Saturday, May 31, 2014

Make me walk along the path of your commands.

Ps. 119:35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

We need help don't we? We don't always live by God's Word. We tend to forget, neglect, ignore, or downright refuse to obey what God tells us to do. We struggle with living by God's Word because we want to do things the easy way or we want to satisfy our own pleasures. We think sometimes that God's Word is too demanding. We chose what we want to do and ignore the rest. Whatever we may think about God, we find it hard to want to obey Him. Therefore, we must seek the Lord's help. We are at war with our sinful thoughts and desires and we must have God's help if we are going to obey Him. The Psalmist said, "MAKE ME WALK ALONG THE PATH OF YOUR COMMANDS." We need to pray the same prayer. We must have God's help if we are going to obey Him.

Why do we need to obey the Lord? Because that is where happiness is found. God's way is the only way to true happiness. The joy we get from obeying God has staying power. We find in obedience peace with God. We find satisfaction of soul that is not found anywhere else. We find that as we obey Him we want to obey Him. Our desire for Him increases. We see through obedience gratitude for God's blessings.

When we don't obey God, nothing goes right with us. We are miserable as we try to squelch our convictions. Guilt and shame plague us because we know better and choose to disobey God anyway. We are restless day and night because peace eludes us. If we continue in our disobedience our health begins to be affected by it as well as our relationships with the people in our lives. When we get what we want out of life we are never satisfied because the ways of sin are nothing but empty promises of happiness.

"Lord, make me to walk along the path of your commands. I don't always want to do it, but I must if I am going to live rightly before You. Lord, make me do it for my soul's sake. Keep me off the path of sin and on the path of righteousness. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

Friday, May 30, 2014

We must seek from the Lord the desire to obey Him.

Ps. 119:33-34 Teach me, O LORD, to follow every one of your principles. Give me understanding and I will obey your law; I will put it into practice with all my heart.

First things first. We must seek from the Lord the desire to obey Him. For some of us, there simply isn't much desire to obey. We want to do what we want to do more than we do the Lord. If that is you, ask the Lord to change the desires of your heart. You must want to obey before you will obey. The Lord cannot teach the unteachable.

Next, your desire must be without restriction. You cannot pick and choose what you will obey and not obey. Everything God has spoken is important for our growth in grace. While we are no longer under the legality of the Law, the principles of the Law are appropriate and important for us to follow. Christ gives us greater understanding and the ability to apply them when we seek His guidance.

In order to follow every one of God's principles, we must be faithfully and diligently into the Word. They are there, but they will not be known unless we are looking for them. God has clearly shown us how to be holy in His sight; it is up to us to discover the way and do it. Ask the Lord to make His ways known to you as you study the Word.

When we gain understanding, we must apply it to our lives with all our heart. If your heart is not totally committed to the Lord, you will always struggle with living a life that pleases the Lord. You cannot have divided loyalties and be successful in your Christian walk.

If you really love the Lord, you will want to know God's principles. You will want to understand them so that you can live by them. The desire of your heart will be to obey the Lord.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Keep me from lying to myself.

Ps. 119:29 Keep me from lying to myself, give me the privilege of knowing your law.

Reread today's Scripture. How might we lie to ourselves? One thing we tend to do is to think we are better off spiritually than we really are. We look at others and compare ourselves to them. We realize that we are better than many and become convinced that we are alright with God. We believe that the Bible is true and we might even read it and pray. We might be involved in various ministries in the church. We see ourselves in a good light.

But, what does God say about us? Are we really living holy lives before God? As we read and hear the Word can we honestly say that we are like that, doing that? Can we? God commands us to be holy and holiness is living free from sin. It is having godly thoughts, speaking in godly ways, acting in godly ways. No one can say that they have arrived and have no room for improvement in their walk with the Lord. No one who sees himself through the eyes of the Lord can do anything but be humbled before Him and recognize his need for God.

It is a privilege to have at our disposal God's Word. Some of us have several copies of it in our homes. We are blessed with the opportunity to not only become aware of God's law, but to know it. We have no excuse for not knowing how the Lord wants us to live. Our ignorance is nothing but our laziness. We must be actively spending time in the Word so we can know how to live. We must meditate on it and discover ways to apply it to life. If you are too busy to spend in the Word, you are too busy and your priorities are in the wrong place.

Be honest with yourself today. What sin are you struggling with? Have you sought God's help with it? Have you confessed it and made a determination to overcome it? Have you struggled and failed with it so often that you have quit trying? The Lord wants you to know today that there is victory for you in Jesus. He wants you to keep on trying. He wants you to call on Him and let Him help you. Dear friend, don't give up. Confess your sins. The Lord knows them and He knows how hard it is for you. Resolve to let Him help you get a handle on them. You CAN do it with Christ's help.

