Photobucket

Psalm 8
To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

I can see David now – he’s laying in an open field at night and gazing at the skies! How can one do that without seeing God’s greatness in the heavens? Creation in its entirety reflects the nature of God! David recognized this and felt insignificant compared to what his eyes beheld! How can a wonderful and powerful Creator take time to be with me? How can He be interested in me? The Lord is interested even in the tiny baby! So much so, He has given us all of His creation to enjoy!

When I gaze into the skies at night, I feel what David felt at the moment he wrote this Psalm. I feel so small compared to all that is out there! It is a humbling feeling indeed! It keeps my thoughts focused on just who God is! I am so weak but He is so great. How can One so great take time to fellowship with me? This psalm puts me in my place before a mighty and Holy God! However, this psalm also shows me that as great as God is, He has time to be concerned for even the tiniest of babes!

Then David ends it all by praising the Lord! So I sing with David:

O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Psalm 29

A Psalm of David. 1 Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. 2 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. 7 The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. 10 The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. 11 The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

There are days when I am overwhelmed by life’s storms. Each day flows into the next and I find no reprieve from the trial at hand. Today’s Psalm is such an encouragement to my heart because no matter how tumultuous my storm is, the Creator of all is right there beside me helping me to endure and overcome! He allowed this storm in my life so I could experience His goodness!

No matter what the trial, my spirit is lifted up when I begin to praise Him! David said that his Lord and Saviour was powerful and full of majesty! This is my Lord and Saviour! This is my Creator, my Shepherd, my God! The all powerful, the Almighty is also the One who has promised to never leave me or forsake me!

~Hebrews 13:5b … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

My God is not a man that He should forget about me and abandon me. When the Lord says that He will never leave me or forsake me, He means just that. I am His child now that I am born again. That means that I hold a special position with Him. His precious Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life so that I could have this position! It was a huge price to pay for my salvation. Therefore, I need to encourage myself in the Lord and know that no matter what I am going through, He will be there to help me through this storm.

~Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

As I meditate on today’s Psalm, my heart is overwhelmed by God’s power and might. I may feel small and insignificant, but I feel blessed that this same God loves me personally and will lift me up as I walk through this storm! Oh that He finds me praising His name through it all!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Psalm 40

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. 1 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. 4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. 6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. 11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. 12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. 13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me. 14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. 15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. 16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified. 17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

How can one read this Psalm without being moved with David’s love for His God? The entire Psalm is filled with what God’s love has done for David and David’s response to that love! I’m so totally overwhelmed by this communion! Within the verses of this beautiful Psalm, I see the entire plan of salvation blended in with a beautiful relationship with the Father because of His Son:

  • God hears my cries – (a) the one who is sincerely searching for God will be heard by God; (b) the Christian who is pleading with His God will be heard.
  • God brings me up out of the horrible pits (not out of it) – (a) the seed is planted in the unbeliever’s heart and God begins to raise him up; (b) the Christian is not promised that God will take him out of all his troubles but that God will raise him up and encourage him.
  • God places me upon a rock – (a) the unbeliever is now placed on the Rock, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 10:4); (b) the Christian is lifted up and placed on a solid surface, the Rock! He is not on a slippery surface but on a solid rock!
  • God establishes my goings – (a) the new Christian now has the Holy Spirit who will teach him in all things; (b) the seasoned believer rests upon this knowledge – he knows that God is faithful and will pave the way ahead.
  • God puts a new song in my mouth – (a) the new Christian has a different song to sing – he can rejoice in his salvation; (b) the seasoned Christian can sing new songs during each new trial knowing that His Lord and Saviour is right there!
  • God opens my ears – the believer’s ears are opened to the Word of God and to His preaching through His man. We are His children and we hear Him now that we are saved (John 10:27)
  • God thinks upon me – Just as I think about my children and pray for them, God thinks about me! I am on His mind – in fact, so much so, He died for me!
  • God is my help – There is salvation in no other! God desires to help us find Him. He presents us with ample opportunities to find Him.
  • God is my deliverer – When we find Him, He delivers us through His Son, Jesus Christ! There is no other that can take away our sin! There is no other who has paid the price for our sin! There is no other who can deliver us!

What a blessing I have received today! I’m sure David never dreamed that the words he penned would bless countless believers throughout the ages! Thank You, Lord!

~Psalm 118:8 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Early on in my Christian walk, I found that trials would shake my faith.  I was thankful that the Lord placed someone in my life at just the right time to encourage me. I can’t remember her statement word for word but it went something like this: “Your faith is only as strong as the amount of trust you put in your God!” I can remember thinking at the time, “Really? That’s your idea of encouraging words?” But once I was alone with my thoughts, I knew she was right. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  Therefore, I plunged into God’s word and I came across today’s text.  I knew that this was the time to prove my faith and trust in the same God who saved me!

Friend, it’s God’s word that encourages the believer to ‘keep on keeping on.‘  It’s daily time in the Scriptures that keeps the child of God fueled and equipped to walk life’s path.  (Ephesians 6:11 and Ephesians 6:13) The Bible is our spiritual food which prepares us for battle and equips us so we are able to handle whatever comes our way.

