Lord have them and He will help you.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly sing his praises.

Ps. 34:1 I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly sing his praises.

Dear friend, determine in your heart today that you will praise the Lord at all times. Our willingness and ability to praise the Lord should never be determined by our circumstances of life. Yes, life does get messy. Things aren't always pleasant. We sometimes are heavy-burdened and distraught over what is happening in our lives. We get to the point where our faith is weak and we tend to crumble underneath the load. We are often deeply affected by the things that go wrong in our lives and do not feel like praising the Lord. We do tend to become more consumed by our circumstances than we are the Lord. Yet, we are to praise the Lord.

Singing God's praises is good for the soul. It takes our attention away from us and life and puts it where it should be, on the Lord. When we praise the Lord we are reminded of who He is, what He has done, and what He promises to do. We are reminded that life's circumstances do not define who we are. We are reminded that God is our Redeemer and friend, that He has not forsaken us and will be with us each step we take. When we praise the Lord we are declaring He is worthy to be praised and our confidence is in Him.

Make a commitment today to praise the Lord, to continually sing forth His praises at all times and you will know the joys of your salvation no matter what life may bring your way. Praise Him for the small things of life. Praise Him for the big things of life. Praise Him for life itself. Praise Him for eternal life. Praise Him for His promises and the hope we have in Him. In all things and at all times, let praise flow from your heart to His heart. Praise the Lord.

Friday, March 14, 2014

It is fitting for the godly to praise the Lord.


Ps. 33:1 Let the godly sing with joy to the LORD, for it is fitting to praise him.

Do you have a song in your heart today? Does your soul sing forth His praises? If not, you need to take a few moments and examine your heart and see why not. It is the natural thing to do for the godly. Christ in us gives us much cause to sing with joy to the Lord.

If you have no song to sing, perhaps it's because you have wandered away from His love. Perhaps you have neglected to do those things which keep your salvation fresh and alive. Perhaps you have taken your eyes off of the Lord and have let others fill your mind with thoughts that are not true. Perhaps you have become too engrossed with the things of the world and have failed to keep the Lord the priority of your life. Perhaps you have listened to Satan lies that God is not faithful and true because of your circumstances of life. Perhaps you have gotten too comfortable in your salvation and no longer pursue growth and greater understanding of God's Word. Perhaps your prayer life has become stale and more of going through the motions rather than actually communing with God. Perhaps you have not diligently protected your soul and let sin in. There are many reasons why the godly no longer feel like singing with joy unto the Lord.

It is fitting to sing praises unto the Lord. It is the right thing to do and the natural thing to do when we are living godly lives. Christ in us is worth singing about! Oh the joy of knowing that Christ lives in us! Oh the joy of knowing our sins are forgiven and all is well between God and us! Oh the joy of knowing that Christ is at work within us to make us new creations in Him! Oh the joy of knowing the work of the Spirit within us as we grow into becoming a holy people before God! Oh the joy of knowing that if you were to die within the next few moments you would be welcomed into the Kingdom of God with open arms!

Oh the wondrous joys of our salvation! Let us sing for joy unto the Lord today and every step we take on our way home. Oh praise the wondrous name of Jesus!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Lord will guide you, advise you and watch over you.

Ps. 32:8 The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."

There are many pathways one can travel on in life, some are good, some are better, some are bad, but there is only one pathway that leads to God and that is the way of the Cross. It is the pathway that is walked humbly. It requires much diligence, faithfulness, perseverance, and trust.

The way of the Cross has many difficulties along the way. We are constantly being bombared along the way with the fiery darts of Satan. We face much opposition from those not walking with us, and even sometimes from those walking with us. We are often not understood and criticized. We do not always see where we are going or why we must go that way. We are prone to wander off the path and must resist the urge to do so. We often stumble and fall along the way and must resolve to get up and keep on going. We will encounter many people endeavoring to walk with us who do not belong on the road. We will be enticed to doubt what the Lord says and believe others things. We will not always get things right and must be willing to continue to learn and grow. We must be willing to change as the Lord prompts us to change along the way. We must strive to always walk in step with the Lord and not lag behind Him or try to run ahead of Him. We must be willing to admit it when we sin and confess them before Christ so we can be kept pure before God. We must love others who are walking with us in the same way that Christ loves us. In other words, all who walk the way of the Cross must immulate Christ in all they do and say to the best of their abilities. We must strive to be holy, even as He is holy.