It is a privilege to get to know the law of God. Not everyone has the opportunity that you have to learn how to live a life that pleases God. God makes it clear in His Word what our sins are so that we can deal with them at Calvary. There is no excuse for not knowing what our sins are. There is no excuse for not seeking His forgiveness and living a holy life.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I weep with grief.

Ps. 119:28 I weep with grief, encourage me by your word.

I believe it's pretty safe to say that you know what it is like to weep with grief. It is a human experience we all go through. It might be the loss of a loved one due to death, a broken relationship, watching someone you care deeply about self-destruct because of sinful choices, overwhelming circumstances that control you and you can't regain control over them, the loss of something valuable to you that you can't prevent from happening, or something else going on in your life. Whatever the situation may be, it is common for us to suffer grief. We sense the hopeless and helplessness of our situation and there is nothing we can do but weep over it. It is life.

When times of grief come, there is only one lasting way to deal with it. We must go to the Word of God and let the Comforter minister to our hurting soul. In the Word we discover there is a way out of our grief. We discover there is One who can help us. We discover that we are not alone in our sufferings, that there is nothing we go through that has not been gone through before and that we can make it through because others have. We discover that as we meditate on the Word and draw near to the Lord of the Word, He draws near to us. We discover that we can do all things through Christ who is able to deliver us.

When grief floods your soul, don't wallow in its misery. Flee to the Word of God and let the Spirit guide you into its truths. Let God remind you that He is your Immanuel and that because He is with you, everything is going to be alright. The Lord will encourage you by His Word if you but let Him.  Spending quality and quantity time in the Word opens up heaven's doors and the Lord of heaven floods our souls.  Let the Lord soothe your grieving heart as you meditate upon His wondrous promises.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How can a young person stay pure?

Ps. 119:9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.

How can anyone stay pure? Note first of all that the question is not, "How can a young person become pure?" nor is it, "Can a young person even be pure?". We are made pure before God the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. Jesus forgives all of our sins and makes us pure before God. In Christ the old nature that causes us to sin is changed into the new nature that causes us to want to not sin. We desire to please God and live under His guidance and influence.

We stay pure by obeying God's Word and following its rules. Our unwillingness to do it hinders our growth and discolors our souls. Every time we disobey God we put a chink in our armor of purity. Disobedience darkens our soul. It impacts our relationship with God. It pulls us away from God and the farther we get from God, the less pure we become. In fact, if we are not trying to live by God's Word, we do not have pure hearts before God; we are not His children.

In order for us to remain pure we must obey God's Word. We must purposely strive to know God's Word and obey it. We can't put into practice what we don't know. So, we must constantly stay connected with the Word. We must read it, meditate upon it, and ask the Lord to help us live it out. We won't be able to perfectly do it, but we will be able to do it more than we won't. Our ability to live in obedience is directly connected to the effort and time we put into studying the Word. There is no sugarcoating it. In order to stay pure before God, we must invest our lives in His Word. We must strive daily to put into practice what we know and seek to learn more.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, both now and in eternity.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Please don't give up on me!

Ps. 119:8 I will obey your principles. Please don't give up on me!

The Lord never gives up on those who are determined to obey Him. He knows whether or not we are sincere and whether or not we are really trying. He knows that it is a demanding way of life. He never meant it to be anything other than that. We are in a war, not a cakewalk. The forces of evil are a formidable force, not easily conquered. There are many obstacles in our way to obedience. We can find a lot of excuses to not obey. We are easily convinced that to obey God is too hard or not in our best interests. It takes a strong will to follow up on our commitment to obey the Lord.

To obey God's principles mean that we are constantly changing. We cannot stay who we are and still be who God wants us to be. God's ways are the way of holiness. He is constantly at work in us to make us who we can and should be in Him. God doesn't give us principles to live by to make us feel good. He gives them to us to make us fit for the Kingdom. We are messed up because of sin. We have become ugly and sin hardens our hearts. So, it often is painful as we go through the change process. The Lord has to soften up our hearts in order to gain control of us. He takes His time to make sure it gets done right. He is persistent because He knows that there will be resistance. He is patient because He knows we don't always understand what He is doing or why it needs to be done.

In order for the Lord to make us holy, we must do our part. We must submit to His authority over us and obey His principles. We must be determined to make His way our way. If we don't give up our fight, the Lord won't give up on us. He will always be on our side to help us gain the victory, one battle at a time. And, don't give up on yourself. You can do it. The Lord knows you can or He wouldn't have commanded you to do it. Don't listen to Satan's lies. Listen to God; you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Great is our victory in Jesus! Will you obey the Lord and share in it?

Monday, May 19, 2014

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Ps. 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

We don't know what is going to be in our day. For some of us, there will be great blessings from God. For some of us, there will be great difficulty or even suffering. For some of us, there will be much opposition to our faith. Some of us will experience ridicule because of our faith. Some of us will face unexpected circumstances that will throw us for a loop.