If you’re experiencing a lack of faith or trust, here are a few more verses which will put a giddy-up in your get-along 🙂

~Psalm 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

~Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; [so] shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

~Psalm 40:3 nAnd he hath put a new song in my mouth, [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

~Psalm 73:28 But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

~Psalm 115:11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he [is] their help and their shield.

~Psalm 118:9 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

~Ps 125:1 A Song of degrees. They that trust in the LORD [shall be] as mount Zion, [which] cannot be removed, [but] abideth for ever.

~Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

~Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

~Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Psalm 94 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. 2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. 3 Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? 4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? 5 They break in pieces thy people, O Lord, and afflict thine heritage. 6 They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. 7 Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. 8 Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? 9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? 10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? 11 The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. 12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; 13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. 14 For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. 15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it. 16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? 17 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. 18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. 19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. 20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? 21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. 22 But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. 23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.

Are you suffering affliction today? Are you overwhelmed? As there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9), you are not alone! The Psalmist’s words indicate that he was experiencing those same feelings! He was surrounded by conflict and searched desperately to know why. I see a progression in his writing: he complains of his lot (verses 1-8); he finds God because of this affliction (verses 9-23); then David has an epiphany (verse 12).

As David complains to God and searches for answers, he realizes that God knows him better than anyone. This same God is his Creator and knows all about him – every detail – every thought – the deepest secrets of his heart. David comes to a realization in verse 12 that it is his own sin which resulted in chastening from God and, therefore, he is experiencing hard times. But in my opinion, David’s epiphany is not only that he is suffering because of his sin but also that the Lord loves him – He is teaching David how to deal with this circumstances through the Scriptures – and God will give him rest through this affliction.

As we are fed by the word of God, the hope that may have been lost prior to our trial begins to gain strength. I liken it to lighting a candle. At first, the flame is tiny as it settles into the wick. As the wick becomes consumed by the fire and becomes a full flame, it flickers and bends with each draft that comes it way. The flame doesn’t move when everything is still, only when it is fanned by something in its environment. Our faith is similar to this candle. Our faith’s flame grows when the winds of adversity blow into our lives. The Light of the World, Jesus Christ (John 8:12), grows and grows in our lives as we drown our sorrows and griefs in His word. Our faith grows and shines brighter for all the world to see. As our faith grows, our hope and strength in the Lord also grows.

Christian, take your trial and use it for the glory of God! God will bless you with peace and strength! Then your flame will burn bright for the Lord as you go through your trial! You will be able to be a testimony, a witness and an encouragement to someone else who is going through the same thing!

~Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

~Psalm 39:4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it [is; that] I may know how frail I [am].

I’ve written about this topic before and wasn’t going to cover it again.  However, the Lord impressed upon me the need for people to realize that each moment we have is a gift from the Him!  What we do with God’s gift of time is up to us!  We can either take His gift and hide it or take His gift and share it!

~Psalm 68:19 Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. Selah.

If you knew the day and hour you were going to die, would you live your life differently? In today’s text, the Psalmist prays that God would make him aware of how precious each day is and how frail life truly is. What a good prayer indeed! If we knew just when we would be leaving this earth, we would surely make each minute count! I dare say we would not waste our time with the trivial things of life.

I challenge you to number your days this morning. The Scripture says in Psalm 90:10 that 70 years is an “average” number for the length of our days – some more, some less. So number your days and see how many you have left. It is an eye opener!  It’s especially poignant when you find that more days are in your past than in your future!

Centering our lives around God and His work should be a priority in our lives.  Since we do not know the hour that we will leave this earth, don’t you think it’s vital that we put our efforts in furthering Christ’s work begun over 2,000 years ago?  It’s so important for us to make the Lord the center of all things in our lives.  After all, it’s what revolves around Jesus Christ that will follow us into eternity, Amen?  The moment I was born again, my path toward Heaven began.  I was no longer heading down the path to destruction and Hell! Eternity is a very long time, friend.  What things in your life will you be embarrassed about when you enter eternity?  What things in your life now will you delight over in eternity? Will you have many tears? (Revelation 7:17, Revelation 21:4)

My thoughts were led to Hebrews 10:25 as I thought about how I’m spending my “threescore and ten” …

~Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

I do so love to go to church and get together with those who love the Lord as I do!  It’s so encouraging to see the faces of those bus kids – the Senior Saints – and all those who come seeking to be fed, worship and to fellowship! But as we see the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ fast approaching, the more we should want to be busy for His cause! Matthew 28:19-20 contains our marching orders and what is expected of us.  Our threescore and ten should be filled with learning how, growing in the Lord, and achieving these orders – and so much the more, as we see the day approaching!