The promise of God is that He will advise us and watch over us on Calvary's road. He will teach us the things we need to know. He will tell us how to best follow in His footsteps. He will give us specific things we need to know on our journey. Not everyone walks the same way or at the same speed so His advice will vary amongst us. But, if we are listening, we will receive what we need from the Lord for our particular journey of faith. He will as well watch over us to protect us so that we will reach our destination safe and sound. The Lord is at the other end of our journey waiting for us. Blessed are those who walk on Calvary's road. Great is their reward in heaven.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Let the godly confess.

Ps. 32:6 Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.

Here the godly are being singled out. Yes, the godly do sin. What happens when the godly do not confess their sins and die? They will face God with sin on their hearts. How will God handle that? Only God knows that for sure. He knows the heart motives of man and will judge fairly and rightly each of us. He knows whether or not we are truly righteous in heart. All I can tell you for sure is that no sin will be in heaven.

Today's verse tells us that the godly will drown in the floodwaters of judgment if they don't confess their sins. God's judgments are like a floodwater. It sweeps away everything in its path. It is consuming power and no one can stop it. It cannot be contained and will keep flowing until it accomplishes its purpose. Anyone caught in floodwaters will more than likely drown.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way for the godly. If we will quit hiding behind our perceived righteousness and confess our sins, we will be saved. If we quit resisting God's ways and live life by God's Word, we will be saved. If we quit pretending that we are better than we are, we will be saved. If we are living in Christ's righteousness and not our own, we will be saved.

In reality, the godly are not as godly as we might think we are. We are all guilty of sin, no matter how long we have been in the faith. We all have need of confession. We all need to carefully monitor our souls and submit to God's rightful authority over us. We all need to acknowledge our need for Jesus to be our Savior and Lord.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When I refused to confess my sin......

Ps. 32:3-5 When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, "I will confess my rebellion to the LORD." And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

Unconfessed sin haunts us. We cannot get away from what we have done. The Spirit of Christ dogs us and won't let us forget. Whether or not there are repercussions for our sin on earth, there are in heaven. Unconfessed sins make the soul weak and miserable. Victory eludes us. Peace eludes us.

Unconfessed sin saps the spiritual strength right out of us. We may try to ignore it, but guilt and shame won't let us. We know God is not okay with us. We know that we are responsible for what we have done and have no one to blame for God's aloofness in our lives.

Unconfessed sin is like cancer in the soul. If we don't confess our sin, it begins to grow in our souls. Sin breeds sin and before you know it, the soul is infested with it. Our love for the Lord grows cold. He becomes less and less a factor in our lives. We shove Him out of the way and begin to get swallowed up in the darkness of sin. If we continue to ignore God's warnings and convicting voice, we will lose all contact with Him.

The good news is that if we confess our sins there is forgiveness. God will never turn away a repentant heart. He will restore the soul to Him and there will be peace and joy once again. God takes away the sin of a repentant heart and removes them from His presence as far as the east is from the west.

God will not make you confess your sins and repent, but He holds you accountable for them. If you choose to carry them around with you, you will never have peace with God.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh, the agony of unconfessed sin!


Ps. 32:3-4 When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long.

Carrying around sin in your soul is a miserable way to live. If you care at all about the condition of your soul and your relationship with God, you will be troubled by sin. You will not be at peace with God or yourself. You will have a sense of guilt over your sin. You will wonder if anyone else knows what you have done, said, or thought, and what they may think about it. You will be bothered by the repercussions of your sin. It will concern you the harm that has been done. You will be miserable and helpless to fix it on your own.

Refusing to confess sin is rebellion against God. It is telling God that He no longer matters to you. It is denying the importance of the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross for our sins. It is in essence telling God you would rather live on your own. It is a refusal to live in the holiness of God. It is in essence saying that you no longer need forgiveness or want it.