The attitude we have before we get started on our day will determine how we face whatever we may encounter today. If we are determined to be positive and praise the Lord no matter what, we will have a great day. If we are not determined to see opportunities to praise Him, we will probably not have such a great day. Each day is a gift from the Lord. He gives us life and the opportunity to live it to the fullest. He wants us to have fun as we go through our day. He wants us to see good in all things. The enjoyment we gets from today is directly related to our ability to praise the Lord. There are lessons to learn today. There are things we must go through to grow stronger in our faith. There are things we must do and say as a witness for Him. There are things we will face that require us to go through by faith and not by sight.

The choice is yours to make. You can have a great day in the Lord by being thankful and rejoicing in it, or you can have a lousy day by letting circumstances dictate how you feel. Don't let your experiences determine whether or not you will rejoice. Be determined before you even start your day that you WILL rejoice and be glad in it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

In whom do you trust, God or people?

Ps. 118:8 It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people.

In case you haven't noticed it yet, people will disappoint you. People will not always treat you fairly or nice. People will not always have your best interests in mind. People will not always be honest with you. In other words, people are unreliable. You must be wise in whom you trust. Trust only those who have earned the right to be trusted. And, it takes time to observe a person in action before you know whether or not they can be trusted. Don't just jump into a relationship with someone you don't know anything about. Check them out. If you need help in discerning someone's character, go to the Lord who knows the heart of every soul.

One of the problems with people is that we are all sinners. No one is going to act perfectly towards you all the time. Everyone is capable of breaking your trust in them. It is why grace is so important in our lives. Not every misstep is worthy of a broken trust. We need to extend grace to others as much as we can. There are certainly issues that arise that are worthy of a broken trust, but don't hold all people at arm's length out of fear they can't be trusted.

You may not be able to trust some people, but you can always trust in the Lord. The Lord never varies in who He is. He is absolute Truth. He is always holy. He will never let you down. He will never seek anything but your good. He will always act in a loving way toward you. The Lord is always worthy of your trust. If you will let Him, He will take care of you and bring to completion all the good He has planned for you.

You can trust the Lord with anything and everything. He will never violate your trust in Him. He always keeps do what He says He will do. He will always be who He is. Put your life in His hands. The more you learn from Him, the more confidence you will have in His trustworthiness. God earned your trust in Him at Calvary.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Lord's loved ones are precious to him.

Ps. 116:15 The LORD's loved ones are precious to him; it grieves him when they die.

This is a verse that comforts the soul. We need to be reminded of it over and over again. We who are children of God are precious to Him. Dear friend, you need to grasp this awesome truth today. You are loved by God and are precious to Him. Regardless of how you may feel about it, it is true. God's love for you does not depend on how you feel or your circumstances of life. He loves you. And, His love for you is not a sentimental love. He loves you with the highest form of love there is. He loves you unconditionally and sacrificially. You do not have to be somebody, know somebody, or cater to anybody to be loved by God. You are loved simply because God is love and it is impossible for Him to not love you.

You are precious to Him. You may sense that you don't matter to anyone. There may be times in which you feel like your life is so insignificant that if you weren't alive no one would care. You may feel like everyone is against you and that your life is worthless. Those thoughts and feelings come straight from the pits of hell. Dear child, you are precious to the Lord. He loves you and loves to hold you close. You are the object of His love. You are why He came to earth and died at Calvary. You are why He is in heaven today preparing a dwelling place for you. Because you are precious to Him, He will never leave you alone or forsake you. He will always be available to you when you call on Him. He will always come to your rescue when everyone else abandons you.

It grieves the Lord when people die. The Lord loves and He is grieved when people die without knowing His love. He is not willing that anyone would perish and spend eternity in hell. It would be the greatest news the Lord could ever have if hell would be empty except for Satan and his demonic forces. He loves everyone in the world and longs for fellowship with them, but He knows that most will spurn His love and not be with Him in heaven. It greatly grieves the heart of God when a soul goes to hell because they chose to not let Him be the lover of their soul.

Oh dear friend, won't you let the Lord love you today? No matter what your circumstances may be or how you may feel, won't you open up your heart to Him and let Him give you a love bath? Let the Lord in and let Him hold you close. You will be glad you did. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the life of His children.

Friday, May 16, 2014

I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of his people.

Ps. 116:12-14 What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me? I will lift up a cup symbolizing his salvation. I will praise the LORD’s name for saving me. I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

There is nothing we can offer the Lord that can come close to being good enough to show our gratitude for our salvation. His gift of life is priceless. It cannot be fully understood or appreciated. All we can do is treasure it. The more we treasure it, the more valuable it becomes to us.

I fear that many of us do not treasure it much. We accept it, but then we take it for granted and let it lose it’s luster in our lives. We don’t take pride in it and keep it fresh and glowing in our lives. We let our living tarnish it and even render it useless in our lives. We treat God’s gift with little respect and fail to appreciate what we have been given. How can we be so foolish?