Make use of each day as if it were your last. You can be sure that harsh words would be left unsaid; precious moments with loved ones would become a high priority; one would find that spending countless hours at work is not really that important. Time is short – time is precious – time is God-given!  What will you do with your threescore and ten? These are truly thoughtful ponderings! LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days…”

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

~Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

~Matt 11:28-30 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

How compassionate is our Lord, Jesus Christ!!! He knows us so well and He knows that His creation needs help in carrying the heavy burdens of this world! Do you rely on Him to carry your burdens?  Look at today’s beautiful picture taken by my friend Connie.  Does this bird worry about what he is going to eat?  The Lord provides food for the birds,  how much more does He desire to help us with our burdens? (Luke 12:7)

It is so hard to trust but we should be able to trust the Lord without doubt – knowing that He will take care of us. We are instructed in the Scriptures to commit our ways to the Lord and trust Him to take care of them.

~Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass.

As we commit our ways and trust the Lord, our thought life will form a foundation of trust.  We won’t worry – we won’t be anxious – we will automatically know that the Lord is taking care of things!

~Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Here are more verses which will, hopefully, encourage you today to commit and trust in the Lord:

~Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.

~Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

 ~1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

~1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

I pray that these verses were an encouragement to your heart today! God does not want His children to be carrying burdens. He desires to do this for us! 🙂

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

~Psalm 34:6-7 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard [him], and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
~Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD [are] upon the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their cry.
~Psalm 34:18 The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

After reading today’s text, the first thing that “jumped” out at me was the fact that the Lord hears us (the righteous through Jesus’ blood) and is close to us! Psalm 34:7 is especially sweet because this refers to our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ. Christ encamps (pitches his tents around us) – He is there during our trials and is going through these trials with us! He is there for the battles in our lives! Glory! \o/ 🙂

My Saviour’s eyes are upon me (Psalm 34:15) and He hears my cries! Oh Lord Jesus, how much of a blessing this is for the believer! We are not alone – we are not ignored – we are heard! My God is a personal God because He knows how frail His creation is. He knows what I can and cannot handle! He hears my every cry and counts my every tear (Psalm 56:8)! How precious is that?

The Lord’s compassion is overwhelming to me! (Lamentations 3:22) The Scriptures tell us that He is close to the broken hearted! Such compassion! Aren’t we blessed, dear Christian? Let’s tell others of our blessings (Psalm 107:2)!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

~Psalm 18:23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

God sure doesn’t mince His words! The Psalmist admits that it is his own iniquity – his own sin!  Sin is a willful act – it is a choice made my me and only me.  Adam and Eve had a choice – Cain had a choice – I have a choice.  The born-again child of God has a choice to sin or not to sin. How can I keep myself from sin?

~Psalm 119:11, 105 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

If I keep God’s word in the center of my life, my thoughts and my actions, it will be easier for me to make the right choices!

~2 Timothy 2:4, 22 (4) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 

The ‘worldly believer’ has a continuous struggle in living the separated Christian life.  You cannot live in the world and “for the Kingdom” at the same time.  You can straddle the fence only so long before you topple over and land on a specific side. As Christ said in Luke 16:13, you cannot serve two masters.  One will overrule the other.  The one who “wins” is the one you serve the best – your sin or the Lord.

Feed your spiritual side, friend.  Read your Bible for more than just a few minutes.  We make time for everything else in life that is important.  We will be spending eternity with the Lord and nothing from this earth will be important once we reach eternity!

 

 

~Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
~Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.

My life before I repented and accepted the saving grace of Jesus Christ was one where I could only pretend to be “religious.” I knew way deep down in my heart that I was not where I should be but I ignored it. This belief was actually encouraged by my religious leaders. If I attended church, kept a good confession, and kept the sacraments, I was well on my way to Heaven. But I did not have the joy in my heart that the Psalmist expressed in today’s text.  It was not until I saw my sin as God sees them and realized that there was nothing that I, personally, could do to get to Heaven.  (Ephesians 2:8-9) It was all about Christ – all about His death, burial and resurrection – all about His precious shed blood on the cross that paid the penalty for my sin!

Once I understood this and repented of my wicked sin, the Holy Spirit came to dwell inside me and made me whole!  Oh the joy that came into my heart!  The burden of sin was removed and I was immediately set free!  (Matthew 11:28-30) I no longer feel the heavy weight of religion upon my shoulders but now I am free!

I can rejoice with the Psalmist – I can be glad in the Lord and sing praises to His name!!!  Psalm 32:11 says that the righteous should rejoice!  There is no righteousness in me (Isaiah 64:6) but Christ’s righteousness is what covers me and we are the righteous that the Psalmist exhorts to be glad!!  Jesus Christ is my justifier (‘just” as “if” “I” never sinned).  It’s not anything that I’ve done but it’s everything that Christ the Saviour has done!

~Romans 3:26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Amen and amen!  Praise the Lord – give glory to His Name!  He is the King of kings and Lord of lords!  He is my Redeemer and my Friend!!!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Joseph M. Scriven

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.

 

~Psalm 9:9-10 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Do you know the Lord?  Do you really know the Lord?  Noah Webster defines the word as:

1. To have clear and certain perception; not to be doubtful; sometimes with of.
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7.
2. To be informed.
Sir John must not know of it.
3. To take cognizance of; to examine.
Know of your youth – examine well your blood.