If you have any desire at all for God in your life, you will never have peace with Him when you harbor sin in your soul. We need to regularly come before our Father and deal with our sin. We need to be honest with ourselves, admit our sin, confess it, accept His forgiveness, thank the Lord for it, and then live in His forgiveness. We need to strive to always live in holiness of life. God will not let you get away with sin. He will not have fellowship with you when you live in or harbor sin in your soul. There can be no victory in Jesus when sin is not confessed and gotten rid of.

Are you spiritually weak and miserable? Have you agonized over the guilt and shame that comes with the sin you have done? Does peace elude you? It doesn't have to be this way. Humble yourself before Jesus and confess your sin to Him and He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He will wash away your sin and they will forever be cast into the sea of His forgetfulness. He will make your soul whiter that a fresh fallen snow. Right now Jesus can set your soul free. Won't you let Him?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Feast on the riches of God's grace and rejoice!

Ps. 32:1-2 Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

Feast on the riches of God's grace and rejoice! God forgives those who rebel against Him when they turn from their rebellion and turn to Him. He does not turn away anyone who is willing to quit resisting Him and start walking with Him He forgives us for our rebelliousness because He loves us and desires to have a relationship with us.

God puts our sin out of His sight. I don't know how He is able to do that. We can put our sin behind us and live in His forgiveness, but we still remember what we have done. Sometimes our past sins haunt us. We struggle with letting them go and forgiving ourselves for them. But it's not that way with God. He washes our sins away with the shed blood of Jesus at Calvary and they are no more. God does not see our past; He sees the righteousness of Christ in us. We have no history with God; it's always the present. All that matters to Him is Christ in us. As long as we stay in the shelter of His righteousness, we have no condemnation from God. God clears the record of the redeemed. He washes our souls and they become whiter than snow.

There is joy in the soul of those who live in complete honesty. What a blessing it is to be guided and influenced by the integrity of one's heart. There is a desire within the redeemed to do what is right before God always. The intent of the heart is to always be true to the revealed character of God within us. The soul's delight is living to please God, to do what honors Him. There is joy in those whose character matters to them, for Christ is actively at work in them to make them holy.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Praise the LORD, for he has shown me his unfailing love.

Ps. 31:21a Praise the LORD, for he has shown me his unfailing love.

Have you seen it? It's everywhere you go. God is love. It's not too hard to see. We see God's love displayed in the beauty of life He has created for our enjoyment. We see His love in how the creatures of the world take care of their own. We see His love in the lives of the redeemed. We see it in God's patience and delay in His coming. We see it in the salvation of souls who have rejected Him. We see it in the restoration of souls who have wandered away from Him. Praise the Lord! He has not hidden His love from us.

God has shown us His love in His dealings with us. He does not let us get away with sin. He disciplines us when we need it. He sends people our way to help us whenever we need it. He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us. He listens to us as we pray and answers our prayers according to His will for us. He equips us to withstand Satan's assault on our souls. He gives us hope to live by. He gives us His promises to stand on.

God's love is on display for everyone to see. He came to earth, clothed himself in our humanity, endured the undeserved sufferings of man, overcame sin and death at Calvary, and rose from the dead for our salvation. His love never fails. He graciously forgives and embraces all who come to Him with humble and repentant hearts. He never fails to love, for He is love. Praise the Lord for He has shown us His unfailing love!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sing to the Lord!

Ps. 30:4-5 Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.

Do you have a song in your heart that you find hard to contain? As a pastor of over 40 years who has absolutely zero musical ability within me, I have found it difficult to be quiet when singing God's praises. I try to be sensitive to those around me, but it's hard. My wife, who has lots of music within her, has to now and then let me know when I get too loud. One of the great things I look forward to in heaven is that there it won't matter. There will be no restraints and I will be able to sing our Lord's praises to all of my heart's content.

Dear child of God, praise the holy name of Jesus. Praise Him for your salvation, His faithfulness, goodness, kindness, love, grace and mercy. Praise the Lord for your eternal life with Him. Praise Him for the fellowship of believers. Praise Him for His revelations to us through His Word and through His created world. Praise Him for we shall be with Him forever and ever. It will indeed be joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Sing to the Lord, dear friend, for His anger lasts only for a moment. Our God is a merciful and gracious loving Father. Yes, He can and does get angry when we sin, but His anger does not last when He sees the righteousness of Christ in us. Praise Him, for there is now no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus.