Salvation is the gateway into heaven. Salvation is the gateway into holiness. It is God’s way of preparing us so that we can enter into His presence without fear and judgment because of our sin. Salvation allows us to have fellowship with God! Salvation is God’s guarantee that we will not spend eternity in hell.

I challenge you to keep the promises you made to the Lord. When you first believed, did you promise Him the best of your love? Did you promise Him to go anywhere He would lead you, to do whatever He bid you to do? Did you promise Him that you would right some wrong that you had done? Did you promise Him that you would be faithful to Him and do what is right in His eyes? Did you promise to let Him have His way with you?

Lift up the cup of your salvation to the Lord today. Repent of those things that are not true to your salvation. Repent of the promises you have made to the Lord and have not kept. Renew your vows to Him. Let your heart once again be able to sing His praises. He is waiting for you.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

To God, not us, be all the glory and praise.

Ps. 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

We are not as careful as we should be about accepting the praise and adoration of others. We like the attention and sometimes let it go to our heads. We get the idea that we deserve it. We accept praise because of our hard work and talents. We somehow get the idea we are worthy of the attention lavished on us. We soak it up and before you know it, we become arrogant and proud of who we are and what we have done.

We are sinners by nature and it is the natural thing for us to do. It takes determination and a right relationship with God for us to resist the temptation. We must constantly be reminded of the fact that only God deserves the praise, honor, and glory others try to bestow on us. We dare not forget that who we are and what we become is all because of God’s mercy and grace. It is God who enables us to become who we are. God alone deserves the credit.

If our heart is right with God, we will want to give him the glory for all things. We will understand that it is because of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness towards us that we are who we are. We will understand that we deserve nothing from God but His wrath, but instead He has given us His mercy and favor.

If our heart is right with God, we will be careful to not hoard the praise of others. Instead, we will give it to the Lord who alone deserves it. We will not take ourselves seriously. We will always understand who we are before Him. We will always strive to please and honor Him in all things. We will understand that whatever we may be able to become or achieve is because of God’s gracious work in us. And, we will understand that all of it can be taken away from us in a moment if we let sin creep in and take away from the Lord the glory due his holy name.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reverence for the Lord is the foundation for wisdom.

Ps. 111:10 Reverence for the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. The rewards of wisdom come to all who obey him.

Do you want wisdom so that you can live rightly before God? If so, it begins with reverence for the Lord. We must be in awe of who God is. The Lord cannot be contained by our thoughts of Him. He is not limited by what we know of Him. He is much greater than the creation He created. All that exists came into being by the utterance of His word. He said it, it was, and it still is. God is the essence of all things good and holy. He is governed by His holiness and driven by His love. It is the Lord who did the impossible; He set us free from sin’s death grip on us and forever removed our sins from us, to be remembered no more. Wise is he who understands these things and bows before God in worship.

God rewards those who obey Him. If you desire to live within the blessings of God, obey Him. When we obey the Lord we do it without picking and choosing what we will or will not do. We will obey the Lord in all things. Selective obedience is no obedience at all. Whatever the Lord instructs and commands us to do, we strive to do it. Great is the reward of those who have enough reverence and respect for the Lord that they submit to His authority over them and obey Him. Empty are the words of those who declare their ove for the Lord and do not obey Him.

Revere the Lord and you will be find true wisdom. Wise are those who obey the Lord. Great are the rewards of those who find true wisdom.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!

Ps. 111:2,3 How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.

Have you stopped lately to consider what the Lord has done in your life, in the world? I often read the Old Testament and it is full of God's dealings with man. We discover there many things about God as He contends with sinful man. We discover how merciful God is with a people who continuously reject Him. We discover how God always gives man a way out of his sinfulness. We discover how unbelievably patient God is and the depth of His love for a wayward people. It is amazing when you stop to think about how a holy God could be so gracious, forgiving, kind and loving to a people who just don't seem to care much about Him.

When we stop and look at our own lives, we discover much of the same things going on. We now have the help of Christ to keep us right with God, but we often struggle to live the life we profess to have. God's expectations for us are the same; He commands us to be a holy people. He has given us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help make us holy. We, just like those who have gone before us, struggle with holy living. Yet, God never abandons us because we struggle. He constantly is at work in our lives to help us. He guides us, teaches us, convicts us, and empowers us. We are loved by God beyond our ability to comprehend.

Everything the Lord does is a display of His glory and majesty. He is incomparable. His glory and majesty fill the heavens and the earth. He made all that is and sustains it. We who take delight in His presence are His crowning glory and majesty. Everything He does in and through us are a testimony of how great our God is.

His righteousness never fails. His righteousness is sufficient! When we live in Christ, our righteousness, we lack nothing. We are all we need to be to make it to heaven. In Christ alone we are made acceptable to God. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves more fit for heaven. All who live in Christ will be in heaven some day. We cannot add to or take away from what Jesus did for us at Calvary.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Lord satisfes the thirst and fills the hungry with good things.