Do you have a clear and certain perception of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of man, and what salvation really means?  Do you know His Gospel without any doubt?  Are you totally informed?  Do you examine His Gospel – His Scriptures – so that you can state, “YES, I know!”?  There is a difference between knowing about Jesus Christ and really knowing Him.  I know about the President of the United States but I don’t really know him.

The Apostle John explained it beautifully:

~1 John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

For those who really know Jesus Christ, these verses are such a blessing, aren’t they?   We are not like those “religions” who have to be “good” in order to “maybe, possibly” make it to Heaven.  We are not part of the crowd who will have to be in an obscure location which will “purge” our sins before we can be allowed into Heaven.  Those teachings are not Scriptural and are heresy! No, we have been told that we can know that we are going to Heaven – right now – right here on earth!  Why would Paul refer to the faithful believers in Colosse as saints (Colossians 1:2)?

Today’s text encourages the saints who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and promises that He does not forsake those who seek Him!  Praise the Lord!!! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being the One who is faithful and that I can truly know You!  How blessed we are with a peace that is beyond understanding! (Philippians 4:7)

Psalm 84 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. 1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. 3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. 4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. 5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. 6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. 9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. 10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

The sons of Korah were the choir in David’s day. Their “special music” came from these Psalms. I found this extremely touching! Do I desire to be in God’s courts the way this Psalmist did? I put my name in each verse that “my or I” and I was immediately under conviction. Granted, I enjoy going to church – that is not the point here.

My daily meetings with God are my entrance into His courts. I do not have to go to a tabernacle made with hands because my body is a temple and the Holy Spirit resides within.

~1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.

I am in the presence of God each second of every day! I am not saying that going to church is not necessary because it mostly certain is. What I am saying is that I can daily be in the presence of God in fellowship and worship through reading His word, meditating upon it, and prayer! As I read today’s text and placed my name in all the personal references, my eyes were opened and the Lord taught me. Isn’t that what our daily reading should be … us seeking and God revealing?

What beautiful words of worship to sing to our God in the morning! “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God! O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee!”

The heart that thirsts after God with such intensity will be filled with His goodness! God’s pleasure is to bless us – our only task is to seek after Him. The unsaved are not able to do this – the wicked do not seek after the things of God. But to the child of the King, we are able to enter into His courts daily – any time we want! Praise the Lord!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Psalm 105 1 O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. 4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. 5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. 7 He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: 11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: 12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. 13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; 14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; 15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. 16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread. 17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: 18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: 19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. 20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. 21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: 22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom. 23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. 24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. 25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants. 26 He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen. 27 They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham. 28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word. 29 He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. 30 Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings. 31 He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts. 32 He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. 33 He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts. 34 He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number, 35 And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground. 36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength. 37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. 38 Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them. 39 He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. 40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. 41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. 42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant. 43 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: 44 And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; 45 That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord.

The Psalmist encourages us to praise the Lord for all that He has done for us and for all His children!  The byproduct of this is glorying in His Holy Name! You may feel as though the Lord has not done anything for you but this Psalm gives us an example of how to mend this bitterness of heart! There’s always something that God has done for us – there’s always something that we can focus on. The Psalmist did. How? As you read through this Psalm, make a note of each event for which the writer is praising God. We can see that he knew the Scriptures. He speaks of the everlasting covenant God made with Israel – the plagues – God’s provision of manna – the water gushing out of the rock in a place where there was no water – God’s presence throughout the long journey. God presented them with a seemingly impossible task. But notice that God was present day and night (by cloud or fire) throughout their ordeal. Now meditate on this a bit.  The first thing that came to my mind was God’s faithfulness. I liken the water from the rock as God’s Word.

~John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. ~John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Christian, you and I have the living water of life through God’s Holy Word! Christ did not leave us to ourselves. Just as God was with His people in the desert by cloud or fire, He is with us. His Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures so we can turn to its blessed pages and be encouraged. His Holy Spirit resides within us and we are never alone! God’s provision, once again!  God regards His Word above His own name!

~Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

We are not any different to God than Israel. He is with us while we go through life’s trials. Ole slew foot can throw us a curve ball but God is there to help us “catch” it! When we feel as though He isn’t “there,” start acknowledging His deeds – both in Scriptures and in your own life! First off, He sent His Son to take your penalty for sin! That alone should lift one’s spirit! However, if you need more, keep going. Acknowledge and praise Him for what all He did throughout history to help His people! Noah and his family were spared destruction and kept safe through the flood! Job was blessed beyond belief for his faithfulness. Just read about those in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews and rejoice! Now look in your own life and recall each event where God has been there for you – where He has worked out a seemingly impossible situation. Now may be the time to start that journal if you don’t already have one. Going back to review will provide you with countless deeds in which God has blessed. Now, tell others as verse 1 encourages us to do. Share these with a new believer. That young Christian needs to see God in action in His children! This encourages them to continue on! Especially now that we are in the end times and the heart of man is so perfectly wicked. We need to hear each other’s praises and blessings so we can rejoice! Just as we are exhorted to bear each other’s burdens, all the more we should share in the blessings so we can be uplifted!  Glory in His Holy Name!!

~Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. ~Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Who can I encourage, Lord?
Who needs a kindness done?
Show me today a soul to love
So I may help someone.

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Psalm 112 Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. 2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. 6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. 7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. 9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. 10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

There are some things in life that we know for a fact. I know that my spouse loves me. I know that my children love me. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. I know that I am saved and on my way to Heaven – again, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Everything else in life is uncertain, however. I don’t know if I will be here tomorrow – the bottom could fall out of the nation’s economy and we could all be broke today. Life contains more uncertainties than certainties.

~Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

With all these uncertainties then, how is one suppose to look at the day without feelings of desperation? The Psalmist says that the righteous shall not be afraid of evil tidings because his heart is fixed on the Lord and trusts in Him. How fixed is your heart today, Christian?

God’s love, and the “permanence” of that love, is something that you can count on. You never have to worry about it. You never have to doubt it. You never will lose it. This is one thing that you can know for certain! Though the winds blow, the rains fall, and the circumstances around you may seem impossible, God’s love for you is never ending!

When the child of God grasps this concept, there is a reassurance that whatever happens today has not taken the Lord Jesus Christ by surprise. When the heart is fixed on the Lord, one doesn’t wonder why.  One trusts in Him because He is diligently watching over us.

~Psalms 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

~Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

The Lord desires to guide us – He walks along side of us. When our heart is fixed on Him, we are not busy trying to order our own steps. I’ve been there, haven’t you? The best laid plans on my part had been planned for nothing. It’s so much easier to leave these matters to the Master and allow Him to guide us!

Reading my Bible and listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice will keep my heart going in the right direction. Staying fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ takes discipline and it requires a daily commitment. The time you put into having a fixed heart will be worth it – when you look at life’s circumstances, you won’t be overwhelmed because you will remember that God is on His throne!  The efforts you put into it will produce equal results:  put in much – have a fixed heart; put in little – be filled with worry!

~Psalms 11:3-7, 3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? 4 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. 5 The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. 6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

The Christian will go through many trials but he will not have to endure alone! He will know this because of the amount of time he has spent in God’s word and heeded to His directions! How fixed is your heart today? Work on it – just as you work on anything else that means something to you (whether it is your job, exercise, etc.)! You get out of it what you put into it. Are you tired of worrying? Then do something about it! Open your Bible and let the Lord Jesus Christ speak to you and encourage your heart.

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

~Psalm 117:1-2 O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

Today’s text is so short but it is packed with blessing! The Psalmist is exhorting us to praise the Lord. Why? Psalm 117:2 says that God’s merciful kindness is great toward us! Amen to that! If it weren’t for the Lord Jesus Christ saving my soul over 30 years ago, I would be dead and burning in Hell! That’s great mercy! But the latter part of verse 2 says that the Lord’s truth endures forever! Then the Psalmist tells us to praise the Lord again! We ought to praise God for showing His great mercy toward us by preserving His truth – His word!

God’s truth will endure forever! Endure what?  Let’s stop and meditate on these verses as the Lord reveals His word to us, amen? I am currently doing a study on Bible versions and the history of God’s words preserved through these thousands of years. Countless men and women have been killed over the preservation of God’s word. It did not take Satan long before he started corrupting the word of God – in fact, he began this corruption by causing doubt and actually changing what God said in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1).

It amazes me that you can discuss the preservation of God’s word with Christians today and they doubt that there is a true copy God’s word available to us today. Yet these same Christians believe that God created the universe and all that is in it. Why does their faith stop with creation, I wonder?  Can not this same God preserve His word?  God tells us that He can in His word so why are there doubts today?

Jesus said that God’s word is true and sanctifies (sets apart) the believer.

~John 17:17-19 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Is it any wonder that the devil would try to corrupt it or have people wonder if it even exists?  Satan does not want Christians to be sanctified.  He wants Christians to be powerless.  Furthermore, he does not want anyone coming to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, he has succeeded in producing 200+ bible versions out there which could not lead a horse to water, let alone a man to salvation.

God is not a liar, like man (Romans 3:4). He speaks the truth through His word. In fact, His word is more important to God than His very name!

~Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Since God holds His own word above His own name (He magnifies it), it stands to reason that He would preserve it through the centuries and make sure that His creation would have His true words so they could find His blessed gift of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ!

~Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

I encourage anyone who is reading to do a study on the history of God’s word and the corruption of the texts through the ages. You must know that God would not give us 200+ versions of His word to cause confusion for His creation.  That has never been His intention. It is, however, the intention of Satan to change, pervert and corrupt (Genesis 3:1).  He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he hates truth!  It is not rocket science – this should be evident to all Christians yet many are convinced that we cannot possibly have the preserved words of God!

The Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. It is also found in Mark 13:31 and Luke 21:33.

Christian, you believe that God can keep your salvation – why can you not believe that He can keep His word? You cannot escape God’s truth. The devil wants you to but you cannot escape God’s word.

~Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

I encourage each reader to study the history of the words of God as I have. We have God’s word in the English language and it is not contained in 200+ versions. Men and women died preserving the manuscripts throughout the years and, yes, God’s word does exist in the King James Bible. Don’t be deceived that you have to have a modern English translation to understand. That is just another ploy of Satan’s to keep you from the truth. God can preserve His words – don’t buy that lie from the pits of Hell.

A closing thought – as I was studying, one of the defenses used by those pushing the modern versions was that their manuscripts were in excellent shape and older than the manuscript used for the Kind James translation.  Friend, pause for a moment – do you have a favorite book on your book shelf that you have read over and over?  You’ve dog-eared the pages and the pages are worn from reading over and over.  A well read manuscript would be worn out – after all, they were written on papyrus.  It would not be in perfect condition.  I would be more concerned about a manuscript that was in mint condition – which would tell me it was never used. Is it any wonder that the manuscripts from the Authorized Version (AV) are newer than the corrupt manuscripts because the older ones were so used they fell apart? A well read and beloved book does not stay on a bookshelf! Many have died making sure that God’s word would be preserved through the ages.  Yes, man can fail – but God cannot fail – He is perfect!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

~Psalm 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

How often do we give thanks for all that God has done throughout the ages, even in our own lives? When I look back at God’s hand in my life, I can’t help but rejoice! In the middle of my darkest hours, my heart has led me to His word and encouraged me. Discouragement happens – there’s no getting around it. However, what we DO with discouragement is the key, amen?  This separates the nominal Christian with the disciple (the disciplined Christian).  (2 Timothy 2:15)

Who knows me better than me? If I allow myself to wallow in self-pity or discouragement, I won’t have the desire to seek the holy things of God. I won’t have the desire to remember what He has done for me. However, if I train myself to recognize discouragement and immediately start praising God, I will see the rain cloud dissipate. A grateful heart and a thankful heart does not have room for discouragement.

What does God say about discouragement? If you search the word of God for the words “discourage, discouraged, discouragement,” you will see that they appear a total of seven times – six in the Old Testament and only once in the New Testament. Numbers 32 reveals exactly what God thinks of discouragement and of those who lead others into it. Some discouraged the children of Israel so much so that those above the age of 20 were not allowed into the Promised Land, except Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 32:9,11).  Those are serious repercussions for what some think is a small thing.  God obviously does not consider discouraging others a small matter.

Let’s look at the consequences of discouragement.  Discouragement is an insult to God! It tells God that you are not satisfied with His provisions in your life and that you can do better. But let me ask you this: How is that discouragement working out for you? Aren’t you miserable? Furthermore, you are not acting alone.  You’re dragging others down with you – especially your family members for they can see you as you really are. The unsaved who come into contact with you on a daily basis interpret your discouragement as your God’s lack of power. What a horrible testimony to the Living God!

Psalm 30:4 encourages us to sing  and to give thanks!  If you can’t even come up with one thing to be thankful for, I believe you have more serious issues than discouragement.  This type of thinking is selfish and self-centered.  Life is not about you, no matter what you think!  Life is about Christ and what He has given to us and done for us! The first thing we have to be thankful for is salvation!  Even if nothing else ever happened in the Christian’s life, thanking God for his salvation should be enough to keep him busy!  Our time on this earth is so short compared to eternity!  Our lack of thankfulness here will be reflected there! Don’t you see that?

Make full use of all that God has done for you in your “singing”!  You have a roof over your head; you’re not going hungry; you have clothing; you have people who care for you.  There is always something for which to be thankful!  Always!!!  Make a list if you have to – but do it.  Watch that discouragement melt away as you sing praises to the King of kings and Lord of lords!  God is faithful and loves you!  Acknowledge Him and be thankful for all that He has done.

Great is Thy Faithfulness (Thomas O. Chisolm)

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As thou has been, thou forever will be.

Refrain:
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

(Refrain)

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

(Refrain)

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

~Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

If we started off each day with this prayer, we could certainly prevent most conflicts in our lives, couldn’t we?  When I am dwelling on a past hurt or current trial, my heart is not in a “state of readiness” for kind words.  In fact, my kindness would be forced, if you will.  It takes more effort to have words of kindness for someone when all I’ve been doing is dwelling on the negatives in my life!  It stands to reason – the Scriptures say that whatever lies within my heart will come out of my mouth:

~Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

Christians exercise their bodies for a healthy life style but what about a healthy spiritual life style?  Exercising our heart’s condition should be more of a priority than our bodies. God’s word exhorts us to live godly lives because it’s profitable for us for all areas in our lives!  What a promise!