In this life we may go through seasons of weeping. It may seem like the days of weeping will never end, but end they will. No matter what your life may be like now, it shall pass and then comes our eternal day with the Lord where there will be no weeping or sorrow. On that day there will be eternal joy and praise will be a continuous song ascending unto the throne of our God.

Sing to the Lord all you who are godly! Prasie His holy name!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Give honor to the Lord.

Ps. 29:1,2 Give honor to the LORD, you angels, give honor to the LORD for his glory and strength. Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

What does it mean to give honor to the Lord? I believe it means we show respect for Him by acknowledging Him for who He is. It means that we give way to Him because of who He is. It means we submit to His rightful place as Lord over all our lives.

It's interesting to note that the Psalmist is addressing the angels of heaven here. We have limited knowledge about the angels, but one thing we do know is that they are kept very busy worshiping and serving the Lord. They are constantly in the presence of God and they have no problem honoring God.

We, on the other hand, struggle with honoring the Lord. We tend to take God for granted. We tend to be lax on how we worship Him. We are lax on how we use His name. We are lax on how we represent Him in the world. We are lax on how we think about Him.

The heavenly hosts are keenly aware of God's holiness. I wonder how many of us are aware of God's holiness. Does the fact that God is holy do anything at all for you? Does it bother you to think about His intolerance towards sin? Does it bother you that you struggle with sin as much as you do? Do you even think about it? Does the fact that God is holy affect the way you approach Him? It should. God declares that without holiness no one shall see Him. He commands us to be holy, even as He is holy.

We give honor most to those whom we know and respect the most. And, you can't really know God without knowing Him in His holiness.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How much passion do you really have for the Lord?

Ps. 27:4 The one thing I ask of the LORD--the thing I seek most--is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in the sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

When was the last time you asked the Lord to keep you in His presence so that you won't sin against Him? It is good for us to long to linger in Gods presence.

Our heart passion ought to be to delight in the Lord's perfections. We ought to consider it pure joy to linger in the presence of God's holiness. Instead of seeing holiness as a negative thing, we should see it as a postive thing. When we delight in God's holiness we are able to resist the temptations of sin. We will have the desire to not sin against God.

Our heart passion ought to be to meditate on God and His Word. Whenever you draw near to God, you should be in no hurry to leave His presence. We should think often on who God is. We should meditate on the Word and let its truths sink deep into our souls.

When we dwell in the presence of God, we are kept safe. The Lord protects those who are in His presence. We need to always keep the Lord before us. We need to always stay close to the Lord, never moving out of the reach of His protection. We need to always be mindful of God so that we will have the will to not sin against Him.

Keeping God on our minds doesn't just happen. We must work hard at keeping our focus on Him. Life is full of distractions. The soul has a natural tendency to be distracted. We must make our connection to God the priority of our lives. We must take responsibilty for our souls by doing the things we must do to keep our eyes fixed on Him. We must never let our passion for God dim or grow cold.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Lord is my light and salvation---so why should be afraid?

Ps. 27:1 The LORD is my light and salvation---so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger---so why should I tremble?

We fear the unknown. When we don't know what to expect and there is a sense that it might cause us harm, we begin to get afraid. Fear can cripple us to the point that we don't do anything. It can also protect us so that we don't do something that would harm or endanger us.

We learn to respect that which we fear. We understand the danger to us if we don't and become cautious. We stay alert so we don't put ourselves in harm's way. We do all we can do to keep as safe as possible. Fear protects us by keeping us alert and ready for whatever may be before us.

A healthy relationship with God instills in us a fear of Him. To fear the Lord involves a reverence and respect for Him. We acknowledge who God is and humble ourselves befofre Him. We don't take lightly God's holiness and justice. We don't take lightly our need to present ourselves to Him with pure hearts. We don't take lightly the fact that God holds us accountable for our sins. We don't minimize our constant need for Him.