Ps. 107:8-9 Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for all his wonderful deeds to them. For he satisfies the thirst and fills the hungry with good things.

Praise the Lord for His great love. He is love. There is enough love in the heart of God to love everyone who has ever lived or shall yet live on earth. There is no depleting God's love. God loves the lovely and unlovely. There is no bias in His love. There is nothing anyone can do to not be loved by God. Everything God does is blanketed by His love.

Praise the Lord for his wonderful deeds. God's love is balanced by His holiness and goodness. It is a wondrous thing to observe what God does amongst men. We don't always understand His workings at the time, but when we see what God does from the perspective of time, we stand in amazement at the goodness of God in all He does. God works amongst men for their good and for His glory. God knows what we need to have and experience in life in order for our hearts to be holy before Him. He knows how to treat us well.

Praise the Lord for He satisfies our thirst and fills our hunger with good things. The Lord is our provider. He takes care of all that we need. What we need more than anything else in life is pure hearts. We may want more, but we don't need it. The Lord purifies those who hunger and thirst for Him. Those who desire to be made right before God will be given all that is needed to be holy.

Praise the Lord for He is love. Praise Him for His wonderful deeds. Praise Him for He satisfies all the longings of our souls when we seek Him.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Life goes by so quickly. Prepare to die.

Ps. 103:15-17 Our days on earth are like grass, like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone--as though we had never been here.

Look around you. People are dying every day. We are not invincible. We, like them, are going to die too. Life goes by so quickly. I look back over my life and I can’t believe that so many years have gone by now. I can still remember some of the living I did as a child growing up. I can remember some of the seemingly insurmountable circumstances of my life. I can remember my struggles of faith over the years. I can remember some of my doubts and fears. Many of the things that seemed so important to me in the past are long done and over with. I have done so much living and I scarcely have realized it.

Life does not stand still for anyone. We are born, live, and then die. What we do while we are living is soon forgotten. Our names may linger, but soon no one knows who we really are. We try to live in such a way that we are appreciated and remembered, but to no avail. Our names etched on a tombstone are the only reminder that we have lived. We become nothing more than a note in our family genealogy record.

When we live for earthly recognition or achievements, life indeed seems so futile. If life is nothing more than a name to be written down somewhere for others to note, then Solomon is right, “Vanity of vanities, life is but vanity.”

But, when our names are written down in God’s Book of Life, life is not vain. Life does have purpose and meaning. We are not soon forgotten. God etches His name on our hearts and we forever will be known as a child of God. We are not just a memory, we become a legacy. Because of our living in Christ, we impact people for generations to come. We let our lights shine and many will come to the Light because of us. We do not die and are soon forgotten. We live and are forever known by God and His children as we live forever with Him.

The Lord gives us this life so that we can prepare for life to come. We can spend our days squandering our opportunities and wasting our lives away, or we can live in Christ and impact our world for all of eternity. The Lord has given you a chance to bring many others to heaven with you when you die. You will do it if you live in obedience to Him each day of your life. You may not know who all will be in heaven because of the life you live, but someday you will.

Seize the day of opportunity while you have it, because soon it will be gone. We have but one opportunity to live in Christ and prepare for eternity. Don’t waste it. It goes by way too quickly.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Are you acting like a child of God?

Ps. 103:13-14 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust.

Dear child of God, are you acting like a child? By that I mean, are you simply trusting in the Lord to take care of you? We are prone to want to take care of ourselves. We often don’t take advantage of the Lord’s provisions and instead we strive to provide for our own needs. We often don’t turn to the Lord for advice before we make decisions in life. We often don’t take the time to come before Him and let him lavish His love on us. We often don’t appreciate what He is doing for us. We often take advantage of our relationship with Him and do what we want to do and not what He commands us to do. We often act like spoiled brats who don’t appreciate what it means to be a child of God. We often don’t show our Father the love and respect He deserves. So often, it is difficult for others to even know that we are God’s children.

On the other hand, our Father is tender and compassionate towards those who fear Him, towards those who respect Him as their Father and honors Him in their lives. Like any loving father, God has nothing but good in mind for us. He wants nothing but what is best for us and He knows what that is. Our Father is patient and kind towards us because He knows how weak and fragile we are. He knows we will stumble and fall and He is there to pick us up, dust us off, and help us on our way. He understands our weakest points and strives to help us avoid them. He understands what it takes to raise a child and lovingly stays with us all through the process, not matter how exasperating we may be to Him.

"Thank you, O Lord, for indeed you are our Father in heaven. Thank You for all you do for us and your patience towards us. Thank You, for loving us as you do. Forgive us for when we act like spoiled brats who don’t appreciate your loving care. Forgive us for when we shame Your name. Forgive us for all those times in which we stray from Your loving care. And, we know you do. And, we thank You for it and praise you today. In Jesus’ name. Amen."