~1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Psalm 19:14, however, exhorts us to please whom?  It is certainly not to please ourselves – it’s so that we please our Heavenly Father!  The child of God’s sin is covered by the precious blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, therefore, we are acceptable in the sight of the Father! However, all of our actions may not reflect His godly nature.  The Psalmist ends the verse well by acknowledging where he gets his help – God is his strength and his redeemer.  When we turn to the Lord for our direction (through His word), meditate on it and allow it to change us, we are exercising our spiritual muscle.  The end result of good spiritual exercise is a heart that is conditioned and will speak godly volumes rather than unhealthy negative volumes.

Exercise your spiritual muscle by memorizing this verse and speaking it the moment your feet hit the ground running in the mornings.  When you start the day with this verse on your heart, it will lay the foundation for the rest of your day 🙂

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Psalm 113  Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. 2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. 3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’S name is to be praised. 4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, 6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! 7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; 8 That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. 9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.

After 11 years of marriage and begging the Lord for a child, I came to the realization that I would not have the privilege of being a mother. I use to question the Lord – why aren’t You giving us a child? Your word says that one is blessed if she has a quiver full of children. Today’s text was always a tough pill for me to swallow and I would wonder why I couldn’t claim that verse for me. I finally resolved to the fact that my ways are not God’s ways, that He had a reason and I would trust Him. I can remember reading the following verses and deciding that I would make these my “life” verses:

~Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

If I wasn’t to be a mother, then I decided to redirect my thoughts. My thoughts were consumed with having a baby and they should have been consumed with trusting God and not dwelling on my lot in life.

Verse 6 gave me the guidance that I needed: in all my ways I was to acknowledge God. Acknowledge God? In what way? I believe that the Lord wants us to fully trust Him for every area of our lives. I also believe that He wants us to realize that He is the God of all creation and our Heavenly Father – His way, His path, is perfect for us. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us how to petition our Heavenly Father:

~Luke 11:2-4 When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. That’s it! It’s not my plans that I should be seeking after, but God’s will. I remember praying day after day, “Lord, please bless me with a child!” After that, I was praying, “Lord, if I’m not to have a child, please show me what You would have me to do.” My focus turned from my circumstances to Him.

Why am I sharing this with you this morning? There may be someone reading that needs encouragement today. You may be disappointed that God has not given you what you thought was the desire of your heart. Today’s text reminds us that we are to praise Him in all things, whether they are blessings from Him or an answer of “no” to our petitions. The Lord desires to direct our paths. In fact, Proverbs 3:6 says that when we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He shall direct our paths.

At that point in my life, I had acknowledged that motherhood was not to be one of my many hats. I remember telling God, “OK, Lord, I’m over it. I have peace over this matter. Show me Your way.” The end of this story is that I was pregnant not too long thereafter and was blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Four years later, he blessed me again with another boy!

Is this to be the same ending for you? Maybe, maybe not. The point is that we are to praise the Lord for all things. Our circumstances may not be what we had hoped for but they are what they are. We must learn to accept God’s will for us. Granted, we may not be happy about it, but once we begin to praise Him, as in today’s text, we see there are so many things for which to be grateful! Our thought life changes from the negative circumstances to thoughts of hope for what is in store for us!

Maybe you feel you’ve been cheated in life – your health is bad, you’re childless, your spouse is not who you thought you married, you’re going through financial troubles, etc. I don’t mean to be harsh but, get over it and move forward in your walk with the Lord! He knows you’re disappointed – He knows you’re hurt.  Let Him direct you!

Heavenly Father, I thank You for always being watchful. Who am I that You would be mindful of me!? I’m so grateful that the Lord Jesus Christ’s blood covers me and that I can come to You as a child to her Daddy. I can’t even begin to thank You for all that You have done for me. Whatever Your will is for my life, may I accept it and live it in a manner that brings you honor and glory! For it’s in the Lord Jesus’ precious name I pray! Amen!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Photobucket

Psalm 119:97-104 MEM O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

These verses are extremely controversial, aren’t they? Many “church” leaders tell their people that only they can interpret the Scriptures.  I came out of such a religion (Roman Catholicism).  Granted, the Catholic Church has backed down a bit and now allows its members to read the Bible, but this was not always the case.  But their permission comes with a “warning” that the layman’s interpretation may be wrong so they must double check with their priest to be certain.

This is quite different from what today’s verses state! Let me ask you, dear reader, a question.  Is God’s word true or isn’t it?    John 17:17 says that God’s word is truth.  Jesus spoke these words and, furthermore, He states that the word sanctifies us – it sets us apart, but from whom or what?

The Psalmist confirms in Psalm 119:98-100 that by reading God’s word, and meditating on it, he can be wiser than his enemies, even his teachers and the “ancients” (his forefathers). These same “church” leaders will tell you that we “fundies” (fundamentalists) are incorrectly interpreting the Scriptures.  Others claim that we cannot have God’s word today because the “original autographs” are no longer here. However, the word says in 2 Peter 1:20-21 that NO scripture is of ANY private interpretation.  Psalm 12:6-7 promises us that the word is preserved by God.  It is the Holy Spirit of God that impressed upon holy men as to what to write down.  To deny this truth is to deny the power of God!