In Christ we are no longer afraid because He is our light and salvation. We no longer fear because we know we can trust Him to protect us as we draw near to God. We understand that there is great danger to our souls away from Him so we stay as close to Him as we possibly can.

If fear grips your soul, turn to Jesus and wait before Him. Abide in Him. Let Him light your path and protect you. Perfect love, Christ's love, casts out every fear.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Be careful who you spend your time with.

Ps. 26:4-5 I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked.

The Psalmist shows us a sure fire way to keep our souls out of trouble with God. We stay away from those who would lead us into sin. When we choose carefully those whom we spend most of our time with, we can avoid many of the pitfalls of sin.

It is a waste of time to hang around with those who are liars. You cannot trust those who do not have the integrity of heart to tell the truth. You can be easily deceived by them. Listen to them and you will find it difficult to distinguish that which is true from that which is false.

It is not a good idea to spend time with those who profess one thing and live another. One can easily fall into the trap of justifying one's own sinful behavior by believing that if it's okay for someone who professes to have faith to do it, it's okay for him to do it. It is never okay to do what you know God says not to do just because someone else is doing it. Sin is sin and will always be sin even if the whole world does it.

We can keep our souls pure before God by not hanging around where sinners hang around. We should despise being in places where we know people are sinning openly. It ought to shame us to be where sin is displayed and promoted. When we hang around in the cesspool of sin, we will more than likely fall into it.

A pure heart takes charge of his soul. He refuses to compromise the truth. He refuses to expose his soul to the ways of the wicked. He surrounds himself with people who can help him stay pure instead of hindering him. He just says "no" to sin and means it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Put me on trial, O Lord.

Ps. 26:2-3 Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and affections. For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.

Dare you do it? Do you have the guts to ask the Lord to cross-examine you? If not, what are you afraid of? No sin escapes His notice. He knows your thoughts and deeds. It is better to welcome His examinations than it is to fear or resist them. If you don't deal with sin now, you will deal with them later and later may be too late to do anything about them.

What motivates you? The only motivation a child of God should have is to honor Christ always. We should determine in our hearts to please Him. We should never let self be our motivation. Life is about promoting and exalting Christ for as long as we live in this world.

Are your affections in the right place? If you are longing for and loving the things in this world, your affections are in the wrong place. The Lord, our God, must always be our first love. To love anyone or anything more than God is spiritual adultery. If you love Him, it will be evident in your priorities, how you live, and how you speak of Him.

We should always keep our minds on how much God loves us. Everything God does is an act of love. Because He loves us He gives us standards to live by and we must do them. We must determine in our hearts that we will always be governed by His revealed truth.

If you can't honestly say that you are living according to the truth and that you fear facing God's cross-examination of your heart, you need to get alone with God and let Him change you. You need to confess all of your sins before Him and vow in your heart that you will obey Him. You need to stay there alone with God until you know that your heart has been restored to a right relationship with Him. You need to stay there until you know that it is God who moves you and it is God who you love first and foremost.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Declare me innocent, O Lord.

Ps. 26:1 Declare me innocent, O LORD, for I have acted with integrity. I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.

The Lord does not condemn those who act with integrity of heart. We may not always get it right, but if we do what we do wanting to do what is right, God understands and honors our heart's intent. He knows we are not perfect and does not hold that against us.

Now if we deliberately don't do what is right, that's another story altogether. There is accountability for those sins we deliberately sin against God. We are held responsible for willful sin. If you are a child of God and deliberately sin, are you not being spiteful towards Christ? It is defiance and should God let you get away with it? Of course not.

There is no condemnation for those who have an unwavering trust in the Lord. This means that we don't fall into the trap of relying on our own wisdom or understanding or that of others. We turn to the Lord and listen to what He says. We acknowledge Him in all we do. We seek to obey Him because we love Him.

When our hearts are firmly set on the Lord, we know all is well with our souls and there is a peace that governs our lives that holds us steady and makes us strong. Satan may try to cast doubt on our souls but we stand firm because God declares us innocent. It matters not what Satan thinks or what people think; it only matters what God thinks about us.

Live with integrity of heart, trust in the Lord without wavering, and all things will be well with your soul both now and forever.