Friday, May 9, 2014

God is able to forgive and forget.

Ps. 103:12 He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west.

How can it be? How can God take our sin away from us and cast them away from himself and us as far as the east is from the west? How is it possible for God to look upon us in a different light, as if we had never sinned? For us, it is impossible. We cannot forget many of the things we have done, even after we know we have been forgiven. We have flashbacks and our hearts are grieved because we did some of the things we have done. There are many, many things I don't remember, but there are some things I do. Each time they come back to haunt me, I am grieved in my spirit. I know I am forgiven by Christ and the Spirit helps me to then rest in his forgiveness and grace. I can’t undo the past, but I can live in the present and future in the knowledge that I am forgiven.

Sometimes we can go to people we have hurt and seek forgiveness from them, but sometimes we can’t. When we can, we get a sense of closure, even if others do not forgive us. When we can’t do anything about what we have done, we cling onto our forgiveness in Christ and strive to sin no more.

God is able to forgive and forget because when we are forgiven the righteousness of Christ stands between God and us. God sees Jesus instead of us, and all is well with our souls. God never looks beyond the sacrificial death of Christ. He only sees the present and not the past.

"Thank you, Jesus, for keeping God from looking into our past to see our sins. Thank you, Jesus, for purifying our hearts and pouring into us your righteousness so that God will see you in us instead of our sin. Thank you, Lord, for saving our souls and making us whole. When we remember what we did, help us to flee to Calvary and rest underneath Your shed blood. Help us to know that You have done the impossible. You have forgiven us of all our sins and cast them from us as far as the east is from the west. In Your precious name we pray and give you the glory. Amen."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

God's love is unfailing.

Ps. 103:11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

God’s love for us in unfailing. He never stops loving us. He loves everyone equally the same, but only those who fear Him can really know they are loved. To fear the Lord involves our involvement in His personhood. We recognize Him in His holiness. We understand that He is not indifferent about sin. We understand that all sin is punished by Him. We come before Him with respect for who He is. He is Lord overall and controls the destiny of all creation and every soul.

Our fear of God endears us to Him. We cling to Him tightly, because He is God. We succumb to His authority over us and strive to obey Him. We long to know Him better, because He is God.

His love for us is immeasurable. What we know of His love and are able to experience is but a miniscule drop in the bucket of His love. His love is beyond measuring and beyond depleting. For all who fear Him, there is more than enough of God’s love to meet every need.

Dear child of God, no matter what you may think or feel about it, you are always loved by God. No matter what you are going through in life, you are loved. God’s love is not like the love of man. It is unconditional. You can never do anything to keep God from loving you. He will always pursue you because He loves you. He will never let you get away from His heart. He will never let you get away with sin. He will always stretch you and demand much from you, all because He loves you. He wants you to be all you can be in your walk with God, because He loves you and wants to spend eternity with you.

Praise the Lord for His unfailing love for us!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

God doesn't deal with us as we deserve.

Ps. 103:9-10 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve.

These verses should cause us to swell up in praise today. The Good News is that God does not constantly accuse the redeemed of sin. He withholds His wrath from those whose sins have been forgiven. He does not deal with us as we deserve to be dealt with.

If you are constantly being harassed about sins that you have done and know that you have sought and accepted Christ’s forgiveness, guess what---Satan is your accuser, not God. God does not constantly accuse us. He will confront us with legitimate sin in our lives, but he will not rehash forgiven sin; they are gone forever from before Him.

God's anger against those who live in sin is legit. We all deserve to be punished for our sins. Sin is hated by God. It is the exact opposite of His holiness. He will never tolerate sin in His presence. At Calvary, Jesus defused God's anger against those who accept Him as their Savior. Jesus makes holy the unholy. He purifies the soul so that God's love can enter in instead of His wrath.

We don’t deserve to be treated so kindly by the Lord, but we are. He loves us and will never fail to treat us with anything less than love. For all who know Christ as Savior there is no condemnation for forgiven sin. When we sin the Holy Spirit convicts us so that we will confess our sin and seek Christ's forgiveness. The wrath of God cannot reach those whom Christ has forgiven.

To be on the receiving end of God's wrath should cause every soul to tremble. We must not ever take sin lightly. Eternity is at stake. We don't have to get what we deserve from God. Are your sins forgiven?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Jesus came to deal with our sin problem.

Ps. 103:10 He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve.

Growing up, I did not like it when I was punished for things I did wrong. My dad was from the old school and was not afraid to punish his children. Back then, timeouts were unknown. My dad had a belt and he knew how to use it. I didn’t like it, but I did learn to respect it. I didn’t get punished every time I deserved it, and I am glad for that. I also was punished for some things dad thought I did which I didn’t do. I do have to admit that I deserved much of the discipline I received.