We can and we do have the ability to read God’s word, as a born-again Christian, and understand what we are reading without needing anyone to interpret it for us!  Why? Because the Holy Spirit of God resides within us and interprets to us what the words mean.  Look at James 1:5!  We don’t need to get our wisdom from man: In fact, man’s wisdom is foolishness to God – I Corinthians 3:19.  I will probably receive a few comments on this post from precious, deceived Roman Catholics, asking how I can account for so many different interpretations of the same verse by Christians. Let me answer these comments right here and now. Let’s look at the following passage and you will see how CLEAR God makes it for us:

~I Corinthians 2:10-16 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who reveals the word of God to us?  I Corinthians 2:10 says that God, the Holy Spirit does. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God because man cannot do so (1 Corinthians 2:11).  Paul continues to tell us that the born-again Christian does not have the spirit of the world any longer but the spirit, which is of God (HIS Holy Spirit). Because we have His Holy Spirit living within us, I Corinthians 2:12 continues to say that He will give to us the wisdom – He will explain to us exactly what He meant. Furthermore, I Corinthians 2:13 says that He will teach us what we need to know so we can compare spiritual things with spiritual! Lastly, dear friend, 1 Corinthians 2:14 explains why there are so many different interpretations. The ones who interpret differently are considered “natural man” by Paul. The natural man, the unsaved man, cannot receive the things of the Holy Spirit! The Bible will sound foolish to them. Christ, through His precious Holy Spirit teaches the born-again Christian and gives us the mind of Christ. If you step into a church filled with true born-again Christians, you will hear the same interpretation of Scripture amongst them. It is only in the world that the Bible is misinterpreted. Why? Because it is being interpreted by those who do not possess the Holy Spirit – the unsaved!

God is the one who gives wisdom to His child (James 1:5).  He promises to give ample wisdom to those who seek it.  Wisdom comes from fearing (reverencing) God.  Read: Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, and Proverbs 9:10.  When one fears God, he recognizes that he is a sinner in need of repentance unto salvation.  At the moment that sinner recognizes his sinfulness and need for Christ, he begins to receive wisdom.  That wisdom applied results unto salvation and, then, understanding followed.  Read Job 28:28.  Once we are saved, we run away from evil – that is our desire as I Peter 3:10-12 instructs.  Today’s “supposed Christian” mingles with the world and does not run away from evil.  That is why they cannot understand the Scriptures.  First off, they are not truly born again as II Corinthians 5:17 plainly explains.  That is the key to living a separated life unto Christ.  How can a Christian live by I Peter 1:16 except he have the Holy Spirit residing in him?  We are blessed with the ability and power to say “No!” to sin.  We have the ability to quote Scripture when in the midst of temptation and be able to overcome it (I Corinthians 10:13).

God loves His child and provides us with clear teaching as to how to find Him, receive Him, and to follow Him!  Any author can tell you that he/she is the best one to interpret their work because they wrote it.  Why, then, would God leave us at the mercy of someone else’s interpretation of His word?

Praise His holy name!!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Psalm 119:73-80 JOD Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. 74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. 75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. 76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. 77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. 78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts. 79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. 80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

I love verse 73 and 75! The God who created me is faithful and He loves me! The Psalmist said that God “fashioned” him. The wording here is priceless! Have you ever watched a seamstress hard at work as she makes a garment? She meticulously cuts the pattern and puts the pattern together over the fabric.  She then cuts it out, pins it together and sews each section. After that garment is complete, she knows each stitch! She looks upon the finished product with such pride because she was its creator. Our Heavenly Father did the same thing!  However, He didn’t just “create” us, friend! He fashioned us!  This has a more intricate connotation, in my opinion.  The PERFECT and loving God fashioned us:

~Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Just a look at the human body and all its intricacies should speak to our hearts, amen? Each organ has its own function.  Look at the construction of the inner ear! Look at a baby’s growth from an embryo!  The early stages when cells divide and then start grouping together to form each one of these vital organs.  There is “order” in each grouping and one liver cell doesn’t accidentally group with the ear cell.  Now that, my friend, is the epitome of “fashioning”!  Oh the foolish evolutionists!

~Psalm 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

~Psalm 86:8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

~Psalm 104:24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

~Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

~Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

A Father who has fashioned us in His PERFECT love is a Father who is totally devoted to “growing” His child for that child’s benefit AND for His glory! The Psalmist realized this, I believe. Just look at Psalm 119:76-77! Read them again! These are such tender words to the Creator from His creation!

What Father could refuse a child who pleads (verse 80): “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes.” I would have been bursting at the seams if one of my sons came to me and said, “Let my heart be solid in the things you taught me from God’s word”! How much more our Father in Heaven! He knows every fiber of our being! He knows our sincerity!  He knows our every weakness!  He knows our hearts! If ANYONE knows ME, it is my Heavenly Father.  I can’t hide a thing from Him!  Praise be to God in the highest!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!