I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father does not punish us for when we sin as we deserve it. If He did, none of us would survive childhood. We all sin and deserve to die in our sins. But God is merciful, just, and has great compassion for us. He provided for the Israelites the sacrificial system whereby their sins could be atoned for, and for us He provided the cross where we can find forgiveness. Jesus died on the cross so that we would not get the punishment we deserve. As children of God, we are given mercy when we sin. Jesus took our punishment upon himself.

Now, don’t get the idea that we have a free ride when we sin. Sinning always has consequences. The Lord does not pretend we don’t sin. He allows us to live with the choices we make. We may not have a death sentence hanging over our heads, but we do have painful consequences we have to live with. Sometimes our health suffers. For others, life is very difficult. For others, memories won’t go away. For some, others bear the pain of our sins. Sin also has immediate consequences; it keeps us away from God. There is a broken fellowship with God when we harbor sin and it cannot be fixed except through repentance.

Jesus came to deal with our sin problem. He came so that we can live with God in spite of our sin. He came to make us righteous and holy before God. He came so that we can live in victory over our sin choices, in spite of the harm they may have caused us or others in the past.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Lord is slow to anger.

Ps. 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.

What a wonderful verse to meditate upon today! The Lord is merciful. Mercy is God withholding from us that which we deserve. We don’t deserve anything good from God’s hands. We deserve nothing but His wrath and condemnation. But, He doesn’t treat us that way. He chooses instead to treat us as His children and to pour out His goodness into our lives.

The Lord is gracious. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. We are sinners by nature and don’t deserve anything good. God gives us a chance for eternal life with Him; that is grace. God gives us His Word to guide and instruct us in the ways of righteousness; that is grace. God gives us the body of Christ to encourage and help us in our journey of faith; that is grace. God frees us from the bondage of the law and allows us to live in Christ; that is grace.

The Lord is slow to anger. It takes a lot to stir up the wrath of God. One of the reasons why we are still here is that God is patient and has not reached the boiling point yet. The Lord’s love tempers his anger. Oh, we can make God angry, but it does take a lot of rebellious spirit on our part. He is not willing that any of us should lose out on eternal life with Him, so He patiently tries to woo us to Him.

We don’t want to stir up the anger of God; when it is poured out there will be a purification of life never seen before. It will not be a pretty time on Earth. At that time, God will not show mercy or grace to those who defy Him. When He pours out His wrath upon the earth, no one will be able to hide or escape from it. Until that day comes, God is pouring out His love upon the Earth.

The Lord is full of unfailing love. His love is so deep that no one can truly fathom it. His love is so plentiful that it encompasses all people of all time. There is no one who has ever lived, is now living, or who will be living in the future that is beyond the reach of God’s love. God’s love never fails. Everything God does is bathed in love, for God is love. He lovingly works in our lives to make us holy. Everything He does or allows to happen in us, is because of His love for us. He desires an intimate relationship with all people and does all that He can do to make it happen. All that we have to do is open up our hearts to Him so that His love can fill us.

The Lord is gracious and merciful. He will never fail to love you. But His love for you will not prevent Him from running out of patience with you if you insist on spurning His love.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.

Ps. 103:3 He forgives all my sin and heals all my diseases.

Don’t overlook the fact that the Lord forgives ALL our sin. When we let Jesus become our Savior, there is not one sin, no matter how big or little it may be, untouched. He is able to do it, and He does. We can't remember many of our sins, but He knows them all. He knows the sins that we do that we don’t know. By definition, sin is anything that falls short of God’s perfect holiness. We are guilty of an enormous amount of sin, no matter how "good" we, or others, may think we are.

It is too much grace to comprehend. Jesus forgives each and every sin of our heart. His forgiveness is absolute and unchangeable. Once we are forgiven, God no longer sees our sin. They are covered by the righteousness and holiness of Christ. God will never look beyond Christ to see our sinful hearts.

It does not then give us a license to sin. When we sin, we are showing disrespect towards Christ. We are treating His death on the cross as if it didn’t really matter. We are minimizing the price Jesus paid for our forgiveness. It is why we must always fall on our knees before Him in repentance when we know we sin. He is faithful and just and will forgive us. But when we fail to repent, there will always be a barrier between Him and us that will rob us of the joy of His fellowship.

He heals all our diseases. It does not mean that He will choose to heal us every time we are sick or have a disease of some kind. It does mean that He is Lord and can heal whatever may plague us. We must never forget that Jesus is Lord. He knows best what is needed in our lives in order for us to best serve Him and bring Him glory. Sometimes our illnesses are needed for our development of faith. Sometimes others need to see how we live by faith through our illnesses. Sometimes others need to see how an afflicted person is able to give glory to God, even in death.

We are encouraged to pray for good health,. But we also are to submit to the sovereignty of God over us. It is not our will, but God’s that we should seek. Don’t be bashful about praying for healing, but be willing to accept God’s will if the healing we desire doesn't happen. Never forget that death is the greatest healing of all; for in death, we are brought into the presence of our Lord.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Don't let your feelings or circumstances dictate whether you or not you will praise the Lord.

 Ps. 103:1,2 Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me.

No matter what situation you may find yourself in right now, determine in your heart to praise the Lord. Just do it. Praise the Lord regardless of how you are feeling right now. Praise Him for He is God. Praise Him for He knows what you don’t know about your life. He knows how to use your past and present to make your future. He knows how He is going to help you get through this stage of your life. He has wonderful plans for you and is working things out for you. Praise Him.

Praise Him for the good things that He does for you. You may not think that things are very good for you right now, but if you take an honest look at the good things that have been a part of your life, you have much to praise the Lord for. Praise Him for loving you, for reaching down from heaven and touching your soul. Praise Him for the faithful work of God in you to bring you to your salvation. Praise Him for faithfully supplying what you have needed in life to bring you to today. Praise Him for His mercies, grace and patience with you. Praise Him for the future He has planned for you, both on earth and in heaven. Just do it, praise the Lord.

Don’t let your feelings or circumstances dictate whether or not you will praise the Lord. Praise the Lord if for no other reason than He is Lord. Praise the Lord and soon you will be focused on Him and not whatever else is going on in your life. Praise Him and let the joy of salvation flood your soul. Praise Him and your soul will be filled to the brim and overflow as you bask in the glory of the Lord our God.

A daily dose of praising the Lord is good for the soul. Praise Him and the things of the Earth will lose their grip on you as you realize that the Lord will see you through and that He is all that really matters. Praise the Lord with your whole heart today and every day as you journey throughout this life. You will never stay under the circumstances of life while praising the Lord.

Friday, May 2, 2014

In order to live a holy life, we must not mess around.

Ps. 101:4-5 I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.

In order to live a godly life, we must not mess around. We cannot dabble in sin and think it’s okay. We must reject all that is perverse and stay away from every evil. Look in the mirror. How are you doing? Are you aware of the sin around you and are you avoiding it? I understand that it is everywhere and we can’t avoid it, but we can choose not to participate in it. We can choose to look away and walk away from it. We don’t have to go where it is at or linger in its presence. I know that it captivates us and it takes willpower to resist it. But, we are able to do it. We must turn away from it and turn to Christ. When we do, He gives us the strength to stay turned away.

In order to be godly, we must not tolerate people who act in ungodly ways towards others. People everywhere disrespect and abuse others. It ought to cause us to reject those who do. When people are driven by their sinful nature and set themselves up as being better than others, we ought to reject them for their pride. The Lord want us to treat each other with love and respect. He desires that we be a people of compassion and honor. We are to be encouragers and not discouragers of others. We are to spur one another on to godliness, and not hold them back by our attitude towards them.

We cannot control or change people who are into evil and mistreat others, but we don't have to just sit around and say and do nothing either. We should be a voice against the evil around us. We need to speak out against those who promote evil and do evil things. We should stand strong on all that is good and righteous. The evil that surrounds us should alarm us and cause us to do what we can to curtail it.

Don’t just claim to be right with God, live like it. Take responsibility for your soul and how you relate to others. Be the person God created and desires you to be in Christ.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Living a Blameless Life

Ps. 101:2-3 I will be careful to live a blameless life--when will you come to my aid? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all crooked dealings; I will have nothing to do with them.

Are you willing to make this commitment to the Lord today? Are you willing to strive to live a blameless life, including in your home? We know that it is the right thing to do. God wants us to live righteously so we don’t suffer the consequences of sin. Jesus is the one who makes us righteous, so in order for us to become righteous and blameless, we must live in close relationship with him. We must make the commitment. We must determine in our hearts and minds that we are going to do it, that we are going to live under the lordship of Christ and let him make us right with God.

Living in Christ means we will lead a life of integrity. That is, that in all things we will be honest and dependable. It also means that we will take responsibility for what we allow into our hearts and minds, refusing to look at anything that is vile and vulgar. Do you turn away from those things which fall underneath this category? Do you avoid those things which influence you and stir up within you a desire to sin? It’s a real battle sometimes and it’s not an easy battle to win. Satan knows our weaknesses and never gives up trying to exploit them. We must always be aware of his tactics and be willing to resist him through the power of Christ within us. When we are being tempted, we turn to the Lord and ask him to help us be strong and resist.

Living in Christ also means that we despise dishonest dealings. We strive to treat others with respect and honor. We refuse to take advantage of others for personal gain. We refuse to compromise godliness for the sake of our comfort.

We must choose daily whom we will serve. Sometimes our choices put us into difficult or uncomfortable circumstances, but we must determine whom we will serve. Are you willing to commit yourself to serving the Lord completely? You cannot have it both ways and expect to remain right with God. He will not accept a half-hearted attempt to live a godly life. We must work hard at doing what is right before God. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.

Are you willing to be amongst the few who really please the Lord? Are you willing to give of your best to the Lord, the best of your heart and mind?